Qingdao Travel Guide

History

Ancient times

Human settlement in the area dates back 6,000 years. The Dongyi nationality, one of the important origins of the Chinese nation, lived here and created the Dawenkou, Longshan and Dongyeshi cultures. In the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770BC~256BC), the town of Jimo was established, which was then the second largest one in the Shandong region. The area in which Qingdao is located today was named Jiao'ao (胶澳) when it was administered by the Qing Dynasty on 14 June 1891.

German colonial period and Japanese occupation

In 1891, the Qing government decided to make the area a defense base against naval attack and began to improve Qingdao's existing fortifications. German naval officials observed and reported on this Chinese activity during a formal survey of Jiaozhou Bay in May 1897. Subsequently, German troops seized and occupied the fortification. China conceded the area to Germany the following year, and the Kiautschou Bay concession, as it became known, existed from 1898 to 1914. With an area of, it was located in the imperial province of Shandong (alternately romanized as Shantung or Shan-tung) on the southern coast of the Shandong Peninsula in northern China. Jiaozhou was romanized as Kiaochow, Kiauchau or Kiao-Chau in English and Kiautschou in German. Qingdao was its administrative center. "The so-called Marktstrasse (Market street) was nothing more than the old main street of the Chinese village of Tsingtao, and the buildings lining it were the former homes of fishermen and farmers. Having sold their property, they resettled their homes and fields in the villages further east." Upon gaining control of the area, the Germans outfitted the impoverished fishing village of "Tsingtao" (Qingdao) with wide streets, solid housing areas, government buildings, electrification throughout, a sewer system and a safe drinking water supply, a rarity in large parts of Asia at that time and later. The area had the highest school density and the highest per capita student enrollment in all of China, with primary, secondary and vocational schools funded by the Imperial German treasury and Protestant and Roman Catholic missions. Commercial interests established the Germania Brewery in 1903, which later became the world-famous Tsingtao Brewery. German influence extended to other areas of Shandong Province, including the establishment of diverse commercial enterprises.

Identified by the German authorities as a strategically important port, Qingdao was administered by the Imperial Department of the Navy (Reichsmarineamt) rather than the Imperial Colonial Office (Reichskolonialamt). The navy based their Far East Squadron there, allowing the ships to conduct operations throughout the Pacific. Beginning January 1898 the marines of III. Seebataillon were based at Tsingtao.

Before the outbreak of World War I, ships of the German naval forces under Admiral Count von Spee were located at central Pacific colonies on routine missions. The fleet then rendezvoused in the Marianas to plan a transit to Germany rather than be trapped in the Pacific by Allied fleets.

After a minor British naval attack on the German colony in 1914, Japan occupied the city and the surrounding province during the Siege of Tsingtao after Japan's declaration of war on Germany in accordance with the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. The failure of the Allied powers to restore Chinese rule to Shandong after the war triggered the May Fourth Movement.

The city reverted to Chinese rule in December, 1922, under control of the Republic of China. The city became a direct-controlled municipality of the ROC Government in 1929. Japan re-occupied Qingdao in 1938 with its plans of territorial expansion into China's coast.

Post–World War II

After World War II the KMT allowed Qingdao to serve as the headquarters of the Western Pacific Fleet of the US Navy in 1945. On 2 June 1949, the CCP-led Red Army entered Qingdao and the city and province have been under PRC control since that time.

Since the 1984 inauguration of China's open-door policy to foreign trade and investment, western Qingdao developed quickly as a port city. It is now the headquarters of the Chinese navy's northern fleet. An early example of the open-door policy occurred on 5 November 1984, when three United States Naval vessels visited Qingdao. This was the first US port call in more than 37 years to China., and and their crews were officially hosted by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Northern Qingdao, particularly Shibei, Licang, and Chengyang districts, are now major manufacturing centers. The city has recently experienced a strong growth period, with a new central business district created to the east of the older business district. Outside of the center of the city, there is a large industrial zone, which includes chemical processing, rubber and heavy manufacturing, in addition to a growing high-tech area. Numerous local and national service companies, rather than manufacturers, are based in the city's southern district; this, as well as local wind patterns, allows Qingdao to enjoy clean, clear air year round.

source: Wikipedia

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