Zhongshan or Chung Shan (Chinese: 中山路) is a common name of Chinese roads, usually in honour of Sun Yat-sen, better-known in Chinese as "Sun Zhongshan", who is considered by many to be the "Father of modern China".
In Chinese cities, Zhongshan Road is often one of the city's principal roads. As a result, the road is often very long and divided into numbered sections. In Guangzhou, the Zhongshan Road is separated into eight sections, identified as the First Zhongshan Road to the Eighth Zhongshan Road. In Shanghai, Zhongshan Road stretches around the whole city, the road is divided into numerous sections, identified by a direction and a number, such as the East-1 Zhongshan Road.
Sun Yat-sen, a leader of the republican revolution of the early 20th century, was remembered in China with fervour after his death in 1925, and especially after his Kuomintang party re-unified China in 1928. As a result, numerous monuments were erected in his honour throughout China, and a large number of streets, parks and schools, and even his birth city (Zhongshan, Guangdong) were renamed in his honour.
When the Republic of China government took over Taiwan at the end of World War II, the practice of naming streets and parks after Sun, and erecting monuments in his honour, spread to the island as well.
Between 1928 and 1949, in a move designed to parallel the adulation of Sun, a number of roads and institutions were named "Zhongzheng", after Chiang Kai-shek, also known as "Jiang Zhongzheng", who saw himself as the successor to Sun.
In 1949, the People's Republic of China led by the Communist Party of China took control in mainland China. Over the following years, streets and institutions named "Zhongzheng" were renamed, but Zhongshan Roads were not renamed, and survived "revolutionary" name changes in the Cultural Revolution. A conventional practice developed where no streets would be named after a political leader, except for Sun Yat-sen. In mainland China today, Sun Yat-sen remains the only modern politician commemorated in road names: no Communist leader, such as Mao Zedong or Deng Xiaoping, shares this privilege.
In Taiwan, Zhongshan Roads are as ubiquitous, if not more, compared to mainland China. In recent years, the administrative merging of neighbouring towns have sometimes resulted in duplicate Zhongshan Roads within the same locality, and as a result some such roads have been renamed.
List of Zhongshan Roads
- Zhongshan road in Nanjing was a ceremonial avenue built for the purpose of conveying Sun Yat-sen' funeral procession to the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum outside the city. It connects the Zhongshan port and the Zhongshan Gate. In 1933, the road was separated into North Zhongshan Road, Zhongshan Road and East Zhongshan Road. After the Chinese Civil War, Zhongzheng Road (named after Chiang Kai-shek), which was connected to the Zhongshan road, was renamed to South Zhongshan road.
- Zhongshan Road in Shanghai is the road marking the boundary of the traditional urban area, and forms an incomplete circle (the Huangpu River serves as part of the boundary). This road was built in the 1930s. The goals of building this road were to prevent the expansion of the foreigner concessions in Shanghai (i.e. the Shanghai International Settlement and French Concession in Shanghai) and to connect the three Chinese urban areas, Nanshi, Zhabei, and Jiangwan together. The Bund is today a section of the Zhongshan Road.
- In Guangzhou, the Zhongshan Road is separated into eight sections, identified as the First Zhongshan Road to the Eighth Zhongshan Road. There is another, separate, Zhongshan Avenue, which was an expressway built in 1928.
- Zhongshan Road is the main shopping street in Xiamen, and leads to the main ferry terminals.
- Zhongshan Road is a major arterial in Taipei.
- In Shenyang, the Zhongshan Road, built in early 1930s, is also a main road in the city center, not far from Shenyang Railway Station.
- The Zhongshan Roads of Zhonghe District (formerly Zhonghe City) and Yonghe District (formerly Yonghe City) in Taiwan are connected.
- Formerly, Zhongshan Road in Beijing was the name of the short street at the northern end of Tiananmen Square, running from West Chang'an Gate, across the front of the Tiananmen gate, to East Chang'an Gate. After the reconstruction of the Square, the road became a section of Chang'an Avenue.
- Zhongshan Road in Hangzhou is the major arterial running north-south through the city. Originally called the Imperial Street during the southern Song dynasty, the road was renamed after Sun Yat-sen during the Republican era.
Roads named after other names of Sun Yat-sen
Two roads in Macau SAR were built in the name of Sun Yat-sen, in honour of Sun, who had set foot and lived in Macau. One road is called Avenida Dr. Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙大馬路), located at the southern part of Macau Peninsula. The other road has the same name Avenida Dr. Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙博士大馬路), located at Taipa Island. While the official Portuguese name of the two roads are the same, the Chinese translations are different. There is also a traffic roundabout, called Rotunda Dr. Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙博士圓形地) joins two sections of the Avenida Dr. Sun Yat-sen (Taipa) as well as the Avenida de Guimarães (基馬拉斯大馬路).
Yixian (逸仙), another name of Sun Yat-sen equivalent to the common English version of "Yat-sen", is also a popular road name. In Shanghai, Yixian Road connects the Inner and Outer Ringroad expressays.
Literal meaning of characters
The literal meaning of the characters Zhong and shan are "Central/Middle" and "Mountain"; the name was adopted by Sun Yat-sen while in Japan in the early 1900s. For more information on the names of Sun Yat-sen, see Names of Sun Yat-sen.