Inland port and capital of Jiangsu province, China, 270 km/165 mi northwest of Shanghai; population (2010) 7,165,300. It is a commercial and industrial centre and communications hub, with industries which include iron and steel, engineering, machine tools, motor vehicles, bicycles, electronics, shipbuilding, oil refining, and chemicals, especially petrochemicals. Textiles, including satins, velvets, and brocades, are a traditional manufacture. The bridge over the Chang Jiang River, built in 1968, is the longest in China at 6,705 m/22,000 ft.
History The city dates from the 2nd century BC, perhaps earlier. Under various names, Nanjing was the capital of six different dynasties for short periods beween the 3rd and 6th centuries. In about AD 1000 it was named Kiang-ning, but in 1368, under the Ming dynasty, it was named Nanjing (Southern Capital). It was the capital of China 1368–1421, 1928–37, and 1946–49. Nanjing became a treaty port in 1858, and in 1898 it opened to foreign trade. In 1928 the nationalist Guomindang government chose Nanjing as the capital of China in place of Beijing. During the war between China and Japan it was bombed and attacked by Japanese infantry in 1937, and fell on 18 December 1937. The atrocities which accompanied the capture of the city became known as the ‘rape of Nanjing’. The Japanese set up a puppet government here in 1940, which was not recognized by Chinese embassies throughout the world. The city was taken without a fight by the communists on 23 April 1949, after which it ceased to be China's capital.
Location Nanjing is situated on the south bank of the Chang Jiang River, about 160 km/100 mi from its mouth. The area is marshy, which makes the climate unpleasant in the hot summer.
Economy Nanjing has been an important industrial city since the 1950s and many foreign-invested factories have opened in the city since the Yangtze Delta Open Economic Area was designated in 1984. It has a large chemical plant producing sulphuric acid and synthetic fibres. Fertilizers are also produced. Television sets, electronic and telecommunications equipment, and vehicles are manufactured, and there is a small iron and steel works. Nanjing traditionally manufactures satin, crepe, and nankeen, a cotton cloth named after the city.
Communications A busy inland port, Nanjing's docks can receive sea-going vessels. It lies at the lowest bridging point of the Chang Jiang, and is an important hub in national rail and road networks, with expressway and rail links to Shanghai.
Education Nanjing's university was founded in 1888. There are many other important colleges.
Historical monuments The ancient palaces have almost entirely disappeared, and the only remarkable remaining monuments of royalty are some gigantic statues near an ancient cemetery known as the Tomb of the Ming Emperors. There are ruined palaces of the rebel Taiping Kingdom (1853–64). The tomb of Sun Yat-sen is here.
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