The 23rd International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING 2010)

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Chongqing

   Chongqing, alternately romanized as Chungking, is a major city in southwest China. Administratively, it is one of the four municipalities under the direct administration of central government of the People's Republic of China (the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and the only such municipality located far away from the coast. It is the largest city proper in the world.

During and after the Second Sino-Japanese War, from Nov 1937 to May 1946, it was Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's provisional capital. After Britain, the United States, and other Allies entered the war in Asia in December 1941, one of the Allies' deputy commanders of operations in South East Asia (South East Asia Command SEAC), Joseph Stilwell, was based in the city. The city was also visited by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of SEAC which was itself headquartered in Ceylon, modern day Sri Lanka. Chiang Kai Shek as Supreme Commander in China worked closely with Stilwell. The Japanese Air Force heavily bombed it. Due to its mountainous environment, many people were saved from the bombing. Due to the bravery, contributions and sacrifices made by the local people during World War II, Chongqing became known as the City of Heroes. Many factories and universities were relocated from eastern China to Chongqing during the war, transforming this city from inland port to a heavily industrialized city. In late November 1949 the Nationalist KMT government fled the city.

According to a July 2010 article from the official Xinhua news agency, the municipality has a population of 32.8 million, including 23.3 million farmers. Among them, 8.4 million farmers have become migrant workers, including 3.9 million working and living in urban areas of Chongqing. The metropolitan area encompassing the central urban area was estimated by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to have, as of 2010, a population of 17 million.

The municipal People's Government serves as the day-to-day administrative authority, and is headed by the mayor, who is assisted by numerous vice mayors and mayoral assistants. Each vice mayor is given jurisdiction over specific municipal departments. The mayor is the second-highest-ranking official in the municipality. The mayor usually represents the city when foreign guests visit.

Chongqing was separated from Sichuan province and made into a municipality in its own right in 14 March 1997 in order to accelerate its development and subsequently China's relatively poorer western areas (see China Western Development strategy). An important industrial area in western China, Chongqing is also rapidly urbanising. For instance, statistics suggest that new construction added approximately 137,000 square metres (1,470,000 square feet) daily of usable floor space to satisfy demands for residential, commercial and factory space. In addition, more than 1,300 people moved into the city daily, adding almost 100 million yuan (US$15 million) to the local economy.

The city has also invested heavily in infrastructure to attract investment. The network of roads and railways connecting Chongqing to the rest of China has been expanded and upgraded reducing logistical costs. Furthermore, the nearby Three Gorges Dam which is the world's largest, will not only supply Chongqing with power once completed but also allows oceangoing ships to reach Chongqing's Yangtze River port. These infrastructure improvements have led to the arrivals of numerous foreign direct investors (FDI) in industries ranging from car to finance and retailing; such as Ford, Mazda, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, ANZ Bank, Scotiabank, Wal-Mart, Metro AG and Carrefour, among other multinational corporations.

Chongqing is one of the most important inland ports in China. There are numerous luxury cruise ships that terminate at Chongqing, cruising downstream along the Yangtze River to Yichang, Wuhan, Nanjing or even Shanghai. In the recent past, this provided virtually the only transportation option along the river. However, improved rail, expressways and air travel have seen this ferry traffic reduced or cancelled altogether. Most of the river ferry traffic consists of leisure cruises for tourists rather than local needs. Improved access by larger cargo vessels has been made due to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. This allows bulk transport of goods along the Yangtze River. Coal, raw minerals and containerized goods provide the majority of traffic plying this section of the river. Several port handling facilities exists throughout the city, including many impromptu river bank sites.

By 2020 CRT will consist of 6 straight lines and 1 circular line resulting in 363.5 km (225.9 mi) of road and railway to the existing transportation infrastructure and 93 new train stations will be added to the 111 stations that are already in place.

Chongqing is the only Chinese city that keeps public aerial tramways. Historically there were three aerial tramways in Chongqing: the Yangtze River Tramway, the Jialing River Tramway and the South Mountain Tramway. Currently, only Yangtze River Tramway is still operating and it is Class 4A Tourist Attractions in China. This tramway is 1,160 metres (3,810 feet) long, connecting the southern and northern banks of Yangtze River. The daily passenger volume is about 10,000.

Chongqing is also the birthplace of soccer games in southwestern China. Soccer was introduced to this region in as early as 1905 by some British soldiers and missionaries. They founded a varsity soccer team at the predecessor of modern-day Guangyi High School (also known as Chongqing No.5 High School), and trained them to be a highly skilled team. A professional soccer stadium was constructed on the Guangyi campus in the Southern Mountain. It was the first professional soccer stadium in southwestern China. The Guangyi varsity team beat English and French naval teams and even the Sheffield Wednesday team in friendlies.


 

 
Temple of Heaven
Forbidden City
Summer Palace
Beijing National Stadium
Beijing National Aquatics Center
National Centre for the Performing Arts
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