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City Introduction

    Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River  and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism , Chinese Buddhism , and Confucianism . Shandong's Mount Tai  is the most revered mountain of Taoism and one of the world's sites with the longest history of continuous religious worship. The city of Qufu  is the birthplace of Confucius , and was later established as the center of Confucianism. Shandong's locations at the intersection of ancient as well as modern north-south and east-west trading routes have helped to establish it as an economic center.

    With its location on the eastern edge of the North China Plain , Shandong has felt the influence of Chinese civilization since remote antiquity. The earliest dynasties (the Shang dynasty  and Zhou dynasty ) exerted varying degrees of control over western Shandong, During the Spring and Autumn Period   and the Warring States Period , regional states became increasingly powerful. At this time, Shandong was home to two powerful states: the state of Qi  and the state of Lu  at Qufu . Lu is noted for being the home of Confucius.

    The modern province of Shandong was created by the Ming Dynasty . It also included much of modern-day Liaoning (in south Manchuria ) at the time. However, the Manchus  increasingly asserted independence, and managed to conquer all of China in 1644. Under the Qing Dynasty , which they founded, Shandong acquired (more or less) its current borders.

    During the nineteenth century, China became increasingly exposed to Western influence, and Shandong, a coastal province, was especially affected. Qingdao  was leased to Germany  in 1897 and Weihai  to Britain  in 1898. The rest of Shandong was generally considered to be part of the German sphere of influence . In addition, the Qing Dynasty  opened Manchuria  to Han Chinese  immigration during the 19th century; Shandong was the main source of the ensuing tide of migrants.

    In recent years Shandong, especially eastern Shandong, has enjoyed significant economic development, becoming one of the richest provinces of the People's Republic of China. Its economic development focuses on large enterprises with well-known brand names. Shandong is the biggest industrial producer and one of the top manufacturing provinces in China. Shandong has also benefited from South Korean  and Japanese investment and tourism, due to its geographical proximity to those countries. The richest part of the province is the Shandong Peninsula , where the city of Qingdao  is home to three of the most well-known brand names of China: Tsingtao  Beer , Haier  and Hisense.

Recommended Tours
· Confucius Hometown