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Location of Zhenjiang City (yellow) in Jiangsu
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|• Mayor||Yang Xingshi (杨省世)|
|• Prefecture-level city||3,799 km2 (1,467 sq mi)|
|• Urban||1,059 km2 (409 sq mi)|
|Population (2010 census)|
|• Prefecture-level city||3,113,384|
|Time zone||China Standard (UTC+8)|
|Postal code||212000, 212100
|GDP||¥167.2 billion (2009)|
|GDP per capita||¥54,732 (2009)|
|Major Nationalities||Han - 99.43%
|License Plate Prefix||苏L|
Zhenjiang (Chinese Postal Map Romanisation: Chenkiang; simplified Chinese: 镇江; traditional Chinese: 鎮江; pinyin: Zhènjiāng; Wade–Giles: Chen-chiang) is a prefecture-level city in the southwest of Jiangsu province in the eastern People's Republic of China (PRC). Sitting on the southern bank of the Yangtze River, it borders the provincial capital of Nanjing to the west, Changzhou to the east, and Yangzhou across the river to the north.
Once known as Jingjiang (Chinese: 京江; Chinese Postal Map Romanisation: Chingkiang) or Jingkou (Chinese: 京口; Chinese Postal Map Romanisation: Chingkow), Zhenjiang is today an important transportation hub, owing to its location near the intersection of the Yangtze River and the Grand Canal.
Zhenjiang was the seat of feudal domains from the 8th century BC onwards, known first as Zhufangyi and later as Kuyangyi. After it was captured by Qin Shi Huang, the first Chinese emperor, in 221 BC, it became a county town and was given the name Dantu. It became the seat of a higher administrative division during the middle of the 3rd Century BC. Conquered by the Sui dynasty in 581 AD, it was made a garrison to guard the entrance to the Yangtze River, hence its name which means "Garrison [of the] River". In 595 it became a full county or jun (郡). Its importance grew with the building of a precursor to the Grand Canal, when it became the chief collection and forwarding center for tax grain paid by residents of the Yangtse delta region.
The city reached its zenith under the Song dynasty (960-1279), when it produced fine silks, satins, and silverware for the emperors. In a garden estate on the outskirts of Zhenjiang, the scientist and statesman Shen Kuo (1031-1095 AD) lived the rest of his days in isolation, where he wrote his famous Dream Pool Essays (1088). In about 1300, a census reported that some Nestorian Christians were living in Zhenjiang.
Zhenjiang suffered from strife during the First Opium War (1839–42) when it was captured by the British at the Battle of Chinkiang on 21 July 1842, and again during the Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864). Zhenjiang declined economically with the closure of the northern portion of the Grand Canal in the 1850s, and the obstruction of the entrance to the southern canal in the 20th century.
From 1928 to 1949, during the Nationalist (Guomindang) regime of Chiang Kaishek, Zhenjiang was made the capital of Jiangsu Province, while Nanjing (the present-day capital of Jiangsu) served as the capital of China.
Zhenjiang is still one of China's busiest ports for domestic commerce, serving as a hub for trade between northern Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, and Shanghai. The trade mostly consists of grain, cotton, oils, and lumber. The other main industries are mostly in the field of food processing and paper pulp manufacturing. It is famous among Chinese for its heroic resistance against the British (in 1842) and the Japanese (in the Second World War).
Culture and folklore
In a park on the edge of Zhenjiang there is a spring which was described in the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) as being the best in Jiangsu for the making of tea, now famous as "Number One Lifespring Under Heaven".
The hilly scenery in Zhenjiang's southern suburbs was considered beautiful enough to be the theme of many landscapes by Chinese painters.
Near the Zhenjiang Museum in Boxian Park is the Shaozong Library, which among other documents contains a 100-volume collection of old sayings and proverbs, dating from the 7th to 11th centuries.
Zhenjiang is home to the Silkworm Raising Research Institute of the Academy of Agricultural Science of China.
A local specialty is a steamed meat pastry called Crab Cream Bun. Other famous special products include fragrant black vinegar (鎮江香醋), Chinkiang pork (镇江肴肉), and pickles.
Because of its strategic location on the Yangtze River, Shi Huangdi, the first Emperor of China, believed that the power of fengshui in Zhenjiang was too strong, so he ordered 3,000 prisoners to dig a tunnel through a hill to divert the power away.
In the traditional Chinese story Madame White Snake, a magical, 1000-year-old snake who could take the form of a woman escapes through a cave in Gold Hill (金山, Jinshan), to be reunited with her lover in the far-away city of Hangzhou.
|Map||Subdivision||Hanzi||Pinyin||Population (2010)||Area (km2)||Density|
|Jingkou District||京口区||Jīngkǒu Qū||601,671||115||5,231.92|
|Runzhou District||润州区||Rùnzhōu Qū||296,453||133||2,228.96|
|Dantu District||丹徒区||Dāntú Qū||302,276||749||403.57|
|Satellite cities (County-level cities)|
- Zhenjiang Railway Station on the Jinghu railway and Shanghai-Nanjing Intercity Railway.
- Zhenjiang South Railway Station on the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway.
- China National Highway 312
Zhenjiang Export Processing Zone was approved by the State Council on March 10, 2003 with a total planned area of 2.53 square kilometres (0.98 square miles). The first-phrase project completed in December 2003 covers 0.91 square kilometres (0.35 square miles) and was certified by the Customs General Administration and other seven ministries for operation on Dec.24, 2003. Zhenjiang Export Processing Zone is located close to Changzhou Airport and Zhenjiang Port.
- Liu E (1848–1909), late Qing Dynasty writer
- Pearl S. Buck (1892–1973), Nobel Prize-winning author of The Good Earth and other novels about China, lived in Zhenjiang with her missionary parents until the age of 18. Her parents' home is preserved on the grounds of a semiconductor factory in Zhenjiang; nearby is Zhengiang Number 2 Middle School at which she studied and taught.
- Li Lanqing (born 1932), former vice premier of China.
- Shen Kuo (1031–1095), Song Dynasty Scientist.
- Hudson Taylor (1832–1905) Missionary, Buried in Zhenjiang, formerly known as Chen-Chiang
- Wei Wei (born 1922), film actress
- Si Guo 思果 (real name Tsai Zhuotang 蔡濯堂 1918-2004), English name Frederick Tsai, renowned essayist & translator,was a native of Zhenjiang. He came to Hong Kong in the late 1940s and worked as an editor at various organizations, including the Catholic weekly Kung Kao Po and the Chinese edition of Reader's Digest. A devout Catholic, he also served as Professor of Chinese at the Holy Spirit Seminary. After migrating to the United States in 1971, he made frequent and long visits to Hong Kong and continued to publish locally. His body of work includes over 20 collections of essays, and close to a dozen translations of books from English to Chinese. For his work as an essayist, he won the 1979 award for outstanding academic and literary publications from the Chungshan Cultural Foundation of Taiwan. His highly praised Chinese translation of David Copperfield was finished at the Chinese University of Hong Kong where he was a Visiting Fellow in the late 1970s, and was awarded the prestigious Translation Award by the Cultural Promotion Foundation of the Taiwanese government in 1996. His series of books written on the art of translation are studied by students of translation, and often adopted as text books by the universities. Si Guo is remembered and beloved as one of China's best modern essayists. His most popular works include Kan Hua Ji [看花集] (1976), Lin Ju Bi Hua [林居筆話] (1979) and Xiang Gang Zhi Qiuo[香港之秋] (1980).
Twin towns – Sister cities
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zhenjiang.|
- Government website of Zhenjiang (available in Chinese and English)