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Brief Introduction to the City of Hangzhou

Hangzhou was settled as early as 4,700 years ago, thus giving birth to the auroral Liangzhu Civilization. One of the seven ancient capitals and the key scenic tourism and historical culture cities in China, Hangzhou once was applauded as"the most splendid and luxurious city in the world" by Marco Polo, the Italian traveler in the 13th century.

Under the jurisdiction of Hangzhou are 8 districts, 3 county-level cities and 2 counties, with a total area of 16,596 square kilometers and a total population of 6.4278 million. As a central city on the Southern wing of Yangtze Delta, Hangzhou's city proper covers an area of 3,068 square kilometers with a population of 3.932 million.

Under the sound leadership of the Central Government, CPC Zhejiang Provincial Party committee and Provincial Government, Hangzhou has witnessed great development in economy and all social causes with the hardwork and devotion of its citizens since the drive of Reform and Opening-up. The GDP of Hangzhou in 2003 was RMB 209.977 billion, an increase of 15.2% over the previous year. It has maintained an annual growth rate of more than 10% for successive 13 years. Its total economic strength ranked No. 8 among all the big and medium-sized cities in China, No. 2 among all provincial capitals and No. 3 among all sub-provincial cities. Its GDP per capita reached RMB 32,700, or USD 3,950 as converted by the same year's foreign exchange rate. Its total financial revenues reached RMB 32.871 billion, an increase of 28.2% over the previous year. The fixed assets investments in all social sectors were RMB 100.618 billion, an increase of 30.7% over the previous year. The proportions among the three industries were 6.1 : 51.6 : 42.3. The non state-owned economy accounted for 50.5% of the GDP. The total financial revenues from the first 8 months this year have reached RMB 26.799 billion, an increase of 19.6% over the same period last year.

With the agricultural structure adjustment deepened and agricultural industrialization accelerated, the efficiency agriculture of Hangzhou is witnessing rapid development. Hangzhou attaches much importance to the construction of "Silicon Valley in Paradise"and the development of high and new technology industries, among which the"the Information Port and New Pharmacy Port", Hangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone, Hangzhou High-New Technological Industries Development Zone, and High Education Park are the backbones. The four major pillar industries of food processing, machinery, electronic communications, and textile with considerable scale and advantages have formed. In 2003, above-scale industrial enterprises in Hangzhou accomplished the total output value of RMB 319.851 billion and taxes RMB 34.776 billion. The export-oriented economy has been developing quickly with more opened areas and increased opening extent. By the end of 2003, Hangzhou had successively approved 6,120 foreign funded projects from 60 industries throughout the world. The investors were from 76 countries and regions all over the world. 42 out of the Top 500 world enterprises had settled down in Hangzhou. In 2003, the total foreign trade export value reached USD 10.95 billion (an increase of 29.2% over the previous year), USD 6.47 billion of which were from municipal-level foreign trade exports. Its products were exported to 180 countries and regions all over the globe. The total import value of Hangzhou was USD 7.28 billion, an increase of 57.5%. Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport has been developing new international lines, accelerating its contact with overseas airports, and promoting its reputation.

Sciences and educations in Hangzhou are advanced, and there are 35 colleges, numerous polytechnic schools, and more than 80 natural science research institutes here. The total number of college students is 269,800. In addition, Hangzhou also boasts its rapidly developing culture and sanitation causes, increasingly improved housing situation and community environment. It has altogether 12 national honors including National Hygienic City and National Environment Protection Model City, etc. In October 2001, Hangzhou won UN Human Habitat Award in October 2002, and the honor of International Garden City. Since 2000, Hangzhou has successfully held the annual West Lake Expo four times, and made known its city brand name by launching four gold name cards (traveling, living, learning, and careering in Hangzhou), a channel for the world to know Hangzhou and for Hangzhou to head for the world.

City Flower--Sweet Osmanthus

Hangzhou is the hometown of sweet osmanthus, the West Lake is one of the five biggest sweet osmanthus watch places in China. First class flower; sweet osmanthus is one of the ten biggest precious flowers in China. In the golden autumn, the pavilion bund cassia-bark-tree with its flowers blooming ten thousandes yellow spots. The cassia bud falls from the moon, the fragrance flutters out of clouds. The light yellowish sweet osmanthus, has exaggerated Hangzhou with the deep inside story of two big cultures, Wu and Yue, and has exaggerated the happiness of Hangzhou's person.

City Tree ---- Camphor tree

Hangzhou, elusive rusticity and optimal moisture, is rich of scented camphor trees. The ancient camphor trees are elegant in groups; thousands of leaf layers, falling their shade everywhere. At the cusp of spring and summer,the green small flowers split the full branches. The light breeze delivers the fragrance and gladdens the heart. That tranquilness, that warmth and that smooth have sublimated this gentle cultural old city. That intensity, that fearless and that share thrive have revealed this fast moving cultural old city as well.

In April 2005, Hangzhou established sistership relations with the City of Cape Town.



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