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HOME > Chongqing Guide > About Chongqing
History
History
06-12-2007
Chongqing, a famous historical and cultural city in China, has a history of more than 3,000 years and a glorious revolutionary tradition. The local culture was originated in the area centered at Chongqing, the place of the ancient Ba.
 
Human activities can be dated back to the end of the Old Stone Age about 20,000 to 30,000 years ago. In the 11th century B.C. when the Zhou dynasty replaced the Shang dynasty, the Ba people established the State of Ba with present-day Chongqing as its capital. Later the State of Qin, after conquering the State of Ba, divided China into 36 prefectures, and Ba Prefecture, the previous the State of Ba, was one of them. At its peak time, the State of Ba covered a large area, including present-day eastern Sichuan province, southern Shaanxi province, western Hubei province, northwestern Hunan province, and northern Guizhou province, with its administrative center at the pre-1997 Chongqing. During most of the time from the Qin and Han dynasties, this area remained one unified administrative area, with its administrative center at the pre-1997 Chongqing.
 
Chongqing was known as Jiangzhou in ancient times, and later was called Ba Prefecture, Chu Prefecture, Yu Prefecture, and Gong prefecture at different times. During the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589), Ba Prefecture was named Chu Prefecture, and it was renamed Yu Prefecture in 581 A.D. by Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty (541-604), and since then the area of Chongqing was known as Yu for short. In 1189, before he was enthroned, Emperor Guangzong of the Song Dynasty (1147- 1200) was named Prince Gong. Considering the events a "double happiness" that happened in the same year while he was the ruler of the place, he promoted Gong Prefecture into Chongqing Fu. That is how the city got its present name Chongqing more than 800 years ago.
 
In 1981, Chongqing became China's first inland port opened to the outside world.
 
In 1929, Chongqing was officially established as a city.
 
From 1937 to 1946, when the national government was relocated to Chongqing, the city became the war-time capital of China, the national supreme command of Anti-Fascist War and the Anti-Japanese War, as well as the political, economic and cultural centers of the rear area in that period. Consequently, Chongqing is called "the Capital in Triplicate". After the national government returned to Nanjing after the War, Chongqing remained a municipality directly under the central government.
 
In the early years after the founding of New China, Chongqing served as the seat of Southwest Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, the seat of the Southwest Military and Administrative Commission, and the political, economic, and cultural centers of Southwest China, and was a municipality directly under the central government.
 
In 1954, Chongqing became a city under the government of Sichuan province when the Southwest China administration division was removed.
 
In 1983, Chongqing became China's first pilot city in comprehensive reform of China's economic system and became the first city listed in the State budget with the authority in the management of economic affairs of the provincial level.
 
In 1992, Chongqing became a riparian open city.
 
In September 1996, Chongqing was given the authority to administer the cities of Wanxian and Fuling, and Qianjiang Prefecture.
 
On March 14, 1997, Chongqing became China's fourth municipality directly under the central government, the only one in west China, when a bill was approved at the Fifth Session of the Eighth National People's Congress, opening a new chapter in the history of Chongqing. 
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Translation by Lan-Bridge Chongqing