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Skyline with Xiang River.png
Changsha 2019 1.jpg
Changsha- Dufu Pavilion.jpg
Changsha 2019 2.jpg
Changsha mao statue.jpg
Changsha-1825254 1280.jpg
Clockwise form top: Skyline with Xiang River, Dufu Pavilion, Young Mao Statue, Meixi Lake Park, view of central Changsha, Furong District from Juzizhou Bridge
"星城" (Star City)
(Care About the World, Dare to Be Pioneers)
Location of Changsha Prefecture within Hunan (China).png
Location of Changsha City in Hunan
Location map China Hunan EN.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of the city centre in Hunan
Coordinates(Changsha municipal government): 28°13′41″N112°56′20″E / 28.228°N 112.939°E / 28.228; 112.939 Coordinates: 28°13′41″N112°56′20″E / 28.228°N 112.939°E / 28.228; 112.939
Country People's Republic of China
Province Hunan
Municipal seat Yuelu District
Divisions9 County-level divisions, 172 Township divisions
  Party Secretary Hu Henghua
   Mayor Chen Wenhao
   Prefecture-level city 11,819 km2 (4,563 sq mi)
 (2017) [1]
1,917.7 km2 (740.4 sq mi)
3,914.8 km2 (1,511.5 sq mi)
63 m (207 ft)
   Prefecture-level city 8,154,700 [2]
 (2017) [1]
  Urban density2,300/km2 (6,000/sq mi)
  Metro density1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)
  Rank in China
   Han 99.22%
   Minorities 0.78%
Time zone UTC+08:00 (China Standard)
Postal code
Area code(s) 0731
ISO 3166 code CN-HN-01
GDP Total (2018) CNY 1.1 trillion
USD 166 billion
$315 billion(PPP) [3]
GDP per capita (2018) ¥139,000
$20,996 ($40,986, PPP)
GDP growth rateIncrease2.svg 7.77%
License Plate 湘A
湘O (police and authorities)
City tree Camphor tree
City flower Azalea
Languages Mandarin, Changsha dialect
Changsha (Chinese characters).svg
"Changsha" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese 长沙
Traditional Chinese 長沙
Hanyu Pinyin Chángshā
Xiang Tsã13 sɔ33
Literal meaning"Long Sandbar"
Former names
Traditional Chinese 青陽
Simplified Chinese 青阳
Traditional Chinese 臨湘
Simplified Chinese 临湘
Literal meaningOverlooking the Xiang
Chinese 潭州
Literal meaning Eddy Prefecture

Changsha is the capital and most populous city of Hunan Province in the south central part of the People's Republic of China. It covers 11,819 km2 (4,563 sq mi) and is bordered by Yueyang and Yiyang to the north, Loudi to the west, Xiangtan and Zhuzhou to the south, Yichun and Pingxiang of Jiangxi province to the east. According to the 2018 estimation, Changsha had 8,154,700 residents, constituting 11.82% of the province's population. [4] Its built-up or (metro) area made of 6 urban districts plus Changsha county largely being urbanized is home to 5,498,400 inhabitants. [5] It is part of the Chang-Zhu-Tan city cluster or megalopolis with 15,040,300 inhabitants being conurbated. [6] Changsha is in the Xiang River valley plain, bordering the Luoxiao Mountains on the east, Wuling Mountains on the west, edging in Dongting Lake on the north and bounded on the south by the Hengshan Mountains. It has a monsoonal humid subtropical climate, with an average annual air temperature of 16.8 to 17.3 °C (62.2 to 63.1 °F) and an annual rainfall of 1,358.6 to 1,552.5 mm (53.49 to 61.12 in). [7]


Changsha has a history of more than 3,000 years. [8] Changsha was the capital of Changsha Kingdom in the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), and the capital of the Chu State (907–951) in the Ten Kingdoms period. The lacquerware and Silk Texts recovered from Mawangdui (2nd century BC) there are an indication of the richness of local craft traditions. In 1904 Changsha was opened to foreign trade, and large numbers of Europeans and Americans settled there. Changsha was the site of Mao Zedong's conversion to communism. It was also the scene of major battles in the Sino-Japanese War (1931–1945) and was briefly occupied by the Japanese.

Since major economic reforms, Changsha has become one of the fastest growing major cities in the world, [9] [10] with its normal GDP per capita being over $20,000 ($40,000 in PPP) in 2018. [11] [12] With high life expectancy and per capita incomes, Changsha's HDI ratings of 0.817 (very high) is roughly comparable to a moderately developed country, making it one of the most highly developed and prosperous cities in China. [13] [14] Changsha is now an important commercial, manufacturing, transportation, and innovation and development centre in the Yangtze River Delta Economic Belt and the "One Belt, One Road" initiative. [15] More than 164 Fortune Global 500 companies have established branches in Changsha. [16] Sany, a Chinese heavy machinery company and one of the world's top five engineering machinery manufacturers, [17] is headquartered in Changsha. Changsha is classified as a Beta- (global second-tier) city. [18] In 2017, Changsha was designated as a Creative City by UNESCO, in media arts. [19] Changsha is also home to Hunan Broadcasting System, China's largest television after China Central Television (CCTV). [20]

The city is the seat of multiple China's most prestigious universities, entering the world-class university rankings, [21] [22] including Hunan University, Central South University, Hunan Normal University, Changsha University of Science and Technology and Hunan Agricultural University. Changsha is a major city in the world by scientific research as tracked by the Nature Index [23] and it ranks 41st globally (17th in the Asia-Pacific). [24] Changsha hosted the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship. [25] It was the sixth city in China to host the FIBA Asia Cup after Beijing 1989, Shanghai 2001, Harbin 2003, Tianjin 2009, and Wuhan 2011. Changsha, a UNESCO Creative City, also hosted the "Third International Youth Forum on Creativity and Heritage along the Silk Roads" in 2019. [26]


Chángshā is the pinyin romanization of the Mandarin pronunciation of the Chinese name 長沙 or 长沙 , meaning "long sandy [place]". The name's origin is unknown. It is attested as early as the 11th century BC, when a vassal lord of the area sent King Cheng of Zhou a gift described as a "Changsha softshell turtle" (长沙 ; 長沙 ; Chángshā biē). In the 2nd century AD, historian Ying Shao wrote that the Qin use of the name "Changsha" for the area was a continuance of its old name. [27] The name originally described the area. The Chu metropolis was known as Qingyang. The capital of the Kingdom of Changsha within the present-day city of Changshawas known as Linxiang, meaning "[place] Overlooking the Xiang River".


Early history

Four-goat Square Zun Si Yang Fang Zun .jpg
Four-goat Square Zun

Development started around 3000 BC when Changsha developed with the proliferation of Longshan culture, although there is no firm evidence of such a link.[ clarification needed ] [28] Evidence exists that people lived and thrived in the area during the Bronze Age. Numerous examples of pottery and other objects have been discovered.

Later Chinese legends related that the Flame and Yellow Emperors visited the area. Sima Qian's history states that the Yellow Emperor granted his eldest son Shaohao the lands of Changsha and its neighbors. During the Spring and Autumn Period (8th5th century BC), the Yue culture spread into the area around Changsha. During the succeeding Warring States Period, Chu took control of Changsha. Its capital, Qingyang, became an important southern outpost of the kingdom. In 1951–57 archaeologists explored numerous large and medium-sized Chu tombs from the Warring States Era. More than 3,000 tombs have been discovered. Under the Qin (221–206 BC), Changsha was a staging post for expeditions south into Guangdong that led to its conquest and the establishment of the Nanyue kingdom.

Silk painting depicting a man riding a dragon Changshadragon.jpg
Silk painting depicting a man riding a dragon

Under the Han (3rd century BC –3rd century AD), Linxiang was the capital of the kingdom of Changsha. At first this was a client state held by Liu Bang's Baiyue ally Wu Rui that served as a means of controlling the restive Chu people and as a buffer state against Nanyue. By 202 BC, Linxiang had city walls to protect it against uprisings and invasions. The famous Mawangdui tombs were constructed between 186 and 165 BC. Lady Xin Zhui was buried in the earliest tomb (No. 2) and, during its excavation in the 1970s, was found to have been very well preserved. More importantly, the tombs included the earliest surviving copies of the Tao Te Ching and other important literary and historical documents.

When Wu Rui's descendant Wu Zhu ( ,Wú Zhù) died childless in 157 BC, the kingdom was granted to a cadet branch of the imperial family as their fief. The kingdom was abolished under Wang Mang's short-lived Xin dynasty and briefly revived by the Eastern Han. In AD 33, its prince was demoted and the area administered as Linxiang County  [ zh ] and Changsha Commandery. Following the turmoil of the Three Kingdoms, Emperor Wu of Jin granted Changsha to the sixth son of a general of the imperial family named Sima Yi. The local government had over 100 counties at the beginning of the dynasty. Over the course of the dynasty, the local government of Changsha lost control over a few counties, leaving them to local rule. Following the turmoil of the Northern and Southern dynasties, the Sui (6th century) renamed Changsha Tan Prefecture or Tanzhou. Changsha's 3-tier administration was simplified to a 2-tier state and county system, eliminating the middle canton region.[ clarification needed ]

Under the Tang, Changsha prospered as a center of trade between central China and Southeast Asia but suffered during the Anshi Rebellion, when it fell to the rebels. Under the Song dynasty, the Yuelu Academy was founded in 976. It was destroyed by war in 1127 and rebuilt in 1165, during which year the celebrated philosopher Zhu Xi taught there. It was again destroyed by the Mongols during the establishment of the Yuan before being restored in the late 15th century under the Ming. Early 19th-century graduates of the academy formed what one historian called a "network of messianic alumni", including Zeng Guofan, architect of the Tongzhi Restoration, [29] and Cai E, a major leader in the defense of the Republic of China. [30] In 1903 the academy became Hunan High School. Modern-day Hunan University is also a descendant of the Yuelu Academy. Some of its buildings were remodeled from 1981 to 1986 according to their presumed original Song design.

During the Mongol conquest of the Southern Song, Tanzhou was fiercely defended by the local Song troops. After the city finally fell, the defenders committed mass suicide. Under the Ming (14th–17th centuries), Tanzhou was again renamed Changsha and made a superior prefecture.[ clarification needed ]

Modern history

Tianxin Pavilion, from where Taiping Heavenly Kingdom made an attack on Changsha Tian Xin Ge 01.jpg
Tianxin Pavilion, from where Taiping Heavenly Kingdom made an attack on Changsha

Under the Qing (17th–20th centuries), Changsha was the capital of Hunan and prospered as one of China's chief rice markets. During the Taiping Rebellion, the city was besieged by the rebels in 1852 or 1854[ which? ] for three months but never fell. The rebels moved on to Wuhan, but Changsha then became the principal base for the government's suppression of the rebellion.

The 1903 Treaty of Shanghai between the Qing and Japanese empires opened the city to foreign trade effective 1904. Most favored nation clauses in other unequal treaties extended the Japanese gains to the Western powers as well. Consequently, international capital entered the town and factories, churches, and schools were built. A college was started by Yale alumni, which later became a medical centre named Xiangya and a secondary school named the Yali School.

1938 Changsha Fire Wen Xi Da Huo 6.jpg
1938 Changsha Fire

Following the Xinhai Revolution, further development followed the opening of the railway to Hankou in Hubei province in 1918, which was later extended to Guangzhou in Guangdong Province in 1936. Although Changsha's population grew, the city remained primarily commercial in character. Before 1937, it had little industry apart from some small cotton-textile, glass, and nonferrous-metal plants and handicraft enterprises.

Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China, began his political career in Changsha. He was a student at the Hunan Number 1 Teachers' Training School from 1913 to 1918. He later returned as a teacher and principal from 1920 to 1922. The school was destroyed during the Chinese Civil War but has since been restored. The former office of the Hunan Communist Party Central Committee where Mao Zedong once lived is now a museum that includes Mao's living quarters, photographs and other historical items from the 1920s.

Until May 1927, communist support remained strong in Changsha before the massacre carried out by the right-wing faction of the KMT troops. The faction owed its allegiance to Chiang Kai-shek during its offensive against the KMT's left-wing faction under Wang Jingwei, who was then allied closely with the Communists. The purge of communists and suspected communists was part of Chiang's plans for consolidating his hold over the KMT, weakening Wang's control, and thereby over the entire China. In a period of twenty days, Chiang's forces killed more than ten thousand people in Changsha and its outskirts.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), Changsha's strategic location made it the focus of four campaigns by the Imperial Japanese Army to capture it from the Nationalist Army: these campaigns were the 1st Changsha, [31] the 2nd Changsha, the 3rd Changsha, and the 4th Changsha. The city was able to repulse the first three attacks thanks to Xue Yue's leadership, but ultimately fell into Japanese hands in 1944 for a year until the Japanese were defeated in a counterattack and forced to surrender. [32] [33] Before these Japanese campaigns, the city was already virtually destroyed by the 1938 Changsha Fire, a deliberate fire ordered by Kuomintang commanders who mistakenly feared the city was about to fall to the Japanese; Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had suggested that the city be burned so that the Japanese force would gain nothing after entering it. [34]

Following the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, Changsha slowly recovered from its former damage. Since Deng Xiaoping's Reform and Opening Up Policy, Changsha has rapidly developed since the 1990s, becoming one of the important cities in the central and western regions. At the end of 2007, Changsha, Zhuzhou, and Xiangtan received approval from the State Council for the "Chang-Zhu-Tan (Greater Changsha) Resource-Saving and Environment-Friendly Society Comprehensive Reform Pilot Area", an important engine in the rise of central China.[ clarification needed ] In 2015, Xiangjiang New Area was approved as a national new area.


Map including Changsha (labeled as CH'ANG-SHA Chang Sha 
) (AMS, 1953) Txu-oclc-10552568-nh49-16.jpg
Map including Changsha (labeled as CH'ANG-SHA 長沙) (AMS, 1953)
Taohualing Reservoir, Meixi Lake Taohualing.jpg
Taohualing Reservoir, Meixi Lake

Changsha is in northeast Hunan Province, the lower reaches of the Xiang River and the western part of the Changliu Basin. It lies between 111°53' to 114°15' east longitude and 27°51' to 28°41' north latitude. The city borders Yichun and Pingxiang of Jiangxi Province in the east, Zhuzhou and Xiangtan in the south, Loudi and Yiyang in the west, and Yueyang and Yiyang in the north. It is about 230 kilometres from east to west and about 88 kilometres from north to south. Changsha covers an area of 11,819 km2 (4,563 sq mi), of which the urban area of 2,150.9 km2 (830.5 sq mi), the urban built-up area is 374.64 km2 (144.65 sq mi). Changsha's highest point is Mount Qixing (七星岭) in Daweishan Town, 1,607.9 m (5,275 ft). The lowest point is Zhanhu (湛湖) in Qiaokou Town, 23.5 m (77 ft). [35]

The Xiang is the main river in the city, running 74 km (46 mi) northward through the territory. 15 tributaries flow into the Xiang, of which Liuyang, Laodao, Jinjiang and Wei are the four largest. [35] The Xiang divides the city into two parts. The eastern part is mainly commercial and the west is mainly cultural and educational. On 10 October 2001, the seat of Changsha City was transferred from Fanzheng Street to Guanshaling. Since then, the economy of both sides of the Xiang River has achieved a balanced development. [36]


Most of the rivers in Changsha belong to the Xiang River system. In addition to the Xiangjiang River, 15 tributaries flow into the Xiang, mainly including Liuyang River, Laodao River, Minjiang River, and Qinshui River. [37] 302 tributaries are more than five kilometers long, including 289 in the Xiang River Basin. According to the tributary grading there are 24 primary tributaries, 128 secondary tributaries, 118 third tributaries, and 32 tributaries; and 13 are Zijiang water systems; a fairly complete water system is formed, and the river network is densely distributed. Hydrological characteristics of Changsha: the water system is complete, the river network dense; the water volume greater, the water energy resources abundant; the winter not frozen, and the sediment content small. [38]

Geological characteristics

The geological features of Changsha City are: the formation is fully exposed, the granite body is widely distributed, and the geological structure is complex. The strata of each geological and historical period are exposed in Changsha City, and the oldest stratum was formed about one billion years ago. About 600 million years ago, Changsha was a sea, but the sea was not deep. Later, seawater gradually withdrew from the east and west, and most of Liuyang, Changsha, and Wangcheng rose out of the sea and became the northwestern edge of the ancient land of Jiangnan. About 140 million years ago, the sea leaching in the Changsha area ended and it became a land. Due to the influence of crustal movement and geological structure, a long-shaped mountain depression basin, the Chang (Sha) Ping (Jiang) Basin, was formed. Beginning of the new generation, the entire Changping Basin has risen to land. About 3.5 million years ago, the third ice age occurred on the earth, and Liuyang retained the remains of glacier landforms. [38]


Changsha has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with annual average temperature being at 17.40 °C (63.3 °F), with a mean of 4.9 °C (40.8 °F) in January and 29.2 °C (84.6 °F) in July. Average annual precipitation is 1,428 millimetres (56.2 in), with a 275-day frost-free period. With a monthly possible-sunshine percentage ranging from 19% in March to 57% in August, the city receives 1,545 hours of bright sunshine annually. The four seasons are distinct. The summers are long and very hot, with heavy rainfall, and autumn is comfortable and is the driest season. Winter is chilly and overcast with lighter rainfall more likely than downpours; cold snaps occur with temperatures occasionally dropping below freezing. Spring is especially rainy and humid with the sun shining less than 30% of the time. The minimum temperature ever recorded since 1951 at the current Wangchengpo Weather Observing Station was −12.0 °C (10.4 °F), recorded on 9 February 1972. The maximum was 40.6 °C (105.1 °F) on 13 August 1953 and 2 August 2003 [the unofficial record of 43.0 °C (109.4 °F) was set on 10 August 1934].


The municipality of Changsha exercises jurisdiction over six districts, one county and two county-level cities:

SubdivisionSimplified ChinesePinyinPop.

(2010 Census)

Area (km2)Dens. (/km2)
City Proper
Furong District 芙蓉区Fúróng Qū523,7304212,470
Tianxin District 天心区Tiānxīn Qū475,663746,428
Yuelu District 岳麓区Yuèlù Qū801,8615521,453
Kaifu District 开福区Kāifú Qū567,3731873,034
Yuhua District 雨花区Yǔhuā Qū725,3531146,363
Wangcheng District 望城区Wàngchéng Qū523,489970540
Suburban and rural
Liuyang City 浏阳市Liúyáng Shì1,278,9284,999256
Ningxiang City 宁乡市Níngxiāng Shì1,168,0562,906402
Changsha County 长沙县Chángshā Xiàn979,6651,997491
Nianjia Lake in the city center Nianjiahu.jpg
Nianjia Lake in the city center


The current CPC Party Secretary of Changsha is Hu Henghua and the current Mayor is Hu Zhongxiong.


Changsha Business Quarter Chang Sha Shi Jie Fang Xi Lu Jiu Ba Yi Tiao Jie .jpg
Changsha Business Quarter

Changsha's population nearly tripled between the start of its rebuilding in 1949 and the early 1980s. The city is now a major port, handling rice, cotton, timber, and livestock, and is also a collection and distribution point on the railway from Hankou to Guangzhou. It is a centre of rice milling and also has oil-extraction, tea and tobacco production, and meat-processing plants. Its textile industry produces cotton yarn and fabrics and engages in dyeing and printing. Agricultural chemicals and fertilizers, farm implements, and pumping machinery are also produced.

Changsha has a large thermal generating station linked by a power grid with the nearby industrial centres of Zhuzhou and Xiangtan; the three cities were designated in the 1970s as the nucleus of a major industrial complex. In the 1960s there was some development of heavy industry. The manufacture of machinery, especially machine tools and precision tools, became important, and Changsha became a center of China's aluminum industry. The city also has cement, rubber, ceramic, and papermaking plants and is a centre for many types of traditional handicrafts, producing Xiang embroidery, leather goods, umbrellas, and buttons. Coal is mined in the vicinity.

The Huangxing Road Pedestrian Street The Huangxing Lu Commercial Pedestrian Street in Changsha.jpg
The Huangxing Road Pedestrian Street

In 2008, Changsha's nominal GDP was ¥300.1 billion (US$43 billion), a year-on-year growth of 15.1% from the previous year. Its per capita GDP was ¥45,765 (US$6,589). [41] Its GDP grew at an average of 14% per year from 2001 to 2005, compared to the national average of 9% in the period. As of 2005, the service sector generated roughly around 49% of Changsha's GDP, up 112% from 2001 figures, leading to a disposable income for urban residents of 12,343 RMB annually. This growth is expected to continue driving the city's economic growth. [42] The manufacturing and construction sectors have grown relatively steadily, growing 116% during 2001–2005. The primary sector, including agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and fishery, has grown slightly over this same period. In addition, the consumer market has grown dramatically along with income levels, with the minimum salary level at 600 RMB per month in comparison to Beijing's at 640 RMB or Shanghai's at 750 RMB per month. [43] Urban residents in 2005 had an average income of about US$1,500, 15% higher than the national average and up 10% from 2001 figures. [44]

Changsha is one of China's 15 most "developed and economically advanced" cities with its nominal GDP per capita being over $20,000 ( $40,000 in PPP) in 2018, which is considered as a high-income status by the World Bank and a primary developed city according to the international standard. [14] [11] [12] In 2017, Changsha made its way into the 1-trillion-yuan GDP club, becoming the 13th city in China with a GDP of one trillion yuan (154 billion US dollars). [45] [46] Moreover, the financial news portal released its 2017 ranking of China's new first-tier cities, and Changsha is a newcomer. [47] Many significant breakthroughs in China were born in Changsha including the Tianhe 1 supercomputer as well as the hybrid rice. Changsha's nominal GDP is projected to be among the world top 50 largest cities according to a study by Oxford Economics in 2035 [48] and its nominal GDP per capita will be above US$41,000 in 2030. [49]

Changsha has attracted a substantial level of foreign investment. In 2005, for example, nearly US$1 billion worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) poured into the city, mainly in hi-tech, manufacturing, food production, and services. This figure is up 40% from 2001. 59% of the total FDI has come from Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan; 28% has come from the Americas and 9% from Europe. [50] By the end of 2008 more than 500 foreign companies had made over US$10 million worth of investments in Changsha. [51] Changsha had total retail sales of 74 RMB billion in 2006. [52]

But rapid economic growth has made environmental pollution a serious problem in Changsha, caused by rapidly increasing numbers of private cars, widespread construction sites, and numerous industrial facilities on the outskirts of the city.

Development Zones

Lugu Hi-tech Industry Development Zone Lugu-zhonglian.jpg
Lugu Hi-tech Industry Development Zone

The Changsha ETZ was founded in 1992. It is located in Xingsha, the eastern Changsha. The total planned area is 38.6 km2 (14.9 sq mi) and the current[ when? ] area is 38.6 km2 (14.9 sq mi). Near the zone are National Highways 319 and 107 as well as the G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway. The zone is also very close to Changsha's downtown area and the railway station, while the distance between the zone and the city's airport is a mere 8 km (5.0 mi). The major industries in the zone include the high-tech industry, the biology project technology industry, and the new material industry. [53]

The Liuyang ETZ is a national biological industry base created on 10 January 1998, located in Dongyang Town. Its pillar industry comprises biological pharmacy, Information technology and Health food. As of 2015, It has more than 700 registered enterprises. The total industrial output value of the zone hits 85.6 billion yuan (US$13.7 billion) and its business income is 100.2 billion yuan (US$16.1 billion). [54] Its builtup area covers 16.5 km2 (6.4 sq mi). [55]

Population and demographics

Changsha has an urban population of 7,044,118. A total of 12,966,836 reside in the metropolitan area. [56] The majority of people living in Changsha are Han Chinese. A sizeable population of ethnic minority groups also live in Changsha. The three largest are the Hui, Tujia, and Miao peoples. The 2000 census showed that 48,564 members of ethnic minorities live in Changsha, 0.7% of the population. The other minorities make up a significantly smaller part of the population. Twenty ethnic minorities have fewer than 1,000 members living in the city. [56] [57]


Places of Interest

There are several notable sites in Changsha, such as the Young Mao Zedong statue on the Orange Isle, Meixi Lake Park and Window of the World (Changsha).


Hunan Broadcasting System is China's largest television after China Central Television (CCTV). Its headquarters is in Changsha and produces some of the most popular programs in China, including Super Girl. These programs have also brought a new entertainment industry into the city, which includes singing bars, dance clubs, theater shows, as well as related businesses including hair salons, fashion stores, and shops for hot spicy snacks at night (especially during summer). While Changsha has developed into an entertainment hub, the city has also become increasingly westernized and has attracted a growing number of foreigners.


There are various types of cuisine found in Changsha, yet Hunan cuisine remains the most popular. Hot and spicy food is typical of the region.

The city has its own siu yeh culture.

In May 2008, the BBC broadcast, as part of its Storyville documentary series, the four-part The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World, which explored the inner workings of the 5,000-seating-capacity West Lake Restaurant (Xihu Lou Jiujia) in Changsha.

During the Warring States period, Qu Yuan, a great patriotic poet, recorded many dishes in Hunan in his famous poem "The Soul"(招魂). During the Western Han Dynasty, there were 109 varieties of dishes in Hunan, and there were nine categories of cooking methods. After the Six Dynasties, Hunan's food culture was rich and active. The Ming and Qing dynasties are the golden age for the development of Hunan cuisine. The unique style of Hunan cuisine is basically a foregone conclusion. At the end of the Qing Dynasty, there were two kinds of Hunan cuisine restaurants in Changsha. In the early years of the Republic of China, the famous Dai (Yang Ming) School, Sheng (Shan Zhai) School, Xiao (Lu Song) School, and Zuyu School appeared in various genres, which laid the historical status of Hunan cuisine. Since the founding of New China, especially since the reform and opening up, it has been better developed. [58]


Changsha has one of China's largest multi-purpose sports stadiums—Helong Stadium, with 55,000 seats. The stadium was named after the Communist military leader He Long. It is the home ground of local football team Hunan Billows F.C., which plays in China League Two. The more modest 6,000-seat Hunan Provincial People's Stadium, also located in Changsha, is used by the team for their smaller games. [59]

Historical culture

Changsha hosts the Hunan Provincial Museum. 180,000 historical significant artifacts ranging from the Zhou dynasty to the recent Qing Dynasty are hosted in the 51,000 acres of space in the museum. [60]

Mawangdui is a well-known tomb located 22 kilometers east of Changsha. [61] [62] It was discovered with numerous artifacts from the Han dynasty. Numerous Silk Funeral banners surround the tomb, along with a wealth of classical texts. [63] [64] The tomb of Lady Dai lies in Mawangdui is well known due to its well-preserved state: scientists were able to detect blood, conduct an autopsy and determined that she died of heart disease due to a poor diet. [65] [66]

Changsha is a sister city with St. Paul, Minnesota. St. Paul is developing a China garden at Phalen Park, based on the design of architects from Changsha. [67] Current plans include a pavilion replicating one in Changsha, while in return St. Paul will send the city five statues of the Peanuts characters. They will be placed in Phalen's sister park, Yanghu Wetlands. [68]


Colleges and universities

Hunan University Hunan University.jpg
Hunan University

Changsha is the seat of many ancient schools and academies. [69] It is the site of the Hunan Medical University (1914) and has several colleges and institutes of higher learning. Changsha ranks among the top 10 cities in the whole country with strong education based on an evaluation to grade Chinese universities' discipline levels, including A+, A, and A- issued by the Ministry of Education. [70] A number of China's most prestigious universities, entering the world university rankings [21] [22] are located in Changsha, including Hunan University, Central South University and National University of Defense Technology, selected as "985 universities" by the Chinese government in order to build world-class universities.



Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

International schools

Central South University Zhongnandaxue.jpg
Central South University

Notable high schools

Notable primary schools


Changsha South Railway Station (high-speed rail service) Changsha South Railway Station 10.JPG
Changsha South Railway Station (high-speed rail service)
Terminal of Changsha Huanghua International Airport. Changsha Huanghua Airport T2 Departure hall 20131122.jpg
Terminal of Changsha Huanghua International Airport.

Changsha is well connected by roads, river, rail, and air transportation modes, and is a regional hub for industrial, tourist, and service sectors.

The city's public transportation system consists of an extensive bus network with over 100 lines. Changsha Metro is planning a 6-line network. [71] Metro Line 2 opened on 29 April 2014 [72] and 20 stations for Line 2 [71] opened on 28 June 2016. [73] [74] A further four lines are planned for construction by 2025. [72] Line 3 will run southwest–northeast and will be 33.4 kilometres (20.8 mi) long, Line 4 northwest-southeast and 29.1 kilometres (18.1 mi) long. [75] A maglev link running 16.5 kilometres (10.3 mi) between Changsha South station and Changsha airport opened in April 2016, with a construction cost of €400m. [72] [76] [77] Connecting Changsha with Zhuzhou and Xiangtan, Changzhutan Intercity Rail opened on 26 December 2016. [78]

The G4, G4E, G4W2, G5513 and G0401 of National Expressways, G107, G106 and G319 of National Highways, S20, S21, S40, S41, S50, S60 and S71 of Hunan provincial Expressways, connect the Changsha metro area nationally. There are three main bus terminals in Changsha: the South Station, East Station and West Station, dispatching long- and short-haul trips to cities within and outside the province of Hunan. Changsha is surrounded by major rivers, including the Xiang (湘江) and its tributaries such as the Liuyang, Jin, Wei, Longwanggang and Laodao. Ships mainly transport goods from Xianing port in North Changsha domestically and internationally.

Changsha Railway Station is in the city center and provides express and regular services to most Chinese cities via the Beijing–Guangzhou and Shimen–Changsha Railways. The Changsha South Railway Station is a new high-speed railway station in Yuhua district on the Beijing–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway (as part of the planned Beijing–Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong High-Speed Railway). The station, with eight platforms, [79] opened on 26 December 2009. [80] Since then passenger volume has increased greatly. [81] The Hangzhou-Changsha-Huaihua sector of the Shanghai-Changsha-Kunming high-speed railway entered service in 2014.

Changsha Huanghua International Airport is a regional hub for China Southern Airlines. The airport has daily flights to major cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Other major airlines also provide daily service between Changsha and other domestic and international destinations. The airport provides direct flights to 45 major international cities, including Taipei, Los Angeles, Singapore, Seoul, Pusan, Osaka, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, London (Heathrow Airport), Frankfurt and Sydney. [82] As of 5 August 2016 the airport handled 70,011 people daily. [83]

City Honors and Rankings

  1. 67th globally in the "top 100 cluster cities" rankings 2019 by "publishing and patent performance" released by the Global Innovation Index 2019 [84]
  2. 67th worldwide in the Global Cities Outlook rankings of the 2018 Global Cities Report released by AT Kearney [85] [86]
  3. 68th worldwide in terms of "Urban Economic Competitiveness" in 2019 jointly released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and the United Nations Programme for Human Settlements (UN-Habitat) [87]
  4. 41st globally and 17th in the Asia-Pacific in the "top 200 science cities" by scientific research outputs released by the Nature Index 2020 Science Cities Rankings. [24]
  5. 38th in the world by numbers of 150m+completed buildings [88]
  6. Changsha IFS Tower T1 ranks as the 16th tallest completed building in the world [89]
  7. The first Chinese city to be recognized as a " WorldCreative City in Media Arts" by UNESCO [90] [91]
  8. Changsha is classified as a Beta- (global second-tier) city together with Manchester (the U.K), Geneva (Switzerland) and Seattle (the U.S) by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. [18]
  9. China's Top 10 Most Influential Cities of Nighttime Economy [92]
  10. Top 10 "China's Happiest Cities" [93] [94]
  11. One of the China's new first-tier cities in 2017 [95]
  12. The 10 fastest growing cities in the world [9] [10] [14] Changsha's nominal GDP is projected to be among the world top 50 largest cities according to a study by Oxford Economics in 2035, [48] and its nominal GDP per capita will be above US$41,000 in 2030. [49]

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

By the end of June 2018, Changsha has established friendly city relationship with 49 foreign cities. [96]

Changsha is twinned with: [97]

Consulates General/Consulates

Flag of Laos.svg  Laos

Notable people

Greater Changsha Metropolitan Region is the birthplace of:


Changsha is represented by the star Zeta Corvi in a Chinese constellation. [98]

See also

Related Research Articles

Hunan Province of China

Hunan is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, part of the South Central China region. Located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze watershed, it borders the province-level divisions of Hubei to the north, Jiangxi to the east, Guangdong and Guangxi to the south, Guizhou to the west and Chongqing to the northwest. Its capital and largest city is Changsha, which also abuts the Xiang River. With a population of just over 67 million as of 2014 residing in an area of approximately 210,000 km2 (81,000 sq mi), it is China's 7th most populous province by population and the 10th most extensive province by area. Its 2018 nominal GDP was more than US$500 billion, which is among the top 30 largest sub-national economies in the world with its PPP GDP being over US$1 trillion.

Changsha County County in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Changsha County is a county in Hunan Province, China. It is under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Changsha. Located in the west portion of Changsha, the county is bordered to the north by Miluo City and Pingjiang County, to the west by Wangcheng, Kaifu and Furong Districts, to the southwest by Yuhua District, and to the southeast and the east by Liuyang City. Changsha County covers 1,756 km2 (678 sq mi). As of 2015 it has a registered population of 743,000 and a permanent resident population of 916,000. The county has 5 subdistricts and 13 towns under its jurisdiction. The county seat is Xingsha Subdistrict (星沙街道).

Liuyang County-level city in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Liuyang is a county-level city, the most populous and the easternmost county-level division of Hunan Province, China; it is under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Changsha, the provincial capital. Located on the northeastern margin of Hunan, the city is bordered to the north by Pingjiang County, to the west by Changsha County and Yuhua District, to the south by Shifeng, Hetang Districts of Zhuzhou and Liling City, to the southeast and the east by Yuanzhou District of Yichun, Shangli, Wanzai and Tonggu Counties of Jiangxi. Liuyang City covers 4,997.35 km2 (1,929.49 sq mi) with registered population of 1,453,246 and resident population of 1,297,700. The city has four subdistricts, 26 towns and two townships under its jurisdiction, its jurisdiction, its administrative centre is at Guankou Subdistrict (关口街道).

Ningxiang County-level city in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Ningxiang is a county-level city and the 2nd most populous county-level division in the Province of Hunan, China; it is under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Changsha. The city is bordered to the north by Heshan District of Yiyang and Taojiang County, to the west by Anhua County and Lianyuan City, to the south by Louxing District of Loudi, Xiangxiang City, Shaoshan City and Yuhu District of Xiangtan,to the east by Yuelu and Wangcheng Districts. Located in the central east of Hunan Province, Ningxiang covers 2,906 km2 (1,122 sq mi) with a registered population of 1,393,528 and a resident population of 1,218,400. The city has 4 subdistricts, 21 towns and 4 townships under its jurisdiction, its administrative centre is at Yutan Subdistrict (玉潭街道).

Yuelu District District in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Yuelu District is one of six urban districts of the prefecture-level city of Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, China. It is the 4th most populous district in Hunan. The district is bordered to the north by Wangcheng District, to the west by Ningxiang County, to the south by Yuhu District of Xiangtan City, across the Xiang river to the west by Tianxin, Furong and Kaifu Districts. Located on the west bank of the Xiang River, as the western part of the City proper, the district is named after Mount Yuelu, one of the national parks, Yuelu District covers 538.83 km2 (208.04 sq mi) with registered population of 644,834 and resident population of 818,900. The district has 16 subdistricts and 2 towns under its jurisdiction, its administrative centre is at Wangyue (望岳街道).

Wangcheng District District in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Wangcheng District is one of six urban districts of the prefecture-level city of Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, China. It is the largest district of Changsha by area. The district is bordered to the north by Miluo City and Xiangyin County of Yueyang, to the west by Heshan District of Yiyang and Ningxiang County, to the south by Yuelu and Kaifu Districts, to the east by Changsha County. Located in the northsouth of the City proper in Changsha, Wangcheng covers 951.06 km2 (367.21 sq mi) with registered population of 560,567 and resident population of 562,100. The district has 10 subdistricts and 5 towns under its jurisdiction, its administrative centre is at Gaotangling Subdistrict.

Furong District District in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Furong District is one of six urban districts of the prefecture-level city of Changsha, Hunan Province, China. It is the smallest district of Changsha by area. Furong District is a part of the core of the Changsha urban area, located in the midst of the city. The district is bordered by Yuhua District to the south, Changsha County to the east, Kaifu District to the northwest, and Tianxin District to the southwest. Furong covers 42.68 km2 (16.48 sq mi) with population of 539,200, registered population of 403,948. The district has 13 subdistricts under its jurisdiction, the government seat is at Dongtundu subdistrict.

Tianxin District District in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Tianxin District is one of six urban districts of the prefecture-level city of Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, China. The district is bordered by Yuetang District of Xiangtan to the south, Yuhua District to the east, Furong and Kaifu districts to the north, Yuelu District across the Xiang river to the west. Located in the southern central Changsha, Tianxin covers 141.05 km2 (54.46 sq mi) with population of 604,600. The district has 14 subdistricts under its jurisdiction, its administrative centre is at Qingyuan Subdistrict.

Yuhua District, Changsha District in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Yuhua District is one of six urban districts of the prefecture-level city of Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, China. The district is bordered by Yuetang District of Xiangtan to the south, Changsha County to the east, Furong District to the north, Tianxin District to the west. Located in the southern central Changsha, Yuhua covers 304.9 km2 (117.7 sq mi) with population of 764,700. The district has 12 subdistricts and 1 town under its jurisdiction, its jurisdiction, its administrative centre is at Guitang subdistrict.

Xiangtan Prefecture-level city in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Xiangtan is a prefecture-level city in east-central Hunan province, south-central China. The hometowns of several founding leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, including Chairman Mao Zedong, President Liu Shaoqi, and Marshal Peng Dehuai, are in Xiangtan's administration, as well as the hometowns of Qing dynasty painter Qi Baishi, scholar-general Zeng Guofan, and tennis player Peng Shuai.

Chunhua, Changsha Town in Hunan, China

Chunhua Town is a town in Changsha County, northeastern Hunan province, South Central China. It contains 12 villages and one community, and is located around 17 kilometres (11 mi) east of the county seat, at the boundary region between Changsha County and Liuyang City. Bordering towns are Lukou to the east, Lukou to the west, and Huanghua to the southwest; Chunhua also borders Yong'an (永安镇) and Shashi (沙市镇) of Liuyang City.

Changsha Metro

The Changsha Metro is a rapid transit system in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province in China. The first operational line, Line 2, commenced service on April 29, 2014, making Changsha the 18th city in mainland China to open a rapid transit system. A second line, Line 1, commenced service in 2016. Line 4 commenced service in 2019. Line 3 and Line 5 commenced service in 2020. As of June 2020, Line 6 and the extension of Line 3 are under construction.

Guankou, Liuyang Subdistrict in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Guankou Subdistrict is an urban subdistrict and the seat of Liuyang City, Hunan Province, China. As of the 2015 census it had a population of 50,400 and an area of 161.8-square-kilometre (62.5 sq mi). Xijiang Township merged to Guankou subdistrict on November 18, 2015. The town is bordered to the northeast by Gugang Town, to the southeast by Gaoping Town, to the south by Hehua Subdistrict, to the west by Jiaoxi Township, to the northwest by Chunkou Town, and to the southwest by Jili Subdistrict.

Jili, Liuyang Subdistrict in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Jili Subdistrict is an urban subdistrict in Liuyang City, Hunan Province, People's Republic of China. As of the 2015 census it had a population of 58,370 and an area of 153.8-square-kilometre (59.4 sq mi). Taipingqiao Town merged to Jili Subdistrict on November 18, 2015. It borders Jiaoxi Township in the north, Guankou Subdistrict in the northeast, Huaichuan Subdistrict in the southeast, Gejia Township in the west, Dongyang Town in the northwest, and Hehua Subdistrict and Chengchong Town in the south.

Orange Isle

Orange Isle is an isle in Xiang River, Changsha, Hunan, China. It also known by other names, such as Ju Isle and Shuilu Isle. It has a length of 5 kilometres (3.1 mi), a width of 40 to 140 metres and a total area of 370,900 square metres. It was also a national AAAAA (5A) level tourist attraction and a national key scenic spot.

The Liuyang River, also known as Liu River or Liuwei River, is a right-bank tributary of Xiang River, the largest tributary of Xiang River in Changsha, Hunan Province, China. The river has a length of 234.8 kilometres (145.9 mi) with its drainage area of 4,665 square kilometres (1,801 sq mi), accounting for 39.47% of the total area of Changsha, with surface water resources of 4,506 million cubic meters, accounting for 41.08% of that. It flows through Liuyang City, Changsha County, Yuhua, Furong and Kaifu Districts, and merges into Xiang River at Xinhe Delta Mouth of Kaifu District.

Laodao River

The Laodao River, also known as the Laotang River or Liaoxu River, is a right-bank tributary of the Xiang River, the 2nd largest tributary of Xiang River in Changsha, Hunan Province, China. The river has a length of 149.35 kilometres (92.80 mi) with its drainage area of 2,543 square kilometres (982 sq mi), accounting for 21.52% of the total area of Changsha, with surface water resources of 2,262 million cubic meters, accounting for 20.62% of that. It flows through Liuyang City, Changsha County, Furong and Kaifu Districts, and merges into Xiang River at Jiangwan (江湾) of Xiufeng Subdistrict, Kaifu District.

Jinggang Town Town in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Jinggang is a town in Wangcheng district, Changsha, Hunan province, China. The town is located on the west bank of Xiang river, and bordered by Qiaokou to the north, Zhuliangqiao and Shuangjiangkou of Ningxiang to the west, Gaotangling to the south, Tongguan across the Xiang river to the east. It covers 92.47 km2 (35.70 sq mi) with 67.3 thousand of population. The Jinggang town was formed by the former Jinggang and Getang towns on November 19, 2015. According to the result of 2016 adjustment programmes on village-level divisions (村级区划调整), the town has two residential communities and 10 villages under its jurisdiction; the administrative office is at Nongxi village (农溪村).

Changsha has a history going back over 3000 years. It has grown to an important town of economy, culture and garrison in the southern area of Chu State. In the Later Tang dynasty (923-936), the king of Chu, Ma Yin, founded the Chu Kingdom (927-963) and set it as the capital, the city quickly became the largest and most important population, commercial and financial center in southern China. It was devastated by the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Wenxi Fire in 1938 but was quickly rebuilt. As of 2016, Changsha was ranked 13th of cities of China by comprehensive strength in 2016.

Mingde High School is a public coeducational high school in Tianxin District of Changsha, Hunan, China.


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