Xi'an has been a major beneficiary of China’s changing policies to economically revive the country's central and northwest regions. The city has then developed to become an important cultural, tourist, industrial and educational hub for the region; equipped with facilities for research and development for China's security and space exploration programs.
From its location, Xi’an seems like the natural choice as the gateway to the west, an enviable position given the amount of investment and potential for economic development in China’s poorer western regions. However, Xi’an has lost some ground to Chengdu on that score. Despite being somewhat muscled out by Chengdu’s earlier development, Xi’an has seen some remarkable GDP growth in the past five years. It has certainly benefited from the investment being poured into the Western regions, and will continue to benefit due to its advantageous position as one of the most important logistics hubs in the heart of China.
For more information about cities in the Western China region, please see our Western China Regional Guides