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, city (1994 est. pop. 1,584,100), SE Shandong prov., E China, on the Yellow Sea. With an excellent ice-free harbor, it is a major fishing and trade port of China, connected by rail with Yantai and Jinan. It is a special economic development port.
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a city in East China, in Shantung Province. Population, approximately 1.5 million (1971). Tsingtao has a large seaport on Chiaochou Wan, a bay of the Yellow Sea; it is a transportation junction. The city’s highly developed textile industry is exceeded in size only by Shanghai’s. The machine-building industry is represented by shipyards and by plants producing locomotives, railroad cars, steam turbines, radio equipment, bicycles, and heavy trucks. Products of the chemical industry include tires, plastics, mineral fertilizers, toxic chemicals, and dyes. The city has a steel mill and an aluminum plant and plants of the food-processing, tobacco, leather, cement, and match industries. Tsingtao is a fishing and salt-mining center. A seaside resort, the city has a scientific research institute of oceanography and a maritime museum.
Until the mid-1890’s, Tsingtao was a small village. In 1897, Germany seized Chiachou Wan and transformed Tsingtao into a strong naval fortress, protected from the mainland by two lines of defense. On Aug. 15, 1914, at the beginning of World War I, Japan demanded that Germany remove its ships from Tsingtao and turn over the harbor to Japan. When no answer was received to this ultimatum, Japan declared war on Germany on August 23 and set up a naval blockade of Tsingtao on August 27.
The city’s garrison of 4,750 men was equipped with 120 machine guns and 123 pieces of artillery. In September, 30,000 Japanese troops, with 40 machine guns and 144 pieces of artillery, landed north and northeast of Tsingtao; together with 1,500 British troops, they launched an offensive against the city. After fighting took place at forward positions, a siege of the fortress was begun from the mainland on September 28. Beginning in October the city was bombarded from the sea by a strong Anglo-Japanese squadron and from the mainland. On the night of November 6, Japanese troops captured the fort at the center of Tsingtao’s defense, and the garrison, which had run out of ammunition, surrendered the next day.
By a decision of the Washington Conference of 1921–22, Tsingtao was returned to China. Major workers’ strikes took place in 1925 at plants owned by Japanese capitalists. The brutality with which troops of the Chinese militarists dealt with the strikers gave an immediate impetus to the May 30 Movement of 1925 in Shanghai. Tsingtao was occupied by the Japanese during the Chinese People’s National Liberation War Against the Japanese Invaders of 1937–45 (Sino-Japanese War). In October 1945 the USA began using the port as a naval base. After the People’s Liberation Army of China freed Tsingtao from Kuomintang rule, the armed forces of the USA were forced to leave the city in 1949.