Dalian is located west of the Yellow Sea (Korea Bay) and east of Bohai Sea. With a coastline of 1,906 km, it governs the southernmost Liaodong Peninsula and about 260 surrounding islands and reefs.


Part of the State of Yan in the Spring and Autumn Period, Dalian became a small town in the 1880s, when the Qing Empire established bridges, cannon platforms and camps there. Named after the Dalianwan Bay (大连? of the Yellow Sea northeast of the peninsula, it was officially called Dalian in 1899, and the term was first used in October 1879 by Li Hongzhang in a document.

Dalian of south Pulandian was occupied by the British in 1858, returned to the Chinese in the 1880s, and then occupied by Japan in 1895 during the first Sino-Japanese War. From 1898-1905, it was occupied by the Russians and renamed Dalny (Qingniwaqiao 青泥洼桥 of Zhongshan District, Dalian) and Port Arthur (Lvshunkou). After the Russo-Japanese war Port Arthur was conceded to Japan (Treaty of Portsmouth), who set up the Kwantung Leased Territory or Guandongzhou. Since the foundation of Manchukuo in 1932, the sovereignty of the territory moved from China to Manchukuo. Japan still leased it from Manchukuo. In 1937, the modern Dalian City was enlarged and modernized by the Japanese as two cities: the northern Dairen (Dalian) and the southern Ryojun (Lushun).

After World War II, Dalian was not returned to China, but taken over by Soviets with theoretical Chinese overlordship (see Yalta Conference), and was returned to full Chinese control in 1955, although the first communist Chinese mayor of the new Lvda Administrative Office was elected in 1945. The name Lvda was formed from the initial letters of Lvshunkou and Dalian. Because of the sudden closure of many Japanese businesses, many Dalian residents were out of work for a while.

On December 1, 1950, Lvda was made into a city again. From March 12, 1953 to August 1, 1954, it became a municipality of China|municipality. The city's name was changed from Lvda to Dalian on March 5, 1981, after the State Council approved it on February 9. It was upgraded from a prefecture-level city to a sub-provincial city in 1994, with no change in its administrative subdivisions.