Blog: Hardly an A-list China city
Chris Wright | 23 May 2012
With a population of around 8m, Shenyang barely makes it into the second tier of China’s gigantic cities. It’s certainly not up there with Shanghai (23m), Beijing (20m) or Guangzhou (16m) but, judging by the amount of construction going on here, Shenyang is heading for the first tier. The city is the capital of Liaoning Province in the northeast of China, an area of about 145,900 sq km and a total population of 43m.
Liaoning is one of the country’s most important industrial bases covering a wide range of industries such as machinery and equipment, metal, electronics and petrochemicals. The region is also one of the most important raw materials production bases have a quarter of China’s iron reserves and deposits of crude oil.
It is also BMW’s Chinese production base which is why I am here. The joint venture between the German carmaker and its Chinese partner Brilliance started producing 3-series models at Dadong in 2003, tomorrow the JV will open its second plant close by at Tiexi producing the X1 and long-wheelbase 3-series. More on that later.
I have to say we travelled in style, flying from Munich on a 40-seat, long-range Boeing 737. On landing we were whisked to the swanky Maritim hotel – as yet the traffic is nowhere near as bad as Beijing or Shanghai.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...