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Chongqing (cho͝ongˈchēngˈ) or Chungking (cho͞ongˈkĭngˈ), city and independent municipality, 592 sq mi (1,534 sq km), in SE Sichuan prov., China, at the junction of the Chang and Jialing rivers. It is administered directly by the national government. The commercial center of W China, it commands a large river trade. Surrounded on three sides by water, it is situated on a rock promontory. A flourishing industrial city, it was opened for direct foreign trade in 1979. In the 1980s it became the site of an economic experiment, where factory managers were given more decision-making power and allowed to channel profits into expansion, and the early 21st cent. saw Chongqing developed as China's largest inland urban area to provide economic opportunity for the surrounding region's poorer rural inhabitants.

Chongqing's industries include a large-scale integrated iron and steel complex, oil and copper refineries, motor vehicle, munitions, computer and electronics, and biomedical products factories, cotton and silk mills, chemical and cement plants, food-processing establishments, machine shops, paper mills, and tanneries. Large coal and iron mines and a major oil field are nearby. Its many institutions of higher learning include Chongqing Univ., Chongqing Technical Univ., and a medical college. The Chongqing Library and the Chongqing Municipal Museum are important cultural centers.

Chongqing was opened as a treaty port in 1891. In Nov., 1937, just before the Japanese capture of Nanjing in the Second Sino-Japanese War, the capital of China was transferred to Chongqing, where it remained until the end of hostilities. During that time administrative agencies, educational institutions, and industrial plants from all over the country were relocated in Chongqing and the population more than tripled. The city was taken by the Communists on Nov. 30, 1949.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Ch’ungch’ing), a city in Southwest China, in Szechwan Province. Forms a series of terraces on the slope of a promontory at the confluence of the Chialing Chiang and the Yangtze River. Population, approximately 5 million (including rural areas under the city’s jurisdiction; 1974). Chungking is a river port that handles more than 6 million tons of freight annually. It is connected by water with Shanghai and by railroad with Paochi, in Shensi Province, and with the seaport of Chanchiang, in Kwangtung Province. The city has an airport. There is a bridge across the Yangtze at Chungking.

Chungking developed as a major industrial center during the Sino-Japanese War, when factories were evacuated to the city from the eastern regions between 1938 and 1945; since that time industry has undergone further development. Approximately 10 million tons of coal are mined annually in the Chungking area; the substantial electric power industry includes two fossil-fuel-fired steam power plants and a hydroelectric power system on the Lungch’i Ho.

In 1970, Chungking’s complex of integrated iron and steel plants produced 1.5 million tons of pig iron and 1.2 million tons of steel. The city’s diversified machine-building industry manufactures hydroturbines, equipment for the power-engineering industry, machine tools, pneumatic and drilling equipment, construction machinery, ships, bearings, agricultural machinery, and instruments. The chemical industry is represented by plants producing plastics, chemical fibers, toxic chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. The building-materials industry is represented by cement factories. The city also has mills for the production of wool and silk fabrics, a meat-packing plant, a cannery, a butter factory, a tea factory, and flour mills.


Chungking is first mentioned in the 11th century B.C., when Chiangchou, the capital of the kingdom of Pa (Pah), stood on the site of the modern city. In 316 B.C. the kingdom of Pa was incorporated into the Ch’in state, and Chiangchou became a district capital. In 1189 the city received its present name. Long a major commercial center of Southwest China, Chungking was opened to foreign trade in 1891, after which it was used by the capitalist nations as a base from which to penetrate the economy of Szechwan and neighboring provinces. From 1913 to 1929 the city was called Pahsien. In October 1938 the Japanese captured Hank’ou, where the nationalist government had been located since late 1937; from the fall of Hank’ou until early 1946, Chungking was the capital of China. The city was freed from Kuomintang rule by the People’s Liberation Army of China on Nov 30, 1949.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, Chungking, Ch'ung-ch'ing
a river port in SW China, in Sichuan province at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers: site of a city since the 3rd millennium bc; wartime capital of China (1938--45); major trade centre for W China. Pop.: 4 975 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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