Meaning of CH'ENG-TU in English

Pinyin Chengdu city in central Szechwan sheng (province), China. Ch'engtu is the provincial capital. It is situated in the fertile Ch'eng-tu plain, the site of one of China's most ancient and successful irrigation systems, watered by the Min River. First set up during the Ch'in dynasty (221-206 BC), the system diverted half the waters of the Min River eastward to irrigate the plain through a dense network of channels. This system has survived, basically in its original form, and enables the area to support what has been claimed to be the densest agrarian population anywhere in the world. In addition, Ch'eng-tu has always been an important communication centre, with waterways (the Yangtze River and its tributaries, the Min River and T'o River) extending throughout the Szechwan Basin and beyond. Overland communications extend north to Lan-chou in Kansu province, northeast to Sian (Ch'ang-an) in Shensi province, and southwestward and westward into Yunnan province and the Tibet autonomous region. The city is said to have been founded by the Ch'in before they achieved control of all China during the 3rd century BC. Under their imperial regime (221-206 BC) the county of Ch'eng-tu was established; the name dates from that period. First under the Ch'in and then under the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), it was the seat of the commandery of Shu, and in 221 it became capital of the independent dynasty of Shu. Under the T'ang dynasty (618-907) it was known as I-chou, one of the empire's greatest commercial cities. In the late 8th century it became a secondary capital. After 907 it again became capital of an independent regime-that of the Earlier Shu and Later Shu. In the 10th century it was immensely prosperous, and its merchants introduced the use of paper money, which rapidly spread throughout China under the Sung dynasties (960-1279). In medieval times Ch'eng-tu was famous for its fine brocades and satins. The city was also notable for its refined culture and display of luxury. Throughout history it has remained a great city and a major administrative centre; since 1368 it has been capital of Szechwan. Ch'eng-tu developed rapidly during World War II, when many refugees from eastern China, fleeing the Japanese, settled there. The influx of Chinese to the city stimulated trade and commerce, and several universities and institutes of higher learning were also moved there. From 1949 Ch'eng-tu's growth was rapid. Railways were built to Chungking (Szechwan) in 1952, to Pao-chi (Shensi) and extended to Sian (Shensi) in 1955, to K'un-ming (Yunnan) in the late 1950s, and via An-k'ang to Hsiang-fan (Hupeh) in 1978-making Ch'eng-tu the rail centre for all southeastern China. Highways were also built into the western plateau, into the Tibet autonomous region and Tsinghai, and into Yunnan and Kweichow provinces. Air services from Ch'eng-tu fly to and from all parts of the southwest. The city is also a major industrial centre. In the 1950s a large thermal-generating station was built, and two important radio and electronics plants were installed by Soviet experts. A precision-tool and measuring-instrument plant was also established to serve the southwest. In addition, there are important engineering shops manufacturing railway equipment and power machinery. In the 1960s Ch'eng-tu became an important centre of China's aluminum industry. A chemical industry-producing fertilizers, industrial chemicals, and pharmaceutical products-was also developed. The city's oldest industry, textiles, remains important in the production not only of the traditional silks but also of cotton and woolen textiles. Ch'eng-tu continues as a major cultural centre. In addition to Szechwan University (1905), there are two other universities; higher institutes of medicine, science, geology, and economics; normal colleges; a fine museum; and a variety of specialist technical schools, several connected with the radio and electronics industries. There is a minorities institute for the training of Tibetan students. Ch'eng-tu also has many historical monuments and buildings. Pop. (1990) 1,713,255.

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