Zhejiang¡¯s territory slopes down from the southwest to the northeast. Its southwest is mountainous, with the average height of 800 meters above sea level. Most of the province¡¯s mountains with a height of over 1,500 meters are found in this area. Huangmaojian in Longquan County, 1,929 meters above sea level, is the highest peak of the province. The middle part of Zhejiang is a hilly area, scattered with many large and small basins. The northeastern part is a low and flat alluvial plain covered with a thick layer of fertile soil and crisscrossed with waterways. The mountain ranges stretch towards the East China Sea, forming many peninsulas and islands.
Zhejiang Province covers a total land area of 101,800 square kilometers, of which 70.4 percent is mountainous region; 23.2 percent is plain; and rest 6.4 percent is covered by rivers and lakes. According to the statistics made in the end of 1999, the province has 1.609 million hectares of cultivated land and 6.3966 million hectares of forests. Stored in the forests, which cover up 54.6 percent of the province¡¯s total land, are 127 million cubic meters living timber.
Zhejiang Province has a sub-tropical monsoon climate, with the clear division of four seasons and abundant sunshine. The average annual temperature is 15¡ãC - 18¡ãC and the average annual precipitation is 1,200-1,800 mm. Its rainy season is from May to June; its coldest and hottest days are seen in January and July respectively.
A rich reserve of more than 100 minerals is found in Zhejiang, including 12 non-metallic ones ranking among the top three in China in terms of the amount of reserve. Its reserves of stone coal, alunite, pyrophyllite, limestone for cement-making and limestone for construction rank the first in the country; fluorite occupies the second place in China and diatomite, the third. The reserves of silica, pearlite, granite, zeolite, silver, zinc, vanadium and cadmium all rank among the country¡¯s top tens.
Zhejiang Province has a total coastline (including island lines) of 6,486 kilometers, with a total domestic sea area of 30,900 square kilometers. Zhejiang is the China¡¯s largest in-shore fishery, with 400 square kilometers of shallow sea and 2,886 square meters of low beach for aquiculture. In addition, the continental shelf of the East China Sea is rich in petroleum and natural gas.
Zhejiang is famed as "a treasure house of plants in southeastern China." with a high forest-coverage rate, the province has as many as 3,800 species of plants. Among these, gingko and more than 50 others have listed in the Directory of Rare Plants under State Protection. There are more than 1,900 species of wild animals in the province, 120 of which being listed as first or second grade of wild animals under state protection, making up one third of the country¡¯s total protected rare animals.
The continental shelf rich in petroleum and natural gas resources has very good prospect for exploitation. The province¡¯s water resources total 93.7 billion cubic meters, ranking the fourth in China by per unit area.
Zhejiang is one of the birthplaces of the Chinese civilization. As early as in the Old Stone Age about 50,000 years ago, the primitive Jiande Man lived in the mountainous western region of the province. During the New Stone Age of about 7,000 to 4,000 years ago, human activities extended to a wider area, leaving more than 100 cultural sites in the area, including those belonging to the Hemudu Culture (about 6,000 to 7,000 years ago), the Majiabang Culture (about 6000 to 6000 years ago) and the Liangzhu Culture (about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago). Among the large amount of cultural relics found in the Yuyao Hemudu Cultural Site, are all types of farming and daily life utensils made of bones, stone, pottery and wood; grains; wooden parts of house-structures; colorful lacquer bowls and bone whistles that can still produce beautiful music now. All these are the evidence that the ancestors of the Chinese people created the magnificent prehistoric civilization as early as 7,000 years ago. During the 12th and 13th century, Hangzhou served as the Southern Song Dynasty¡¯s capital for about 150 years. In the 14th century, along with the designation of its border, ¡°Zhejiang¡± became the formal name of the province. In China¡¯s history, Zhejiang Province was famous for its developed farming skills and handicrafts. It led the country in industries such as silk, porcelain, papermaking, printing and shipbuilding.
Zhejiang is a favored tourist destination. It has 11 state-level scenic areas, including the West Lake, Fuchun River, Xin¡¯an River, Thousand-islet Lake, Mount Yantang, Nanxi River, Mount Putuo, the Shengsi Islands, Mount Tiantai, Mount Mognan, Mount Xuedou, Twin-Dragon Cave and Mount Xiandu, in addition to its 35 province-level scenic spots. The Hangzhou Rive is a national holiday resort, and 10 other resorts, including Xianghu Lake in Xiaoshan, Oujiang River in Wenzhou and Mount Huiji in Shaoxing, are of provincial level. The Surging Qiantang Tides, a unique natural view, attracts numerous visitors from both home and abroad each year
According to estimates based on a random survey, the province had some 79.54 million permanent residents by the end of 2003, a year-on-year increase of 956,400. The birth rate was 13.66¡ë (up 0.37), death rate was 5.31¡ë (up 0.23) resulting in a natural growth rate of 8.35¡ë (up 0.14).
Fifty-three different ethnic groups live together in the province, with members of ethnic minority groups accounting for 0.7 percent of the population. The main minority ethnic groups are the Zhuang, Yao, She, Hui and Manchu.
The year 2003 saw some 27,900 graduate students enroll in the province¡¯s universities and research institutes (up 29.6 percent on the previous year) and this figure included 11,600 new entrants (up 33 percent). 587,800 undergraduates enrolled in general universities (up 25.7 percent), including 225,800 new entrants (up 28.2 percent). 630,800 students enrolled in the various secondary vocational schools (up 3.1 percent), including 233,300 new entrants (up 7.0 percent). 1.137 million enrolled in the general senior secondary schools and 240,000 in the various secondary technical schools.
The 4.32 million students who enrolled in junior secondary schools meant the enrollment rate in that part of the educational system had reached 100 percent. The retention rate for students over their three years at junior secondary was 92.9 percent.
About 10.25 million pupils enrolled in primary schools representing a 99.5 percent enrollment rate and there was 100 percent retention over the five years of primary schooling.
GDP: Zhejiang's GDP in 2001 was 670 billion Yuan, 10.5 percent more than that of the previous year.
Average GDP per capita: Zhejiang's average GDP per capita in 2001 was 14,700 Yuan, an increase of 9.7 percent over the previous year.
GDP ratio: The GDP ratio of the three industries has been adjusted from 11.0:52.7:36.3 of the previous year to 10.3:51:3:38.4.
Poverty alleviation plan: The registered unemployment rate in urban areas is 3.7 percent, or 240,000 people. According to the recent following-up survey, the most difficult problems of the unemployed are medical care and the their children's education. Zhejiang Province leads the country in establishing s social security system, which now guarantees the lowest living standard of 30,000 town people and 236,000 rural residents.
Revenues: The general planned annual revenue is 85.6 billion yuan, of which the general local revenue is 50.07 billion yuan, 30 percent and 46.1 percent more respectively over the previous year.
Industrial output: The province's annual large-scale industrial added value has reached 178.1 billion yuan, an increase of 12.5 percent over the previous year. Of this, that from rural industries rose 14.7 percent; foreign-investment enterprises, 14.3 percent; incorporations and stock-holdings, 13.8 percent; private and other economic forms, 14.3 percent, all higher than the province's average. Since 1999, the investment put in technological reforms has been increasing 20 percent each year. The characteristic industrial parks and bases have become effective carriers of the province's industrial and technological reforms and help upgrade the competitive ability of the local economy. With a rising competitive ability on the market, the province's traditional industries have increased its market share in the country. During the first 11 months of 2001, profits made out of Zhejiang's textile, garment, leather and machinery industries occupied 34.5 percent, 32.1 percent, 30.1 percent and 27 percent respectively of the nation's total in the corresponding period. At the same time, Zhejiang Province has been focusing on building high-and-new-tech industries, with the realized added output value of 31.05 billion yuan in the year, an increase of 13.8 percent over the last year. The export of high-and-new-tech products rose 46.0 percent.
Agricultural output value: Since the market-centered system for grain purchase and sale was put into practice in 2001, the province has built grain-producing bases in other provinces and further improved its local storage facilities. While reducing grain production remarkably, the province has expanded the farming of economic crops. Meanwhile, it encourages the farmers to design their production according to the market demand and pay attention to efficiency. The province has 1,,939 hectares of cultivated land for grain production, a 15.7 percent decrease compared with the previous year. The acreage for economic crops has increased 6.6 percent, of which the land for high-profit economic crops, such as vegetables and melons, medical materials and flowers, has increased by11.4 percent, 19.0 percent and 76.2 percent respectively. Animal husbandry and aquaculture have developed favorably, with the total meat output reaching 1.271 million tons and the total aquaculture output, 1.39 million tons, an increase of 8.3 percent and 7.0 percent respectively compared with the previous year. The restructuring of agriculture made the rural residents' income from farming grow for the first time since 1997, and their average per capita annual income has reached 990 yuan, an increase of 3.8 percent.
Foreign trade: Although the global market has been sloppy, Zhejiang's foreign trade expands, owing to the province's effective measures to strengthen the support for the export enterprises. The total turnover of the import and export reached US$32,800 million, an increase of 17.8 percent over the previous year, with US$9,820 from import, an increase of 17.1 percent, and US$23,000 from export, an increase of 18.2 percent, and 6.2 percent more than the planned target. According to the status of the latter half of the year, the growth of the foreign trade fell, but the export in the third quarter kept increasing month after month. The export of September set the record in history. The export to the United States, Africa, and Latin America kept relatively rapid growth, with the increasing scope of 21.4 percent, 30.3 percent and 30.3 percent respectively. The increase of industrial export turnover occupied 29.9 percent of that of the province's total industrial sales output value.
Foreign investment: The province approved 2,310 foreign funded enterprises in 2001, their contracted investment totaling US$5,002 million, of which US$2,210 having been put into the place. These figures increased 99.9 percent and 37.1 percent respectively over the previous year.
Pillar industries: Textile, garment, leather, machine-making, electronics and telecommunicating equipment, petrochemistry and pharmacy
Sea Ports: About 300 kilometers of Zhejiang's coastline in Province are good for building deep-water harbors. With the ports in Ningbo, Zhoushan, Zhapu, Haimen and Wenzhou as the mainstay, Zhejiang has 34 sea ports, offering 44 docks for ships of more than 10,000 tons, with an annual handling capacity of 270 tons. Zhejiang Province has established transporting relationship with 400 harbors in more than 70 countries and regions in the world and has opened scheduled passenger lines between Zhejiang and the United States, Japan and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Beicang Port in Ningbo, one of China's four major entrepot sea ports, can serve ships of 300,000 tons. It is the largest and best iron ore entreport in China. Zhoushan Port has become one of the nation's largest harbors; Qiaoshan of Zhoushan, with the shipping capacity of super oil tanks of 250,000 tons, is the largest oil transferring harbor in China.
Railways: With the provincial capital Hangzhou as the core, Zhejiang's railway network totals 1,185 km in length. It includes three double-track railways (Hangzhou-Shanghai Railway, Hangzhou-Jiangxi Railway and Hangzhou-Ningbo Railway) and two trunk railways (Hangzhou-Xuancheng Railway and Jinhua-Wenzhou Railway).
Highways: With a total mileage of 42,000 km, Zhejiang's highway network is composed of six state highways and 66 provincial highways, of which 2,000 km are of high grade, and 770 km are expressways. The expressways of Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo and Shangyu-Sanmen have open to traffic, and the Ningbo-Taizhou-Wenzhou, Hangzhou-Jinhua-Quzhou, Hangzhou-Nanjing and Jinhua-Lishui-Wenzhou expressways are under construction, with some sections of them having been open to traffic already. By 2002, the expressways in Zhejiang Province will stretch over 1,000 km to form a network with Hangzhou at the center. By then it will take no more than four hours to reach any city within the province from the provincial capital. Airports: Zhejiang Province has seven airports, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Huangyan, Yiwu, Quzhou and Zhoushan, which operate 160 domestic or international air routes. The Xiaoshan Airport in Hangzhou City has been just completed and put into operation.
River routes: The province has 10,400 km of river routes, ranking the third in the country, with 10 trunk water routes totaling 1,230 km and 105 harbors. Its annual cargo handling capacity is 210 million tons
During the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-581), Crown Prince Liang Zhaoming once studied at Wuzhen. The prince is famous for his Literary Selections by Zhaoming, a milestone in the history of Chinese literature, and the town of Wuzhen built a memorial archway to commemorate his stay there and has kept it well preserved. Other historical and cultural sites include the Wenchang Pavilion, the Xiuzhen Taoist Temple, the ancient stage, the mansion of a member of the Imperial Academy, and the former residence of Mao Dun, a great master of contemporary Chinese literature.
Traditional activity is still very much alive in Wuzhen. In addition to flower-drum opera, shadow-puppet shows, and temple fairs, Wuzhen also attracts visitors with its time-honored art of making indigo-dyed printed calico. In ancient times, indigo-dyed printed calico was used for curtains, scarves, and tablecloths in every household in the countryside of Zhejiang Province. Today, it is still common to see old women in indigo-blue gowns leisurely operating spinning wheels or looms at weaving workshops in the old lanes of Wuzhen, while the squeaks of the looms resound throughout the lanes. Carrying on this tradition has become a part of the lives of the old women.
People in Wuzhen live a simple and peaceful life. Many of them breed silkworms and raise chrysanthemums, and they have mostly retained the tradition of buying fruit and vegetables from trade boats through the windows of their waterside houses. They benefit from an inherited harmony of man and nature and enjoy the pleasing living environment that comes from social progress. While taking care to retain the town's original look, efforts have been made in the treatment of the water environment, the renovation of public toilets, the installation of outdoor lighting, and the management of the sanitation and appearance of the town. A clean, beautiful environment has thus been ensured.
Wuzhen had been recorded by the UNESCO on the reserve list of world cultural heritages. It was born to be a scenic water town where natural landscape is displayed beautifully
The charming and quite water town of Xitang is always featured by the cobbled streets, old buildings, arched bridges over canals, lovely rowboats lingering on the river, sweet songs from the residents at leisure and lively lush grass waving on the age-old tiles. On the hazy and romantic morning, one can taste the fresh air with the sweet smell of water and light fog; in the evening one can appreciate the rosy and gorgeous clouds with the sun setting in a blaze of glory.
Because of the rainy climate, local Xitang residents have invented their own style of ceilinged corridor. Each family puts a ceiling over the stone-plank road in front of its own house, and the ceilings connect with one another to form corridors, the longest being 1,300 meters. Nowadays, the ceilinged corridors are the main places for outdoor activities and attract countless tourists. Along one side of the riverside corridors, benches provide a resting place for pedestrians. It is rarely seen in other places, but it reflects the ancient and strong local custom typical riverside villages along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River
Xitang is attractive because of the easygoing lifestyle that local residents have followed for thousands of years. Unlike the towns of Zhouzhuang and Wuzhen, Xitang is not a bustling place. People in the town live ordinary, peaceful lives. The elderly play with their grandchildren on bridges and in lanes, and women wash vegetables and clothes in the rivers running beside their houses. The simple lifestyle and peaceful atmosphere may have died out in those now commercialized ancient towns, but they fill every lane in Xitang. For tourists from modern metropolises, Xitang is a place to experience a feeling of simplicity and leisure.
A consultant from the UNESCO World Heritage Center spoke highly of Xitang after visiting here. "Xitang is like the limpid and melodious music of a flute," he said. "People need to appreciate it with their heart." The town is in a picture, the subject of which is Chinese traditional harmony between man and nature.
Yiwu was founded in the Qin dynasty two thousand years ago. Yiwu's long history flourished as early as the Neolithic Age. Yiwu first became a county in 222BC and was renamed Yiwu County in the year 624 AD. In May 1988, the former Yiwu County was upgraded to a county-level city. In 1995, Yiwu ranked the 47th among China's 100 most powerful cities regarding comprehensive economic strength and in the same year listed as Zhejiang's sole city among the nation's experimental counties/cities of comprehensive reform. In 2001, the Yiwu overall economy ranked 19th of all counties of China. Yiwu city is a miracle rising from a poor town and now it has been named as the banner of China's market economy and with a large variety of quality but cheaper commodities.
In addition to its huge market, Yiwu city is also the birthplace of many great figures in the fields of literature, art military, education, and engineering. Among these were Chen Wangdao, China's first translator of the Communist Manifesto; Wu Han, historian and former deputy mayor of Beijing; Zhu Zhixi, the meritorious engineer in harnessing the Yellow River, and Zongze, a well-known general from the Song Dynasty who resisted aggression by the State of Jin.
In a word, Yiwu city is the most wonderful shopping paradise for tourists, which is worth a sightseeing tour of the largest trading center in the world
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