In the early Tang Dynasty (618–907), the Dalian region was part of Andong Prefecture in Jili state; during the Liao Dynasty (916–1125), it was part of Dong Jing Tong Liaoyang county.Dalian was named Sanshan in the period of Wei Jin (220–420), San Shanpu in the Tang Dynasty (618–907), Sanshan Seaport in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), and Qingniwakou during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911).
Dalian, as a city, is young by Chinese standards, dating from 1898, though smaller settlements had long existed in the area.
Like Hong Kong, Shanghai and Qingdao, Dalian's development stemmed from colonial occupation, in this case by Russia.
Linked to the Trans-Siberian Railway's branch line from Harbin, Dalniy became Russia's primary port-city in Asia, and also served other western traders.
Russia signed the Pavlov Agreement (1898) with China, which granted Russia a 25-year lease on Dalian and Lüshun and exclusive right to lay a branch of the Chinese Eastern Railway—what would become the South Manchurian Railway.
Pulandian is the future home of the municipal government headquarters, with the center of control no longer in Xigang District as the China's central government's plans continue to build growth in the district areas north of Dalian's city center.
Of these remaining districts and sub-cities, Kaifaqu is the likeliest to be visited as the name translates to "Economic Development Zone" and thus it is home to several factories and shipping centers.Dalian is the province's largest city and has sub-provincial administrative status; The Shandong Peninsula lies southwest across the Bohai Strait; Korea lies across the Yellow Sea to the east.Today, a financial, shipping and logistics centre for Northeast Asia, Dalian has a significant history of being used by foreign powers for its ports.Located at the southern tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, the main part of the city is on its own sub-peninsula, with the port to the north of the town centre and natural coastline dotted with beaches to the east and south. Jinzhouqu District, Lvshunkou District, Kaifaqu District and Changhaixian District, a small group of islands east of the Liaodong Peninsula, represent the other half of Dalian's 8 districts.Wafangdian, Pulandian, and Zhuanghe represent the 3 sub-cities within the municipal territory of Dalian.The Triple Intervention by Russia, France and Germany forced Japan to return the Liaodong Peninsula to China, despite the treaty's terms; instead the Russian Empire coerced a lease of the peninsula from the Qing Dynasty in 1898.