Xi'an (UK: /ʃˈæn/ shee-AN, US: /ʃˈɑːn/ shee-AHN;[3][4][5][6] Chinese: 西安; pinyin: Xī'ān; Chinese: [ɕí.án] (listen)), alternately romanized as Sian, is the capital of Shaanxi Province. A sub-provincial city on the Guanzhong Plain in Northwest China,[7] it is one of the oldest cities in China, the oldest prefecture capital and one of the Chinese Four Great Ancient Capitals, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history,[8] including Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui, Northern Zhou and Tang.[8] The city is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the UNESCO World Heritage set Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.[9]

Sian, Hsi-an
Location of Xi'an City jurisdiction in Shaanxi
Location in China
Coordinates (Shaanxi provincial government): 34°15′54″N 108°57′14″E
Municipal seatWeiyang District
  TypeSub-provincial city
  BodyXi'an Municipal People's Congress
  CCP SecretaryWang Hao
  Congress ChairmanHu Runze
  MayorLi Mingyuan
  CPPCC ChairmanYue Huafeng
  Sub-provincial & prefecture-level city9,983 km2 (3,854 sq mi)
1,088 km2 (420 sq mi)
3,866.25 km2 (1,492.77 sq mi)
405 m (1,329 ft)
  Sub-provincial & prefecture-level city8,467,838
  Density850/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
7,135,000 (10th)
  Metro density3,300/km2 (8,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (CST)
Postal code
Area code(s)29
ISO 3166 codeCN-SN-01
– TotalCNY1002 billion
(US$154.2 billion)
– Per capitaCNY98205 (US$15,108)
License plate prefixes陕A,陕U
City FlowerPomegranate flower
City TreePagoda tree
"Xi'an" in Chinese characters
Chinese name
Literal meaning"Western Peace"
Simplified Chinese长安
Traditional Chinese長安
Literal meaning"Perpetual Peace"
Xi'an dialect (Zhongyuan Mandarin) name
Xi'an dialect (Zhongyuan Mandarin)西安: [ɕi²¹.ŋã²¹]
長安: [ʈ͡ʂʰaŋ²⁴.ŋã²¹]

Since the 1980s, as part of the economic growth of inland China especially for the central and northwest regions, Xian has re-emerged as a cultural, industrial, political and educational centre of the entire central-northwest region, with many facilities for research and development, national security and space exploration. Xian currently holds sub-provincial status, administering 11 districts and 2 counties.[10] The city is the third most populous city in Western China, the other two being Chongqing and Chengdu, as well as the most populous city in Northwestern China.[11] In 2020, Xi'an was ranked as Beta- from the GAWC biannual city rankings,[12] and, according to the country's own ranking, ranked 17th.[13]

Xi'an is ranked in the top 40 cities in the world by scientific research output as tracked by the Nature Index,[14] and home to multiple China's prestige universities,[15] including Xi'an Jiaotong University, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Chang'an University, Xidian University, Shaanxi Normal University and Northwest University.