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, city and independent municipality (2010 pop. 12,938,224), NE China. In E central Hebei prov., it is a politically independent unit (4,400 sq mi/11,399 sq km) administered directly by the central government.
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a city under direct central control in China and one of the main economic centers of the country. Population, 4.4 million (1974). Since December 1973, the city of Tientsin and adjacent area (the Tientsin Municipality) have formed a special administrative unit consisting of 12 municipal districts and five rural counties with a total area of 11,000 sq km and a population of 6.3 million (1973).
Tientsin is located on the North China Plain, about 50 km from the coast of the Pohai Wan of the Yellow Sea. In the city, five rivers come together to form the Hai Ho. Tientsin’s outer port is at T’angku, which is located on the Pohai Wan. Tientsin, called Peking’s gate to the sea, is an important rail and air junction; the city’s river port is situated at the confluence of the Hai Ho and the Grand Canal.
As a commercial and distribution center, Tientsin’s importance is on a par with that of Shanghai. The city accounts for more than one-fourth of China’s foreign trade. The most highly developed sector of the city’s industry is the manufacture of textiles, mainly cotton cloth, and carpets; other branches of industry include food processing and the manufacture of tobacco products, rubber goods, leather goods, paper, and matches. The proportion of the economy devoted to heavy industries, such as metallurgy, machine building, and the manufacture of chemical products, is growing. The city also produces electrical equipment, machinery for textile mills, mining equipment, diesel engines, ships, steel structural members, tools, precision instruments, machine tools, and agricultural machinery; there are assemblages of tractors and motor vehicles as well.
There are two universities in Tientsin. The T’angshan coal basin, an iron ore deposit, and the Ch’anglu salt mines are near the city. Cotton and vegetables are cultivated.
Tientsin was founded in the 13th century on the site of the fishing settlement of Chihku and received its present name in 1405. The city became the capital of a prefecture in 1725 and of a province in 1731. In August 1860, during the Anglo-French-Chinese War of 1860 (Second Opium War), Tientsin was captured by British and French forces. According to the Peking Anglo-Chinese and French-Chinese treaties of 1860, the city was opened to foreign trade. Soon afterward, Great Britain, France, and the USA established settlements in the city. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, settlements were also founded by Germany, Japan, tsarist Russia, and a number of other states. In July 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, Tientsin was occupied by troops from eight countries. From 1937 to 1945 it was held by Japanese invaders. Tientsin was liberated from the Kuomintang by units of the People’s Liberation Army on Jan. 15,1949.