Shandong is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the East China region.
Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese Buddhism, and Confucianism. Shandong's Mount Tai is the most revered mountain of Taoism and one of the world's sites with the longest history of continuous religious worship. The Buddhist temples in the mountains to the south of the provincial capital of Jinan were once among the foremost Buddhist sites in China. The city of Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius, and was later established as the center of Confucianism.
Shandong is one of the powerhouses of tourism in China with four world heritages which are Mount Tai, San Kong, i.e. "The Three Confucian sites" the Greate Wall of Qi and Lu Canal. Shandong also enjoys a large number of state-level historic cities, scenic spots, natural reserves and intangible cultural heritages.
Tourist attractions in Shandong include:
Jinan, the capital city of Shandong since Ming dynasty, is renowned for its 72 Famous Springs. Among which, Baotu Spring, a culturally significant artesian karst spring, declared as "Number One Spring under the Heaven" (天下第一泉) by the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty.
Qingdao is a beach resort city on the south of the peninsula that has German-era architecture and is also famous for its Tsingtao beer and lauded as the Beer City of the World and the Sailing Capital of the World.
Mount Tai is known as the eastern mountain of the Five Great Mountains of China. It is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal, and is often regarded the foremost of the five. Mount Tai has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
Qufu is best known as the hometown of Confucius, who is traditionally believed to have been born at nearby Mount Ni. The city contains numerous historic palaces, temples and cemeteries. The three most famous cultural sites of the city, collectively known as San Kong (三孔), i.e. "The Three Confucian sites", are the Temple of Confucius (Kong Miao), the Cemetery of Confucius (Kong Lin), and the Kong Family Mansion (Kong Fu). Together, these three sites have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.
Shandong's location at the intersection of ancient as well as modern north–south and east–west trading routes has helped to establish it as an economic center. After a period of political instability and economic hardship that began in the late 19th century, Shandong has emerged as one of the most populous (984.72 million inhabitants) and most affluent provinces in the People's Republic of China with a GDP of CNY¥6.3 trillion in 2015, a 8% year-on-year increase.
Shandong ranks first among the provinces in the production of a variety of products, including cotton and wheat as well as precious metals such as gold and diamonds. It also has one of the biggest sapphire deposits in the world. Other important crops include sorghum and maize. Shandong has extensive petroleum deposits as well, especially in the Dongying area in the Yellow River delta, where the Shengli Oil Field (lit. Victory Oilfield) is one of the major oilfields of China. Shandong also produces bromine from underground wells and salt from sea water. It is the largest agricultural exporter in China.
As one of the important regions of national ocean strategies, Shandong is taking an active part in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China. Shandong is stepping up efforts to build a new regional coordinated and development system consisting of the Shandong Peninsula Blue Economic Zone, the Yellow River Delta Efficient Ecological Zone, the Economic Zone of Urban Agglomeration around Jinan and the Western Economic Booming Area.