Chongqing chosen for Singapore-China 3rd joint project: 5 interesting facts about the city

Chongqing's city skyline in 2011.
Chongqing's city skyline in 2011. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Chongqing was named the site of the third government-to-government project between Singapore and China by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit here last week.

It beat Chengdu and Xi'an, two other contenders for the project, which follows in the footsteps of the 1994 Suzhou Industrial Park and the 2008 Tianjin Eco-City.

Here are five interesting facts about Chongqing:

1. It was China's wartime capital


Mao Zedong (left) toasting Chiang Kai-shek in Chongqing in September 1945. PHOTO: AFP

Situated at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers in south-western China, Chongqing became the wartime capital of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) government after Nanjing fell to the Japanese in 1937. Prior to the historic meeting between Chinese President Xi and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore on Saturday, the last time Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and KMT leaders met was in 1945 - in Chongqing.

 
 

2. It is China's largest and fastest-growing city

Today, Chongqing boasts the highest growth rate of all of China's provinces and regions. Its gross domestic product jumped 11 per cent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2015. At 82,400 sq km - about 115 times the size of Singapore - it is also China's largest city.

3. It produces one-third of the world's laptops

In recent years, Chongqing has benefited from government policies aimed at developing its electronics and information technology industry. According to Chinese media, it is now the largest laptop production base in the world, output accounting for one-third of the world's total production. That's 61 million laptops in 2014.

 

4. It is famous for its hot pots and river cruises

The city, which was part of Sichuan province until 1997, is well-known for its hot Sichuan cuisine and famous hot pot. It is also a common starting point for the Yangtze River cruise, where visitors can travel downstream from Chongqing through the famous Three Gorges, and end below the world's largest hydroelectric project - the Three Gorges Dam.

5. It is also famous for the rise and fall of Bo Xilai

Bo Xilai was Chongqing's star Communist Party chief, tipped for top office, but who was dramatically ousted in 2012 in what is regarded as China's biggest politcal scandal in more than three decades. He was sentenced to life in prison in September 2013 for corruption and abuse of power following his wife's murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.