/tsing"tow"/; Chin. /ching"dow"/, n.Older Spelling. a seaport in E Shandong province, in E China. Municipal district, 1,300,000. Cf. Jiaozhou.
* * *▪ Chinaport city, eastern Shantung sheng (province), China. Tsingtao is located on the south coast of the Shantung Peninsula (Shandong Peninsula) at the eastern entrance to Kiaochow Bay, one of the best natural harbours in northern China. Although the bay sometimes freezes in severe winters, it is always open for large ships.Originally a minor fishing village, Tsingtao developed a large junk trade in Ch'ing times (17th–20th century), when a customs station called Ch'ing-tao K'ou was established. With the establishment of the Peiyang (North Ocean) fleet in the 1880s, the Chinese government realized the strategic importance of Tsingtao, setting up a minor naval station and building fortifications there. In 1897 the German government, which had ambitions in this area, dispatched a force to occupy Tsingtao; in 1898 it forced the Chinese government to pay an indemnity and to grant Germany a 99-year lease on Kiaochow Bay and the surrounding territory, together with railway and mining rights in Shantung. Tsingtao was declared a free port in 1899, modern port facilities were installed, and a railway was built to Chi-nan (Tsinan, or Jinan). A modern European-style city was laid out, and a variety of industries were founded. A branch of the Imperial Maritime Customs was established to control the trade of the coast as far south as the new port of Lien-yün-kang in Kiangsu province. In 1914, when Japan declared war on Germany, its prime purpose was the capture of Tsingtao. The port capitulated after a blockade in November 1914. The Japanese continued to occupy the city until the Washington Conference of 1922, when the port was returned to China. During this period, however, the Japanese built up a strong position, both in Tsingtao itself and in the Shantung hinterland.Tsingtao came under the effective control of the Nationalist government in 1929 and became a special municipality. Port development continued, and its trade overtook that of its rival, Tientsin, in about 1930, after which it continued to expand at the expense of Tientsin. The Japanese occupied the city in 1938 and held it until 1945. During this period, considerable industrial development occurred. By 1941 Tsingtao had major modern cotton mills, locomotive and railway car works and repair facilities, engineering shops, and factories manufacturing rubber, matches, chemicals, and dyestuffs. Its brewing industry produces one of the best-known beers of China. Since 1949 it has developed as a major base for heavy industry, and by the 1970s textiles, formerly the preeminent manufacture, were rivaled by the growth of the engineering industry. In the late 1950s a major primary iron and steel industry was established there. The city is the terminus of an east-west railway line and is linked by rail with the port of Yen-t'ai (Chefoo). It is also a large fishing port and is famous for its parks and beaches. In 1984 Tsingtao was designated one of China's “open” cities as part of a new policy inviting foreign investment.Tsingtao, an important cultural centre, is the seat of Tsingtao Institute of Technology, Tsingtao Engineering College, and other institutions of higher education. The city is also home to three oceanographic institutes and is China's main centre for the pursuit of marine science and technology. Pop. (1993 est.) 2,300,000.
* * *