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The history of Kunming

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Most historians believed that “Kunming” was the name of an ancient tribe in the southwest of Yunnan province. It was not until the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) that it became a place name.

With a long history and splendid culture, Kunming is one of the first 24 historical and cultural cities of China recognized and announced by the State Council. The city was built more than 2,200 years ago. Particularly, the Dianchi region boasts a civilization spanning 3,000 years. About 30,000 years ago, ancient people began to live around Dianchi Lake.

During the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) and early Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220), people known as Dianren around Dianchi Lake established the State of Dian and created the unique Dian culture. In 109 BC, the Dianchi region was integrated to the Central Plains by the emperor of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24). In 765, the Nanzhao Kingdom built and developed the east side of the city, which marked the beginning of Kunming’s history. In 1276, Zhongqing (Kunming) was made the capital of Yunnan province. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Yunnan absorbed many migrants. In the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Li Dingguo, the leader of one of the peasant uprisings in the late Ming Dynasty; Emperor Yongli; and then Wu Sangui established governments or palaces there.

Kunming was developed into a trading port in 1905. With the completion of the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway in 1910, Kunming began opening to the outside world. On August 1, 1928, the municipal government of Kunming was established. During the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, Kunming was a well-known Fort of Democracy and contributed a lot to China’s economy, culture and military. The city was peacefully liberated on December 9, 1949.

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