Situated south of the Yellow River and east of the Songshan Mountain, Zhengzhou has a long history. As early as 3,500 years ago, it became the capital of the Shang Dynasty (Sixteenth - eleventh centuries B.C.), Zhengzhou had been a capital city for five times, respectively of the dynasties of Xia and Shang and of the states of Guan, Zheng and Han; and a prefecture in the eight dynasties of Sui, Tang, the Five Dynasties, Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing. Today cultural relics and historical sites abound in and around the city, attracting more and more tourists and archaeologists both from home and abroad. The city now covers an area of 7.4 thousand square kilometers with a population of 5.6 million.
Zhengzhou is home to the national grain wholesale market and a new high-tech science park. Along with its modern economic position, Zhengzhou played a key role in China's early civilization as the site of an early Shang dynasty walled city some 3,500 years ago.
Zhengzhou's status as a transport and economic center has roots as far back as the Sui and Tang periods (late 6th to early 10th century), when canals connected Zhengzhou's grain markets to the Yellow River. As the capital city of Henan Province, Zhengzhou is an important railway hub on the Beijing-Guangzhou and Xi'an-Shanghai rail lines. It has played an important role in the railway “Strike of February 7” in 1923, and has become one of Asia's most important freight transfer hubs.