Beautiful Nanjing in the rain
Nanjing is the capital of the Jiangsu Province in eastern China and the former capital of China. It was formerly spelled "Nanking."

One of the earliest established cities in China, the city was founded as a fort, then called "Yecheng," by Fuchai of Wu in 495 BC. Since then, the city has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times. Since the year 3 AD, it has been the capital of six different dynasties, and is recognized as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.

Today, it is known for its modern and streamlined feel, fast pace, architecture, ancient history, large size, and prominence, commonly known as one of the most important and powerful cities in China.

People Born in Nanjing

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Nanjing in People's Lives

Kanye West: I moved here with my mother in 1987, at the age of 10. My mother, an English professor, was living here temporarily as part of an exchange program teaching English. I attended school here, and was the only foreigner and non-Chinese speaker in the class. However, I adjusted to the different teaching style well, and as the classes were in English, I may have even had an advantage. I did well in school here, getting A and B grades. My mother and I moved back to Chicago within the year.

Magnus Carlsen: I traveled here in 2009 to compete in the Pearl Spring Chess Tournament, where I had my best competition yet. I beat a player who was, at the time, the highest-rated player in the world, and made countless other victories. Undefeated here, I did not lose a single game. I scored a PR of 3002. Chess critics and statisticians applauded it as one of the top 20 chess tournaments in history, and the best tournament ever played by a teenager. I was 19 at the time.

Pearl S. Buck: I moved here with my husband, John Lossing Buck, in 1920. We lived on the campus of the Nanjing University, where we both had jobs as professors. I worked teaching English literature and also continuing my missionary work. Also in that year, I gave birth to my only child, a girl named Carol, afflicted by a genetic disorder. In 1921, my father moved in with us. In 1924, we left China to spend a year in the United States, returning to this city in 1925. In 1927, political tension and riots broke out, in a battle of confusion now referred to as the "Nanking Incident." Three Westerners were killed, and I feared for our safety in the city. However, my stubborn father, always believing that the Chinese would view us as the exception when it came to violence against whites, insisted that we remain here. When the fighting reached the city, a Chinese family hid us in their hut, where we waited, terrified, as our house was looted. We were rescued by an American gunboat, and taken to Shanghai, agreeing that we should temporarily travel to Japan until the fighting died down. My father, of course, stayed in China. We returned in 1928, and I was relieved to find my father in good health, despite remaining tension in the city. Now serious about my writing, I traveled alone to New York in 1929 to seek a publisher for my book. When I returned home, my first novel accepted for publication, I diligently wrote every morning in my attic, and within one year had written what would become The Good Earth, my most famous novel. I also thought of Walsh, back in New York, and entertained ideas of divorce from Buck. It was not until 1934, however, that I left my husband, and China. Though I didn't know it then, that would be the last time that I would ever be in China, which I considered my true home.


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