City, formerly in Sichuan province, China, at the confluence of the Chang Jiang and Jialing Jiang rivers; population (2010) 7,457,600. From the time of the 1990 census it has been included directly under the central government in the capital district of Chongqing, the largest of China's four capital districts, with an area of 82,000 sq km/31,700 sq mi and a total population (2000) of 30,900,000. Industries include coalmining, food-processing, and the manufacture of iron, steel, chemicals, synthetic rubber, automobiles, electrical equipment, and textiles.
History For over 4,000 years Chongqing has been a major commercial centre in one of the most remote and economically deprived regions of China. The city was opened to foreign trade in 1891, and remains a focal point of road, river, and rail transport. When both Beijing and Nanjing were occupied by the Japanese, it was the capital of China from 1938 until 1946. The construction of the Three Gorges Dam, begun in 1993, has boosted the local economy and will increase river access on completion.
Layout Chongqing is built on the steep slopes of a promontory formed by the confluence of the two rivers, with suburbs on the facing banks of the rivers. Its streets are not laid out in the regular grid pattern of most other Chinese cities. Smoke from the city's chimneys is concentrated in the valley, making Chongqing's rainfall highly acidic; masonry and metalwork are badly attacked.
Three Gorges Dam The dam is expected to be the largest in the world, and the lake upstream of it on the Chang Jiang River will extend well within the municipality boundary, almost to the city itself. The project, which will create a deepwater reservoir 600 km/400 mi long and generate a massive amount of hydorelectricity, has involved the relocation of tens of thousands of farmers. When the dam is finished (scheduled for 2009), vessels of 10,000 tonnes will be able to sail 2,250 km/1,400 mi upriver to dock at Chongqing. Factories supplying construction materials and electrical equipment for the scheme have been opened in the city.
Sino-Japanese War 1931–45 During the Japanese invasion of China (see Sino-Japanese Wars), Chongqing became the capital of the nationalist Guomindang government and the centre of Chinese resistance to the Japanese; as a result, the city grew rapidly during this period. A natural regional centre and important river port, it was transformed into a major centre of heavy industry, mainly due to the transfer of industrial plants from China's coastal cities. The steel industry came to Chongqing in 1940 when a plant was dismantled and moved from Hanyang on the lower Chang Jiang River. During the war Chongquing's population reached one million.
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