City (pop., 2003 est.: 312,462), southern Sichuan province, south-central China. It is located at the junction of the Min and Yangtze (Chang) rivers. A county administration was set up there in the 2nd century BC. It first received the name Yibin in AD 742. The Chinese hold expanded there during the Song dynasty (960–1279). By the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) it was Xuzhou (Hsü-chou) superior prefecture, known to Europeans as Suifu. In 1912 it reverted to Yibin. In 1913 steamship communication with Chongqing was opened, and Yibin grew into a major collection and distribution centre. It has long been known for its salt deposits, which now supply a large chemical plant.