Dalian (大连; Dàlián) is the second largest city in Liaoning Province, Dongbei (Northeast), China and the largest port in northern China as well as a major destination for Chinese tourists. Located at the southern tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, the main part of the city is on its own sub-peninsula, with the port to the north of the town centre and natural coastline dotted with beaches to the east and south.
Dalian, as a city, is young by Chinese standards, dating from 1898, though smaller settlements had long existed in the area. Like Hong Kong, Shanghai and Qingdao, Dalian's development stemmed from colonial occupation, in this case by Russia. Under Russian rule, Dalian, or Dalny as it was known, became the southern tip of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the main port of the eastern Russian empire. Following the Russian defeat in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5, the city was transferred to Japanese control and renamed Dairen. The Chinese government resumed control following the Second World War (though the city was jointly run with Russia until 1955) and in 1950 was again renamed by the newly formed Communist regime, this time to Luda City. There followed a period of relative stagnation until the city (once again named Dalian) was opened up to foreign investment in 1984. This sparked the first period of the redevelopment of the city, the second period coming with the appointment of Bo Xilai as mayor. Under Bo's stewardship, the city became a model example of redevelopment, with extensive redevelopment of its infrastructure and open spaces and a new focus on tourism and commerce and away from heavy industry.