China Wuxi City:
Wuxi is situated at 31¡ã07¡ä-32¡ã02¡äN and 119¡ã33¡ä-120¡ã38¡äE, with the Yangtze River to the north and Taihu Lake cutting into it in the south. Its neighbors include Changzhou in the west and Suzhou in the east. This part of the world features a sweep of flat land, except for emerald hills in the southwestern part. Some 100 low green mountains and hills, along with some 1,000 winding rivers and numerous reflecting lakes form a beautiful painting scroll.
Wuxi lies in the North Asian tropical humid temperate zone, with annual temperature averaging 16 degrees Centigrade. It is blessed with plentiful of sunshine and precipitation and a long frost-free period. With four distinct seasons, the city is typical of the area sough of the Yangtze River, featuring lushness, pleasant weather and an enchanting environment.
As the transport hub for the area, Wuxi has easy access to railway, highway, air and water transport facilities. It is bisected by the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway, Nanjing-Shanghai Expressway, Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, National Highways No.312 and 104, and Jiangsu provincial roads. It takes up to two hours to reach Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, and Shanghai. Sea travel is also convenient via Jiangyin and Zhangjiagang harbors, both close to the city. Six flights link the city of Wuxi with major parts of the country. Posts and telecommunications are well developed, and people can make direct calls to friends in 156 countries and regions. The city also has express mail business tics with 27 countries. As one of the major information centers in China, Wuxi reaches the world at palm size in terms of developed access to the Internet and telecommunication facilities.
Location: located between north latitude 3107' - 3200', east longitude 11931' - 12036'; situated in the middle of the Yangtze Delta, Taihu Plain southeast of Jiangsu province; the Yangtze River to the north and Taihu Lake south;183 kilometers away from Nanjing, 128 kilomenters from Shanghai
Neighboring Areas: Zhejiang, Anhui, Shandong provinces and Shanghai Municipality
Physical Features: mainly plain terrain, dotted with low mountain and hills
Population: 4.32 million
Urban Population: 1.73 million
Nationalities: Han, Hui and Manchu
Area: 4,650 sq km
Climatic Features: subtropical monsoon maritime climate; mild and humid with 4 distinct seasons; long frost-free period of 230 days, enough sunshine of 2000 hours annually
Average Temperature: annual average of 15.5C
Rainfall: average annual of 1000 mm
Mountains: Mt. Xishan, Mt. Huisha, Mt. Junzhang, Mt. Maji
Rivers: the Yangtze River; Taihu Lake; Jinghang Canal
Some 10,000 years ago, people lived and multiplied in what is now Wuxi. In 202BC a country was set up here for effective government People in the area have since the ancient times been building water works for agricultural production. They were also good at engaging in handicraft industry and business. When the Grand Canal was dug during the Sui Dynasty (581-618), business people flocked to Wuxi by boat During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), various parts of the surrounding areas sent their grain tributes to Wuxi for onward shipment to the imperial court in Beijing. During the ensuing dynasties of Ming and Qing (1368-1911). Wuxi grew into national-level rice, silk and cloth markets, attracting business people from various parts of the country.
The early 20th century saw Wuxi emerge as a cradle for national industry, with two brothers from the Rong family and some others running cotton mills, flour mills or silkworm cocoon filature factories. By 1937, Wuxi ranked third in China in terms of industrial output value, and was the largest of the four rice markets in the country. Because of this, Wuxi was affectionately mentioned as ¡°Shanghai Jr.¡± Wuxi made rapid progress after the founding of New China in 1949. During the ongoing reform and opening period that began in late 1978, farmers in the suburban areas were the first in China to start what we today call ¡°township enterprises¡±. Foreign investment has also been a powerful tool for progress. As the number one city in Jiangsu Province in terms of comprehensive strength, Wuxi is today one of the Top 15 key economic centres in China.
Jiangsu Province in east China is a perfect example of the affluence and intoxicating landscape of China. Wuxi, one of its cities, tucked away in the Yangtze River Delta, is known worldwide as a major contributor to the province in terms of richness and charm. Covering an area of 4,650 square kms, the city has a population of 4.359 million, with 2.1306 million living in the downtown area. Under its jurisdiction are seven districts-Xishan, Huishan, Binhu, Chong¡¯an, Nanchang, Beitang and New District, as well as two county-level cities¡ªJiangyin and Yixing.
The Yangtze River that surge past the city, the Grand Canal and other rivers that form a transport web, and the rippling waters of Taihu Lake combine to support life in Wuxi, cultivating and nurturing a culture featuring vigor and vitality, intelligence and wisdom.
Natural Resources Exploiting its developed irrigation system, Wuxi grows rice much coveted throughout the country. It is also famous for its aquatic products, with fishing boats plying the waters of Taihu Lake and fish ponds dotting the suburban areas. It leads the nation in per-unit output of freshwater fish, including Whitebait, Whitefish and white shrimps (unique to Taihu Lake), as well as Hilsa Herring, Mullet and Huiyu fish (unique to the Yangtze River). Wuxi¡¯s native produce known far and wide include Sijaoling water chestnuts, crisp water shield, jade-like wild rice stems, lily known as ginseng from Taihu Lake, tasty chestnuts, fragrant Xuelang Gongcha tea, Wuxi Haocha tea, Yangxiancha tea, and Shuimitao juicy peach. Moreover, Wuxi is famous for its rich and tasty spareribs, fried round fermented dough hollow inside, which is called Youmianjin in Chinese, Xiaoxing beancurd and Mullet noodles. Throughout the ages, master chefs in Wuxi have developed representative dishes known as ¡°Taihu Boat Dishes¡±. The best known are Liangxi crisp eels and pork cooled in fermented bean curd.
Handicrafts Huishan clay figurines, red pottery teapots and embroidered pieces are representative of handicrafts unique to Wuxi. With a history of 500 years, Huishan clay figurines are known for their sophistication, bright colors and lifelike shapes. The making of red pottery began during the Northern Son. Dynasty (960-1127). Its shaping and carving art displays the cream of sculpture, seal cutting and painting, and calligraphy. So, it is widely loved, Wuxi embroidery features closes and neat stitch work and fine patterns. It began to gain fame during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). During the ensuring dynastie of the Ming and Qing (1368-1911), it was used as tributes paid to the imperial court.
Silk Silkworm cocoons in Wuxi are of the best quality in the country. In 1884, Yeqin Yarn Factory was opened. After that, silkworm cocoon filature factories and textile mills sprang up one after another to the extent that, in 1937, Wuxi¡¯s silkworm cocoon filature factories made up alrnost 90 percent of the national total, and produced more than half of the country¡¯s raw silk exports. After the founding of New China in 1949, Wuxi¡¯s textile industry developed apace to cover textiles, printing and dyeing, garment making, and loom manufacturing sectors. As one of China¡¯s cotton, ramie and silk fabrics production and export centers, Wuxi¡¯s textile industry is reinforced by fast township textile enterprise groups including Yangguang and Haihan. Experts believe it will eventually become the world¡¯s largest cloth material producer and exporter.
Talents Wuxi has since the ancient time been home to celebrities. They include Li Shen, a famous poet during the Tang Dynasty (618-907); Li Gang, a Prime Minister of the Song Dynasty (960-1179), who distinguished himself by resisting the invasion of the Jin (1115-1234); Xu Xiake, who was a noted geologist and traveler of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644); Xue Fucheng, a noted thinker and diplomat of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the first in China to propose ¡°going out of the country into the world¡±; Xu Tao and Hau Henfang, who designed China¡¯s first steam engine and China¡¯s first ship; and Rong Zongjing and Rong Desheng, who made pioneering efforts to boost development of national industries. Contemporary men of letters include Qian Zongshu, a literary master, and Liu Bannong, an accomplished linguist. Of the Members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 75, or 5.9 percent of the total, are native to Wuxi or have been working in the city for a long period of time.
Folk Music Wuxi is also famous for its folk music tinged with flowing elegance. Representatives include Hua Qiuping, who was compiled Pipa Music; Yang Yingliu, hailed as a pioneer in research into China¡¯s national music; Liu Tianhua, whose Birds Chirping at Kongshan, Groaning when Sick and other erhu (two stringed musical instrument) music are respected as 20th Century classics; Ah Bing (Hua Yanjun), whose erhu work. The Moon Mirrored in the Euquan Pool, is extremely popular in China and also known and enjoyed throughout the world; Zhou Shaomei, Chu Shizhu, Jiang Fengbai and Ming Huifeng, who arc either noted folk music composers or performers.
Paintings The fascinating beauty of the landscape in Wuxi gives inspiration to poets, calligraphers. Of the Top 10 Ancient Painters in China, three were natives to Wuxi-Gu Kaizhi, regarded as the master in the Chinese painting world, Ni Zan, whose works stunned the world with their beauty and power, and Wang Ba, whose ink bamboos earned him the fame as ¡°number one painter in the Ming Dynasty¡±. Modern masters include Xu Beihong, Wu Guandai, Hu Dingsu, Yang Linfu. He Tianjian, Zhu Jianqiu, Qian Songyan and Zhang Guanyu.
Wuxi itself is an Oriental beauty. Small bridges spanning flowing creeks, green fields, classic gardens built along mountain slopes and Taihu Lake, and ancient towns featuring black tiles and walls combine to form an intoxicating painting scroll.
Nine-Dragon Spine Since the days of ancient Wuxi, Huishan and Xishan Mountains have been held as the ¡°nine-dragon area¡±, with many scenic spots and places of historical interest. Representative ones include Number Two Spring Under the Heaven as determined by Lu Yu, an ancient sage specialized in tea, and Jichangyuan Garden, which is believed to be of unusual beauty when compared with other gardens built on mountain slopes in the area south of the Yangtze River. The unique land is matched by unique plants in mountains, including native vegetation and flowering plants. Standing atop Xishan Mountain, the pagoda waves a welcome hand to all visitors. Stone slab paths leas up the top of the mountains, sometimes enveloped in clouds. Poets long held them as the Number One Under the Heave. Su Shi, noted poet of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), once wrote this description of the city:
Stone roads zigzag along the spine of Nine Dragons.
With reflecting waters rippling in the five lakes.
Giant Statue of Buddha at Lingshan With giant statue of Buddha erected at Lingshan, Majishan Mountain, at the northwestern corner of Taihu Lake attracts Buddhists from both inside and outside China. With Lingshan at its backdrop, the statue rises 88 meters to become the highest bronze statue o Buddha in the world. In the Lingshan area there are also a temple left behind from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the number one tripod in China, and the number one bell in the area south of the Yangtze River.
Taihu Lake Covering an area of 30,000 hectares, the lake is huge and proved so appealing to visitors that many gardens were created by the lakeside is ancient days. Yuantouzhu (Turtle Head Garden) is one of these. Extending into the lake like a turtle of frolicking in the water, the garden is famous also for the inscription on the cliff carved during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) by an anonymous traveler. Done in powerful strokes, it reads: ¡±Embracing Wu and Yue (Wu and Yue were ancient names for Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces). Other scenic spots at lakeside include Sanshan (Three Mountains), which look like giant torois swimming in the ripping lake, Jinyuan Garden that faces Meiyuan Garden across the lake, and Majishan Mountain in the distance. The vast lake rippling under the blue sky is dotted with tugboats and fishing junks.
Secret of Garden Beauty Gardens in Wuxi appeal to visitors mainly because of their compact size. But, above all, they were built with near mountains and waters as the backdrop. Scenic spots inside these gardens spread out so artistically that they harmonize with others outside the gardens create a beautiful effect, so that there appear to be garden inside mountains and hills inside gardens. Jichangyuan Garden at Huishan Mountain is a case point.
Temples and Lava Caves in Yixing Situated at a place where Jiangsu Province meets Zhejiang and Anhui Province, Yixing is known worldwide red pottery. Named Yangxian in the ancient times and nicknamed Jinxi, however, Yixing is also famous for Ten Scenic Wonders including Shangjuan Lake Cave, as well as Yangxian Tea plantation, Zhouhou Temple, Guoshanyan Temple and forests of bamboos.
Suspension Bridge Over Yangtze River The Yangtze River moves eastward like a tame and docile horse. However, When it reaches Jiangying, as the width narrows, it roars and loses its temper before it empties into the East China Sea. Since ancient times, this fact has appealed to heroes and men of letters, who have left behind many beautiful stories and places of historical interest. They include Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) Emperor Qin Shihuang, the first to unify China, who ascended Qinwanshan Mountain when he made an inspection tour here, and Xu Xiake, a noted geologist and traveler of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) who resided here and was eventually buried at the spot. His former residence and tomb are preserved as cultural relies. A modern suspension bridge has been built over the Yangtze River, linking Jiangying with Huangshan Mountains.
Wuxi is today a city with a leverage role to play in China¡¯s economic development. It is blessed with eight major industries, including machine building, textile, electronics, meters, metallurgy, light industry, pharmaceutical, and building materials. Industries, trade, transportation and tourism develop in a coordinated way, and the city has grown into an economically developed city. At the end of 1992, Wuxi was the first in Jiangsu Province to meet the national standard for a well-to-do society.
The same year also new success in the readjustment of the industrial structure with the result that hi-tech industry made up 24 percent of the industrial total. Input in industry surpassed 20 billion Yuan, and sales income and profits of 50 major businesses accounted for 38 percent and 50.5 percent of the city¡¯s total respectively. The same year also saw a breakthrough in readjusting the service structure, with stress laid on new service sectors. The added value of the service sector takes over 40.8 percent of the total GDP.
Exploiting its advantage in geological location and solid industrial foundation, Wuxi has set up eight development areas at and above provincial level including the Wuxi State Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone. With the investment environment improving each passing day, Wuxi has become a hot spot for international investment A number of world-renowned projects, including Seagate Technology International (Wuxi) Co., Ltd, and Wuxi Sharp Electronic Components Co., Ltd, have settled down in the city for further development. They have brought in a number of foreign-funded projects each with an investment of more than US¡ç10 million, reaching 124 in 2001, an increase of 48 from the previous year.
Recent years have seen Wuxi gain much headway by relying on science and technology to promote the agricultural industrialization. A large number of towns ill ages, specialized in certain sectors, have come into being. In 2001, a diversified economy contributed 83 percent of the total output value of agriculture. Alongside with the reform of State-owned enterprises, Wuxi made efforts to boost the further development of privately owned businesses. By the end of 2001 umber of private businesses, the number of their workers and staff, and their registered capital posted a healthy growth, rising 29.2 percent, 18.1 percent and percent from the previous year respectively. The private economy as a percentage of the city¡¯s GDP went up to 18.5 percent, and their tax payments accounted 9 percent of the city¡¯s total.
Wuxi's Economic Order in China (2001)
GDP 136 billion Yuan 10th
Per-capita share of GDP 31,267 Yuan 6th
Total output value of industry 201.8 billion Yuan 7th
Investment in fixed assets 40.5 billion Yuan 13th
Retail sales of consumer goods 39.08 billion Yuan 18th
Total value of exports US¡ç3.6 billion 14th
Amount of foreign capital used US¡ç1.357 billion 11th
Per-capita disposal income of urban residents 9,454 Yuan 11th
The latest report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences shows that the city of Wuxi ranks Number 6 on the list of the most competitive Chinese cities. A report from the United Nations indicates that among the 25 Chinese cities with the highest development potential the city of Wuxi ranks Number 15.
Wuxi is set to become a model city in China in environmental protection through urban reconstruction geared towards a modernized garden city. For this purpose efforts are being made to improve its layout and boost its development level. Initial results have been achieved. Downtown Wuxi today covers an area of 101.5 square km.
The Shanghai-Nanjing and Wuxi-Jiangyin Expressways have been opened to traffic, and Wuxi-Yixing, Nanjing-Hangzhou and Along-the-River. Highways as well as Xinyi (Jiangsu)-Changxing (Zhejiang) Railway are under construction. A large number of urban construction projects have been undertaken. The construction of Zhongshan Road, Taihudadao Road, Civilian Square and projects undertaken to beautify the city have led to a thorough change in the urban outlook. Supermarkets are well stocked with merchandise, and the streets bustle with motor vehicles.
Power, telecommunications and water supply and sewage disposal systems have been updated to support economic and social development. With construction of the Lucun Waste Water Disposal Plant, the city meets the national standards set for discharge and treatment of wastes. This has been joined by the creation of lawns and other projects to beautify the environment.
Construction of social undertakings in Wuxi goes alongside with and also benefits from economic development and urban expansion. Efforts were made to energetically develop hi-tech development areas. Scientific and technological progress contributed 46.5 percent to industrial growth, and 56.2 percent to agricultural growth in 2001.
The cultural sector is flourishing on the basis of active literary creation. New library, the Great Hall of the People, Radio Broadcast and TV Center, Sports Center, Wu Cultural Park, and some mass art stations have been built to satisfy the growing need for cultural activities. A number of coaches and athletes, native to Wuxi, have cut a brilliant figure in winning national or international titles. Representative of them include Cai Zhenhau and Gu Jun, Literary creation is crowned with admiring success. Ah Bing, a dance drama, and Holy Trip, a radio play were both national award winners.
On the basis of successful undertaking of nine-year compulsory education, Wuxi is speeding up the educational modernization project featuring popularization of three-Year pre-school education and three-year high school education. This helps consolidate the foundation for education in schools of higher learning. In order to further enhance the educational level of Wuxi. The Southern Yangtze University was reorganized, and Higher Vocational Technological College launched. With efforts made to create ¡°famous hospitals, famous hospital departments and famous doctors¡±, Wuxi has succeeded in boosting its public health undertakings. All the rural clinies in 101 townships meet the standards set by the Ministry of health for rural healthcare.
In the meantime, Wuxi is making great efforts to protect its cultural relics.
Efforts are being made to restore the Old Residence of Xue Fucheng and the Donglin Academy of Classic Learning to their original state.
Improving the quality of life of its people is a goal the Wuxi city government pursues energetically. During the Ninth Five-Year Plan (1996-2000), bank savings of Wxi residents posted a 260 percent increase from the end of the previous five-year period. In 2000, employed workers in the city enjoyed an annual average wage amounting to 13,747 Yuan, the disposable income of urban residents averaged 9,454 Yuan and the per-capita net income of farmers was 5,524 Yuan.
The city government sets great store by introducing and perfecting the social security system. The old age pension system and unemployment risk tax collection and socialized payment system have been introduced to all urban workers.
Living conditions have improved remarkably, alongside with the betterment of the living quarters management system and social services. At the end of 2000, the per-capita share of living space rose to 15.3 square meters in the urban area and 44.9 square meters in the rural area.
With more cash income, people in Wuxi tend to pursue high-grade durable goods. An increasing number of people have purchased cars.
In order to further improve the quality of its residents, Wuxi strives to boost construction of communities by adding cultural and sports facilities for the old, the young and the disabled in the meantime, more kindergartens and health centers have been built to make lives even more convenient. Meanwhile, the citizens are mobilized to pursue cultural and ethic advancement. Wuxi is on its way to becoming the paradise for its residents.