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[HugChina] Chinese Provinces: Shandong - pivotal cultural and religious site for Chinese confucianism

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Bernd Chang

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Posted on Sun, Jun 24, 2012 09:01 AM 08114





Shandong (??) Province is located in East China. The abbreviation for Shandong is Lu (?). Major cities: Jinan, Yantai, Qingdao. Tourist attractions: Confucius' Temple in Qufu, Mount Tai and Qingdao, a summer resort city.

General information

Area: 153,000 square km

Population: 91.80 million (2006)

Capital City: Jinan

Nationalities: Han (99.3%), and Hui (0.7%)

GDP : CNY2.59 trillion(2007)

Coastline: 3,000 kilometers long.

Average temperature: -5oC to -1oC in January, 24oC to - 28oC in July.

Administrative divisions: 25 cities and 86 counties.

Neighboring areas: Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, and Hebei Provinces.

Major cities: Jinan, Yantai, Weifang, Qingdao, Zibo, Zaozhuang, Jining, Dongying, Oufu.

Tourist attractions: Confucius' Temple in Qufu, Mount Tai, one of the historic Five Mountains in the eastern China, in Tai'an, Qingdao, a summer resort city.

Shandong (simplified Chinese: ??; traditional Chinese: ??; pinyin: Sh?nd?ng) Province is located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. The abbreviation for Shandong is Lu (?).

Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese Buddhism, and Confucianism.

After a period of political instability and economic hardship that began in the late 19th century, Shandong has emerged as one of the most populous (94 million in 2008) and most affluent provinces in the People's Republic of China (GDP of 3.38 trillion CNY in 2009).

Geography of Shandong

Shandong is mostly flat in terrain. The northwestern, western, and southwestern parts of the province are all part of the vast North China Plain. The center of the province is more mountainous, with the Taishan Mountains, Lushan Mountains, and Mengshan Mountains being the most prominent. The east of the province is the hilly Shandong Peninsula extending into the sea; it separates Bohai Sea in the northwest from the Yellow Sea to the east and south. The highest peak of Shandong is the highest peak in the Taishan area: Jade Emperor Peak, with a height of 1545 m.

The Yellow River passes through Shandong's western areas, entering the sea along Shandong's northern coast; in its traversal of Shandong it flows on a levee, higher than the surrounding land, and dividing western Shandong into the Hai He watershed in the north and the Huai He watershed in the south. The Grand Canal of China enters Shandong from the northwest and leaves on the southwest. Weishan Lake is the largest lake of the province. Shandong's coastline is 3000 km long. Shandong Peninsula has a rocky coastline with cliffs, bays, and islands; the large Laizhou Bay, the southernmost of the three bays of Bohai Sea, is found to the north, between Dongying and Penglai; Jiaozhou Bay, which is much smaller, is found to the south, next to Qingdao. The Miaodao Islands extend northwards from the northern coast of the peninsula.

Climate of Shandong

Shandong has a temperate climate, with moist summers and dry, cold winters. Average temperatures are -5 to 1°C in January and 24 to 28°C in July. Annual precipitation is 550 to 950 mm.

Economy of Shandong

Shandong ranks first among the provinces in the production of a variety of products, including cotton and wheat as well as precious metals such as gold and diamonds. It also has one of the biggest sapphire deposits in the world.[4] Other importants crop include sorghum and maize. Shandong has extensive petroleum deposits as well, especially in the Dongying area in the Yellow River delta, where the Shengli Oilfield (lit. Victory Oilfield) is one of the major oilfields of China. Shandong also produces bromine from underground wells and salt from sea water.

Shandong is one of the richer provinces of China, and its economic development focuses on large enterprises with well-known brand names. Shandong is the biggest industrial producer and one of the top manufacturing provinces in China. Shandong has also benefited from South Korean and Japanese investment, due to its geographical proximity to those countries. The richest part of the province is the Shandong Peninsula, where the city of Qingdao is home to three of the most well-known brand names of China: Tsingtao Beer, Haier and Hisense. In addition, Dongying's oil fields and petroleum industries form an important component of Shandong's economy.

In 2009, the nominal GDP for Shandong was 3.38 trillion yuan (US$495 billion), ranking third in the country (behind Guangdong and Jiangsu). Its GDP per capita was 35,893 yuan (US$5,255), ranking eighth.

History of Shandong

With its location on the eastern edge of the North China Plain, Shandong has felt the influence of Chinese civilization since remote antiquity. The earliest dynasties (the Shang dynasty and Zhou dynasty) exerted varying degrees of control over western Shandong, while eastern Shandong was inhabited by the Laiyi peoples who were considered as the "barbarians". Over subsequent centuries, the Laiyi were eventually sinicized.

During the Spring and Autumn Period (????) and the Warring States Period (????), regional states became increasingly powerful. At this time, Shandong was home to two powerful states: the state of Qi (??) at Linzi and the state of Lu (??) at Qufu. Lu is noted for being the home of Confucius. The state was, however, comparatively small, and eventually succumbed to the powerful state of Chu from the south. The state of Qi was, on the other hand, a major power throughout this entire period.

The Qin Dynasty destroyed Qi and founded the first centralized Chinese state in 221 BC. The Han Dynasty that followed created two zhou ("provinces") in what is now modern Shandong: Qingzhou Province (??) in the north and Yanzhou Province (??) in the south.

The modern province of Shandong was created by the Ming Dynasty. It also included much of modern-day Liaoning (in south Manchuria) at the time. However, the Manchus increasingly asserted independence, and managed to conquer all of China in 1644. Under the Qing Dynasty, which they founded, Shandong acquired (more or less) its current borders.

During the nineteenth century, China became increasingly exposed to Western influence, and Shandong, a coastal province, was especially affected. Qingdao was leased to Germany in 1897 and Weihai to Britain in 1898. The rest of Shandong was generally considered to be part of the German sphere of influence. In addition, the Qing Dynasty opened Manchuria to Han Chinese immigration during the 19th century; Shandong was the main source of the ensuing tide of migrants.

As a consequence of the First World War, Germany lost Qingdao and its sphere of influence in Shandong. The Treaty of Versailles transferred the German concessions in Shandong to Japan instead of restoring Chinese sovereignty over the area. Popular dissatisfaction with this outcome of the Treaty of Versailles (Shandong Problem) led to the May Fourth Movement. Finally, Shandong reverted to Chinese control in 1922 after mediation by the United States during the Washington Naval Conference. Weihai followed in 1930.

The return of control over Shandong fell into the Warlord era of the Republic of China.

In 1937 Japan began its invasion of China proper in the Second Sino-Japanese War, Shandong was later occupied in its entirety by Japan, with resistance continuing in the countryside, and was one of the provinces where a scorched earth policy ("Three Alls Policy": "kill all", "burn all", "loot all") was implemented by general Yasuji Okamura. This lasted until the surrender of Japan in 1945.

By 1945, communist forces already held some parts of Shandong. Over the next four years of the Chinese Civil War, they expanded their holdings, eventually driving the Kuomintang (government of the Republic of China) entirely out of Shandong by June 1949.

In recent years Shandong, especially eastern Shandong, has enjoyed significant economic development, becoming one of the richest provinces of the People's Republic of China.

Administrative divisions

Shandong is divided into seventeen prefecture-level divisions:

# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Administrative Seat

— Sub-provincial city —

1 Jinan ??? J?nán Shì Shizhong District

2 Qingdao ??? Q?ngd?o Shì Shinan District

— Prefecture-level city —

3 Binzhou ??? B?nzh?u Shì Bincheng District

4 Dezhou ??? Dézh?u Shì Decheng District

5 Dongying ??? D?ngyíng Shì Dongying District

6 Heze ??? Hézé Shì Mudan District

7 Jining ??? Jìníng Shì Shizhong District

8 Laiwu ??? Láiwú Shì Laicheng District

9 Liaocheng ??? Liáochéng Shì Dongchangfu District

10 Linyi ??? Línyí Shì Lanshan District

11 Rizhao ??? Rìzhào Shì Donggang District

12 Tai'an ??? Tài'?n Shì Taishan District

13 Weifang ??? Wéif?ng Shì Weicheng District

14 Weihai ??? W?ih?i Shì Huancui District

15 Yantai ??? Y?ntái Shì Laishan District

16 Zaozhuang ??? Z?ozhu?ng Shì Shizhong District

17 Zibo ??? Z?bó Shì Zhangdian District

Places of Interests and Tourist Attractions of Shandong

The Yellow River breeds Chinese civilization and makes Shandong important in China's ancient history. The number of important relic protection units above the provincial level reaches 157. The Dawenkou Culture - a representative of the earliest culture of China - is prevalent here. Its famous tourist attractins include: the Three Kong in Qufu; the Three Meng in Zouxian County; Penglai Tower; Shuicheng; and the Lingyan Temple. Famous cultural relics include: Daminghu Lake; one of the four famous Buddhist temples in China, Yinque Mountain in Linyi; the Tomb Groups of the Han Dynasty in the Jinque Mountain; the Stone Tomb Groups of the Han Dynasty in Weifang; and the Shihu Garden and the Tomb of Suluwang in Dezhou.

Besides these cultural relics, the province also boasts Tai Shan, the first of the five great mountains in China; Lao Shan, the Taoist sacred place standing beside the sea; Qianfo Mountain; and Spring City. The karst scenery in the north is no parallel to that in Zibo. The scenery of the banded lake group (with Taiwan Lake as the biggest) is attractive to many tourists as well. There are many good harbours and bathing beaches along the coastal line. Qingdao, Yantai, Penglai, and Weihai are all summer resorts. The famous historical and cultural cities in the province are Qufu, Jinan, Qingdao, Liaocheng and Zibo. The important national scenic spots are the Tai Mountain, the Lao Mountain, and the beaches in Jiaodong Peninsula.

Capital city, Jinan, is 15 kilometers south of the Yellow River and was the capital of a state in 6th century B.C. Today, it is called "the City of Springs" because of its over 100 springs. The springs are surrounded by lovely gardens and tea houses, and the quality of the spring water is excellent.

The Mount Tai

The majestic Mount Tai is one of many national parks in China and is the first of the Five Sacred Mountains in China. It covers an area of 426 square kilometers, and its main peak is 1,545 meters above sea level. In ancient China, many new emperors came here to perform grand sacrificial ceremonies in worship of the Heavens. Here, there are also many historical relics, such as the Wangmu Chi (Heavenly Queen Pool), Hongmen Gong (Red Gate Palace), Nan Tianmen (South Gate to Heaven), and the Bixia Ci (Azure Cloud Temple). There are also many stone carvings from various dynasties on a stone cliff in Jinshi Yu (Sutra Stone Valley), also called "The ancestor of big characters." In 1987 UNESCO listed Mount Tai as a World Natural and Cultural Heritage.


Qingdao (Green Island), the province's largest city, is on the Yellow Sea. It is well-known for its tasty Qingdao Beer and mineral water. The city is pretty with hills, trees, and red-tiled roofs and has 6 beaches which are usually crowded in the summer.

The Lao Shan

Its southern end is a semi-circle on which the Feige Huilan stands. The Feige Huilan (Bill Returning at the High Tower) is one of the ten most famous scenes of Qingdao.

Mount Lao is a national park that is located about 30 kilometers southeast of Qingdao with an area of more than 300 square kilometers. Standing on the north shore of the Yellow Sea, the majestic and beautiful mountain and sea unite together. Emperors of the Qin and Han dynasties 2,000 years ago would often come and visit Mount Lao. Temples were built here after the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and at one point there were more than 1,000 Taoist temples in existence. Today, only about a dozen of these Taoist temples have been well-preserved.


Yantai (Smoke Tower) is coastal city on the Bohai Sea. It is one of the prettiest small cities in China, nestled between the sea and gentle hills. Penglai Pavilion is said to be where the Eight Taoist Immortals flew across the sea. Here, mirages have been seen on the sea surface by many people. Yantai is a must for seafood lovers, for it produces prawns, abalone, scallops, jelly fish, and more. Also famous are its embroidery and wine. There are also two bathing beaches in the city proper.

Shandong Local Cuisine

Shandong cuisine (??) is one of the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine.

As an important component of Chinese culinary art, Shandong cuisine, also known as Lu Cai for short, boasts a long history and far-reaching impact. Shandong cuisine can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770-221BC). It was quickly developed in the South and North Dynasty (960-1279), and was recognized as an important style of cooking in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Shangdong cuisine is representative of northern China's cooking and its technique has been widely absorbed in northeast China.

Shandong is a large peninsula surrounded by the sea, with the Yellow River meandering through the center. As a result, seafood is a major component of Shandong cuisine. Shandong's most famous dish is the "sweet and sour carp". A truly authentic "sweet and sour carp" must come from the Yellow River.

Shangdong cuisine is famous for its wide selection of material and use of different cooking methods. The raw materials are mainly domestic animals and birds, seafood and vegetables. The masterly cooking techniques include Bao (quick frying), Liu (quick frying with corn flour), Pa (stewing), roasting, boiling, using sugar to make fruit, crystallizing with honey.

Condiments such as sauce paste, fistulous onion and garlic are freely used, so Shangdong dishes usually taste pungent. Soups are given much emphasis in Shangdong dishes. Clear soup (or thin soup) features clear and fresh while milk soup (or creamy soup) looks thick and tastes strong, both of which are often choicely made to add freshness to the dishes. The dishes are mainly clear, fresh and fatty, perfect with Shandong's own famous beer, Qingdao Beer.

In addition to sweet and sour carp, typical courses in Shandong cuisine include braised abalone with shells, fried sea cucumber with fistulous onion, fragrant calamus in milk soup, quick-fried double fats (a very traditional Shandong dish consisting of pork tripe and chicken gizzards), and Dezhou stewed chicken. Dezhou stewed chicken is known throughout the country; the chicken is so well cooked that the meat easily separates from the bone although the shape of the chicken is preserved.


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