1.556 million (2000)
| Wu Zhongqiong|
| University of Science and Technology, Liaoning, Anshan Normal University|
Anshan (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally: "saddle mountain") is the third largest prefecture level city in Liaoning province, Peoples Republic of China. Situated in the central area of the province, Anshan is about 92 kilometres (57 mi) south of Shenyang, the provincial capital. Anshan is on the boundary between the Mountains of eastern Liaoning and the plains of the west. The prefecture has a population of 3,584,000 people and covers an area of about 9,252 km2 (3,572 sq mi). The distance from the east to the west of the prefecture is 133 km (83 mi). The area contains the famous Qianshan National Park. The citys name is derived from the shape of a nearby mountain that resembles the shape of a horses saddle, which can be seen on the left (west) about five minutes before the northbound train arrives at Anshan Station. Anshan is home to the Anshan Iron and Steel Group, one of the largest steel producers in China. Anshan is sister cities with Sheffield
Anshan has a population of 3.65 million at the 2010 census. Anshan holds one third of the worlds supply of talcum Anshan holds a quarter of the worlds reserves of magnesite Anshan also produced the largest ever jade stone, now a local tourist attraction carved as a Buddha. The built up area encompassing 4 Anshan urban districts (1,529,350 inhabitants) and urban Liaoyang is home to more than 2.17 million inhabitants in 2010.
The area of Anshan has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The area remained of little significance, a small city in Liaodong province, overshadowed by neighbouring Liaoyang city, until the mid 20th Century. In 1587 Anshan was fortified by the Ming Dynasty to combat the growing power of the Manchu. The city was burnt down during the Boxer Rebellion, and was destroyed again in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905). As a result of this war, Japan had gained influence in Liaoning and was engaged in industrialising the region. Anshan lay beside the new South Manchuria Railway line that ran from the port of Dalian to the major city of Shenyang. As a joint Sino-Japanese venture, Anshan Zhenzing Iron Ore Company Unlimited was started in Anshan in 1918. After the Mukden Incident in 1931, Japan occupied the northeast of China. The mills were turned into a Japanese owned monopoly. In 1933, the site was expanded to include steel production and the company was renamed Showa Steel Works. Anshan became part of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. Additional industries developed around the iron and steel mills. The city of Anshan grew significantly in size around this new industrial site.
Anshan had become one of the largest producers of iron and steel in Asia if not the world. It was therefore of strategic importance in the Pacific War, and was subject to constant attack by B-29 Superfortress strategic bombers of the USAAF. Japanese Army detached the 1st Chutai (unit) of 104th Sentai (squadron) of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, to Anshan, with other air squadrons for industrial defense purposes. Although this unit was equipped with modern Nakajima Ki-84 Ia (Manshu Type) Hayate "Frank" fighters, manufactured by Manshukoku Hikoki Seizo KK, the plant suffered heavy damage from the air raids, losing up to 30% of its capacity.
At the end of the war, Soviet Red Army forces launched Operation August Storm, which captured Manchuria form the Japanese. The Soviets looted the ruins of Showa Steel Works for anything that could be taken back to the Soviet Union. With the defeat of Japan in 1945, Anshan was returned to China along with the rest of Chinese Manchuria. However, peace had not yet arrived. Civil war continued between the Chinese Nationalist Government and the Communist Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). The city of Anshan was the scene of one of the battles of this war. The city was taken by the PLA on February 19, 1948. A monument in Lieshishan park commemorates the battle.
The northeast of China was marked out to become a major industrial centre for the new Peoples Republic of China. Anshan was set to become a key part of this industrial development. The steel mills had been damaged during the wars. In December 1948, the Anshan Iron and Steel Company—also known as Angang—was founded. Production in the newly repaired steel plant resumed on July 9, 1949. The plant was expanded to become the largest steel producer in China. Other industries setup alongside the steel plant including mining for coal, iron and other minerals. This industrial wealth had an environmental cost. The open-hearth furnaces of the steel mill created large amounts of dust and other pollution. Along with its growing reputation as a major steel producer, Anshan was also gaining a reputation as a dirty, smelly town.
Anshan became a formal administrative region under the Northeastern Peoples Government (later renamed as the Northeastern Administration Commission) in November, 1949.
Anshan is reported to have served as a base for Soviet MIG fighter aircraft and pilots during the Korean War (1950–1953) in air combat operations against US/UN forces.
On March 12, 1953, the city became a municipality under the Central Government direct administration. Haicheng County and Xiuyan County were subordinated to Liaodong Province. Taian County was subordinated to Liaoxi Province. August 22, 1954, the central government decided that Anshan should be administered by Liaoning Province. The State Council confirmed that Anshan should be in charge of Xiuyan County and Haicheng city in 1985.
The furnaces of the steel plant were changed in the 1980s to designs which blow oxygen in from the front. This increased the production and also reduced the pollution. In the 1990s, they were additionally altered to blow oxygen in from the top as well. This further increase production and reduced pollution. In December 2000, all three production lines of Anshan Iron and Steel company switched from mould-casting to continuous casting. This new technology has significantly reduced the dust and other pollution in the city. The new plant equipment is also much less labour-intensive. This has meant a reduction in the workforce has caused an unemployment problem in the city. A new drive to market Anshan as a tourist destination is hoped to help bolster the cities economy.
Sited on the edge of the Liao River plains, Anshan has wide flat lands in the west and central regions that develop into hilly and the mountainous terrain on the eastern fringes. The area is rich in mineral wealth including iron ore, coal, magnesite, talcum and jade. The plains of western Anshan are good for agriculture. The large flat fields make it ideal for modern agricultural methods. In total, Anshan contains 24480 hectares of arable land accounting for 26.4% of the total land area. One agricultural product that Anshan has become well known for is the production of Nangua Pears.
The north east of China is a major industrial zone and Anshan is one of the key sites of the north east. The city is renowned as "Chinas capital of iron and steel". Prior to the development of the Iron and Steel industries, Anshan was a relatively small city of little importance. As the steel mills expanded, so to did the city. Spin off industries developed alongside the steel plant making the area a centre of heavy industry.
In recent years, Anshan has been trying to throw off its image as a heavy industrial town along with the dirt and pollution that goes with such industry. It has remodeled itself as a tourist destination.
Foremost among the attractions in Anshan is Qianshan National Park which is about 18 km (11 mi), by road, to the southeast of the city. Qianshan, literally Thousand Mountains, is an abbreviation of Thousand lotus flower mountains. The peaks were said to resemble the petals of the lotus flower which had been dropped to earth by a goddess. The park area of 44 km2 (17 sq mi), is filled with both Buddhist and Taoist temples, monasteries and nunneries. It is one of few locations where both religions are found sharing the same site. Cars are not allowed within the park.
One of the mountains in the park is believed to resemble Maitreya Buddha. It is claimed to be the largest naturally occurring image of Maitreya in the world. Several temples have been built on the peaks of the overlooking hills. Near the Buddha is a bird park.
Another major tourist location is "219 Park". The name of the park commemorates the liberation of Anshan by the Peoples Liberation Army on the 19th of February 1948. The park contains the Dongshan (East Mountain) scenic area as well as numerous lakes.
Of particular note is the Jade Buddha Palace. This large Buddhist temple complex of 22,104 square metres, houses the worlds large statue of Buddha made of Jade (It is called jade in Chinese, but in English it is Serpentine). It is a single piece of jade stone measuring 6.88 metres in width, 4.10 metres front to back and 7.95 metres high. The jade stone weighs 260.76 tons. The front of the stone has been carved with an image of Sakyamuni (aka. Gautama) Buddha. On the back of the stone Guanyin (aka. Avalokitesvara) Buddha has been carved. The jade stone was found in 1960 in Xiuyan County. It was declared a treasure of the State and listed as a protected property by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. Anshan city government commissioned the carving which took a team of 120 sculptures 18 months to complete. The temple complex was opened on the 3rd of September 1996. The building that houses the Jade Buddha statue is 33 metres tall, representing the 33 layers of heaven in Buddhism. It claims to be one of the tallest two story buildings of traditional Chinese architectural style in China.