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Nanjing (南京 pinyin nan2 jing1) is the capital of Jiangsu Province of China. Formerly called Nanking in Wade-Giles system. The Chinese abbreviation of the city is ning2 (寧). It has a history of more than 2500 years.

Nanjing means "southern capital" literally. In many Chinese dynasties including the six dynasties from 3rd to 6th century, (namely Wu2[?] (吳), Dong1 Jin4 (東晉), Song4 (宋), Qi2 (齊), Liang2[?] (梁), Chen2[?] (陳)), Nanjing was the capital city under various names. In middle Chinese, Nanjing was called Bo2 Xia4 (白下). It was also the capital of the Ming Dynasty before Yongle Emperor moved the capital to Beijing. According to a popular legend, the capital was moved when the emperor's advisors brought the emperor to the hills surrounding Nanjing and pointed out the emperor's palace showing the vulnerablity of the palace to artillery attack.

Nanjing was also capital of the Taipings in the mid-19th century.

After the Northern Expedition in 1928, the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-Shek established Nanjing as the capital of China in opposition to a government in Beijing led by northern warlords and a alternate government in Wuhan led by Wang Jingwei. After the completion of the Northern Expedition in 1931, Chiang's government became the only recognized Chinese government.

The city fell to the Japanese in 1937 who massacred prisoners-of-war, refugees and its residents during the Battle of Nanjing (see Nanjing Massacre). Chiang moved his government to Chongqing City, and the Japanese established Nanjing as a puppet government under Wang Jingwei. After the end of World War II, Nanjing was reestablished as the capital of the Republic of China. In 1949, after the defeat of Chiang's forces on the Mainland, the capital of the People's Republic of China was established in Beijing. The Republic of China on Taiwan continues to recognize Nanjing as its "official" capital, while Taipei is deemed as only "temporary."

Compare to Beijing (northern capital), Tokyo and Tonkin (eastern capitals).

Colleges and universities

See also: Treaty of Nanjing

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