Just where is Chongqing?
The municipality of Chongqing, located within Sichuan province,
lies about 1,500 kilometers (more than 900 miles) from China’s
coast and comprises a city plus a vast hinterland.
China’s largest inland city, Chongqing could even
surpass Shanghai and Beijing as the nation’s biggest
city within a decade or so. (New York Times)
How large is Chongqing?
With more than 30 million people living in the entire municipality,
Chongqing has roughly the same population as all of Malaysia.
In area, it is the size of Scotland.
Does its name have any special meaning?
In written Chinese, Chongqing suggests vast tolerance and
Will the population continue to increase?
As China’s largest inland city, Chongqing could even surpass
Shanghai and Beijing as the nation’s biggest city within a
decade or so.
(New York Times)
Does Chongqing have a pollution problem?
Chongqing is rated one of the world’s ten most-polluted cities,
as measured by the level of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere.
Five other cities on this top-ten list are also in China.
How does the pollution impact the city’s skyline?
It is said that a haze hangs in the air in Chongqing even
on good days — and for much of the rest of the year, the city’s
skyline disappears at any distance.
(New York Times)
is viewed as a bustling economic hub of southwestern
China, with ever-expanding industrial parks, railroads,
bridges and highways. (Pan: Out of Mao’s Shadow)
Is the government doing anything to improve the quality
of the environment?
The authorities in Chongqing have a plan to increase the
proportion of the municipality covered by forest from 35%
to 45% by 2017 to give locals a better living environment.
How can it achieve such an ambitious goal?
One policy the authorities are pursuing to reach the 45%
target is to encourage local farmers to no longer grow grain
— but instead to develop forest farms and orchards.
How do some view Chongqing?
Chongqing is viewed as a bustling economic hub of southwestern
China, with ever-expanding industrial parks, railroads, bridges
(Pan: Out of Mao’s Shadow)
Any new major projects of late?
In early , a new railway route went into service dedicated
to transporting goods from Chongqing to the port city of Shenzhen
in southern China. It will reduce the journey time from 116
hours to 53.5 hours.
What is unique about Chongqing’s relationship with China’s
Founded in 1997, Chongqing is the only municipality directly
under the central government in western China.
the early 1980s, Chongqing was designated as one
of a handful of cities allowed to experiment with
a more liberal economic policy, which gave it a
head start on other parts of China. (Foreign Policy)
How old is it?
Chongqing has been a busy place for 3,000 years, thanks to
its location at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing
rivers in central China.
Why is Chongqing a significant city in China’s recent history?
Chongqing developed as an industrial base when it became
China’s capital during World War II — because it was too far
inland for Japanese bombers to reach.
How big was it back then?
In the 1930s, Chongqing’s population was just 200,000. Today
one can drive through Chongqing’s northern New District for
more than half an hour past high-rises of 30 to 50 stories,
where five years ago there were only fields.
Why has there been such rapid expansion?
In the early 1980s, as China began to open up its market,
Chongqing was designated as one of a handful of cities allowed
to experiment with a more liberal economic policy, which gave
it a head start on other parts of China.
What has happened to the city’s economic growth in recent
Chongqing’s economy is forecast to double in size within
the next five years. This translates into annual GDP growth
economy is forecast to double in size within the
next five years. This translates into annual GDP
growth of 15%. (Reuters)
How well-off are residents today compared to other big cities
Chongqing’s per capita income is $3,300 a year. By comparison,
Beijing’s annual per capita income is more than $10,000, while
Hong Kong’s is $44,000.
What is the foundation of Chongqing’s economy?
The economy of Chongqing is based on river transportation,
steel, smelting and the manufacture of motorcycles and automotive
(New York Times)
Chongqing is also an important production base of grain,
pork, silkworm cocoons, oranges, tangerines and leaf tobacco.
Does the region have any important natural resources?
Chongqing has one of the three largest resources of mineral
water in China. In addition, it has 38 kinds of mineral deposits.
(China Information Center)
What's one reason the city is attracting tourists?
The hilly metropolis of Chongqing is the starting point for
most tourist cruises on the Yangtze River.
(Lisagor and Hansen: Disappearing Destinations)
developed as an industrial base when it became China’s
capital during World War II — because it was too
far inland for Japanese bombers to reach. (Reuters)
Is it a pleasant place to visit?
Actually, Chongqing places toward the bottom of tourists’
must-visit lists on account of its humid, subtropical climate
rivaling central Angola’s, coupled with the pollution problems.
What social problems are threatening the city currently?
Organized criminal gangs have gained a foothold in the city,
just as they did during World War II when the city was China’s
What are the authorities doing about it?
In 2009, local authorities launched a massive crackdown on
organized gangs. By the end of 2010, police had dismantled
375 gangs and convicted 231 gang members. Fifty-seven people
had received death penalties, 13 of whom had been executed.
And finally, what is Chongqing’s best-known skyscraper called?
The New York.