Guangzhou is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China. On the Pearl River about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong and 145 km (90 mi) north of Macau, Guangzhou has a history of over 2,200 years and was a major terminus of the maritime Silk Road, and continues to serve as a major port and transportation hub, as well as one of China's three largest cities. Guangzhou is at the heart of the most-populous built-up metropolitan area in mainland China, which extends into the neighbouring cities of Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan and Shenzhen, forming one of the largest urban agglomerations on Earth, the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone.
Guangzhou is China’s Third Largest City. This is not from the perspective of population and geographical area, but from its economic status, cultural influence, political importance and etc. Since the Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 207 BC), Guangzhou has been the political, economic, cultural, military and educational centre of southern China. After more than 2,000 years of changes, Guangzhou has developed into a multi-functional mega-city, and it is also an important coastal port city and a famous tourist city in south China. From the view of comprehensive strength, Guangzhou ranks third in China, after Beijing and Shanghai only.
Data and facts
- The present city spans 7,434.4 square kilometers (2,870.4 sq mi) on both sides of the river from 112° 57′ to 114° 03′ E longitude and 22° 26′ to 23° 56′ N latitude in south-central Guangdong. The Pearl is the 4th-largest river of China. Baiyun Mountain is now locally referred to as the city's "lung."
- The estimated population for the city in 2016 is over 13 million. It's also the third-largest city in China and the largest in the southern part of the country.
- Guangzhou is located in the subtropical coastal area and has a maritime subtropical monsoon climate. The average annual temperature is around 20℃ (68℉) with plentiful rain, creating a perfect ecological environment for trees and flowers to grow. The city is covered with evergreen trees and flourishing flowers all year round.
- Guangzhou hosts the China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) twice each year.
- Guangzhou’s strong commercial influence on the country is embodied by the rapid development of its manufacturing industry. As a pioneer of reform and opening up, Guangzhou has been known throughout the country for its vigorous free trade and has always been China's most market-oriented first-tier city with the lowest cost of doing business. To date, almost sixty percent of the world’s top 500 companies have invested in Guangzhou, and some 120 have set up their headquarters or regional headquarters in there.
- Thanks to its long history of Guangzhou dating back to the Qin Dynasty, Guangzhou boasts plenty of well-preserved historic relics, like the Museum of the Western Han Dynasty Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, Guangxiao Temple, Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, Huaisheng Mosque, The Five Goat Stone Statue in Yuexiu Park and Temple of the Six Banyan Trees.
- The city has a massive number of malls and retail stores. Grand shopping malls such as the Tee Mall Plaza, the China Plaza, plus the trade fairs in the Guangzhou International Building provide easy access to top-notch products from all over the world.
- The Maritime Silk Road is an important trade route between ancient China and Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean regions. Guangzhou was selected as one of the beginning points thanks to the location close to the South China Sea. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it was once called Guangzhou Maritime Road in Foreign Countries, ranking the longest ocean trade route in the world at the time.
Guangzhou is a sub-provincial city. It has direct jurisdiction over eleven districts. These include; Liwan, Yuexiu, Haizhu, Tianhe, Baiyun, Huangpu, Panyu, Huadu, Nansha, Conghua, and Zengcheng.
Guangzhou is the main manufacturing hub of the Pearl River Delta, one of mainland China's leading commercial and manufacturing regions. In 2017, the GDP reached ¥2,150 billion (US$318 billion), per capita was ¥150,678 (US$22,317). Guangzhou is considered one of the most prosperous cities in China. Owing to rapid industrialisation, it is also considered one of the most polluted cities once. But as city development goes greener, it is now one of the most liveable cities in China.
When the first line of the Guangzhou Metro opened in 1997, Guangzhou was the fourth city in Mainland China to have an underground railway system, behind Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai. Currently, the metro network is made up of thirteen lines, covering a total length of 476.26 km (295.93 mi). A long-term plan is to make the city's metro system expand to over 500 km (310 mi) by 2020 with 15 lines in operation. In addition to the metro system, there is also the Haizhu Tram line which opened on 31 December 2014.
Guangzhou's main airport is the Baiyun International Airport in Baiyun District; it opened on August 5, 2004. This airport is the second busiest airport in terms of traffic movements in China. It replaced the old Baiyun International Airport, which was very close to the city centre but failed to meet the city's fast-growing air traffic demand. The old Baiyun International Airport was in operation for 72 years. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport now has three runways, with two more planned. The Terminal 2 has opened on April 26, 2018. Another airport located in Zengcheng District is under planning.
Guangzhou is the terminus of the Beijing–Guangzhou, Guangzhou–Shenzhen, Guangzhou–Maoming and Guangzhou–Meizhou–Shantou conventional speed railways. In late 2009, the Wuhan–Guangzhou high-speed railway started service, with multiple unit trains covering 980 km (608.94 mi) at a top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph). In December 2014, the Guiyang–Guangzhou high-speed railway and Nanning-Guangzhou railway began service with trains running at top speeds of 250 km/h (155 mph) and 200 km/h (124 mph), respectively. The Guangdong Through Train departs from the Guangzhou East railway station and arrives at the Hung Hom Station in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The route is approximately 182 km (113 mi) in length and the ride takes less than two hours.
Chinese city Guangzhou is setting plans in motion for enormous investment in transport infrastructure. A budget of US$25.8 billion is being set out for the infrastructure growth program, which envisages over 260 major projects. In all, the program calls for 164 urban road projects as well as 11 highway projects. The new urban road projects will include works to connect with other new infrastructure being planned by the city. Also included are seven port projects and one airport project, as well as 13 urban rail projects, six national rail projects, and four intercity rail projects. At present, Guangzhou has some 207 ongoing and new infrastructure projects.
As Guangzhou intensifies its coordinated efforts to establish itself as the centre for technology innovation in China, it also moves into a leadership position in the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area initiative, a major national project taking shape in the coming decades. According to the timeline, a globally competitive cluster of metropolises in the Greater Bay Area will be almost fully established by 2020, while by 2030, it will become a global first-class bay area and city cluster, as well as an advanced global manufacturing, innovation, international shipping, financial, and trade centre. It will also play an important role in implementing the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative.
In addition to award ceremonies and sessions on topics ranging from sustainability to global challenges to health technologies, attendees were invited to experience Chinese innovation firsthand. Tours included visits to Pazhou Internet Innovation Cluster, considered Guangzhou’s Silicon Valley, and to cutting-edge 3D bioprinting company Medprin Regenerative Medical Technologies. Attendees also enjoyed a spectacular performance as more than 1,000 Chinese-made drones took to the sky, moving information with multicoloured lights that dazzled against a backdrop of the city’s sparkling skyline and Canton Tower.