Tangshan (Chinese: 唐山; pinyin: Tángshān) is a coastal, industrial prefecture-level city in the northeast of Hebei province. The city's industrialization began in 1870, when Kailuan Group established coal mines in the region. It's the birthplace of China's first standard-gauge railway, the first railway plant, the first steam locomotive, and the first cement factory. It was hailed as China's "cradle of industrialization". Even today, Tangshan is a hub of steel, energy, chemical, and ceramics production. Ping opera, which originated from the city's Luanzhou county, is one of the five most popular Chinese operas.
From top, left to right: Skyline of Tangshan, Dachengshan Park, South Lake, Tangshan Art Museum, Eastern Qing tombs
Phoenix City (凤凰城)
Location of Tangshan City jurisdiction in Hebei
|Coordinates (Tangshan government): Coordinates:|
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|Established||January 28, 1938|
|Municipal seat||Lubei District|
|• Party Secretary||Jiao Yanlong (焦彦龙)|
|• Mayor||Ding Xiufeng (丁绣峰)|
|• Prefecture-level city||13,472 km2 (5,202 sq mi)|
| • Urban|
|1,361.33 km2 (525.61 sq mi)|
|• Districts||3,874.0 km2 (1,495.8 sq mi)|
|• Prefecture-level city||7,536,521|
|• Density||560/km2 (1,400/sq mi)|
| • Urban|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (China Standard)|
|ISO 3166 code||CN-HE-02|
|GDP (2018)||¥653,010 billion|
|GDP per capita (2018)||¥82,971|
|License Plate Prefix||冀B|
|Literal meaning||"Mount Tang"|
The city has also become known for the 1976 Tangshan earthquake which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, flattened much of the city, killed at least 255,000 residents according to official estimates. The city has since been rebuilt, has become a tourist attraction, and is among the 10 largest ports in China.
The city of Tangshan is approximately 149 km (93 mi) east by south east of Beijing. It takes roughly 2 hours by road to get from Tangshan to Beijing and 1 hour by road to reach Tianjin. Tangshan's prefecture population was 7,577,289 at the 2010 census, with 3,187,171 in the built-up (or metro) area made of the 6 urban core districts.
Tangshan is named after Dacheng Mountain (大城山), which is also called Mount Tang, in the middle of Tangshan city.
In A.D. 645, Li Shimin- an emperor of Tang Dynasty and his army were stationed at Dacheng Mountain on his way back from Korean Peninsula. Unfortunately, Caofei, his beloved concubine, died here. In order to commemorate his Caofei, he named the mountain with the name of the state—Tang. Later, the name of the mountain became the name of the city.
Tangshan has a long history, with ancient humans living in the area as early as 4,000 years ago. It fell within the territory of the Guzhu Kingdom (1600 BC) at the time of the Shang Dynasty and later became a part of the State of Yan, one of the seven Warring States (403 – 221 BC). During the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) it became part of the ancient province of Youzhou. It was under the jurisdiction of Yongping Province and Zunhua State successively during the Qing dynasty (1644–1911).
Tang, Ming and Qing dynastiesEdit
During the Hundred Days' Reform in the late Qing dynasty, the Kaiping Mining Administration was established in the third year of the Guangxu Emperor (1877). In 1878, Qiaotun town was established at Tangshan and renamed Tangshan Town in 1889. In 1938, Tangshan City was formally founded. The administrative system of Tangshan during the Republic of China Republican era continued to follow the Qing system. In 1929, Zhili Province changed its name to Hebei Province. On January 28, 1939, because of Tangshan's special economic and political position, the East Hebei Autonomous Government established Tangshan City which was initially called “Tangshan Municipal Government” and later changed to “Tangshan Municipal Office”. After Japan surrendered in 1945, the Chinese Nationalist Party in Peking (now known as Beijing) took over the political control of Tangshan from Japan and set up an Administration Inspectors Office. In April 1946, it was decided at the 132nd Meeting of the CPC Hebei Provincial Committee to set up Tangshan City and on May 5 of the same year, the Tangshan Municipal government was founded.
After the establishment of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949, Tangshan remained a provincially administered municipality with 12 areas under its jurisdiction. In March 1955, it was decided at the 2nd session of the first People's Congress of Tangshan City to change Tangshan Municipal people's government to Tangshan people's committee without changing its administration areas.
On April 28, 1958, the State Council approved the establishment of Tangshan prefecture. On August 29, 1958, it was decided at the Seventh Session of the first People's Congress of Hebei Province to move the Tangshan Commissioner Office from Changli County to Tangshan City.
The CPC Central Committee decided to designate Tangshan city as one of the 45 cities open to the world on June 3, 1959. On June 8, 1959, the CPC Hebei Provincial Committee and the Hebei Provincial People's Congress decided to combine the Tangshan Commissioners Office and the Tangshan People's Committee into the Tangshan People's Committee. On April 2, 1960, the State Council officially approved the abolition of Tangshan prefecture. Qinhuangdao city, Qian'an, Changli, Laoting, Baodi, Yutian, Jixian County and Zunhua which were formerly administrated by Tangshan Prefecture were incorporated into the Tangshan Municipality. Luanxian County, Fengrun County (formerly a district) and Baigezhuang Farm were also incorporated into Tangshan Municipality. Meanwhile, Tangshan became a provincially administered municipality.
On May 23, 1961, the State Council approved the reinstatement of Tangshan prefecture, which was adopted at the 14th Meeting of the Hebei Provincial People's Committee on June 3, 1959. Tangshan prefecture and Tangshan municipality were separated again and Tangshan turned into a specially administered municipality.
The Tangshan Municipal Revolutionary Committee affiliated to the Revolutionary Committee of Tangshan Region was set up on January 6, 1968, On March 11, 1978, Tangshan turned to be a provincially administered municipality.
In October 1982, it was decided at the Seventh People's Congress of Tangshan city to abolish the Tangshan Municipal Revolutionary Committee and set up the Tangshan Municipal People's Government.
The State Council approved the move on March 3, 1983 and thereafter implemented the city-governing-county system. On May 13, 1983, the Hebei Provincial People's Government announced the cancellation of the Civic Administration office of Tangshan region, which ceased operation on May 15, 1983.
On December 15, 1984, the State Council approved Tangshan city as one of 13 national “comparatively big” cities.
1976 Tangshan earthquakeEdit
Tangshan suffered an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 (7.5 according to official reports) at 3:42 am on July 28, 1976, which resulted in many casualties. The official death toll was 255,000, but many experts believe that the actual number of fatalities was two to three times that number, making it the most destructive earthquake in modern history. As a result of the earthquake, most of the town had to be rebuilt. The earthquake was depicted in the 2010 movie Aftershock.
Tangshan is located in the central section of the Bohai Economic Rim, facing the Bohai Sea to the south. Lying on the North China Plain, Tangshan is adjacent to the Yan Mountains to the north, borders the Luan River and Qinhuangdao to the east, and to the west and southwest borders Tianjin. Because of its location in the northeast of Hebei, it is a strategic area and a corridor linking two China's north and northeast regions. The largest river in the prefecture is the Luan River.
Tangshan has a monsoon-influenced, humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa), with cold and very dry winters, and hot, rainy summers. Spring and autumn are short with some rainfall. The monthly 24-hour average temperature in January is −5.1 °C (22.8 °F), and 25.7 °C (78.3 °F) in July, and the annual mean is 11.5 °C (52.7 °F). Close to 60% of the annual precipitation of 610 millimeters (24.0 in) falls in July and August alone. The frost-free period lasts 180−190 days, and the area receives 2,600−2,900 hours of sunshine annually.
|Climate data for Tangshan (1971−2000)|
|Record high °C (°F)||12.1
|Average high °C (°F)||0.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−5.1
|Average low °C (°F)||−10.2
|Record low °C (°F)||−22.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||4.3
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||2.4||2.4||3.4||4.6||6.6||9.0||12.9||10.7||6.4||4.8||3.0||2.0||68.2|
|Source: Weather China|
As air pollution in China has worsened in recent years, reports suggest cities in Hebei among the most polluted in the country, with Tangshan being now exception. According to a survey made by "Global voices China" in February 2013, 7 cities in Hebei including Xingtai, Shijiazhuang, Baoding, Handan, Langfang, Hengshui and Tangshan, are among China's 10 most polluted cities.
Tangshan is an important heavy industrial city in North China. Its output include machinery, motor vehicles, chemicals, textiles, glass, petroleum products, and cement. It has been a coal-mining center since late Qing Dynasty, as Guangdong merchant Tong King-sing opened the first coal mine using modern techniques in Kaiping in 1877. Since the construction of the Caofeidian Project, it has hosted large iron and steel plants, chemical projects, and electricity plants. It is China's largest steel-producing city. Tangshan is also called the "porcelain capital of North China." 
Modern industry in China first arose in Tangshan. The second railway in China – after the abortive Woosung Railway in Shanghai – was the six-mile track laid between Hsukochuang and Tangshan which opened in 1881; this eventually grew into the Imperial Railroad of North China and China's modern Jingshan and Jingha Railways. The first fire-resistant material manufactory and the first and largest cement manufactory were constructed in Tangshan as well.
Tangshan has experienced near-constant GDP growth in recent years, but has slowed down in the latter-half of the 2010s. In 2008, the GDP of Tangshan was ¥353.747 billion, which nearly doubled to ¥612.121 billion by 2013, and grew further to ¥695.500 billion in 2018. Tangshan's GDP was ranked the 26th largest among Chinese cities according to data from 2017. The city's exports were valued at $7.109 billion in 2016. Government figures for 2017 show that the city's economy was largely dominated by the secondary industry, contributing ¥408.14 billion to the city's economy.
- Caofeidian New Zone.
Government data from 2017 shows that 7.897 million people live in Tangshan, of which, 61.64% live in an urban area. The city's residents had a mean disposable income of ¥27,786, which was ¥36,415 among urban residents.
Tangshan, like many other locations in China, is largely Han Chinese, who account for 95.25% of the city's population. In Zunhua City, there are 3 ethnic townships and ethnic towns. The following table shows the city's ethnic breakdown:
|Ethnic Group||Population (total)||Population (percent)|
|Name||Hanzi||Hanyu Pinyin||Population (2010 census)||Area (km²)||Density (/km²)|
|Lubei District||路北区||Lùběi Qū||743,504||112||6,638|
|Lunan District||路南区||Lùnán Qū||311,076||355||876|
|↳Hangu Administration Zone*||汉沽管理区||Hàngū Guǎnlǐqū|
|↳Lutai Economic Development Zone*||芦台经济技术开发区||Lútái Jīngjì Jìshù Kāifāqū|
|Guye District||古冶区||Gǔyě Qū||358,461||253||1,417|
|Kaiping District||开平区||Kāipíng Qū||262,571||252||1,042|
|Fengrun District||丰润区||Fēngrùn Qū||916,092||1,334||687|
|Fengnan District||丰南区||Fēngnán Qū||595,467||1,568||380|
|Caofeidian District||曹妃甸区||Cáofēidiān Qū||184,931||700||264|
|Zunhua City||遵化市||Zūnhuà Shì||737,011||1,521||485|
|Qian'an City||迁安市||Qiān'ān Shì||728,160||1,208||603|
|Luanzhou City||滦州市||Luánzhōu Shì||554,315||999||555|
|Luannan County||滦南县||Luánnán Xiàn||584,518||1,270||460|
|Laoting County||乐亭县||Làotíng Xiàn||526,222||1,308||402|
|Qianxi County||迁西县||Qiānxī Xiàn||390,128||1,439||271|
|Yutian County||玉田县||Yùtián Xiàn||684,833||1,165||588|
|*Hangu Administration Zone and Lutai Economic Development Zone is subordinate to Lunan District but formally part of Binhai New Area in Tianjin.|
Universities and collegesEdit
- North China University of Science and Technology (formerly named Hebei United University), which was co-established by Hebei Polytechnic University and North China Coal Medical College in May 2010 
- Tangshan Normal University
- Tangshan College
- Hebei University of Science and Technology Tangshan Branch
- Dried Fruits
- Ping opera, or Pingju, one of the most popular operas in China
- Tangshan Shadow Play (唐山皮影)
- Laoting drums (樂亭大鼓)
- Eastern Tombs of the Qing Dynasty
- Anti-Seismic Monument, located in Anti-Seismic Square
- Tangshan Nanhu Park (Lunan District)
- Kailuan National Mine Park (Lunan District)
- Tangshan science and Technology Museum (Lubei District)
- Tangshan Sannühe Airport, 20 kilometers (12 mi) from the city center, in Fengrun District
- Beijing–Harbin Railway
- Tianjin–Shanhaiguan Railway
- Beijing-Qinhuangdao Railway
- Tianjin-Shanxi Railway
- China National Highway 102, in the south of Fengrun District
- China National Highway 112, ring road encircling Beijing, traversing the west side of Tangshan's urban area
- China National Highway 205, which runs along the eastern and southern front of the urban area
- G1 Beijing–Harbin Expressway, on the northern side of the urban area
- G25 Changchun–Shenzhen Expressway, on the western side of the urban area
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