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The Slender West Lake  The downtown Wenchana Road of Yangzhou
The Slender West Lake   The downtown Wenchana Road of Yangzhou

General Information
Yangzhou, where Marco Polo once served as a municipal official, is a city with a history of 2,500 years, tracing back to the Spring and Autumn Period when it was called Guangling. The city was one of ten cities in the world around 1800 A.D, which had the largest population over half million.

The city has been well known for its once brilliant historic role in Chinese history and one of the first 24 cities that were announced as the Historical and Cultural Cities in China. Until the 19th century, Yangzhou acted as a major national political, financial and trade center and a transport hub duo to its excellent location at the junction of the Yangtze, the Grand Canal and the Huaihe River. This historical period had left Yangzhou a large number of treasures, including valuable architectures and arts, splendid culture and well-known celebrities.

Situated in the middle part of Jianghuai Plain and on the north bank of lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Yangzhou has now been one of national tourist centers and has attracted tourists worldwide. As a prefecture-level city jurisdiction, Yangzhou governs three urban districts and four satellite cities/county.

As the improvement of financial situation in China and in Jiangsu province, the city has been receiving more financial funding in an intention from the governments to protect its old town for tourism. The project may bring a spending of millions of dollars in coming years and those old houses, alleys, lanes, originally facing tearing-down, would be under the new protective by-laws.

The flower emblematics of the city were approved by the city council in 1985 and 2003 and two flower species, viburnum and herbaceous peony, were selected. The city tree is Ginkgo.

Geography, Resources and Climate
Situated on the northern bank of Yangtze River, Yangzhou is located in the middle of Jiangsu Province. The Grand Canal flows through the Yangzhou jurisdiction from north to south and merges into the Yangtze River at the southern boundary of Yangzou. Yangzhou borders two jurisdictions of Taizhou and Yancheng on the east, Nanjing and Tianchang of Anhui Province on the west and Huai’an on the west. Yangtze River divides Yangzhou, facing Zhenjiang across the river.

Yangzhou has 81 km of the riverbank of Yangtze River and two of its districts, Hanjiang and Jiangdu, and Yizheng city are located along the river. There are four major lakes on the territory of the jurisdiction, including Beima (White Horse), Baiying, Gaoyou and Shaobai lakes, which are the most important water resources for the region. Other natural resources include crude oil, coal, natural gas, hot spring and other minerals.

The city has a subtropical monsoon climate with humid and changeable wind. The average temperature is 15°C with the hottest 39.8°C in July and the coldest 19°C in January in record. The raining season is from the middle of June to July and the annual average rainfall is over a thousand mm.

Yangzhou jurisdiction includes 7 county-level divisions, of which three are districts, one is county, three are cities. The three districts are the old urban areas of Yangzhou while the county and cities are recently designated as county-level districts being considered as suburbs and governed by the city administration. The Yangzhou jurisdiction includes 97 towns and the municipal government stations in Weiyang District.

Area and Population
As a prefecture jurisdiction, Yangzhou has a population of 4.6 million and a land mass of 6,634 square kilometers. including three districts and four cities/county. The municipal area is on the north bank of Yangtze River and is about a hour of driving distance to Nanjing.

Economy, Industry and Environment
Yangzhou was once the economic, business and trade hub in China during the Ming and the Qing dynasties when the waterway was a major tool for transportation at the ancient time. Along with the thriving of railway and highway, Yangzhou’s significance nationwide was shrunk in the early and middle of the 20th century due to brockage of Yangtze River.

Industrial sectors include automobile, shipbuilding manufacture, electrical cable, chemical, textile and food manufacture. Recent intense investments have added the new three pillar industries to the city: electronics/IT, new material and biotechnology. Traditional agriculture now takes only less than 10% of the city’s GDP. As a historical and cultural city, Yangzhou has a spectacular tourist industry and more than ten millions of tourists visited the city each year.

Yangzhou have spent significant funds over years to protect its land and water resource. Many investment projects along Yangtze River have shown significance in environment pollution. The local government has been putting stiff environmental policies into practice and polluters are facing the tough inspection. The city has been awarded numerous national titles in environment protection, tourist attraction, courtesy, biological construction, etc.

Transportation and Tourism
Until the 19th century, Yangzhou acted as a transport hub due to its excellent water transport advantage at the junction where three bodies of water meet, including the Yangtze River, the Grand Canal and the Huaihe River. With the thriving of railway and air passages early of 19th centary, Yangzhou’s significance in transportation was weakened.

Before 2002, Yangzhou’s transportation was mainly dependent upon its road and waterway network. The Yangtze River provides the city a traffic tool to travel and transport, however, in a large vision the river was a major natural obstacle that blocks the north of Jiangsu to communicate with the south of the province, an economically booming region. The city could only use the ferry or make a detour using Nanjing Yangtze Bridge. There was no single railway available. The history was forever changed when the Ningqi (Nanjing-Qidong) Railway opened to the public in 2002.

The opening of Runyang (Zhenjiang-Yangzhou) Yangtze River Highway Bridge has further improved the transportation situation of Yangzhou. The bridge is the fourth Yangtze River bridge in its Jiangsu section. The bridge connects the Runzhou District of Zhenjiang on the south bank of the river to Yangzhou City on the north. The bridge opened to the public in May 2005, bringing tremendous traffic convenience to Yangzhou to communicate the south of the province.

Today, Yangzhou is a middle size of Chinese cities which has owned a remarkable transportation network including highways, expressways, railway and waterway. There is only one hour of driving distance to the Nanjing Lukou International Airport.

In the inner city, the public transportation including bus, taxi and cargo transport, shuttle buses to near cities or towns, provides convenience to the city’s commuters and visitors.

As a historical and cultural city, Yangzhou is a great city for tourists. There are more than 500 historical relics dotted in the everywhere of the city. Its cultural heritages, including lacquerware, paper cut, jade carvings, embroidery, have been selected by the Cultural Ministry of the State Council as China’s Non-material Culture Heritage. Most famous tourist destinations include Slender Western Lake, old residential structure Wang Residence, four public parks with a national reputation (Heyuan, Geyuan, ancient moated town, Puhading Cemetery), Daming Temple, etc.

Yangzhou is a city where the ancient historical relics and residences are well under protection by the municipal government to prevent from desmantling the city’s ancient structures with a construction excuse. The city was awarded the Habitat Scroll of Honour in 2006 by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.

As the improvement of economy in China and in Jiangsu province, the city has been receiving more financial funding in an intention from governments to protect its old town for tourism. The project may bring a spending of millions of dollars in coming years and those old houses, alleys, lanes, originally facing tearing-down, would be under the new protective by-laws.

Each year since 2000, Yangzhou has sponsored two festivals to promote the city's popularity: the Flowery March Tourist Festival from the middle of April to the middle of May, the other, the Moon Cultural Festival from September 8 to October 8.

Today, Yangzhou is recognized as the most aspiring city of prosperity and civilization in the southeast of China and welcomes all visitors and investors around the world.

Yangzhou University is a prestigious higher learning institution and has its primary campus in Yangzhou. Yangzhou Radio & TV University is a branch of China Radio & TV University, which is a vocational university and a far distance school using TV and radio.

Yangzhou has well instituted compulsory primary education system, nearly all of school-age children are enrolled in schools. The secondary schools including high schools achieves significant graduate rate.

Culture and Folklore
Talking about Yangzhou, you would never forget its cuisine, the Huaiyang Cuisine originating from Yangzhou, one of the four best known cuisines in China. The cuisine emerged in the Sui Dynasty (581 AD - 618 AD) and has a history spanning 1,200 years. Yangzhou Fried rice is a popular course in many overseas Chinese restaurants, plus many other famed dishes including Yangzhou Pickles, dumpling, sliced tofu, etc.

Survived local traditional arts include popular Yangzhou Ballad Singing, Puppet Show and Yang Opera. These demonstration arts have been popular since the Tang Dynasty, with a history of more than a thousand years, but is on the wane over years. They are listed on the National Non-material Culture Heritage.

Notable Personage
Most famous people for Yangzhou in its history are the so-called Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou throughout China. The eight eccentrics were all innovative painters or calligraphers during the Qing Dynasty, including Shi Tao, Zheng Banqiao, etc.

Many well-known peots lived in Yangzhou during The Tang, Ming, Qing dynasties, including Li Bai, Su Dongbo, etc.

The city was the birthplace for the formal Chinese President, Jiang Zemin, who was born in Yangzhou and had his early school life in the down.

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