Yantai, China

Yantai, China, Is Omaha’s Newest Sister City.

At the invitation of the mayor of Yantai, a visit was made by a small Omaha Sister Cities delegation in April, 2009. In October, 2009, Yantai officials visited Omaha. An initial intent document was signed in both Yantai and Omaha. The Omaha City Council voted to allow OSCA to continue with the twinning process and a visit took place in June, 2010, to Yantai, China, led by Mayor Suttle with a delegation of 11. The final step involved the Yantai delegation coming to Omaha to sign documentation to complete the process.

Welcome to Yantai


Yantai’s population is almost 7,000,000 and nearly one-third of those live in the built-up area made up of four urban districts (Zhifu, Muping, Fushan and Laishan).


Yantai Region is located north-central on the Shandong Peninsula, south of the Bohai Sea, and parallel to the southern tip of Korea.


yantai-view10The region was inhabited by the Dongyi people, who had established the State of Lai by the Zhou dynasty. Lai was annexed by the State of Qi in 567 BC. The area was known as the Donglai Kingdom during the Jin dynasty (265–420). In the Tang dynasty and following it was known as the Teng-chou prefecture, part of Henan Circuit. Next, the city became the Laizhou Subprefecture (萊州府) and, eventually, the Dengzhou Subprefecture (登州府) in the time of the Qing dynasty.

In July 1858 the Chinese empire signed the Treaty of Tianjin and Dengzhou was renamed for the last time. Yantai opened its harbor for business in May 1861. 17 nations, including Britain, established embassies in Yantai.
Yantai literally means “smoke tower”. In the Ming dynasty, locals used wolf dung to light fires (Langyan) to warn the whole village of approaching Japanese pirates (Wokou). The city was nothing but a small fishing village until the late 19th century when it became a treaty port for the British, handed over by the falling Qing dynasty, which had been defeated in the Opium War. Then with the Germans’ power over the whole Shandong peninsula in early 20th century, Yantai was also controlled by Germans for about 20 years. After the Germans were defeated by Allied forces in World War I, Qingdao and Yantai were handed over to the Japanese who turned it into a summer station for their Asian fleet. They also set up a trading establishment in the town. After 1949, the town’s name was changed from the Chefoo to Yantai and was opened to the world as an ice-free trade port in 1984.


yantai-2014-galaThere are a variety of different exchanges between Omaha and Yantai involving government officials, students and teachers.
A delegation of Yantai City officials visited Omaha twice and a delegation of Omaha city officials visited Yantai twice.
There is an ongoing pen-pal program between students in Yantai and Omaha,  and two Yantai students attended Brownell Talbott School.
A delegation of teachers from Yantai is planning to visit Omaha in 2016.

Top Businesses

yantai-view2 Nanshan Group
Aluminum, aviation, real estate, education, tourism
Shandong Gold Mining Co
Gold exploration, mining, smelting, refinement
Shandong Zhaojin Group Co
Gold exploration, mining, smelting, refinement, sales
Shandong Linglong Rubber Co
Tire manufacturer
Shandong Conglin Group Co
Aluminum, auto parts, high speed railroad components
Changyu Wine Co. Inc
Wanhua Chemical Co
Petrochemicals and specialty chemicals
Yantai Humon Chemical Co
Caustic soda, chlorine, hydrochloric acid
Shandong Luhua Group
Edible oils: peanut, corn, soybean, olive
Yantai Moon Group
Commercial A/C, refrigeration, heat exchangers
Lvye Pharma
Specialty pharmaceuticals

Did you know?

Yantai was recognized as the most “charming city of China.” The city is located in the northeast of the Shandong Province. It is bordered by both the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea, and lies across from South Korea and Japan. The city includes four districts and administers seven county-level cities. Although Yantai is not a metropolis like Beijing and Shanghai, it has its own unique charm. Yantai existed as a city as long as 10,000 years ago. During the Ming Dynasty a fire platform, called Langyantai Platform, was constructed on the northernmost city hill, as a means of defense against pirates. That is the reason for the meaning of the city’s name, “Smoke Tower”.

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