Chongqing, or Chungking, is a major city in Southwest China and one of the five national central cities in the People's Republic of China. Administratively, it is one of the China's four direct-controlled municipalities (the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and the only such municipality in inland China.
Located at the eastern edge of the Sichuan Basin, Chongqing is next to Hubei province, with Hunan to the east, Guizhou to the south and Shaanxi to the north. The city center area is situated at the juncture of the Yangtze River and Jialing River. Moreover, as the city is spread around a mountain, Chongqing is also known as the “Mountain City”.
The municipality of Chongqing was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the sub-provincial city administration that was part of Sichuan province. By November 2010, Chonging had a population of 28,846,200, although the urbanized area is estimated to have a population of only 6 or 7 million. Chongqing is the largest direct-controlled municipality, and comprises 19 districts, 15 counties, and 4 autonomous counties.
The official abbreviation of the city was approved by the State Council on 18 April 1997. Chongqing was also a municipality of China administration, serving as its wartime capital during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). Its abbreviated name is derived from the old name of a part of the Jialing River that runs through Chongqing and feeds into the Yangtze River.
Chongqing is one of the most notable cities nationally when it comes to history and culture, and serves as the economic centre of the upstream Yangtze area. It is the major manufacturing centre, and a transportation hub, for Southwest China.
Chongqing is recently named as one of the 13 emerging megacities, or megalopolises in China in July 2012 by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The report pinpoints and highlights the demographic and income trends that are shaping these cities' development.
Chongqing is endowed with rich natural scenery, boasting mountains, rivers, forests springs, waterfalls, gorges and caves. It also showcases the area's rich cultural heritage, including the minority Bayu culture, Three Gorges and the modern, developed city itself-including the Yangtze River Cruises and Dazu Grottoes.Chongqing is also a Chinese revolution heritage area, and visitors interested in this period of China's history can take in the Martyr's Cemetery at Gele Mountain; the Site of the Chongqing Negotiation; Bai Residence and Zhazi Cave. In addition, Sichuan food, Chongqing food, especially Sichuan hotpot (the most famous is the Chongqing hotpot), is a must-try.
Chongqing is the largest of the four direct-controlled municipalities of China. The municipality is divided into 38 subdivisions (3 were abolished in 1997, and Wansheng and Shuangqiao districts were abolished in October 2011), consisting of 19 districts, 15 counties, and 4 autonomous counties. There are also serval utonomous counties in Chongqing, including Pengshui Miao and Tujia (彭水苗族土家族自治县), Shizhu Tujia (石柱土家族自治县), Xiushan Tujia and Miao (秀山土家族苗族自治县), Youyang Tujia and Miao (酉阳土家族苗族自治).