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Chongqing

 

 

Chongqing (Chinese: 重庆) is a major city in Southwest China and one of the five national central cities in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Administratively, it is one of the PRC's four direct-controlled municipalities (the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and the only such municipality in inland China.

 

The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the sub-provincial city administration that was part of Sichuan province. As of April 29, 2011, the municipality had a population of 28,846,170, although the urbanized area is estimated to have a population of only 6 or 7 million. Chongqing is the largest direct-controlled municipality, and comprises 19 districts, 15 counties, and 4 autonomous counties.

 

The official abbreviation of the city, 渝 (Yú), was approved by the State Council on 18 April 1997. Chongqing was also a municipality of the Republic of China (ROC) administration, serving as its wartime capital during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). Its abbreviated name is derived from the old name of a part of the Jialing River that runs through Chongqing and feeds into the Yangtze River.

 

Chongqing has a significant history and culture and serves as the economic centre of the upstream Yangtze basin. It is a major manufacturing centre and transportation hub and in a July 2012 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, was named as one of the 13 emerging megacities, or megalopolises, in China.

 
 

History

 

Tradition associates Chongqing with the State of Ba. The Ba people supposedly established Chongqing during the Spring and Autumn period after moving from their first capital Yicheng (夷城) in Hubei under pressure from Chu. This new capital was first named Jiangzhou (江州). In 316 BCE, however, the state of Ba was conquered by the State of Qin.

 

The name Jiangzhou was subsequently renamed during the Southern and Northern Dynasties to Chu Prefecture (楚州), then in 581 AD (Sui Dynasty) to Yu Prefecture (渝州), and later in 1102 during Northern Song to Gong Prefecture (恭州). The name Yu however survives as an abbreviation for Chongqing till this day and the city centre where the old town stood is called Yuzhong (Central Yu). 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 celebration" (simplified Chinese: 双重喜庆; traditional Chinese: 雙重喜慶; pinyin: shuāngchóng xǐqìng, or chongqing in short). In his honour, Yu Prefecture was therefore renamed Chongqing subprefecture marking the occasion of his enthronement.
 
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) with Chongqing as its capital. In 1644, after the fall of the Ming Dynasty to rebel army, Chongqing, together with the rest of Sichuan, was captured by Zhang Xianzhong, who was said to have massacred a large number of people in Sichuan and depopulated the province. The Manchus later conquered the province, and during the Qing Dynasty, immigration to Chongqing and Sichuan took place with the support of Qing emperor.
 
In 1890 the British Consulate General was opened in Chongqing. The following year, the city became the first inland commerce port open to foreigners. The French, German, US and Japanese consulates were opened in Chongqing in 1896-1904.
 
 

Geography

 

Physical geography and topography

 

Geographic coordinates 

 
Latitude 28° 10' to 32° 13' N, Longitude 105° 17' to 110° 11' E.

 

Neighbouring provinces 

 
Hubei (east), Hunan (southeast), Guizhou (south), Sichuan (west), Shaanxi (north)
 
Chongqing is situated at the transitional area between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the plain on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in the sub-tropical climate zone often swept by moist monsoons. It often rains at night in late spring and early summer, and thus the city is famous for its "night rain in the Ba Mountains". The municipality reaches a maximum width of 470 kilometres (290 mi) from east to west, and a maximum length of 450 km (280 mi) from north to south. It borders the following provinces: Hubei in the east, Hunan in the southeast, Guizhou in the south, Sichuan in the west and northwest, and Shaanxi to the north in its northeast corner.
 
Chongqing covers a large area crisscrossed by rivers and mountains. The Daba Mountains stand in the north, the Wu Mountains in the east, the Wuling Mountains in the southeast, and the Dalou Mountains in the south. The whole area slopes down from north and south towards the Yangtze River valley, with sharp rises and falls. The area is featured by mountain and hills, with large sloping areas at different heights. Typical karst landscape is common in this area, and stone forests, numerous collections of peaks, limestone caves and valleys can be found in many places. The Yangtze River runs through the whole area from west to east, covering a course of 665 km (413 mi), cutting through the Wu Mountains at three places and forming the well-known Three Gorges: the Qutang, the Wuxia and the Xiling gorges. Coming from northwest and running through "the Jialing Lesser Three Gorges" of Libi, Wentang and Guanyin, the Jialing River joins the Yangtze in Chongqing.
 
The central urban area of Chongqing, or Chongqing proper, is a city with its unique features. Built on mountains and partially surrounded by the Yangtze and Jialing rivers, it is known as a "mountain city" and a "city on rivers". The night scene of the city is very illuminated, with millions of lights and their reflection on the rivers. With its special topographical features, Chongqing has the unique scenery of mountains, rivers, forests, springs, waterfalls, gorges, and caves. Li Bai, a famous poet of the Tang Dynasty, was inspired by the natural scenery and wrote this epigram.
 

 

Climate[edit]

 

All climatic data listed below comes from the central parts of the city.
 

Annual average 

 
18.24 °C (64.8 °F) 
 

January average 

 
7.8 °C (46.0 °F) 
 

August average 

 
28.5 °C (83.3 °F) 

 

Historical Temperature range 

 
−3.0 to 44.0 °C (27 to 111 °F) 
 

Total annual hours of sunshine 

 
1055

 

Annual precipitation 

 
1,104 millimetres (43.5 in)
 

 

Culture

 

Language

 

Main article: Sichuanese Mandarin

 

Zhongshan Ancient Town, Jiangjin, Chongqing

 

The language native to Chongqing is Southwestern Mandarin. More precisely, the great majority of the municipality, save for Xiushan, speak Sichuanese, including the primary Chengdu-Chongqing dialect and Minjiang dialect spoken in Jiangjin and Qijiang.[109] There are also a few speakers of Xiang and Hakka in the municipality, due to the great immigration wave to the Sichuan region (湖广填四川) during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In addition, in parts of southeastern Chongqing, the Miao and Tujia languages are also used by some Miao and Tujia people.

 
 

Tourism

 

As the provisional Capital of China for almost ten years (1937 to 1945), the city was also known as one of the three headquarters of the Allies during World War II, as well as being a strategic center of many other wars throughout China's history. Chongqing has many historic war-time buildings or sites, some of which have since been destroyed. These sites include the People's Liberation Monument, located in the center of Chongqing city. It used to be the highest building in the area, but is now surrounded and dwarfed by numerous shopping centres. Originally named the Monument for the Victory over Axis Armies, it is the only building in China for that purpose. Today, the monument serves as a symbol for the city. The General Joseph W. Stilwell Museum, dedicated to General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell, a World War II general,[112] the air force cemetery in the Nanshan area, in memory of those air force personnel killed during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), and the Red Rock Village Museum, a diplomatic site for the Communist Party in Chongqing led by Zhou Enlai during World War II. It is where Mao Zedong signed the "Double 10 (10 October) Peace Agreement" with the Kuomintang. Other historic sites that don't involve wartime history include:

 

The Chongqing Museum, China's first underwater museum,Great Hall of the People (Chongqing), based on the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. This is one of the largest public assembly buildings in China 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,Renmin Hotel, a luxurious hotel near downtown Chongqing styled as an ancient palace.

 

Luohan Si, a Ming Dynasty temple,and the former sites for embassies of major countries during the 1940s. As the capital at that time, Chongqing had many residential and other buildings for these officials.

 

Besides the historical sites of the city and surrounding area, Chongqing also has the following attractions:The Hongyadong stilted house in Chongqing city.

 
 

Baotaoping Wharf in Fengjie County

 

Wuxi County, noted as a major tourism area of Chongqing,The Dazu Rock Carvings, 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 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 Three Natural Bridges and Furong Cave in Wulong Karst National Geology Park, Wulong County are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the South China Karst),Ciqikou is a 1000-year-old town in the Shapingba District of Chongqing. It is also known as Little Chongqing. The town, located next to the lower reaches of the Jialing River, was at one time an important source of chinawares and used to be a busy commercial dock during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

 

 

Ciqikou ancient road in Shapingba District

 

Fishing Town or Fishing City, 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 noted for its resistance to the Mongol armies during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127–1279) and the location where the Mongol leader Möngke Khan died in 1259,Xueyu Cave in Fengdu County is the only example of a pure-white, jade-like karst cave in China,and the Chongqing Zoo, a zoo that exhibits many rare species including the Giant Panda, the extremely rare South China Tiger, and the African Elephant. The zoo is also on the bank of the Yangtze, and the Three Gorges are visible from the zoo.