Chengdu (chŭng-dō) [key] or Chengtu, city (1994 est. pop. 1,932,800), capital of Sichuan prov., SW China, on the Min River. It is a port and the commercial center of the Chengdu plain, the main farming area of Sichuan. Its irrigation system dates back to the 2d cent. B.C. A transportation hub, it is the rail center for SE China. Products include textiles, processed foods, chemicals, machinery, railway equipment, aluminum, electronics, and paper. High-grade iron ore is mined at nearby Lugu.
Chengdu, an old walled city, was in existence during the Ch'un-ch'iu period (770–475 B.C.). It was the capital of the Shu Han dynasty (3d cent. A.D.) and one of the earliest (9th cent. A.D.) printing centers in China. A cultural seat since ancient times, it is commonly called "little Beijing." Its numerous institutions of higher learning include Sichuan Univ., Chengdu Technical Univ., and two medical colleges. The New Century Global Center, in the new, planned district of Tianfu, is the largest free-standing building in the world, with offices, hotels, shopping, and leisure attractions. The cottage where Tu Fu wrote his poetry (8th cent.) was restored in 1955.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.