Suzhou

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Suzhou

苏州市

Soochow, Sou-tseu
Suzhou skyline 2016.jpg
Skyline of Jinji Lake (2016)
Flag of the City of Suzhou.png
Flag
ChinaJiangsuSuzhou.png
Location in Jiangsu
China edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Suzhou
Location in China
Coordinates: 31°18′N120°36′E / 31.300°N 120.600°E / 31.300; 120.600 Coordinates: 31°18′N120°36′E / 31.300°N 120.600°E / 31.300; 120.600
Country People's Republic of China
Province Jiangsu
County-level divisions 11
Established514 BC
Government
  Type Prefecture-level city
  Party Secretary Lan Shaomin
  Mayor Li Yaping
Area
[1]
   Prefecture-level city 8,488.42 km2 (3,277.40 sq mi)
  Land6,093.92 km2 (2,352.88 sq mi)
  Water2,394.50 km2 (924.52 sq mi)
  Urban
2,743 km2 (1,059 sq mi)
Population
 (2018) [2]
   Prefecture-level city 10,721,700
  Density1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Suzhounese
Time zone UTC+8 (Beijing Time)
Postal code
215000
Area code(s) 512
ISO 3166 code CN-JS-05
GDP (2018)
  • Total

CNY 1.86 trillion
USD $280.92 billion
PPP $528.42 billion

Contents

  • Per capita

CNY 174,129
USD $26,303
PPP $49,477

  • Growth: Increase2.svg 7%
HDI (2015)0.909
very high [3]
City flower Osmanthus
City tree Camphor laurel
Regional dialect Wu: Suzhou dialect
License plate prefix苏E and 苏U [4]
Website www.suzhou.gov.cn
Suzhou
Suzhou (Chinese characters).svg
"Suzhou" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese 苏州
Traditional Chinese 蘇州

Suzhou (Chinese :苏州; Suzhounese pronunciation:  [səu tsøʏ] , Putonghua pronunciation: [sú.ʈʂóu] ), alternately romanized as Soochow, is a major city located in southeastern Jiangsu Province of East China, about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Shanghai. It is a major economic center and focal point of trade and commerce, and the second largest city in the province, after its capital Nanjing. The city is situated on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the shores of Lake Tai and belongs to the Yangtze River Delta region. Administratively, Suzhou is a prefecture-level city with a population of 4.33 million in its city proper, and a total resident population (as of 2013) of 10.58 million in its administrative area. [5] [6] Its urban population grew at an unprecedented rate of 6.5% between 2000 and 2014, which is the highest among cities with more than 5 million people. [7] [8]

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a language family that forms the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages. Chinese languages are spoken by the ethnic Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

Jiangsu Province of China

Jiangsu is an eastern-central coastal province of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the leading provinces in finance, education, technology, and tourism, with its capital in Nanjing. Jiangsu is the third smallest, but the fifth most populous and the most densely populated of the 23 provinces of the People's Republic of China. Jiangsu has the highest GDP per capita of Chinese provinces and second-highest GDP of Chinese provinces, after Guangdong. Jiangsu borders Shandong in the north, Anhui to the west, and Zhejiang and Shanghai to the south. Jiangsu has a coastline of over 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) along the Yellow Sea, and the Yangtze River passes through the southern part of the province.

Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou has over 2,500 years of history, with an abundant display of relics and sites of historical interest. Around AD 100, during the Eastern Han dynasty, it became one of the ten largest cities in the world mostly due to emigration from Northern China. [9] [10] Since the 10th-century Song dynasty, it has been an important commercial center of China. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Suzhou was a national economic, cultural, and commercial [11] center, as well as the largest non-capital city in the world, until the 1860 Taiping Rebellion. [12] When Li Hongzhang and Charles George Gordon recaptured the city three years later, Shanghai had already taken its predominant place in the nation. [13] Since major economic reforms began in 1978, Suzhou has become one of the fastest growing major cities in the world, with GDP growth rates of about 14% in the past 35 years. [5] [14] With high life expectancy and per capita incomes, Suzhou's Human Development Index ratings is roughly comparable to a moderately developed country, making it one of the most highly developed and prosperous cities in China. [3]

Northern and southern China

Northern China and southern China, are two approximate mega-regions within China. The exact boundary between these two regions is not precisely defined. Nevertheless, the self-perception of Chinese nation, especially regional stereotypes, has often been dominated by these two concepts, given that regional differences in culture and language have historically fostered strong regional identities of the Chinese people.

Song dynasty Chinese historical period

The Song dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. The Song often came into conflict with the contemporaneous Liao, Western Xia and Jin dynasties to its north. It was eventually conquered by the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Song government was the first in world history to issue banknotes or true paper money nationally and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. This dynasty also saw the first known use of gunpowder, as well as the first discernment of true north using a compass.

Ming dynasty Former empire in Eastern Asia, 1368–1644

The Ming dynasty, officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynasty of China ruled by Han Chinese. Although the primary capital of Beijing fell in 1644 to a rebellion led by Li Zicheng, numerous rump regimes loyal to the Ming throne – collectively called the Southern Ming – survived until 1662.

The city's canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions in China. The Classical Gardens of Suzhou were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000. Suzhou is often dubbed the "Venice of the East" or "Venice of China". [15] [16] [17]

Pagoda Tiered towers that find its origins vis-à-vis architectural and stylistic edifices in the classical palatinal realms of the Indian subcontinent, thereafter being adopted in East Asian masonry and architecture.

A pagoda is a tiered tower with multiple eaves, built in traditions originating as stupa in Ancient India and further developed in East Asia with respect to those traditions, common to China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Some pagodas are used as Taoist houses of worship. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist, and were often located in or near viharas. In some countries, the term may refer to other religious structures. In Vietnam and Cambodia, due to French translation, the English term pagoda is a more generic term referring to a place of worship, although pagoda is not an accurate word to describe a Buddhist vihara. The architectural structure of the stupa has spread across Asia, taking on many diverse forms as details specific to different regions are incorporated into the overall design. Many Philippine bell towers are highly influenced by pagodas through Chinese workers hired by the Spaniards.

Chinese garden style of garden

The Chinese garden is a landscape garden style which has evolved over three thousand years. It includes both the vast gardens of the Chinese emperors and members of the imperial family, built for pleasure and to impress, and the more intimate gardens created by scholars, poets, former government officials, soldiers and merchants, made for reflection and escape from the outside world. They create an idealized miniature landscape, which is meant to express the harmony that should exist between man and nature.

Classical Gardens of Suzhou

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou are a group of gardens in Suzhou region, Jiangsu province, China, which have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Names

During the Zhou, a settlement known as Gusu after nearby Mount Gusu ( t 姑蘇 , s , p Gūsūshān) became the capital of the state of Wu. From this role, it also came to be called Wu as well. In 514 BC, King Helü of Wu established a new capital nearby at Helü City and this grew into the modern city. During the Warring States period, Helü City continued to serve as the local seat of government. From the areas it administered, it became known as Wuxian (lit. "Wu County") and Wujun ("Wu Commandery"). [18] Under the Qin, it was known as Kuaiji after its greatly enlarged commandery, which was named for the reputed resting place of Yu the Great near modern Shaoxing in Zhejiang.

Pinyin Chinese romanization scheme for Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Ancient Chinese states historical state within China prior to Chinas unification in 221 BCE

Ancient Chinese States were typified by variously sized city states and territories that existed in China prior to its unification by Qin Shi Huang in 221 BCE. In many cases these were vassal states characterized by tribute paid to the ruling Zhou dynasty. Such states and fiefdoms would again emerge during later dynasties as a political expedient when required.

Wu (state) ancient state in China, during the Western Zhou Dynasty and the Spring and Autumn Period

Wu was one of the states during the Western Zhou Dynasty and the Spring and Autumn period. It was also known as Gouwu or Gongwu from the pronunciation of the local language.

The name Suzhou was first officially used for the city in AD 589 during the Sui dynasty. The ( or ) in its name is a contraction of the old name Gusu. It refers to the mint perilla ( shiso ). The zhou originally meant something like a province or county (cf. Guizhou), but often came to be used metonymously for the capital of such a region (cf. Guangzhou, Hangzhou, etc.). [19] Suzhou is the Hanyu Pinyin spelling of the Putonghua pronunciation of the name. Prior to the adoption of pinyin, it was variously romanized as Soo-chow, Suchow, or Su-chow. [20] [21]

Sui dynasty Dynasty that ruled over China from 581 to 618

The Sui dynasty was a short-lived imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Chinese in the entirety of China proper, along with sinicization of former nomadic ethnic minorities within its territory. It was succeeded by the Tang dynasty, which largely inherited its foundation.

<i>Perilla</i> genus of plants

Perilla is a genus consisting of one major Asiatic crop species Perilla frutescens and a few wild species in nature belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae. The genus encompasses several distinct varieties of Asian herb, seed, and vegetable crop, including P. frutescens (deulkkae) and P. frutescens var. crispa (shiso). The genus name Perilla is also a frequently employed common name ("perilla"), applicable to all varieties. Perilla varieties are cross-fertile and intra-specific hybridization occurs naturally. Some varieties are considered invasive.

Shiso variety of plants

Perilla frutescens var. crispa, or shiso, belongs to the genus Perilla, in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Shiso is a perennial plant that may be cultivated as an annual in temperate climates. The plant occurs in purple-leaved ("red") and green-leaved ("green") forms. There are also frilly ruffled-leaved forms (chirimen-jiso) and forms that are red only on the underside (katamen-jiso). Different parts of the plant have a number of culinary uses in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine.

History

Suzhou, the cradle of Wu culture, [22] [23] is one of the oldest towns in the Yangtze Basin. By the Spring and Autumn period of the Zhou, local tribes named the Gou Wu are recorded living in the area which would become the modern city of Suzhou. These tribes formed villages on the edges of the hills above the wetlands surrounding Lake Tai.

Wu (region)

Wu refers to a region in China whose core area is around Lake Tai in Jiangnan. The Wu region was historically part of the ancient Yang Province in southeastern China. The name "Wu" came from the names of several historical kingdoms based in that area.

Spring and Autumn period period of ancient Chinese history

The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history from approximately 771 to 476 BC which corresponds roughly to the first half of the Eastern Zhou period. The period's name derives from the Spring and Autumn Annals, a chronicle of the state of Lu between 722 and 479 BC, which tradition associates with Confucius.

Lake Tai lake in Peoples Republic of China

Taihu, also known as Lake Tai or Lake Taihu, is a lake in the Yangtze Delta and one of the largest freshwater lakes in China. The lake lies in Jiangsu province and the southern shore forms its border with Zhejiang. With an area of 2,250 square kilometers (869 sq mi) and an average depth of 2 meters (6.6 ft), it is the third-largest freshwater lake in China, after Poyang and Dongting. The lake holds about 90 islands, ranging in size from a few square meters to several square kilometers.

Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian records traditional accounts that the Zhou lord Taibo established the state of Wu at nearby Wuxi during the 11th century BC, civilizing the local people and improving their agriculture and mastery of irrigation. The Wu court later moved to Gusu within the area of modern Suzhou. In 514 BC, [24] King Helü of Wu relocated his court nearby and called the settlement Helü City after himself. His minister Wu Zixu was closely involved with its planning and it was this site that grew into present-day Suzhou. The height of his tower on Gusu Hill (Gusutai) passed into Chinese legend. In 496 BC, King Helü was buried at Tiger Hill. In 473 BC, Wu was defeated and annexed by Yue, a kingdom to its southeast; Yue was annexed in turn by Chu in 306 BC. Remnants of the ancient kingdom include pieces of its 2,500-year-old city wall and the gate through it at Pan Gate.

The city was originally laid out according to a symbolic three-by-three grid of nine squares, with the royal palace occupying the central position. [25]

During the Warring States period, Suzhou was the seat of Wu County and Commandery. Following the Qin Empire's conquest of the area in 222 BC, it was made the capital of Kuaiji Commandery, including lands stretching from the south bank of the Yangtze to the unconquered interior of Minyue in southern Zhejiang. Amid the collapse of the Qin, Kuaiji's governor Yin Tong attempted to organize his own rebellion only to be betrayed and executed by Xiang Liang and his nephew Xiang Yu, who launched their own rebellion from the city.

When the Grand Canal was completed, Suzhou found itself strategically located on a major trade route. [20] In the course of the history of China, it has been a metropolis of industry and commerce on the southeastern coast of China. During the Tang dynasty, the great poet Bai Juyi constructed the Shantang Canal (better known as "Shantang Street") to connect the city with Tiger Hill for tourists. In AD 1035, the Suzhou Confucian Temple was founded by famed poet and writer Fan Zhongyan. It became a venue for the imperial civil examinations and then developed into the modern Suzhou High School in the 1910s.

"Sou-tcheou-foo" & other towns of "Kiang-nan" in Du Halde's 1736 Description of China, based on accounts by Jesuit missionaries Du Halde - Description de la Chine - Villes de la province de Kiang nan.jpg
"Sou-tcheou-foo" & other towns of "Kiang-nan" in Du Halde's 1736 Description of China , based on accounts by Jesuit missionaries

In February 1130, the advancing Jin army from the north ransacked the city. This was followed by the Mongol invasion in 1275. In 1356, Suzhou became the capital of Zhang Shicheng, one of the leaders of the Red Turban Rebellion against the Yuan dynasty and the self-proclaimed King of Wu. In 1367, Zhang's Nanjing-based rival Zhu Yuanzhang took the city after a 10-month siege. Zhu who was soon to proclaim himself the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty demolished the royal city in the center of Suzhou's walled city and imposed crushing taxes on the city and prefecture's powerful families. [26] Despite the heavy taxation and the resettlement of some of Suzhou's prominent citizens' to the area of Hongwu's capital at Nanjing, Suzhou was soon prosperous again. During the early Ming, Suzhou Prefecture supervised the Yangtze shoals which later became Shanghai's Chongming Island. [27] For centuries the city, with its surroundings as an economic base, represented an extraordinary source of tax revenue. [28]

When the shipwrecked Korean official Choe Bu had a chance to see much of Eastern China from Zhejiang to Liaoning on his way home in 1488, he described Suzhou in his travel report as exceeding every other city. [29] Many of the area's private gardens were constructed by the gentry of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The iconoclast Taipings captured the city in 1860, however, and its former buildings and gardens were "almost... a heap of ruins" [20] by the time of their recovery by Charles Gordon's Ever-Victorious Army in November 1863. [21] Nonetheless, by 1880, its population was estimated to have recovered to about 500,000, [20] which remained stable for the next few decades. [21] In the late 19th century, the town was particularly known for its wide range of silks and its Chinese-language publishing industry. [20] The town was first opened to direct foreign trade by the Treaty of Shimonoseki ending the First Sino-Japanese War [21] and by the most favored nation clauses of earlier unequal treaties with the Great Powers. The new expatriates opened a European-and-Chinese school in 1900 and the Suzhou railway station, connecting it with Shanghai, opened [21] on July 16, 1906. Just prior to the World War I, there were 7000 silk looms in operation, as well as a cotton mill and a large trade in rice. [21]

As late as the early 20th century, much of the city consisted of islands connected by rivers, creeks, and canals to the surrounding countryside. [21] Prior to their demolition, the city walls ran in a circuit of about 10 miles (16 km) with four large suburbs lying outside. [21] The Japanese invaded in 1937, and many gardens were again devastated by the end of the war. In the early 1950s, restoration was done on the Humble Administrator's Garden and the Lingering Garden.

Administrative divisions

The urban core of Suzhou is informally called the "Old Town". It is Gusu District. Suzhou Industrial Park is to the east of the old town, and Suzhou High & New Technology Development Zone is to the west. In 2000, the original Wu County was divided into two districts including Xiangcheng and Wuzhong. They now form the northern and southern parts of the city of Suzhou.In 2012, the original Wujiang City became Wujiang District of Suzhou City.

Suzhou is one of the most prosperous cities in China. Its development has a direct correlation with the growth of its satellite cities, including Kunshan, Taicang, Changshu, and Zhangjiagang, which together with the city of Suzhou form the Suzhou prefecture. The Suzhou prefecture is home to many high-tech enterprises.

Map
SubdivisionSimplified ChineseHanyu PinyinPopulation (2010)Area (km2)Density (/km2)
City Proper
Gusu District 姑苏区Gūsū Qū954,4553722,565.73
Suburban
Huqiu District 虎丘区Hǔqiū Qū572,3132582,218.26
Wuzhong District 吴中区Wúzhōng Qū1,158,4106721,723.82
Xiangcheng District 相城区Xiāngchéng Qū693,5764161,667.25
Wujiang District 吴江区Wújiāng Qū1,275,0901,0931,166.59
Satellite cities (County-level cities)
Changshu City 常熟市Chángshú Shì1,510,1031,0941,380.35
Taicang City 太仓市Tàicāng Shì712,0696201,148.49
Kunshan City 昆山市Kūnshān Shì1,646,3188651,903.25
Zhangjiagang City 张家港市Zhāngjiāgǎng Shì1,248,4147721,617.11
Total10,465,9948,4881,233.03
Not formal administrative subdivisions – Suzhou Industrial Park & Suzhou New District
Defunct districts – Canglang District, Pingjiang District, & Jinchang District

Geography

Suzhou is on the Lake Tai Plain south of the Yangtze River, about 100 km (60 mi) to the west of Shanghai and just over 200 km (120 mi) east of Nanjing.

Climate

Suzhou has a four-season humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and cool, cloudy, damp winters with occasional snowfall (Köppen climate classification Cfa). Northwesterly winds blowing from Siberia during winter can cause temperatures to fall below freezing at night, while southerly or southwesterly winds during the summer can push temperatures above 35 °C (95 °F). The hottest temperature recorded since 1951 was at 41.0 °C (106 °F) on 7 August 2013, [30] and the lowest at −9.8 °C (14 °F) on 16 January 1958. [31]

Climate data for Suzhou (1961-1990)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)7.7
(45.9)
8.6
(47.5)
12.7
(54.9)
18.6
(65.5)
23.5
(74.3)
27.2
(81.0)
31.6
(88.9)
31.5
(88.7)
27.2
(81.0)
22.3
(72.1)
16.7
(62.1)
10.6
(51.1)
19.9
(67.8)
Daily mean °C (°F)3.7
(38.7)
4.6
(40.3)
8.5
(47.3)
14.2
(57.6)
19.2
(66.6)
23.4
(74.1)
27.8
(82.0)
27.7
(81.9)
23.6
(74.5)
18.3
(64.9)
12.4
(54.3)
6.1
(43.0)
15.8
(60.4)
Average low °C (°F)0.5
(32.9)
1.5
(34.7)
5.1
(41.2)
10.6
(51.1)
15.7
(60.3)
20.3
(68.5)
24.8
(76.6)
24.7
(76.5)
20.5
(68.9)
14.7
(58.5)
8.6
(47.5)
2.4
(36.3)
12.5
(54.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches)39.0
(1.54)
58.8
(2.31)
81.2
(3.20)
102.3
(4.03)
114.5
(4.51)
152.0
(5.98)
128.2
(5.05)
133.0
(5.24)
155.6
(6.13)
60.5
(2.38)
51.2
(2.02)
34.7
(1.37)
1,111
(43.76)
Average relative humidity (%)67757069697577687469656871
Mean monthly sunshine hours 136.4118.7139.5153.0173.6162.0232.5241.8162.0161.2150.0148.81,979.5
Source: 苏州市地方志办公室

Cityscape and environment

Classical Gardens of Suzhou

Suzhou is famous for its over 60 Classical Gardens, collectively a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has the Most UNESCO-recognized gardens in the world. [32]

The Humble Administrator's Garden and Lingering Garden are among the four most famous classical gardens in China. The Canglang Pavilion, Lion Grove Garden, Humble Administrator's Garden and Lingering Garden, respectively representing the garden styles of the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, are called the four most famous gardens in Suzhou. Other gardens inscribed on the World Heritage List include the Couple's Retreat Garden, the Garden of Cultivation, and the Retreat and Reflection Garden.

Temples

Canals and historic districts

The Tonggui bridge at Shentang Street, tour boats and businesses The Tonggui bridge at Shentang Street, Suzhou.tif
The Tonggui bridge at Shentang Street, tour boats and businesses

The Suzhou section of the Jiangnan Canal, Grand Canal (China), includes ten city gates and over 20 stone bridges of traditional design and historic areas that have been well preserved, as well as temples and pavilions. [33] [34] [35] There are a full 24 waterways in Suzhou near the Grand Canal. [36]

In 2015, both 800-year-old Pingjiang Road Historical Block (平江路) and 1,200-year-old Shantang Street Scenic Area (山塘街) were added to the list of China's "National Historic and Cultural Streets". [37] [38]

Pingjiang Road runs parallel to the Pingjiang River for 1.5 kilometers and is lined with homes and some teahouses. Shantang Street, over twice as long at 3.8 km, is described by the BBC as retaining "the alluring qualities of an old canal-side street: whitewashed buildings are completed by red-tasselled lanterns that swing softly in the breeze, adding to the charm of the river bank". [36]

Many tours are offered along the canals, in various types of craft, including some that resemble traditional boats Canal tour boat of a traditional style, Grand Canal, Suzhou, China.jpg
Many tours are offered along the canals, in various types of craft, including some that resemble traditional boats

Boat tours are offered on the waterways of this city that was dubbed the "Venice of the East" by Marco Polo because of its criss-crossing canals and stone bridges. [39] [40] The Grand Canal (from Beijing to Zhejiang province) is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Resorts and natural reserves

Suzhou Taihu National Tourism and Vacation Zone (苏州太湖国家旅游度假区) is in the western part of Suzhou, 15 km (9 mi) from the city center. [41] [42]

Skyscrapers

Gate to the East is a 301.8 meter, 74-story skyscraper in Suzhou's central business district, built in 2015 at a cost of 700 million USD and is currently the tallest building in Suzhou. [43]

Pan Gate

Pan Gate is on the southwest corner of the Main Canal or encircling canal of Suzhou. Originally built during the Warring States Period in the state of Wu, historians estimate it to be around 2,500 years old. It is now part of the Pan Gate Scenic Area. It is known for the "three landmarks of Pan Gate". They are the Ruiguang Pagoda, the earliest pagoda in Suzhou built in 247 BC, the Wu Gate Bridge, the entrance to the gate at that time over the water passage and the highest bridge in Suzhou at the time, and the Pan Gate. The Ruigang Pagoda is constructed of brick with wooden platforms and has Buddhist carvings at its base.

Baodai Bridge

Baodai Bridge stretches across the Tantai Lake in the suburbs of Suzhou. To raise money to finance the bridge, the magistrate donated his expensive belt, hence the name. The bridge was first built in 806 A.D. in the Tang Dynasty and has 53 arches with a length of 317 meters. It was made out of stone from Jinshan Mountain and is the longest standing bridge of its kind in China. The bridge was included on the list of national monuments (resolution 5-285) in 2001.

Tiger Hill

The Tiger Hill is known for its natural environment and historical sites. The hill is so named because it is said to look like a crouching tiger. Another legend states that a white tiger appeared on the hill to guard it following the burial The hill has been a tourist destination for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, as is evident from the poetry and calligraphy carved into rocks on the hill. The Song Dynasty poet, Su Shi said, "It is a lifelong pity if having visited Suzhou you did not visit Tiger Hill."

Pagodas

Yunyan Pagoda (or Huqiu Tower) built in 961 is a Chinese pagoda built on Tiger Hill in Suzhou. It has several other names, including the "Leaning Tower of China" (as referred to by historian O.G. Ingles) [44] and the Yunyan Temple Tower. The tower rises to a height of 47 m (154 ft). It is a seven-story octagonal building built with blue bricks. In more than a thousand years the tower has gradually slanted due to forces of nature. Now the top and bottom of the tower vary by 2.32 meters. The entire structure weighs some 7,000,000 kilograms (15,000,000 lb), supported by internal brick columns. [45] However, the tower leans roughly 3 degrees due to the cracking of two supporting columns. [45]

Beisi Pagoda or North Temple Pagoda is a Chinese pagoda at Bao'en Temple in Suzhou. It rises nine stories in a height of 76 m (249 ft). It is the tallest Chinese pagoda south of the Yangtze river.

Twin Pagodas (苏州双塔) lie in the Dinghui Temple Lane in the southeastern corner of the city proper of Suzhou. They are artistic and natural as they are close at hand. One of them is called Clarity-Dispensing Pagoda and the other Beneficence Pagoda and they are in the same form of building. There are many legends about the one-thousand-year-old pagodas. It is charming that the exquisite and straight Twin Pagoda look like two inserted writing brushes. There was originally a single-storey house with three rooms just like a writing brush holder with the shadows of the two pagodas reclining on its roof at sunset. To the east of the pagoda is a square five-storeyed bell building built in the Ming Dynasty which is exactly like a thick ink stick. So there is a saying that "the Twin Pagodas are as writing brushes while the bell building as ink stick".

Museums

The city's major museums include the Suzhou Museum (designed by I. M. Pei), Suzhou Silk Museum, and Suzhou Museum of Opera and Theatre.

Demographics

The population of Suzhou is predominantly Han Chinese. The official language of broadcast, instruction, etc. is Putonghua, although many speak a local dialect known as Suzhounese, a member of the Wu language family. In addition to American and European expatriates, there is a large Korean community in Suzhou. The Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) estimated that there were 15,000 Koreans in the municipality in 2014. That year 850 Korean companies operated in Suzhou, and the Koreans made up the largest number of students at the Suzhou Singapore International School. [46]

Population of Suzhou at the end of 2015 [47]
RegionTotal population
总户籍人口
(persons)
Resident
population
常住人口
(10,000 persons)
Whole municipality6 670 1241061.60
Urban area3 412 564549.21
Gusu District734 36295.20
Wuzhong District631 602112.12
Xiangcheng District405 40072.87
New & Hi-tech Zone, Huqiu District363 71359.08
Industrial Park459 53580.26
Wujiang District817 952126.68
Cities at County Level3 257 560-
ChangShu1 068 211151.01
ZhangJiagang922 757125.31
KunShan787 031165.12
TaiCang479 56170.95

Economy

Suzhou's economy is based primarily on its large manufacturing sector—China's second largest—including iron and steel, IT and electronic equipment, and textile products. The city's service sector is notably well-developed, primarily owing to tourism, which brought in a total of RMB 152 billion of revenue in 2013. Suzhou's overall GDP exceeded RMB 1.3 trillion in 2013 (up 9.6 percent from the year previous). [48]

The city is also one of China's foremost destinations for foreign investment, based on its relative proximity to Shanghai and comparatively low operating costs. The municipal government has enacted various measures to encourage FDI in a number of manufacturing (e.g. pharmaceutical, electronic goods, automobile) and service (e.g. banking, logistics, research services) sectors. Included among these measures is a preferential tax policy for limited partnership venture capital enterprises in the Suzhou Industrial Park. [48]

Development zones

Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) - West Bank of Jin Ji Lake Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) - West Bank of Jin Ji Lake.jpg
Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) - West Bank of Jin Ji Lake

Suzhou Industrial Park

The Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) is the largest cooperative project between the Chinese and Singaporean governments. It is beside Jinji Lake, which lies to the east of the Suzhou Old City. On 26 February 1994, Vice Premier Li Lanqing and Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew represented China and Singapore respectively in signing the Agreement to jointly develop Suzhou Industrial Park (originally called the Singapore Industrial Park). The project officially commenced on 12 May in the same year. SIP has a jurisdiction area of 288 km2 (111 sq mi), of which, the China-Singapore cooperation area covers 80 km2 (31 sq mi) with a planned residential population of 1.2 million. [49]

SIP is home to the Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District, an area of universities and higher education institutions, including Soochow University and Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Suzhou Industrial Park is also a popular residential district for many foreigners who work and live in Suzhou, as well as 'new Suzhou' residents who migrated to the area in search of work opportunities.

Nightscape of Suzhou's Jinji Lake China Suzhou Jinjihu Lake.jpg
Nightscape of Suzhou's Jinji Lake

Suzhou Industrial Park Export Processing Zone

The Suzhou Industrial Park Export Processing Zone was approved to be established by the government in April 2000, with a planning area of 2.9 km2 (1.1 sq mi). It is in Suzhou Industrial Park set up by China and Singapore. Inside the Export Processing Zone, all the infrastructures are of high standard. [50]

Suzhou New District

The Suzhou New District was established in 1990. In November 1992, the zone was approved to be the national-level hi-tech industrial zone. By the end of 2007, foreign-invested companies had a registered capital worth of US$13 billion, of which US$6.8 billion was paid in. SND hosts now more than 1,500 foreign companies. Some 40 Fortune 500 companies set up 67 projects in the district. [51]

Sports

Suzhou Dongwu currently play in China League Two, the third division of Chinese football. The 13,000 seat Suzhou Industrial Park Sports Arena will be one of the venues for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. [52]

Transportation

CRH in Suzhou Railway Station CRH-Suzhou-Station.JPG
CRH in Suzhou Railway Station
Canal of Pingjiang River-Pingjiang-Road.JPG
Canal of Pingjiang
The Suzhou Metro has three lines Platform of Guangji Nanlu Station 2 (Suzhou Metro Line 1).JPG
The Suzhou Metro has three lines
The Suzhou Tram in Suzhou New District Line 2, Suzhou Tram.jpg
The Suzhou Tram in Suzhou New District

Railway

Suzhou is on the Shanghai-Nanjing corridor which carries three parallel railways. Suzhou railway station, near the city center, is among the busiest passenger stations in China. It is served by the Beijing–Shanghai railway (mostly "conventional" trains to points throughout China) and the Shanghai-Nanjing intercity railway (high-speed D- and G-series trains providing frequent service primarily between Shanghai and Nanjing). It takes only 25 minutes to reach Shanghai railway station on the fastest G-series trains and less than 1 hour to Nanjing.

The Suzhou North railway station, a few kilometers to the north, is on the Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway (opened 2011), served by high-speed trains to Beijing, Qingdao, etc.

Other stations on the Beijing–Shanghai railway and the Shanghai–Nanjing intercity railway serve other points in the same corridor within Suzhou Prefecture-level city, such as Kunshan. In and between Suzhou and Kunshan South railway station, Suzhou Industrial Park railway station now also becomes an important station for people visiting and living in the areas.

The northern part of the city, including such county-level cities as Zhangjiagang]], Changshu and Taicang, presently has no rail service. However, plans exist for a cross-Yangtze railway from Nantong to the Shanghai metropolitan area (the Shanghai–Nantong railway), which will run through most of these county-level cities. Construction work is expected to start in 2013 and to take five and a half years. [53]

Highways

The Nanjing-Shanghai Expressway connects Suzhou with Shanghai, alternatively, there is the Yangtze Riverine Expressway and the Suzhou-Jiaxing-Hangzhou Expressway. In 2005, the Suzhou Outer Ring was completed, linking the peripheral county-level cities of Taicang, Kunshan, and Changshu. China National Highway 312 also passes through Suzhou.

Air transport

Suzhou is served by three airports, Sunan Shuofang International Airport (co-owned by Wuxi and Suzhou), Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport ( one hour drive ), Shanghai Pudong International Airport ( two hours drive ). [54]

Water transport

Port of Suzhou, on the right bank of the Yangtze River, dealt with 428 million tons of cargo and 5.86 million TEU containers in 2012, which made it the busiest inland river port in the world by annual cargo tonnage and container volume. [55] [56]

Metro

The Suzhou Rail Transit currently has three lines in operation and five other lines under construction. The masterplan consists of nine independent lines. Line 1 started operation on April 28, 2012, Line 2 started operation on December 28, 2013, [57] and Line 4 started operation in 2017. As of September 2019, Line 3, Line 5, Line 6, Line 8 and Line S1 are under construction at the same time.

Tram

Suzhou Tram system has two routes in the Suzhou New District.

Bus

Suzhou has public bus routes that run into all parts of the city. Fares are flat rated, usually 1 Yuan for a non-air-conditioned bus and 2 Yuan for an air-conditioned one.[ citation needed ] The Suzhou BRT, a 25-kilometre (16 mi) bus rapid transit system opened in 2008, operates 5 lines using elevated busways and bus-only lanes throughout the city.

Culture

The Yunyan Pagoda, or Huqiu Tower, a tower that is now leaning due to lack of foundational support (half soil, half rock), built during the latter part of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms era (907-960 AD). Pagoda Yunyan Ta.jpg
The Yunyan Pagoda, or Huqiu Tower, a tower that is now leaning due to lack of foundational support (half soil, half rock), built during the latter part of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms era (907-960 AD).
An exhibition of Penjing at Tiger Hill in Suzhou. Bonsai forest at the gardens of pagoda Yunyan Ta.jpg
An exhibition of Penjing at Tiger Hill in Suzhou.
The "xi shi" stone bridge Xi Shi bridge in town of Mudu.JPG
The "xi shi" stone bridge

Notable people

Education

High schools

Universities and colleges

Under construction

Postgraduate institutions

Others

See also

Notes

  1. "Table showing land area and population". Suzhou People's Government. 2003. Archived from the original on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  2. "2018年苏州市国民经济和社会发展统计公报" [Statistical Communiqué of Suzhou on the 2018 National Economic and Social Development]. Suzhou Daily (in Chinese). Suzhou Municipal Government. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  3. 1 2 Calculated using data from Suzhou Statistics Bureau. Life Expectancy Index = 0.9672, Education Index = 0.8244, Income Index = 0.896. Refs:
  4. "Archived copy" 苏U号牌来了!苏州将成江苏首个启用双号牌的城市. 交汇点. 24 October 2018. Archived from the original on 24 October 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. 1 2 Suzhou Bureau of Statistics. 2014年苏州市情市力 (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  6. Incorporating neighboring suburban regions and the satellite cities of Kunshan, Zhangjiagang, Taicang, and Changshu. This statement is based on data from local government, while a United Nations report (see below) claims its (urban) population is 5.156 million in 2014.
  7. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. "World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. Elizabeth MacBride (22 December 2014). "Keep an eye on these emerging market cities". CNBC. Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  9. Tertius Chandler (1987). Four Thousand Years of Urban Growth: An Historical Census. St. David's University Press. ISBN   978-0889462076.
  10. "Top 10 Cities of the Year 100". About.com. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  11. "The Grand Canal". UNESCO World Heritage Center. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  12. Marme, Michael (2005). Suzhou: Where the Goods of All the Provinces Converge. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN   9780804731126.
  13. Xu (2000), pp. 16, 72–73, 159.
  14. "Archived copy" 寻梦苏州 探寻一座城市的现代化之路. 人民网. 26 January 2005. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. Visit some of China's best gardens next week without a passport » Arts/Entertainment » Andover Townsman, Andover, MA. Andovertownsman.com. Retrieved on 2011-08-28.
  16. Thorpe, Annabelle. "Suzhou: Real China outside Shanghai". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  17. Fussell, Betty (13 March 1988). "Exploring Twin Cities By Canal Boat". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  18. "Supplement to the Local Gazetteer of Wu Prefecture". World Digital Library . 1134. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  19. Dictionary of Chinese Place-names Ancient and Modern (中国古今地名大词典, Zhongguo Gujin Diming Dacidian), p. 1438. Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House (Shanghai), 2006. (in Chinese)
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 EB (1887).
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 EB (1911).
  22. Suzhou Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine , China Daily
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  24. The old editions of the Britannica give the erroneous date of AD 484. [20] [21]
  25. Xu (2000), pp. 34–36.
  26. Johnson, Linda C. Cities of Jiangnan in Late Imperial China Archived 8 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine , pp. 2627. SUNY Press, 1993. ISBN   0-7914-1423-X, 9780791414231.
  27. "Chongming County" in the Encyclopedia of Shanghai, pp. 50 ff. Archived 10 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine Shanghai Scientific & Technical Publishers (Shanghai), 2010. Hosted by the Municipality of Shanghai.
  28. Xu (2000), p. 16.
  29. Brook, Timothy. The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China . Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988. ISBN   0-520-22154-0. Page 45.
  30. 中国江苏网 Archived 5 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine [Míngchéng Xīnwén Wǎng, City News Online]. 《昨最高气温再创历史新高 苏州筹划人工增雨降温》 Archived 4 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine ["Yesterday was highest temperature on record, Suzhou planning artificial rain to cool".] 1 Aug 2013. Accessed 20 Jan 2014. (in Chinese)
  31. 中国苏州 Archived 23 October 2004 at the Wayback Machine [Zhōngguó Sūzhōu, Suzhou Municipal Government Website]. 《苏州历史最高最低气温问题》 Archived 1 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine ["Question about Suzhou's Highest and Lowest Temperature Records"]. 20 Jan 2011. Accessed 20 Jan 2014. (in Chinese)
  32. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. "The Grand Canal". Visit Our China. Archived from the original on 26 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  34. "Suzhou Grand Canal – Golden Waterway in China". China Discovery. Archived from the original on 26 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  35. Gang Xu. Tourism and Local Development in China: Case Studies of Guilin, Suzhou and Beidaihe. p. 47. Archived from the original on 26 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  36. 1 2 "Suzhou: China's Canal Capital". BBC Travel. Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  37. "Official Travel and Tourism Website for Suzhou". en.visitsz.com. Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  38. "Historical streets in Jiangsu listed as national heritage". China Daily. Archived from the original on 26 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  39. "Suzhou --'Venice in the Orient'". China Internet Information Center. Archived from the original on 29 May 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  40. "A city called the 'Venice of the East'". Shanghai Daily. Archived from the original on 24 November 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  41. "Archived copy" 苏州太湖旅游度假区顺利晋级5A级景区. Archived from the original on 15 September 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  42. "Archived copy" 苏州太湖国家旅游度假区中心区控制性详细规划公示. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  43. "$700 million skyscraper 'resembles a pair of pants'". Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  44. Ingles (1982), 144.
  45. 1 2 Ingles (1982), 145.
  46. Kim, Hyung Min. "The Role of Foreign Firms in China's Urban Transformation: A Case Study of Suzhou" (Chapter 8). In: Wong, Tai-Chee, Sun Sheng Han, and Hongmei Zhang. Population Mobility, Urban Planning and Management in China. Springer Science+Business Media, March 24, 2015. ISBN   3319152572, 9783319152578. Start: 127 Archived 18 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine . CITED: p. 139 Archived 5 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine .
  47. SuZhou Statistical Yearbook 2016 Archived 8 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine sztjj.gov.cn
  48. 1 2 "China Regional Focus: Suzhou, Jiangsu Province" Archived 8 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine , China Briefing, Shanghai, 02 May 2014.
  49. Rightsite.asi | Suzhou Industry Park Archived 25 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine . Rightsite.asia (1994-02-26). Retrieved on 2011-08-28.
  50. Rightsite.asia | Suzhou Industrial Park Export Processing Zone [ dead link ]
  51. Suzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone Archived 22 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine . Rightsite.asia. Retrieved on 2011-08-28.
  52. The Official website of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Archived 27 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine , FIBA.com, Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  53. 沪通铁路2013年正式开建 南通到上海仅需一小时 Archived 15 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine (Construction work on the Hu-Tong Railway will officially start in 2013. It will take just an hour to travel from Nantong to Shanghai), 2012-12-24, (in Chinese)
  54. 苏州交通运输 (in Chinese). People's Daily. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  55. "Archived copy" 苏州港外贸吞吐量首破1亿吨. Xinhua Daily . 13 January 2013. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  56. 小汤. 苏州港去年货物吞吐量4.28亿吨. Suzhou Post. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  57. "Archived copy" 苏州地铁规划图 (Suzhou MRT Map) (in Chinese). 20 April 2009. Archived from the original on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  58. "Suzhou Museum". Archived from the original on 28 April 2009.

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References