Urban History

Research Article

From colonial port to socialist metropolis: imperialist legacies and the making of ‘New Dalian’


a1 Department of History, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK


This article explores the transformation of the city of Dalian from a colonial export port to an industrialized core city of the Japanese wartime empire and finally a model production city of the People's Republic of China. These shifts in the economic and political function of the city also resulted in complex identity issues for Dalian's urban residents. Dalian's rise reminds that there were trajectories of urban development and modernity in China which were different from that of Shanghai. Dalian provides an important, local view of the transition from empire to nation in this strategically important part of Manchuria.