Updated: Jul 28, 2023 Print
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Zhangye, formerly known as Ganzhou, got its name from the  phrase "to extend the arm of the country through to the Western Realm" in the Western Han period and has enjoyed a reputation as “Jiangnan Beyond the Great Wall” and “Golden Zhangye” since ancient times.

The total area of Zhangye is 38,600 km2. It covers one district and five counties. Zhangye had a population of 1,237,600 in 2019. It is home to 38 ethnic minorities. Zhangye is nourished by the three interwoven ecosystems of the Qilianshan Mountain headwaters, the Heihe River oasis and the Gobi desert. With its unique natural landscape, snow-capped mountain glaciers, luxuriant forest steppe, majestic colorful Danxia landforms, fertile arable land, wetland migrant birds and desert dunes Zhangye can claim to be a city of natural as well as cultural charm. Located in the two national nature reserves, Qilianshan Mountian and Heihe wetland,it is listed as a Pilot city of the Ecological Civilization Demonstration Project.

Zhangye is a national modern agricultural demonstration area and the largest national corn seed production area boasting numerous rivers, abundant sunlight, fertile land and convenient irrigation. It is also an important national production base of grains, vegetables, melons and fruits, oil bearing plants and cattle and sheep. Zhangye is a concentration area in Gansu Province for both metals and nonmetals such as tungsten and molybdenum, bronze, gold, iron, coal, clay, and leopoldite. The city is also a development area for water energy, solar energy and wind energy. Combining its scenery called “Half City Reed” and a historic landscape feature known as “Half City Tower Shadow” with deep cultural resources Zhangye is a nationally renowned city and a top tourist destination in China.

Within the territory, Zhangye has one of the most stunning Qilianshan prairies, the colorful Danxi landform, the Heihe River wetland, Heihe River Gorge, Pingshan Lake Grand Canyon, and Shandan Horse Farm -the largest Army Horse Breeding Farm in Asia. It’s also home to the best preserved Great Wall of the Han and Ming Dynasty, the famous historic Yanzhishan Mountain, the renowned Camel City and the Zhangye Buddha--the biggest national indoor clay-sculptured Buddha,and the Mati Temple grottoes made at the same time as the Dunhuang Mogao Caves. Zhangye is also the only demonstration area for the integration of tourism, culture, sports, medicine and health care in Gansu province.

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