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Liao Ning

 

 

 

Liaoning (simplified Chinese: 辽宁; traditional Chinese: 遼寧; pinyin:  Liáoníng; Manchu: Liyoo ning) is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the northeast of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "辽" (liáo), a name taken from the Liao River that flows through the province. The second character of the name, "宁" (níng) means "peaceful".[1] The modern province was established in 1907 as Fengtian province (Chinese: 奉天; pinyin: Fèngtiān; Postal map spelling: Fengtien; Manchu: Abkai imiyangga) 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 the Northeast, and is often called "the Golden Triangle"[2] because of its strategic geographical location, with the Yellow Sea (Korea Bay and Bohai Sea) in the south, North Korea's North Pyongan and Chagang provinces in the southeast, Jilin to the northeast, Hebei to the southwest, and Inner Mongolia to the northwest. The Yalu River marks the international border with North Korea, emptying into the Korea Bay between Dandong, Liaoning and Sinuiju, North Korea.

 

 

Geography

 

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:

 

Shenyang

 

Dalian

 

Anshan

 

Liaoyang

 

Fushun

 

Dandong

 

Jinzhou

 

Yingkou

 

 

History

 

Liaoning is located in the southern part of China's Northeast. The governments headed by various people such as the Korean kingdoms as Gojoseon, Goguryeo, Balhae, the Chinese as the Yan state, Han Dynasty, and the nomadic peoples as Donghu, Xianbei, Khitan and Jurchen ruled Liaoning.

 

The Ming Liaodong Wall (in purple)

 

The Ming Empire took control of Liaoning in 1371, just three years after the expulsion of the Mongols from Beijing. Around 1442, a defense wall was constructed to defend the northwestern frontier of the province from a potential threat from the Jurched-Mongol Oriyanghan (who were Ming's tributaries). In 1467-1468, the wall was expanded to protect the region from the northeast as well, against attacks from Jianzhou Jurchens (who were later to become known as the Manchu people). Although similar in purpose to the Great Wall of China, this "Liaodong Wall" was of a lower-cost design. While stones and tiles were used in some parts, most of the wall was in fact simply an earth dike with moats on both sides.

 

The late-Ming Liaodong separated by the wall from the "Kingdom of the Jurchen" (Reino di Niuche). The map was created during the early Qing, and mentions that "presently" the Jurchen (Tartari del Kin) have already conquered the rest of China Despite the Liaodong Wall, the Ming Liaodong was conquered by the Manchus in the early 17th century, decades before the rest of China fell to them. The Manchu dynasty, styled "Later Jin", established its capital in 1616-1621 in Xingjing (兴京), which was located outside of the Liaodong Wall in the eastern part of the modern Liaoning Province (near today's Xilaocheng Village in Xinbin Manchu Autonomous County (新宾满族自治县), part of Fushun City). It was moved to Dongjing (east of today's Liaoyang, Liaoning),[6][7] and finally in 1625 to Shengjing (now, Shenyang, Liaoning). Although the main Qing capital was moved from Shengjing to Beijing after it fell to the Qing in 1644, Shengjing retained its importance as a regional capital throughout most of the Qing era.

 

The Qing conquest of Liaodong resulted in a significant population loss in the area, as many local Chinese residents were either killed during fighting, or fled south of the Great Wall, many cities being destroyed by the retreating Ming forces themselves. As late as 1661, the Civil Governor (Fuyin) of Fengtian Province, Zhang Shangxian reported that, outside of Fengtian City (Shenyang), Liaoyang, and Haicheng, all other cities east of the Liaohe were either abandoned, or hardly had a few hundred residents left. In the Governor's words, "Tieling and Fushun only have a few vagrants". West of the Liaohe, only Ningyuan, Jinzhou, and Guangning had any significant populations remaining.

 

Liaodong (Leao-Tong) in the early Qing, surrounded by the Willow Palisade. This map, published in 1734, was based on data collected by Jesuits in the early 18th century. The capital is in Shenyang (Chinyang); most other cities mentioned in Governor Zhang's report are shown as well.

 

In the last half of the seventeenth century (starting with laws issued in 1651 and 1653), the imperial Qing government recruited migrants from south of the Great Wall (notably, from Shandong) to settle the relatively sparsely populated area of Fengtian Province (roughly corresponding to today's Liaoning). Many of the current residents of Liaoning trace their ancestry to these seventeenth century settlers. The rest of China's Northeast, however, remained officially off-limits to Han Chinese for most of the Manchu era. To prevent the migration of Chinese to those regions (today's Jilin and Heilongjiang, as well as the adjacent parts of Inner Mongolia), the so-called Willow Palisade was constructed (ca. 1638 - ca. 1672). The Palisade encircled the agricultural heartlands of Fengtian, running in most areas either somewhat outside the old Ming Liaodong Wall, or reusing it, and separating it from the Manchu forests to the northeast and the Mongol grazing lands to the northwest.

 

Later on, the Qing government tried to stop the migrants flow to Fengtian or even to make some settlers return to their original places of residence - or, failing that, to legalize them. E.g. an edict issued in 1704 commented on the recent Han Chinese settlers in Fengtian having failed to comply with earlier orders requiring them to leave, and asked them to either properly register and to join a local defense group (保, bao), or to leave the province for their original places within the next 10 years. Ten years later, naturally, another edict appeared, reminding of the necessity to do something with illegal migrants. In any event, the restrictive policy was not as effective as desired by the officials in Beijing, and Fengtian's population doubled between 1683 and 1734.

 

During the Qing Dynasty, Manchuria 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 20th 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.

 

 

Dalian aquarium

 

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 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.

 

 

Culture

 

Liaoning's culture is the southern part of the culture of Northeast 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".

 

 

Tourism

 

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 hosts 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.