Anshan (Chinese: 鞍山; pinyin: Ānshān; literally: "saddle mountain") is the third largest prefecture-level city in Liaoning province, People's Republic of China. Situated in the central area of the province, Anshan is about 92 kilometres (57 mi) south of Shenyang, the provincial capital. Anshan is on the boundary between the Mountains of eastern Liaoning and the plains of the west. The prefecture has a population of 3,584,000 people and covers an area of about 9,252 km2 (3,572 sq mi). The distance from the east to the west of the prefecture is 133 km (83 mi). The area contains the famous Qianshan National Park. The city's name is derived from the shape of a nearby mountain that resembles the shape of a horse's saddle, which can be seen on the left (west) about five minutes before the northbound train arrives at Anshan Station. Anshan is home to the Anshan Iron and Steel Group, one of the largest steel producers in China. Anshan is sister cities with Sheffield
Anshan has a population of 3.65 million at the 2010 census. Anshan holds one third of the worlds supply of talcum Anshan holds a quarter of the worlds reserves of magnesite Anshan also produced the largest ever jade stone, now a local tourist attraction carved as a Buddha. The built up area encompassing 4 Anshan urban districts (1,529,350 inhabitants) and urban Liaoyang is home to more than 2.17 million inhabitants in 2010.
The area of Anshan has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The area remained of little significance, a small city in Liaodong province, overshadowed by neighbouring Liaoyang city, until the mid 20th Century. In 1587 Anshan was fortified by the Ming Dynasty to combat the growing power of the Manchu. The city was burnt down during the Boxer Rebellion, and was destroyed again in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905). As a result of this war, Japan had gained influence in Liaoning and was engaged in industrialising the region. Anshan lay beside the new South Manchuria Railway line that ran from the port of Dalian to the major city of Shenyang. As a joint Sino-Japanese venture, Anshan Zhenzing Iron Ore Company Unlimited was started in Anshan in 1918. After the Mukden Incident in 1931, Japan occupied the northeast of China. The mills were turned into a Japanese owned monopoly. In 1933, the site was expanded to include steel production and the company was renamed Showa Steel Works. Anshan became part of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. Additional industries developed around the iron and steel mills. The city of Anshan grew significantly in size around this new industrial site.
Anshan had become one of the largest producers of iron and steel in Asia if not the world. It was therefore of strategic importance in the Pacific War, and was subject to constant attack by B-29 Superfortress strategic bombers of the USAAF. Japanese Army detached the 1st Chutai (unit) of 104th Sentai (squadron) of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, to Anshan, with other air squadrons for industrial defense purposes. Although this unit was equipped with modern Nakajima Ki-84 Ia (Manshu Type) Hayate "Frank" fighters, manufactured by Manshūkoku Hikōki Seizo KK, the plant suffered heavy damage from the air raids, losing up to 30% of its capacity.
At the end of the war, Soviet Red Army forces launched Operation August Storm, which captured Manchuria from the Japanese. The Soviets looted the ruins of Shōwa Steel Works for anything that could be taken back to the Soviet Union. With the defeat of Japan in 1945, Anshan was returned to China along with the rest of Chinese Manchuria. However, peace had not yet arrived. Civil war continued between the Chinese Nationalist Government and the Communist People's Liberation Army (PLA). The city of Anshan was the scene of one of the battles of this war. The city was taken by the PLA on February 19, 1948. A monument in Lieshishan park commemorates the battle.
The northeast of China was marked out to become a major industrial centre for the new People's Republic of China. Anshan was set to become a key part of this industrial development. The steel mills had been damaged during the wars. In December 1948, the Anshan Iron and Steel Company—also known as Angang—was founded. Production in the newly repaired steel plant resumed on July 9, 1949. The plant was expanded to become the largest steel producer in China. Other industries setup alongside the steel plant including mining for coal, iron and other minerals. This industrial wealth had an environmental cost. The open-hearth furnaces of the steel mill created large amounts of dust and other pollution. Along with its growing reputation as a major steel producer, Anshan was also gaining a reputation as a dirty, smelly town.
Sited on the edge of the Liao River plains, Anshan has wide flat lands in the west and central regions that develop into hilly and the mountainous terrain on the eastern fringes. The area is rich in mineral wealth including iron ore, coal, magnesite, talcum and jade. The plains of western Anshan are good for agriculture. The large flat fields make it ideal for modern agricultural methods. In total, Anshan contains 24480 hectares of arable land accounting for 26.4% of the total land area. One agricultural product that Anshan has become well known for is the production of Nangua Pears.
Anshan has a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa) characterised by hot, humid summers, due to the monsoon, and rather long, cold, and very dry winters, due to the Siberian anticyclone. The four seasons here are distinctive. Nearly half of the annual rainfall occurs in July and August. The monthly 24-hour average temperatures ranges from −8.6 °C (16.5 °F) in January to 25.0 °C (77.0 °F) in July, while the annual mean is 9.60 °C (49.3 °F). Sunshine is generous and amounts to 2,543 hours annually, while relative humidity averages 58%, ranging from 47% in March and April to 75% in July and August. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −26.9 °C (−16.4 °F) up to 36.5 °C (97.7 °F).