Liaoyang (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a prefecture-level city of east-central Liaoning province, Peoples Republic of China, situated on the Tai-tzu River and, together with Anshan, forms a metro area of 2,057,200 inhabitants in 2010. It is approximately one hour south of Shenyang, the provincial capital, by car. Liaoyang is home to Liaoning Universitys College of Foreign Studies and a number of vocational colleges. The city hosts a limited number of professional basketball and volleyball games in a modern sports facility.
Liaoyang is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in northeast China dating back to before the Spring and Autumn period. During the Chinese Tang dynasty, Liaoyang was part of the northern edge of the Goguryeo kingdom. Remains of Yodong and Baegam cities, the old Goguryeo cities, can still be seen near to the modern city. This was the site of a major battle between the Tang and Goguryeo in 645 AD. Goguryeo (an antecedent of modern Korea) ruled the area for a brief period.
Liaoyang rose to prominence during the Liao dynasty. Several buildings in the city date to this period. Among these is the White Pagoda (baita), which dates back to 1189 in the Liao Dynasty with additions during the Yuan dynasty. The Liaoyang White Pagoda sits in Baita Park within Baita district in the centre of the city. Next to the park is Guangyou Temple, one of the oldest and largest temple complexes in the north east of China covering some 60,000 square metres (650,000 sq ft).
Under the Jurchen Jin dynasty, the city served as their empires eastern capital under the name Dongjing ().
In the 17th century, the Manchu people rose up against the Ming dynasty of China. Liaoyang was one of the first Ming cities to fall and Nurhaci, the new Emperor of the Later Jin dynasty, made his capital there naming the city Dongjing in 1621. He also moved the tombs of several family members to Liaoyang and they can still be seen in Dongjingling, just east of the city. As the Manchu expanded, they again moved the capital to Shenyang in 1625. After this Dongjing faded in importance. Today, remains of the city walls can still be see and a small museum stands within the reconstructed south gate.
The year 1900 saw the Boxer Rebellion in China. Russian troops camped in Liaoyang city, burning the ancient Guangyou temple. On the August 24 September 1904, the Battle of Liaoyang took place. This was a major battle of the Russo-Japanese war.
Liaoyang was one of the major centres of the Manchurian revival, a Protestant Christian revival which took place in Mukden (Shenyang) and the surrounding countryside in 1908.
The city was the site of widespread labor protests in March 2002 that were sparked by the bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation of the Liaoyang Ferroalloy Factory, or Liaotie. The protesters were workers from at least seven different factories, including failing textile, chemical, piston, instruments, leather, and precision tool plants. Their grievances involved local government corruption and widespread worker layoffs coupled with arrearage in employee wages, pensions and unemployment benefits. The activists demanded compensation for what they were owed, an investigation into the bankruptcy of Liaotie, and the resignation of the chairman of the local legislature, Gong Shangwu. The protests were eventually dispersed after several days by the government after declaring a curfew under martial law. Two of the workers representatives, Xiao Yunliang and Yao Fuxin, were given prison terms of four and seven years, respectively. The government also responded by paying most but not all of the money that the workers were owed, and by ordering an investigation into the charges of corruption at Liaotie which culminated in the arrest and thirteen year prison sentence of its manager, Fan Yicheng, for smuggling and fraudulent dereliction of duty. The provincial governor who approved the Liaotie bankruptcy was also imprisoned for accepting bribes, but Gong Shangwu evaded punitive action.