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Qingdao, best known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city in eastern Shandong Province of China. It borders Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west and Rizhao to the southwest. Lying across the Shandong Peninsula while looking out to the Yellow Sea, Qingdao today is a major seaport, naval base, and industrial center. It is also the site of the Tsingtao Brewery. Qingdao is administratively at the sub-provincial level. In 2008, Qingdao was named China's 7th-most livable city.

Geography and Climate
Qingdao is located on the south facing coast of the Shandong Peninsula. It borders three prefecture-level cities, namely Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west, and Rizhao to the southwest. The city's total jurisdiction area occupies 10,654 km². The populated sections of the city are relatively flat while mountains spur up within city limits and nearby. The highest elevation in the city is 1133 m above sea level. 15.5% of the total area is highland, while the foothill, plain and lowland areas constitute 25.1%, 37.8% and 21.7%. The city has a 730.64-kilometre coastline. Five significant rivers that flow for more than 50 km can be found in the region.

Qingdao's climate is monsoon-influenced and falls on the borderline between humid subtropical (Koppen Cwa) and humid continental (Koppen Dwa). Winter is cool to cold, sometimes snowy, and windy, with temperatures hovering around freezing. Summer is generally hot and humid, but very hot days are rare. Due to its proximity to the coast and being on a peninsula, it experiences a one-month delayed spring compared to most of central China. Conversely, autumn is much milder than inland areas. The water temperature peaks at about 25℃ (77℉) in late August, with swimming possible two months on either side.

Ancient times
Human settlement in the area dates back 6,000 years. The Dongyi nationality, one of the important origins of the Chinese nation, lived here and created the Dawenkou, Longshan and Dongyeshi cultures. In the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770BC~256BC), the town of Jimo was established, which was then the second largest one in the Shandong region. The area in which Qingdao is located today was named Jiao'ao when it was administered by the Qing Dynasty on 14 June 1891.

German colonial period and Japanese occupation
Main gate of Chinese munitions depot, taken over by imperial navy, 1898 . Administration/commercial building, harbor area, 1912In 1891 the Qing government decided to make the area a defense base against naval attack and eventually began to improve Tsingtao’s existing fortifications. This Chinese activity was observed and reported by German naval officials during a formal survey of Kiautschou Bay in May 1897. After the Kiautschou Bay region was ceded to Germany in 1898, the German authorities soon turned the impoverished fishing village of Tsingtao into a strategically important port administered by the Imperial Department of the Navy (Reichsmarineamt) rather than the Imperial Colonial Office (Reichskolonialamt). The navy based their Far East Squadron here, allowing the ships to conduct operations throughout the Pacific. From January 1898 the marines of III. Seebatallion were based at Tsingtao. The German imperial government planned and built the first streets and early infrastructure of the city (still visible today), introduced electrification throughout, a sewer system and a safe drinking water supply. Commercial interests established the world-famous Tsingtao Brewery. German influence extended to other areas of Shandong Province, including the establishment of diverse commercial enterprises.

Before the outbreak of World War I the ships of the German naval forces under Admiral Count von Spee were located at central Pacific colonies on routine missions. The fleet then rendezvoused in the Marianas to plan a transit to Germany rather than be trapped in the Pacific by Allied fleets.

After a minor British naval attack on the German colony in 1914, Japan occupied the city and the surrounding province during the Siege of Tsingtao after Japan's declaration of war on Germany in accordance with the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. The failure of the Allied powers to restore Chinese rule to Shandong after the war triggered the May Fourth Movement. (For details on the colonial period, see Jiaozhou Bay concession)

The city reverted to Chinese rule in December, 1922, under control of the Republic of China. The city became a direct-controlled municipality of the ROC Government in 1929. Japan re-occupied Qingdao in 1938 with its plans of territorial expansion onto China's coast.

Post-World War II
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After World War II the KMT allowed Qingdao to serve as the headquarters of the Western Pacific Fleet of the US Navy in 1945. On 2 June 1949 the CCP-led Red Army entered Qingdao and the city and province have been under PRC control since that time.

Since the 1984 inauguration of China's open-door policy to foreign trade and investment, Qingdao has developed quickly as a modern port city. It is now the headquarters of the Chinese navy's northern fleet. An early example of the open-door policy occurred on November 5, 1984, when three United States Naval vessels visited Qingdao. This was the first US port call in more than 37 years to China. USS Rentz (FFG-46), USS Reeves (DLG-24) and USS Oldendorf (DD-972) and their crews were officially hosted by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Qingdao is now a manufacturing centre. The city has recently experienced a strong growth period, with a new central business district created to the east of the older business district. Outside of the center of the city there is a large industrial zone, which includes chemical processing, rubber and heavy manufacturing, in addition to a growing high-tech area.

The unique combination of German and Chinese architecture in the city centre, combined with German demographic roots and a large Korean expat population, gives Qingdao a distinct atmosphere. A larger number of areas in former foreign styles are well preserved. Although the new city area is under large-scale reconstruction, the old city area (especially Taixi) still retains some traditional buildings.

A distinctive local accent known as Qingdao dialect (qingdao hua)" distinguishes the residents of the city from those of the surrounding Shandong province. Due to the efforts by the city government to promote standard Mandarin, most educated people can affect that accent. With reform policies and English teaching, most young citizens have been taught English and many can converse with foreigners. Business and traffic signs in English are becoming more and more common. Street signs cannot be in foreign languages because of the law, but they typically include pinyin pronunciations which can be memorized more easily by foreigners than Chinese characters.

Seafood is a typical delicacy of the coastal city, divided into two categories: "Great Seafood" including sea cucumbers, abalones, shark's fin, prawns, crabs, conch, and some big fish, and "Little Seafood" comprising squid, shrimps, octopus, oysters, razor clams, clams, periwinkles, yellow croakers, etc. Generally, fresh seafood is served in every hotel. The distinctive cuisine of the area is Lu Cai, the Shandong regional style.

Qingdao International Beer Festival in August/September, held annually since 1991
China International Afforestation Fair, since 2003
APEC SMEs Technology Conference and Fair
China Qingdao Fishing Competition
Qingdao Bar-Culture Festival
China International Exposition of electronic home appliances
China Qingdao Ocean Festival
China International Maritime Exhibition
Qingdao International Fashion Week
China International Fishery Fair
China Qingdao International Hot Air Balloon Festival
Qingdao International Beach Festival

Qingdao attracts many tourists due to its seaside setting and temperate weather. Parks, beaches, sculpture and unique German and modern architecture line the shore. For more information head over to the Qingdao Information Centre for International Visitors located on Mid-Hong Kong Road (Xianggang Zhong Lu).

Qingdao's major attractions include Historical Euro-Asia Area
Former site of the headquarters of the German Administration
The Protestant Church
St Michael's CathedralZhan Qiao (Pier)
Little Qingdao Isle
Tian Hou Temple, Qingdao Folk Museum
Ba Da Guan (Eight Great Passes), the older area of town with some surviving German and Japanese architecture.
Lu Xun Park, named after Lu Xun), a famous modern Chinese writer and critic, who lived and taught in 1930s.
Zhongshan Park, named after the style name 'Zhongshan' of Sun Zhongshan, a famous modern Chinese politician.
Xiao Yu Shan (Little Fish Hill)
Qingdao Botanical Garden
Qingdao Zoological Garden
The twin-spired St Michael's Cathedral, one piece of the famous Neo-romanesque architecture in Qingdao, designed by German architect Alfred Fräbel, completed in 1934[9]
Flower-floor, the place for previous German governors to fish, hunt or rest.
Qingdao Underwater World, Qingdao Aquarium
Jiaozhou Governor's Hall, office building of former German governors [Gouverneurspalast] and former municipal government
Guest House, a classic German Castle
Signal Hill
Astronomical Observatory Hill
Tuan Dao Shan|Tuan Dao Shan (Dumpling Peninsula Hill)
Underground World of Chinese Mythology, life-size figures and groups depicting scenes from the Chinese mythology.
Qingdao Hill Fort ruins
Qingdao Naval Museum
The Protestant Church
Qingdao Bathing Beaches, there are 6 well-known beaches with complete facilities. 
The Flourishing Eastern Area
May Fourth Square Coastal plaza with the Wind of May sculpture
Music Square, famous for the Sail of Music
Qingdao Seaside Sightseeing Path
Qingdao Beer Museum, on the site of the old brewery.
Qingdao International Beer town, the primary site of the annual Qingdao International Beer Festival.
Tsingtao Brewery, originally founded by Germans and the most exported beer from China.
Qingdao Sculpture Museum
Qingdao Etsong Natural Grass Ski Field
Zhanshan Temple, Qingdao's oldest Buddhist temple. 
State-level Mount Lao Scenic Area
Lao Shan(Mount Lao), 40 km east of Qingdao, the most famous Taoist mountain with Taoist retreat - Great Purity Palace (太清宫).
Jufeng (Huge Peak)
Nine Waters & Eighteen Pools)
Kang Cheng Shuyuan (Kang Cheng Study House)
Outlying Area
Qingdao Museum
Stone Old Man (Shi Laoren) Sightseeing Garden
Qingdao Polar Ocean World
Langya Observation Resort, located in the previous Qi State, Jiaonan City.
Great Wall of Qi
Chanzhi Reservoir, located 10 kilometres to the north of Laixi city, on the middle and upperreaches of the Dagu River.
Sanlihe Garden, Jiaozhou City
Jiaozhou Governor's Hall, former seat of the present and previous two governments.
Qingdao Forest Wildlife World

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