Shenzhen is located on a southern tip of the Chinese mainland and on the eastern bank of the Pearl River. It neighbors Hong Kong. Occupying 1,991.64 square kilometers, the city has a subtropical marine climate with plenty of rain and sunshine and is rich in tropical fruit. By the end of 2014, there were 10.78 million permanent residents.
The country's first special economic zone - the brainchild of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping - was established here in 1980. Shenzhen has been a touchstone for China's reform and opening-up policy since then.
In merely 35 years, Shenzhen, once a tiny border town of just over 30,000 people, has grown into a modern metropolis. It established many firsts in the history of world industrialization, urbanization and modernization.
The city is the high-tech and manufacturing hub of southern China, home to the world's third-busiest container port and the fourth-busiest airport on the Chinese mainland. It is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. It was also elected one of the top 10 Chinese cities popular with expats in 2014. The high-tech, financial services, modern logistics and cultural industries are mainstays of the city. Emerging industries of strategic importance and modern service industries are quickly becoming new engines for the city's economic growth.
As a State-level innovative city, Shenzhen has chosen independent innovation as the dominant strategy for its future development. The number of Shenzhen's PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications has topped Chinese cities for several years. Over the years, the number of makers in Shenzhen has been growing drastically. Many of the institutions, including Chaihuo Maker Space, Makeblock, and Seeed Studio, have already gained much fame and influence both domestically and overseas. A Maker Week is held every June in Shenzhen, which provides makers from all over the world an international platform to create and innovate.
Shenzhen is the window of China's reform and opening up and one of the Chinese cities that enjoy the highest degree of opening up. Its export has topped the nation's large and medium-sized cities for 22 consecutive years. The number of Shenzhen's international sister cities has doubled to reach 65 in the past five years.
Shenzhen strives to play a pivotal role in the construction of the Belt and Road to build itself into a gateway along the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road by making full use of its geographic location and advantages in business and human resources, putting emphasis on the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Big Bay Area, and focusing on transportation connectivity, economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges.
On April 27, 2015, the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone Qianhai & Shekou Area was officially launched. Shenzhen will implement the overall planning of the Guangdong Free Trade Zone, plan and build the Qianhai & Shekou Area with high standards, and speed up the formulation of investment and trade rules in accordance with international practices. It will strive to build itself into a pilot demonstration window of the opening up of China's finance industry, a key base of world service trade and an international pivot port.
The city is also well-known for design, with more than 6,000 design companies employing more than 60,000 people. On Nov. 19, 2008, UNESCO named Shenzhen a member of its Creative Cities Network and awarded Shenzhen the title of City of Design. The total number of IF Design Award and Red Dot Award won by Shenzhen designers tops China for the fourth consecutive year.
Shenzhen has unique cultural charm. The city has a network of first-class public cultural facilities that allow residents to enjoy thousands of cultural performances. Since 2003, when Shenzhen took the national lead in establishing the strategy for a culture-based city, its cultural and creative industries have achieved robust expansion with annual growth rates of more than 20% and become important engines for the city's economic development.
Shenzhen is an ecological garden city, with half of its total area under a form of environmental protection that bans construction. The urban greenbelt coverage is 45.07% in 2014. Shenzhen is China's first city to win the Nations in Bloom Award, and named on the United Nations Environment Program's Global 500 Laureate Roll of Honor.
A picturesque coastal city, Shenzhen is a popular tourist destination in South China and has been listed by the Chinese Government as an Excellent Tourist City.
Shenzhen, a city of compassion with a deep-rooted volunteer culture, has 8,573 social organizations and more than 900,000 registered volunteers. Selected as China's "Most Charitable City" for several consecutive years, it promotes Project Care each year to help disadvantaged groups, and has been called a "city with no winter."
Shenzhen will strive to achieve bigger goals by continuing to adopt Shenzhen Quality and Shenzhen Standards, aiming at world first-class standards and establishing a quality and standard system covering the areas of economy, society, culture, urban development and ecology. It will strive to build itself into a beautiful city where people can live happily and make dreams come true by improving quality, creating brands, building up reputation, expanding market, and achieving sustained economic development.
The development of Shenzhen, China's gateway to the outside world, is regarded as the epitome of the country's drive toward reform and modernization.
Shenzhen is a coastal city in South China, adjoining Hong Kong. Its longitude lies between 113.46 and 114.37 degrees east, and its latitude between 22.27 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 1,991 square kilometers. Shenzhen has more than 330 rivers and streams, which are associated with the hydrographic systems of the Dongjiang River, coastal bays and the Pearl River. By the end of 2014, there were 168 reservoirs in Shenzhen, storing a total volume of 776 million cubic meters, among which the construction of 164 reservoirs is already finished with a total storage volume of 605 million cubic meters, four are still under construction with a total storage volume of 171 million cubic meters. Shenzhen Reservoir in the east has a total volume of 44.96 million cubic meters, and is the main water source for Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Shenzhen has a vast sea area, covering 1,145 square kilometers and boasting 283 kilometers of coastline and typical subtropical marine climate and vegetation. The city also has rich natural attractions, including popular beaches such as Dameisha, Xiaomeisha, Xichong, Dapeng Peninsula National Geopark and nature reserves like the Mangrove Nature Reserve, Wutong Mountain and Inner Lingding Island.
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 2014, the permanent resident population reached 10.78 million, of which 3.32 million had permanent hukou.
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 and City Most Favored by Migrant Workers. In 2014, Shenzhen was ranked by Forbes' Chinese version as first among 25 most innovative cities on the Chinese mainland.
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.
Shenzhen has a subtropical marine 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 millimeters and the average annual number of hours of sunshine is 2,120.
OFFICIAL TREES AND FLOWER
The litchi and mangrove trees are Shenzhen's official trees and bougainvillea is the official flower.
Shenzhen Party chief Ma Xingrui delivered a report at the sixth municipal congress of the CPC on May 26, 2015. The report laid out Shenzhen's blueprint for the next five years, calling for the special economic zone to lead the country's reform and opening up. The report also urged the city to establish an indigenous innovation demonstration zone and become a national economic hub, an international city with bigger competitiveness and influence, and a happy city with higher living standards.