Chongming County

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Chongming County
Nanmen Port in Chengqiao, the county seat and largest town on Chongming.
Nanmen Port in Chengqiao, the county seat and largest town on Chongming.
Location within Shanghai(Note that this map does not display either Haiyong or Qilong)
Location within Shanghai
(Note that this map does not display either Haiyong or Qilong)
Coordinates: 31°40′N 121°30′E / 31.667°N 121.500°E / 31.667; 121.500Coordinates: 31°40′N 121°30′E / 31.667°N 121.500°E / 31.667; 121.500
Country People's Republic of China
Municipality Shanghai
 • Total 1,411 km2 (545 sq mi)
 • Total 704,000
 • Density 500/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 202100
Area code 021

About this sound Chongming , formerly romanized as Tsungming, is the only county in the provincial-level municipality of Shanghai in China. The county consists of three low-lying inhabited alluvial islands at the mouth of the Yangtze north of the Shanghai peninsula: Chongming, Changxing, and Hengsha. Following its massive expansion in the 20th century, Chongming is now the 2nd-largest island administered by the People's Republic of China and the 3rd-largest in Greater China, after Taiwan and Hainan. The county does not, however, administer all of the Chongming: owing to its continual expansion from sediment deposited by the Yangtze, it has merged with formerly separate islands and now includes Jiangsu province's pene-exclave townships of Haiyong and Qilong. The county proper covers an area of 1,411 kilometers (877 mi) and had a population of 704 000 at the time of the 2010 Chinese census.

The county was established in 1396, the second year of the Ming dynasty's Hongwu Emperor. The islands' continuing designation as Shanghai's only county (as opposed to the other districts) marks them as the most rural area of the municipality, to which they were long connected only by ferry service. With the completion of the Yangtze and Chongqi Bridges, it is now connected to both Shanghai and southeastern Jiangsu province along the Hushan Expressway. Further development is now proceeding according to an urban and agricultural master-plan led by Philip Enquist of SOM, although ambitious plans for an ecocity named Dongtan have been shelved since the 2006 ouster of mayor Chen Liangyu and other neighborhoods have swelled with immigration from people relocated from central China following the completion of the Three Gorges Dam.

Chongming County
Traditional Chinese 崇明縣
Simplified Chinese 崇明县
Postal Map Tsungming County


Present-day Chongming first developed as two separate shoalsXisha and Dongsha—during the Wude Era (AD 618–626) of the Tang dynasty. By the first year of Shenlong (705), a town was established on Xisha which was known as "Chongming".[1] The number, size, and shapes of the islands fluctuated repeatedly over time and with the floods of the Yangtze River.[2] In the 15th year of Jiading (1222) under the Southern Song, the islands were part of Tongzhou Prefecture.[1] These early settlers were mostly fishermen and salt collectors,[3] with its principal saltern at Tianci. In the 14th year of Zhiyuan (1277) under Kublai Khan of the Yuan, Chongming Prefecture was organized within Yangzhou.[1] Owing to the shifting sands of the islands, however, the county seat needed to be repeatedly moved.[2]

During the late Yuan and early Ming, the sparsely-inhabited shoals of the area began to fill with migrants from Pudong and other areas of Songjiang Prefecture. These immigrants introduced cotton cultivation, which spread widely prior to China's opening to international trade in the later Qing. There was small-scale textile production in the area, but most was exported for use in Songjiang, Hangzhou, and other more developed areas of Jiangnan.[3] In the 2nd year of Hongwu (1396) under the Ming, the prefecture was elevated to a county[1] but, shortly afterwards, a major subsidence provoked a mass emigration back to the mainland.[3] This county was later placed in Suzhou and then Taicang Prefectures.[1] The unification of over 30 shoals in 1681 was effectively the creation of the present-day Chongming, although it remained much smaller at the time.[2]

Under the Republic, the county was organized first under the Nantong and then the Songjiang Special Administration District. Nine years after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, it was placed under the municipality of Shanghai in December 1958.[1] Reclamation, particularly large-scale work on the island's northern and eastern tidal flats in the 1960s and ’90s, doubled the size of Chongming between 1950 and 2010.[2] Dongtan was a proposed ecocity which was planned to open along with the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai but stalled following the 2006 ouster of Shanghai mayor Chen Liangyu.[4][5]


Dongping National Forest Park is located in the county, as are the Dongtan Nature Reserve, the Chongxi Wetland Park,[2] and the Chongming National Geological Park.[1]


The seat and largest settlement of Chongming County is the town of Chengqiao (城桥镇) on Chongming. There are 227 communities and villages in the county,[1] administered as 16 towns and 2 townships.

Changxing Island is administered as a single town, also named Changxing. Other town-level divisions of Chongming include (from northwest to southeast): Xinhai (新海镇), Lühua (绿华镇), Sanxing (三星镇), Miaozhen (庙镇), Dongping (东平镇), Gangxi (港西镇), Jianshe (建设镇), Xinhe (新河镇), Shuxin (竖新镇), Gangyan (港沿镇), Buzhen (堡镇镇), Xianghua (向化镇), Zhongxing (中兴镇), and Chenjia (陈家镇).[6]

Hengsha Island is administered as a single township, also named Hengsha. The other township-level division of Chongming is the new village of Xincun (新村乡) in the northernmost corner of Chongming. To its southeast along the northern shore is the township of Haiyong; southeast of Haimen is Qilong. Both of these are pene-exclaves of Jiangsu; they are administered from Haimen and Qidong, respectively.


Whereas the county was previously only connected to the mainland by ferry service, the Shanghai Yangtze River Tunnel now connects Changxing Island with Pudong in Shanghai, while the Shanghai Yangtze Bridge connects it with Chongming Island. Chongming is presently connected with Jiangsu by the Chongqi Bridge and these three bridges and tunnels form part of the Hushan Expressway connecting northern Shanghai with Xi'an in central China. The Chonghai Bridge connecting western Chongming with Haimen in Jiangsu is under construction.

Hengsha Island is connected via ferry. 18 ferries continue to operate in the county. On Chongming, Chengqiao's Nanmen Port offers service to Shidongkou and Baoyang Rd in Baoshan and to Liuhegang in southern Jiangsu; Xinhai's Niupeng Harbor to Qinglonggang in Haimen;[7] and other ports offer connections with Wusong and the two other islands of the county.[1]

The major arteries running along the length of Chongming Island are the Beiyan Highway on the north side and Chenhai Highway on the south. Another 38 highways cross the island. The main artery along the length of Changxing Island is the Panyuan Highway, while Fengle Road runs north and south across central Hengsha Island. There are 41 bus lines in Chongming County, connecting over 98% of its 227 communities.[1]


The Tour of Chongming Island International Cycling Race has been held on Chongming Island since 2007. It is held annually and includes a stage race and an UCI Women's Road World Cup race for elite women's.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Chongming County" in the Encyclopedia of Shanghai, pp. 50 ff. Shanghai Scientific & Technical Publishers (Shanghai), 2010. Hosted by the Municipality of Shanghai.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Chongming Island" in the Encyclopedia of Shanghai, p. 52.
  3. ^ a b c Walker, Kathy Le Mons. "The View from the Periphery: Tongzhou and the Northern Delta" in Chinese Modernity and the Peasant Path: Semicolonialism in the Northern Yangzi Delta, pp. 52 ff. Stanford University Press (Stanford), 1999.
  4. ^ Montlake, Simon. "In China, Overambition Reins in Eco-City Plans" in the Christian Science Monitor. 23 Dec 2008. Accessed 10 Jan 2015.
  5. ^ Fox, Jesse. "Dongtan, China's Flagship Ecocity Project, R.I.P." Treehugger, 5 Jan 2009. Accessed 10 Jan 2015.
  6. ^ 崇明县概况地图 [Overview and map of Chongming County]. XZQH (in Chinese). Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Shanghai Chongming Industrial Zone". Shanghai Municipal Government, 2015.

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