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Lying in central Liaoning Province, in the heart of the Liaodong Peninsula Opening Zone, Shenyang is the capital of Liaoning Province and the largest pivotal city in northeastern China. It has an area of 13,000 square kilometres and a population of 7.2 million. Within a 150-kilometer radius in the central Liaoning, there are eight cities that form an economic rim and a group of cities with Shenyang as the backbone and bridge linking the other seven cities. The eight cities are known for their basic and processing industries. The city of Shenyang has the largest civil airport and the largest railway marshalling station, and an expressway network of the highest density in the northeast. It is also the only passage in the northeast to the sea and areas south of the ShanhaiPass and the first stop on the planned Eurasian Bridge in the northeast. The favourable geographic location turns the city into a forward position in opening to the rest of the world and an economic center.

Shenyang enjoyed priority in its development as an industrial base in China. It embraced the civilization of mordern industry at an early date and formed a strong industrial system with various industrial sectors. The city has advantage particularly in its capacity and technical level to provide what is needed in the automobile industry, equipment manufacturing, pharmacy, chemical production and electronic information. It has proviced advanced technology and equipment for the construction of major projects and updating the technology of various economic sectors in China. Shenyang abounds in intellectual resources. There are quite a few universities, colleges, and research institutions. They are knowledge intensive and have a galaxy of talents. The city is an important base for scientific research, the development of technology, and the training of talented people in the northeast.

Shenyang, with more than 2,300 years, has a time-honored history and a fine cultural tradition. In the high tide of China's reform and opening to the outside world. The face of the ancient city has been changing with each passing day. It will have a brighter future. 

Shengyang Imperial Palace   

This is a mini-Forbidden City in layout, although it's far smaller and the features are Manchti. The main structures were started by Nurhachi and completed in 1636 by his son, Huang Taiji. It is currently in the throes of restoration.

Straight through the main gate at the far end of the courtyard is the main structure, the octagonal Dazheng Hall with its coffered ceiling and elaborate throne. It was here that Emperor Shunzhi was crowned before setting off to cross the Great Wall in 1644.  

In the courtyard in front of the hall are the Banner Pavilions, formerly administrative offices used by tribal chieftains. They now house displays of 17th and 18th century military equipment such as armour, swords and bows.  

The central courtyard west of Dazheng Hall contains a conference hall, living quarters and some shamanist structures (one Manchu custom was to pour boiling wine into the ear of a sacrificial pig, so that its cries would attract the devotees' ancestors).  

The courtyard to the western fringe is a residential area added on by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century, and the Wensu Pavilion to the rear housed a copy of the Qianlong anthology.  

The palace functions as a museum, with exhibitions of ivory and jade artefacts, furniture, and Ming and Qing paintings. There is also a decent display of enamels and ceramics and an excellent collection of musical instruments. Unfortunately, exhibit captions are in Chinese.

North Tomb   

The finest sight in Shenyang, the North Tomb is the burial place of Huang Taiji (1952-1643) the founder of the Qing Dynasty (although he did not live to see the conquest of China).  

Set in the huge Beiling park, the tomb took eight years to build, and the impressive animal statues on the approach to it are reminiscent of the Ming tombs. The central grassy mound area is known as Zhaoling. 
East Tomb   

Also known as Fuling, this tomb is set in a forested area 8km from Shenyang. Entombed here is Nurhachi, grandfather of Emperor Shunzhi who launched the Manchu invasion of China in 1644. Nurhachi is entombed with his mistress.  
Started in 1626, construction took several years to complete, with subsequent additions and renovations. It's similar in layout to the North Tomb, but is smaller and perched on a wooded hilltop overlooking a river.

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