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    The Silk Road, prosperous throughout the Han and Tang Dynasties, is the famous passageway in China's history for economic and cultural exchange between East and West. The Shandong area, with Zibo as its center, was the major center of silk supply at that time, and was one of the origins of the "Silk Road", Today, Zibo, as a producer of silk and light textile products, remains an important place in the whole country and enjoys a great reputation on the market both at home and abroad..Zibo abounds in natural resources. More than 50 kinds of mineral reserves have been found and coal, iron, bauxite, coal clay, chemical limestone, pottery clay, etc. are the main place of origin in Shandong Province because of their big reserves, high grade, and broad distribution. Zibo’s north part is abundant in petroleum and natural gas. The city was initially established as a mining city, but now it is undergoing technological upgrading and industrial transformation for further development. Before 2002, on account of high proportion of heavy industry and carelessness about industrial pollution, the city paid a high price in both its environment and economy. Afterwards, people of this city made up their minds to improve the environment. Small coal mines and chemical factories were closed, while all big plants were asked to install sewage disposal to get control of gas and dust. Nowadays Zibo has the first three municipal sewage treatment plants that with the treated water reaches the Grade-A1 standard of "Integrated wastewater discharge standard"GB8978—1996. Air here is also widely acknowledged to be much better now.In 2008, the total industrial output value of Zibo reached 532 billion RMB. After one hundred years of development, Zibo has a solid industrial foundation. Since 1992, Zibo has always been one of the top 50 cities in China with the greatest comprehensive strength. In 2008, its GDP was 231.7 billion yuan RMB, ranking just below Qingdao, Yantai, Jinan and Weifang within the province. The ratio of the agriculture, industry and service sectors was 3.5%, 64.8%, 31.7%, which indicate the city still has a lot to do in readjusting its industrial structure.


    As of 2006, 4,181,260 people lived in Zibo, of which 2,102,819 were male and 2,078,441 were female. The sex male to female ratio was 101.17, death rate was 5.92%, and birth rate was 8.81%. The natural growth rate of the population that year was 2.90%. The area had a population density of 704.15 per square kilometer.The fourth nationwide census showed that over 99 percent of the total population are Han Chinese. In addition, there are 44 minority nationalities, including Hui, Manchus, Mongols and Koreans. Mongols and Manchus are the only two minority groups that have more than 1,000 people. The town of Jinling Hui, which is located at the junction of Zhangdian and Linzi, in one of only four towns named by an ethnic minority in Shandong Province.In 2008, the per capital disposable income of urban residents was 17,629 yuan, up by 11.2% from the year before; the per capital disposable income of rural residents was 7,364 yuan, up by 13.9%. The Engel's coefficients, which reflect the consumption structure and level of China's urban and rural residents, were 32.1% and 35.6%, respectively.


    Remains of city sewer passing underneath the former city wallSacrificial horses in the tomb of Duke Jing of Qi, discovered in LinziZibo is considered as one of the birthplaces of the Han Chinese. The remains of three major Neolithic cultures in ancient China, Beixin culture, Dawenkou culture, and Longshan culture have been found in Zibo. Zibo was once the capital of the ancient State of Qi, the most prosperous state during the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States Periods over 2,000 years ago in China. Duke Huan of Qi, ruler of Qi, appointed Guan Zhong, the famous thinker and economist, as his prime minister, and adopted Guan's thoughts and policies to administer his country, reform the economic system and develop relations with other states, After many years, Qi became the strongest state due to its economic and military strength, and was named as the "state with one thousand chariots" and the "head of the five strongest states". The culture and education undertakings were rather developed in Qi. Both poetry and music were at a high level. Linzi remained its capital for as long as 638 years, and was the biggest city in East Asia.As the birthplace of the Qi Culture, Zibo has many cultural scenic spots. In the national city of history and culture, the Linzi District, the ruins of the ancient Qi city, the pit for burying the funerary horses and chariots and other famous cultural relics and historic sites, have been discovered and unearthed. All of them exemplify the past prosperity of the Qi State. The ancient city of Qi was one of the first places that was assigned to be a "cultural relics site" in China so it has been protected from demolition ever since. As such, it is rich in cultural relics and historical sites and is referred to as the "Underground Museum".Zibo made significant contributions to the formation and prosperity of the Silk Road. Zibo was one of the biggest suppliers of silk products. Zhoucun, one of the townships in Zibo, was considered one of the four 'dry ports' during that period alongside Foshan, Jingdezhen, and Zhuxian. The major trade streets such as 'Dajie', 'Sishijie', 'Yinzijie' are well preserved to this date.In 2004, FIFA President Sepp Blatter visited Zibo to celebrate FIFA's 100th year anniversary. FIFA has since then recognized the city as the birthplace of football.

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