Last updated


Yan An Shi :Yan'an City 2007Nian .jpg
Location of Yan'an Prefecture within Shaanxi (China).png
Location of Yan'an City jurisdiction in Shaanxi
China edcp relief location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
Location in China
Coordinates(Yan'an municipal government): 36°39′00″N109°29′38″E / 36.650°N 109.494°E / 36.650; 109.494 Coordinates: 36°39′00″N109°29′38″E / 36.650°N 109.494°E / 36.650; 109.494
Country People's Republic of China
Province Shaanxi
  Total37,031.3 km2 (14,297.9 sq mi)
975 m (3,199 ft)
  Density59/km2 (150/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+8 (China Standard)
ISO 3166 code CN-SN-06
License plates 陕J
Website www.yanan.gov.cn
YN name.svg
"Yán'ān" in Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese 延安
Hanyu Pinyin Yán'ān
Postal Yenan

Yan'an (Chinese :延安; Mandarin pronunciation: [jɛ̌n.án] ) is a prefecture-level city in the Shanbei region of Shaanxi province, China, bordering Shanxi to the east and Gansu to the west. It administers several counties, including Zhidan (formerly Bao'an), which served as the headquarters of the Chinese Communists before the city of Yan'an proper took that role.


Yan'an was near the endpoint of the Long March, and became the center of the Chinese Communist revolution from late 1935 to early 1947. Chinese communists celebrate Yan'an as the birthplace of the revolution.

Administrative divisions

Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Population (2012) [1] Area (km²) [1] Density (/km²)
Baota District 宝塔区Bǎotǎ Qū476,9003,537.6134.81
Ansai District 安塞区Ānsài Qū172,9002,951.358.58
Zichang City 子长市Zǐcháng Shì218,0002,393.491.08
Yanchang County 延长县Yáncháng Xiàn126,0002,361.653.35
Yanchuan County 延川县Yánchuān Xiàn169,3001,986.585.23
Zhidan County 志丹县Zhìdān Xiàn141,6003,790.237.36
Wuqi County 吴起县Wúqǐ Xiàn145,6003,788.538.43
Ganquan County 甘泉县Gānquán Xiàn77,8002,276.134.18
Fu County 富县Fù Xiàn150,5004,179.936.01
Luochuan County 洛川县Luòchuān Xiàn221,9001,791.3123.88
Yichuan County 宜川县Yíchuān Xiàn117,9002,937.240.14
Huanglong County 黄龙县Huánglóng Xiàn49,5002,751.017.99
Huangling County 黄陵县Huánglíng Xiàn130,1002,286.756.89


Street in Yan'an, 1914 China, Miscellaneous Scenes- Street in Yan'an, Shaanxi (7454292752).jpg
Street in Yan'an, 1914

Yan'an was populated at least as early as the Sui dynasty. The Sui established a military base in Yan'an. The area became an important defensive outpost for the subsequent Tang dynasty. [2] In medieval China, Yan'an was called Yanzhou from the Western Wei dynasty to 1089, when it was renamed Yan'an. Yanzhou was a location of strategic military importance for the Chinese empire and Tanguts of the Western Xia Dynasty. It was once successfully defended by the Song Dynasty (960–1279) era Chinese scientist, statesman, and general Shen Kuo (1031–1095 AD). However, it was eventually taken over by the Tanguts in 1082 once Shen's defensive victories were marginalized and sacrificed by the new Chancellor Cai Que (who handed the city over to the Tanguts as terms of a peace treaty). Yan'an and the whole of Shaanxi were taken over by the Mongols in the late 1220s, only after their leader Genghis Khan had died during the siege of the Western Xia capital in 1227. The city was maintained by the successive Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), as well as the Manchu Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the city became part of the newly created Republic of China.

Red Capital

Mao with visiting foreign journalists in 1944 Mao1944.jpg
Mao with visiting foreign journalists in 1944

In December 1936, at the start of the Second United Front, Yan'an was taken over by the Chinese Communists. [3] They had arrived in the area in October 1935 after making the famous Long March from Jiangxi. When Edgar Snow went there in 1936, it was under Kuomintang control and a Red army siege had recently been lifted. [4] Unknown to him at the time, there had also been contacts there between the Communists and the generals who later staged the Xi'an Incident. Snow actually met Mao at Bao'an (Pao An).

Having rebelled against Chiang, the local warlords decided to hand over Yan'an to the Communists, who were now allies. They pulled out and the Red Army walked in without a fight. This is described by Agnes Smedley in her book Battle Hymn of China. She was in Xi'an at the time and got to Yan'an shortly after the take-over.

From 1937, Yan'an became the seat of the communist government of what became known as the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region. It became the center for intensive training of party members and army troops. In 1941, Mao Zedong put special influence on a series of training programs to "correct unorthodox tendencies" and essentially mold the peasantry to the communist model. One of the first CPC programs launched was the Yan'an Rectification Movement.

Conference room; tourists can rent and dress in Chinese Red Army garb Yanan Shaanxi maoist city IMG 8453.JPG
Conference room; tourists can rent and dress in Chinese Red Army garb

World War II

During the Second World War almost all buildings, except a pagoda, were destroyed by Japanese bombing, and most inhabitants took to living in yaodongs, artificial caves or dugouts carved into hillsides which were traditional dwellings in Shaanxi. While Yan'an was the center of Chinese communist life many prominent Western journalists including Edgar Snow and Anna Louise Strong met with Mao Zedong and other important leaders for interviews. Hsiao Li and Michael Lindsay were part of the resistance movement. [5]

During the Second World War, Yan'an played host to the United States Army Observation Group, also known as the Dixie Mission. In addition to establishing relations, the goal was to investigate the Communist Party politically and militarily, and determine if the U.S. would benefit from establishing liaison. John S. Service, of the United States Department of State, was responsible for political analysis, and Colonel David D. Barrett of the United States Army performed the military analysis. The mission explored possible plans for cooperation against the Japanese. The Americans had a presence in Yan'an from 1944 to 1947.

Later history

Yan'an was briefly captured in the Battle of Yan'an by the Kuomintang forces in the Chinese Civil War. The Communist leadership learned of a planned attack in advance and decided to pull out. From then until their capture of Beijing they were usually based somewhere else, often with a mobile headquarters.

Geography and climate

Yan'an is located in northern Shaanxi on the south-central part of the Loess Plateau, with latitude spanning 35°21′–37°31′ N and longitude 107°41′–110°31′ E. It borders Yulin to the north, Xianyang, Tongchuan, and Weinan of the Guanzhong to the south, Linfen and Lüliang (Shanxi) to the east, and Qingyang (Gansu) to the west. Elevations generally increase from southeast to northwest, and the average elevation is over 1,000 m (3,280 ft).

Yan'an has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwa) that borders on a steppe climate (Köppen BSk), with cold, dry, and moderately long winters, and hot, somewhat humid summers. Spring and autumn are short transition seasons in between. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −5.5 °C (22.1 °F) in January to 23.1 °C (73.6 °F) in July, and the annual mean is 9.90 °C (49.8 °F). The area receives 511 millimeters (20.1 in) of precipitation. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 49% in September to 64% in January, the city receives 2,449 hours of sunshine per year.

Climate data for Yan'an (1971–2000)
Average high °C (°F)2.2
Average low °C (°F)−11.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)3.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)53525448515970747469635760
Mean monthly sunshine hours 194.3172.7194.3220.7247.1239.5222.1212.9183.4190.4185.2185.92,448.5
Percent possible sunshine 64575356575550514955606255
Source: China Meteorological Administration


In 2018, the city's statistics bureau reported the city's GDP stood at 155.891 billion yuan, a 9.1% increase from the previous year. [6] The city's GDP per capita was reported 68,940 yuan, an increase of 8.9% from the previous year. [6] The following table shows the composition of the city's economy: [6]

GDP Composition of Yan'an (2018)
Sector2018 Value (yuan)Percent of Total GDPGrowth from 2017
Primary Industry13.807 billion8.857%+2.9%
Secondary Industry92.597 billion59.399%+9.8%
Tertiary Industry49.488 billion31.745%+9.8%
Total GDP155.891 billion100.000%+9.1%


As of 2018, the city's agricultural output was worth 24.112 billion yuan, a 2.9% increase from the previous year at constant prices. [6] Of this, planting accounted for 20.139 billion yuan, animal husbandry accounted for 2.631 billion yuan, fishing accounted for 69 million yuan, and agricultural services accounted for 0.593 billion yuan. [6]


As of 2018, the city's industrial output was worth 87.074 billion yuan, a 10.4% increase from the previous year at constant prices. [6] Of this, the petroleum industry alone accounted for 54.419 billion yuan of output. [6] In addition to oil and natural gas, major industries in the city include coal mining, power generation, and cigarette production. [6]

Petroleum Industry

In 2018, 15,292,400 tons of crude oil were extracted from the city. [6] Of this, 8,565,800 tons were extracted by Yanchang Petroleum, and the remaining 6,726,600 tons were extracted as part of CNPC's Changqing Oil Field. [6] The Changqing Oil Field, part of the wider Ordos basin, one of China's main petroleum-producing regions, has been home to oil extraction since the early 1970's. [7]



The city is home to 251 standard primary schools and 112 standard secondary schools, enrolling 218,100 and 129,900 students, respectively. [8] The city also has 556 kindergartens, enrolling 119,500 students. The city also has 5 special education schools, serving 372 disabled students. [8]

Notable Educational Institutions

See also

Related Research Articles

Shanxi Province in North China

Shanxi is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of the province is Taiyuan, while its next most populated prefecture-level cities are Changzhi and Datong. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋", after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn period.

Xian Sub-provincial & prefecture-level city in Shaanxi, Peoples Republic of China

Xi'an, also known as Sian, is the capital of Shaanxi Province. A sub-provincial city on the Guanzhong Plain in Northwest China, it is one of the oldest cities in China, the oldest prefecture capital and one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui and Tang. Xi'an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

Gansu Province of China

Gansu is a landlocked province in Northwest China. Its capital and largest city is Lanzhou, located in the southeast part of the province.

Shaanxi Province in Northwest China

Shaanxi is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi, Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichuan (SW), Gansu (W), Ningxia (NW) and Inner Mongolia (N).

Jilin Province of China

Jilin is one of the three provinces of Northeast China. Its capital and largest city is Changchun. Jilin borders North Korea and Russia to the east, Heilongjiang to the north, Liaoning to the south, and Inner Mongolia to the west. The name "Jilin" translates to "Auspicious Forest" in Chinese, and originates from ᡤᡳᡵᡳᠨ a Manchu phrase meaning "along the river".

Ningxia Autonomous region of China

Ningxia, officially the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NHAR), is a landlocked autonomous region in the northwest of the People's Republic of China. Formerly a province, Ningxia was incorporated into Gansu in 1954 but was separated from Gansu in 1958 and was reconstituted as an autonomous region for the Hui people, one of the 56 officially recognised nationalities of China. Twenty percent of China's Hui population lives in Ningxia.

Provinces of China Peoples Republic of China province-level subdivision

Provincial-level administrative divisions or first-level administrative divisions, are the highest-level Chinese administrative divisions. There are 34 such divisions claimed by the People's Republic of China, classified as 23 provinces, four municipalities, five autonomous regions, and two Special Administrative Regions. The political status of Taiwan Province and a small fraction of Fujian Province are in dispute, which are under separate rule by the Republic of China.

Tangshan Prefecture-level city in Hebei, Peoples Republic of China

Tangshan is a coastal, industrial prefecture-level city in the northeast of Hebei province. The city's industrialization began in 1870, when Kailuan Group established coal mines in the region. It's the birthplace of China's first standard-gauge railway, the first railway plant, the first steam locomotive, and the first cement factory. It was hailed as China's "cradle of industrialization". Even today, Tangshan is a hub of steel, energy, chemical, and ceramics production. Ping opera, which originated from the city's Luanzhou county, is one of the five most popular Chinese operas.

Zhidan County County in Shaanxi, Peoples Republic of China

Zhidan is a county under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Yan'an, in the northwest of Shaanxi Province. China, bordering Gansu Province to the south. The county has an area of 3,790.2 square kilometers, and a population of 141,600 as of 2012. Zhidan County and surrounding areas host oil drilling and industry.

Liaoyuan Prefecture-level city in Jilin, Peoples Republic of China

Liaoyuan is a prefecture-level city in Jilin province, People's Republic of China. It is bounded on the west and south by Tieling of Liaoning province, west and north by Siping, and east by Tonghua and Jilin City. Liaoyuan lies some 100 km (62 mi) south of Changchun, the provincial capital. Covering an area of 5,125 km2 (1,979 sq mi), Liaoyuan is the smallest among the prefecture-level divisions of Jilin. Liaoyuan has a total population of 1,176,645 in the prefecture, while the urban area has a population of 462,233.

Northwest China Place

Northwest China includes the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Ningxia and the provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai.

Weinan Prefecture-level city in Shaanxi, Peoples Republic of China

Weinan is a prefecture-level city in the east of Shaanxi Province, China. The city lies about 60 km (37 mi) east of the provincial capital Xi'an, and borders the provinces of Shanxi and Henan to the east.

Yanzhou District District in Shandong, Peoples Republic of China

Yanzhou is a district and former county-level city under the prefecture-level city of Jining, in the southwest of Shandong province, People's Republic of China.It was also one of the Nine Provinces in ancient China, where Yu combated floods by water control.

Yanchuan County County in Shaanxi, Peoples Republic of China

Yanchuan County is a county under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Yan'an, in the northeast of Shaanxi Province, bordering Shanxi Province across the Yellow River to the east. The county spans 1,985 kilometers in area, and is home to 192,000 people as of 2017. In 1969, Xi Jinping was sent to work in Liangjiahe Village, Wen'anyi Town, Yanchuan County, as part of Mao Zedong's Down to the Countryside Movement. This has launched the county into the national spotlight, making the area a tourist site for many.

Yanchang County County in Shaanxi, Peoples Republic of China

Yanchang County is a county under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Yan'an, in the northeast of Shaanxi Province, bordering Shanxi Province across the Yellow River to the east. It has a land area of 2,368.7 square kilometers, and a population of 158,000.

Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum

Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group is a Chinese conglomerate mainly engaged in the exploration, production, transportation, and sale of petroleum and natural gas, and in addition the production and sales of petrochemical products. Founded in 1905, it is the fourth largest oil producer in the country. Almost all its reserves and refineries are located in Shaanxi.

Baota District, is a district in Yan'an, Shaanxi, China. The district has an area of 3,537.6 km2 and a population of 476,900 as of 2012. Baota District is also home to the Yan'an City Government's offices. The district's zoning code is 610602000000.

Zichang County-level city in Shaanxi, Peoples Republic of China

Zichang is a city in the north of Shaanxi province, China. It is the northernmost county-level division of the prefecture-level city of Yan'an. Zichang had a population of 273,000 as of 2017, of which, 115,000 lived in urban areas.

Wuqi County County in Shaanxi, Peoples Republic of China

Wuqi County is a county under the jurisdiction of Yan'an City, in the northwest of Shaanxi Province, China, bordering Gansu province to the southwest. The county spans an area of 3,788.5 square kilometers, and has a population of 145,600 as of 2012.

Wang Bao'an is a former Chinese politician who served as director of the National Bureau of Statistics since April 2015. On January 26, 2016, Wang was placed under investigation by the Communist Party of China's anti-graft agency.


  1. 1 2 延安市-行政区划网(区划地名网) www.xzqh.org. XZQH.org. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  2. Schellinger, Paul; Salkin, Robert, eds. (1996). International Dictionary of Historic Places, Volume 5: Asia and Oceania. London and Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. p. 874. ISBN   1-884964-04-4.
  3. Mao Tse Tung Ruler of Red China by Robert Payne, page 175
  4. Red Star Over China , by Edgar Snow. Page 42
  5. "Lady Lindsay of Birker". The Guardian. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 延安市2018年国民经济和社会发展统计公报_中国统计信息网. www.cnstats.org. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  7. "Changqing Oil & Gas Province". CNPC. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  8. 1 2 延安市2018年国民经济和社会发展统计公报_中国统计信息网. www.cnstats.org. Retrieved 2020-04-19.