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Dalian, China

Compared to ancient capital cities such as Beijing, Xi'an or Nanjing, Dalian is a young city with a 100-year history. Situated at the tip of China's Liaodong Peninsula, it is China's northernmost ice-free seaport, and the trading and financial center of northeastern Asia. Because of a history of foreign occupation, the city is an eclectic medley of architectural styles: China sprinkled with a dash of Japan, old Russia and some Soviet socialist realism. The impression Dalian gives to the world is of a city of lawns, squares, fountains and gardens, and impressive skyscrapers.