city, western Shaanxi sheng (province), north-central China. Situated on the north bank of the Wei River, it has been a strategic and transportation centre since early times, controlling the northern end of a pass across the Qin (Tsinling) Mountains, the only practicable route from the Wei valley into Sichuan province and the upper valley of the Han River. It is also at the western end of the intensively cultivated Wei valley and is at the centre of a network of routes westward into Gansu province and, via Lanzhou, the Hui Autonomous Region of Ningxia
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