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Population, Principal Cities

Hai River, trade centers, major port, Grand Canal, northeastern China

China’s cities have a long and important tradition as centers of ceremonial and administrative power. Over the centuries they have evolved into multifunctional commercial and trade centers, and more recently into industrial centers. China has more than 30 cities in which the population of the contiguous built-up urban area exceeds 1 million. (Administratively, many cities also include substantial agricultural land.) China’s major cities include Shanghai, the country’s largest urban area and a major port; Beijing, the capital and cultural center of China; Tianjin, a port city lying at the juncture of the Hai River and the Grand Canal; Shenyang, a center of heavy industry in northeastern China; Wuhan, a port city situated at the confluence of the Han and Yangtze rivers; Guangzhou, a port city on the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River); and Chongqing, a major inland port on the Yangtze River. While all large Chinese cities have significant industrial bases, these cities especially have expanded their service and support economies in recent years.

Article key phrases:

Hai River, trade centers, major port, Grand Canal, northeastern China, Shenyang, port city, confluence, Tianjin, Chongqing, juncture, Guangzhou, Pearl River, Wuhan, Shanghai, Beijing, centuries, capital, population, recent years, service


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