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 2011, there were 10.47 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 32 years, Shenzhen, a tiny border town of just over 30,000 people in 1979, has grown into a modern metropolis. It established many firsts in the history of world industrialization, urbanization and modernization.
In 2012, Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone was fully launched. The zone will explore innovations in modern service industry, pilot cooperation between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, lead the industrial upgrading of the Pearl River Delta area. Shenzhen will continue its historic role as a pioneer in China's scientific development.
One of China's gateways to the world, Shenzhen is one of the country's most developed cities and one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.
The city is the high-tech and manufacturing hub of southern China, home to the world's fourth-busiest container port, and the fourth-busiest airport on the Chinese mainland. It is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. The high-tech, financial services, modern logistics and cultural industries are mainstays of the city. New 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 China for eight consecutive years. Shenzhen ranked first in Forbes' 2011 list of innovative mainland cities.
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.
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 percent and become important engines for the city's rapid and healthy 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 in developed areas is 45.05 percent. Shenzhen is China's first Chinese city to win the Nations in Bloom Award, and named on the United Nations Environment Program's Global Top 500 Laureate Roll of Honor. In 2011, Shenzhen had the lowest energy and water consumption per 10,000 yuan GDP in China.
Shenzhen is a city of compassion, with a deeply rooted volunteer culture. Voted the City Most Favored by Migrant Workers, it promotes Project Care each year to increase care for disadvantaged groups, and has thus been called "a city without winter."
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. It was named one of the world's 31 must-see tourist destinations in 2010 by The New York Times.
The 32-year-old city is stepping up to change models of economic development and build an innovative, energy-saving and environmentally friendly city where people can live happily.
Basics of Shenzhen
The development of Shenzhen, a gateway for China 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 1,991.64 square kilometers.
Shenzhen has more than 310 rivers and streams, which are associated with the hydrographic systems of the Dongjiang River, coastal bays and the Pearl River. There are 220 water conservation projects in the city, including 172 reservoirs storing a total volume of 611 million cubic meters. Shenzhen Reservoir in the east has a total volume of more than 40 million cubic meters, and is the main water source for Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Shenzhen has 230 kilometers of coastline rich in marine life and products. Deep-water ports have been built at various locations in the city. Several scenic mountains surround Shenzhen, the highest of which is Wutong Mountain, with a peak at 944 meters above sea level. The city has rich natural attractions that are ideal for developing tourism. In the east lie the popular beach resorts of Dameisha, Xiaomeisha and Dapeng Bay. In the west are scenic areas including the Mangrove Nature Reserve, Inner Lingding Island and Waterlands Resort.
There has been migration to southern Guangdong and what is now Shenzhen since the late Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) but the numbers increased dramatically after the city of Shenzhen was established. By the end of 2011, the permanent resident population reached 10.47 million, of which 2.68 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 2011, Shenzhen was named by Forbes' Chinese version as the most innovative city on the Chinese mainland. According to the "2012 Chinese City Competitiveness Blue Book," released in May 2012 by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Shenzhen is the third-most competitive city on the Chinese mainland.
Shenzhen is the only city in Guangdong in which Mandarin is the dominant language, because of its migrants from all over China. Many public service employees, professionals and businesspeople can speak English. 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 1,933.3 millimeters and the average annual number of hours of sunshine is 2,120.5.
Official Trees and Flower
The litchi and mangrove are Shenzhen's official trees and bougainvillea is the official flower.
Shenzhen will be a pilot zone for a national comprehensive reform program and will be built into a national economic hub, State-level innovative city, model city with Chinese characteristics and an international metropolis.
Qianhai Shenzhen Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone
On July 3, 2012, the State Council endorsed policies regarding the development of Qianhai Shenzhen Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone. The policies cover finance, tax, law, talents, education, healthcare and telecommunication. According to the policies, Qianhai is allowed to explore widened offshore renminbi flow back channels, explore cross-border loans, support Qianhai enterprises to issue renminbi bonds in Hong Kong, allow the establishment of funds of funds (FOF) in Qianhai.