Meaning of CHEN-CHIANG in English

, conventional Pinyin ZhenjiangChin-kiang, formerly (1912-18) Tant'u city and port in southern Kiangsu sheng (province), China, situated on the southern bank of the Yangtze River. It was capital of the province in 1928-49. Chen-chiang was the seat of feudal domains from the 8th century BC onward, having been known first as Chu-fang-i and later as K'u-yang-i. After the Ch'in conquest in 221 BC, it became a county and was given the name Tan-t'u. It first became the seat of a higher administrative division during the middle of the 3rd century BC. On the conquest of southern China by the Sui in AD 581, it was made a garrison, commanding the entrance to the Yangtze River; and in 595 it became a full prefecture named Jun. After 780 it was the seat of a military governor, whose army was called Chen-hai. At this time, because it was the place where the Chiang-nan Canal (which in turn was connected to the Grand Canal) joined the Yangtze, its importance was greatly increased. It became the chief collecting centre for tax grain from the rich Yangtze Delta region; the grain was then shipped across the Yangtze and north via the Grand Canal. Under the early Sung dynasty (960-1127) it remained of strategic importance and in 975 became the military prefecture (chn) of Chen-chiang. In 1113 it was raised to the status of a fu (superior prefecture), Chen-chiang. It retained this name until 1912, when it became a county under its historic name of Tan-t'u; in 1918, however, the county was renamed Chen-chiang. In 1861 the port was opened to foreign trade as a result of the treaties of Tientsin. The old walled city expanded rapidly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but the city's traditional role as a port on the Grand Canal declined after the northern section of the canal went out of use in the 1850s and was replaced by sea transport. The port of Chen-chiang itself suffered badly from silting, and in the 20th century the entrance to the Chiang-nan Canal became seriously obstructed. The city was the scene of fighting with the British in 1842 during the Opium War (1839-42) and suffered greatly during the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64). Having been occupied by rebels in 1853, it played a vital role in their defense of their capital at Nanking (Nan-ching) and became the centre of fierce battles, particularly in 1857-58. In spite of these setbacks, Chen-chiang has remained important; it ranks high among China's ports, almost all of its trade being domestic. In addition to being connected with a dense canal and waterway system, it has been linked with Nanking and Shanghai by rail since 1908; since 1928 it has also been linked with a road network constructed after it became the provincial capital. Its trade is based not only on the area south of the river but also on the northern part of Kiangsu. Many wholesale firms in the city provide raw materials and manufactured goods to northern Kiangsu and Anhwei and collect grain, cotton, and oils from the region for transshipment to Shanghai. It has become a centre of the lumber industry, where the huge log rafts floated down the Yangtze are broken up and shipped on to the consumers in the river delta and northern Kiangsu. Chen-chiang's other industries are almost all concerned with food processing. Its large flour mills use grain from northern Kiangsu and export flour as far as China's Northeast. There are also oil-extraction and rice-polishing plants and a large paper pulp factory. Its industrial production, however, is relatively insignificant. In spite of the damage suffered in the 19th century, Chen-chiang has many well-known temples and other relics; important archaeological finds have also been made in the area. Pop. (1988 est.) 339,000.

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