R. Jinith de Silva Sri Lanka China Society
The region is situated facing the Bohai Sea in the eastern part of China. It is important due to two reasons. It has a history running back to 5,000 years and it is situated bordering the delta and the estuary of the Yellow River. Two of the oldest civilisations of China Dawenkou and Longshan are believed to have originated in this area. This is the homeland of world famous philosopher Confucius. It is about 150,000 square miles in area and has a population of 90 million. Jinan is the capital of this region.
Yellow River dubbed Mother River of China flows through this region and falls to the sea. It not only adds colour to the natural beauty of this region, but also helps to make the surrounding areas with fertile Alluvium soil. This region is frequently visited by local and foreign visitors.
"Two of the oldest civilisations of China Dawenkou and Longshan are believed to have originated in this area. This is the homeland of world famous philosopher Confucius. It is about 150,000 square miles in area and has a population of 90 million. Jinan is the capital of this region."
This region is famous for tobacco cultivation from early days. In addition to that, it is a prime grower of apples, pears and watermelon. Crops such as wheat corn and cotton are also grown there on a large scale. One fourth of the peanut cultivation of China is done here.
This region is famous for several industries. Precious metals such as gold and diamonds are found here. It also has the biggest sapphire deposits of the world. Shengli oil field occupies the second place in China in the production of crude oil. Liaschang is famous for several industries, and its economy has grown at an alarming rate of 15%. Metals, papermaking, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, chemicals and textiles are the main industries of this region. After 2008, the regional government has taken measures to see that the environment is preserved by industrialists. Every effort is taken to maintain the hygienic quality of water and air.
The GDP of this region reached 4.5 trillion Yuan (US$ 711 billion) in 2011 ranking third in the country behind Guangdong and Jiangsu. Its per capita GDP was 42,014 Yuan (USD 6,315) ranking eighth in the country
Tourist industry too enjoys a prominent place in this region. The temple of Confucius, his house, cemetery, mount Taishan and Qingdao city are some of the tourist attractions.
He was one of the most honoured individuals in the world. Many people venerate him even today. In the traditional Chinese culture, his philosophy and his thinking occupy an important place. He lived between 551 BC and 479 BC and his philosophy is more relevant today than the times he lived. Confucius temple and Confucius family mansion have become places of veneration for some. The house he lived was converted into a temple one year after his death.
All his paraphernalia are kept there for the visitors to see and commemorative meetings are held every year. First emperor of the Han Dynasly Liu Bang built a temple in honour of Confucius and venerated him. All the emperors who succeeded him emulated his example. This temple was renovated and enlarged by the emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The length of this temple is 600 metresfrom North to South and the width is 140 metres. There are nine courtyards sitting astride the North South Axis line. Inside libraries and inscriptions depicting his philosophy are found. The Daching hall or the hall of the greatest of all sages is the main building of the temple. It is the highest building of the temple with red walls and golden glazed tiles. In the centre of the hall is the shrine of Confucius. The coloured sculpture of Confucius is flanked by his disciples. In the east of the Confucius temple is the Confucius mansion, which consists of few dozen courtyards and is the dwelling place for Confucius posterity.
The Confucius surroundings are actually the graveyard of Confucius and his posterity. It is located one kilometres from the North of Qufu. In the two-square-kilometer graveyard more than 100,000 clan members have been buried. This is the largest and most ancient clan graveyard in the world. The whole area is bristling with towering trees. Confucius tomb is in the centre of the woods. UNESO listed this as a world heritage In 1994.
This is located in the centre part of Shandong. This is the only holy mountain of Eastern China and one of the five holiest mountains of China. People have venerated this hill since ancient days. It was also known as Diazong and Daishan. The height of this mountain is about 1,545 meters and famous as the natural museum of history of art. When climbing this mountain the sea of clouds and the rising sun that could be seen is a treat to one’s eyes. Ancient emperors of China climbed this to pay homage to heaven and earth. This was declared a world heritage in 1987. There are a few important places of cultural and nature here, Dai Temple Mid Heaven Gate, South Heaven Gate, Jade Emperor Summit and the five Dafu Pines are some of them. Poets have written much about this mountain and its beauty.
From the top of this mountain, one could see the Sun rising from the Yellow River and getting lost in the horizon. There are many Taoist and Buddhist temples here. There is a fairly big inscription done by the emperor Xungzong in 726 who was elated after climbing this mountain.
Qingdao the Sea Side City
This is one of picturesque beaches of China located in Jianghou. The city is surrounded by the sea on three sides. This area is enjoyed due to its congenial climate even during summer due to its chilled breeze coming from the sea. It is a port city for traders and tourists and more than 40 million tourists visit this area annually. 120 years ago Qingdao was an insignificant fishing village.
The city’s prime visiting season stretches from March to early November with tourists flow peaking from July to late August due to its warm seawater.
Three main products of China namely Tsingtao beer, Haier, Hasense originated here. Haier was founded in 1984 in this city. The central government has chosen this city to be developed under the concept called ‘Marine Economy’. In 2010, the value of total output of the marine industries in the region reached Yuan 140 billion, 16% higher than the year 2009. Petrochemicals shipbuilding and ocean engineering is the leading field of this zone. By 2015, Qingdao is expected to become the centre of education for Marine Science.
Qingdao is acknowledged as the sailing city of China. It was the host city of China for all sailing events of 2008, Beijing Olympic Games and Para Olympic Games. Seaside Qingdao has been selected to hold 2014 international Horticulture exposition. Qingdao is being prepared for this event under the theme “From the Earth for the Earth”. It promotes the concept of harmony between humans and nature as well as development free from carbon emissions.
In this seaside city, a notable feature is the houses built on European architecture models. Many Chinese come to this area during the summer and some extremely rich people have built these houses facing the sea. This city is accessible from Beijing and Shanghai by plane or bullet train.