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Chongqing, with an area of 31,700 sq mi (82,000 sq km), is the largest of the People’s Republic of China’s four provincial-level municipalities, and the only one in the less densely populated western half of China.
The municipal abbreviation Yu was approved by the State Council on 18 April 1997. Its abbreviated name is derived from the old name of a part of the Jialing River that runs through Chongqing and feeds the Yangtze River (Changjiang River).
Geography and climate
Located on the edge of the Yungui Plateau, Chongqing is intersected by the Jialing River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze (Changjiang River). It contains Daba Shan in the north, Wu Shan in the east, Wuling Shan in the southeast, and Dalou Mountain to the south.
The city is very hilly and is the only major metropolitan area in China without significant numbers of bicycles.
The climate is semi-tropical, with the two-season monsoonal variations typical of South Asia. It has hot summers, and the temperature can be as high as 43°C (109°F). Along with Wuhan and Nanjing, it is known as one of the "three furnaces" of China. In the winter, it is wet and warm. While it seldom snows, most days are foggy.
As is true of most of China, the city often experiences severe air pollution, largely as a result of the burning of coal without pollution controls. Coal is burned both for industrial processes and for the production of electric power. Also, due to the surrounding mountains, a lack of wind makes the air pollution in the city even worse.
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