🇨🇳 Changde (Chinese: 常德) is a prefecture-level city in the north-west of Hunan province, People's Republic of China. The built-up area (metro) is made of two urban districts of Dingcheng and Wuling. In addition to the urban districts, Changde also administers the county-level city of Jinshi and six counties. Changde is adjacent to Dongting Lake to the east, the city of Yiyang to the south, Wuling and Xuefeng Mountains to the west, and Hubei province to the north.
The area has been inhabited by humans since around 8,000 years ago. In that time, the city has changed names several times, but it has been known as Changde since the 12th century. In the past decade, the city has seen a massive construction boom. New high-rise buildings have sprung up, roads were rebuilt and new schools, parks and museums have opened. Locals and tourists often visit the Changde Poetry Wall, covered in a variety of poems mostly from ancient China. The wall stretches for 3 km (1.9 mi) along the Yuan River downtown and functions as a flood wall. It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest wall with engraved arts in the world.
Tobacco is the most important industry in Changde. Changde Cigarette Factory (CDCF), now a subsidiary of China Tobacco Hunan Industrial Co., Ltd., is one of six key cigarette companies in China and employs 8,300 workers in Changde. CDCF is by far Changde's largest industrial concern accounting for 4.22 billion (51.2%) of the city's 8.2 billion total industrial value added. Changde is also an administrative centre and a storage and shipping point for tung oil, grain, cotton, medicinal herbs, and wood. Manufactures include ceramics, machine tools, textiles, leather, and processed foods. Grain, oil, cotton, and other commodities are loaded into medium-sized ships and taken to Yueyang, Changsha, or Hankou (Wuhan, Hubei province) for onward shipment. Timber is also rafted there and floated across Lake Dongting to Yueyang, and thus to the Yangtze River. After 1949 the city developed some light industry, mostly based on such local products as wood, leather, and bristles.
Changde has a population of over 949,000 people. Changde also forms the centre of the wider Changde metropolitan area which has a population of over 5,714,623 people.
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