The history of the modern port city of Dalian – in Northeast China’s Liaoning province – can be dated back around 6,000 years. During the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC) and the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), it was under the jurisdiction of the Liaodong state. The region was under the jurisdiction of the Jili state in the early Tang Dynasty (619-907) and then Liaoyang prefecture in the Liao Dynasty (916-1125).
Dalian was granted different names in different periods. It was called Sanshan in the Wei Dynasty (220-265) and Jin Dynasty (265-420), and Sanshanpu in early Tang Dynasty (618-907). During the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, it was called Sanshanhaikou and Qingniwakou.
In the 1880s, the local government built a harbor trestle, forts and set up mine camps on the northern shores of Dalian Bay. After the occupation of Tsarist Russia, its name was Qingniwa.
Dalian obtained its current name in 1899. During the Opium Wars in the 19th century, Dalian was invaded by the British army. During the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and Russo-Japanese War, Dalian was one of the main battlefields and was seriously affected by the two conflicts.
Dalian became a colony of Russia and Japan for nearly half a century, of which, the Japanese colonial rule lasted 40 years.
In October 1945, two months after Japan announced its unconditional surrender, Dalian Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China and Dalian government were established. Han Guang was appointed as Party chief.
In July, 1946, Dalian was renamed Lyuda prefectural Party committee. Having begun in 1949, socialism reform was almost completed in 1956 in the city.
In December, 1950, Dalian was renamed Lyuda. Plans on building a socialism society in all aspects were carried out between 1957 and 1966.
Dalian embarked on a new journey to support China’s goal of building itself as a modern socialist country in 1976.
With approval from the State Council, the city was renamed Dalian again in February 1981. It became an open coastal city three years later.
In 1985, Dalian was listed as municipality with independent planning authority. In 1994, Dalian was upgraded to a sub-provincial level city.
Old Dalian Port
Old Dalian government building