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Pingxiang–Dong Dang


N 22° 01′ 41′′, E 106° 44′ 14′′
434 MASL
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A 19th century photograph showing the Qing fortifications at the strategic Zhennanguan Pass. The main fort was rebuilt after being destroyed during the Sino–French War (1884–1885). It was destroyed again in 1939 at the onset of the Japanese invasion of French Indochina. The fort existing today is a replica of the original built in 1957.

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CR Express trains departing from Pingxiang Station. In 2017, the Pingxiang Railway Port welcomed the first CR Express train connecting ASEAN and China, and it has since become China’s largest port for fruit imports. In 2020, dedicated train services were launched to import pitaya (dragon fruit) from Vietnam, and durian and mangosteen from Thailand, to cater to China’s increasing demand.

1700: Pingxiangdong was a strategic location along China’s southern frontier that dates back to the Song Dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty, several forts were built at the long and narrow Zhennanguan Pass (literally means “South Suppressing Pass”), formed between the Zuobi and Youfu Mountains.


1789: At Zhennanguan, a major conflict occurred between Qing and Vietnam because Qing interfered in disputes between Cochinchina and Tonkin in Vietnam. Despite winning the battle, Vietnamese King Quang Trung sought to restore the tributary relationship to deter a joint Qing-Siamese pincer attack. Qianlong Emperor accepted the proposal and re-established the cross-border trade at Pingxiangdong upon the request of Quang Trung.


1885: Forts at the Zhennanguan were destroyed during the Sino–French War (1884–1885), which was ended by the Treaty of Tianjin. In accordance with the Treaty, the Qing government opened the border for Sino–French trade and signed the contract of Longzhou–Nanguan Railway with La Compagnie de Fives-Lille. The railway project was suspended due to disagreements over the gauge width.


1890: Su Yuanchun, the admiral of Guangxi in charge of frontier defense, took over the strategic Zhennanguan, as well as the adjacent Shuikouguan and Ping’erguan and built 130 artillery forts connected by trails. The Longzhou–Nanguan Road, which was built by Su for the purpose of transporting artilleries, was one of the earliest roads built in China.


1907: The border crossing was temporarily closed during the United League’s sixth anti-Qing uprising in Pingxiang, which was planned by Sun Yat-sen.


1914: The Nationalist Government started the construction of the Nanning–Nanguan Road, which was completed in 1921.


1916: The Longzhou–Nanguan Road was restored and upgraded after a major flood in 1915. The following year, Huali Motor Company launched the shuttle bus service between Longzhou in Guangxi and Lang Son in French Annam via Zhennanguan.


1926: The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Force bombed Zhennanguan and Pingxiang County. The Japanese Army invaded Pingxiang three times in 1928, 1929, and 1933.


1937: The Nationalist Government started the construction of the Nanning–Pingxiang section of the Hunan–Guangxi Railway in hopes of establishing a transport corridor that enabled Western allies to send supplies to China and aid in the war efforts against Japan.


1939: The Japanese Army burned down the fort at Zhennanguan. Construction of the Hunan–Guangxi Railway was suspended, and Pingxiang Station was destroyed. Foreign aid entered China through the Nanning–Nanguan Road.


1950: The construction of the Hunan–Guangxi Railway resumed, and the Nanning–Pingxiang section opened to traffic in 1951.


1954: Zhennanguan was renamed Munanguan (literally means “South Harmonizing Pass”) in 1953. Munanguan Port was established and opened the following year.


1955: The entire Hunan–Guangxi Railway was completed, and the transnational Pingxiang–Hanoi Railway was opened to traffic.


1965: During the Vietnam War, China helped North Vietnam unite the nation by fighting South Vietnam and the United States. Major supplies entered Vietnam from Munanguan, which was renamed as Youyiguan, or Friendship Pass, in 1965.


1979: The Youyiguan Port closed due to the brief but significant border war between China and Vietnam.


1992: The Pingxiang (Youyiguan) Road Port was reopened, and the Pingxiang Border Economic Cooperation Zone was established a year after China and Vietnam formally normalized ties in 1991.


1996: The Pingxiang Railway Port opened, and Sino-Vietnamese railway transport resumed. The Youyiguan Pass Scenic Spot was rated as a national 4A-level scenic spot.


2006: The construction of New Pingxiang Railway Station and a joint inspection building began in 2004 and were put into use in 2006.


2016: The Pingxiang Key Development and Open Pilot Zone was established. The port of Pingxiang in the Guangxi Autonomous Region is China’s largest overland port for fruit imports and exports.

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