Chongqing (chŏngˈchēngˈ) [key] or Chungking chōngˈkĭngˈ, city and independent municipality (2010 pop. 28,846,170), 592 sq mi (1,534 sq km), in SE Sichuan prov., China, at the junction of the Chang and Jialing rivers. It is administered directly by the national government. The commercial center of W China, it commands a large river trade. Surrounded on three sides by water, it is situated on a rock promontory. A flourishing industrial city, it was opened for direct foreign trade in 1979. In the 1980s it became the site of an economic experiment, where factory managers were given more decision-making power and allowed to channel profits into expansion, and the early 21st cent. saw Chongqing developed as China's largest inland urban area to provide economic opportunity for the surrounding region's poorer rural inhabitants.
Chongqing's industries include a large-scale integrated iron and steel complex, oil and copper refineries, motor vehicle and munitions factories, cotton and silk mills, chemical and cement plants, food-processing establishments, machine shops, paper mills, and tanneries. Large coal and iron mines and a major oil field are nearby. Its many institutions of higher learning include Chongqing Univ., Chongqing Technical Univ., and a medical college. The Chongqing Library and the Chongqing Municipal Museum are important cultural centers.
Chongqing was opened as a treaty port in 1891. In Nov., 1937, just before the Japanese capture of Nanjing in the Second Sino-Japanese War, the capital of China was transferred to Chongqing, where it remained until the end of hostilities. During that time administrative agencies, educational institutions, and industrial plants from all over the country were relocated in Chongqing and the population more than tripled. The city was taken by the Communists on Nov. 30, 1949.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.