Liaoning, province (1994 est. pop. 40,070,000), c.58,400 sq mi (151,295 sq km), NE China, on the Bohai and Korea Bay. The capital is Shenyang (Mukden). A part of Manchuria, it encompasses the Liaodong peninsula and the plain of the Liao River. The Liao River is navigable in its lower reaches, and an extensive rail net, including sections of the South Manchuria RR, connects the interior with the ports along the coast. Rainfall is adequate, but long, severe winters permit only one harvest annually. Soybeans are the major crop, and millet, sorghum, wheat, rice, sweet potatoes, beans, cotton, tobacco, fruit, and oakleaf silk (pongee silk) are also produced. Along the coast, salt production and fishing are important.

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.

is a northeastern province of the People's Republic of China. Its one-character abbreviation is Liao (辽 pinyin: liáo).

"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.

The Yalu River marks the border between North Korea and the Chinese provinces of Jilin and Liaoning. It empties into the Korea Bay between Dandong (Liaoning) and Sinŭiju (North Korea).


Liaoning is located in the southern part of China's Northeast. The Qin and Han dynasties were able to establish rule over much of what is Liaoning; later on governments headed by various people such as the Xianbei, Goguryeo, Khitan and Jurchen ruled Liaoning. In the seventeenth century, the Manchus established their capital in modern Shenyang, Liaoning, before they conquered the rest of China and set up the Qing Dynasty in 1644. In the last half of the seventeenth century the imperial government recruited migrants from Shandong to settle the relatively sparsely populated area. Many of the current residents of Liaoning trace their ancestry to these seventeenth century settlers. For the rest of the Manchu era, China's Northeast was off-limits to Han Chinese, and was ruled by three generals, one of whom, the General of Shengjing, ruled much of modern Liaoning.

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.


The politics of Liaoning is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in mainland China. The Governor of Liaoning (辽宁省省长) is the highest ranking official in the People's Government of Liaoning. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor has less power than the Liaoning Communist Party of China Provincial Committee Secretary (辽宁省委书记), colloquially termed the "Liaoning CPC Party Chief".

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 highlands in the west are dominated by the Nulu'erhu Mountains, which roughly follow the border between Liaoning and Inner Mongolia. The entire region is dominated by low hills.

The central part of Liaoning consists of the watersheds of rivers such as the Liao, Daliao, and their tributaries. This region is mostly flat and at low altitudes.

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 has a continental monsoon climate, and rainfall averages to about 440 to 1130 mm annually. Summer is rainy while the other seasons are dry.

Major cities:

Central Liaoning city cluster

The Central Liaoning city cluster is a Megalopolis centering at Shenyang (urban population 4 million). Within its 150km radius, it has Anshan (urban population 1.3 million), Fushun (1.3 million), Yingkou (1.1 million), Benxi (0.95 million), Liaoyang (0.7 million), and Tieling (0.4 million).

Administrative divisions

Liaoning is composed of fourteen prefecture-level cities:

The sub-province-level cities:

  • Dalian (大连市 : Dàlián Shì)
  • Shenyang (沈阳市 : Shěnyáng Shì)

The prefecture-level cities:

  • Anshan (鞍山市 : Ānshān Shì)
  • Benxi (本溪市 : Běnxī Shì)
  • Chaoyang (朝阳市 : Cháoyáng Shì)
  • Dandong (丹东市 : Dāndōng Shì)
  • Fushun (抚顺市 : Fǔshùn Shì)
  • Fuxin (阜新市 : Fùxīn Shì)
  • Huludao (葫芦岛市 : Húludǎo Shì)
  • Jinzhou (锦州市 : Jǐnzhōu Shì)
  • Liaoyang (辽阳市 : Liáoyáng Shì)
  • Panjin (盘锦市 : Pánjǐn Shì)
  • Tieling (铁岭市 : Tiělǐng Shì)
  • Yingkou (营口市 : Yíngkǒu Shì)

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).

See List of administrative divisions of Liaoning for a complete list of county-level divisions.


Liaoning has the largest economy of North Eastern China. Its nominal GDP for 2007 was 1.102 trillion yuan (ca. US$145 billion) making it the 8th largest in China. Its per capita GDP was 25,725 yuan (US$3,383).


Main agricultural products of Liaoning include maize, sorghum, and soybeans. The region around Dalian produces three-quarters of China's exported apples and peaches. Cotton is also produced.

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.


Liaoning has the most iron, magnesite, diamond, and boron deposits among all province-level subdivisions of China. Liaoning is also an important source of petroleum and natural gas. Salt is produced along the coast.


Liaoning is one of China's most important industrial bases, covering a wide range of industries, such as machinery, electronics, metal refining, petroleum, chemical industries, construction materials, coal, and so on.

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 cities of Dalian and Yingkou have been developed as major ports and economic gateways to all of northeast China.

Five Points, One Line

The Party Secretary of the Liaoning Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, Li Keqiang, initiated the development of a strategy entitled "5 Points and One Line", which he first proposed on a visit to Yingkou in late 2005. Liaoning Province formally launched the development strategy for the entire Liaoning coastline in early 2006, so as to re-invigorate the provincial economy from its traditional status as the "rustbelt" of Chinese State Owned Enterprises.

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.


The population of Liaoning is mostly Han Chinese with minorities of Manchus, Mongols, Hui, Koreans and Xibe.

Ethnic groups in Liaoning, 2000 census
Nationality Population Percentage
Han Chinese 35,105,991 83.94%
Manchu 5,385,287 12.88%
Mongol 669,972 1.60%
Hui 264,407 0.632%
Koreans 241,052 0.576%
Xibe 132,615 0.317%
Excludes members of the People's Liberation Army in active service.
Source: Department of Population, Social, Science and Technology Statistics of the National Bureau of Statistics of China (国家统计局人口和社会科技统计司) and Department of Economic Development of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission of China (国家民族事务委员会经济发展司), eds. Tabulation on Nationalities of 2000 Population Census of China (《2000年人口普查中国民族人口资料》). 2 vols. Beijing: Nationalities Publishing House (民族出版社), 2003. (ISBN 7-105-05425-5)


Liaoning's culture is part of a culture of Northeast China that is quite homogeneous across all of the northeastern China. See Manchuria#Culture for a detailed description.

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.

Wunu Mountain City, a Goguryeo site found in Huanren Manchu Autonomous County, is part of a combined UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes sites in Ji'an, Jilin.

Benxi offers a boat ride though a large stalactite filled cave and underground river.

Anshan boasts the Anshan Jade Buddha, the largest Buddha statue made of jade in the world.

Liaoyang, one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in northeast China, has a number of historical sites, including the White Pagoda (Baita), that dates to the Yuan Dynasty.

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.

Dandong, on the border with North Korea, is a medium-sized city that offers a cross-river view of the North Korean city of Sinŭiju.

Bijia Mountain is a curious island which joins to the mainland at low tide by a land bridge.


Colleges and universities

Under the national Ministry of Education:

Under various other national agencies:

Under the provincial government:


Liaoning contains one of the foremost paleontological sites in the world since the discovery of Sinosauropteryx, a small feathered meat-eating dinosaur, from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation. Since the 1990s dozens of groundbreaking finds have been discovered there, including the earliest flower, placental mammal, and marsupial, as well as several birds and feathered dinosaurs, including one that was found in a sleeping position. These have added further evidence that birds and dinosaurs may be directly related.


Professional sports teams based in Liaoning include:

See also

External links

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