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Dalian is the governing sub-provincial city in the eastern Liaoning Province of Northeast China, facing Shandong to the south and the Yellow Sea to the east and the Bohai Sea to the west and south. Dalian is southernmost city of Northeast China and China's northernmost (still warm water) seaport. Dalian is the second largest city of Liaoning Province.


In the Qin and Han periods (221 B.C.-220 A.D.), the Dalian region was under the jurisdiction of Liaodong county. During the 3rd century through 5th century, when China was split into Sixteen Kingdoms, The neighbor kingdom of Goguryeo maintained control of this region. In the early Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Dalian region was under the jurisdiction of Andong Prefecture in Jili state, and in the Liao Dynasty (916-1125), it was under the jurisdiction of Dong Jing Tong Liaoyang county. Dalian was named Sanshan in the period of Weijin (220-420), San Shanpu in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Sanshan Seaport in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and Qing Niwakou in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Qing Dynasty
In the 1880s, the Qing government constructed loading bridges and fortifications with built-in cannons, and set up mining camps on the northern coast of Dalian Gulf, and it became a small town. At that time, Jinzhou, north of downtown Dalian, now Dalian City's District of Jinzhou, was a walled town and the center of political and economic activities of this area.

British, Russian, and Japanese Occupation
The settlement was occupied by the British in 1858, returned to the Chinese in the 1880s, and then occupied by Japan in 1895 during the first Sino-Japanese War. Nearby Port Arthur was named after Prince Arthur, one of Queen Victoria's sons.

While Japan's intention to lease Port Arthur and its surrounding areas, based on the Treaty of Shimonoseki, met with the Tripartite Intervention by France, Germany and Russia, the Russian Empire in 1898 succeeded in leasing the peninsula from the Qing Dynasty, and a modern city was laid out with the name of Dalny. Linked to the Trans-Siberian Railway's branch line, Dalny became Russia's primary port-city in Asia. The Russian government contributed more than 10 million golden rubles (equivalent to 11,5 bn of today's rubles) into the city foundation and building. Dalny was the main battlefield of the Russo-Japanese War (1905).

Dairen (Dalian) in 1912Both Dalny (Qingniwaqiao of Zhongshan District, Dalian) and Port Arthur (Lüshunkou) were developed and heavily fortified by the Russians in the period prior to 1904. Consequently, some historians blame the fall of Port Arthur during the siege of Port Arthur on January 2, 1905 for the failure by Admiral Eugene Alexeyeff to concentrate on the naval base and its fortifications, instead splitting precious resources shipped 5,000 miles across the single tracked Trans-Siberian Railway and Manchurian railways.

After the Russo-Japanese war Port Arthur was conceded to Japan (Treaty of Portsmouth), who set up the Kwantung Leased Territory or Guandongzhou, which is roughly the southern half (Jinzhou District and south) of the present-day Dalian City. Since the foundation of Manchukuo in 1932, the sovereignty of the territory moved from China to Manchukuo. Japan still leased it from Manchukuo. In 1937, the modern Dalian City was enlarged and modernized by the Japanese as two cities: the northern Dairen (Dalian) and the southern Ryojun (Lushun).

Post-World War II
With the unconditional surrender of Japan in August 1945, Dalian, passed to the Soviets, who had liberated the city in advance of the end of hostilities and governed the city until 1950. During this period the Soviets and Chinese Communists cooperated in the further development of the city, its industrial infrastructure, and especially the port, which remained as the free port rented by the Soviet government. The city had been relatively undamaged during the war.

In 1950, the USSR presented Dalian to the Chinese Communist government without any compensation. Soviet troops left in 1955. After the departure of the Soviets, China made Dalian into a major shipbuilding center. In the 1990s the city benefited from the attention of Bo Xilai (son of the important first generation Party elder, Bo Yibo) who was both mayor of the city and provincial party official, who, among other things, banned motorcycles, created large, lush parks in the city's many traffic circles, and generally built things up very attractively. He also preserved much of Dalian's interesting and attractive Japanese and Russian architectural heritage. He is the former Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic.

Location within ChinaOne of the most heavily developed industrial areas of China, the Dalian administrative district today consists of Dalian proper and the smaller Lüshunkou (formerly Lüshun city, known in western and Russian historic references as Port Arthur), about forty nautical miles farther along the Liaodong Peninsula. Historical references note that the Russian designed city of Dalny (Alt. Dalney), on the south side of Talien Bay was 40 kilometers from Port Arthur/Lüshun (known today as Lüshunkou or literally, Lüshun Port).

Dalian - Landsat photo (circa 2000)Dalian is located west of the Yellow Sea and east of Bohai Sea roughly in the middle of the Liaodong peninsula at its narrowest neck or isthmus. With a coastline of 1,906 km, it governs the entire Liaodong Peninsula and about 260 surrounding islands and reefs. It is seated at south-south-west of the Yalu River, and its harbor entrance forms a sub-Bay known as Dalian Bay.

Culture and Tourism
Dalian is a very popular destination among Chinese tourists and foreign visitors, especially from Japan, South Korea and Russia. Its mild climate and multiple beaches as well as its importance in the modern history of China make it an especially nice place to visit. Some of the most famous beaches are Tiger beach, Xinghai beach, Jinshitan beach and Fujiazhuang beach. It is one of the three Best Tourism Cities (2006), along with Hangzhou and Chengdu, recognized by the National Tourism Administration.

Zhongshan Square in DalianDalian was rated No 1 of the most livable city in China in 2006 according to China Daily. Dalian is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities of China, and it is often compared with San Francisco.

Xinghai Square, the Xinghai Conference Center, the Dalian World Expo Center and the hotels on Renmin Rd. are the places where Dalian's major annual events are held: Fireworks Displays (Chinese New Year, May 1 and October 1), Dalian International Walking Festival (May), Dalian Locust Flower Festival (May), Dalian International Marathon (June), China International Software & Information Service Fair (June), Dalian International Beer Festival (July-August), Dalian International Auto Show (August) and

Dalian International Fashion Week (September).
Every September Dalian hosts the Dalian International Fashion Festival. This festival is a chance for many major foreign companies to showcase their new products and sign up buyers. Before the festival, the city holds an opening ceremony attended by government officials as well as famous stars of the entertainment world.

Zoo and Museums
Dalian is the home of three zoological parks: Dalian Forest Zoo, Sun Asia Ocean World, and Polar World. The Forest Zoo has a free-range animal section as well as a more traditional zoo. Shengya Ocean World includes an underwater conveyor through a transparent tunnel. Polar World is the only park devoted to polar animals in China. Dalian is also home to a number of public squares, including Xinghai Square.and it also famous for beer festivals, every year it attracts a lot of tourism.

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