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Chongqing is a major city in Southwest China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Administratively, it is one of the PRC's four direct-controlled municipalities (the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and the only such municipality in inland China.
The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the sub-provincial city administration that was part of Sichuan Province. As of November 2010, the municipality had a population of 28,846,200, although the urbanized area is estimated to have a population of only 6 or 7 million. The municipality has jurisdiction over 19 districts, 15 counties, and 4 autonomous counties. With an area of 82,401 square kilometres (31,815 sq mi), it is the largest direct-controlled municipality, larger even than one province and an autonomous region, as well as Taiwan. It is possibly the world's largest municipality by population and one of the largest by area.
Chongqing was also a municipality of the Republic of China administration, serving as its wartime capital during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–-1945).
Chongqing is one of the most notable cities for history and culture in China, and serves as the economic centre of the upstream Yangtze area. It is the major manufacturing centre and a transportation hub for Southwest China.