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Soochow, Sou-tseu
Suzhou locator map in Jiangsu.svg
Location of Suzhou in Jiangsu
China edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates(Suzhou municipal government): 31°18′00″N120°37′10″E / 31.30000°N 120.61944°E / 31.30000; 120.61944
Country People's Republic of China
Province Jiangsu
County-level divisions 11
Established514 BC
Municipal seat Gusu District
  Type Prefecture-level city
  Party SecretaryLiu Xiaotao
  MayorWu Qingwen
   Prefecture-level city 8,488.42 km2 (3,277.40 sq mi)
  Land5,851 km2 (2,259 sq mi)
  Water2,394.50 km2 (924.52 sq mi)
2,944.4 km2 (1,136.8 sq mi)
12,493 km2 (4,824 sq mi)
 (2020 census)
   Prefecture-level city 12,748,252
  Density1,500/km2 (3,900/sq mi)
  Urban density2,300/km2 (5,900/sq mi)
Demonym Suzhounese
Time zone UTC+8 (Beijing Time)
Postal code
Area code 512
ISO 3166 code CN-JS-05
GDP (2021) [2]
  • Total

CNY 2.272 trillion
USD $352.22 billion
PPP $528.42 billion


  • Per capita

CNY 178,207
USD $27,629
PPP $49,477

  • Growth: Increase2.svg 8.7%
HDI (2015)0.868– very high [3]
City flower Osmanthus
City tree Camphor laurel
Regional dialect Wu: Suzhou dialect
License plate prefix苏E and 苏U [4]
Suzhou (Chinese characters).svg
"Suzhou" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters


Canals and Historic Districts

Pingjiang Road A gallery bridge in Pingjiang Road, Gusu, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, 215000.jpg
Pingjiang Road

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. [42] [43] [44] There are a full 24 waterways in Suzhou near the Grand Canal. [45]

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". [46] [47]

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-tasseled lanterns that swing softly in the breeze, adding to the charm of the river bank". [45]

Shantang Street 2017-04-17 Shantang River, Suzhou 02.jpg
Shantang Street

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. [48] [49] 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. [50] [51]


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. [52]

Pan Gate

Pan Gate Land Gate of Pan Men.jpg
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

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."


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) [53] 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. [54] However, the tower leans roughly 3 degrees due to the cracking of two supporting columns. [54]

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 (simplified Chinese :苏州双塔; traditional Chinese :蘇州雙塔) 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, the "Beneficence Pagoda"; they are in the same form of architecture. There are many legends about this 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-story 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-story bell building built in the Ming dynasty which appears 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".


Suzhou Museum, designed by I. M. Pei, is one of the landmarks of Suzhou, combining traditional culture and modern design. Su Zhou Bo Wu Guan *Su Zhou *Xi Nan Xiang Dong Bei .jpg
Suzhou Museum, designed by I. M. Pei, is one of the landmarks of Suzhou, combining traditional culture and modern design.

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


As a result of its recent rapid population increase, healthcare demand in Suzhou is increasing rapidly. In July 2019, Washington University School of Medicine announced a collaboration with Huici Health Management Co., and the Xiangcheng District, to open the new Huici Medical Center, which will include a 1,000-bed hospital for adult and pediatric patients. Once the hospital is unveiled, Washington University doctors in St. Louis will be able to provide long-distance health-care services to patients in China through a telemedicine program. [55] [56]


The population of Suzhou is predominantly Han Chinese. The official language of broadcast, instruction, etc. is Mandarin Chinese, 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. [57]

Population of Suzhou at the end of 2015 [58]
RegionTotal population
(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
County-level cities 3 257 560
Changshu1 068 211151.01
Zhangjiagang922 757125.31
Kunshan787 031165.12
Taicang479 56170.95


Suzhou's economy is based primarily on its large manufacturing sector—China's first largest(from 2020)—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). [59]

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. [59]

Suzhou is a highly developed economic region in China and is the economic centre, industrial, commercial and logistical hub city of Jiangsu province, as well as an important financial, cultural, artistic, educational and transportation centre.


In 2013, total grain production reached 1,311,200 tonnes, a decrease of 2.9%. Grain supply was effectively guaranteed through the vigorous construction of commodity grain production bases, wholesale grain markets and reserve systems. [60]

Traditional handicrafts

Suzhou has a long history of reeling silkworms and has always been an important base for silk production in China. Since the Song and Yuan dynasties, Suzhou has been one of the centres of silk weaving and dyeing in the country, and in the Ming dynasty, Suzhou silk was praised as the "clothing of the world". [61]

Development zones

Suzhou Industrial Park Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu.jpg
Suzhou Industrial Park

Suzhou Industrial Park

The Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) is the largest cooperative project between the Chinese and the Singaporean government. 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. [62]

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.

View of the Gate to the East and Suzhou's Jinji Lake Dong Fang Zhi Men 2.jpg
View of the Gate to the East and 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. [63]

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. [64]


Suzhou Dongwu currently play in China League One, the second highest level of Chinese professional football competition. The 13,000 seat Suzhou Industrial Park Sports Arena was one of the venues for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. [65]


Suzhou HSR New Town 20230328 Suzhou "Heart of High-speed Rail".jpg
Suzhou HSR New Town


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 stations 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 between Suzhou and Kunshan South railway station, Suzhou Industrial Park railway station is also an important station for people visiting and living in the areas.

The northern part of the prefectural area, including Zhangjiagang, Changshu and Taicang, were the last areas to be connected by rail; the Shanghai–Suzhou–Nantong railway reached there in 2020. [66]


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.

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. [67] [68]


The Suzhou Rail Transit currently has five lines in operation and five other lines under construction. The masterplan consists of nine independent lines. Line 1 started operation on 28 April 2012, Line 2 started operation on 28 December 2013, [69] and Line 4 started operation in 2017, Suzhou Railway Line 5 began operation in June 2021. Line 6, Line 7 and Line 8 and Line 11 are under construction. The Suzhou rail system is expected to connect to the Shanghai Metro system by June 2023.


Suzhou Tram's Longkang Road Station 20180908 Line 2 Platform of Longkang Road Station.jpg
Suzhou Tram's Longkang Road Station

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


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-kilometer (16 mi)-long bus rapid transit system opened in 2008, operates 5 lines using elevated busways and bus-only lanes throughout the city.


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). YunYanSiPagoda.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).
The "xi shi" stone bridge Xi Shi bridge in town of Mudu.JPG
The "xi shi" stone bridge

Notable people

Lu Xun (陆逊) (183–245) military general and politician of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms era, most famous for his defeat of Liu Bei in the Battle of Xiaoting.

Feng Menglong (冯梦龙) (1574-1645) famous vernacular writer and poet of the late Ming Dynasty.

Tang Yin (唐寅) (1470-1524) one of the most renowned painter in China history, calligrapher, and poet of the Ming Dynasty, better known by his courtesy name Tang Bohu (Chinese:唐伯虎) [74]

Wen Zhengming (文徵明) (1470-1559) Painter and poet of the Ming Dynasty, the founder of Wu School (Chinese:吴门画派), one of Four Masters of the Ming Dynasty

Weng Tonghe (翁同龢) (1830–1904) Chinese Confucian scholar and imperial tutor of the Tongzhi and Guangxu emperors in the late Qing dynasty, who is one of the most obdurate old guard defending the traditional Confucianism practices while being stubbornly against reform efforts to westernise the country. [75]

I. M. Pei (贝聿铭) (1917-2019) One of the best architects in China history, being recognised as the 'last master of high modernist architecture', [76] famous for his design of Louvre Pyramid, Hong Kong Bank of China tower, Singapore OCBC Centre, East Building of National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Germany Historical Museum, etc. [77]

Cheng Kaijia (程开甲) (1918-2018) A nuclear physicist and engineer. One of the key figure in China's nuclear weapons development and a founding father of the Two Bombs, One Satellite project.

Tsung-Dao Lee (李政道) (1926-) Physicist, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957 at the age of 30, for his work on the violation of the parity law in weak interactions. [78]

Meng Jianzhu (孟建柱) (1947-) Politician, former member of the Politburo and Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission


Universities and colleges

Soochow University SuDa clock building.JPG
Soochow University
Duke Kunshan University Duke Kunshan University Academic Building.jpg
Duke Kunshan University

Under construction

High schools

Postgraduate institutions


See also


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