Shenzhen was designated as a national pilot city for comprehensive reform. It is the national economic center, science and technology center, regional financial center and commercial and logistics center. It strives to take the lead in creating a moderately prosperous city, a pioneering demonstration zone of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and an exemplar city of a great modern socialist country.
Shenzhen is a coastal city in South China, adjoining Hong Kong. Its longitude lies between 113.43 and 114.38 degrees east, and its latitude between 22.24 and 22.52 degrees north. Sitting south of the Tropic of Cancer, it is in southern Guangdong Province. Demarcated from Hong Kong by the Shenzhen River in the south, it is bordered by Dongguan and Huizhou in the north, Daya Bay and Dapeng Bay in the east and the Lingding Sea and the mouth of the Pearl River in the west.
The total area of Shenzhen is 1,997.47 square kilometers. Shenzhen has more than 310 rivers and streams each with over one square kilometer of drainage area, which are associated with the nine hydrographic systems. Shenzhen has a vast sea area, covering 1,145 square kilometers and boasting 260 kilometers of coastline. The city also has rich natural attractions, including popular beaches such as Dameisha, Xiaomeisha, Xichong and Judiaosha, and nature reserves like Dapeng Peninsula National Geopark, Mangrove Nature Reserve, Wutong Mountain and Inner Lingding Island.
Shenzhen has a subtropical monsoon climate. The weather is generally temperate to mild, with plenty of rain and sunshine. The annual average temperature is 22.4 degrees Celsius. A total of 355 days a year are frost-free. The yearly rainfall totals 1,933.3 millimeters and the average annual number of hours of sunshine is 2,120.5.
Official Trees and Flower
The litchi and mangrove trees are Shenzhen's official trees and bougainvillea is the official flower.
The earliest-known records bearing the name Shenzhen date from 1410, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Shenzhen became a township at the beginning of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Local people called the drains in paddy fields "zhen" or "chong." Shenzhen literally means "deep drains" because the area used to be crisscrossed by rivers and streams — and still is, today — with deep drains in the paddy fields. Shenzhen is also known as "Roc City" because maps of the city's outline resemble a flying roc with its wings spread.
The city of Shenzhen was established in 1979. In August of the following year, the country's first special economic zone was established here.
Human activity in the area dates back more than 6,700 years. The area was founded as a county 1,700 years ago and is home to 600-year-old cultural relics such as Nantou Ancient City and Dapeng Fortress. The Hakka people migrated to the area from central China about 300 years ago.
Shenzhen is a sub-provincial city. It has direct jurisdiction over nine districts and one new area: Futian, Luohu, Yantian, Nanshan, Bao'an, Longgang, Longhua, Pingshan and Guangming districts, and Dapeng New Area. The Central Government expanded the special economic zone to cover the whole city on July 1, 2010. Shenshan Special Cooperation Zone was officially inaugurated on Dec. 16, 2018.
There has been migration to southern Guangdong and what is now Shenzhen since the late Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), but the population increased dramatically after the city of Shenzhen was established. By the end of 2018, the permanent resident population reached 13,026,600, of which 4,547,000 had permanent hukou, accounting for 34.9 percent of the total permanent resident population. As a city of migrants, Shenzhen is open-minded, tolerant and innovative. It is an ideal place for domestic and international talent to start businesses. It has been voted as China's Most Dynamic City, City Most Favored by Migrant Workers and City Most Favored by Domestic and Overseas Talent.
Shenzhen is the only city in Guangdong where Mandarin is the dominant language, because of its huge migrant population from all over China. Many public service employees, professionals and businesspeople speak English too. Most of the young people speak English and Cantonese. The Shenzhen Speaks Foreign Languages campaign is conducted across the city to encourage more residents and government employees to learn to speak foreign languages.
The government of Shenzhen has actively driven its own transformation of functions and strengthened the construction of a service-oriented government. Under the guidance of building a law-based, responsible and efficient government, it has improved its administrative transparency and management efficiency, in order to provide a fair, transparent, efficient and law-governed environment for the progress of the society and the welfare of the citizens.
The government has greatly pushed digitalization to provide more convenient and efficient services to citizens. A new all-in-one government service app iShenzhen was launched; 300 service items can be approved online while another 300 items can be processed across the city; and 45 service items, including the service related to the hukou of college graduates, can be approved instantly. Old-age pension and work-related injury compensation can be collected through facial recognition while old-age allowance applications can be filed online. Prolonged services during noontime were launched in administrative service halls at municipal and district levels and a new batch of 24-hour smart self-service machines was put into service. The government also promotes smart office and video conference systems to make office work go paperless and mobile.
Shenzhen is a link between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and a transport hub for coastal southern China. The city leads in high-tech development, financial services, foreign trade, shipping, and creative and cultural industries. It has undertaken a mission to pilot China's structural reform and continuous opening up to the outside world.
Shenzhen ranks fifth in Asia in terms of economic power. In 2018, the city's GDP grew by 7.6 percent to exceed 2.4 trillion yuan. Its public finance grew by 5.5 percent to reach 910.24 billion yuan. Its general public budget grew by 6.2 percent to 353.84 billion yuan. Its citizens' per capita disposable income increased by 8.7 percent.
Shenzhen has land, sea, air and rail ports. There are a total of 156 berths around the wharfs in Nanshan and Yantian. The city has eight railway stations, including Shenzhen Railway Station, Shenzhen North Railway Station and Shenzhen East Railway Station. The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, an important rail link in the country, runs across Shenzhen. The Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport is a regional pivot airport and one of the 10 largest airports in China. As one of the top 100 airports in the world, the Bao’an airport has so far launched 45 international flights and four flights to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
Shenzhen has 15 checkpoints that allow the flow of both Chinese and foreign nationals. Luohu Checkpoint is China’s busiest land passenger checkpoint, while Huanggang Checkpoint offers around-the-clock service. Futian Checkpoint offers seamless transfer by Metro to Hong Kong, and Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint offers both Hong Kong and Shenzhen immigration inspection services.
The airport has opened new flights to 15 international destinations including London and Paris. The number of international tourists increased by 34 percent. The number of international cruise passengers increased by 93 percent.
In 2018, Shenzhen's public security continued to improve. The city's public security bureau launched an online system based on data convergence to integrate its different service systems, providing one-stop, streamlined and intelligent services for residents online. It facilitated the construction of community information platforms and newly installed over 30,000 video access control systems in urban villages, making new progress in the smart management of housing estates and urban villages.
The bureau also developed and launched an all-in-one machine, which could help residents handle different public security affairs, to provide 24-hour services for residents.