http://english.ourpanda.com/ 2016-08-06 00:00:21
Ya'an is located at the western edge of the Sichuan Basin and on the upper reaches of the Yangtze, covering the transition between the Chengdu Plain and the Tibetan Plateau. Its latitude ranges from 28° 51′ 10″ — 30° 56′ 40″ N and its longitude from 101° 56′ 26″—103° 23′ 28″ E. Neighbouring prefectures are, starting from the northeast and moving counter-clockwise, Chengdu, Meishan, Leshan, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. With an area of 15,300 square kilometres and a population of 1,530,000, The city is encircled by mountains, and four rivers flow through it.
Ya'an has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate and is largely mild and humid. The presence of the mountains to the northwest greatly affects the city's climate. In the short winters, they help shield the city from cold Siberian winds. January averages 6.3 °C , and while frost may occur, snow is rare. Summers are hot and humid, with highs often reaching 30 °C, yet extended heat waves are rare; the daily average in July and August is around 25 °C. Rainfall is common year-round, though in winter it tends to be light, and is particularly heavy in summer, when warm, humid southerly or southeasterly winds blow against the mountains, causing orographic lift to occur, enhancing rainfall. With nearly 1,700 millimetres of rainfall occurring on 213 days per year, Ya'an is also known as the "Rain City". In addition, rain often falls at night, so fog is not a common occurrence.
Previously known as Yazhou-fu, the city is first mentioned during the Zhou Dynasty. It served as a county seat during the Qin and Han Dynasties, but was subsequently taken by nomadic tribes. After being reintegrated into the Chinese Empire in the late 5th century, it was made the seat of the Ya Prefecture in 604. The modern Ya'an county was established in 1912. It became the provincial capital of Xikang province in 1951, but has been a municipality under the administration of Sichuan province since 1955, when Xikang province was merged and became a part of Sichuan province.
The first giant panda was found in Baoxing County of Ya'an; Ya'an is also the origin of Artificial planting tea of the world； Mengding Mountain in Mingshan County, has been keeping seven tea trees, which are believed to be the origins of tea, for more than 1,000 years.
During the past decade, ecological construction such as the project of returing farmland to forest and natural forest protection project, have greatly improved Ya'an 's ecological environment. The achievements are obvious such as that the city's forest coverage has increased; its water and soil erosion was reduced; the air quality has reached the state No.1 level, water quality reached the state secondary standard; and the power generation in low water season also increased by more than 10%, etc. On the basis of complement of various construction tasks required by the state, Ya'an has achieved sound ecological, economic and social interests and primairly constructed the ecological barrier on the upper reach of the Yangtze River.
Today, Ya'an is working hard to change from a big city of forest resources to a strong ecological and economic city.