Yancheng (Chinese: 盐城; pinyin: Yánchéng) is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Jiangsu province, People's Republic of China. As the city with the largest jurisdictional area in Jiangsu, Yancheng borders Lianyungang to the north, Huai'an to the west, Yangzhou and Taizhou to the southwest, Nantong to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the east.
Yancheng, literally "Salt City", is named after the salt harvest fields surrounding the city. According to historical records,[which?] collection and production of sea salt in the region began as early as 119 BC during the Western Han Dynasty, when the settlement on the current location of Yancheng was named Yandu County (鹽瀆縣). According to the 2010 Census, Yancheng has a registered population of 8,203,728 — with 7,260,240 permanent residents. Its built up area of Tinghu and Yandu Districts, was home to 1,615,717 inhabitants in 2010.
Yancheng has a history of 2,100 years since the first canton was founded here in Han Dynasty at year 119 BC. It was named for the salt reserves in rivers around the area, its name literally meaning "Salt City". In later years, the city was the home of Fan Zhongyan, the 12th century statesman and Shi Nai'an, the reputed author of famous novels.
Yancheng was in the limelight during the Chinese Civil War from the 1930s to 1940s. The New Fourth Army led by the Communist Party of China was reestablished in Yancheng after being ambushed and battered by the enemy. After the revival, the Army played a very important role in the war and finally the foundation of the People's Republic of China. Many monuments in honor of these heroes can still be found around Yancheng.
Yancheng occupies the flat coastal plains of Eastern Jiangsu. Those areas not cultivated are mainly marshlands, which are home to several endangered species, including the red-crowned crane and the Pere David's deer. Yancheng has a temperate climate with fairly mild winters and distinctly tropical late summers.