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Chongqing

[chawng-ching]

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.

History

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.

In 1362, (Yuan Dynasty), Ming Yuzhen, a peasant rebelling leader, established the Daxia Kingdom (大夏) at Chongqing for a short time.

In 1621 (Ming Dynasty), another short-lived kingdom of Daliang (大梁) was established by She Chongming (奢崇明) capitalled at Chongqing.

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.

In 1954, the municipality was demoted to a provincial city within the Sichuan Province of the People's Republic of China.

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.

Administrative divisions

Chongqing Municipality is divided into forty county-level subdivisions (three abolished in 1997), consisting of nineteen districts, seventeen counties, and four autonomous counties.

Districts
Pinyin name Hanzi Previous
association
Banan 巴南区 Chongqing
Beibei 北碚区
Changshou 长寿区
Dadukou 大渡口区
Fuling 涪陵区 Fuling
Hechuan 合川区 Chongqing
Jiangbei 江北区
Jiangjin 江津区
Jiulongpo 九龙坡区
Nan'an 南岸区
Nanchuan 南川区 Fuling
Qianjiang 黔江区 Qianjiang
Shapingba 沙坪坝区 Chongqing
Shuangqiao 双桥区
Wansheng 万盛区
Wanzhou 万州区 Wanxian
Yubei 渝北区 Chongqing
Yongchuan 永川区
Yuzhong 渝中区
Counties
Pinyin name Hanzi Previous
association
Bishan 璧山县 Chongqing
Chengkou 城口县 Wanxian
Dazu 大足县 Chongqing
Dianjiang 垫江县 Fuling
Fengdu 丰都县
Fengjie 奉节县 Wanxian
Kai 开县
Liangping 梁平县
Qijiang 綦江县 Chongqing
Rongchang 荣昌县
Tongliang 铜梁县
Tongnan 潼南县
Wulong 武隆县 Fuling
Wushan 巫山县 Wanxian
Wuxi 巫溪县
Yunyang 云阳县
Zhong 忠县
Autonomous counties
Pinyin name Hanzi Previous
association
Pengshui Miao and Tujia 彭水苗族土家族自治县 Qianjiang
Shizhu Tujia 石柱土家族自治县
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:

  • Yuzhong (渝中区, or "Central Chongqing District"), the central and most densely populated district, where government offices are located
  • Nan'an (南岸区, or "Southern Bank District")
  • Jiangbei (江北区, or "North of the River District")
  • Shapingba (沙坪坝区)
  • Jiulongpo (九龙坡区)
  • Dadukou (大渡口区)
  • Yubei (渝北区,the northern district of Chongqing)
  • Beibu (北部新区,the new district at Northern Chongqing)

Geography

Geographic coordinates : 105°17'-110°11' East, 28°10'-32°13' North Annual average temperature : 18°C (64°F) Temperature range : 0 C - 43 C (32 F - 109 F) Total annual hours of sunshine : 1000 to 1200 Annual precipitation : 1000 to 1400 mm (39 in - 47 in) Neighboring provinces : Hubei (east), Hunan (southeast), Guizhou (south), Sichuan (west), Shaanxi (north)

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.

Cityscape

Politics

The politics of Chongqing is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in the People's Republic of China.

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.

Economy

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.

Industrial zones

  • Chongqing Economic & Technological Development Zone
  • Chongqing Hi-Tech Industry Development Zone
  • Chongqing Chemical Industrial Park
  • Jianqiao Industrial Park

Media

Chongqing is served by the Chongqing People's Broadcast Station as the largest radio station. The only municipal-level TV network is Chongqing TV station, claimed to be the 4th largest television station. Chongqing Daily is the largest newspaper group, controlling more than 10 newspapers and one website.

Transportation

River port

Chongqing is the biggest inland river port in western China. Historically, most of its transportation, especially to eastern China, is via the Yangtze River.

Railways

  • Chongqing-Chengdu (Sichuan province) railway
  • Chongqing-Guiyang (Guizhou province) railway
  • Chongqing-Xiangfan (Hubei province) railway
  • Chongqing-Huaihua (Hunan province) railway
  • Chongqing-Suining (Sichuan province) express railway
  • Chongqing Wanzhou-Yichang (Hubei province) railway (under construction)
  • Chongqing-Lanzhou (Gansu province) railway (under construction)

Highways

  • Chongqing-Chengdu highway
  • Chongqing-Wanzhou-Yichang highway (Wanzhou-Yichang section under construction)
  • Chongqing-Guiyang highway
  • Chongqing-Dazhou-Xi'an highway (Dazhou-Xi'an section under construction)
  • Chongqing-Suining highway

Airport

Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, located in Yubei district, north of Chongqing, provides links to most parts of China and to other countries. In year 2007, a total of 10,355,730 person-time transporting volume was reported, which ranks this airport as the 10th largest one in China and the third largest one in southwest China.

Public transportation

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.

Climate

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!

Tourism & Landmarks

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):

  • The People's Liberation Monument, located in the center of Chongqing city, attracts many visitors. It is surrounded by numerous shopping centres. Actually this monument tower was originally named as "Monument for the victory over Axis armies" and it is the only building in whole China area for that purpose.
  • A museum for General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell.
  • The cemetery for world war II air forces (空军坟)in Nanshan area (南山)in memory of those air force heroes who sacrificed their lives to help China during the Japanese invasion time;
  • The former sites for embassaies of major countries during 1940s since Chungking was Capital at that time and many residence buildings/sites for the celebrities at that time (Chiang Kai-shek, H.H. Kong, Lao She, Liang Shiqiu et al.);
  • Red Rock Village Museum is an interesting place to visit as it had been the kind of diplomatic site for the Communist Party in Chongqing led by famous Chou Enlai during world war two. Mao also stayed there when he flied to Chongqing to sign the "double 10 (October 10th) peace agreement" with Kuomingtang.

Besides those historical places, Chongqing also has many other attractions:

  • The Dazu Rock Carvings (Chinese: 大足石刻; pinyin: Dàzú Shíkè), in Dazu county, are a series of Chinese religious sculptures and carvings, dating back as far as the 7th century A.D., depicting and influenced by Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist beliefs. Listed as a UNESCO World cultural Heritage Site, the Dazu Rock Carvings are made up of 75 protected sites containing some 50,000 statues, with over 100,000 Chinese characters forming inscriptions and epigraphs.
  • The natural bridges (天生三桥)and Furong Cave in Wulong were listed as a World natural Heritage site (part of South China Karst).
  • Fishing Town or Fishing City (Simplified Chinese: 钓鱼城; Traditional Chinese: 釣魚城; Pinyin: diàoyúchéng), also called the “Oriental Mecca” and “the Place That Broke God's Whip”, is one of the three great ancient battlefields of China. It is famous for its resistance to the Mongol armies in the latter half of the Song Dynasty. One of the most notable events was the death of Mongol leader Mongke Khan by cannon shot, which forced the immediate withdrawal of Mongol troops from Europe and Asia and prevented the Mongolian Empire from expanding towards Africa and Western Europe.
  • In 2005 Chinese tourist authorities began development of an attraction to be known as "Ladies’ Town" in the Shuangqiao District. The 'town's' motto is to be: "Ladies Can Never Be Wrong, and Gentlemen Should Never Refuse Ladies’ Requests." The project is expected to be completed in 2008-2010.
  • Chongqing has an impressive skyline consisting of numerous skyscrapers. A must see for all first time tourists is the magnificent night view. The city is also well known for its more than three thousand bridges.
  • Hot pot is Chongqing's local culinary specialty. Tables in hotpot restaurants usually contain a central vat (or pot) where food ordered by the customers is boiled/deep fried. As well as beef, pork, lotus and other vegetables, items such as pig's kidney, brain; duck's bowels; and cow's stomach are often added to the pot.

  • The city is home to one of the largest public assembly buildings in China, the Great Hall of the People which, though built in modern times, emulates traditional architectural styles. It is adjacent to the densely populated and hilly central district, with narrow streets and pedestrian only walkways.
  • A modern and well stocked zoo exhibits many national and regional animals, including the Giant Panda and the extremely rare South China Tiger.
  • In July 2007, the city built a bathroom with 1,000 toilets spread out over 32,290 square feet. Some urinals are uniquely shaped, including ones inside open crocodile mouths and several that are topped by the bust of a woman resembling the Virgin Mary. Officials submitted an application to Guinness World Records to have the free four-story public bathroom listed as the world's largest.

Astronomical phenomena

The most recent total solar eclipse as seen from downtown Chongqing was the solar eclipse of June 26, 1824. The next will be the solar eclipse of 22 July 2009.

City Tree and Flower

The city's tree is the Ficus lacor and the city's flower is the Camellia (Camellia japonica).

Education

Colleges and universities

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

Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

Sports

Professional sports teams in Chongqing include:

Sister cities

Chongqing Municipality has a Memorandum of Understanding (a form of twinning arrangement) with Wales, UK and became a 'sister region' of Wales in March 2008.

In June 2007, a twinning agreement between Chongqing and Sør-Trøndelag was signed.

See also

Notes

References

  • Danielson, Eric N. (2005). "Chongqing," pp.325-362 in The Three Gorges and the Upper Yangzi. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish/Times Editions. ISBN 981-232-599-9.
  • Danielson, Eric N. (2005). "Revisiting Chongqing: China's Second World War Temporary National Capital," in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Hong Kong Branch, Vol.45. Hong Kong: Royal Asiatic Society, Hong Kong Branch.
  • Huang, Jiren (1999). Lao Chongqing (Old Chongqing): Ba Shan Ye Yu (part of the "Lao Cheng Shi" series. Nanjing: Jiangsu Meishu Chubanshe (Jiangsu Fine Arts Publishing House).
  • Kapp, Robert A. (1974). “Chungking as a Center of Warlord Power, 1926-1937,” pp.143-170 in The Chinese City Between Two Worlds, ed. by Mark Elvin and G. William Skinner. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Kapp, Robert A. (1973). Szechwan and the Chinese Republic: Provincial Militarism and Central Power, 1911-1938. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Liao, Qingyu (2005). Chongqing Ge Le Shan Pei Du Yizhi (The Construction of War-time Capital on the Gele Mountain, Chongqing). Chengdu: Sichuan Da Xue Chubanshe (Sichuan University Press).
  • Long, Juncai (2005). Sui Yue Ya Feng de Jiyi: Chongqing Kang Zhan Yizhi (Covered Memory of Flowing Years: Site[s] of [the] Anti-Japanese War in Chongqing). Chongqing: Xi Nan Shi Fang Da Xue Chubanshe (Southwest University Press).
  • McIsaac, Lee (2000). “The City as Nation: Creating a Wartime Capital in Chongqing,” in Remaking the Chinese City, 1900-1950, ed. by Joseph W. Esherick. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Xu, Dongsheng and Liu, Yuchuan, et al (1998). Chongqing Jiu Ying (Old Photos of Chongqing). Beijing: Renmin Meishu Chubanshe People’s Fine Arts Publishing House).

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