Diocese of Liaocheng
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Liaocheng is a prefecture-level city in western Shandong province. It borders the provincial capital of Jinan to the southeast, Dezhou to the northeast, Tai'an to the south, and the province of Hebei and Henan to the west. The Grand Canal flows through the center of the city.

Population

The diocesan territory has a population of 5,789,900 as of 2010.

Language

Putonghua and Shandong dialect are in use in the diocesan territory.

History

Liaocheng Diocese is a new name under the Chinese government's administration, combined from Yanggu diocese and Linqing apostolic prefecture.

Linqing, an apostolic prefecture according to the Holy See, has never had a bishop. It was carved out from Jinan diocese in 1931. Father Joseph Li Pingliang, who was appointed in 1940 to administer Linqing, died in jail during the Cultural Revolution.

Yanggu diocese was erected in 1934 and headed by Divine Word Father Thomas Tian Gengshen, the first Asian to get the red hat. The diocese was later headed by Bishop Niu Huiqing in 1943. He fled to Taiwan in 1948 because of political turmoil and Yanggu diocese was vacant for over 50 years then. Bishop Niu became bishop of Chiayi in Taiwan from 1962 until he died in 1973.

Transportation

Due to its geographic location at the meeting point of Shandong Province, Hebei Province and Henan Province, Liaocheng is very accessible as a well developed transport hub in Shandong. Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport is one hour from Liaocheng by expressway. The Port of Qingdao is four hours drive away. It is also four hours to Beijing on the Beijing-Kowloon Railway.

Climate

Liaocheng is situated in the temperate monsoon climatic zone with a distinct semi-arid continental climate. It is dry and windy in spring when the temperature turns warm rapidly. Summer in Liaocheng is torrid and rainy. It is cool and the sky is clear in autumn after which it cools down quickly. Its annual average temperature is around 13 degrees Celsius.

Economy

Liaocheng is rich in coal, oil, natural gas, mineral water and limestone.

The city's major industries are glass products manufacturing, petrochemicals, salt chemicals, plastic products manufacturing and textiles.

Education

There are Liaocheng University, Dongchang College of Liaocheng University, Liaocheng Teachers' College and Liaocheng Institute of Education in the area.

Culture

Located on the West Shandong Plain and the bank of the ancient canal, Liaocheng is a city of military importance with a long history. The location and geography of the ancient Liaocheng city moat is shaped like a phoenix, so the city is also called the Phoenix City. On the other side, Liaocheng is a city that combines lake, river and city and is also well known as the "Water City North of the Yangtze River". Liaocheng has its name because it locates on the west riverside of the old Liaohe River.

Liaocheng's history dates back to about 3,000 BC to about 2,000 BC during the Neolithic Age. Archeologists have found relics of Longshan Cultural Town in Liaocheng. During the Spring-and-Autumn Period (770 BC-403 BC), Liaocheng was an important political and cultural center of Qi State. During the Han Dynasty, Liaocheng belonged to Yunzhou. The construction of the Grand Canal during the Sui and Tang Dynasties (AD 581-AD 907) boosted the city's economic growth and abundant canal cultural resources for hundreds of years. The Beijing - Hangzhou Grand Canal is one of the greatest man-made constructions in the world and China is the first country that constructed a canal, then. Liaocheng became a commercial city along the Grand Canal. In 1994, Liaocheng was proclaimed as a national level historical and cultural city by the State Council.

Hong Kong diocese congratulates religious jubilarians

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