New York? No... Chongqing, China!
A country in a single metropolis! Half of France stands within Chongqing!
Chongqing is the third most famous city and the first populated city in China. A July 2010 article from the official Xinhua news agency credited Chongqing with a population of 32.8 million! Under the thumb of powerful and one of the 10 rising stars of Chinese politics: Bo Xilai (薄熙来) since December 2007. Bo Xilai is the son of Bo Yibo, who was one of China's revolutionary "eight immortals". He survived the Mao era. Bo Xilai is now the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chief for Chongqing. He is presented by his critics as adept of political struggle to make his way up the Party hierarchy...
Previously he had also handled the development of the region of Dalian (a famous soccer team!) in North East Liaoning province from 1994 to 2002 Mayor and then Liaoning Governor. Xilai was 16 during the Cultural revolution. Became minister of Commerce and is a top official of the Party since 2007.
Bo recent success was to counter attack the Chinese Triads mafia in a most popular court hearing that caught the eyes of Chinese citizens for months. Bo Xilai is rumored to be one of the future candidates to the top office of China president currently occupied by Hu Jintao.
His city Chongqing is referred to as "Yu", the "Mountain City", the "River City"; the "Foggy City"; the "Furnace City"; and the "Gateway to the West." I'd add that it is a humid cold awfully polluted city. The biggest in all meanings. It catches opportunists of all kinds eager to become millionaires in a year.
Chongqing is one one of the largest cities in the world and is the economic center; hub of waterways, land, and air transportation in Southwest China with busy rivers and highways radiating in all directions; and an inland river port with foreign trade in the west of China.
It is one of the People's Republic of China's four direct-controlled municipalities (the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and the only such municipality in western China.
"Chongqing is a port city situated in the Southeast of the Sichuan Basin between the famous Yangtze and the Jialing River. It is the largest and most densely populated municipality directly under the Chinese Central Government. It was constructed on mountain slopes."
A hotbed of development for the Middle Kingdom: Chongqing has a history of over 3,000 years and is the birthplace of Bayu culture. The oldest known artifacts discovered in the Chongqing area date back to approximately 20,000 years ago. In the Shang Dynasty (1600-1027 BC) and Zhou Dynasty (1027-221 BC) Ba people founded the Kingdom of Ba, and made Chongqing their capital.
In 1891 Chongqing became an open port, and in 1929 Chongqing was officially declared a city. During World War II, Chongqing was made an alternate capital after the fall of Nanjing, which was then the capital of the Kuomintang government. During this period Chongqing developed into the center of politics, economy, and culture in China.
Between 1627-1645, with the fall of the Ming Dynasty, Chongqing, together with Sichuan, were captured by the Revolts who overthrew the Ming Dynasty across the nation. Later during the Qing Dynasty, immigration to Chongqing and Sichuan took place with the support of Qing emperor.
In 1891, Chongqing became the first inland commerce port open to foreigners.
From 1929, Chongqing became a municipality of the Republic of China. During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), it was General Chiang Kai-shek's provisional capital. This is where France had her diplomatic mission during the war but was heavily bombed by the Japanese Air Force. Many factories and universities were moved from eastern China to Chongqing during WWII, transforming this city from inland port to a heavily industrialized city. In late November 1949 the Nationalist KMT government fled the city. Some to Shanghai, then to Taiwan.
After the war and the revolution, in 1954, Chongqing became a city under the jurisdiction of the Sichuan Provincial Government.
Chongqing and the Yangtze
Chongqing is famous for its shopping. In Chongqing there are 4 main shopping regions. Jiefangbei is the heart of the city. Its pedestrian street contains clusters of modern shopping malls and exclusive shops. Banks, theaters, bookstores, hotels, and bars are quite easy to find. Chaotian Market is the largest market in Chongqing.
It deals mainly with garment wholesale. Here shoppers can find clothing and accessories at very reasonable prices. Paradise Street in JiangBei district has developed into another shopping and entertainment center. Nan Bin Road hosts a newly opened flower market that has become a leisure hotspot for locals and tourists alike. Over 100 flower shops, tea houses, and shops selling traditional arts and crafts like the street. It is a fantastic place to unwind day or night... Chongqing is famous for its hot and spicy Sichuan cuisine and world famous hot-pot dishes."
Monuments and history, one of the hearts of today's China.
But within this current presentation, needless to recall that here too history remains present in the mind of the people: "The Chongqing Municipal government is set to invest at least 2.8 billion yuan ($413 million) for the construction of an Anti-Japanese War Museum and a relative system of relic protection," according to a report of the Chongqing Evening News earlier this week!
One of numerous reasons why Japan and China watchers do not really concur with the Japanese officials saying that relations within Japan and China will definitely settle soon. "As long as the Diplomacy of Japan will be led by the Washington school after the destruction of the so called Russia and China school" within the Japanese foreign affairs ministry, as one scholar expert, often controversial, put it, Gregory Clark on recent and today's NBR Forum!
Naoto Kan 3D: disappointments, doubts, despairs!
This diplomatic volatile shift is the price Tokyo has to pay after Naoto Kan destroyed Japan's reformist moves of an other Princeling... Yukio Hatoyama! "An opportunistic move", his harsh critics say of PM Kan who "contributed in the destabilization of East Asia Japan and China relationship" as seen in the Senkaku Daioyu territorial crisis, in spite of pledges made of a new diplomacy to Japanese voters in 2009. Pledges that gave DPJ the victory over a 50 years rule of the LDP! One of the pledges was to review diplomacy and regional security, including Japan Us security terms of alliance and development of a new synergy with East Asian nations. Kan did not convince Japanese citizens who gave the victory to the LDP at summer last Upper House election. A society harboring disappointments, doubts, and, despairs of the archipelago electorate, of young generations, of unemployed Japanese workers who apparently feel cheated by DPJ and flabbergasted by the collapse of Japanese political class and administration's morals, as Japanese media witness in numerous papers' columns.
Sources: Reporter's Notes, Xinhua, Global Times, Chinaex
Absolutely brilliant entry Joel, and love the louche smoking jacket. I was looking for a photo of Bo for my blog entry on him when I encountered your site. Hope you don't mind if I link it with a recommendation.ReplyDelete
Thank you very much for your comment!ReplyDelete
Are you or do you have access with Facebook?
No FB Joel. Privacy concerns. My take on Bo which could be different from yours is now up. Best KTReplyDelete
No problem. History is being written in Chongqing as we just witnessed a typical bloodthirsty power battle for power at the top of China supreme command. China will change, but it is a matter of time, and the magnitude of changes will have to be defined by her people, something seldom seen in the past.ReplyDelete