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Sub-provincial city
View of Shenyang skyline from the  Hunnan District, View of skyline from the Liaoning Broadcast and TV Tower, View of skyline from the Liaoning Broadcast and TV Tower.
View of Shenyang skyline from the Hunnan District, View of skyline from the Liaoning Broadcast and TV Tower, View of skyline from the Liaoning Broadcast and TV Tower.
Shenyang is located in Liaoning
Location of the city centre in Liaoning
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Country People's Republic of China
Province Liaoning
 • Party Secretary Zeng Wei (曾维)
 • Mayor Pan Liguo (潘利国)
 • Sub-provincial city 12,942 km2 (4,997 sq mi)
 • Urban 3,464 km2 (1,337 sq mi)
Elevation 55 m (180 ft)
Population (2010 census)
 • Sub-provincial city 8,106,171
 • Density 630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
 • Urban 6,255,921
 • Urban density 1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 110000
Area code(s) 24
License plate prefixes A
GDP (2013) CNY 715.9 billion
(USD 116.59 billion)[1]
 - per capita CNY 86,850
(USD 14,143)[1]
Flower Pinus tabuliformis
Tree Rosa rugosa
Shenyang name (2).svg
"Shenyang" in Simplified Chinese
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 沈阳
Traditional Chinese 瀋陽
Postal Mukden
Literal meaning "North bank of the Shen [River]"
Manchu name
Manchu script ᠮᡠᡴᡩᡝᠨ
Romanization Mukden

Shenyang (simplified Chinese: 沈阳; traditional Chinese: 瀋陽; pinyin: Shĕnyáng), formerly known by its Manchu name Mukden (Manchu: ᠮᡠᡴᡩᡝᠨ), and Chinese names Shengjing (Chinese: 盛京; pinyin: Shèngjīng) and Fengtian (Chinese: 奉天; pinyin: Fèngtiān), is the provincial capital and largest city of Liaoning Province,[3] as well as the largest city in Northeast China by urban population.[4] According to the 2010 census, the city's urban area has 6.3 million inhabitants, while the total population of the Shenyang municipality is up to 8.1 million.[5] In the 17th century, Shenyang was conquered by the Manchu people and briefly used as the capital of the Qing dynasty.[6]

Along with its nearby cities, Shenyang is an important industrial centre in China,[7] and serves as the transportation and commercial hub of China's northeast—particularly with Japan, Russia, and Korea.[8] A center of heavy industry in China since the 1930s, and the spearhead of the Chinese central government's Northeast Area Revitalization Plan,[9] the city has been diversifying its industry and now has a solid industrial foundation, a good land and air transport network, abundant natural resources, and a skilled workforce.

The sub-provincial city region includes the nine metropolitan districts of Shenyang proper, the county-level city of Xinmin, and three counties of Liaozhong, Kangping and Faku.


Ancient era

The city's name refers to the Hun River, which was formerly named Shen River (Chinese: 瀋水; pinyin: Shěnshuǐ), to the south of the city. In accordance with Chinese traditional concept of Yin and Yang, a river's north bank and a mountain's south slope are considered to be the "sunny" – or "Yang" – side. Residing on the north side of the Shen River, the city was hence called Shenyang, which literally means "to the Yang side of the Shen River".[10]

Xinle Civilization

Archaeological findings show that humans resided in present-day Shenyang as early as 8,000 years ago. The remains of the Xinle culture, a Neolithic period society over 6,800-7,200 years old,[11] are located in a museum in the north part of Huanggu District. It is complemented by a recreated village on site. A wood-sculptured bird unearthed there is the earliest cultural relic in Shenyang, as well as one of oldest wood sculptures found anywhere in the world.

The City of Shenyang was first established by Qin Kai, a general of Yan in the Warring States period about 300 BCE.[12] It was at that time named Hou City (Chinese: 候城; pinyin: Hou Chéng). It became known as the Shen Prefecture (simplified Chinese: 沈州; traditional Chinese: 瀋州; pinyin: Shěn Zhōu) in the Jin dynasty and Shenyang Circuit (simplified Chinese: 沈阳路; traditional Chinese: 瀋陽路; pinyin: Shěnyáng Lù) in the Yuan dynasty.[13] During the Ming Dynasty, it became Shenyang Zhongwei (simplified Chinese: 沈阳中卫; traditional Chinese: 瀋陽中衛; pinyin: Shěnyáng Zhōngwèi).

Capital of Manchus

In 1625, the Manchu leader Nurhaci captured Shenyang and moved his capital to the city, or Simiyan hoton (Manchu: ᠰᡳᠮᡳᠶᠠᠨ
) as it is called in Manchu language.[6] The official name was changed to Mukden (Manchu: ᠮᡠᡴᡩᡝᠨ) in 1634. The name derives from the Manchu word mukdembi (Manchu: ᠮᡠᡴᡩᡝᠮᠪᡳ), meaning "to rise", and this meaning is reflected by its Chinese translation Shengjing (盛京), which literally means "rising capital".[14] A major city needed a major building and in 1626 under Nurhaci's orders the Imperial Palace emerged as Shenyang's symbolic center. It featured more than 300 ostentatiously decorated rooms and 20 gardens as a symbol of power and grandeur.[14]

After the fall of the Ming Dynasty in 1644, Manchu rule moved west inside the Great Wall and was established in China proper in Beijing. However, it retained considerable importance as the previous capital city and the spiritual home of the Qing Dynasty through the centuries.[14] Shenyang was also the birthplace of the Qing ruling family, Aisin Gioro. Treasures of the royal house were kept at its palaces, and the tombs of the early Qing rulers were once among the most famous monuments in China. In 1657, Fengtian Prefecture (Manchu: ᠠᠪᡴᠠᡳ
; Möllendorff: Abkai imiyangga fu; Abkai: Abkai imiyangga fu or Manchu: ᡶᡝᠩᡨᡳᠶᠠᠨ; Möllendorff: Fengtiyian; Abkai: Fengtiyian) was established in the Shenyang area, and Fengtian was sometimes used synonymously with Shenyang/Mukden.[15]

Russian and Japanese concessions

With the building of the South Manchurian Railway, Mukden became a stronghold of Russia, which occupied it after the Boxer Rebellion.[16][17]

During the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), Mukden was the site of the Battle of Mukden from 19 February 1905 to 10 March 1905.[18][19] Involving more than 600,000 combat participants, it was the largest battle since the battle of Leipzig in 1813, and also the largest modern-era battle ever fought in Asia before World War II.[20] Following the Japanese victory, the Japanese concession at Mukden was one of the chief bases for Japanese economic expansion into southern Manchuria. Mukden also became the government seat of Fengtian province in 1910.[21]

Warlord Era and Japanese invasion

In 1914, the city changed back to its old name Shenyang,[22] but continued to be known as Mukden in some English sources (sometimes spelled Moukden) through much of the 20th century and in Japan until 1945. The postmark of the Chinese postal administration kept the spelling "MOUKDEN/奉天" for usage on international mails until the late 1920s. After that, a Chinese–Manchurian bilingual type SHENYANG (MUKDEN)/瀋陽 (奉天) datestamp type was used until 1933.

In the early 20th century, Shenyang began expanding out of its old city walls. Shenyang Railway Station on the South Manchurian Railway and the Shenyang North Railway Station (today's old north station) on the Jingfeng railway became new commercial centers of Shenyang.[23] In the 1920s, Mukden was the capital of the warlord Zhang Zuolin, who was killed when his train was blown up on 4 June 1928.[24] near Mukden at a Japanese-guarded railway bridge.[25] Several factories were built by Chang Tso-lin to manufacture ammunition in the northern and eastern suburbs. These factories laid the foundation for Shenyang's industrial development.[26]

Japanese troops entering Shenyang during Mukden Incident

The Mukden Incident in 1931, which gave the Japanese the pretext to create the Manchukuo state, took place near Shenyang.[27] On September 18, 1931, a small quantity of dynamite was detonated by Lt. Kawamoto Suemori[28] close to a railway line owned by Japan's South Manchuria Railway near Mukden.[29] The Imperial Japanese Army, accusing Chinese dissidents of the act, responded with a full invasion that led to the occupation of Manchuria.[29] On the morning of the following day (September 19), the Japanese had occupied Mukden.[29][30] During the Manchukuo era (1932–1945) the city was called Fengtian in Chinese again, and Mukden in English.[31] During the Japanese occupation, Shenyang was developed into a center of heavy industry.[31][32] Japan was able to exploit resources in Manchuria using the extensive network of railroads.[33] For example, vast expanses of Manchurian forest were chopped down.[34] Construction of Shenyang is also unbalanced in this period. Municipal facilities mostly located in Japanese residential areas, while Chinese residential area in poor living conditions.[32]

Post World War II

People's Liberation Army and Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks advance into Shenyang.

Under Marshal of the Soviet Union Aleksandr Vasilevsky, the Far East Command[35] of Soviet forces entered Manchuria in early August 1945 following the surrender of Japan.[36] On 16 August 1945, Manchurian Emperor Puyi was captured in Shenyang Airport by the Soviet Red Army while he was in an airplane fleeing to Japan.[37] On 20 August, Soviet troops captured Shenyang. British and US reports indicate that the Soviet troops that occupied Northeast China and Eastern Inner Mongolia region looted and terrorized the people of Shenyang, and were not discouraged by Soviet authorities from "three days of rape and pillage".[38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46] The Soviets were replaced by the Nationalist Chinese, who were flown in on U.S. transport planes.[47] During the Chinese Civil War, Shenyang remained a Kuomintang stronghold from 1946 to 1948, although the Chinese communists controlled the surrounding countryside.[48] It was captured by the communists on October 30, 1948 following a series of offensives known as the Liaoshen Campaign.[44][49]

Over the past 200 years or so, Shenyang somehow managed to grow and increase its industrial might, despite consecutive wars by Russia and Japan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Second World War, and China's Civil War (Shenyang became the main battleground between the Communists and Nationalists). The city never came to an economic halt until the 1990s, when its massive factories went bankrupt and left millions jobless, which was well documented in the film Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks.[50]

Old City

Shenyang used to have two city walls.[51] The inner city wall was built in 1625. Most of it was rebuilt on the old city wall of the Ming dynasty, and the city wall gates were increased from four to eight. The outer city wall was built in 1680 to protect the urban area outside the inner city wall, which also had eight gates. The total length of the outer city wall is around 16 km (9.9 mi). Nearly all of the city walls were demolished after 1949. Two gates and one corner tower of the inner city wall were rebuilt during the 1990s.

Around 2.5 km (1.6 mi) outside Shenyang's outer city wall, there were four pagodas and four temples: East Pagoda/Yongguang Temple, South Pagoda/Guangci Temple, West Pagoda/Yanshou Temple, and North Pagoda/Falun Temple. They were built in 1643. The four Pagodas are identical Buddha-stupas as high as 26 m (85 ft). Only the North Pagoda and Temple is well preserved. As for the East and the South, only the pagodas are left. The West Pagoda was rebuilt in 1998.

Both the Temple of Heaven and Temple of Earth were also to be found in the old city during the Qing dynasty. They were smaller replicas of Beijing's counterparts. Neither exists today.

Geography and climate

Satellite image of Shenyang-Fushun urban agglomeration
(larger western part is Shenyang, eastern part is Fushun), Landsat 5, 2010-09-29.
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: CMA[52]

Shenyang ranges in latitude from 41° 11' to 43° 02' N and in longitude from 122° 25' to 123° 48' E, and is located in the central part of Liaoning Province. The western parts of the city's administrative area are located on the alluvial plain of the Liao River, while the eastern part consists of the hinterlands of the Changbai Mountains, and is covered with forests.[53] The highest point in Shenyang is 414 metres (1,358 ft) and the lowest point only 7 metres (23 ft). The main urban area is located to the north of Hun River, a major tributary of the Liao River.[54] The average elevation of the urban area is 45 metres (148 ft).[55] North Canal and South Canal flow to the north and south of the urban area respectively, which follows the historic course of Hun River.

Shenyang has a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa) characterised by higher humidity and the majority of the year's rainfall in the summer, due to the monsoon; and almost no precipitation in the winter due to the Siberian anticyclone. The four seasons here are distinctive. Nearly half of the annual rainfall occurs in July and August. Monthly mean temperatures range from −11.0 °C (12.2 °F) in January to 24.7 °C (76.5 °F) in July, for an annual average of 8.39 °C (47.1 °F). The frost-free period is 183 days.[56] The city receives 2,468 hours of bright sunshine annually; monthly percent of possible ranges from 45 percent in July to 62 percent in October. Extreme temperatures range from −33.1 °C (−28 °F) to 39.3 °C (103 °F).[57]

Districts and zones

In general, agriculture, animal husbandry, and agricultural product processing dominate northeastern Shenyang; eastern Shenyang is an auto parts hub; southern Shenyang is a high-tech industrial base; and western Shenyang is home to heavy machinery manufacturing. The city center specialises in retail and financial services.[58]

The following is a list of districts and zones in the prefecture.

The sub-provincial city of Shenyang has direct jurisdiction over 9 districts, 1 county-level cities and 3 Counties:

Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Population
Area (km2) Density (/km2)
City proper
Shenhe District 沈河区 Shěnhé Qū 849,267 18 47,182
Heping District 和平区 Hépíng Qū 700,992 21 33,381
Dadong District 大东区 Dàdōng Qū 782,867 51 15,350
Huanggu District 皇姑区 Huánggū Qū 925,176 37 25,005
Tiexi District 铁西区 Tiěxī Qū 1,017,564 39 26,091
Sujiatun District 苏家屯区 Sūjiātún Qū 474,779 776 612
Hunnan District 浑南区 Húnnán Qū 411,110 896 459
Shenbei New District 沈北新区 Shěnběi Xīnqū 423,323 852 497
Yuhong District 于洪区 Yúhóng Qū 670,843 774 867
Satellite cities
Xinmin 新民市 Xīnmín Shì 657,763 3,315 198
Liaozhong County 辽中县 Liáozhōng Xiàn 476,081 1,670 285
Kangping County 康平县 Kāngpíng Xiàn 316,819 2,173 146
Faku County 法库县 Fǎkù Xiàn 399,587 2,320 172

Shenhe District

Map of Shenyang showing major districts and landmarks, as well as major roads
Buildings along Youth Street in the southern portion of Shenhe District

Shenhe District is the central area of Shenyang. There is the "central temple" near the Zhong Street (Chinese: 中街; pinyin: Zhōng Jiē), one of the most famous shopping streets in China, built during the Ming dynasty shows the center of ancient Shenyang. Most of Shenhe District is within the old city wall. It is 18 km2 (4,448 acres) and a population of 610,000 thousand. Shenhe District is the site of the Mukden Palace. It is also the site of Zhang Zuolin's former home and headquarters, Shengjing Ancient Cultural Street. In the western Shenhe locates Muslim town. South Pagoda (Chinese: 南塔; pinyin: Nán tǎ) is located in southern Shenhe District. There are a lot of high-end hotels located in Shenhe—such as Sheraton, Kempinsky, Lexington, Marriott (which is the first Marriott Hotel directly named "Marriott" in mainland China; due to finance conflicts, this hotel is not administrated by the Marriott group).[citation needed] The major thoroughfare of Qingnian Road (Chinese: 青年大街; pinyin: Qīngnián Dà Jiē) separates the southern portion of Shenhe District from the neighboring southern portion of Heping District.

Shenhe District is also home to Northeast China's main railway hub, the Shenyang North Railway Station. This station forms the border between Shenhe District and the neighboring eastern portion of Huanggu District. The station building has recently undergone a major overhaul and extension.

Heping District

Heping District is located in the center of Shenyang. It has an area of 21 km2 (5,189 acres) and a population of 640 thousand. The downtown Heping district has all manner of businesses that are brightly lit by neon at night.

The district, better known as downtown, sprung up around Shenyang Railway Station (known locally as the South Station), former hub of the South Manchurian Railway. At the center of the district is Zhongshan Square (Chinese: 中山广场; pinyin: Zhōngshān Guǎngchǎng), featuring one of China's largest statues of Chairman Mao—a record of the era of Cultural Revolution. Northwest of Zhongshan Square lies the West Pagoda Korean Neighborhood or Koreatown. Many of the boulevards in this area are lined of very large ginkgo trees, which become golden in color and produce their distinctive fruits in autumn.

Heping District is also the core area for many political institutions in the Northeast, including CPC Liaoning Provincial Committee, headquarters of a Shenyang Military Region , General Logistics Department, and the consulates general of the United States, Japan, South Korea, North Korea and other countries. Northeast electricity, China Post, railways and other industries hub and Liaoning and Shenyang radio, television, Shenyang Daily Group and many other news media are also located in this district.

Dadong District

Dadong District is an industrial district. It has an area of 51 km2 (12,602 acres) and a population of 640,000 thousand. It is the largest district of the urban Shenyang city area. It is also the scene of the 9.18 Historical Museum, the North and East Pagoda.

Huanggu District

Beiling park

Huanggu District is named after Huanggutun ("tun" means village), where the Huanggutun Incident took place. It has an area of 37 km2 (9,143 acres) and a population of 750,000 . It is the site of the large, historical tomb of Qing dynasty's Huang Taiji, called Beiling park.

Huanggu district also hosts the Liaoning Mansion Hotel. It is also the office of the provincial government of Liaoning.

Tiexi District

Tiexi District is famous for its industry. This mixed-use district also contains large blocks of residential complexes, so as well as strips of small to medium-sized shopping. It has an area of 39 km2 (9,637 acres) and a population of 810,000.

It is featured in a 9-hour epic documentary film West of the Tracks (the literal meaning of Tiexi) by a young filmmaker Wang Bing. It shows the transition in this rust belt district—a palimpsest of not only Chinese but also world history. The first factories of this place were built in 1934 by the Japanese to produce war goods for the Imperial Army and nationalized after World War II. As late as the early 1980s, the factories here employed about one million workers, but all of them went jobless in the 1990s.[59]

Tiexi is also home to the Shenyang Economic and Technological Development Area, a state-level development zone. This new development area combined with Tiexi District has a population of 1 million people, a total area of 126 km2 (48.65 sq mi), and enjoys the same administrative rank as municipality. (Administrative Committee of Shenyang)

Tiexi is very big. It is the biggest district in Shenyang, and is home to many famous landmarks such as Sanhao Bridge and Sanhao Jie (Chinese Simplified: 三好街)

Hunnan New District

Launched in 1988 as the Shenyang National New and High-Tech Industrial Development Zone and elevated to a national-level zone in 1991, the Hunnan New District, in Southeast Shenyang, south of the Hun River, focuses on electronic and information technology products such as software, computers, network systems, communication equipment, and audio/visual equipment; advanced manufacturing technologies, especially for automobiles, medical equipment; advanced materials and biological and pharmaceutical products. The zone has hosted more than 5,700 enterprises, including 700 foreign-invested enterprises. Foreign companies such as the General Electric Co., Tyco International, and Mitsubishi Corp. operate in the zone. Currently, Shenyang is working on expanding the city and shift the central government to the Hunnan New District. Thus, Hunnan New District is now called as Hunnan New City.

Hunnan District

Hunnan District former name Dongling, meaning the Eastern Mausoleum, referring to the UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed Qing dynasty tombs dedicated to Nurhachi, the founder of Later Jin (the former name of Qing dynasty) and his empress.

The district, adjacent to the Hunnan New District, is located on the east and south side of Shenyang. It hosts the city's only operational commercial airport, the Taoxian International Airport, and is rapidly becoming high-end residential areas, as suburbs of Shenyang are growing steadily. Two corridors along two major highways, one leading to the eastern tomb and Fushun, the other leading to the international airport, have luxury apartments, fine neighborhoods and sleek commercial developments being built.


West Pagoda—Shenyang's Koreatown

Shenyang has a population of 8.1 million and its urban population is 5.74 million. By urban population, it is the largest city in northeast China and among the top ten largest cities in China.

Ethnically and culturally diverse, Shenyang has 38 of China's 56 recognized ethnic groups, including the Han Chinese majority that make up 91.26 percent of Shenyang's population. The 37 minority groups are Manchu, Korean, Hui, Xibo, Mongolian, Zhuang, Miao, Tujia, Dong, Daur, Bai, Uyghur, Tibetan, Yi, Taiwanese Aboriginal People, She, Bouyei, Yao, Akha, Kazakh, Dai, Li, Shui, Nakhi, Jingpo, Kyrgyz, Tu, Mulao, Qiang, Maonan, Gelao, Russian, Evenks, Tatars, Oroqen, Nanai and Lhoba.[60] Most of these groups are not native to the Shenyang area; a few, such as the Manchus and the Xibe, are.

Not only is Shenyang multi-ethnic, it is a place where many foreigners live, especially from Japan and Korea. Shenyang also has many French and Germans[citation needed] because BMW and Michelin Tyres have large operations here. The city is growing quite fast and many foreigners are coming to Shenyang. With the growing expat population, many new restaurants and businesses that cater to them are opening. The American expat group is growing as well,[citation needed] in part due to the high demand of private English schools opening in Shenyang, as well as small kindergartens and private schools.

Shenyang has numerous temples, mosques, churches and other religious places of worship.


Entrance to Zhong Jie Street, a 3.5 km[61] long shopping street in central Shenyang beside Mukden Palace.

Shenyang is an important industrial center in China and is the core city of Shenyang Economic Zone, a New Special Reform Zone. It has been focused on heavy industry, particularly aerospace, machine tools, heavy equipment and defence, and recently on software, automotive and electronics.[62][62] The heavy industry started in the 1920s and was well developed before the second world war.[63][64] During the first five-year plan (1951–1956) many factories were built in Tiexi district.[65] At its peak in the 1970s, Shenyang was one of the top three industrial centres in China, alongside Shanghai and Tianjin. After the 1980s, the heavy industry had declined gradually and the city became a rust-belt city.[61][66][67] However, the economy of the city has revived significantly in recent years, thanks to the central government's "Revitalize Northeast China" campaign and the rapid development of software and auto manufacture industries.[68] Investment subsidies are granted to multinational corporations (MNCs) that set up offices or headquarters in Shenyang.[58]

Meanwhile, the services sector—especially banking—has been developing in Shenyang. Shenyang has a few foreign banks, such as South Korea's Hana Bank, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ of Japan. Hong Kong's Bank of East Asia Ltd., Singapore's United Overseas Bank Ltd., and HSBC Holdings. In 2006, the city hosted a total of 1,063 banks and bank branches and 144 insurance-related companies. By 2010, it aims to attract 30 foreign banks and 60 non-bank financial institutions.[58][needs update]

The city has been identified by the Economist Intelligence Unit in the November 2010 Access China White Paper as a member of the CHAMPS (Chongqing, Hefei, Anshan, Maanshan, Pingdingshan and Shenyang), an economic profile of the top 20 emerging cities in China.[69]

Major companies

Numerous major industrial companies have their headquarters in Shenyang. Brilliance Auto is a major Chinese automobile manufacturer, and most of its production plants are also located in Shenyang.[70][71] Shenyang Aircraft Corporation produces airplanes for civilian use as well as for the PLAAF.[72] Neusoft Group is the biggest software company in China.[73] Shenyang Machine Tool Group is the largest machine tool manufacturer in China.[74] Tyco International, General Motors, and Michelin Shenyang Tyre Corporation, are expanding their operations in Shenyang due to a deep pool of skilled technical labor; good transportation; low land-use fees; and solid local support.

GDP and economic data

Statistically, the total GDP of the city of Shenyang is 709.87 billion yuan in year 2014 (ranked 1st out of the 58 cities and counties in Liaoning province). The GDP per capita of the city of Shenyang is 85,816 yuan in 2014 (ranked 3rd out of all 58 cities and counties in Liaoning province).[75]

Initiatives and special zones

Shenyang Finance and Trade Development Zone

Shenyang Finance and Trade Development Zone was founded in 1992. It is the only finance and trade development zone except Lujiazui in Shanghai and is the nucleus zone of Shenyang Central Business Zone. It covers an area of 1.12 million m², among which there is more than 600,000 m² constructible. The total investment planned is more than 20 billion Yuan and more than 60 stories-high international and multifunctional symbol buildings are planned to be built. So far, the zone has transferred more than 400,000 m² ground, introduced over 40 large projects and actually made use of over 200 million USD foreign investment. It has become the sample zone of international finance and modern service trade and the regional finance, trade and information center of Northeast China.[76]

Shenyang Economic & Technological Development Zone

Shenyang High-Tech Industrial Development Zone



As the transport hub of Northeast China, Shenyang is served by air, rail, a two-line subway system and an extensive network of streets and expressways, with bus service throughout the city.[77] Terminal 3 at Shenyang Taoxian International Airport is the largest terminal in the northeast China.[78] A new tram network system was built in the city's south in 2013.


Shenyang North Station, largest railway station in Liaoning.

Shenyang is the railway hub of Northeast China. Eight railways connect Shenyang with Beijing, Dalian, Changchun, Harbin and Fushun. The city is also served by the Qinshen Passenger Railway, a high-speed railway connecting Shenyang and Qinhuangdao. In early 2007, a 200 km/h (120 mph) high-speed train decreased travel time between Beijing and Shenyang to around 4 hours. The Harbin-Dalian high-speed passenger railway opened in late 2012 and connects Shenyang with other major cities in Northeast China, Harbin, Changchun and Dalian at speeds of up to 300 km/h (190 mph).[79]

Shenyang has two major railway stations: Shenyang North Railway Station and Shenyang Railway Station.[80]

Shenyang North Railway Station was formerly the "Liaoning Main Station" (辽宁总站; 遼寧總站; Liáoníng zǒngzhàn) before 1946 and colloquially known as the "Old North Station" (老北站; Lǎo běi zhàn). The original building was built in 1927. The current Main Station Building (主站房; hǔ zhàn fáng) began construction in 1986, was commissioned for operation in December 1990, and became one of the five most important railway hubs in China, earning itself the nickname "Northeast's No. 1 Station" (东北第一站; 東北第一站; Dōngběi dìyí zhàn).[81][82] In 2011, a huge expansion project known as the "North Station Transport Hub Reconstruction Project" (北站交通枢纽改造工程; 北站交通樞紐改造工程; Běi zhàn jiāotōng shūniǔ gǎizào gōngchéng) was initiated in response to the growing demand of floor area posed by the increasing passenger traffic after introduction of the high-speed rail service. The station now has an additional 3-storey "Sub-Station Building" (子站房; Zi zhàn fáng) and a "Northern Square" (北广场; 北廣場; Běi guǎngchǎng) on the north (Huanggu District) side of the railways, while the old waiting lounge in the original 16-storey Main Station Building is now relocated to a large elevated concourse that bridges over the rail tracks, with a pillar-less roof (the largest in mainland China) doming the platforms. The South Square (南广场; 南廣場; Nán guǎngchǎng) outside the Main Station Building was rebuilt into a multi-levelled complex, with two above ground forming an elevated airport-style drop-off zone and a large ground-level area for bus stops, as well as a three-level underground city providing shopping malls,carparks, taxi pick-up and interchange with Subway Line 2, while also capable of rapid conversion into an air raid shelter if needed.

Shenyang Railway Station

Shenyang Railway Station (also known locally as the "Shenyang South Railway Station", though the real "Shenyang South Railway Station" is at Sujiatun) has a history of more than 100 years. It was built by Russian in 1899 and expanded later by Japanese. Today, it focuses on regular service and is being refurbished with a large archway and new terminal, reducing access to the boarding platforms by rerouting customers under and over ground while construction is completed. The station was expanded in 2010.[83]

In 2011, a daily direct container rail service carries car parts 11,000 km (6,835 mi) from Leipzig, Germany to Shenyang through Siberia in 23 days.[84]

Sanhao Bridge


The Qingnian Street bridge over the Hun He leads to Shenyang Taoxian International Airport and further points

In the Manchukuo era, the initial road transportation network was laid out, as is now in the central districts of Shenyang. The roads follow a northwest-to-southeast orientation due to the southern Manchurian railway, which runs in that direction. Lately, Shenyang develops a large beltway system, consisting of three existing beltways, two beltways under construction and a planned beltway.[citation needed] The Middle Loop was planned in as early as the 1930s and finally complete in 1985. The 2nd and 3rd Loop (Shenyang Round City Expressway) were finished in the 1990s. The southern part of the 2nd Ring and 3rd loop are express beltways.[citation needed] The 3rd loop is an 82 km (51 mi) expressway, the first express beltway in China. The 4th loop will complete in 2013. The 6th loop (also known as G91 or Central Liaoning Express Beltway) is under construction, with a total length of 405 km (252 mi), which make it the longest beltway in the world when complete. 5th loop was also planned.[citation needed] Inside the city there is an east-to-west expressway through the city center, most of which is elevated.

The Shen-Da Expressway connecting Shenyang and Dalian is the first expressway built in China. It is the fastest highway (8-lane) linking one of the largest port city to Shenyang. Shendan Expressway is a 4-lane expressway to Benxi and Dandong. It also serves Shenyang Taoxian International Airport. Shenyang is connected by several major expressways. The Jingshen 8 lane Expressway goes to the city of Beijing, some 658 km (409 mi) away. There are other expressways to Fushun, Changchun and Xinmin. There are many long-distance and express bus routes to Beijing and other cities in the northeast.


The city is served by the Shenyang Taoxian International Airport (Chinese: 沈阳桃仙国际机场; pinyin: Shěnyáng Táoxian Guójì Jīchǎng, airport code SHE), located in Dongling District. It is one of the eight major airline hubs and the 20th busiest airport in China.[85][86]

There are three other airports in Shenyang, none of them open to public. The East Pagoda Airport (Chinese: 东塔机场; pinyin: Dōng Tǎ Jīchǎng), in Dadong District, is the oldest airport in Shenyang, opened in 1920s and retired in the 1980s.[87][88] The Beiling Airport (Chinese: 北陵机场; pinyin: Běilíng Jīchǎng), in Huanggu District, is used by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation for test flights. The Yuhong Airport (Chinese: 于洪机场; pinyin: Yúhóng Jīchǎng), located in Yuhong District, is commissioned for military use only.[89]

Public transport

Shenyang Metro Zhongjie Station

In Shenyang, there are more than 160 bus routes.[90] Shenyang used to have about 20 trolley bus routes, one of the biggest trolley bus networks in China.[91] The entire network was demolished in 1999 after a serious electrocution accident that killed 5 passengers in August 12, 1998, and was replaced by diesel-powered buses.

Tram service was introduced in Shenyang from 1924, and had 6 lines in operation up until 1945. It suffered major disruptions during the Chinese Civil War from power outage and Kuomintang bombings, but quickly resumed operation after the conclusion of the Liaoshen Campaign. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, the tram network was gradually replaced by the buses and trolley buses, and eventually closed in 1974.[92] In December 2011, the Shenyang city government announced plan to rebuild a light rail transit network in 2012, comprising 4 lines with 60 km (37 mi) distance in the Hunnan New District. The new tram network started operation in August 15, 2013.

Shenyang has been planning an underground rapid transit system since 1940, but was unable to materialize the idea due to the city's geology and engineering limitations.[93] On November 18, 2005, the construction of the first Shenyang Metro line finally started[94] and the construction of the second line started on November 18, 2006. The first (East-West) line was opened September 27, 2010 and the second (north–south) was opened on January 9, 2012. Construction is difficult due to the granite-rich bedrock on which the city is built.

Health care systems

Shenyang has 731 medical and healthcare centers, 63,000 healthcare staff and 3.02 healthcare worker per 1,000 people. There are 34,033 hospital beds and 45,680 various kinds of medical and technical personnel, among whom there are 17,346 licensed doctors, 1,909 assistant licensed doctors, and 16887 certified nurses.[95] The average expected life-span of the people in Shenyang is 73.8.

Shenyang is home to China Medical University Hospital, 202 Hospital, China Medical University 1st, 2nd and 4th Hospital, Liaoning Tumor Hospital, Shenyang No.7 People's Hospital, Shenyang Orthopaedics Hospital, Shenyang Army General Hospital, North Hospital, and various other hospitals and clinics. CMU 2nd hospital has been renamed Shengjing Hospital in 2003.[96]


Shenyang has many parks. Self-organizing groups advocating sustainable travel such as local rail revival, walking and cycling, reduction in energy demand and waste generally, protection of wildlife, cleaning the river and lakes, and the development of environmental technologies in the city, are increasingly popular.

According to the Shenyang Environmental Protection Bureau, in 2014 coal used for heating is the source of 30% of the air pollution in Shenyang. Other major factors include dust from construction sites, 20%; vehicle exhaust, 20%; industrial emissions, 10%; and extraterritorial dust 20%. Half of the 16 million metric tons of coal consumed by the city during the winter of 2013-14 were used for heating. Air quality was described by the Bureau as slowly improving.[97] Extremely high levels of PM2.5, over 1000 micrograms per cubic meter, in November 2015 were noted by the national media.[98]


Shenyang holds the headquarters of the Shenyang Military Region and its Air Force divisions. Shenyang is also famous for its defense industries, with the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, nicknamed "the cradle of Chinese jetfighters (中国歼击机摇篮)", being the People's Republic's oldest and largest aircraft manufacturer.

A Chinese state cemetery in the city is scheduled to receive the remains of 400 People's Volunteer Army soldiers killed during the Korean War. In 2014 South Korea and China agreed to repatriate the remains which had been buried at a military cemetery in Paju, South Korea.[99]

Life and culture

Shenyang Library among other brightly lit buildings along Qingnian Street in the southern portion of Shenhe District

Shenyang dialect

People native to Shenyang speak the Shenyang dialect, a variant of Northeastern Mandarin.[100] Shenyang Dialect was formed in early period of Qing Dynasty.[101][102] Shenyang dialect is similar to the other Northeastern dialects and also to the national standard of Mandarin, Putonghua, but is known as a form of Dongbeihua and has a wide range of vocabulary that is not part of the country's official language.[100] As Shenyang dialect is mutually intelligible with most forms of Mandarin, some people prefer to characterize it as an "accent" rather than a different "dialect."


Two northeast folk dances, Er Ren Zhuan and Yang Ge, are very popular in Shenyang.[103][104] Dawutai Theatre is famous for its Er Ren Zhuan and Chinese skit performances by Zhao Benshan and his students.

Shenyang is home of many performance art organizations, such as Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe of China, Liaoning Song and Dance Ensemble, and Liaoning Ballet.[105] Many artists are from Shenyang, such as Zimei, Na Ying and the pianist Lang Lang.


SL-751 Steam Locomotive Museum
  • Shenyang Steam Locomotive Museum, with 16 steam engines from America, Japan, Russia, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia and China.
9.18 Historical Museum
  • The 9.18 Historical Museum (Chinese: 九·一八历史博物馆; pinyin: Jiǔ. Yī Bā Lìshǐ Bówùguǎn), a museum in memory of Mukden Incident on September 18, 1931. The museum has a shape of an opened calendar, and is located on the site where the Japanese troops destroyed the South Manchuria Railway, the prelude to the invasion of Manchuria.
  • The Xinle Relic, located on the location where the Xinle civilisation was first discovered, containing a reconstructed Xinle settlement and housing artefacts discovered there.


Shenyang is famous for its football tradition. The local football club is the Liaoning F.C., in the Chinese Super League. Liaoning F.C. was the first Chinese team to win the AFC Champions League in 1990.[104] Another Chinese Super League team, Shenyang Jinde moved to Changsha in 2007. Shenyang Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, a 60,000-seated soccer stadium, was a venue for the football preliminary of 2008 Summer Olympics.[106]

Shenyang Sport University [3] is a famous professional sports university in China. The university is the training base for winter sports in China and has many Olympic champions.

It has an indoor speed skating arena, Bayi Speed Skating Oval, as one of four in China.

Religious buildings


Traditional meals in the region are suan cai (also called Chinese sauerkraut), stewed chicken and mushroom, and meat pie[clarify].[107]

Korean food, such as rice cake (Hangul; RRtteok) and cold noodle (Hangul냉면; hanja; RRnaengmyeon; simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: lěngmiàn), is a part of Shenyangers' diet as there is a sizeable ethnic Korean population in the city.[107] Also, as the area was traditionally occupied by Manchus, the cuisine in Shenyang was fundamentally influenced by Manchu food, as well as the famous Manchu Han Imperial Feast.[108]



  • Mukden Palace: the former imperial palace of the early Qing dynasty. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Dongling: the tomb of the first Qing emperor, Nurhaci. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Beiling Park and Zhaoling: the tomb of the second Qing emperor, Huang Taiji. The park covers an area of 3,300,000 sq. meters, and is serviced by trams for visitors who do not wish to (or cannot) traverse the length of the park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Qipan Mountain, Shenbei New District: a recreation resort in the northeast of Shenyang.
  • Liaoning Provincial Museum: It displays a variety of artifacts that include some of the earliest forms of writing known to man.
  • Shenyang Botanical Garden is located within the Qipanshan Tourism District. With a total area of 2.46 km2, the garden hosted the International Horticultural Exposition in 2006. Since then it has also been known as the International Expo Garden. A variety of botanical exhibitions are held throughout the year.[109]
  • Shenyang Meteorite Mountain Park, located in the southeast of Shenyang in Dongling district. The biggest meteorite lies on the Huashitai Mountain of Lixiang County of Dongling District, and it is 160 m long, 54 m wide, 42 high and about 2 million tons in weight. It is the oldest meteorite in the world which was formed 4.5 billion years ago and fallen into the Earth 1.9 billion years ago.[citation needed]
  • Xiaonan Cathedral of Shenyang: the construction of the cathedral started in 1875 and finished in 1878.

Shopping areas

Shopping and dining on Taiyuan Street

Shenyang has many shopping areas that provide people necessities, luxuries and entertainments. One of the shopping districts is Middle Street. Middle Street has a history of more than 100 years. In 2005, Middle Street gained the title of China top 10 famous commercial shopping streets and in 2008; it won the International Golden Street title. Middle Street is also the first commercial pedestrian street in China.

Middle Street features many western-style stores and restaurants, including Wal-Mart, Pizza Hut (which is a fancy restaurant in Shenyang), Louis Vuitton flagship store, Häagen-Dazs retail store, etc. The largest shopping mall in Shenyang is also located on Middle Street, selling products from all around the world.

Taiyuan Street(Chinese: 太原街; pinyin: Tàiyuán Jiē)is another shopping area which is similar to Middle Street. Taiyuan Street also features many restaurants and theaters for people to enjoy. Many spend their holidays shopping on these two streets.

There is also a very large underground shopping center, offering lots of items, especially fashion jewelries, accessories and clothing.

Another area, Wu'ai Market, (simplified Chinese: 五爱市场; traditional Chinese: 五愛市場; pinyin: Wǔài Shìchǎng), features a large multi-story shopping center with a size comparable to that of many city blocks. It contains hundreds, if not thousands, of mini or boutique stores that open very early in the morning and close in the early afternoon. It is famous for wholesaling cheap clothes and household items.

The information technology center is in Sanhao street (Chinese: 三好街; pinyin: Sānhǎo Jiē), in the southern part of the city.

There are also many large superstores located throughout the city that sell everything from meat and dairy to clothes and electronics.

Research and education

Shenyang has one of the highest concentrations of educational institutes in China. Roughly 30 colleges and universities and numerous research and training institutions are located in Shenyang, including core institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


High schools

  • Liaoning Province Shiyan High School
  • Shenyang No.2 Senior High School
  • Northeast Yucai School, a school founded by the Japanese and is still influenced by Japanese culture. It consists of various departments, such as Nursing Garden, Elementary School, Junior High School and Senior High School.
  • Shenyang No.43 High School

International Schools

  • Shenyang International School, SYIS was founded in 1998 by the International Schools of China (ISC), a United States non-profit organization committed to educational work in China.
  • Shenyang Pacific International Academy - SPIA is located in the suburban district of Shenbei. The school offers an American-style high school education. Official Website

Colleges and universities

Defunct universities

Fengyong University was the first private university in China to follow western methods. It was funded by Feng Yong. It contained the departments of Engineering, Law and Education.

Notable People

International relations

Consulates in Shenyang

Japan, Russia, South Korea. France, Germany, North Korea, and the United States all have consulates in Shenyang's Heping District. The German consulate is relatively new, opened in 2013.

See also


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