Qingdao

Qingdao

Qingdao[a] is a city in eastern Shandong Province of China. Located on China's Yellow Sea coast, Qingdao was founded in 1891 to support costal defence fortifications[3]. In 1897 the city was ceded to Germany. For the Germans Qingdao (Tsingtao) was a strategic trade center, port and base for its Far East Squadron, allowing the German navy to project dominance in the Pacific[4]. In 1914, following the outbreak of World War I, Japan occupied the city and the surrounding province during the Siege of Tsingtao. In 1915, China agreed to recognize Japan's special position in the territory through what became known as the Twenty-One Demands [5]. In 1918, the Chinese government, under the control of the warlord Duan Qirui, secretly agreed to Japanese terms in exchange for a loan. Following the First World War, during the Paris Peace Conference, Japan secured agreements with the Allied powers to recognize its claim to the areas in Shandong, which included Qingdao, previously occupied by Germany. In 1922, Shandong reverted to Chinese control following the United States' mediation during the Washington Naval Conference[3]. Today, Qingdao is a major nodal city of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that connects Continental and East Asia with Europe.[6] It has the highest GDP of any city in the province. Administered at the sub-provincial level,[7] Qingdao has jurisdiction over seven districts and three county-level cities (Jiaozhou, Pingdu, Laixi). As of the 2020 census, Qingdao built-up (or metro) area made of the seven urban districts (Shinan, Shibei, Huangdao, Laoshan, Licang, Chengyang and Jimo) was home to 7,172,451 inhabitants, making it the 15th largest city in China by population.[8] Lying across the Shandong Peninsula and looking out to the Yellow Sea, it borders the prefecture-level cities of Yantai to the northeast, Weifang[9] to the west and Rizhao to the southwest.[10]