Meaning of K'UN-MING in English

Pinyin Kunming, city in east-central Yunnan sheng (province), China. K'un-ming is the provincial capital of Yunnan. Situated in a fertile lake basin on the northern shore of the Tien Lake and surrounded by mountains to the north, west, and east, K'un-ming has always played a part in the communications of southwestern China. In the 8th and 9th centuries it was known to the Chinese as T'o-tung city in the independent state of Nan-chao. It first came under the control of the Chinese central government with the Yan (Mongol) invasion of the southwest in 1253. In 1276 it was founded as K'un-ming county and became the provincial capital of Yunnan. It is considered by scholars to have been the city of Yachi, described by the 13th-century Venetian traveler Marco Polo. During the Ming (13681644) and Ch'ing (16441911) dynasties, it was the seat of the superior prefecture of Yunnan. It reverted to county status in 1912, under the name K'un-ming, and became a municipality in 1935. K'un-ming was a communications centre in early times and a junction of two major trading routes, one westward via Ta-li and T'eng-yeh (modern T'eng-ch'ung) into Myanmar (Burma), the other southward through Meng-tzu to the Red River in Indochina. Eastward, a difficult mountain route led to Kuei-yang in Kweichow province and thence to Hunan province. To the northeast was a well-established trade trail to I-pin in Szechwan province on the Yangtze River. But these trails were all extremely difficult, passable only by mule trains or pack-carrying porters. The opening of the K'un-ming area began in earnest with the completion in 190610 of the railway to Haiphong in Indochina. K'un-ming became a treaty port open to foreign trade in 1908 and soon became a commercial centre. In the 1930s its importance grew still further when the first highways were built, linking K'un-ming with Chungking in Szechwan and Kuei-yang in Kweichow to the east. K'un-ming's transformation into a modern city resulted from the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937. In the face of the advancing Japanese forces, great numbers of Chinese flooded into southwestern China and brought with them dismantled industrial plants, which were then reerected beyond the range of Japanese bombers. In addition, a number of universities and institutes of higher education were evacuated there. When the Japanese occupied French Indochina in 1940, the links of K'un-ming with the west, both via the newly constructed Burma Road and by air, grew increasingly vital. Industry became important in K'un-ming during World War II. The large state-owned Central Machine Works was transferred there from Hunan, while the manufacture of electrical products, copper, cement, steel, paper, and textiles expanded. After 1949 K'un-ming developed rapidly into an industrial metropolis, second only to Chungking in the southwest. Its chief industries are the production of copper, lead, and zinc; its iron and steel industry has been greatly expanded. K'un-ming is also a centre of the engineering industry, manufacturing machine tools, electrical machinery and equipment, and automobiles. It has a major chemical industry, as well as cement works and textile factories. Its many processing plants, which include tanneries and woodworking and papermaking factories, use local agricultural products. K'un-ming remains a major cultural centre, with universities, medical and teacher-training colleges, technical schools, and scientific research institutes. About 60 miles (96 km) southeast of the city is the Stone Forest, a karst formation consisting of rock caves, arches, and pavilions. K'un-ming has daily air connections with Peking. Pop. (1990 est.) 1,127,411.

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