Xinzheng is considered as one of the birth places of Chinese nation. More than 8000 years ago, neolithic people of Peiligang culture lived in the vicinity. The legendary Yellow Emperor was said to have been born in Xinzheng 5000 years ago. During the Zhou Dynasty it was the capital of the state of Zheng and later, the state of Han, after the conquest of the former by the latter. It was the seat of government for the Qin Dynasty, from about 221 BCE, which is considered the beginning of a unified China. The word qin (秦), which is pronounced similar to "chin", is thought to be the basis for the word "China."
Historically, this prefecture was an integrated part of Zhengzhou. However, in 1994, the Henan Provincial Council authorized the incorporation of Xinzheng into a separate municipality.
Xinzheng has one of the largest concentrations of foreign teachers in central China due to the presence of Sias International University. The school has over 26,000 students and over 120 foreign teachers and their 40 dependent family members. Along with Sias University, the city is also home to another university: ShengDa.
Xinzheng has a diversified economy, though agriculture and heavy industry dominate the economic landscape.
Xinzheng's agriculture involves the cultivation of maize, cotton, tobacco and other industrial crops. The city is well known throughout China for the jujube or Chinese Date. At harvest time, large quantities of these fruits are sold in markets, as well as on the side of the roads into the town.
Xinzheng is home to several industrial factories, namely cigarette factories, which are located near the center of town. In 2006, more than 2 billion USD was invested in a nearby industrial project, although the status of this investment is currently unknown. Mining coal locally has also been an important source of income.
Two large private universities, ShengDa University and SIAS International University play a major role in the local economy as well. ShengDa has 14,000 students, and Sias University has updwards of up to 26,000 students. Service industries (restaurants, hotels, banks, retail shops, etc.) to accommodate the students have sprung out around the universities in abundance. At SIAS, the administration tacitly allows students to live off campus, creating a large community of landlords around the university. The presence of 40,000 students has had an undeniable and long lasting impact on the community.
Due to limited accommodation, lack of infrastructure, pollution and other factors, tourism has been slow to take off in Xinzheng. Every Spring, the city hosts a ceremony honoring Yellow Emperor, the legendary ancestor of the Chinese nation. In 2009, this celebration attracted over 10,000 Chinese from within the People's Republic of China, as well as many Overseas Chinese
However, many of these guests find accommodations in nearby Zhengzhou, and the economic impact to the city is minimal. Xinzheng is said to be an 'open-air' museum, and the nearby Shizu mountain is said to be the exact birthplace of Yellow Emperor. The Zhengzhou Dragon realization company began construction at the turn of the 21st century of a large concrete dragon that would straddle the mountain.
A giant dragon was being constructed by private investors near the city out of concrete and marble with a 29.9m tall head and a body that will eventually stretch 21 km (13 mi) along the ridge line of Shizu Mountain. The hollow body of the dragon was slated to be 9m high and 6m wide and will contain a light rail system along with facilities for sight seeing and leisure, such as shops, restaurants and luxury clubs. The project was expected to be completed before October 1, 2009 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China However, lack of funding, and a general lack of interest, left the project unfinished.
The airport that serves the provincial capital, Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, is located in Xinzheng. This is of particular importance not only because it is an airport for a large urban center, but because it is the only international airport for the province of 100 million.
On February 8, 2009, the direct air route between Zhengzhou and Taiwan was launched in Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, the Zhengzhou-Taipei flight was operated by Shenzhen Airlines. The airport has already been a major hub for domestic travel. The airport Code is CGO.
As in the rest of China, rail transport in Xinzheng is handled by the China Railway Corporation. Xinzheng itself has a small railroad station at the edge of town that accommodates trains to and from Zhengzhou as well as trains to other limited destinations within China.
However, nearby Zhengzhou is a major railway hub. Its station serves all major points in China and it lays claims to be the busiest rail station in China. As of 2007, high-speed rail service began between Zhengzhou and Beijing. To do any travel beyond the Zhengzhou immediate area, most residents travel to Zhengzhou, then onward.
The city has a primitive, yet extensive, bus system. Within the urban city, it's possible to ride anywhere with one or two renminbi. There are no clear bus stops, so passengers wave the bus down as it speeds down the streets, and yell at it to stop when they've reached their destination.
The bus station to the west of the town's city center serves Zhengzhou, Kaifeng and other municipalities within close proximity to Xinzheng.
All Xinzheng taxis belong to the same local company, and taxis barrels throughout the city's streets with a starting fare of 10 renminbi.
Xinzheng is well connected to Zhengzhou and points south by China National Highway 220. All inter-city roads are well maintained. Within the city limits, asin the rest of many small Chinese cities, many residential roads remain in a serious state of disrepair.