Meaning of TE-CHOU in English

Pinyin Dezhou city on the northern plain of Shantung sheng (province), China. Te-chou has been the name of an administrative district covering the northwest of what is now Shantung province since early times. In AD 583 Te-chou was first established in place of An-te commandery (district controlled by a commander) and of An-te county, which had had its seat there since Han times (206 BCAD 220). It was known as Te-chou or as P'ing-yan commandery in subsequent dynasties. In 1409 the Ming dynasty transferred the seat of Te-chou to its present location, formerly known as Ling-hsien. Under the Chinese republic in 1911, Te-chou was made a county, known as Te. Te-chou has always been a strategic and transportation centre. It lies just east of the Wei River, which has been a northeast-to-southwest route across the North China Plain since early times. From the late 6th century onward, Te-chou was a supply depot and canal port on the Yung-chi Canal, which roughly followed the course of the Wei River. Under the Yan dynasty (12791368), the modern Grand Canal, which again followed the line of the Wei River, was constructed, and Te-chou again became a vital supply centre, especially after the capital was moved to Peking. In Ming times (13681644) the city became the main collecting point for the tax grain of northern Shantung and southern Hopeh provinces and a transshipment point for grain from Schow in Kiangsu province and the Yangtze River region. Two enormous granaries, the Kuang-chi Ts'ang and the Te-chou Ts'ang, were constructed, and in 1511 the city was strongly fortified, with walls almost 7 miles (11 km) in circumference. In the 20th century, after the Grand Canal had fallen into neglect, Te-chou's importance revived following the construction of the railway from Tientsin to P'u-k'ou, opposite Nanking, completed in 1912. The line, passing through Te-chou, connected at Chi-nan with the railway to Tsingtao, giving Te-chou access to this major port. The Japanese in 1940, during their occupation of the area, built another railway connecting Te-chou with Shih-chia-chuang, in Hopeh province, and with the industrial centres of Shansi province to the west. Te-chou was thus at the junction of the main north-south rail route and a new east-west rail link. The city became a major collecting centre for the agricultural produce of the southern part of the Hopeh Plain, which includes beans, grain, cotton, peanuts (groundnuts), tobacco, and, above all, fruit. The surrounding area is well known for its watermelons, Chinese dates, and pears. The modern city is a centre for small-scale industry as well as for such medium-scale industries as grain milling, oil pressing, tobacco curing, and the manufacture of cotton textiles. Te-chou is also the centre of an engineering industry dating to the end of the 19th century, when it was the site of a minor arsenal producing arms and ammunition for the Peiyang (North Ocean) Army. Pop. (1990 est.) 195,485.

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