Pingxiang is located in the southwest part of Guangxi Zhuang
Minority Autonomous Region, run through by Hengyang-Pingxiang
Railway and National Highway 322. The city borders Ningming County
on the east, Longzhou County on the north, and Vietnam on the west
and south. It is about 180 km away from Nanning, the capital of
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (about one and a half hours by
car). The city covers an area of 650.32 square kilometers, with
five townships under its jurisdiction. It has a total population of
approximately 100,000, including Han, Zhuang, Yao, Dong and Miao
ethnicities. About 72,000 residents live in rural areas.
Inside the city are two national-level trading ports, Youyi Guan
(Friendship Gate), a major railway station and five border
crossings. The city is the most convenient key land-based border
crossing to Vietnam and a major route to other Southeast Asian
countries. Main tourist destinations such as Youyi Guan (Friendship
Gate), Fakashan Mountain, Jinjishan Mountain, Dalian Center and
Pingguoling Underground Great Wall, are worth visiting. Among them
the most famous one is Youyi Guan (Friendship Gate), a national
tourist scenic spot.
In 221 B.C. Qin Shi Huang (the first emperor of China during the
Qin Dynasty, 259-210 B.C.) set up Guilin County, Nanhai County and
Xiang County in the Lingnan area (south of the Five Ridges). As one
part of Xiang County and a border crossing, Pingxiang enjoys a
geographic position of strategic significance.
It was a constant battlefield in local history. Inside Pingxiang
County, Youyi Guan (Friendship Gate), set amongst precipitous and
magnificent mountains, has been regarded as one of the top nine
gates in China. It is on the border of China and Vietnam, 18
kilometers south of Pingxiang City. Youyi Guan (Friendship Gate)
began its construction during the Han Dynasty, and was originally
named “Yongji Guan” (Yongji Gate).
In the Ming Dynasty, people also called it Zhengnan Guan. In the
Qing Dynasty, according to historical records, General Fen Zhicai
once defeated the French invaders here. After its conquest by the
People’s Liberation Army, Zhengnan Guan was named as Youyi Guan
(Friendship Gate) because of the establishment of diplomatic
relations between China and Vietnam.
At the end of the 1970s, an invasion by the Vietnamese army
downgraded the Sino-Vietnamese relationship, so the name of the
gate returned to Zhengnan Guan. After the 1980s, diplomatic
relations were resumed, so its name once again became Youyi Guan
(Friendship Gate). Marshal Chen Yi (one famous general of the
People’s Liberation Army) once inscribed three Chinese characters
“You Yi Guan” (Friendship Gate) on the gate.
In June, 1992 Pingxiang was approved as an open border city by the