White Pagoda (Baita) in Liaoyang
Location of Liaoyang City jurisdiction in Liaoning
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|Municipal seat||Baita District|
|• CPC Secretary||Wang Fengbo|
|• Mayor||Pei Weidong|
|• Prefecture-level city||4,731 km2 (1,827 sq mi)|
|• Urban||210 km2 (80 sq mi)|
|Elevation||29 m (95 ft)|
|Population (2010 census)|
|• Prefecture-level city||1,859,768|
|• Density||390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||China Standard (UTC+8)|
|Administrative division code||211000|
Liaoyang (simplified Chinese: 辽阳; traditional Chinese: 遼陽; pinyin: Liáoyáng) is a prefecture-level city of east-central Liaoning province, People's Republic of China, situated on the T'ai-tzu River and, together with Anshan, forms a metro area of 2,057,200 inhabitants in 2010. It is approximately one hour south of Shenyang, the provincial capital, by car. Liaoyang is home to Liaoning University's College of Foreign Studies and a number of vocational colleges. The city hosts a limited number of professional basketball and volleyball games in a modern sports facility.
Liaoyang is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in northeast China, dating back to before the Spring and Autumn period. During the Chinese Tang dynasty, Liaoyang was part of the northern edge of the Goguryeo kingdom. Remains of Yodong and Baegam cities, the old Goguryeo cities, can still be seen near the modern city. This was the site of a major battle between the Tang and Goguryeo in 645 AD. Goguryeo (an antecedent of modern Korea) ruled the area from the early 5th to the mid-7th century.
Liaoyang rose to prominence during the Liao dynasty. Several buildings in the city date to this period. Among these is the White Pagoda (baita), which dates back to 1189 in the Liao Dynasty with additions during the Yuan dynasty. The Liaoyang White Pagoda sits in Baita Park within Baita district in the centre of the city. Next to the park is Guangyou Temple, one of the oldest and largest temple complexes in the north east of China covering some 60,000 square metres (650,000 sq ft).
In the 17th century, the Manchu people rose up against the Ming dynasty of China. Liaoyang was one of the first Ming cities to fall and Nurhaci, the new Emperor of the Later Jin dynasty, made his capital there naming the city Dongjing in 1621. He also moved the tombs of several family members to Liaoyang and they can still be seen in Dongjingling, just east of the city. As the Manchu expanded, they again moved the capital to Shenyang in 1625. After this Dongjing faded in importance. Today, remains of the city walls can still be see and a small museum stands within the reconstructed south gate.
The year 1900 saw the Boxer Rebellion in China. Russian troops camped in Liaoyang city, burning the ancient Guangyou temple. On the August 24 September 1904, the Battle of Liaoyang took place. This was a major battle of the Russo-Japanese war.
The city was the site of widespread labor protests in March 2002 that were sparked by the bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation of the Liaoyang Ferroalloy Factory, or Liaotie. The protesters were workers from at least seven different factories, including failing textile, chemical, piston, instruments, leather, and precision tool plants. Their grievances involved local government corruption and widespread worker layoffs coupled with arrearage in employee wages, pensions and unemployment benefits. The activists demanded compensation for what they were owed, an investigation into the bankruptcy of Liaotie, and the resignation of the chairman of the local legislature, Gong Shangwu. The protests were eventually dispersed after several days by the government after declaring a curfew under martial law. Two of the workers' representatives, Xiao Yunliang and Yao Fuxin, were given prison terms of four and seven years, respectively. The government also responded by paying most but not all of the money that the workers were owed, and by ordering an investigation into the charges of corruption at Liaotie which culminated in the arrest and thirteen-year prison sentence of its manager, Fan Yicheng, for smuggling and fraudulent dereliction of duty. The provincial governor who approved the Liaotie bankruptcy was also imprisoned for accepting bribes, but Gong Shangwu evaded punitive action.
Within Liaoyang prefecture there are one county, five districts and one city.
|#||Name||Chinese||Hanyu Pinyin||Population (2003 est.)||Area (km²)||Density (/km²)|
|1||Baita District||白塔区||Báitǎ Qū||210,000||24||8,750|
|2||Wensheng District||文圣区||Wénshèng Qū||180,000||38||4,737|
|3||Hongwei District||宏伟区||Hóngwěi Qū||110,000||59||1,864|
|4||Gongchangling District||弓长岭区||Gōngchánglǐng Qū||90,000||288||313|
|5||Taizihe District||太子河区||Tàizǐhé Qū||120,000||148||811|
|6||Dengta City||灯塔市||Dēngtǎ Shì||510,000||1,331||383|
|7||Liaoyang County||辽阳县||Liáoyáng Xiàn||590,000||2,853||207|
The largest park within the city is Baita park. There are several historical sites to be visited. The new Liaoyang Museum, open to the public since 2009, contains many antiques. Guangyou temple beside the Baita (White Pagoda) has become one of Liaoyang's main tourism attraction in recent years. The first temple on the site dates back to 1145. The temple was destroyed by Russian troops during the 1900 Boxer Rebellion but was later rebuilt. It houses a giant statue of Buddha made from sandalwood. There are two small museums for famous Liaoyang residents: Cao Xueqin, author of the book Dreams of a Red Mansion, and Wang Erlie, a notable Qing dynasty official. There is also a small museum just outside the city on the site of Dongjing, the old capital city. Gongchangling County, just east of the main city is noted for its hot spring resort, golf course and ski centre. Outdoor activities include the Tanghe River, Shenwo Reservoir Scenic Area and rafting on the Taizi river. In the downtown area busy shopping malls can be found. The shopping area includes a total of five malls and pedestrianized streets with many Chinese brand name stores. On the streets, there are many interesting and delicious regional snacks. Within the shopping area are two streets with many Korean BBQ restaurants (Er-dao jie, Xingyun da jie).
Liaoyang is the headquarters of the 39th Mechanized Group Army of the People's Liberation Army, one of the three group armies that comprise the Shenyang Military Region responsible for defending China's northeastern borders with Russia and North Korea.
Twin towns — sister cities
Liaoyang is twinned with:
- Cao Xueqin, the author of Dream of the Red Chamber (红楼梦; Hong lou meng)
- Wang Erlie, a notable Qing dynasty official
- Toshiko Akiyoshi (秋吉 敏子 or 穐吉 敏子 Akiyoshi Toshiko), Japanese jazz pianist, born in Liaoyang in 1929
- "Baida White Pagoda Park Travel Guide". A Book About China. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Theobald, Ulrich. China Knowledge. "Chinese History - Jin Dynasty 金 (1115-1234): Map and Geography". Accessed 19 Oct 2012.
- Philip P. Pan, Out of Mao's Shadow, 2008: Simon and Schuster. (ISBN 1416537058)
- Liaoyang Municipal Government (2007-07-03). 辽阳市人民政府网站 (in Chinese). Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- "Guangyou Temple Scenic Area Travel Guide". A Book About China. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Liaoyang Travel Guide". A Book About China. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Liaoyang.|