Wade-Giles romanization P'ing-hsiangcity, southwestern Zhuang Autonomous Region of Guangxi (Kwangsi), China. The city is situated on the border with Vietnam. It was founded as a military outpost under the name Pingxiang during the Song dynasty (960–1279), and under the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) it became a county and later a prefecture. It was, however, little more than an administrative outpost among non-Chinese tribal peoples. During the Qing dynasty (1644–1911/12) it was made a subprefecture. Because of Pingxiang's strategic location, it often has been a major battlefield.Pingxiang's modern growth dates to the arrival of a railway from Nanning (Guangxi's capital), which provides a through route from central China to Vietnam. The line crosses the border a short distance south of Pingxiang at Youyiguan. Construction of the line was begun in 1938 by the French, who completed it as far as Ningming; but, following the Japanese occupation of Nanning, work was abandoned in 1943–44, and much of the track was dismantled. The line was completed in 1951 and linked with the Vietnamese rail system in 1955. After this, Pingxiang rapidly grew into a commercial centre for international trade with Vietnam; it also developed some small-scale industries. A considerable part of Sino-Vietnamese trade passes through Pingxiang because the rail link there is superior to an older line that runs through Yunnan province to the west and because it also provides a direct route to Wuhan (Hubei) as well as connections to Guizhou and Sichuan provinces and to the Guangzhou (Canton) (Canton) area of Guangdong province. Since the late 1980s the border trade in Pingxiang has been expanding rapidly, which has sparked steady economic and population growth in the region. Pop. (2005 est.) 100,000.Wade-Giles romanization P'ing-hsiangcity in western Jiangxi (Kiangsi) sheng (province), China. Pingxiang is situated on the border of Hunan province. It lies in the midst of the Wugong Mountains on the upper course of the Lu River, on what has always been a major route between the city of Changsha in Hunan province and Nanchang in Jiangxi.A county was established in the area in 267 CE and has existed ever since. For a brief period (1295–1367) it was an independent prefecture. Pingxiang's modern importance began with the discovery of rich coal deposits there at the end of the 19th century by German experts employed by the Hanyang Iron Works in Hubei province, which was urgently seeking a source of coking coal. A railway was built during 1903–05 to transport the coal, and coke ovens were installed in the city. The depressed market for iron after World War I, however, led to the decline and eventual closing of the ironworks. Demand for Pingxiang coal and coke thus fell dramatically, and the mines closed down for a time in 1925–26. In the 1930s production was only about 20 percent of what it had been during the peak period.After much neglect and destruction during World War II, the mines around Pingxiang were modernized in the 1950s, and by the 1970s the city had again become a major mining centre. In the late 1950s a large iron and steel industry, producing pig iron and ingot steel, was established there. Pingxiang also has a ceramics industry. Industries of machinery, chemicals, building materials, electric power, and household appliances are all under development. Pingxiang is on the main railway line from Nanchang to Changsha and is the local conjunction of two major highways. Pop. (2002 est.) city, 357,785; (2007 est.) urban agglom., 961,000.
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