Shandong, China

Geography : Location | History | Early Imperial history | Early modern history | Geography | Geology | Economy

🇨🇳 Shandong (山东; 山東; Shantung) is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China and is part of the East China region.

Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history since the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River. It has served as a pivotal cultural and religious centre for Taoism, Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism. Shandong's Mount Tai is the most revered mountain of Taoism and a site with one of the longest histories of continuous religious worship in the world. The Buddhist temples in the mountains to the south of the provincial capital of Jinan were once among the foremost Buddhist sites in China. The city of Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius and was later established as the centre of Confucianism. Confucianism developed from what was later called the Hundred Schools of Thought from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius.

Shandong's location at the intersection of ancient and modern north–south and east–west trading routes has helped establish it as an economic center. After a period of political instability and economic hardship that began in the late 19th century, Shandong has experienced rapid growth in recent decades. Home to over 100 million inhabitants, Shandong is the world's sixth-most populous subnational entity, and China's second most populous province. The economy of Shandong is China's third largest provincial economy with a GDP of CNY¥8.3 trillion in 2021 or USD$1.3 trillion, which is equivalent to the GDP of Mexico. Compared to a country, it would be the 15th-largest economy and the 15th most populous as of 2021. Its GDP per capita is around the national average.

Shandong is considered one of China's leading provinces in education and research. It hosts 153 higher education institutions, ranking second in East China after Jiangsu and fourth among all Chinese provinces/municipalities after Jiangsu, Guangdong and Henan. As of 2022, two major cities ranked in the top 70 cities in the world (Jinan 36th and Qingdao 68th) by scientific research output, as tracked by the Nature Index.

Geography: Location The province is on the eastern edge of the North China Plain and in the lower reaches of the Yellow River (Huang He), and extends out to sea as the Shandong Peninsula. Shandong borders the Bohai Sea to the north, Hebei to the north-west, Henan to the west, Jiangsu to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the north-east, east and southeast; it also shares a very short border with Anhui, between Henan and Jiangsu.

History With its location on the eastern edge of the North China Plain, Shandong was home to a succession of Neolithic cultures for millennia, including the Houli culture (6500–5500 BC), the Beixin culture (5300–4100 BC), the Dawenkou culture (4100–2600 BC), the Longshan culture (3000–2000 BC), and the Yueshi culture (1900–1500 BC).

The earliest dynasties (the Shang dynasty and Zhou dynasty) exerted varying degrees of control over western Shandong, while eastern Shandong was inhabited by the Dongyi peoples who were considered "barbarians". Since 512 B.C. after the annexation of Lai, the Dongyi tribes were becoming sinicized gradually.

During the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, regional states became increasingly powerful. At this time, Shandong was home to two major states: the state of Qi at Linzi and the state of Lu at Qufu. Lu is noted for being the home of Confucius. However, the state was comparatively small and eventually succumbed to the larger state of Chu from the south. The state of Qi, on the other hand, was a significant power throughout the period. Cities it ruled included Linzi, Jimo (north of modern Qingdao) and Ju.

The easternmost part of the peninsula was ruled by the Dongyi state of Lai until Qi conquered it in 567 BC.

Early Imperial history The Qin dynasty conquered Qi and founded the first centralized Chinese state in 221 BC. The Han dynasty that followed created several commanderies supervised by two regions (刺史部) in what is now modern Shandong: Qingzhou (青州) in the north and Yanzhou (兗州) in the south. During the division of the Three Kingdoms, Shandong belonged to the Cao Wei, which ruled over northern China.

After the Three Kingdoms period, a brief period of unity under the Western Jin dynasty gave way to invasions by nomadic peoples from the north. Northern China, including Shandong, was overrun. Over the next century or so, Shandong changed hands several times, falling to the Later Zhao, then Former Yan, then Former Qin, then Later Yan, then Southern Yan, then the Liu Song dynasty, and finally the Northern Wei dynasty, the first of the Northern dynasties during the Northern and Southern dynasties period. Shandong stayed with the Northern dynasties for the rest of this period.

In 412 AD, the Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian landed at Laoshan, on the southern edge of the Shandong peninsula, and proceeded to Qingzhou to edit and translate the scriptures he had brought back from India.

The Sui dynasty reestablished unity in 589, and the Tang dynasty (618-907) presided over the next golden age of China. For the earlier part of this period, Shandong was ruled as part of Henan Circuit, one of the circuits (a political division). Later on, China splintered into warlord factions, resulting in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Shandong was part of the Five Dynasties, all based in the north.

The Song dynasty reunified China in the late tenth century. The classic novel Water Margin was based on folk tales of outlaw bands active in Shandong during the Song dynasty. In 1996, the discovery of over two hundred buried Buddhist statues at Qingzhou was hailed as a major archaeological find. The statues included early examples of painted figures and are thought to have been buried due to Emperor Huizong's repression of Buddhism (he favored Taoism).

The Song dynasty was forced to cede northern China to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1142. Shandong was administered by Jin as Shandong East Circuit and Shandong West Circuit – the first use of its current name.

Early modern history The modern province of Shandong was created by the Ming dynasty, where it had a more expansive territory, including the agricultural part of Liaoning. After the Ming–Qing Transition in 1644, Shandong acquired (more or less) its current borders.

During the nineteenth century, China became increasingly exposed to Western influence, and Shandong, a coastal province under the dukedom of Xiong, was significantly affected. Qingdao was leased to Germany in 1897 and Weihai to Britain in 1898. As a result of foreign pressure from the Russian Empire, which had annexed Russian Manchuria by 1860, the Qing dynasty encouraged settlement of Shandong people to what remained of Manchuria.

Shandong was one of the first places in which the Boxer Rebellion started and became one of the uprising centers. In 1899, the Qing general Yuan Shikai was appointed governor of the province to suppress the uprising. He held the post for three years.

Street market in the Qingdao, photographed by members of the Fragata Sarmiento's crew in the late 19th century

Germany took control of China's Shandong Peninsula. In 1898, Germany had leased Jiaozhou Bay and its port of Qingdao under threat of force. Development was a high government priority. Over 200 million marks were invested in world-class harbor facilities such as berths, heavy machinery, rail yards, and a floating dry dock. Private enterprises worked across the Shandong Province, opening mines, banks, factories, and rail lines.

As a consequence of the First World War, Japan seized Germany holdings in Qingdao and Shandong. The Treaty of Versailles transferred ownership to Japan instead of restoring Chinese sovereignty over the area. Popular dissatisfaction with this outcome, referred to as the Shandong Problem, led to the vehement student protests in the May Fourth Movement. Among the reservations to the Treaty that the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved was "to give Shantung to China", the treaty with reservations was not approved. Finally, Shandong reverted to Chinese control in 1922 after the United States' mediation during the Washington Naval Conference. Weihai followed in 1930.

Shandong's return of control fell into the Warlord Era of the Republic of China. Shandong was handed over to the Zhili clique of warlords, but after the Second Zhili–Fengtian War of 1924, the north-east China-based Fengtian clique took over. In April 1925, the Fengtian clique installed the warlord Zhang Zongchang, nicknamed the "Dogmeat General", as military governor of Shandong Province. Time dubbed him China's "basest warlord". He ruled over the province until 1928 when he was ousted in the wake of the Northern Expedition. He was succeeded by Han Fuju, who was loyal to the warlord Feng Yuxiang but later switched his allegiance to the Nanjing government headed by Chiang Kai-shek. Han Fuju also ousted the warlord Liu Zhennian, nicknamed the "King of Shandong East", who ruled eastern Shandong Province, hence unifying the province under his rule.

In 1937 Japan began its invasion of China proper in the Second Sino-Japanese War, which would eventually become part of the Pacific theatre of the Second World War. Han Fuju was made Deputy Commander in Chief of the 5th War Area and put in charge of defending the lower Yellow River valley. However, he abandoned his base in Jinan when Japanese troops crossed the Yellow River. He was executed for not following orders shortly thereafter.

During the Japanese occupation, with resistance continuing in the countryside, Shandong was one of the provinces where a scorched earth policy ("Three Alls Policy": "kill all", "burn all", "loot all") was implemented by Japanese general Yasuji Okamura. This lasted until Japan's surrender in 1945, killing millions of people in Shandong and Northern China.

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) out of Shandong by June 1949, including the noble family of Xiong (熊) who held the governorship (previously a dukedom under the Imperial era, and an ancient viscountcy originating in Chu), to the island of Taiwan. The People's Republic of China was founded in October of the same year, thereby overthrowing the democratic Republic of China from the mainland. The Xiong (alternatively spelt 'Hsiung') family is currently in residence in the city of Taichung as of the late 1990s.

Under the new government, parts of western Shandong were initially given to the short-lived Pingyuan Province, but this did not last. Shandong also acquired the Xuzhou and Lianyungang areas from Jiangsu province, but this did not last either. For the most part, Shandong has kept the same borders that it has today.

About six million people starved to death in Shandong during Great Chinese Famine.

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

Geography The northwestern, western, and south-western parts of the province are all part of the vast North China Plain. The province's centre is more mountainous, with Mount Tai being the most prominent. The east of the province is the hilly Shandong Peninsula extending into the sea; Miaodao Archipaelago to the north of Shandong Peninsula is the border of Bohai Sea (west) and Yellow Sea (east). The highest peak of Shandong is Jade Emperor Peak, with a height of 1,545 metres (5,069 ft), which is also the highest peak in the Mount Tai Ranges.

The Yellow River passes through Shandong's western areas, since 1855, it has always been entering the sea to Shandong's northern coast; in 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 River watershed in the south. The Grand Canal of China enters Shandong from the north-west and leaves on the southwest. Weishan Lake is the largest lake in the province. Shandong's coastline is 3,000 km (1,900 mi) long. Shandong Peninsula has a rocky coastline with cliffs, bays, and islands; the large Laizhou Bay, the southernmost of the 3 bays of the Bohai Sea, is bordering the northern coast between Dongying and Penglai; Jiaozhou Bay, which is much smaller, is surrounded by Qingdao. The Miaodao Islands extends northwards from the northern coast of the peninsula, separating the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea.

With Jinan serving as the province's economic and cultural centre, the province's economic prowess has led to the development of modern coastal cities located at Qingdao, Weihai, and Yantai.

Geology Shandong is part of the Eastern Block of the North China craton. Beginning in the Mesozoic, Shandong has undergone a crustal thinning that is unusual for a craton and that has reduced the thickness of the crust from 200 km (120 mi) to as little as 80 km (50 mi). Shandong has hence experienced extensive volcanism in the Tertiary.

Some geological formations in Shandong are rich in fossils. For example, Zhucheng in south-eastern Shandong has been the site of discovering many dinosaur fossils. In 2008, about 7,600 dinosaur bones from Tyrannosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and other genera were found, likely the largest collection ever discovered at one location.

Economy As of 1832, Shandong was exporting fruits, vegetables, wine, drugs, and deerskin, often heading to Guangzhou to exchange clothing and fabrics. The economy of Shandong is China's third largest provincial economy with a GDP of CNY¥8.3 trillion in 2021 or USD$1.3 trillion in (nominal), which is equivalent to the GDP of Mexico. Its GDP per capita is around the national average. Compared to a country, it would be the 15th-largest economy and the 15th most populous as of 2021.

Shandong ranks first among the provinces in the production of a variety of products, including cotton, wheat, and garlic as well as precious metals such as gold and diamonds. It also has one of the biggest sapphire deposits in the world. Other important crops include sorghum and maize. Shandong has extensive petroleum deposits as well, especially in the Dongying area in the Yellow River delta, where the Shengli Oil Field (lit. Victory Oilfield) is one of the major oilfields of China. Shandong also produces bromine from underground wells and salt from seawater. It is the largest agricultural exporter in China.

Shandong is one of China's richest provinces, 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 and tourism, 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. Besides, Dongying's oil fields and petroleum industries form an important component of Shandong's economy. Despite the primacy of Shandong's energy sector, the province has also been plagued with problems of inefficiency and ranks as the largest consumer of fossil fuels in all of China.

Image: Adobe Stock 昊 周 #199376952

The Shandong Province has a population of over 101,527,453 people. For the location of Shandong see: Jinan.

To set up a UBI Lab for Shandong see: Twitter:

Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

East of: 118.4

🇨🇳 Dongying 118.473

🇨🇳 Maanshan 118.507

🇨🇳 Jinjiang 118.576

🇨🇳 Quanzhou 118.584

🇨🇳 Shishi 118.7

🇮🇩 Bima 118.717

🇵🇭 Puerto Princesa 118.736

🇨🇳 Xuanzhou 118.757

🇨🇳 Donghai 118.763

🇨🇳 Nanjing 118.765

West of: 118.4

🇨🇳 Nanancun 118.385

🇨🇳 Nan'an 118.385

🇨🇳 Wuhu 118.364

🇨🇳 Ma'anshan 118.35

🇨🇳 Chuzhou 118.333

🇹🇼 Kinmen 118.33

🇨🇳 Linyi 118.318

🇨🇳 Yongchun 118.289

🇨🇳 Suqian 118.275

🇨🇳 Lijin 118.256

Antipodal to Shandong is: -61.6,-36.4

Locations Near: Shandong 118.4,36.4

🇨🇳 Zibo 118.045,36.803 d: 54.9  

🇨🇳 Weifang 119.107,36.709 d: 71.9  

🇨🇳 Xintai 117.768,35.909 d: 78.7  

🇨🇳 Laiwu 117.583,36.15 d: 78.3  

🇨🇳 Zhangqiu 117.491,36.758 d: 90.4  

🇨🇳 Dongying 118.473,37.456 d: 117.6  

🇨🇳 Zhucheng 119.387,35.988 d: 99.7  

🇨🇳 Binzhou 117.971,37.383 d: 115.8  

🇨🇳 Lijin 118.256,37.496 d: 122.5  

🇨🇳 Tai'an 117.087,36.202 d: 119.7  

Antipodal to: Shandong -61.6,-36.4

🇦🇷 Olavarría -60.333,-36.9 d: 19889.1  

🇦🇷 Chivilcoy -60.017,-34.9 d: 19795.4  

🇦🇷 Bahía Blanca -62.266,-38.718 d: 19750.8  

🇦🇷 Tandil -59.133,-37.317 d: 19773.1  

🇦🇷 Maria Teresa -61.967,-33.75 d: 19718.5  

🇦🇷 Venado Tuerto -61.967,-33.75 d: 19718.5  

🇦🇷 Santa Rosa -64.283,-36.617 d: 19774.1  

🇦🇷 Pergamino -60.575,-33.891 d: 19721  

🇦🇷 Melincué -61.45,-33.65 d: 19709  

🇦🇷 Parera -64.502,-35.147 d: 19718.5  

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