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Shenyang is a sub-provincial city and capital of Liaoning Province in Northeast China. Along with its nearby cities, Shenyang is an important industrial center in China, and the transportation and commercial centre of China's northeastern region. The city was also known as Shengjing or Fengtian.

The city's name, Shenyang, literally meaning "the city to the north of Shen River", comes from the Hun River on the city's south side, which used to be called Shen River. Archaeological findings show that human beings resided in present day Shenyang as early as 7,200 years ago. The City of Shenyang was first established by Qin Kai, a general of Yan in the Warring States period about 300 B.C. It was named as Hou City at that time. It became known as Shen Prefecture in the Jin Dynasty and Shenyang Path in the Yuan Dynasty. During the Ming Dynasty, it became Shenyang Zhongwei.

In 1625, the Manchu leader Nurhaci moved his capital to Shenyang, or Simiyan hoton as it is called in Manchu. The official name was changed to Shengjing in Chinese, or Mukden  in Manchu, in 1634. The name derives from the Manchu word, mukdembi, meaning "to rise", and this is reflected by its Chinese name, which means "rising capital". Shenyang remained the capital of the Qing Dynasty until the relocation of the capital to Beijing in 1644 after the fall of Ming dynasty. However, it retained considerable prestige as the older capital, treasures of the royal house were kept at its palaces, and the tombs of the early Qing rulers were once among the most famous monuments in China. In 1657, Fengtian Prefecture (Chinese Pinyin: Fèngtiān fǔ; Manchu: Abkai imiyangga fu or Fungtyian, "obeying heaven") was established in the Shenyang area, and Fengtian was sometimes used synonymously with Shenyang/Mukden. In 1914, the city changed back to its old name Shenyang. However, Shenyang continued to be known as Mukden in some English sources (sometimes spelled Moukden) through much of the 20th century.

In the early 1900s, Shenyang began expanding out of its old city walls. Shenyang Railway Station on the South Manchurian Railway and the Shenyang North Railway Station (today's old north station) on the Jingfeng railway became new commercial centers of Shenyang. Several factories was built by Chang Tso-lin to manufacture ammunition in northern and eastern suburb. These factories laid the foundation for Shenyang's industrial development.

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