Port in Liaoning province, China, on the Liaodong Peninsula, facing the Yellow Sea; population (2010) 4,087,700. Industries include engineering (especially machine tools), oil-refining, shipbuilding, food-processing (soybeans), and the manufacture of chemicals, textiles, cement, railway locomotives and rolling stock, and fertilizers. It has ice-free, deep-water facilities, and comprises the naval base of Lüshun (known under 19th-century Russian occupation as Port Arthur) and the commercial port of Dalian, together formerly known as Lüda.
History Both the naval base and port were leased to Russia (which needed an ice-free naval base) in 1898; under the Russian lease the port was also known as Dalny. Lüshun was under Japanese siege from June 1904 until January 1905, and it was ceded to Japan after the Russo-Japanese War, along with the port. Dalian was developed and partly colonized by the Japanese, who named it Dairen, and by 1938 its population had risen to 500,000.
After World War II Lüshun was occupied by Russian airborne troops, but it was returned to China in 1955 and Russia was granted shared facilities at Dalian; this ended on the deterioration of Sino-Russian relations in 1955.
Economy As China's second busiest port after Shanghai and the country's leading petroleum port, Dalian has extensive modern port installations. It is also a major industrial centre for the northeast of the country. Its refinery processes oil from the Daqing field in Heilongjiang province to the north, and the port's role as a major trade outlet for the southern part of the region was reinforced by the opening in 1990 of China's first long-distance expressway from Shenyang to Dalian. In 1984 the city was designated an open coastal city for foreign trade and investment, and several foreign companies, many of them Japanese, opened factories in the new industrial estate to the north of the city.
Naval base The port of Lüshun is situated at the southern end of the Liaodong Peninsula, to the southwest of Dalian at the entrance of the Bohai Gulf. In 1861 a British naval surveying party named it Port Arthur after Lt Arthur, one of the team's leaders. Following the Sino-Japanese War the port was occupied by the Japanese, who soon withdrew under pressure from the European powers. In 1898 the Russians moved in, having obtained a concession to build the South Manchurian railway which was to terminate here. The Japanese regained possession of the heavily fortified port at the end of 1904 when their armies broke through the last of the Russian defences to win the Russo-Japanese War. Japanese occupation was sanctioned by the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905. Under the name of Ryojun the naval port remained in Japanese hands until 1945 when Soviet troops took its surrender. A major naval base, it was under joint Sino-Soviet control until 1955. It is now part of the Dalian conurbation.