Tianjin abbreviated as Jin, Jingu, Gushang, Zhigu, Dinggu, Jin Gate, Sanjin and Yingjin, etc. in history and media, is one of the 4 municipalities directly under the Central Government of the People's Republic of China. Tianjin is the third largest city in China only after Beijing and Shanghai.
Located from 38 degree 34' to 40 degree 15' for north latitude and from 116 degree 43' to 118 degree 4' for east longitude, it's at the Northeast of North China and the lower reaches of the Haihe River. The total area is 11919.7 square kilometers. The length from south to north is 189 kilometers and the width from east to west is 117 kilometers. The Bohai Sea is on its east and the Yan Mountain is on its north. It is 137 kilometers from Tianjin to Beijing, calculated from the downtown center of Tianjin. Tianjin is the gate of the capital in geography.
In remote antiquity, most areas of Tianjin used to be a vast ocean and gradually become flatland after the sea water fell and the entrance of Haihe River moved to the north for three times and a large of amounts of silt left to make the coastline move to the east.
Five thousand year ago, human being appeared in Tianjin flatland. Tianjin began from the open of the Big Canal and development of the transport of grain by water to the capital in the Sui Dynasty. At the middle of the Tang Dynasty, Tianjin became a commercial and transportation center of grain and silk from the south to the north. In the Song Dynasty, it was called "Zhigu Stockaded Village" and changed its name "Jinhai Town" at the Yuan Dynasty. The name of Tianjin was called at the beginning of the Yongle Years of the Ming Dynasty at first, which meant that the area passed through by the Son of Heaven-the emperor. At the second year of Yongle Years of the Ming Dynasty (1404), as a strategic point, Tianjin began to build city wall and defenses and called "Tianjinwei". In 1860, Tianjin became atrading port and the second biggest industry and commerce city and the biggest center of finance,commerce and trade in the north in which industry production and port trade were only lower than shanghai for a long time.Tianjin became a municipality directly under the Central Government of the People's Republic of China after founding of New China.Now, there are 18 districts and counties in Tianjin, including 6 city center districts, as: Heping, hexi, Hebei, Hedong, Nankai and Hongqiao; 4 town districts, as: Dongli, Xiqing, Jinnan, Beichen; 3 seashore districts , as: Tanggu, Hangu and Dagang, and 5 counties, as : Wuqing, Ji County, Ninghe, Baodi and Jinghai. The resident population is 9.5948 million.
The height above sea level of Tianjin is falling gradually from the north mountain area of Ji County to the south flatland and sloping from the west of the end of the alluvial fan of the Yongding River to the east of the Wuqing County which formed the geomorphologic features of higher in the north and lowerin the south; higher in the west and lower in the east. The geomorphologic type can be divided into four, as : mountain, hill, flatland and seacoast. The most areas are flatlands with the highest Eight Immortals Mountain area of 1052 meters above sea level and the lowest Dagukou area of Tanggu District of zero meter above sea level. The climate in Tianjin is warm, semi humidity, semi dry and monsoon with typical features of the warm temperature zone. The average temperature in the whole year is 12.3 degree centigrade. The average temperature in the hottest July is 26 degree centigrade and the record for the hottest temperature reached 39.7 degree centigrade on the 4th,July 1972; the average temperature in the coldest January is 4 degrees below zero centigrade and the record for the lowest temperature reached 22.9 degrees below zero centigrade in 1966.The annual waterfall is 561.3 millimeters.
With more than 30 kinds of rich natural resources, as known metal mineral , nonmetal mineral, fuel and geothermal resources, Tianjin is the city with the most mineral resources in China. The main mineral are: petroleum, coal, manganic boracium stone, manganese gold, tungsten, platinum, copper, zinc, iron, cement limestone, heavy spar, marble, stromatolith, redware vitrified clay, etc. The fuel resources of Tianjin are : petroleum, natural gas and coal gas, etc. mainly buried in the underground of flatland and the continental shelf of Behai Sea. Known storage amount of petroleum in Dagang Oil Field is 1.45 billion tons and storage amount of natural gas is over 10 billion cubic meters. Known coal field locates at the Xiacang of Ji County and Beitan Town of Baodi County with area of 72 square kilometers andstorage quantity is 0.68 billion tons. There are 10 geothermal unusual areas with the value of exploration and extraction. The total quantity of heat water is 110.36 billion cubic meters. The geothermal resources have been used in industry, agricultural, heating, bath, medical treatment. etc. The biggest sea salt production area-Changlu Salt Plant is in Tianjin with the production capacity of nature salt over 2 million tons.
Tianjin has become a well-developed hub with a sea-land-air transportation network. Tianjin Harbor is the largest manual harbor in China having business with over 300 ports of more than 170 countries and regions with 75 berths, among them, 48 deepwater berths with 10 thousand tons. In 1997, its annual loading and unloading capacity is 67.89 million tons and it's in the front raw of China for the container capacity and loading and unloading capacity of groceries. Tianjin is the junction of the rail lines of Beijing-Shandong, Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Harbin and so Tianjin is the transportation junction of railway in North China. Tianjin Binhai International Airport is not only for the passenger planes but alsois the largest air freight center in North China with dozens of international and national airlines. There are over 400 highways with more than 4000 kilometers. A city highway net has been built with 3 circulation circles and 14 centralized lines. The main railway lines, as Beijing-Harbin, Tianjin-Chongqing, Beijing-Fuzhou, Beijing-Zibo, Beijing-Datong, etc. are all passing through Tianjin. In 1997, the capacity of telephone exchanges in Tianjin is 1.945 million lines, average 23.1 lines per hundred persons.
Tianjin is in the front row for the number and the proportion of the scientific and technical talents. There are 20 universities and 155 research and development organizations owned by the nation. At the end of 1997, there are 0.585 million scientists and technicians in Tianjin. During the Eighth Five Year Plan, there were 3681 main projects of science and technology with rewards therefore Tianjin held the second position for the number of invention rewards in China. The spreading ratio of the scientific and technical result transform was over 70%.
As a famous city with a long history and culture, Tianjin has rich tourism resources. Three scenic spots have been set up: a tourism attraction of the downtown sightseeing spot along the Haihe River and cultural relics as well as the memorial location of the revolutionary struggle; the Tanggu seaside recreational area characterized by the Port of Tianjin, mainly by the harbor, salt plant and oil field; and the Jixian County sightseeing district famous for natural scenic spots and cultural relics. "10 tourism spots" of Tianjin have been set up, as: Huangyaguan Great Wall, the site of Dagu Fortification with Built-in cannons, Old Dule Temple in Jixian County, Tourism Area of Pan Mountain, Scenic Line along Haihe River, Water Park, Scenic Line along the Circulating Line, Ancient Cultural Street, Nanshi Food Street and Hotel Street and Tianjin TV Tower. Some natural protective areas, as:the Geological Natural Protective Area in the Middle of Proterozoic Erathem, the Natural Second Growth ProtectiveArea in Eight Immortals Mountain, the Natural Protective Area of Ancient Coastline and Damp Place have been decided as the national natural protective areas. Named as World's Construction Fair, several hundred foreign buildings had been protected well in Tianjin, which are the witnesses for China being suffered to be a self-colony invaded by the imperialism and also the fruit of wisdom of people's labor. They have become a big landscape of Tianjin.
Good social environment is an important advantage of Tianjin. With good general mood of society, plain folkways, good market order, lower market price in the middle and big cities of China, Tianjin has been one of the best areas of China for its social public order in recent years. According to the statistics did by the National Statistic Bureau, the public order in Tianjin is the best, which are welcomed by the tourists at home and abroad as well as praised by the investors abroad. Through 4 years survey, Motorala Company has decided to put its office in the Development Area of Tianjin. They called Tianjin an eastern family which is full of warm in one of their investigation reports.
In the early Yuan and Ming dynasty(the end of the 14th century), the industries of boiling salt and manufacturing spare parts for vehicles and ships were started. In the Qing Dynasty (the beginning of the 17th century), Tianjin became the center for transporting salt. The manufacture of vehicles and ships had been developed further. In 1860, modern industry began to start when Tianjin became a trading port. But before 1949, the foundation of the heavy industry in Tianjin is very weak, the industry of machinery and electricity is mainly to assembly and repair for the imported spare parts. The industry in Tianjin has had a great development after founding of the People's Republic of China, especially after the reform and open to the outside world. Now, an industry system including 180 categories, 36 large enterprises of the pillar industries in machinery, electronics, chemical industry and metallurgy hasbeen formed. There are 12000 industry enterprises in Tianjin with Gross National Product (GNP)RMB Y 283.821 billion which is 4 times compared with that in 1990.
Long time ago, Tianjin used to be a trading dock. After it became a trading port in 1860, a lot of foreign merchants visited Tianjin. Before the foundation of the P.R.China(1949), the total export value of foreign trade accounted for 50%-60% of North China and domestic trade monopolized the whole sale of commerce in the North and became a commerce and trade center. After the foundation of the P.R.China(1949), Tianjin has become a transportation hub of exchanging materials between north and south and a distribution center for all kinds of goods and materials in the Northeast, Northwest and North China. Along with the development of the socialist market economy and deepening of the reform and open policy to the outside world, the function as the business and trade center of Tianjinhas strengthened step by step. At the end of 1997, there are 656 of all kinds of markets in Tianjin, 16 local and national markets for production materials and elements. The volume of trade has been surmounted over YMB Y 120 billion. Market of dealing in futures has been set up approved by the State Council.
Before the foundation of the P.R.China, Tianjin used to be the second largest finance center in China and the largest financial market in North China with 10 domestic and foreign banks and the total capital accounting for 15% of China which is the head of the cities in the north China. After the foundation of the P.R.China, a financial system with unified administrative management was set up. After the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, especially after 1990s, great changes have been taken place in the reform of Tianjin finance, forming a diversified financial institutions mainly based on three financial markets, as stock transaction, foreign exchange, capital circulation. There are more than 250 of all kinds of financial institutions. Among these institutions there are 13 foreign banks, 25 foreign financial agents. The scope of circulating funds is the second largest one only after Shanghai in China. In 1984, Tianjin carried out the development strategyof moving the industry to the east part of the city and set up the economic technology development zone and the Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone. In 1994, Tianjin put forward the strategic target of completion of the construction of the New Coastal Region in about 10 years. Located at the East of Tianjin, near Behai Sea, facing to the Pacific Ocean, the New Coastal Region consists of several districts, as : Tanggu, Hangu, Dagang, Dongli, and Jinnang with the planned area of 350 square kilometers. It is a front line of opening to the outside world of Tianjin with many big zones and companies, as: the Tianjin Harbor , the Development zone, the Free Trade Zone, the Ocean Hi-Tech Industrial Park, the Dagang Oil Field, the Seamless Steel Tubing Company, the Buohai Oil Company, the Tianjin Oil and Chemistry Company and three big chemical plants as well as the Ethylene Project with 120 thousand tons.
The fund of YMB 6 billion has been invested to the New Coastal Region by Tianjin in recent years for the transport infrastructure and energy facilities, etc. in order to improve the invested conditions. After many years development, the New Coastal Region has become a new growing part of Tianjin. At the end of 1995, the area in the New Coastal Region is 125 square kilometers, resident population is 1.05 million with 6112 total contracted foreign enterprises accounting for 65% of Tianjin; the total foreign investment to agree upon is US$ 6.45 billion accounting for 55% of Tianjin. In 1997, the domestic gross national product(GNP) of the New Coastal Region achieved RMB 38.206 billion accounting for 30.8% of Tianjin, per capital GNP realized 37.8 thousand which is the 2.7 times on the average level of Tianjin. According to incomplete statistics, more than 100 Hi-Tech projects have been set up in theNew Coastal Region, as: oil chemical industry, ocean chemical industry, electronics, communication, biological products, metallurgy and machinery, etc. with which a patch of pillar industry have been formed.
According to the overall plan of Tianjin, till 2003, the gross national products (GNP) in the New Coastal Region will reach RMB Y 100 billion, accounting for 50% of Tianjin, per capital RMB Y 70 thousand, that means a new Tianjin will appear.
Tianjin has defined its overall aim in national economic and social development, that is, till 2010 , Tianjin will try to be one of China's earliest modernized regions, the center of commerce, trade and finance in North China, a comprehensive industrial base of advanced technology and a modernized international seaport metropolis opening in all directions.