Nanjing ( listen), formerly romanized as Nanking and Nankin, is the city situated in the heartland of lower Yangtze River region in China, which has long been a major centre of culture, education, research, politics, economy, transport networks and tourism. It is the capital city of Jiangsu province of People's Republic of China and the second largest city in the east China region, with acreage about 6600 square kilometers and a total population of 8,230,000. Nanjing remains the de jure official legal capital of the Republic of China, which lost control of the mainland during the civil war in 1949. Meanwhile, Taipei serves as the provisional capital of the central government of the ROC, and controls the island of Taiwan. The inner area of Nanjing enclosed by the city wall is Nanjing City (南京城), with acreage of 55 km2, while Nanjing Metropolitan Region includes surrounding cities and areas, with acreage over 60 thousand km2 and population over 30 million.
Nanjing has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having served as the capitals of various Chinese dynasties, kingdoms and republican governments dating from the 3rd century CE to 1949. The city has a number of other names, and some historical names are now used as names of districts of the city, and among them there is the name Jiangning (江寧), whose former character Jiang (江, River) is the former part of the name Jiangsu and latter character Ning (寧, simplified form 宁, Peace) is the short name of Nanjing. When being the capital of a state, for instance, the ROC, Jing (京) is adopted as the abbreviation of Nanjing. As a city located in southern part of China, it first became Chinese national capital as early as in Jin dynasty, and the name Nanjing was officially designated to the city in Ming dynasty, about a thousand years later. Nanjing is particularly known as Jinling or Ginling (金陵, literally "Gold Mountain") and the old name has been used since the Warring States Period in Zhou Dynasty.
Located in Yangtze River Delta area and the center of east China, Nanjing is home to one of the world's largest inland ports. The city is also one of the fifteen sub-provincial cities in the People's Republic of China's administrative structure, enjoying jurisdictional and economic autonomy only slightly less than that of a province. Nanjing has been ranked seventh in the evaluation of "Cities with Strongest Comprehensive Strength" issued by the National Statistics Bureau, and second in the evaluation of cities with most sustainable development potential in the Yangtze River Delta. It has also been awarded the title of 2008 Habitat Scroll of Honour of China, Special UN Habitat Scroll of Honour Award and National Civilized City. Nanjing boasts many high-quality universities and research institutes, with the number of universities listed in 100 National Key Universities ranking third, including Nanjing University. The ratio of college students to total population ranks No.1 among large cities nationwide. Nanjing is one of the three Chinese top research centers according to Nature Index.
Nanjing, one of the nation's most important cities for over a thousand years, is recognized as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, and had been the world's largest city aggregately for hundreds of years, enjoying peace and prosperity while with painful days of suffering wars and disasters. Nanjing served as the capital of Eastern Wu, one of the three major states in the Three Kingdoms period (211–280); the Eastern Jin and each of the Southern Dynasties (Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang and Chen), which successively ruled southern China from 317–589; the Southern Tang, one of the Ten Kingdoms (937–76); the Ming dynasty when, for the first time, all of China was ruled from the city (1368–1421); and the Republic of China (1927–37, 1945–49) prior to its flight to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War. The city also served as the seat of the rebel Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (1851–64) and the Japanese puppet regime of Wang Jingwei (1940–45) during the Second Sino-Japanese War, and suffered appalling atrocities in both conflicts, including the Nanjing Massacre. It has been serving as the capital city of Jiangsu province after the People's Republic of China was established and it accommodates many of its important heritage sites, including the Presidential Palace and Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. Nanjing is famous for human historical landscapes, mountains and waters such as Fuzimiao, Ming Palace, Chaotian Palace, Porcelain Tower, Drum Tower, Stone City, City Wall, Qinhuai River, Xuanwu Lake and Purple Mountain. Key cultural facilities include Nanjing Library, Nanjing Museum and Art Museum.
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