History of Chengdu

Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, is one of the earliest development cities in China. It is believed that in the early part of the 4th century BC, the Shu State moved its capital to the site of present-day Chengdu. During the Qin Dynasty, the city was founded, a protective 25-meter tall wall was built, and the city's reputation as a commercial hub and center for arts and crafts trades became established. In 256 B.C, the Dujiangyan Irrigation System was constructed under the lead of Li Bing. During this time, Chengdu was also known as Yizhou for a long time.

During Han Dynasty, Chengdu enjoying a boom, so it is called "Jingcheng". In 36 AD, the Later Han Dynasty moved to Chengdu.

In 221 AD, Shu Dynasty was established by Liubei, Chengdu became the political, economic, military and cultural center of Shu Han Dynasty. In 263 AD, Liuchan, the master of later Shu, surrendered at Chengdu. In 306 AD, Lixiong as an emperor, he takes Chengdu as a capital. During Northern and Southern Dynasties, Chengdu has been the political, economic and cultural center of the regional. In the Five Kingdoms Period (907-960), Buddhism got great development in Chengdu. 

In the Tang Dynasty (618 AD-934 AD),the economy in Chengdu is very developed and culture is very prosperity, due to its economic prosperity, it is called  "Yang first Yi second" (Yangzhou first, Chengdu second).

In the Song Dynasty (965 AD-1257 AD), Chengdu's most prosperous period of ancient history is in Song Dynasty, its economic status in China is very high. Chengdu was also the birthplace of the first widely used paper money in the world (Northern Song Dynasty, around 960 AD). The Qingyang Gong Taoist temple was built in Chengdu in the 9th century, meaning "Green Goat". At the end of the Song Dynasty, a rebel leader set up the capital of a short-lived kingdom in Chengdu, called Dàshu.

In 1286 AD, Chengdu was called Sichuan Province in Yuan Dynasty. During the Yuan Dynasty, Marco Polo visited Chengdu and wrote about the Anshun Bridge (or an earlier version of it) in Chengdu. He referred to Chengdu as "Sindafu" ("Cheng-Tu_Fu") as the capital of the province of the same name. In 1644, at the end of the Ming Dynasty, another rebel leader, Zhang Xianzhong, established a short-lived Daxi Dynasty in Sichuan with Chengdu, which he renamed Xijing, as the capital.

In 1646 AD, Chengdu was burned in the war and reduced to a virtual ghost town frequented by tigers in the next five or six years. The depopulation of Sichuan necessitated the resettlement of millions of people from other provinces during the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty

In 1911 AD, Chengdu Murder caused by Railway Project Crisis, directly led to the outbreak of the Xinhai Revolution. At the same time (On November 27, 1911 AD), the constituent members Pu Dianjun declared the independence of Sichuan in Chengdu. During the period of the Republic of China (1912 AD-1933 AD), Chengdu fell into the warlords vying for a long time. 

In 1937 AD, the Anti-Japanese War broke out. Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, has become China's rear area. In 1944 the American XX Bomber Command launched Operation Matterhorn, an ambitious plan to base B-29 Superfortresses in Chengdu and strategically bomb the Japanese Home Islands. Because the operation required a massive airlift of fuel and supplies over the Himalayas, it was not a significant military success, but it did earn Chengdu the distinction of launching the first serious retaliation against the Japanese homeland.

During the Chinese Civil War, Chengdu was the last city on the Chinese mainland to be held by the Kuomintang. President Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo directed the defense of the city from Chengdu Central Military Academy until 1949, when the city fell into Communist hands. The People's Liberation Army took the city without any resistance after a deal was negotiated between the People's Liberation Army and the commander of the KMT Army guarding the city.  

On December 10 the remnants of the Nationalist Chinese government evacuated to Taiwan.

In 1952 AD, after the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China restored the organizational system of Sichuan province, Chengdu has been the capital of Sichuan province all the time and Chengdu military region, Chengdu railway station and others have set up in Chengdu. During 1959 and the middle of the Cultural Revolution, Chengdu once served as the station of the Southwest Bureau of the CCP. In 1989, Chengdu became a deputy provincial city.

On May 12, 2008, the M8.0 earthquake struck causing damage to the area, killing about 80,000 people and injuring 26,413 people. 4,021 of the casualties and most of the property damage were from Dujiangyan and Pengzhou, two cities within the administration of Chengdu, the sub-provincial city. Chengdu did not suffer any discernible damage. The reason why many people died in the surrounding areas had to do with poor construction. Though only 75 Km from the epicenter, Chengdu itself was built to earthquake specification, and most buildings there remained intact.

The Chengdu Tianfu District Great City is a sustainably-planned city that will be outside of Chengdu, and is expected to open later in the decade. The city is also planned to be self-sustaining, with every residence being a two-minute walk from a park.


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