Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province and the site of the capital of the Shang Dynasty, can lay claim to being one of the oldest cities in China. In fact, it was the capital under five different regimes; firstly the Xia and Shang Dynasties over 3600 years ago, and later the States of Guan(管), Zheng（郑） and Han（韩）. In 2001, an excavation at a site dating from the time of the State of Zheng, uncovered a huge pit containing chariots and horses. Experts who examined the finds, concluded that they pointed to two interesting facts about the Spring and Autumn Period: That chariot-making was highly advanced; and that road transport was remarkably developed.
Zhengzhou’s history as a centre of transport and commerce dates from the sixth century, when canals linked the city’s grain markets to the Yellow River. Zhengzhou’s modern development began in the early 1900s with the construction of two railways: The Beijing to Hankou line; and the Bianluo line. Subsequently, Zhengzhou has prospered as a major transport hub and a regional centre for the trade in cotton, grain, peanuts, and other agricultural produce.
With its transport advantages, Zhengzhou became a leading retail trade centre. The city was able to offer a wide variety of products at competitive prices. In 1989, the Asia Shopping Centre was established in Zhengzhou. It became a pioneer in China's modern commercial retail business, although it later went bankrupt.
Zhengzhou is an ancient city with a modern pulse. Standing at the junction of the north-south Beijing to Guangzhou railway and the east-west Lanzhou to Lianyungang line, Zhengzhou is served by nearly all the trains en route to Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an. Because of its strategic location in one of the world’s most populous regions, and its key position in China's rail, road and air transport networks, Zhengzhou is proving more and more attractive to domestic and international investment. As a result, the city is being transformed into one of the largest and most modern commercial and economic centres in China. In the next edition of our programme, we’ll hear how the Hakka people who are flocking back to Zhengzhou are fuelling its business success.