Template:ZHdot Lüshun city or Lüshunkou or (literally) Lüshun Port (Template:Zh-stp), is a town in the southernmost administrative district of Dalian City of the People's Republic of China. It is located at the extreme southern tip of the Liaodong peninsula, and has an excellent natural harbor the possesion and control of which became one of the casus belli in both the first Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars in the period 18941905, indeed, up through the year 1953. During the first decade of that period it was especially world famous and more important than the other port on the peninsula which is todays Dalian. In western diplomatic, news, and historical writings, it became and was known as Port Arthur, and also called Ryojun (旅順) during the time the Japanese controled and administered the Liaodong peninsula.

Lüshun(kou), Eastern Liaoning (Liaodong Peninsula)
Area: 512.15 km² (land: 506)
Population210,000 (2001)
Geographic coordinate121° 14' 30" East, 38° 48' 45" North
Lüshunkou District seat 24 Huanghe Road (黄河路24号)
Seat of Government Dalian


Dalian City, a sub-provincial city and prefecture level capitol, is some forty miles farther up the coast sprawling around the narrowest neck of the Liaodong Peninsula, whereas Lushun occupies its southern tip. (See Landsat Map below 'Zoomed' — Lushun city' surrounds the lake-like structure clearly visible near the peninsular tip - the lake is the inner roadstead of the port, a very well sheltered and fortifiable harbor to nineteenth century eyes.) The Liaodong (formerly Liaotung peninsula and its relation to Korea, The Yellow Sea to its southeast, the Korea Bay to its due east, and the Bohai Sea (or Gulf) to its west are clearly seen on the map at right. Beijing (Peking) is almost directly (due west-northwest) across the Bo Hai Gulf from the port city.

Missing image
Dalian - Landsat photo (circa 2000)

Names in Exploited China

Names in China during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are complicated by the fact that many places took on names based on how they were reported in Western literature or history. This is further complicated in that four or five different languages might apply a differing names to a given place, and further complicated again when different alliterative schemes are used by translators attempting to render local names into acceptable English spelled renderings. As an example of the size of the problem, one Russian Admiral's name has six different spellings in English. Click for District Map  (http://www.dllsk.gov.cn/en/map.asp)

Earlier History

Surrounded by ocean on three sides, this strategic seaport was called Port Arthur during the Russian Occupation and Ryojun (旅順) during the Japanese one. Port Arthur took its name from a British Royal Navy Lieutenant named William C. Arthur, but was known to the Chinese as the fishing village Lüshun. In August 1860, during the Second Opium War, Arthur had towed his crippled frigate into the harbor at Lüshun (at that time an unfortified fishing village) for repairs. The Russians and other Western powers adopted the Brittish Name, with a cultural arrogance we can only bemoan today. Subsequent to World War II, the region found itself under Russian and finally Chinese rule. These and additional geo-historical name changes and recent history are deliniated in the related article on Dalian.

As a Focal Point in History

Missing image
Soviet sailors raise the USSR's naval ensign over the city in 1945 when they reoccupied the Liaodong and other parts of Inner Manchuria

It is fair to say that at its heart, the Russo-Japanese war was an extended battle for the possession of Port Arthur and the railway to it, the Southern Manchurian Railway. Japan had been given the Liaodong Peninsula as part of the terms of the Treaty of Shimonoseki concluding the First Sino-Japanese war, but had to recede (cede back) the territory when threatened jointly with war by France, Germany and Russia - each an imperial power of the day - in what is called the Triple Intervention of 1905. This was seen as a great humiliation in Japanese eyes for reasons discussed at length in the article Treaty of Shimonoseki. Just over two years later the Russians leased the Liaodong (literally Eastern Liaoning) as well as railroad right-of-ways to join the Liaodong to the Manchurian Railway at Harbin and systematically began to fortify the town and harbor and install many improvments. This was an additional goad to an already seething and angry Japan.

After the Boxer Rebellion (1897-1900) ended, Russia would not withdraw the reinforcements in Manchuria and instead began to fortify and garrison all along the Southern Manchurian Railway. Japan proposed the two powers meet and discuss their respective roles in eastern Manchuria, as the area was considered as part of each country's Sphere of Influence. Between 1902 and 1904 such talks were held, and numerous proposals and agreement papers were generated, while Russia continued to, in effect, annex terratory, de facto, by fortification and garrison, if not de jure while employing stalling tactics in negotiations. In the end, having gotten nowhere with two years of intensive bi-lateral negotiations to clarify each countries rights, perogatives, and interests in inner Manchuria, Japan opted for war with the Imperial Russia.

At the Heart of Conflict

The Battle of Port Arthur, the opening battle of the Russo-Japanese War, was fought in the heavily fortified harbor of the town of Port Arthur/Lüshun on February 9, 1904 when the Japanese attacked at night with torpedos, followed by a brief day light skirmish by major surface combatants. The port eventually fell January 2nd, 1905 after a long train of prepatory battles on land and sea (See Russo-Japanese War Article) during which the Japanese occupied the whole Korean Peninsula, split the Russian Army, devestated the Russian Fleet, cut off the source of supplies on the railway from Harbin, and culminated in the end of the vicious and bloody battle called Siege of Port Arthur (June-January, Some sources place the siege start in late July instead, a technical difference due to definitions). By the end of July, the Japanese army had pushed down the Liaodong and was at the outer defenses of Port Arthur.

The fact that Japanese forces had closed to within artillery range of the harbor in early August led directly to the naval Battle of the Yellow Sea which maintained Japan in command of the seas, where her fleets continued to blockade the harbor. Virtually all the battles of the war until July of 1904 were strategic battles for territorial gain or position leading to the investment and siege of the port city. The Russian town of Dalney (Dalny / Dalien / Dalian) was undeveloped in this era prior to 1898 when the Russian Tsar Nicholas II of Russia funded founding of the town of Dalny (sometimes Dalney); and establishment of it as a port with many improvements and cultural attractions. In 1902 the Russian Viceroy de-emphasized Dalny (building a palace and cultural edifices instead at Port Arthur), except as a commercial port while continuing the development of manufacturing .

After Leaving Historys Stage

The Japanese-controlled Ryojun City had 40 districts. The communist Lüshun City was established on November 25, 1945 to replace Ryojun. The city was a subdivision of a larger Lüda City and contained 40 villages in 3 districts: Dazhong (大众区), Wenhua (文化区), and Guangming (光明). In January 1946, Wenhua was merged into Dazhong, and the 40 villages were reduced to 23 communes (坊). In January 1948, the remaining two districts were merged into one: Shinei (市内区), with 12 communes.

On January 7, 1960, Lüshun City was renamed Lüshunkou District, still under Lüda. In 1985, 7 of its 9 townships were upgraded to towns.


A district at the county level (市辖区, pinyin: shìxiáqū, lit. a district of a city) is a subdivision of a municipality or a prefecture-level city. These have status equal to a county, and are hence called "county level". Thus the 'Lüshunkou district contains 6 sub-districts and 7 towns (see Political divisions of China: Levels), and is itself under the prefecture level sub-provincial capitol city, Dalian.

Pinyin Hanzi
Desheng 得胜
Guangrong 光荣
Dengfeng 登峰
Shichang 市场
Shuishiying 水师营
Jiangxi 江西
Sanjianbao 三涧堡
Changcheng 长城
Longtou 龙头
Beihai 北海
Tieshan 铁山

Jiangsi Sub-district contains the 20.38-km² provincial Lushun Economic Development Zone established in 1992.



  • F.R. Sedwick, (R.F.A.), The Russo-Japanese War, 1909, The Macmillan Company, N.Y.
  • Colliers (Ed.), The Russo-Japanese War, 1904, P.F. Collier & Son, New York
  • Dennis and Peggy Warner, The Tide At Sunrise, 1974, Charterhouse, New York
  • William Henry Chamberlain, Japan Over Asia, 1937, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston
  • Tom McKnight,PhD, et al; Geographica (ATLAS), Barnes and Noble Books AND Random House, New York, 1999-2004, 3rd revision, ISBN 0-7607-5974-X

External links

de:Port Arthur (China) es:Port Arthur ja:旅順 pl:Lushun


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