Shenyang (shŭn-yäng), formerly Mukden (mōōk´dŭn), city (1994 est. pop. 3,762,000), capital of Liaoning prov., NE China, on the Hun River. It is China's fourth largest city and the leading manufacturing hub in a highly industrialized area. Manufactures include heavy machinery, tractors, motor vechicles, cables, machine tools (Shenyang has one of the largest machine-tool plants in China), transformers, textiles, chemicals, paper products, medicines, and cement. Copper, zinc, and lead are smelted in the city. It is connected by rail with all the major cities of Liaoning prov. and with Beijing and North Korea.
The city has three sections—the old Chinese city, which is the administrative center; the new city, developed by the Japanese around the railroad; and a residential section beyond the railroad. The area doubled in population in the 1950s and 1960s, with a striking increase in both city and suburban population. Shenyang is the seat of Liaoning Univ., Northeastern China Technical Univ., a medical college, a conservatory of music, and numerous other specialized institutes.
During the Russo-Japanese War (1904–5), Shenyang was an important military objective; it fell to the Japanese on Mar. 10, 1905, after a 15-day battle. Following the establishment of the Chinese republic (1912), Shenyang was the headquarters of several warlords, notably Chang Tso-lin, who was assassinated outside the city in 1928. There, in Sept., 1931, occurred the Mukden or Manchurian Incident, when the Japanese army used an explosion on the railroad N of Shenyang as a pretext for occupying the city and beginning the occupation of all Manchuria. After 1931, the Japanese developed the city as an industrial center. Shenyang fell to the Communists on Nov. 1, 1948, after a 10-month siege, during which time thousands starved; the defending Nationalist force was annihilated during a breakout attempt.