Meaning of CHENG-TING in English

Pinyin Zhengding town in western Hopeh sheng (province), China. The town has been strategically important throughout history, being situated on the edge of the North China Plain at the foot of the T'ai-hang Mountains and commanding the approaches to one of the principal routes from the plain into Shansi province. The area was a part of the state of Chao during the Warring States period (475-221 BC), and a county town named Chen-ting was established there by the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) in the 2nd century BC. It kept the name until 1723, when it was changed to Cheng-ting because the Chinese character chen was tabooed, being part of the emperor's name. From early Sung times (960-1127) the town was the seat of the Chen-ting superior prefecture, and until the 20th century it was a major administrative centre for western Hopeh. It was also an important route centre and trading town, benefiting from river transport to the coastal area via the Hu-t'o River and being also on the main post road from Peking through western Hopeh. In the 20th century, however, a minor market town to the south of the Hu-t'o River, Shih-chia-chuang, became an important rail junction and grew rapidly as a major trading centre and, from 1949, as a major industrial city. Thus Cheng-ting, an important trading town since T'ang (618-907) times, was rapidly eclipsed, and eventually Shih-chia-chuang took over its administrative function as well, leaving it as a minor satellite city. Cheng-ting, however, retains many monuments and traces of its ancient importance. It has, in particular, many Buddhist monuments, because in Sui (581-618) and T'ang times it was a centre of Buddhism. The town was the seat of one of the late T'ang provincial governors who was a pious Buddhist, and in consequence the Buddhist foundations there were comparatively unscathed by the persecution of 843-845. Pop. (mid-1970s est.) 10,000-50,000.

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