Diocese of Liaoning
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In a land area of 146,000 square kilometers, the Chinese government-sanctioned diocesan territory covers the provincial capital Shenyang City with its 9 districts: Heping, Shenhe, Dadong, Huanggu, Tiexi, Sujiatun, Dongling, Xinchengzi, Yuhong and 2 counties: Xinmin, Liaozhong; 14 other cities: Dalian, Wafangdian, Anshan, Fushun, Daxi, Dandong, Jinzhou, Jinxi, Yingkou, Panjin, Fuxin, Liaoyang, Tieling and Chaoyang.

According to the Vatican's Chinese Catholic Hierarchy established in 1946, Shenyang archdiocese as well as Fushun and Jehol dioceses exist within today's administrative division of Liaoning province.
Shenyang, provincial capital of Liaoning, lies 630 kilometers northeast of Beijing.

Population

In Liaoning Province, the population is 42,170,000 at end of 2008. (The population of the whole country is 1.3 billion). Most residents are Han Chinese with minorities of Manchus, Mongols, Hui, Koreans and Xibe.

History

The Apostolic Vicariate of Laoding was created in 1838 and entrusted to the Paris Foreign Missions Society. This Society needed a base in China to support the new mission in Korea. A seminary opened in the Village of the Eight Families (Xiaobajiazi) later moved to Jilin, training many Chinese priests.

The western region of Liaoxi, first administerd by the Lazarists, was entrusted to the Scheutists (CICM).

On Aug. 20, 1840, the vicariate was renamed as Apostolic Vicariate of Liaotung and Manuchria and on May 10, 1898, the name was changed again into Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Manchuria.

In 1900, during the so-called Boxer Rebellion (until 1901), the Boxers slaughtered a number of missionaries. Bishop Guillon was massacred at the altar in the Moukden (Shenyang) cathedral and the church was destroyed.

Towards 1910, many Koreans fleeing the Japanese invaders found refuge in Manchuria. Today they form a minority of 1.3 million with the largest concentration in Yanji district, east of Jilin Province. There are over 6,000 Korean Catholics in that area.

On Dec. 3, 1924, the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Manchuria was once more renamed as Apostolic Vicariate of Shenyang/Fengtian.

The Vatican made Shenyang an archdiocese in 1946, when it established the Chinese Catholic hierarchy. In 1983, government-sanctioned Church authorities combined Shenyang with Fushun, Rehe (Jehol) and Yingkou dioceses to make Liaoning diocese, covering all of Liaoning province. Government-recognized Bishop Xu Zhenjiang was made the ordinary. He was followed by Bishop Zhang Hualin in 1988. He passed away in 1989.

In 1989, Pius Jin Peixian became the ordinary of Liaoning Diocese. Many Church people in and outside China considered Bishop Jin a prominent leader of the China Church. He held the title of vice president of the Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China before his death.

Anthony Lam Sui-ki, a Hong Kong-based Church-in-China observer, said after Bishop Jin's death on Nov. 4, 2008 that the bishop maintained a successful balance between his "loyalty to the pope and compliance with national identity."

Transportation

There are four public airports in Liaoning: Shenyang Taoxian International Airport; and Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport; Jinzhou Airport and Dandong Airport. Jinzhou and Dondong only connect with Beijing and Shanghai-Pudong. Shenyang and Dalian are larger international airports. They have flights to and form many other Chinese cities as well as international routes to North and South Korea, Japan, and even some American and European connections.

Eight railways connected Liaoning's Shenyang with Beijing, Dalian, Changchun, Harbin and Fushun. New high speed bullet trains now run from Shenyang to Beijing cutting the journey time down to four and half hours. Shenyang is connected via the transmongolian railway to Inner Mongolia, Outer Mongolia and on to Russian Siberia.

The six-lane Jingshen Expressway runs the 658 kilometres from Beijing to Shenyang. The Shensi Expressway connects Shenyang to Changchun.

Coaches connect Shenyang, Dalian, Anshan and Dandong to Beijing and other cities throughout the north east of China. A coach form Beijing to Shenyang will take around 7 to 8 hours.

Ferrys from Incheon (South Korea), Shanghai, Weihai, Yantai and Tianjin connect to Dalian in the south of Liaoning.

It is possible to cross the border at Dandong between North Korea and China under certain circumstances.

Climate

Liaoning Province has a temperate continental monsoonal climate, with a hot, rainy summer; a long, cold winter with little snow; and a short, windy spring. It has a mean annual temperature of 6-11 degrees C, and a mean annual precipitation of 400-1,000 mm.

Economy

Liaoning is one of China's most important industrial bases, covering a wide range of industries, such as machinery, electronics, metal refining, petroleum, chemical industries, construction materials, coal, and so on.

The sea off Dalian abounds with quality seafood, such as abalones, sea cucumbers, scallops, prawns, crabs, and sea urchins. The big fish of Dandong, the jellyfish of Yingkou, and the clams of Panjin are known worldwide for their good tastes right from the sea and in products made in Liaoning for export domestically and internationally.

Topography

Liaoning is located in the southern part of China's Northeast. Liaoning borders the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Gulf in the south, North Korea in the southeast, Jilin Province to the northeast, Hebei Province to the west, and Inner Mongolia to the northwest.

The Yalu River marks the border between North Korea and the Chinese provinces of Jilin and Liaoning. It empties into the Korea Bay between Dandong (Liaoning) and Sinuiju (North Korea).

Late Bishop Pius Jin Peixian

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