Qingdao (chĭngˈdouˈ) [key] or Tsingtao tsĭngˈtouˈ, chĭngˈdouˈ, city (1994 est. pop. 1,584,100), SE Shandong prov., E China, on the Yellow Sea. With an excellent ice-free harbor, it is a major fishing and trade port of China, connected by rail with Yantai and Jinan. It is a special economic development port. The leading industrial city of Shandong, it has textile mills, food- and tobacco-processing plants, machine shops, breweries, paper mills, and plants making diesel locomotives, railroad cars, motor vehicles, tires, fertilizers, rubber products, and chemicals. The 26.4-mi (42.5-km) Jiaozhou Bay Bridge connects Qingdao with Huangdao; it is the longest cross-sea combination span in the world.
Leased to Germany in 1898 as part of the Kiaochow (Jiaozhou) territory, Qingdao became the administrative center of the leasehold and developed into a modern city. The Japanese held it from 1914 to 1922. Qingdao was a marine and naval base for the United States from 1945 to 1949, when it was abandoned and fell to the Communists. In the city are an astronomical observatory, two marine museums, Qingdao Technical Univ., a medical college, and several technical institutes. The city's name sometimes appears as Ch'ing-tao.