Changsha (Chinese: 长沙, Changsha dialect: Tsanso) is the capital and most populous city of Hunan province in the south central part of the People's Republic of China. It covers 11,819 km2 (4,563 sq mi) and is bordered by Yueyang and Yiyang to the north, Loudi to the west, Xiangtan and Zhuzhou to the south, Yichun and Pingxiang of Jiangxi province to the east. According to 2010 Census, Changsha has 7,044,118 residents, constituting 10.72% of the province's population. It is part of the Chang-Zhu-Tan city cluster or megalopolis.
Changsha is located in the Xiang River valley plain, bordering on Luoxiao Mountains on the east, Wuling Mountains on the west, edging in Dongting Lake on the north and bounded on the south by Hengshan Mountains. It has a monsoonal humid subtropical climate, with an average annual air temperature of 16.8 to 17.3 °C (62.2 to 63.1 °F) and an annual rainfall of 1,358.6 to 1,552.5 mm (53.49 to 61.12 in).
Changsha has a history of more than 3,000 years. Changsha was the capital of Changsha State in the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), and the capital of the Chu State (907–951) in the Ten Kingdoms period. The lacquerware and Silk Texts recovered from Mawangdui (2nd century BC) there are an indication of the richness of local craft traditions. In 1904, Changsha was opened to foreign trade, and large numbers of Europeans and Americans settled there. Changsha was the site of Mao Zedong's conversion to communism. It was also the scene of major battles in the Sino-Japanese War (1931–1945) and was briefly occupied by the Japanese. Changsha is now an important commercial, manufacturing and transportation centre.
Clockwise from top: Skyline of Changsha, Yuehu Park, Huangxing South Pedestrian Street, Aiwan Pavilion
"星城" (Star City)
(Care About the World, Dare to Be Pioneer)
Location of Changsha City in Hunan
Location of the city center in Hunan
|Coordinates (Changsha municipal government): Coordinates:|
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|Municipal seat||Yuelu District|
|Divisions||9 County-level divisions, 172 Township divisions|
|• Party Secretary||Hu Henghua|
|• Mayor||Chen Wenhao|
|• Prefecture-level city||11,819 km2 (4,563 sq mi)|
| • Urban|
|738 km2 (285 sq mi)|
|Elevation||63 m (207 ft)|
|• Prefecture-level city||7,431,800|
|• Density||630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)|
| • Urban|
|• Urban density||5,400/km2 (14,000/sq mi)|
|• Rank in China||19th|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (China Standard)|
|ISO 3166 code||CN-HN-01|
|GDP Total (2016)||CNY 931 billion|
|GDP per capita (2016)||CNY 127,346|
|GDP growth rate||10.7%|
湘O (police and authorities)
|City tree||Camphor tree|
|Languages||Mandarin, Changsha dialect|
|Literal meaning||"Long Sandbar"|
The origins of the name "Changsha" in unknown. The name first appears in the 11th century BC, during the reign of King Cheng of the Zhou dynasty: a vassal lord from the Changsha area sent a type of softshell turtle known as "Changsha softshell turtle" (simplified Chinese: 长沙鳖; traditional Chinese: 長沙鼈; pinyin: Chángshā biē) to the Zhou king as a tribute. In the 2nd century AD, historian Ying Shao wrote that the Qin dynasty use of the name Changsha for the area was a continuance of its old name.
Development started around 3000 BC when Changsha developed with the proliferation of Longshan culture, although there is no firm evidence of such a link. Despite this, pottery and bronze ware have been discovered.
In the Central Plain region during the Zhou and Shang dynasties, Yandi and Huangdi in regards to their relationship between the Central Plains, paid a visit. Sima Qian writes in his Records of the Grand Historian "Huangdi, loving his (oldest son) Shaohao, gave him a parcel of land, an area amounted to Changsha and surrounding land."
Evidence exists that people lived and thrived in the area during the Bronze Age. Numerous examples of pottery and other objects have been discovered.
Eastern Zhou's collapse swept in turmoil with the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC). The Yue culture spread and took a stronghold through the region, especially through Changsha. During the height of the Warring States Period, the Chu Kingdom took a hardline nationalist and reform approach and took a large-scale military operations in South China. Chu Kingdom took control of Changsha and turned the city into an important part of the southern part of Chu. After years of war and occupation, Changsha slowly replaced Yue culture with Chu culture. In 1951-1957, archaeologists explored numerous large and medium-sized Chu tombs from the warring states era. More than 3,000 tombs have been discovered.
The city is sometimes called Qingyang (simplified Chinese: 青阳; traditional Chinese: 青陽; pinyin: Qīngyáng) in Warring States period texts.
Changsha transformed into the Changsha Kingdom. It existed as a fiefdom under the tutelage of the Qin and later the Han dynasty. Under the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC), it became a staging post for Qin expeditions into Guangdong province. By 202 BC, it was already a fortified city. During the Han dynasty, it was also the capital of Changsha Kingdom, an imperial fiefdom of the Han. From Han times (206 BC – AD 220), it held the name Linxiang County and was the seat of the Changsha commandery. The county was renamed back Changsha in 589
During the Han dynasty the Mawangdui tombs were constructed between 186 and 165 BC. The earliest tomb (no. 2), when excavated in the 1970s, was seen to have preserved the corpse of Lady Xin Zhui in a surprisingly good condition. Also found in the tomb were the earliest versions of the Dao De Jing, the main text of Taoism, among many other historical documents.
With the collapse of the Han dynasty, China fell into turmoil amidst of the rise of the Three Kingdoms. The power base of Changsha fragmented into three factions.
Changsha soon fell under control of the Jin dynasty. Emperor Wudi appointed the ruler and governor to be the sixth son of a general Sima Yi. The local government had over 100 counties at the beginning of the dynasty. Over the course of the dynasty, the local government of Changsha lost control over a few counties, leaving them to local rule.
In 589, the Sui dynasty emerged as the sole power in China. This emergence ended the northern and Southern dynasties era and reunified China once again under one government.
With the emergence of the Sui dynasty, Changsha was renamed to the name of Tanzhou. In addition, a new form of government was reintroduced. Changsha's 3-tier division system was changed to a 2-tier state and county system, eliminating the middle canton region. This new system is a significant improvement for efficiency. The existing counties in the Hunan region, including Changsha, were either outright replaced or greatly restructured. Some of the new counties created, such as Wangcheng, Liuyang, Liling still exist to this day. Neighboring town such as Xiangtan have experienced such restructure of counties that still exist to this day.
The Tang dynasty brought new prosperity and peace to Changsha. the city became a place of trade between China and Southeast Asia. Changsha experienced violence during the Anshi Rebellion when rebels swept through the area.
Changsha was fiercely defended by local Song troops during the Mongol conquest of the Song Dynasty and, after it fell into Mongol hands an event of mass suicide by the Changsha defenders took place in the city.
From 1664 onward, it was the capital of Hunan, prospering as one of China's chief rice markets. During the Taiping Rebellion, the city was besieged by the rebels (1854) but never fell; it then became the principal base for the suppression of the rebellion. It was opened to foreign trade in 1904. Further development followed the opening of the railway to Hankou in Hubei province in 1918, which was later extended to Guangzhou in Guangdong province in 1936. Although Changsha's population grew, the city remained primarily commercial in character and before 1937 had little industry apart from some small cotton-textile, glass, and nonferrous-metal plants and handicraft enterprises.
The 1903 Treaty of Shanghai between the Qing dynasty and Japan opened the city to foreign trade. Consequently, factories, churches and schools were built. A college was started by Yale University bachelors, which later became a medical centre named Xiangya and a secondary school named the Yali School.
Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China, began his political career in Changsha. He was a student at the Hunan Number 1 Teachers' Training School from 1913 to 1918. He later returned as a teacher and principal from 1920 to 1922. The school was destroyed during the Chinese Civil War but has since been restored. The former office of the Hunan Communist Party Central Committee where Mao Zedong once lived is now a museum that includes Mao's living quarters, photographs and other historical items from the 1920s.
Until May 1927, communist support remained strong in Changsha before the massacre carried out by the right-wing faction of the KMT troops. The faction owed its allegiance to Chiang Kai-shek during its offensive against the KMT's left-wing faction under Wang Jingwei, who was then allied closely with the Communists. The purge of communists and suspected communists was part of Chiang's plans for consolidating his hold over the KMT, weakening Wang's control, and thereby over the entire China. In a period of twenty days, Chiang's forces killed more than ten thousand people in Changsha and its outskirts.
During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), the strategic location of Changsha made it the focus of four campaigns by the Japanese to capture it from the hands of the Chinese Nationalists: these campaigns were the 1st Changsha, the 2nd Changsha, the 3rd Changsha, and the 4th Changsha. The city was able to repulse the first three attacks, thanks to Xue Yue's leadership, but ultimately fell into Japanese hands in 1944 for a year until the Japanese were defeated in a counterattack and forced to surrender. Before these Japanese campaigns, the city was already virtually destroyed by the 1938 Changsha Fire, which was a deliberate fire ordered by Kuomintang commanders who mistakenly feared the city was about to fall to the Japanese; Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had suggested that the city should be burned so that the Japanese force would gain nothing after entering it.
Since the late 1990s, Changsha has rapidly developed, becoming one of the important cities in the central and western regions. At the end of 2007, Changsha, with Xiangtan, Zhuzhou was approved by the State Council for the Chang-Zhu-Tan " (Greater Changsha) resource-saving and environment-friendly society" comprehensive reform pilot area, an important engine of the rise of central China. In 2015, Xiangjiang New Area was approved as a national new district
Changsha is located in the northeast of Hunan Province, the lower reaches of the Xiang River and the western part of the Changliu Basin. It lies between 111°53′ to 114°15′ east longitude and 27°51′ to 28°41′ north latitude. The city borders Yichun and Pingxiang of Jiangxi Province in the east, Zhuzhou and Xiangtan in the south, Loudi and Yiyang in the west, and Yueyang and Yiyang in the north. It is about 230 kilometres from east to west and about 88 kilometres from north to south. Changsha covers an area of 11,819 km2 (4,563 sq mi), of which the urban area of 2,150.9 km2 (830.5 sq mi), the urban built-up area is 374.64 km2 (144.65 sq mi). The highest point in Changsha is Mount Qixing (七星岭) located in Daweishan Town, 1,607.9 m (5,275 ft). The lowest point is Zhanhu (湛湖) in Qiaokou Town, 23.5 m (77 ft).
The Xiang is the main river in the city, it runs 74 km (46 mi) from south to north throughout the territory. There are 15 tributaries flowing into the Xiang River, of which Liuyang, Laodao, Jinjiang and Wei are the four largest tributaries in Changsha. The Xiang River divides the city proper into two parts of the west and the east, The eastern part is mainly commercial area and the west is mainly cultural and educational area. On October 10, 2001, the seat of Changsha City was transferred from Fanzheng Street to Guanshaling. Since then, the economy of both sides of the Xiang River has achieved a balanced development.
Changsha has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with annual average temperature being at 17.03 °C (62.7 °F), with a mean of 4.6 °C (40.3 °F) in January and 29.0 °C (84.2 °F) in July. Average annual precipitation is 1,331 millimetres (52.4 in), with a 275-day frost-free period. With a monthly possible-sunshine percentage ranging from 19% in March to 57% in August, the city receives 1,545 hours of bright sunshine annually. The four seasons are distinct. The summers are long and very hot, with heavy rainfall, and autumn is comfortable and is the driest season. Winter is chilly and overcast with lighter rainfall more likely than downpours; cold snaps occur with temperatures occasionally dropping below freezing. Spring is especially rainy and humid with the sun shining less than 30% of the time. The minimum temperature ever recorded since 1951 at the current Wangchengpo Weather Observing Station was −12.0 °C (10.4 °F), recorded on 9 February 1972. The maximum was 40.6 °C (105.1 °F) on 13 August 1953 and 2 August 2003 [the unofficial record of 43.0 °C (109.4 °F) was set on 10 August 1934].
|Climate data for Changsha Wangchengpo Weather Observing Station (望城坡; WMO ID 57687), 1981–2010 normals|
|Record high °C (°F)||26.9
|Average high °C (°F)||8.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.9
|Average low °C (°F)||2.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−9.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||73.7
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||13.6||14.0||17.8||18.8||16.3||13.3||9.7||9.9||9.8||11.1||10.2||9.4||153.9|
|Average relative humidity (%)||81||81||81||80||79||81||75||78||80||79||78||77||79|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||76.2||63.0||69.4||88.3||122.8||144.8||238.3||229.6||160.0||133.4||115.7||103.2||1,544.7|
|Percent possible sunshine||24||20||19||23||29||35||56||57||43||38||36||32||35|
|Source: China Meteorological Administration (precipitation days, sunshine data 1971–2000)|
|Area (km²)||Dens. (/km²)|
|Furong District||芙蓉区||Fúróng Qū||523,730||42||12,470|
|Tianxin District||天心区||Tiānxīn Qū||475,663||74||6,428|
|Yuelu District||岳麓区||Yuèlù Qū||801,861||552||1,453|
|Kaifu District||开福区||Kāifú Qū||567,373||187||3,034|
|Yuhua District||雨花区||Yǔhuā Qū||725,353||114||6,363|
|Wangcheng District||望城区||Wàngchéng Qū||523,489||970||540|
|Suburban and rural|
|Liuyang City||浏阳市||Liúyáng Shì||1,278,928||4,999||256|
|Ningxiang City||宁乡市||Níngxiāng Shì||1,168,056||2,906||402|
|Changsha County||长沙县||Chángshā Xiàn||979,665||1,997||491|
The current CPC Party Secretary of Changsha is Hu Henghua and the current Mayor is Hu Zhongxiong.
Changsha is well connected by roads, river, rail, and air transportation modes, and is a regional hub for industrial, tourist, and service sectors.
The city's public transportation system consists of an extensive bus network with over a hundred lines as well as taxis.
Changsha Metro is planning a 6-line network. Metro Line 2 opened on 29 April 2014 with 20 stations for Line 2 now open on 28 June 2016. A further four lines are planned for construction before the year 2025. Line 3 will run southwest–northeast and will be 33.4 kilometres (20.8 mi) long. Line 4 will run northwest-southeast and will be 29.1 kilometres (18.1 mi) long. A maglev link running 16.5 kilometres (10.3 mi) between Changsha South station and Changsha airport was opened in April 2016, with a construction cost of €400m. Connecting Changsha with Zhuzhou and Xiangtan, Changzhutan Intercity Rail has been opened to traffic operations on December 26, 2016.
The G4, G4E, G4W2, G5513 and G0401 of National Expressways, G107, G106 and G319 of National Highways, S20, S21, S40, S41, S50, S60 and S71 of Hunan provincial Expressways, connect the Changsha metro area nationally. There are three main bus terminals in Changsha: the South Station, East Station and West Station, dispatching long- and short-haul trips to cities within and outside the province of Hunan.
Changsha is surrounded by major rivers, including the Xiang River (湘江) and its tributaries such as the Liuyang, Jin, Wei, Longwanggang and Laodao Rivers. Ships transport mainly goods from Xianing port located in North Changsha domestically and internationally.
Changsha Railway Station is located in the city center and provides express and regular services to most cities in China via the Beijing–Guangzhou and Shimen–Changsha Railways. The Changsha South Railway Station is a new high speed railway station, located in Yuhua district on the Beijing–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway (as part of the planned Beijing–Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong High-Speed Railway). The station with 8 platforms was finally opened on 26 December 2009. Since then the passenger volume has increased greatly. The Hangzhou-Changsha-Huaihua sector of the Shanghai-Changsha-Kunming high-speed railway entered service in 2014.
Changsha Huanghua International Airport is a regional hub for China Southern Airlines. The airport serves daily flights to major cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei. Other major airlines also provide daily service between Changsha and other domestic and international destinations.The airport provides direct flights to 45 major international cities including Los Angeles, Singapore, Seoul, Pusan, Osaka, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, London (Heathrow Airport), Frankfurt and Sydney. As of 5 August 2016, the airport daily handled 70,011 people.
Changsha's population nearly tripled between the start of its rebuilding in 1949 and the early 1980s. The city is now a major port, handling rice, cotton, timber, and livestock, and is also a collection and distribution point on the railway from Hankou to Guangzhou. It is a centre of rice milling and also has oil-extraction, tea and tobacco production, and meat-processing plants. Its textile industry produces cotton yarn and fabrics and engages in dyeing and printing. Agricultural chemicals and fertilizers, farm implements, and pumping machinery are also produced.
Changsha has a large thermal generating station linked by a power grid with the nearby industrial centres of Zhuzhou and Xiangtan; the three cities were designated in the 1970s as the nucleus of a major industrial complex. In the 1960s there was some development of heavy industry. The manufacture of machinery, especially machine tools and precision tools, became important, and Changsha became a center of China's aluminum industry. The city also has cement, rubber, ceramic, and papermaking plants and is a centre for many types of traditional handicrafts, producing Xiang embroidery, leather goods, umbrellas, and buttons. Coal is mined in the vicinity.
Changsha is one of China's 20 most "economically advanced" cities. In 2008, Changsha's nominal GDP was ¥300.1 billion (US$43 billion), a year-on-year growth of 15.1% from the previous year. Its per capita GDP was ¥45,765 (US$6,589). Its GDP grew at an average of 14% per year from 2001 to 2005, compared to the national average of 9% in the period. As of 2005, the service sector generated roughly around 49% of Changsha's GDP, up 112% from 2001 figures, leading to a disposable income for urban residents of 12,343 RMB annually. This growth is expected to continue driving the city's economic growth. The manufacturing and construction sectors have grown relatively steadily, growing 116% during 2001-2005. The primary sector, including agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and fishery, has grown slightly over this same period. In addition, the consumer market has grown dramatically along with income levels, with the minimum salary level at 600 RMB per month in comparison to Beijing's at 640 RMB or Shanghai's at 750 RMB per month. Urban residents in 2005 had an average income of about US$1,500, 15% higher than the national average and up 10% from 2001 figures.
Changsha has attracted a substantial level of foreign investment. In 2005, for example, nearly US$1 billion worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) poured into the city, mainly in hi-tech, manufacturing, food production, and services. This figure is up 40% from 2001. 59% of the total FDI has come from Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan; 28% has come from the Americas and 9% from Europe. By the end of 2008 more than 500 foreign companies had made over US$10 million worth of investments in Changsha. Changsha had total retail sales of 74 RMB billion in 2006.
But rapid economic growth has made environmental pollution a serious problem in Changsha, caused by rapidly increasing numbers of private cars, widespread construction sites, and numerous industrial facilities on the outskirts of the city.
On 20 July 2013, the Sky City skyscraper broke ground. A groundbreaking ceremony of the building was held. At completion it will be the new world's tallest skyscraper. The planned final height is 838 meters with 220 floors. The Broad Sustainable Building company, which specializes in the rapid construction of large buildings, planned to complete construction in early 2014. However, the project was halted by the authorities on 24 July 2013 due to its having started construction without prior law permits. Some experts also questioned the safety of the 838-meter skyscraper's being built in only 7 months. On 4 September 2013, China.com.cn reported that the project had begun environmental assessment for obtaining the official planning approval for the project. By 30 October the building was already in the final approval phase.
On 8 June 2016 it was reported by the People's Daily that the project had been finally cancelled due to protests over environmental damage to the Daze Lake wetland.
The Changsha ETZ was founded in 1992. It is located in Xingsha, the eastern Changsha. The total planned area is 38.6 km2 (14.9 sq mi) and the current area is 38.6 km2 (14.9 sq mi). Near the zone are National Highways 319 and 107 as well as the G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway. The zone is also very close to Changsha's downtown area and the railway station, while the distance between the zone and the city's airport is a mere 8 km (5.0 mi). The major industries in the zone include the high-tech industry, the biology project technology industry, and the new material industry.
The Liuyang ETZ is a national biological industry base created on 10 January 1998, located in Dongyang Town. Its pillar industry comprises biological pharmacy, Information technology and Health food. As of 2015, It has more than 700 registered enterprises. The total industrial output value of the zone hits 85.6 billion yuan (US$13.7 billion) and its business income is 100.2 billion yuan (US$16.1 billion). Its builtup area covers 16.5 km2 (6.4 sq mi).
Changsha has an urban population of 7,044,118. A total of 12,966,836 reside in the metropolitan area.
The majority of people living in Changsha are Han Chinese. A sizeable population of several ethnic minority groups also make Changsha home. The three largest minorities, the Hui, Tujia, and Miao peoples, make up sizeable sub-populations in the city. The 2000 census shows that a total of 48,564 people who are members of ethnic minorities live in Changsha. The other minorities make up a significantly smaller part of the population. Twenty ethnic minorities have fewer than 1000 individuals living in the city.
Hunan Broadcasting System is China's largest television after China Central Television (CCTV). Its headquarters is in Changsha and produces some of the most popular programs in China, including Super Girl. These programs have also brought a new entertainment industry into the city, which includes singing bars, dance clubs, theater shows, as well as related businesses including hair salons, fashion stores, and shops for hot spicy snacks at night (especially during summer). While Changsha has developed into an entertainment hub, the city has also become increasingly westernized and has attracted a growing number of foreigners.
There are various types of cuisine found in Changsha, yet Hunan cuisine remains to be the most popular genre. Hot and spicy food is typical of the region.
In addition, street food is also popular. Changsha Stinky Tofu is always identified as the icon of Changsha Street food and is renowned in the nation.
The city has its own Siu yeh culture.
In May 2008, the BBC broadcast, as part of its Storyville documentary series, the four-part The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World, which explored the inner workings of the 5,000-seating-capacity West Lake Restaurant (Xihu Lou Jiujia) in Changsha.
Changsha has one of China's largest multi-purpose sports stadiums—Helong Stadium, with 55,000 seats. The stadium was named after the Communist military leader He Long. It is the home ground of local football team Hunan Billows F.C., which plays in China League Two. The more modest 6,000-seat Hunan Provincial People's Stadium, also located in Changsha, is used by the team for their smaller games.
Changsha hosts the Hunan Provincial Museum. 180,000 historical significant artifacts franginng from the Zhou dynasty to the recent Qing Dynasty are hosted in the 51,000 acres of space in the museum.
Mawangdui is a well-known tomb located 22 kilometers east of Changsha. It was discovered with numerous artifacts from the Han dynasty. Numerous Silk Funeral banners surround the tomb, along with a wealth of classical texts. The tomb of Lady Dai lies in Mawangdui is well known due to its well-preserved state: scientists were able to detect blood, conduct an autopsy and determined that she died of heart disease due to a poor diet.
Changsha is a sister city with St. Paul, Minnesota. St. Paul is developing a China garden at Phalen Park, based on the design of architects from Changsha. Current plans include a pavilion replicating one in Changsha, while in return St. Paul will send the city five statues of the Peanuts characters. They will be placed in Phalen's sister park, Yanghu Wetlands.
Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.
Greater Changsha Metropolitan Region is the birthplace of:
24. Xi'an never fell. Under the Guonaindang General Xue Yue, Changsha was successfully defended three times against the Japanese; Changsha (and the vital Guangzhou-Hankou Railway) did not fall to the Japanese until early 1945.