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Introducing Shenyang, China

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By bsmonroe, on May 26, 2010

Map of China

Now that I have finished packing (which was not as big an ordeal as I was expecting) I think that this is a good time to introduce the city I will be living in for 10 weeks.

Shenyang is the capital of Liaoning Province and with a population of  7,369,000 is the largest city in Northeastern China.  Historically, Shenyang is very important as it was the capital of the Manchu kingdom.  The Manchus established the Qing Dynasty after invading China in 1644.  They supplanted the Ming Dynasty and moved their capital to Beijing. Ending in 1912, the Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty to rule over China.

Shenyang also played a pivotal role in both China’s civil war (1927-1949) and, concurrently, its war against Japan (Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945).

In the early days of the founding of the People’s Republic China (1949) Shenyang was an industrial hub for the Northeast because of its proximity to the Soviet Union. However,under Deng Xiao Ping’s leadership and economic reforms in the late 1970’s China’s economic focus moved to the south (i.e. Shanghai and Shenzhen).

Because of its industrial past Shenyang has been considered a “Second-Tier” city but is making great strides toward modernization and improved governance. Over the last decade the Chinese government has invested billions of Yuan (the Yuan is the Chinese currency. The exchange rate is $1=¥6.53) in construction.  This investment has yielded an international airport, an Olympic soccer stadium, and numerous other major capital improvements.  In regards to governance, Shenyang has invested significantly into reducing government corruption.

An example of Shenyang’s regional and international importance is the growing presence of foreign representatives. The following countries have Consulates in Shenyang:

    • United States
    • Japan
    • Russia
    • North Korea
    • South Korea
    • France

My next blog will post on the first day of the internship.

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2 Responses to “Introducing Shenyang, China”

  1. Andrew d

    Really interesting historical info Baron! One thing did catch my eye, perhaps you can report back in on it as you make your way over there and work over the next few weeks.

    You said that, in regards to governance, Shenyang “has invested significantly” into reducing corruption. In one of my political science seminars on Corruption, we talked specifically about China and it’s attempts to “reduce corruption”. Academic’s criticize that the Chinese government often opts to use efforts to “reduce corruption” to bolster political elites and remove political opponents (governmental purges, if you will). The arguements further that corruption on the street level (petty, day-to-day stuff) is not actually reduced; either by changing values or through enforcement.

    I’d definitely be interested in hearing your perspective, even if it is through experience, on this.

    Take care!

    • Barron Monroe

      Andrew–I’ll post something on that in the next couple of weeks.

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