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Chengdu (Chinese: 成都; pinyin: Chéngdū; Wade-Giles: Ch'eng-tu), located in southwest People's Republic of China, is the capital of Sichuan province and a sub-provincial city. Chengdu is also one of the most important economic centers, transportation and communication hubs in Southwestern China. According to the 2007 Public Appraisal for Best Chinese Cities for Investment, Chengdu was chosen as one of the top ten cities to invest in out of a total of 280 urban centers in China.
More than four thousand years ago, the prehistorical Bronze Age culture of Jinsha (Chinese: 金沙; pinyin: Jīnshā) established itself in this region. The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which Chengdu is located, is called Tianfuzhi guo (simplified Chinese: 天府之国; pinyin: Tiānfǔzhi Guó) in Chinese, which literally means "the country of heaven", or more often seen translated as "the Land of Abundance". It was recently named China's 4th-most livable city by China Daily.
Geography and climate
Chengdu has a humid subtropical climate and is largely mild and humid. Chengdu is situated at the western edge of the Sichuan Basin and is therefore sheltered from northwest winds from Siberia in winter by the Qinling Mountains to the north; the short winter is milder than in the Lower Yangtze because of the sheltering effect of the Qinling. Snow is rare but there are a few periods of frost each winter. The summer is longer, but not as hot as in the "Three Furnaces" (三大火炉) cities of Wuhan, Nanjing, and Chongqing in the Lower Yangtze. The average daytime high in July and August is 29°C, with afternoon highs sometimes reaching 33°C or higher. The average low in January is 3°C, with lows sometimes dropping below freezing. Rainfall is common year-round but peaks in July and August.
The name "Chengdu" has never changed since the city was founded, and the city has always been in the same location. The nicknames below are not formal names. The Brocade City: Jinchéng, 锦城 In the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-23 AD), brocade produced in Chengdu enjoyed great popularity among the royal and elite class in China. An emperor created the office of Jin Guan (锦官) to oversee brocade production in Chengdu. Since then, Chengdu has been called "Jin Guan Cheng" (锦官城) meaning Brocade Official's City, or in its short form, "Jin Cheng" (锦城) meaning Brocade city. The City of Hibiscus: Róngchéng, 蓉城 In the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907-960), Mengchang, the king of the Later Shu Kingdom, ordered the planting of hibiscus on the fortress wall surrounding the city. After this, Chengdu started being called the City of Hibiscus. Nowadays, the hibiscus is still the city flower of Chengdu, but the last city wall was torn down in the 1960s, along with the Royal Palace situated in the middle of the city, where the statue of Mao Zedong now stands.