Chongming Island

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Chongming
Shanghai location Chongmingdao island.svg
The position of Chongming (red) within Shanghai
(Note that this map does not display Haiyong or Qilong)
Traditional Chinese 崇明島
Simplified Chinese 崇明岛
Literal meaning Lofty Bright Island[2]
Former islands
Xisha
Chinese 西沙
Literal meaning Western Sands
Dongsha
Traditional Chinese 東沙
Simplified Chinese 东沙
Literal meaning Eastern Sands
Gujunsha
Traditional Chinese 顧俊沙
Simplified Chinese 顾俊沙
Yaoliusha
Traditional Chinese 姚劉沙
Simplified Chinese 姚刘沙
Literal meaning YaoLiu Sands
Sansha
Chinese 三沙
Yingqiansha
Traditional Chinese 營前沙
Simplified Chinese 营前沙
Matuosha
Traditional Chinese 馬馱沙
Simplified Chinese 马驮沙
Literal meaning Saddlebag Sands
Zhangpusha
Traditional Chinese 張蒲沙
Simplified Chinese 张蒲沙
Ma'ansha
Traditional Chinese 馬鞍沙
Simplified Chinese 马鞍沙
Literal meaning Saddle Sands
Chen'ensha
Traditional Chinese 陳恩沙
Simplified Chinese 陈恩沙
Gaomingsha
Chinese 高明沙
Literal meaning High & Bright Sands
Xiaoyinsha
Traditional Chinese 小陰沙
Simplified Chinese 小阴沙
Literal meaning Little Shady Sands
Changsha
Traditional Chinese 長沙
Simplified Chinese 长沙
Literal meaning Long Sands
Yuanjiasha
Chinese 袁家沙
Literal meaning Yuan Family Sands
Xiangsha
Traditional Chinese 響沙
Simplified Chinese 响沙
Gaotousha
Traditional Chinese 高頭沙
Simplified Chinese 高头沙
Fanliansha
Chinese 樊濂沙
Pingyangsha
Chinese 平洋沙
Literal meaning Peaceful Ocean Sands
Wujiasha
Traditional Chinese 吳家沙
Simplified Chinese 吴家沙
Literal meaning Wu Family Sands
Nansha
Chinese 南沙
Literal meaning South Sands
Rilongsha
Chinese 日隆沙
Yongansha
Chinese 永安沙
Literal meaning Ever-Peaceful Sands
Ping'ansha
Chinese 平安沙
Literal meaning Safe Sands
Dongsansha
Traditional Chinese 東三沙
Simplified Chinese 东三沙

Chongming, formerly known as Chungming, is an alluvial island at the mouth of the Yangtze River in eastern China covering 1,267 square kilometers (489 sq mi) as of 2010. Following its growth in the 20th century, it 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. Together with the islands Changxing and Hengsha, it forms Chongming County, the northernmost area of the provincial-level municipality of Shanghai. At the time of the 2010 Chinese census, its population was 660 000.

A 20-kilometer (12 mi) stretch of the north shore of the island is not part of Chongming County or Shanghai but are instead two pene-exclaves of Jiangsu, formed by the connection of Chongming to the formerly-separate island of Yonglongsha.

Name[edit]

The island is named for Chongming, an early settlement on the island of Xisha that was named for its placement on relatively high and clear ground.[1][4]

History[edit]

Present-day Chongming first developed as two separate shoalsXisha and Dongsha—during the Wude Era (AD 618–626) of the Tang dynasty. These were initially about 70 kilometers (43 mi) apart and located south of the larger island of Dongbuzhou (t 東布洲, s 东布洲, p Dōngbùzhōu), which came to form part of the peninsula of Qidong in Jiangsu. Xisha was also known as Gujunsha. 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:[5] In the 3rd year of Tiansheng (1025), a new island arose a little to the northwest of Dongsha which became known as Yaoliusha from the surnames of its early settlers. In the first year of Jiangzhong Jingguo (1101), Sansha rose for the third time, stabilizing 50 li northwest of Yaoliusha. During the 12th- and 13th-century Yuan dynasty, Yingqiansha, Matuosha, Zhangpusha, and around six other islands also formed. The early settlers of these islands were mostly fishermen and salt collectors,[6] with their 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.[5] 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 of the cotton was exported for use in Songjiang, Hangzhou, and other more developed areas of Jiangnan.[6] In the 2nd year of Hongwu (1396) under the Ming, the prefecture was downgraded to a county[1] but, shortly afterwards, a major subsidence—sinking the entirety of Dongsha and most of Xisha—provoked a mass emigration back to the mainland.[6] Around the same time, however, Sansha expanded towards the north while Yaoliusha simultaneously eroded in the south while building up in the north, "migrating" it towards Sansha.

Chongming County was later placed in Suzhou and then Taicang Prefectures.[1] Over the course of the Ming, numerous shoals arose in succession: Ma'ansha, Chen'ensha, Gaomingsha, Xiaoyinsha, Changsha, Yuanjiasha, Xiangsha, Gaotousha, and around 20 others. Over the two hundred years from the beginning of Jiajing (1522) under the Ming to the end of Kangxi (1722) under the Qing, these shoals frequently flooded or collapsed back into the river. Yaoliusha and Sansha eroded away; Xisha, Chenensha, Fanliansha, and others sank. In the west, Pingyangsha arose, then sank, then finally merged with nearby Yuanjiasha, Wujiasha, Xiangsha, and Nansha. Around the end of the Ming dynasty in 1644, these islands were merged all the way to Gaotousha in the west, forming a single mass 200 Chinese miles east to west by 40 north to south. Their unification with remaining nearby islands by 1681 effectively created present-day Chongming, although it remained much smaller at the time.[5] Between the Shunzhi and Kangxi Eras (1644–1722), Rilongsha, Yongansha, Ping'ansha, Dongsansha, and around 25 others arose without sinking.

Under the Republic, it was organized first under the Nantong and then Songjiang Special Administration District. During the Second World War, Chongming was administered first by a separate pacification team, then as part of Shanghai's Great Way Government,[7] and finally as a county of the Japanese-allied Nationalists in Nanjing. Nine years after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, it was placed under the municipality of Shanghai in December of 1958.[1] During the Down to the Countryside Movement, many of the zhiqing from Shanghai travelled no further than Chongming.[8] Reclamation, particularly large-scale work on the island's northern and eastern tidal flats in the 1960s and ’90s, doubled the size of the island between 1950 and 2010.[5] It began to absorb the separate island of Yonglongsha—creating an enclave of Jiangsu on the northern shore of the island—in 1972.[9]

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 the Communist Party Chief Chen Liangyu.[10][11]

Geography[edit]

Chongming is about 81 kilometers (50 mi) running east and west and generally between 13 to 18 kilometers (8.1 to 11.2 mi) north to south, covering 1,267 square kilometers (489 sq mi).[5] The island has an average elevation of 1.6–2.6 meters (5 ft 3 in–8 ft 6 in) above sea level, with the northwest and central areas somewhat higher than the southwest and eastern ones.[5]

Location[edit]

Chongming is located in the Yangtze River, dividing the river into northern and southern channels immediately prior to its entrance into the East China Sea. The island forms the northernmost part of the municipality of Shanghai, separated by the Yangtze from Baoshan and Pudong New Area, which face each other across the mouth of the Huangpu. In Jiangsu, most of Haimen and Qidong are separated from Chongming by the northern channel of the Yangtze; Taicang County, meanwhile, lies across the the southern channel next to Shanghai's Baoshan District.

Enclaves[edit]

Main: Haiyong & Qilong

Owing to the continuous expansion of the island, there are two pene-exclaves of Jiangsu present on the north shore of Chongming Island. The island of Yonglongsha appeared in the north channel of the Yangtze most recently in 1937 and was stabilized and expanded by workers from Nantong in Jiangsu during the late 1960s. Administration of the island was divided between Nantong's cities of Haimen and Qidong. Farms and then townships were established in both areas. Qidong's community of Qilong was connected in 1972[9] and Haimen's Haiyong township joined separately in 1975. Haiyong is now around 9 km2 (3.5 sq mi) while Qilong now stretches along 20 kilometers (12 mi) of the north shore of the island. As it is usually only about 1.5 km (0.93 mi) wide, however, its area is only around 36.8 km2 (14.2 sq mi).

Landmarks[edit]

Under its poetic name of Yingzhou, various locales around the island were treated as its "8 views" during the Ming and Qing dynasties.[3]

Today, Dongping National Forest Park is located in the central part of the island. Dongping Forest Farm was established in 1959, opened to the public in 1989, and became a nationally-protected area in 1993. It is Shanghai's largest forest park, with artificially-planted trees covering 3.55 square kilometers (1.37 sq mi). The island is also home to the Dongtan Nature Reserve and the Chongxi Wetland Park,[5] as well as the Chongming National Geological Park.[1]

Economy[edit]

Chengqiao's 10-square-kilometer (3.9 sq mi) Chongming Industrial Zone was established in March of 1994 and promoted to municipal status in February of 1996. It lies west of the town center and north of Nanmen Port.[12]

Chongming is also a center of Shanghai's shipbuilding and maritime equipment industries, whose main base is on nearby Changxing.[1]

Culture[edit]

Chongming boasts one of Shanghai's three Confucian temples, along with Shou'an and Hanshan Temples, Mount Jin'ao, and the tomb of Tang Yicen.[1]

Annual festivals on Chongming include the Shanghai Chongming Forest Travel Festival,[13] Chongming Hairy Crab Festival, the Mingzhu Lake Cup Fishing Competition, the Qianwei Autumn Ecological and Cultural Festival, the Shanghai Fishermen Fun Festival, and the Chongming Cook Stove Painting Festival.[1] The Yu Sheng Cup,[14] a national cricket fighting tournament,[1] is held annually outside the Xilai Ranch in Lühua during the National Day holiday in early October, with a purse of 10 000 RMB.[14]

The Tour of Chongming Island is an annual elite international women's cycling race consisting of a one-day race and a stage race.

Government[edit]

Main article: Chongming County

Administratively, Chongming is divided among 15 towns and 1 township. The township of Xincun (新村乡) occupies the northernmost corner of the island. From northwest to southeast, the towns are 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), Chengqiao (城桥镇), 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).

A map of Shanghai's major arteries, including the completed Hushan and proposed Huchong Expressways to Chongming.

Infrastructure[edit]

Whereas the island was previously only connected to the mainland by ferry service, the Shanghai Yangtze Bridge and Tunnel now connects Chenjia in southeastern Chongming with Shanghai via Changxing and the Chongqi Bridge connects Chenjia to Qidong in southeastern Jiangsu. The Chonghai Bridge under construction will link Xinhai at the west end of the island with Haimen in Jiangsu, while the proposed S7 (Huchong) Expressway would connect Chengqiao directly with Baoshan across the Yangtze.

The new bridges form part of the G40 (Hushan) Expressway connecting Shanghai and Xi'an. Chongming is also spanned by another 38 highways. The two major highways of the island run along its length, Beiyan Highway to the north and Chenhai Highway to the south. There are 41 bus lines in Chongming County, accessing over 98% of its 227 communities.[1]

18 ferries still connect the island. 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;[12] and other ports offer connections with Wusong and the two other islands of the county, Changxing and Hengsha.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Chongming County" in the Encyclopedia of Shanghai, pp. 50 ff. Shanghai Scientific & Technical Publishers (Shanghai), 2010. Hosted by the Municipality of Shanghai.
  2. ^ Actually named for Chongming, an early settlement on the former island of Xisha that was named for its placement on relatively high and clear ground.[1]
  3. ^ a b Li, Jack. "Chongming Island". China Travel Depot, 17 August 2011. Accessed 18 Jan 2015.
  4. ^ Some folk etymologies trace it to chong’s more usual meaning of "worshipped" or "respected", claiming that the island's formation began with the rafts that floated downriver following Sun En's failed revolt around AD 400 against the Eastern Jin dynasty. It first took the name Suiming—"furtive and bright"—before receiving a more dignified name as it stabilized during the Tang dynasty.[3]
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Chongming Island" in the Encyclopedia of Shanghai, p. 52.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Brook, Timothy. "The Great Way Government of Shanghai" in In the Shadow of the Rising Sun: Shanghai Under Japanese Occupation, p. 159. Cambridge University Press (Cambridge), 2004.
  8. ^ Bramall, Chris. Industrialization of Rural China, p. 148. Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2007. ISBN 0199275939.
  9. ^ a b Office of Shanghai Chronicles. 岛、沙 ["Dǎo, Shā", "Islands and Shoals"]. Shanghai Municipal Government (Shanghai), 2015. Accessed 12 Jan 2015. (Chinese)
  10. ^ Montlake, Simon. "In China, Overambition Reins in Eco-City Plans" in the Christian Science Monitor. 23 Dec 2008. Accessed 10 Jan 2015.
  11. ^ Fox, Jesse. "Dongtan, China's Flagship Ecocity Project, R.I.P." Treehugger, 5 Jan 2009. Accessed 10 Jan 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Shanghai Chongming Industrial Zone". Shanghai Municipal Government, 2015.
  13. ^ Jiang Xinhua. "Chongming Festival Helps Tourists Get Back to Nature" in the Shanghai Daily. 28 Sept 2013. Accessed 10 Jan 2015.
  14. ^ a b Kaushik "Cricket Fighting Contests in China". Amusing Planet, 9 Nov 2011. Accessed 11 Jan 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°40′N 121°30′E / 31.667°N 121.500°E / 31.667; 121.500 (Chongming Island)