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Chongqing Municipality


Chongqing Municipality

For other uses, see Chongqing (disambiguation).

重庆市 · Municipality of Chongqing
Qutang Gorge, and the Great Hall of the People.

Location of Chongqing Municipality within China

Coordinates: 29°33′30″N 106°34′00″E / 29.55833°N 106.56667°E / 29.55833; 106.56667Coordinates: 29°33′30″N 106°34′00″E / 29.55833°N 106.56667°E / 29.55833; 106.56667

Country People's Republic of China
Settled ca. 316 BCE
 - County-level
 - Township-level

19 districts, 19 counties
1259 towns, townships, and subdistricts
 • Type Municipality
 • CPC Secretary Sun Zhengcai[1]
 • Mayor Huang Qifan[2]
 • Congress Chairman Zhang Xuan
 • Conference Chairman Xu Jingye
 • Municipality 82,403 km2 (31,816 sq mi)
Elevation 237 m (778 ft)
Population (2010)[4]
 • Municipality 28,846,170
 • Density 350/km2 (910/sq mi)
Demonym Chongqinger
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 4000 00 - 4099 00
Area code(s) 23
GDP 2012
 - Total CNY 1145.9 billion
US$ 184.8 billion (23rd)
 - Per capita CNY 39,083
US$ 6,387 (13th)
HDI (2008) 0.783 (18th) — medium
Licence plate prefixes A, B, C, F, G, H
ISO 3166-2 CN-50
City flower Camellia[5]
City tree Ficus lacor[6]
Website (Chinese)

Chongqing (Chinese: 重庆; pinyin: Chóngqìng; English pronunciation IPA: /tʃɐŋ kɪŋ/[7]), formerly romanized as Chungking (English pronunciation IPA: /tʃʌŋ kɪŋ/),[lower-alpha 1] is a major city in Southwest China and one of the five national central cities in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Administratively, it is one of the PRC's four direct-controlled municipalities (the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and the only such municipality in inland China.[8]

The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the sub-provincial city administration that was part of Sichuan province. As of April 29, 2011, the municipality had a population of 28,846,170,[4] although the urbanized area is estimated to have a population of only 6 or 7 million,[9] whereas the greater area comprises some 34.000.000 people all together. Chongqing is the largest direct-controlled municipality in China, and comprises 19 districts, 15 counties, and 4 autonomous counties.

The official abbreviation of the city, (Yú), was approved by the State Council on 18 April 1997.[10] Chongqing was also a municipality of the Republic of China (ROC) administration, serving as its wartime capital during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). Its abbreviated name is derived from the old name of a part of the Jialing River that runs through Chongqing and feeds into the Yangtze River.

Chongqing has a significant history and culture and serves as the economic centre of the upstream Yangtze basin. It is a major manufacturing centre and transportation hub and in a July 2012 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, was named as one of the 13 emerging megacities, or megalopolises, in China.[11]


Tradition associates Chongqing with the State of Ba. The Ba people supposedly established Chongqing during the Spring and Autumn period after moving from their first capital Yicheng (夷城) in Hubei under pressure from Chu. This new capital was first named Jiangzhou (江州).[12] In 316 BCE, however, the state of Ba was conquered by the State of Qin.

Jiangzhou was subsequently renamed during the Southern and Northern Dynasties to Chu Prefecture (楚州), then in 581 AD (Sui Dynasty) to Yu Prefecture (渝州), and later in 1102 during Northern Song to Gong Prefecture (恭州).[13] The name Yu however survives to this day as an abbreviation for Chongqing, and the city centre where the old town stood is also called Yuzhong (Central Yu).[12] It received its current name in 1189, after Prince Zhao Dun of the Southern Song Dynasty described his crowning as king and then Emperor Guangzong as a "double celebration" (simplified Chinese: 双重喜庆; traditional Chinese: 雙重喜慶; pinyin: shuāngchóng xǐqìng, or chongqing in short). In his honour, Yu Prefecture was therefore renamed Chongqing subprefecture marking the occasion of his enthronement.

In 1362, (Yuan Dynasty), Ming Yuzhen, a peasant rebelling leader, established the Daxia Kingdom (大夏) at Chongqing for a short time.[14] In 1621 (Ming Dynasty), another short-lived kingdom of Daliang (大梁) was established by She Chongming (奢崇明) with Chongqing as its capital.[15] In 1644, after the fall of the Ming Dynasty to rebel army, Chongqing, together with the rest of Sichuan, was captured by Zhang Xianzhong, who was said to have massacred a large number of people in Sichuan and depopulated the province. The Manchus later conquered the province, and during the Qing Dynasty, immigration to Chongqing and Sichuan took place with the support of Qing emperor.

In 1890, the British Consulate General was opened in Chongqing.[16] The following year, the city became the first inland commerce port open to foreigners.[17] The French, German, US and Japanese consulates were opened in Chongqing in 1896-1904.[18][19][20][21]

Provisional capital of the Republic of China

In 1929, Chongqing (then known almost universally as Chungking) became a municipality in the Republic of China. During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) it was Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's provisional capital. More than 50 embassies moved to Chongqing with the Kuomintang (KMT) government at the time, and by now, some of which are still well protected. During this time, the Allies set up the Chinese Anti-fascist headquarters in Chongqing, which was responsible for directing the allied army of China, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, and Malaysia. It was under the direction of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and General Joseph Stilwell. The Japanese Air Force heavily bombed it. Due to its mountainous environment, many people were saved from the bombing. Due to the bravery, contributions and sacrifices made by the local people during World War II, Chongqing became known as the City of Heroes.[22] Many factories and universities were relocated from eastern China to Chongqing during the war, transforming this city from inland port to a heavily industrialized city. In late November 1949 the Nationalist KMT government fled the city.[23]

A letter from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Chungking in 1945:

Municipality status

On 14 March 1997, the Eighth National People's Congress decided to merge the city with the neighbouring Fuling, Wanzhou, and Qianjiang prefecture-level districts that it had governed on behalf of the province since September 1996. The resulting single division became Chongqing Municipality, containing 30,020,000 people in forty-three former counties (without intermediate political levels). The municipality became the spearhead of China's effort to develop its western regions and to coordinate the resettlement of residents from the reservoir areas of the Three Gorges Dam project. Its first official ceremony took place on the 18 June 1997. On 8 February 2010, Chongqing became one of the five National Central/Core cities, the other four are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tianjin.[24] On 18 June 2010, Liangjiang New Area was established in Chongqing, which is one of the 3 National New Areas, the other two being Pudong new area in Shanghai and Binhai new area in Tianjin.[25]

Organised crime, the gang trials and Bo's fall from grace

Main article: Chongqing gang trials

In the first decade of the 21st century, the city became notorious for organised crime and corruption. Gangsters oversaw businesses involving billions of yuan and the corruption reached into the law-enforcement and justice systems. In 2009, city authorities under the auspices of municipal Communist Party secretary Bo Xilai undertook a massive crackdown, arresting 4,893 suspected gangsters, 'outlaws' and corrupt cadres, leading to optimism that the period of gangsterism was over.[26] However, local media later highlighted the apparent reliance by the authorities on torture to extract confessions upon which convictions were based. In December 2009, one defence lawyer was controversially arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison for "coaching his client to make false claims of torture" and in July 2010, another lawyer released videotapes of his client describing the torture in detail.[27]

On 14 November 2011, British citizen Neil Heywood was found dead in his Chongqing hotel room, while he was staying at the Nanshan Lijing Holiday Hotel, a popular secluded three-star resort in the city.[28] At the time, local authorities declared he had died from alcohol over-consumption, though his family noted that he was not a heavy drinker. The official cause of death was not scrutinized until several months later, when revelations emerged that Heywood’s death was a homicide, and Bo Xilai was implicated. Heywood served as an intermediary linking western companies to powerful Chinese politicians.[29] He was a long-time associate of the Bo family: he reportedly shared a close personal relationship with Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, and had helped the couple’s son earn admission to the Harrow School in England.[30] Heywood also allegedly served as a middleman for the family, helping them clandestinely move large sums of money overseas.[31] In October 2011, Heywood reportedly had a business dispute with Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, when he demanded a higher commission for his services. The dispute escalated, with Heywood ultimately threatening to reveal the family’s business dealings and overseas assets, estimated to total in excess of $136 million.[32][33] Heywood was then allegedly poisoned by Gu and an assistant.[34]

Then, on 6 February 2012, apparently fearing for his life, Wang Lijun traveled to the U.S. consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu, bringing evidence implicating Bo and his family in the Neil Heywood murder. According to reports, Wang sought and was denied asylum in the United States. Wang was privy to details of Neil Heywood's death, and had reportedly attempted to voice his concerns to Bo about alleged poisoning. Around 16 January, Wang is believed to have confronted Bo over evidence that implicated Bo's wife in the murder. Although Bo initially agreed to allow an inquiry, he then changed course and sought to obstruct investigations.

On 15 March 2012, Bo was dismissed as Chongqing party chief and its related municipal posts, while temporarily retaining a seat on the Politburo. Due to the potentially destructive effects Bo's dismissal would have on party unity, party elders were consulted on the matter.[35] The decision was reportedly made at a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee on 7 March, during which security tsar Zhou Yongkang cast a lone dissenting vote.[35] On 14 March, Bo was reprimanded by Premier Wen Jiabao during the Premier's annual press conference.[36][37] On 10 April, Bo was suspended from the party's Central Committee and its Politburo, pending investigation for "serious disciplinary violations." Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was now a prime suspect in the inquiry into the death of Neil Heywood.[38] The announcements, carrying criminal implications, likely marked the end of Bo's political career.[39]


Physical geography and topography

Geographic coordinates 
Latitude 28° 10' to 32° 13' N, Longitude 105° 17' to 110° 11' E.
Neighbouring provinces 
Hubei (east), Hunan (southeast), Guizhou (south), Sichuan (west), Shaanxi (north)

Chongqing is situated at the transitional area between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the plain on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in the sub-tropical climate zone often swept by moist monsoons. It often rains at night in late spring and early summer, and thus the city is famous for its "night rain in the Ba Mountains". The municipality reaches a maximum width of 470 kilometres (290 mi) from east to west, and a maximum length of 450 km (280 mi) from north to south.[40] It borders the following provinces: Hubei in the east, Hunan in the southeast, Guizhou in the south, Sichuan in the west and northwest, and Shaanxi to the north in its northeast corner.

Chongqing covers a large area crisscrossed by rivers and mountains. The Daba Mountains stand in the north, the Wu Mountains in the east, the Wuling Mountains in the southeast, and the Dalou Mountains in the south. The whole area slopes down from north and south towards the Yangtze River valley, with sharp rises and falls. The area is featured by mountain and hills, with large sloping areas at different heights.[41] Typical karst landscape is common in this area, and stone forests, numerous collections of peaks, limestone caves and valleys can be found in many places. The Yangtze River runs through the whole area from west to east, covering a course of 665 km (413 mi), cutting through the Wu Mountains at three places and forming the well-known Three Gorges: the Qutang, the Wuxia and the Xiling gorges.[42] Coming from northwest and running through "the Jialing Lesser Three Gorges" of Libi, Wentang and Guanyin, the Jialing River joins the Yangtze in Chongqing.[43]

The central urban area of Chongqing, or Chongqing proper, is a city with its unique features. Built on mountains and partially surrounded by the Yangtze and Jialing rivers, it is known as a "mountain city" and a "city on rivers".[44] The night scene of the city is very illuminated, with millions of lights and their reflection on the rivers. With its special topographical features, Chongqing has the unique scenery of mountains, rivers, forests, springs, waterfalls, gorges, and caves. Li Bai, a famous poet of the Tang Dynasty, was inspired by the natural scenery and wrote this epigram.[45]

Li Bai's Poem Of Chongqing

Leaving at dawn the White Emperor crowned with cloud,
I've sailed a thousand li through canyons in a day.
With the monkeys' adieus the riverbanks are loud,
My skiff has left ten thousand mountains far away.


All climatic data listed below comes from the central parts of the city.

Annual average 
18.24 °C (64.8 °F) [46]
January average 
7.8 °C (46.0 °F) [46]
August average 
28.5 °C (83.3 °F) [46]
Historical Temperature range 
−3.0 to 44.0 °C (27 to 111 °F) [47]
Total annual hours of sunshine 
Annual precipitation 
1,104 millimetres (43.5 in)
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Chongqing has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), and for most of the year experiences very humid conditions. Known as one of the "Three Furnaces" of the Yangtze River, along with Wuhan and Nanjing, its summers are long and among the hottest and most humid in China, with highs of 33 to 34 °C (91 to 93 °F) in July and August in the urban area. Winters are short and somewhat mild, but damp and overcast. The city's location in the Sichuan Basin causes it to have one of the lowest annual sunshine totals nationally, at only 1,055 hours, lower than much of Northern Europe.

Chongqing, with over 100 days of fog per year,[48] is also known as the "Fog City" (雾都), and a thick layer of fog shrouds it for 68 days per year during the spring and autumn.[49] During the Second Sino-Japanese War, this special weather possibly played a role in protecting the city from being overrun by the Imperial Japanese Army. In recent years, the strong industrial development has degraded the air quality further, and the municipal government has been aggressively trying to improve the city's air quality. The so-called "blue sky days" (days with air quality within or better than slight pollution) number have been on the rise.

As exemplified by Youyang County below, conditions are often cooler in the southeast part of the municipality due to the higher elevations there.

Administrative divisions

Chongqing is the largest of the four direct-controlled municipalities of the People's Republic of China. The municipality is divided into 38 subdivisions (3 were abolished in 1997, and Wansheng and Shuangqiao districts were abolished in October 2011[50]), consisting of 19 districts, 15 counties, and 4 autonomous counties. The boundaries of Chongqing municipality reach much farther into the city's hinterland than the boundaries of the other three provincial level municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and much of its administrative area, which spans over 80,000 square kilometres (30,900 sq mi), is rural.

Pinyin name Hanzi Previous
Banan 巴南区 Chongqing
Beibei 北碚区
Changshou 长寿区
Dadukou 大渡口区
Fuling 涪陵区 Fuling
Hechuan 合川区 Chongqing
Jiangbei 江北区
Jiangjin 江津区
Jiulongpo 九龙坡区
Nan'an 南岸区
Nanchuan 南川区 Fuling
Qianjiang 黔江区 Qianjiang
Shapingba 沙坪坝区 Chongqing
Dazu 大足区
Qijiang 綦江区
Wanzhou 万州区 Wanxian
Yubei 渝北区 Chongqing
Yongchuan 永川区
Yuzhong 渝中区
Pinyin name Hanzi Previous
Bishan 璧山县 Chongqing
Chengkou 城口县 Wanxian
Dianjiang 垫江县 Fuling
Fengdu 丰都县
Fengjie 奉节县 Wanxian
Kai 开县
Liangping 梁平县
Rongchang 荣昌县 Chongqing
Tongliang 铜梁县
Tongnan 潼南县
Wulong 武隆县 Fuling
Wushan 巫山县 Wanxian
Wuxi 巫溪县
Yunyang 云阳县
Zhong 忠县
Autonomous counties
Pinyin name Hanzi Previous
Pengshui Miao and Tujia 彭水苗族土家族自治县 Qianjiang
Shizhu Tujia 石柱土家族自治县
Xiushan Tujia and Miao 秀山土家族苗族自治县
Youyang Tujia and Miao 酉阳土家族苗族自治县

a Indicates with which district the division was associated below prior to the merging of Chongqing, Fuling, Wanxian (now Wanzhou) and Qianjiang in 1997.

The urban area of Chongqing Municipality (重庆主城区市区) includes the following districts:[51]


Panorama of the Chongqing Skyline, taken from the southeast hills in 2010


According to a July 2010 article from the official Xinhua news agency, the municipality has a population of 32.8 million, including 23.3 million farmers. Among them, 8.4 million farmers have become migrant workers, including 3.9 million working and living in urban areas of Chongqing.[52]

This would mean that the locally registered farmers who work in other jurisdictions number 4.5 million, reducing the local, year-round population of Chongqing in 2010 to 28.3 million, plus those who are registered in other jurisdictions but live and work in Chongqing. According to China's 2005 statistical yearbook, of a total population of 30.55 million, those with residence registered in other jurisdictions but residing in the Chongqing enumeration area numbered 1.4 million, including 46,000 who resided in Chongqing "for less than half year". An additional 83,000 had registered in Chongqing, but not yet settled there.[53]

The 2005 statistical yearbook also lists 15.22 million (49.82%) males and 15.33 million (50.18%) females.[53]

In terms of age distribution in 2004, of the 30.55 million total population, 6.4 million (20.88%) were age 0–14, 20.7 million (67.69%) were 15–64, and 3.5 million (11.46%) were 65 and over.[54]

Of a total 10,470,000 households (2004), 1,360,000 consisted of one person, 2,940,000 two-person, 3,190,000 three-person, 1,790,000 four-person, 783,000 five-person, 270,000 six-person, 89,000 seven-person, 28,000 eight-person, 6,000 nine-person, and 10,000 households of 10 or more persons per household.[55]

Politics and military

Main articles: Politics of Chongqing and List of provincial leaders of the People's Republic of China

The politics of Chongqing is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in the People's Republic of China. The Mayor of Chongqing is the highest-ranking official in the People's Government of Chongqing. Since Chongqing is a centrally administered municipality, the mayor occupies the same level in the order of precedence as provincial governors. However, in the city's dual party-government governing system, the mayor has less power than the Chongqing Communist Party of China Municipal Committee Secretary, colloquially termed the "Chongqing CPC Party Chief".[56]

Chongqing also has the distinction of having been the wartime capital of China during the Second Sino-Japanese war, and, for a brief period, being the seat of administration for the Republic of China government before its departure to Taiwan.[57]

Chongqing is headquarters of the 13th Group Army of the People's Liberation Army, one of the two group armies that comprise the Chengdu Military Region responsible for the defence of China's southwestern borders with India and Myanmar, as well as security in Tibet.[58]


Chongqing was separated from Sichuan province and made into a municipality in its own right in March 1997[59] in order to accelerate its development and subsequently China's relatively poorer western areas (see China Western Development strategy).[60] An important industrial area in western China,[61] Chongqing is also rapidly urbanising. For instance, statistics[62] suggest that new construction added approximately 137,000 square metres (1.5 million square feet) daily of usable floor space to satisfy demands for residential, commercial and factory space. In addition, more than 1,300 people moved into the city daily, adding almost 100 million yuan (US$15 million) to the local economy.

Traditionally, due to its geographical remoteness, Chongqing and neighbouring Sichuan have been important military bases in weapons research and development.[63] Chongqing's industries have now diversified but unlike eastern China, its export sector is small due to its inland location. Instead, factories producing local-oriented consumer goods such as processed food, cars, chemicals, textiles, machinery and electronics are common.

Chongqing is China's third largest centre for motor vehicle production and the largest for motorcycles. In 2007, it had an annual output capacity of 1 million cars and 8.6 million motorcycles.[64] Leading makers of cars and motor bikes includes China's fourth biggest automaker; Changan Automotive Corp and Lifan Hongda Enterprise, as well as Ford Motor Company, with the US car giant having 3 plants in Chongqing.[65] The municipality is also one of the nine largest iron and steel centres in China and one of the three major aluminium producers. Important manufacturers include Chongqing Iron and Steel Company and South West Aluminium which is Asia's largest aluminium plant.[66] Agriculture remains significant. Rice and fruits, especially oranges, are the area's main produce. Natural resources are also abundant with large deposits of coal, natural gas, and more than 40 kinds of minerals such as strontium and manganese,Coal reserves ≈ 4.8 billion tonnes. Chuandong Natural Gas Field is China's largest inland gas field with deposits of around 270 billion m³ - more than 1/5 of China's total. Has China's largest reserve of strontium (China has the world's 2nd biggest strontium deposit). Manganese is mined in the Xiushan area. although the mining sector has been criticised for being wasteful, heavily-polluting and unsafe.[67] Chongqing is also planned to be the site of a 10 million ton capacity refinery operated by CNPC (parent company of PetroChina) to process imported crude oil from the Sino-Burma pipelines. The pipeline itself, though not yet finished, will eventually run from Sittwe (in Myanmar's western coast) through Kunming in Yunnan province before reaching Chongqing[68] and it will provide China with fuels sourced from Myanmar, the Middle East and Africa. Recently, there has been a drive to move up the value chain by shifting towards high technology and knowledge intensive industries resulting in new development zones such as the Chongqing New North Zone (CNNZ).[69] Chongqing's local government is hoping through the promotion of favorable economic policies for the electronics and information technology sectors, that it can create a 400 billion RMB high technology manufacturing hub which will surpass its car industry and account for 25% of its exports.[70]

The city has also invested heavily in infrastructure to attract investment.[64][71] The network of roads and railways connecting Chongqing to the rest of China has been expanded and upgraded reducing logistical costs. Furthermore, the nearby Three Gorges Dam which is the world's largest, will not only supply Chongqing with power once completed but also allows ocean going ships to reach Chongqing's Yangtze River port.[72] These infrastructure improvements have led to the arrivals of numerous foreign direct investors (FDI) in industries ranging from car to finance and retailing; such as Ford,[73] Mazda,[74] HSBC,[75] Standard Chartered Bank,[76] Citibank,[77] Deutsche Bank,[78] ANZ Bank,[79] Scotiabank,[80] Wal-Mart,[81] Metro AG[82] and Carrefour,[83] among other multinational corporations.

Chongqing's nominal GDP in 2011 reached 1001.1 billion yuan (US$158.9 billion) while registering an annual growth of 16.4%. However, its overall economic performance is still lagging behind eastern coastal cities such as Shanghai. For instance, its per capita GDP was 22,909 yuan (US$3,301) which is below the national average. Nevertheless, there is a massive government support to transform Chongqing into the region's economic, trade, and financial centre and use the municipality as a platform to open up the country's western interior to further development.[84]

Chongqing has been identified by the Economist Intelligence Unit in the November 2010 Access China White Paper as a member of the CHAMPS (Chongqing, Hefei, Anshan, Maanshan, Pingdingshan and Shenyang), an economic profile of the top 20 emerging cities in China.[85]

Economic and technological development zones

The city includes a number of economic and technological development zones:

  • Chongqing Chemical Industrial Park[86]
  • Chongqing Economic & Technological Development Zone[87]
  • Chongqing Hi-Tech Industry Development Zone[88]
  • Chongqing New North Zone (CNNZ)[89]
  • Chongqing Export Processing Zone[90]
  • Jianqiao Industrial Park (located in Dadukou District)[91]
  • Liangjiang New Area[92]
  • Liangjiang Cloud Computing Center (the largest of its kind in China)[93]

Chongqing itself is part of the West Triangle Economic Zone, along with Chengdu and Xi'an.


Since its elevation to national-level municipality in 1997, the city has dramatically expanded its transportation infrastructure. With the construction of railways and expressways to the east and southeast, Chongqing is a major transportation hub in southwestern China. The municipality now has 25 bridges across the Yangtze River including half a dozen in the city's urban core.[94]

River port

Chongqing is one of the most important inland ports in China. There are numerous luxury cruise ships that terminate at Chongqing, cruising downstream along the Yangtze River to Yichang, Wuhan, Nanjing or even Shanghai.[95] In the recent past, this provided virtually the only transportation option along the river. However, improved rail, expressways and air travel have seen this ferry traffic reduce or been cancelled altogether, thus most of the river ferry traffic consists of mostly leisure cruises for tourists rather than local needs. Improved access by larger cargo vessels has been made due to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. This allows bulk transport of goods along the Yangtze River. Coal, raw minerals and containerized goods provide the majority of traffic plying this section of the river. Several port handling facilities exists throughout the city, including many impromptu river bank sites.[96]


Major train stations in Chongqing:

Chongqing Railway Station (Chongqing Zhan - Caiyuanba 重庆站), Cai Yuan Ba Li Jiao Qiao, Yuzhong (Line 1 & 3 Lianglukou Metro Station). Original station closest to the centre of Chongqing handling mostly long distance services. There are plans for a major renovation and overhaul of this station, thus many services have been transferred to Chongqing North Railway Station.

Chongqing North Railway Station (Chongqing Bei Zhan) is a newly constructed station handling many long distance services and high speed rail services to Chengdu. It is connected to Metro Line 3.

Chongqing West Railway Station (Chongqing Xi Zhan) was formerly called Shapingba Railway Station after the district that it is in. It is undergoing redevelopment. Many local and regional services stop here.

Chongqing is a major freight destination for rail with continued development with improved handling facilities. Due to subsidies and incentives, the relocation and construction of many factories in Chongqing has seen a huge increase in rail traffic.

Chongqing is a major rail hub nationally.


Traditionally, the road network in Chongqing has been narrow, winding and limited to smaller vehicles because of the natural terrain, large rivers and the huge population demands on the area, especially in the Yuzhong District. In other places, such as Jiangbei, large areas of homes and buildings have recently been cleared to improve the road network and create better urban planning. This has seen many tunnels and large bridges needing to be built across the city. Construction of many expressways have connected Chongqing to neighbouring provinces. Several ring roads have also been constructed. The natural mountainous terrain that Chongqing is built on makes many road projects difficult to construct, including for example some of the world's highest road bridges.[97]

Unlike many other Chinese cities, it is rare for motorbikes, electric scooters or bicycles to be seen on Chongqing Roads. This is due to the extremely hilly and mountainous nature of Chongqing's roads and streets. However, despite this, Chongqing is a large manufacturing centre for these types of vehicles.[98]

  • Chongqing-Chengdu Expressway
  • Chongqing-Chengdu 2nd Expressway (under construction)
  • Chongqing-Wanzhou-Yichang Highway (Wanzhou-Yichang section under construction)
  • Chongqing-Guiyang Highway
  • Chongqing-Changsha Expressway (Xiushan-Changsha section under construction)
  • Chongqing-Dazhou-Xi'a Highway (Dazhou-Xi'an section under construction)
  • Chongqing-Suining Expressway
  • Chongqing-Nanchong Expressway
  • China National Highway 210
  • China National Highway 212


Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (Simplified Chinese: 重庆江北国际机场, Traditional Chinese: 重慶江北國際機場, Pinyin: Chóngqìng Jiāngběi Guójì Jīchǎng) (IATA: CKG, ICAO: ZUCK) is an airport located in the Yubei District of Chongqing, People's Republic of China offering a growing network of direct flights to China, South East Asia, the Middle East and Europe. It is located 21 km (13 mi) north of the city-centre of Chongqing and serves as an important aviation hub for south-western China.[99] Jiangbei airport is a hub for China Southern Airlines, Chongqing Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Hainan Airlines's new China West Air. Chongqing also is a focus city of Air China, therefore it is very well connected with Star Alliance and Sky Team's international network. The airport currently has two parallel runways in operation.

Currently, Jiangbei airport has two terminals: Terminal 1 (old original terminal) serving international flights; Terminal 2, larger building split into Halls A and B serving domestic flights. The first, second and third phase of the airport came into operation in January 1990, December 2004, and December 2010 respectively. The domestic terminal is capable of handling 30 million passengers while its international terminal is able to handle more than 1 million passengers annually. A third terminal is currently in the planning stage along with a third runway construction due to commence shortly.[100]

In terms of passenger traffic, Chongqing airport was the 10th busiest airport nationwide in 2010, handling 15,802,334 people. Also, the airport was the 11th busiest airport by cargo traffic and by traffic movements in China. During the first half of year 2011, Chongqing airport handled 8.87 million passengers, and surpassed Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (8.48 million) to become the 9th busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic in mainland China.[101]

Freight development has increased, especially in the export of high value electronics, such as laptop computers. It is envisaged that Chongqing can become the global leading exporter of these products by air, signs of this potential rise being the addition of cargo routes to Frankfurt,[102] Sydney, Chicago, and New York City.[103][104]

Currently, it is the only airport in central and western China which has railway (light-rail) city transportation access, (CRT Line 3) and two runways in normal use.[105]

Public transport

Main article: Chongqing Metro

The three main forms of public transport in Chongqing are CRT metro, intercity railway, and the ubiquitous bus system.

According to the Chongqing Municipal Government's ambitious plan in May 2007, Chongqing is investing 150 billion RMB over 13 years to finish a system that combines underground metro lines with light rail (heavy monorail). By 2020 this network will consist of 6 straight lines and 1 circular line; Line 1 and Line 6 are underground subway while Lines 2 and 3 are High Capacity monorail. These improvements will add 363.5 km (225.9 mi) of road and railway to the existing transportation infrastructure and 93 new train stations will be added to the 111 stations that are already in place.[106]

As of 2012, three metro lines, the 14 km (8.7 mi) long CRT Line 1, a conventional subway, and the 19 km (12 mi) long heavy monorail CRT Line 2 (through Phase II), Line 3, a new heavy monorail connects the airport and the southern part of downtown, have already opened.[107] A new subway, Line 6, is currently in trials and is expected to open later in 2012.[108]

By 2050, Chongqing was initially planning to have ten metro lines, totaling 513 km (319 mi), with 270 stations, although more recent reports have now indicated as many as 18 lines are planned to be in operation.[109]



Main article: Sichuanese Mandarin

The language native to Chongqing is Southwestern Mandarin. More precisely, the great majority of the municipality, save for Xiushan, speak Sichuanese, including the primary Chengdu-Chongqing dialect and Minjiang dialect spoken in Jiangjin and Qijiang.[110] There are also a few speakers of Xiang and Hakka in the municipality, due to the great immigration wave to the Sichuan region (湖广填四川) during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In addition, in parts of southeastern Chongqing, the Miao and Tujia languages are also used by some Miao and Tujia people.[111]


As the provisional Capital of China for almost ten years (1937 to 1945), the city was also known as one of the three headquarters of the Allies during World War II, as well as being a strategic center of many other wars throughout China's history. Chongqing has many historic war-time buildings or sites, some of which have since been destroyed. These sites include the People's Liberation Monument, located in the center of Chongqing city. It used to be the highest building in the area, but is now surrounded and dwarfed by numerous shopping centres. Originally named the Monument for the Victory over Axis Armies, it is the only building in China for that purpose.[112] Today, the monument serves as a symbol for the city. The General Joseph W. Stilwell Museum, dedicated to General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell, a World War II general,[113] the air force cemetery in the Nanshan area, in memory of those air force personnel killed during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), and the Red Rock Village Museum, a diplomatic site for the Communist Party in Chongqing led by Zhou Enlai during World War II. It is where Mao Zedong signed the "Double 10 (10 October) Peace Agreement" with the Kuomintang.[114] Other historic sites that don't involve wartime history include:

  • The Chongqing Museum, China's first underwater museum,[115]
  • Great Hall of the People (Chongqing), based on the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. This is one of the largest public assembly buildings in China which, though built in modern times, emulates traditional architectural styles. It is adjacent to the densely populated and hilly central district, with narrow streets and pedestrian only walkways,[116]
  • Renmin Hotel, a luxurious hotel near downtown Chongqing styled as an ancient palace.[117]
  • Luohan Si, a Ming Dynasty temple,[118]
  • and the former sites for embassies of major countries during the 1940s. As the capital at that time, Chongqing had many residential and other buildings for these officials.[119]

Besides the historical sites of the city and surrounding area, Chongqing also has the following attractions:

  • Wuxi County, noted as a major tourism area of Chongqing,[120]
  • The Dazu Rock Carvings, in Dazu county, are a series of Chinese religious sculptures and carvings, dating back as far as the 7th century A.D., depicting and influenced by Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist beliefs. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dazu Rock Carvings are made up of 75 protected sites containing some 50,000 statues, with over 100,000 Chinese characters forming inscriptions and epigraphs.,[121]
  • The Three Natural Bridges and Furong Cave in Wulong Karst National Geology Park, Wulong County are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the South China Karst),[122][123]
  • Ciqikou is a 1000-year-old town in the Shapingba District of Chongqing. It is also known as Little Chongqing. The town, located next to the lower reaches of the Jialing River, was at one time an important source of chinawares and used to be a busy commercial dock during the Ming and Qing Dynasties,[124]

  • Fishing Town or Fishing City, also called the “Oriental Mecca” and “the Place That Broke God's Whip”, is one of the three great ancient battlefields of China. It is noted for its resistance to the Mongol armies during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127–1279) and the location where the Mongol leader Möngke Khan died in 1259,[125]
  • Xueyu Cave in Fengdu County is the only example of a pure-white, jade-like karst cave in China,[126]
  • and the Chongqing Zoo, a zoo that exhibits many rare species including the Giant Panda, the extremely rare South China Tiger, and the African Elephant. The zoo is also on the bank of the Yangtze, and the Three Gorges are visible from the zoo.[127]


The Chongqing People's Broadcast Station is Chongqing's largest radio station.[128] The only municipal-level TV network is Chongqing TV, claimed to be the 4th largest television station in China.[129] Chongqing TV broadcasts many local-oriented channels, and can be viewed on many TV sets throughout China. The Chongqing Daily is the largest newspaper group, controlling more than 10 newspapers and one news website.[130]

Chongqing Expat Club website is an online community for Chongqing expatriates and locals to share information and make friends. It has articles, photos, maps, listings and other important information about Chongqing and is widely used by foreigners living in or coming to this city as well as locals who are interested in western languages and cultures.[131]


Chongqing food is largely a hybrid of Sichuan cuisine and local specialty dishes. Chongqing's city centre has many restaurants and food stalls where meals often cost less than RMB10. Local specialties here include dumplings and pickled vegetables and, different from many other Chinese cuisines, Chongqing dishes are suitable for the solo diner as they often served in small individual sized portions.[132] Among the delicacies and local specialties are these dishes:

  • Hot pot - Chongqing's local culinary specialty. Tables in hotpot restaurants usually have a central vat, or pot, where food ordered by the customers is boiled in a spicy broth. As well as beef, pork, lotus and other vegetables, items such as pig's kidney, brain, duck's bowels and cow's stomach are often consumed.[133]
  • Jiangtuan Fish - since Chongqing is located along Jialing River, visitors have a good opportunity to sample varieties of aquatic products. Among them, is a fish local to the region, Jiangtuan fish: Hypophthalmichthys nobilis although more commonly known as Bighead Carp.[134] The fish is often served steamed or baked.[135]
  • Pork leg cooked with rock candy - A common household dish of the Chongqing people, the finished dish, known as red in colour and tender in taste, has been described as having strong and sweet aftertaste.[136]
  • Qianzhang (Skimmed Soy Bean Cream) - Qianzhang is the cream skimmed from soy bean milk. In order to create, this several steps must be followed very carefully. First, soybeans are soaked in water, grounded, strained, boiled, restrained several times and spread over gauze until delicate, snow-white cream is formed. The paste can also be hardened, cut into slivers and seasoned with sesame oil, garlic and chili oil. Another variation is to bake and fry it with bacon, and is described as soft and sweet.[137]


Professional sports teams in Chongqing include:

Chongqing Lifan is a professional Chinese football club who currently plays in the Chinese League One Division. They are owned by the Chongqing-based Lifan Group, which manufactures motorcycles, cars and spare parts.[138] Originally called Qianwei (Vanguard) Wuhan, the club formed in 1995 to take part in the recently developed, fully professional Chinese football league system. They would quickly rise to top tier of the system and experience their greatest achievement in winning the 2000 Chinese FA Cup,[139] and coming in fourth within the league. However, since then they have struggled to replicate the same success, and have twice been relegated from the top tier.[140]

Sport venues in Chongqing include:

  • The Chongqing Olympic Sports Center is a multi-purpose stadium. It is currently used mostly for football matches, as it has a grass surface, and can hold 58,680. It was built in 2004.[141]
  • Yanghe Stadium is a multi-use stadium that is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium holds 32,000 people, and is the home of Chongqing Lifan in the Chinese Super League. The stadium was purchased by the Lifan Group in 2001 for RMB80 million and immediately replaced Datianwan Stadium as the home of Chongqing Lifan.[142]
  • Datianwan Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium that is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium has a capacity 32,000 people, and up until 2001 was the home of Chongqing Lifan.[143]


Arhat Temple is a Buddhist temple, which includes monks.[144] The Dazu Rock Carvings are religious sculptures, which present a World Heritage Site.[145] A large Buddha sculpture is outside Shuangjiang. Laitan has a Buddha Temple. Though the Christian population is small, a Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chongqing exists.[146]


Colleges and universities

Middle and high schools

International schools

  • Yew Chung International School of Chongqing (重庆耀中国际学校) [147]
  • QSI International School of Chongqing (重庆科爱赛国际学校) [148]

International relations


Consulate Date Consular District
 Canadian Consulate, Chongqing[149] 05.1998 Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan
 British Consulate-General, Chongqing[149] 03.2000 Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan
 Cambodian Consulate-General, Chongqing[149] 12.2004 Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi
 Japanese Consulate-General, Chongqing[149] 01.2005 Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan
 Danish Consulate, Chongqing[149] 07.2005 Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan
 Filipino Consulate-General, Chongqing[149] 12.2008 Chongqing, Guizhou, Yunnan
 Hungarian Consulate-General, Chongqing[149] 02.2010 Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Gansu
 Ethiopian Consulate-General, Chongqing[149] 11.2011 Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan
 Italian Consulate-General, Chongqing[150] 2013 Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan
 Netherlands Consulate-General, Chongqing[150] 2013 Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan

Twin towns and regions

Chongqing is twinned with:




North America


  • Australia Brisbane, Australia[166]

South America

See also

  • List of cities in the People's Republic of China by population




External links

  • Chongqing Municipal Government website
Preceded by
Capital of China
Succeeded by
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