🇨🇳 Changsha (长沙) is the capital and the largest city of Hunan Province in the south central part of the People's Republic of China, located in the lower reaches of Xiang River in north-eastern Hunan. Changsha is also called Xingcheng (星城) and was once named Tanzhou (潭州) in ancient times. It is also known as Shanshuizhoucheng (山水洲城), for the city, with the Xiang River flowing through it, contains Mount Yuelu and Orange Isle geographically. Changsha, is the core city of Chang-Zhu-Tan City Cluster and a super-city in China, one of the core cities in Central China, a National Comprehensive Transportation Hub, and one of the first National Famous Historical and Cultural Cities in China.
Changsha has a history of more than 2,400 years of urban construction, and first appeared in the Yi Zhou Shu written in the pre-Qin era. In the Qin Dynasty, the Changsha Commandery was set up, and in the Western Han Dynasty, the Changsha Kingdom was established. The Tongguan Kiln in Changsha during the Tang Dynasty produced the world's earliest underglaze porcelain, which was exported to Western Asia, Africa and Europe. In the Period of Five Dynasties, Changsha was the capital of Southern Chu. In the Northern Song Dynasty, the Yuelu Academy became one of the four major academies in ancient China, with the famous couplet "惟楚有才，于斯为盛" (Only Chu has talent, and it is flourishing in this area) coming down to modern times. In the late Qing Dynasty, Changsha was one of the four major trade cities for rice and tea in China. In 1904 it was opened to foreign trade, and gradually became a revolutionary city. In Changsha, Tan Sitong established the School of Current Affairs, Huang Xing founded the China Arise Society with the slogan "Expel the Tatar barbarians and revive Zhonghua" (驱除鞑虏，复兴中华), and Mao Zedong also carried out his early political movements here. During the Republican Era, Changsha became one of the major home front in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Changsha is now one of the core cities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Belt and Road Initiative, and also a pioneering area for China-Africa economic and trade co-operation. As of 2020, Changsha Huanghua International Airport, a regional hub for China Southern Airlines, was one of the 40 busiest airports in the world. More than 164 Global 500 companies have established branches in Changsha. Known as the "Construction machinery capital of the world", Changsha has an industrial chain with construction machinery and new materials as the main industries, complemented by automobiles, electronic information, household appliances, and biomedicine. Since the 1990s, Changsha has begun to accelerate economic development, and then achieved the highest growing rate in China's major cities during 2000s. the Xiangjiang New Area, which is the first state-level new area in Central China, was established in 2015. Changsha also has a prominent media and publishing industry, and has been named the first "UNESCO City of Media Arts" in China. Changsha is home to Hunan Broadcasting System (HBS), the most influential provincial TV stations in China.
There are three Project 985 universities and one Project 211 university in Changsha: Hunan University, National University of Defense Technology, Central South University, and Hunan Normal University, which makes Changsha the seat of several world class universities. Changsha is the birthplace of super hybrid rice, the Tianhe-1 supercomputer, and China's first laser 3D printer, as well as China's first domestic medium-low speed maglev line. Human Development Index of Changsha reached 0.817 (very high) in 2019, which is roughly comparable to a moderately developed country.
Economy Changsha's population nearly tripled between the start of its rebuilding in 1949 and the early 1980s. The city is now a major port, handling rice, cotton, timber, and livestock, and is also a collection and distribution point on the railway from Hankou to Guangzhou. It is a centre of rice milling and also has oil-extraction, tea and tobacco production, and meat-processing plants. Its textile industry produces cotton yarn and fabrics and engages in dyeing and printing. Agricultural chemicals and fertilizers, farm implements, and pumping machinery are also produced.
Changsha has a large thermal generating station linked by a power grid with the nearby industrial centres of Zhuzhou and Xiangtan; the three cities were designated in the 1970s as the nucleus of a major industrial complex. In the 1960s there was some development of heavy industry. The manufacture of machinery, especially machine tools and precision tools, became important, and Changsha became a centre of China's aluminum industry. The city also has cement, rubber, ceramic, and papermaking plants and is a centre for many types of traditional handicrafts, producing Xiang embroidery, leather goods, umbrellas, and buttons. Coal is mined in the vicinity.
In 2008, Changsha's nominal GDP was ¥300.1 billion (US$43 billion), a year-on-year growth of 15.1% from the previous year. Its per capita GDP was ¥45,765 (US$6,589). Its GDP grew at an average of 14% per year from 2001 to 2005, compared to the national average of 9% in the period. As of 2005, the service sector generated roughly around 49% of Changsha's GDP, up 112% from 2001 figures, leading to a disposable income for urban residents of 12,343 RMB annually. This growth is expected to continue driving the city's economic growth. The manufacturing and construction sectors have grown relatively steadily, growing 116% during 2001–2005. The primary sector, including agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and fishery, has grown slightly over this same period. In addition, the consumer market has grown dramatically along with income levels, with the minimum salary level at 600 RMB per month in comparison to Beijing's at 640 RMB or Shanghai's at 750 RMB per month. In 2020, the average income was 88,050 yuan, almost 10,000 yuan lower than the national average. Urban residents in 2005 had an average income of about US$1,500, 15% higher than the national average and up 10% from 2001 figures.
Changsha is one of China's 15 most "developed and economically advanced" cities with its nominal GDP per capita being over $20,000 ( $40,000 in PPP) in 2018, which is considered as a high-income status by the World Bank and a primary developed city according to the international standard. In 2017, Changsha made its way into the 1-trillion-yuan GDP club, becoming the 13th city in China with a GDP of one trillion yuan (154 billion US dollars). Moreover, the financial news portal Yicai.com released its 2017 ranking of China's new first-tier cities, and Changsha is a newcomer. Many significant breakthroughs in China were born in Changsha including the Tianhe 1 supercomputer as well as the hybrid rice. Changsha's nominal GDP is projected to be among the world top 50 largest cities according to a study by Oxford Economics in 2035 and its nominal GDP per capita will be above US$41,000 in 2030.
Changsha has attracted a substantial level of foreign investment. In 2005, for example, nearly US$1 billion worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) poured into the city, mainly in hi-tech, manufacturing, food production, and services. This figure is up 40% from 2001. 59% of the total FDI has come from Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan; 28% has come from the Americas and 9% from Europe. By the end of 2008 more than 500 foreign companies had made over US$10 million worth of investments in Changsha. Changsha had total retail sales of 74 RMB billion in 2006.
But rapid economic growth has made environmental pollution a serious problem in Changsha, caused by rapidly increasing numbers of private cars, widespread construction sites, and numerous industrial facilities on the outskirts of the city.
Development Zones The Changsha ETZ was founded in 1992. It is located in Xingsha in eastern Changsha. The total planned area is 38.6 km² (14.9 sq mi) and the current[when?] area is 38.6 km² (14.9 sq mi). Near the zone are National Highways 319 and 107 as well as the G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway. The zone is also very close to Changsha's downtown area and the railway station, while the distance between the zone and the city's airport is a mere 8 km (5.0 mi). The major industries in the zone include the high-tech industry, the biology project technology industry, and the new material industry.
The Liuyang ETZ is a national biological industry base created on 10 January 1998, located in Dongyang Town. Its pillar industry comprises biological pharmacy, Information technology and Health food. As of 2015, It has more than 700 registered enterprises. The total industrial output value of the zone hits 85.6 billion yuan (US$13.7 billion) and its business income is 100.2 billion yuan (US$16.1 billion). Its builtup area covers 16.5 km2 (6.4 sq mi).
Changsha is rated Beta − by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions to the world economy.
Changsha is ranked #68 and rated C by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. C cities are international gateway cities. Changsha was ranked #886 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Changsha has a population of over 8,155,000 people. Changsha also forms part of the wider Chang-Zhu-Tan metropolitan area which has a population of over 15,040,300 people.
Twin Towns – Sister Cities Changsha is twinned with: 🇨🇬 Brazzaville, Congo; 🇰🇷 Gumi, South Korea; 🇯🇵 Kagoshima, Japan; 🇧🇾 Mogilev, Belarus; 🇧🇪 Mons, Belgium; 🇺🇸 New Haven, United States; 🇺🇸 Jersey City, United States; 🇺🇸 Annapolis, United States; 🇺🇸 Saint Paul, United States; 🇨🇭 Fribourg, Switzerland; 🇦🇺 City of Auburn, Australia; 🇺🇬 Entebbe, Uganda.