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city in northern Hunan sheng (province), China. Situated on the north bank of the Yuan River above its junction with the Dongting Lake system, Changde is a natural centre of the northwest Hunan plain. In historical times it was also a centre from which governments controlled the mountain tribes of western Hunan. A county named Linyuan was established there in the 2nd century BCE. In 589 its name was changed to Wuling, and under the Tang dynasty (618-907) it became the seat of Lang prefecture. Under the Song dynasty (960-1279) the name of the prefecture was changed to Tingzhou, and in 1164-74 it became a superior prefecture called Changde. This status was retained until 1912, when the superior prefecture was abolished and the city became a county seat