White Pagoda (Baita) in Liaoyang
White Pagoda (Baita) in Liaoyang
Location of Liaoyang City jurisdiction in Liaoning
Location of Liaoyang City jurisdiction in Liaoning
Liaoyang is located in Liaoning
Location of the city centre in Liaoning
Coordinates (Baita Park (白塔公园)): 41°16′44″N 123°10′34″E / 41.279°N 123.176°E / 41.279; 123.176Coordinates: 41°16′44″N 123°10′34″E / 41.279°N 123.176°E / 41.279; 123.176
CountryPeople's Republic of China
Municipal seatBaita District
  • Baita District
  • Wensheng District
  • Hongwei District
  • Gongchangling District
  • Taizihe District
  • Dengta City
  • Liaoyang County
 • CPC SecretaryWang Fengbo
 • MayorPei Weidong
 • Prefecture-level city4,710 km2 (1,820 sq mi)
 • Metro
3,997.8 km2 (1,543.6 sq mi)
29 m (95 ft)
 (2020 census)[1]
 • Prefecture-level city1,604,580
 • Density340/km2 (880/sq mi)
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
Postal code
Area code419
ISO 3166 codeCN-LN-10
Licence plates辽K
Administrative division code211000

Liaoyang (simplified Chinese: 辽阳; traditional Chinese: 遼陽; pinyin: Liáoyáng) is a prefecture-level city of east-central Liaoning province, China, situated on the Taizi River. It is approximately one hour south of Shenyang, the provincial capital, by car. Liaoyang is home to Liaoning University's College of Foreign Studies and a number of vocational colleges. The city hosts a limited number of professional basketball and volleyball games in a modern sports facility. According to the latest statistics in 2020, the age distribution of the population in Liaoyang is as follows: 0-14 years old account for 9.83% of the population; 15-59 years old account for 62.26% of the population; 60 years old and above account for 27.91% of the population; 65 years old and above account for 27.91% of the population 19.46% of the population.[2]


Further information: Xiangping

Nurhaci captured Liaoyang in 1621 and made it the capital of his empire until 1625.
Nurhaci captured Liaoyang in 1621 and made it the capital of his empire until 1625.

Liaoyang is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in northeast China, dating back to before the Warring States period, and the site of the city has not changed ever since.[3] Under the Yan state and the Qin and Han dynasties, Liaoyang (then known as Xiangping) was the capital of Liaodong Commandery and the political center of the Liaodong region. During the Three Kingdoms period, the city was the focus of Sima Yi's devastating Liaodong campaign. From the 5th to 7th centuries, Liaoyang was on the northern edge of the Goguryeo kingdom. Remains of Yodong and Baegam, the old Goguryeo cities, can still be seen near the modern city. This was the site of a major battle between the Tang and Goguryeo in 645 AD.

Liaoyang rose to prominence during the Liao dynasty. Several buildings in the city date to this period. Among these is the White Pagoda (baita), which dates back to 1189 in the Liao Dynasty with additions during the Yuan dynasty.[4] The Liaoyang White Pagoda sits in Baita Park within Baita district in the centre of the city. Next to the park is Guangyou Temple, one of the oldest and largest temple complexes in the north east of China covering some 60,000 square metres (650,000 sq ft).

Under the Jurchen Jin dynasty, the city served as their empire's eastern capital under the name Dongjing (東京).[5]

In the 17th century, the Manchu people rose up against the Ming dynasty of China. Liaoyang was one of the first Ming cities to fall and Nurhaci, the new Emperor of the Later Jin dynasty, made his capital there naming the city Dongjing in 1621. He also moved the tombs of several family members to Liaoyang and they can still be seen in Dongjingling, just east of the city. As the Manchu expanded, they again moved the capital to Shenyang in 1625. After this Dongjing faded in importance. Today, remains of the city walls can still be see and a small museum stands within the reconstructed south gate.

The year 1900 saw the Boxer Rebellion in China. Russian troops camped in Liaoyang city, burning the ancient Guangyou temple. On the August 24 September 1904,[clarification needed] the Battle of Liaoyang took place. This was a major battle of the Russo-Japanese war.

Liaoyang was one of the major centres of the Manchurian revival, a Protestant Christian revival which took place in Mukden (Shenyang) and the surrounding countryside in 1908.

The city was the site of widespread labor protests in March 2002 that were sparked by the bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation of the Liaoyang Ferroalloy Factory, or Liaotie. The protesters were workers from at least seven different factories, including failing textile, chemical, piston, instruments, leather, and precision tool plants. Their grievances involved local government corruption and widespread worker layoffs coupled with arrearage in employee wages, pensions and unemployment benefits. The activists demanded compensation for what they were owed, an investigation into the bankruptcy of Liaotie, and the resignation of the chairman of the local legislature, Gong Shangwu. The protests were eventually dispersed after several days by the government after declaring a curfew under martial law. Two of the workers' representatives, Xiao Yunliang and Yao Fuxin, were given prison terms of four and seven years, respectively. The government also responded by paying most but not all of the money that the workers were owed, and by ordering an investigation into the charges of corruption at Liaotie which culminated in the arrest and thirteen-year prison sentence of its manager, Fan Yicheng, for smuggling and fraudulent dereliction of duty. The provincial governor who approved the Liaotie bankruptcy was also imprisoned for accepting bribes, but Gong Shangwu evaded punitive action.[6]

Administrative divisions

Within Liaoyang prefecture there are one county, five districts and one city.[7]

# Name Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Population (2003 est.) Area (km²) Density (/km²)
1 Baita District 白塔区 Báitǎ Qū 210,000 24 8,750
2 Wensheng District 文圣区 Wénshèng Qū 180,000 38 4,737
3 Hongwei District 宏伟区 Hóngwěi Qū 110,000 59 1,864
4 Gongchangling District 弓长岭区 Gōngchánglǐng Qū 90,000 288 313
5 Taizihe District 太子河区 Tàizǐhé Qū 120,000 148 811
6 Dengta City 灯塔市 Dēngtǎ Shì 510,000 1,331 383
7 Liaoyang County 辽阳县 Liáoyáng Xiàn 590,000 2,853 207

Geography and climate

Climate data for Liaoyang (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −3.9
Daily mean °C (°F) −10.4
Average low °C (°F) −16.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 7.3
Average relative humidity (%) 62 56 52 50 54 65 78 79 73 66 63 63 63
Source: China Meteorological Administration[8]


The largest park within the city is Baita park. There are several historical sites to be visited. The new Liaoyang Museum, open to the public since 2009, contains many antiques. Guangyou temple beside the Baita (White Pagoda) has become one of Liaoyang's main tourism attraction in recent years. The first temple on the site dates back to 1145. The temple was destroyed by Russian troops during the 1900 Boxer Rebellion but was later rebuilt.[9] It houses a giant statue of Buddha made from sandalwood. There are two small museums for famous Liaoyang residents: Cao Xueqin, author of the book Dreams of a Red Mansion, and Wang Erlie, a notable Qing dynasty official. There is also a small museum just outside the city on the site of Dongjing, the old capital city. Gongchangling County, just east of the main city is noted for its hot spring resort, golf course and ski centre. Outdoor activities include the Tanghe River, Shenwo Reservoir Scenic Area and rafting on the Taizi river.[10] In the downtown area busy shopping malls can be found. The shopping area includes a total of five malls and pedestrianized streets with many Chinese brand name stores. On the streets, there are many interesting and delicious regional snacks. Within the shopping area are two streets with many Korean BBQ restaurants (Er-dao jie, Xingyun da jie).


Liaoyang is the headquarters of the 39th Mechanized Group Army of the People's Liberation Army, one of the three group armies that comprise the Shenyang Military Region responsible for defending China's northeastern borders with Russia and North Korea.

International relations

Main article: List of twin towns and sister cities in China

Twin towns — sister cities

Liaoyang is twinned with:

Notable residents


  1. ^ "China: Liáoníng (Prefectures, Cities, Districts and Counties) - Population Statistics, Charts and Map".
  2. ^ "辽宁省统计局". Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  3. ^ "国务院正式批复!辽阳成为第135座国家历史文化名城". 7 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Baida White Pagoda Park Travel Guide". A Book About China. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  5. ^ Theobald, Ulrich. China Knowledge. "Chinese History - Jin Dynasty 金 (1115-1234): Map and Geography". Accessed 19 Oct 2012.
  6. ^ Philip P. Pan, Out of Mao's Shadow, 2008: Simon and Schuster. (ISBN 1416537058)
  7. ^ Liaoyang Municipal Government (2007-07-03). 辽阳市人民政府网站 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  8. ^ 中国气象数据网 - WeatherBk Data. China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  9. ^ "Guangyou Temple Scenic Area Travel Guide". A Book About China. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  10. ^ "Liaoyang Travel Guide". A Book About China. Retrieved 26 March 2012.