History

Qingdao (also spelt Tsingtao) is the largest city in Shandong Province. It is a major seaport, industrial centre and naval base and ranks 38th in the Global Financial Centres Index published by the Z/Yen Group and Qatar Financial Centre Authority, puting it in the same league as such financial centres as HongKong and Shanghai. Qingdao is also known for the famous Tsingtao Brewery and the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, the world’s longest sea bridge, linking the main urban area of Qingdao with Huangdao district, straddling the Jiaozhou Bay sea areas. According to a 2014 census, Qingdao has a population of 9,046,20.

While human settlement in the area dates back 6,000 years, the first town in the area, Jimo, was established only during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (70 BC–256BC) in the Shandong region. On 14 June 1891, the Qing Dynasty named the area where Qingdao is located ‘Jiao'ao’.

The Qing administration had great plans for the area, but the city really took of when the area was ceded to Germany in 1897. The Germans soon turned Tsingtao into a strategicaly important port, home to the German Empire’s Far East Squadron naval fleet. Due to this, Qingdao was administered by the Department of the Navy rather than the Colonial Office.

The German Imperial government planned and built the first streets and institutions of Qingdao, including wharves and the world-famous Tsingtao Brewery.Construction of the Jiaoji Railway began on September 23, 1899, and was completed in 1904. The area had the highest school density and highest percapita student enrollment in all of China, with primary, secondary and vocational schools funded by the Berlin treasury and Protestant and Roman Catholic missions. German influence extended to other areas of Shandong Province as well.