Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province, lies at the geographic center of China. It has a total population of 3.12 million, of which 2.02 million is the urban population. Lanzhou is a city with long history and rich culture. The Chinese ancestors have inhabited here on the upper reaches of the Yellow River nearly 5,000 years ago. Lanzhou has played an important role in the economic and cultural exchange between the western countries and China since the Han and Tang Dynasties (206 B.C. – 907 A.D.). The Yellow River flows through the city proper with mountains surrounding the city in the south and north. Lanzhou is a rich agricultural region which produces world famous fruits, melons and roses. Lanzhou is also an important industrial city. Its seven major industries include petrochemicals, non ferrous metallurgy, equipment manufacture, traditional Chinese medicine, bio-pharmacy, energy power and new and high technology. Lanzhou is a very important scientific research center in China. The city possesses more than 1,200 institutions in scientific research and development, related to different domains with Chinese Academy of Sciences. There are 17 universities and colleges in Lanzhou, among which Lanzhou University is a major comprehensive university that confers doctor degree in several fields. Lanzhou has established cooperative relationship with 80 countries. It has 11 sister cities and 12 friendly exchange and cooperation cities in the world.
Lanzhou became a sister city of Albuquerque on April 26, 1996. Formal signing ceremonies were held separately in Albuquerque in April, 1996 and in Lanzhou in June, 1997.
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