Liaoning is China's largest producer of heavy industrial products, and it supplies one fifth of China's electrical power. It is a major coal-producing area and contains a large percentage of China's iron ore reserves; there are large deposits of oil and magnesite and smaller ones of copper, lead, zinc, and molybdenum. Shenyang is the center of a vast heavy-industrial complex (metallurgy, machinery, chemicals, petroleum, and coal) that also embraces Anshan, a major city for iron and steel; Fushun, a coal and a shale oil producing center; and Dalian, the chief commercial port of Manchuria. Important manufactures include locomotives, tractors, and a wide range of heavy equipment. Liaoning is also a leading producer of machine-made paper, and it has numerous brick and tile factories that utilize waste ash and slag. Textiles and foodstuffs are also produced. In the late 20th cent. the huge state industries became increasingly uneconomical, and the province was the scene of labor unrest as workers went unpaid or were laid off and factories closed. The Supung Dam on the Yalu River, built by the Japanese, supplies power to Liaoning and North Korea.
Liaoning's fine harbors were long coveted by Russia and Japan for their strategic positions. Japan acquired (1895) the Liaodong peninsula after the first Sino-Japanese War, but was forced by Russia, Germany, and France to return it to China that same year. In 1898, Russia received the southern portion of the Liaodong peninsula as a 25-year leasehold. After the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5), Japan took this territory (which it called Kwantung). The growth of railroads after 1900 spurred the development of the province; the Japanese concentrated heavy industry there, especially after 1931. After World War II, an area approximately the same as Kwantung was made the Port Arthur Naval Base District, under joint Soviet and Chinese operation. The district, which is now the city of Dalian and includes the port of Lüshun (Port Arthur), has been under sole Chinese administration since 1955. The eastern part of what was Rehe prov. became part of Liaoning in 1956, and in 1970 more than 30,000 sq mi (77,700 sq km) of territory from the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region were added to Liaoning in the west. This territory was returned to Inner Mongolia in 1979.
"Liáo" is an ancient name for this region, which was adopted by the Liao Dynasty (Khitan Empire) which ruled this area between 907 and 1125. "Níng" means "peacefulness". The modern province was established in 1907 as Fengtian province (奉天 pinyin: Fèngtiān; Postal map spelling: Fengtien) and the name was changed to Liaoning in 1929. Under the Japanese puppet Manchukuo regime, the province reverted to its 1907 name, but the name Liaoning was restored in 1945.
Liaoning is located in the southern part of China's Northeast. Liaoning borders the Yellow Sea (Korea Bay) and the Bohai Gulf in the south, North Korea in the southeast, Jilin Province to the northeast, Hebei Province to the west, and Inner Mongolia to the northwest.
In 1860, the Manchu government began to reopen the region to migration, which quickly resulted in Han Chinese becoming the dominant ethnic group in the region. In the twentieth century, the province of Fengtian was set up in what is Liaoning today. When Japan and Russia fought the Russo-Japanese War in 1904–1905, many key battles took place in Liaoning, including the Battle of Port Arthur and the Battle of Mukden, which was, to that point, the largest land battle ever fought. During the Warlord Era in the early twentieth century, Liaoning was under the Fengtian Clique, including Zhang Zuolin and his son Zhang Xueliang; in 1931, Japan invaded and the area came under the rule of the Japanese-controlled puppet state of Manchukuo. The Chinese Civil War that took place following Japanese defeat in 1945 had its first major battles (the Liaoshen Campaign) in and around Liaoning.
At the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Liaoning did not exist; instead there were two provinces, Liaodong and Liaoxi, as well as five municipalities, Shenyang, Luda, Anshan, Fushun, and Benxi. These were all merged together into "Liaoning" in 1954, and parts of former Rehe province were merged into Liaoning in 1955. During the Cultural Revolution Liaoning also took in a part of Inner Mongolia, though this was reversed later.
Liaoning was one of the first provinces in China to industrialize, first under Japanese occupation, and then even more in the 1950s and 1960s. The city of Anshan, for example, is home to one of the largest iron and steel complexes in China. In recent years this early focus on heavy industry has become a liability, as many of the large state-run enterprises have experienced economic difficulties. Recognizing the special difficulties faced by Liaoning and other provinces in Northeast China because of their heritage of heavy industry, the Chinese central government recently launched a "Revitalize the Northeast" Campaign.
Previous to 1949 and the takeover of the Communist forces, Liaoning was governed by the Fengtian clique of warlords and interchangeably officials of the Chiang Kai-shek bureaucracy. During the Qing Dynasty Liaoning was known as the province of Fengtian, and was governed by a zongdu or Viceroy (The Viceroy of the Three Eastern Provinces 东三省总督), along with the provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang. The province itself also had a governor (xunfu).
It is possible to think of Liaoning as three approximate geographical regions: the highlands in the west, plains in the middle, and hills in the east.
The eastern part of Liaoning is dominated by the Changbai Shan and Qianshan ranges, which extends into the sea to form the Liaodong Peninsula. The highest point in Liaoning, Mount Huabozi (1336 m), is found in this region.
Liaoning is composed of fourteen prefecture-level cities:
The sub-province-level cities:
The prefecture-level cities:
These prefecture-level cities are in turn divided into 100 county-level divisions (17 county-level cities, 19 counties, eight autonomous counties, and 56 districts), which are then further subdivided into 1511 township-level divisions (613 towns, 301 townships, 77 ethnic townships, and 520 subdistricts).
Liaoning's fruits include apples from Dalian and Yingkou, golden peaches from Dalian, pears from Beizhen of Jinzhou, white pears from Huludao and Suizhong, and apricots and plums from Gushan of Dandong.
The sea off Dalian abounds with quality seafood, such as abalones, sea cucumbers, scallops, prawns, crabs, and sea urchins. The big fish of Dandong, the jellyfish of Yingkou, and the clams of Panjin are known worldwide for their good tastes right from the sea and in products made in Liaoning for export domestically and internationally.
The "Five Points" indicate five key development areas in the province and cover seven zones: the Changxing Island Harbor Industrial Zone in Dalian; Yingkou Coastal Industrial Base; Liaoxi Jinzhou Bay Coastal Economic Zone; Dandong, and the Zhuanghe Huayuankou Industrial Zone.
The five zones together cover a planned area of nearly 500 square kilometres.
The "One Line" mentioned in the strategy represents a new motorway along the coast. The coastline of 1,433 kilometers will become the connection between the five above zones, through which 6 provincial cities, 21 counties and 113 towns will be interlinked. The new coastal motorway will directly connect the entire rim of five zones around the Bohai sea, and will be completed by 2009.
|Ethnic groups in Liaoning, 2000 census|
In paleontology, Liaoning is well known for its extraordinary fossils from the Lower Cretaceous period; e.g., the early 'placental' mammal known as Eomaia. The first widely acknowledged feathered dinosaur, Sinosauropteryx prima, was discovered in Liaoning and unveiled at a scientific meeting in 1996. Other notable discoveries have been an intact embryo of a pterosaur, Repenomamus robustus—a cat-sized mammal who ate dinosaurs, and Sinornithosaurus millenii, nicknamed "Dave the Fuzzy Raptor".
The Mukden Palace was the palace of the Qing Dynasty emperors before they conquered the rest of China and moved their capital to Beijing. Though not as large nor as famous as its counterpart (the Forbidden City) in Beijing, the Mukden palace is significant for its representation of palace architecture at the time, and has recently been included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site as an extension of the Imperial Palace site in Beijing.
In addition, three imperial tombs dating from the Qing Dynasty are located in Liaoning. These tomb sites have been grouped with other Ming and Qing Dynasties tombs (such as the Ming Dynasty Tombs in Beijing, and the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum in Nanjing) as a combined UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The port city of Dalian, located on the tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, is a tourist destination in its own right, with beaches, resorts, zoos, seafood, shopping, Russian- and Japanese-era architecture, and streetcars, a rare sight in China.
Bijia Mountain is a curious island which joins to the mainland at low tide by a land bridge.
Under various other national agencies:
Under the provincial government: