Shandong Province

  • Shandong is a coastal province of the People’s Republic of China, and is part of the East China region.

  • 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 of Taoism, Chinese Buddism and Confucianism.

  • Shandong’s Mount Tai is the most revered mountain of Taoism and one of the world’s sites with the longes history of continous religious worship. The Buddhist temples int he mountains to the south of the provincial capital of Jinan were once among the foremost Buddhist sites in China. The city of Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius, and was later established as the center of Cunfucianism.

  • Shandong’s location 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. After a period of political instability and economic hardships that began in the late 19th century, Shandong has emerged as one of the most populous (95,793,065 inhabitants at the 2010 Census) and most affluent provinces in the People’s Republic of China (GDP of CN¥3.94 trillion in 2010).

  • Individually, the two Chinese characteristics in the name “Shandong” mean “mountain” and “east”. Shandong could hence be translated literally as “east of the mountains” and refers to the province’s location to the east of the Taihang Mountains.

  • Shandong ranks first among the provinces in the production of a variety of products, including cotton and wheat as well as precious metals such as gold and diamonds. It also has one of the biggest sapphire deposits in the world. Other important crops include sorghum and maize. Shandong has extensiv petroleum deposits as well, especially in the Dongying area in the Yellow River delta, where the Shengli Oilfield (lit. Victory Oilfield) is one of the major oilfields of China. Shandong also produces bromine from underground wells and salt from sea water.

  • Shandong is one of the richer provinces of China, and 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. In addition, Dongying’s oil fields and petroleum industries from an important component of Shandong’s economy. Despite the primacy of Shandong’s energy sector, the province has also been plagued with problems of inefficiency and ranks as the largest consumer of fossil fuels in all of China.

  • In 2011, the nominal GDP for Shandong was ¥4.50 trillion (US$711 billion), ranking third in the country (behind Guangdong and Jiangsu). Its GDP per capita was ¥42,014 (US$6,365), ranking eight.

  • The production of wine is the second largest industry in the Shandong Province, second only to agriculture.

  • Presently, there are more than 140 wineries in the region, mainly distributed in the Nanwang Grape Valley and along the Yan-Peng Sightseeing Highway. The region produced more than 40% of China’s grape wine production. Main varieties such as Cabernet Sauvingon, Cabernet Gernischt, Merlot, Riesling and Chardonnay are all at 20 years of age, considered to be the golden stage for these grapes.

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