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Dalian (northeast) is the costal city. It has been known by several names - Dalny, Lueshun, and Port Artur. In the late 19th century, the western powers were busy carving up pieces of China for themselves. The Russians acquired this area as a concession in 1898 and set about constructing the port of their dreams and an alternative to the only partially - ice-free port of Vladivostok. The Japanese navy attacked Port Artur in February 1904, crippling and blockading the Russian fleet. Soon the port passed into Japanese hands and the Japanese completed the port facilities in 1930. In 1945, the Soviet Union came back to Dalian for more than 10 years.
Today the city has the largest harbor in the northeast and is also one of the most prosperous cities in China. Crisscrossed by old colorful trams, the city exhibits some wonderful architecture and has refreshing acres of grass and lawns, beaches and parks.