Chongqing (Postal map spelling: Chungking; Wade-Giles: Ch'ung-ch'ing) is the largest and most populous of the People's Republic of China's four provincial-level municipalities, and the only one in the less densely populated western region of China. Formerly (until 14 March 1997) a sub-provincial city within Sichuan Province, the municipality of Chongqing has a registered population of 31,442,300 (2005) . The boundaries of Chongqing municipality reach much further into the city's hinterland than the boundaries of the other three provincial level municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and much of the municipality, which spans over 80 000 km², is rural. The population of the urban area of Chongqing proper was 5.42 million in 2007.
The municipal abbreviation, 渝 (Yú), was approved by the State Council on 18 April 1997. Chongqing was also a municipality of the old Republic of China. Its abbreviated name is derived from the old name of a part of the Jialing River that runs through Chongqing and feeds the Yangtze River.
Chongqing is said to be the semi-mythical State of Ba that the Ba people supposedly established during the eleventh century BCE. By 316 BCE, however, it had been overrun by the State of Qin. The Qin emperor ordered a new city to be constructed, which was called Jiang (江州) and Chu Prefecture (楚州).
Chongqing was subsequently renamed in 581 CE (Sui Dynasty) and 1102, to Yu Prefecture (渝州) and then Gong Prefecture (恭州). It received its current name in 1189, after Prince Zhao Dun of the Southern Song Dynasty described his crowning as king and then Emperor Guangzong as a "double/repeated happy celebration" (). Hence, Yu Prefecture became Chongqing subprefecture to mark the occasion.
Between 1627-1645, with the fall of the Ming Dynasty, Chongqing, together with Sichuan, were captured by the Revolts who overthrew the Ming Dynasty across the nation. Later during the Qing Dynasty, immigration to Chongqing and Sichuan took place with the support of Qing emperor.
In 1891, Chongqing became the first inland commerce port open to foreigners.
From 1929, Chongqing became a municipality of the Republic of China. During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), it was Chiang Kai-shek's provisional capital and was heavily bombed by the Japanese Air Force. Luckily, due to its mountainous environment, many people were saved from the bombing. Many factories and universities were moved from eastern China to Chongqing during WWII, transforming this city from inland port to a heavily industrialized city.
On 14 March 1997, the Eighth National People's Congress decided to merge the city with the neighbouring Fuling, Wanxian, and Qianjiang prefecture-level districts that it had governed on behalf of the province since September 1996. The resulting single division was the Chongqing Municipality, containing 30,020,000 people in forty-three former counties (without intermediate political levels). The municipality became the spearhead of China's effort to develop its western regions and coordinate the resettlement of residents from the reservoir areas of the Three Gorges Dam project. Its first official ceremony took place on 18 June 1997.
Chongqing Municipality is divided into forty county-level subdivisions (three abolished in 1997), consisting of nineteen districts, seventeen counties, and four autonomous counties.
|Pinyin name||Hanzi|| Previous|
|Pengshui Miao and Tujia||彭水苗族土家族自治县||Qianjiang|
|Xiushan Tujia and Miao||秀山土家族苗族自治县|
|Youyang Tujia and Miao||酉阳土家族苗族自治县|
The urban area of Chongqing Municipality (重庆主城区市区) includes the following districts:
Located on the edge of the Yungui Plateau, Chongqing is intersected by the Jialing River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze. It contains Daba Shan in the north, Wu Shan in the east, Wuling Shan in the southeast, and Dalou Mountain to the south.
The city is very hilly and is the only major metropolitan area in China without significant numbers of bicycles.
The Mayor of Chongqing is the highest ranking official in the People's Government of Chongqing. Since Chongqing is a centrally administered municipality, the mayor occupies the same level in the order of precedence as provincial governors. However, in the city's dual party-government governing system, the mayor has less power than the Chongqing Communist Party of China Municipal Committee Secretary, colloquially termed the "Chongqing CPC Party Chief".
In terms of political status, Chongqing is as important as Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai.
Chongqing was made into its own municipality in 1997 to jumpstart its development and subsequently China's relatively poorer western areas (see China Western Development strategy). Chongqing has been rapidly modernizing for a decade and is now a significant industrial area in western China. Chongqing is, by some measures, the world's largest city and is the world's fastest growing metropolis. In a single day, new construction added approximately 137,000 square meters of usable floor space to satisfy demands for residential, commercial and factory space. Every day, migrants added to the local population more than 1,300 people and the local economy grew by almost ¥100 million ($12 million USD).
Traditionally, due to its geographical remoteness, Chongqing and neighboring Sichuan are important military bases in weapons research and development. Chongqing's industries have greatly diversified now but unlike eastern China, its export sector is small due to its inland location. Instead, factories producing local-oriented consumer goods such as processed food, autos, chemicals, textiles, machinery, and electronics are common. As a testament to its industrial strength, Chongqing is home to Asia's largest aluminum plant, South West Aluminium. Agriculture remains a significant part of the economy. Rice and fruits (especially oranges) are the area's main produce. Natural resources are also abundant with large deposits of coal, natural gas, and more than 40 kinds of minerals such as strontium and manganese. The mining sector however has been criticised for being wasteful, heavily-polluting, and unsafe. Recently there has been a drive to move up the value-chain by shifting towards more hi-tech, knowledge-instensive industries. New development zones such as the Chongqing New North Zone (CNNZ) located north of downtown area has been established for this reason.
In order to attract more foreign investment and expertise, the city has invested heavily to improve its infrastructure. The network of roads and railways connecting Chongqing to the rest of China have also been expanded and upgraded to reduce the cost and time of goods transportation - a major deterrent to foreign investment and growth. Furthermore, once the Three Gorges Dam is completed, ocean-going ships can reach Chongqing's Yangtze River port. Shipping goods to Shanghai at the eastern end of the river and on to overseas markets will now be possible. This improved infrastructure combined with the city's highly-educated and relatively cheaper labor have begun to produce some results. In the past few years, Ford and Mazda have launched their joint-venture project with local rival Changan Auto to open an assembly plant in the area with a capacity of 270,000 vehicles per year.
Chongqing is also set to be the terminal end of the planned 2,380-km-long China-Myanmar (Burma) oil and gas pipeline which will start from the deepwater port of Sittwe off Myanmar's western coast. The pipeline will cross Kunming in Yunnan province before reaching Chongqing. It will provide China with an alternative source of fuel from Myanmar and in addition, imported oil and gas from the Middle East and Africa can be docked in Sittwe and sent to mainland China using these pipes, bypassing the crowded and heavily-pirated Strait of Malacca. Construction on these pipelines has not yet started. But once the project is fully underway, CNPC (parent company of PetroChina) plans to build a 10-million-ton-capacity refinery in Chongqing to process the imported crude.
Chongqing is a booming city. It has the third fastest economic growth of all Chinese cities. However, Chongqing's overall economic performance is still lagging behind eastern cities such as Shanghai. For instance in 2007, the nominal GDP of Chongqing was only 411.18 billion yuan (US$58.7 billion) - about 1.65% of total national product, although it registers a year-on-year growth of 15.3%. Its per capita GDP too was relatively low at 14,622 yuan (US$1,923) - below the national average. Nevertheless, Chongqing is a city that is full of promises and ambition. In the near future, it plans to transform itself into the financial centre of western and central China. By doing so, it will become the beachhead for the development of the western part of the country - emulating a "Chinese Chicago" by opening up the country's interior to further investment and industrialization.
The three main forms of public transport in Chongqing are subway, light rail transit and intercity railway, alongside the ubiquitous bus system.
According to the Chongqing Municipal Government's ambitious plan in May 2007, Chongqing is going to invest 150 billion RMB over 13 years to finish a system that combines underground metro lines with light rail. By 2020 this network will consist of 6 straight lines and 1 circular line; Line 1 will be an underground metro while Lines 2 and 3 will be light rail. These improvements will add 363.5 kilometers of road and railway to the existing transportation infrastructure and 93 new train stations will be added to the 111 stations that are already in place. As of 2005 only one light rail line, the 19km long Chongqing light rail line 2 (project 1), had been finished.
By 2050 Chongqing is planned to have nine railway lines, totaling 513 kilometers, with 270 stations.
Chongqing has a humid subtropical climate, with the two-season monsoonal variations typical of South Asia.
Chongqin's summers are among the hottest in China. The temperature can be as high as 43°C, with an average high of 35°C in August. Yet even in the hottest weather the wind is often cold, making such high temperatures more bearable.
Winters are fairly mild, but damp and overcast; average January highs are 9°C. Chongqing has one of the lowest sunshine totals annually in China.
Chongqing can get foggy sometimes, and suffers from heavy air pollution. Chongqing is famous for its foggy weather in spring and winter days, which gives this city a nickname of "雾都", in English "foggy city". This special weather once protected Chongqing from being overrun by the Japanese invaders during the Second World War. However, the city government has been aggressively trying to improve its air quality in recent years. The so called "blue sky days" (days with air quality within or better than slight pollution) number keeps rising every year. The foggy day number has been significantly reduced to be around 30 days per year and therefore "foggy city" is not a fit name anymore.
With the weather at its best in the spring and fall, these are the best time to visit the city of Chongqing. All of you are welcome!
Chongqing has a number of tourist attractions.
As the provisional Capital of China for almost ten years (1937 to 1945), also known as one of the three headquarters for Allies, Chongqing has many historical buildings/sites for WWII (unfortunately some of them were destroyed):
Besides those historical places, Chongqing also has many other attractions:
|Chongqing University||重庆大学||founded in 1929||Southwest University||西南大学||founded in 1906||Chongqing Institute of Technology||重庆工学院||Chongqing Jiaotong University||重庆交通大学||Chongqing Normal University||重庆师范大学||Chongqing Technology and Business University||重庆工商大学||Chongqing Three Gorges University||重庆三峡学院||Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications||重庆邮电学院||Yangtze Nomal University||长江师范学院||founded in 1931||Sichuan Fine Arts Institute||四川美术学院||Sichuan International Studies University||四川外语学院||Southwest University of Political Science and Law||西南政法大学||Third Military Medical University||第三军医大学||Western Chongqing University||渝西学院||Chongqing Medical University||重庆医科大学||Chongqing University of Science and Technology||重庆科技学院||University of Logistics||后勤工程学院||founded in 1961|
In June 2007, a twinning agreement between Chongqing and Sør-Trøndelag was signed.