Chongqing province

Position of Chongqing in China
Province

Chóng qìng 'duplicate celebrate'

CapitalChongqing City
Population29.807 million (2.17 %) [20th] comparison table
Area82,000 km2 [31,660 mile2] (0.85 %) [26th]
GDP47,859 (5.70 %) [14th]
NeighborsShaanxi Sichuan Guizhou Hubei Hunan
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Beijing Tianjin Shanghai Hong Kong Xinjiang Tibet Qinghai Gansu Inner Mongolia Heilongjiang Jilin Liaoning Yunnan Sichuan Guangxi Hainan Taiwan Guangdong Guizhou Chongqing Ningxia Shandong Fujian Zhejiang Shaanxi Shanxi Hebei Henan Hunan Hubei Jiangxi Anhui Jiangsu
Chongqing, Yangzi River, modern housing
View of Chongqing from the Yangzi River Copyright © Dreamstime see image license

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 the other metropolitan provinces of Beijing; Tianjin and Shanghai.

Situated on the Yangzi at its rocky confluence with the Jialing River, Chongqing serves as the dominant port and gateway for trade with Sichuan Province and the rest of China. For centuries the only main road to Sichuan was through the city. 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 : Jiangzhou () ‘river city’; ‘mountain city’; and also Yu then Gong . It became Chongqing () in 1189 when Zhao Dun became King of the region and later the 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 central China along the Yangzi.

Chongqing, building
People's Hall at the city of Chongqing

Chongqing

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 . Chaotian Men is the old waterfront where porters used to take the goods and carry them up the steep slope into the city. The city has a Three Gorges Museum holds many ancient tomb relics, some rescued from the flooding when the dam was built. The Great Hall of the People built in 1954 is modeled on the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Nine miles west of Chongqing city is Ciqi Kou which is a famous porcelain center during the Ming dynasty.

Chongqing, gorge, temple
Deep gorge in Chongqing province

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. A full range of industries are represented in the bustling city.

The historic voyage through the Three Gorges from Yichang up to Chongqing is now a leisurely cruise. For centuries boats had been pulled through by trackers along narrow cliff paths - a very dangerous process. The famous gorges are Qutang, Wu and Xiling (Xiling is actually in neighboring Hubei province). Shibao Zhai monastety, The City of ghosts at Mingshan, and the mini Three gorges on Daning tributary river can be seen on the trip.

Chongqing, skyscraper
New, modern office buildings in Chongqing, 2014

The rock carvings at Dazu are a UNESCO World Heritage site. 50,000 carvings of many types date back to the Tang dynasty. Most are of Buddhist inspiration but others are from Daoism, Confucianism and Indian Buddhism.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.

Tang dynasty, Buddhism, Chongqing
Demon punishing the sinful at Dazu caves, Chongqing

Geography

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.

Dazu, buddha, deity, Chongqing
Sleeping Buddha at Dazu caves, Chongqing Copyright © Dreamstime see image license

Airports

Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport 重庆江北国际机场 CKG IATA / ZUCK ICAO
The airport has 2 terminals and is located 13.0 miles (21.0 kms) from Chongqing City. Live Flight information , Airport information , rank in China 10
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Chongqing Climate

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Major CitiesPopulation
Chongqing City 7,457,600

City populations for 2012, Province statistics National Bureau of Statistics 2014

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