|Name||重庆 (chóng qìng) ['duplicate' 'celebrate'] Old Name Chungking WG|
|Population||29.807 million (2.17 %) [20th] comparison table|
|Area||82,000 km2 [31,660 mile2] (0.85 %) [26th]|
|GDP||47,859 (5.70 %) [14th]|
Chongqing is China's newest province, split off in 1997 from its large neighbor Sichuan. It is officially a ‘municipality’ rather than a province but includes a large rural area to the east of the huge city of Chongqing which makes it different to other metropolitan provinces of Beijing; Tianjin and Shanghai.
Situated on the Yangzi at its rocky confluence with the Jialing River, Chongqing serves as the main port and gateway for trade with Sichuan Province to the north. Chongqing is an ancient place, it has a heritage reaching back to the Bayu Culture ➚ in the depths of history. The name means literally ‘double celebration’, which needs a little explanation. Originally it had a succession of names : Jiang (江州) ‘river city’; ‘mountain city’; and also Yu 渝 then Gong 恭. It became Chongqing (双重喜庆) in 1189 when Zhao Dun became King of the region and then Song Emperor of China and so changed the city's name to mark this double celebration. Unlike most Chinese cities that are laid out in a grid pattern, the hilly topology has led to many small, meandering streets that give the city its unique charm. It became a British treaty port in 1890 giving them control of all central China along the Yangzi.
Chongqing was the capital of China under the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kaishek during the Japanese invasion (1938-47) after Beijing and then Nanjing had fallen. The city's frequent winter fogs kept the city relatively free from the threat of Japanese bombers. With America on China's side in the war, the city became the headquarters of General Joseph Warren Stilwell ➚ 1942-44, whose headquarters can still visited today. More recently the city was the power base of the disgraced politician Bo Xilai ➚.
The construction of Three Gorges Dam ➚ in Hubei has made navigation from the sea all the way up the Yangzi to Chongqing far easier. It is now one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Many new large buildings and roads are being built each year. The full range of industries are represented in the bustling city.
The rock carvings at Dazu ➚ are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Fuling ➚ also has fine ancient carvings. There are a number of hot springs in the area. Fengdu ➚ is one of the towns which was partially submerged when the Three Gorges Dam was built on the Yangzi.
Hot and humid for much of the year, Chongqing City is known as one of China’s ‘three furnaces’; it is often submerged in smog. Rural Chongqing to the east of the city is very much like neighboring Sichuan, as it consists of densely populated and rich agricultural land. The border of the province follows the Yangzi river into Hubei. Bamboo is an important crop and is put to a multitude of uses.Show Bing Map ➚
City populations for 2012, Province statistics National Bureau of Statistics 2014
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