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Shenyang History, China

Shenyang is perhaps one of the oldest cities in China. Its creation can be traced back to the New Stone Age, more than 7,000 years ago. This capital of Liaoning, moreover, underwent several changes on its name—from Houchen to Shenzou and Jen—until it became Shenyang.

The glory days of Shenyang

Shenyang was one of the most favored cities in China a long time ago. Around 1625, during the end of the Ming dynasty, one of the popular leaders of the Manchus, Nurachi, recognized Shenyang as the new capital of China. It was then called Shenjing. The Imperial Palace, which became the home of the emperor and his court, was built a year after. It paled in comparison to the Forbidden City, but it was still considered to be a huge structure, comprised of over 300 rooms and 2 huge courtyards.

However, during 1644 to 1911 (or the Qing Dynasty), Shenyang, more known as Mukden to its people, was demoted to a secondary capital. It was also given a new name called Fengtian.

A battle with Japan

In 1894, a war between China and Japan over Korea broke out. However, China lost and found themselves in too much loss and financial debt. Worsening their case was the Shimonoseki Treaty, where provisions were favoring Japan. In the end, to start paying indemnities, China needed to give up two of its major ports.

Yet Russia decided to step in and secretly partnered with China. They opted to rent ports Arthur and Dalian in exchange of payments for China’s debts to Japan. This positively helped the province as it paved the way for major developments, including the South Manchurian Railroad. It also became a very huge manufacturing center.

Shenyang incident

However, this didn’t last for a very long time. Japan started to harbor ill feelings against the arrangement and waged war against Russia: the 1904 Russo-Japanese War. For fifteen days, these two countries battled it out in Sho Ha River, located near the southern portion of the city. With the help of the United States, a new treaty called the Portsmouth Treaty, was signed. Dalian was given back to China.

As a way of getting back at Shenyang and invading the city, the Japanese initiated an explosion in a train car on September 18, 1931. This is now famously known as the Shenyang Incident. It allowed them to capture northeastern China and set up a puppet government under Qing emperor Pu Yi.

Shenyang today

The Japanese was finally overthrown during World War II, though civil skirmishes still existed. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop Shenyang from getting back to its original form and becoming one of the biggest cities all over China. Today, there are more than 7 million people living in the city. It has one of the best railroad hubs, and several manufacturing companies are contributing to its economic growth and providing jobs to its people.

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