Shenzhen which is the China’s first special economic zone established via the patronage of the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping is a pioneering and innovative city. It is in the vanguard of China’s reforms and opening up to the rest of the world. In its short history of 30 years, Shenzhen has developed from a small fishing village into a modern city with a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita which gives it premier ranking in China. This is a remarkable achievement, notable in the annals of urbanization, industrialization and modernization across the globe. As Shenzhen embraces the world, concomitantly it is becoming internationalized. As China’s first special economic zone, Shenzhen began to open up to the rest of the world in 1980, and became one of the country’s major channels of communication with the outside world. Shenzhen has 17 sea, land and air ports, including China’s largest land passenger port and land cargo port. In 2011, the 26th Universiade will be held here, which will make Shenzhen the youngest city to host the Games in history. Shenzhen is a city with deep cultural roots that sit in tandem with its creative and modern ethos. It is said to have a history of 5,000 years, but was only founded 30 years ago. Since its foundation, Shenzhen has created a migrant culture and an innovative spirit of “encouraging innovation and pursuing excellence.” At the forefront of Chinese cities in promoting the use of voluntary services, it boasts about 530,000 volunteers in various fields of activity. Moreover, given the high level of public services offered by the city’s government departments, Shenzhen is one of China’s “10 Most Welcomed Cities for Rural Migrant Workers.” Shenzhen energetically prepares to meet the world, and enthusiastically welcomes your arrival!
Shenzhen is a coastal city, which lies close to Hong Kong in South China. Its longitude lies between 113.46 and 114.37 degrees east, and latitude between 22.27 and 22.52 degrees north. Sitting south of the Tropic of Cancer, it is in the south of Guangdong Province. Demarcated from Hong Kong by Shenzhen River to the south, it is bordered by Dongguan and Huizhou to the north, Daya Bay and Dapeng Bay to the east, and Lingding Sea and the mouth of the Pearl River to the west.
The total area of Shenzhen is 1,952.84 square kilometers, of which 395.81 square kilometers is covered by the special economic zone .
Shenzhen has more than 160 rivers and streams, which are associated with the hydrographic systems of the Dongjiang River, sea bays and Pearl River mouth. There are 24 reservoirs in the city, impounding a total volume of 525 million cubic meters. Among them, the Shenzhen Reservoir, which lies in the east of the urban district, has a total volume of more than 40 million cubic meters. The reservoirs are the main water source of Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Shenzhen has a 230-kilometer-long coastline, which enriches Shenzhen with lots of maritime life and seafood. Deep-water ports have been built at various locations in the city. Several beautiful mountains range across Shenzhen; the city’s highest peak has an altitude of 943.7 meters. The city boasts rich natural resources, ideal for developing tourism. On the east coast lie the popular beach resorts of Dameisha, Xiaomeisha and Dapeng Bay. While on the west lie beautiful scenic areas, including Mangrove Nature Reserve, Inner Lingding Island, and Water Resort.?
Shenzhen is administered by the Guangdong Provincial Government. It is also a vice-provincial city directly administered by the Central Government. While the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone is within the city’s administration. The Shenzhen Municipal Government governs six districts. Of them, Luohu, Futian, Nanshan and Yantian districts are within the Special Economic Zone, while Bao’an and Longgang districts are outside it. The city has a total of 51 sub-district offices and 620 residents’ committees. In 2006, a total of 378 million people visited the Special Economic Zone, and 110 million vehicles passed through the city’s various checkpoints.
Although migrants began moving to the Shenzhen area at the end of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), dramatic population growth occurred only after Shenzhen City was founded in 1980. By the end of 2006, the city had 8.4643 million permanent residents, of whom 1.9683 million were hukou households, and 6.496 million were non-hukou households. The non-hukou households made up 76.7 percent of the total population. The city’s population density is 4,334 people per square kilometer. The average expectation of life in the city is 76.71 years old, which is longer than that of some advanced countries. Shenzhen has a minority population of more than 360,000 people, and is the second city in China after Beijing to have all 56 ethnic minorities in China represented in it.
Shenzhen showcases China’s policy to open up to the outside world. It’s a melting pot of cultures brought in by migrants. The city’s amenities make it an ideal place for entrepreneurs from China and abroad to start their businesses. In recent years, the city has won awards from media and industry as “The Most Dynamic City in Economic Development” and “The Most Welcomed City for Rural Migrant Workers.”
Shenzhen has mandarin as its mainstream dialect. Most public service workers, professionals and business people as well as most of young students in the city can speak English. Talented and well-educated professionals who are bilingual and trilingual (Mandarin, Cantonese and English) can be found in the city. The “Speak?Shenzhen” campaign is being launched across the city to encourage more residents and government employees to learn and speak English.
Shenzhen has a mild, subtropical maritime climate with plenty of both rain and sunshine. The annual average temperature is 22.4?; as many as 355 days per year are frost-free. Annual average rainfall is 1,933.3 mm and solar radiation is 2,120.5 hours. Tourism and tourist activities are possible all year around.
In the 30 years since the foundation of Shenzhen, an urban infrastructure of streets, lighting, sewage, environmental care, drainage and transport has been developed in Shenzhen. The city government strives to improve its management of the infrastructure network. The city’s construction area totals 719.88 square kilometers. In 2006, the city’s investment in urban infrastructure reached 40.784 billion yuan, up 23.9 percent over the previous year. Tap water is now available for use in all households in the city.
“Giving the Environment and People the Top Priority” has been an imperative to enable city residents to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat safe food. In 2006, environmental concerns were addressed well. Statistics show that 93.7 percent of everyday life waste was dealt with properly. 98.1 percent of water in the city’s major reservoir for drinking water supply and 96.2 percent of the processed industrial wastewater met standards. Air quality reached national standards (at the first and second levels) on 359 days out of 365. A total of 399.46 square kilometers in the city met noise standards.
To encourage city residents to take part in environmental protection, the “Prize for Shenzhen Residents’ Environmental Protection” was established in 2004. The city government will invest 25 billion yuan in 294 projects in the fields of water, air, noise, and solid waste from 2006 through 2010.
Beautiful, Ecological Garden City
Shenzhen has a beautiful, natural environment. The green area of the city, with 16.01 square meters of greenery per person, covers 45 percent of the urban area. Forests cover 47.6 percent of the city’s total land area. The city has 442 parks totaling 240.40 hectares. Shenzhen has won awards from domestic and overseas authorities, which include “Nations in Bloom,” UNEP’s “Global Top 500 Laureate Roll of Honor,” “National Hygienic City,” “National Model City for Environmental Protection,” “Model City for Protection of Ozone Layer,” “National Greenery Model City,” “National Brilliant Tourism City.”
Shenzhen is the “City of Parks.” At present, the city has more than 400 parks, scenic zones, and forest parks. By 2010, the number of forest parks in the city will reach 17, which will make up 22.03 percent of the city’s total land area.
China’s City with the Highest Comprehensive Quality of Life Index
In 2005, the International Urban Development Research Institute in Beijing released the Report on Quality of Life in China’s Cities. It surveyed quality of life indices in the country’s 100 key cities. Shenzhen was listed in first place with the highest quality of life index.
Asia-Pacific International City, Adjacent to Hong Kong
Downtown Shenzhen is only a 45-minute drive from Hong Kong. The government of Shenzhen plans, over the next 15 years, to modernize Shenzhen in accordance with socialist ideals and to develop the city into a key regional and international metropolis.
More than 13,000 expatriates live and work in Shenzhen on a long-term basis, which has been key to the increasing internationalization of the city. The expatriates come from 111 counties; most are representatives sent by foreign companies to China, employees of foreign-invested enterprises, cultural workers, teachers, and foreign students. In 2005, the number of foreigners who entered the country through various checkpoints in Shenzhen totaled 3.4 million. About 5 percent of the city’s residential buildings were purchased by foreigners and people from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
Shenzhen-Hong Kong Cooperation
Because of their geological proximity, Shenzhen and Hong Kong have been mutually dependent economically for a long time. Eggs, fish, meat, vegetables, dairy products and other daily necessities in Hong Kong are sourced mainly from Shenzhen. Every year, Shenzhen Reservoir channels a total of 1.1 billion cubic meters of water from the Dongjiang River to Hong Kong. The Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant, located in eastern Shenzhen, transmits a large quantity of electrical power to Hong Kong. Of the overseas investment in Shenzhen, above 70 percent is from Hong Kong. Many companies from Shenzhen have made their initial public offerings in Hong Kong.
In recent years, the government of Shenzhen has developed the concept of “Learning from Hong Kong and Serving Hong Kong,” It has established a mechanism for communication and consultation on key issues with the government of Hong Kong. Mutual cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong has been strengthened in fields covering checkpoint control, border infrastructure construction, trade, science and technology, education, finance, and tourism. In April 2007, Shenzhen and Hong Kong completed the third phase of their joint project of the Shenzhen River cleanup, which significantly raised the flood control standard in the Shenzhen River region such that infrequent but major floods can be controlled. The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Western Corridor, which was put into use in July 2007, promotes the ties between Shenzhen and Hong Kong even more closely.
A Civilized City of Great Repute
Shenzhen is advancing its urban cultural development plans. These aim to prioritize people’s interests, to enhance people’s creativity, to develop respect for people’s rights, and to develop people’s interests in the city. Shenzhen residents enjoy increasing cultural and welfare rights. The city government has improved the city’s public cultural infrastructure. It has launched various cultural campaigns to develop civic amenities for city residents. For example, the “Shenzhen Reading Month” has been welcomed by city residents, helping them to realize their cultural rights and satisfying their spiritual needs. Project Care is launched every year in Shenzhen to encourage city residents to help underprivileged and needy people. Shenzhen’s urban civilization index and city residents’ Project Care index have increased year by year. Shenzhen has won the “National Model City for Supporting the Amy and Cherishing the People” award over the past three consecutive years. In 2005, the city was chosen as one of “China’s Top 10 Civilized Cities.”
Shenzhen has more than 200 charity organizations, including organizations involved in voluntary work. More than 530,000 people have been involved in voluntary work of different types. Established in 1990, the Shenzhen Volunteers’ Association is the oldest voluntary work organization in China. Currently its youngest member is only 14 years old and the oldest 78. They engage in providing more than 30 service items in 16 categories. “Seeking volunteers’ help when you are in trouble; doing voluntary work when you have time” has become a catchphrase amongst Shenzhen residents.
Shenzhen is a city of sub-provincial administrative status in southern China’s Guangdong province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. Owing to China’s economic liberalization from the policies of reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, the area became China’s first – and ultimately most successful – Special Economic Zone. Shenzhen’s novel and modern cityscape is the result of the vibrant economy made possible by rapid foreign investment since the late 1970s, when it was but a small fishing village. Since then, foreign nationals have invested more than US$30 billion for building factories and forming joint ventures. It is now reputedly one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Being southern China’s major financial centre, Shenzhen is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies. Shenzhen is also the second busiest port in mainland China, ranking only after Shanghai. Shenzhen: A significant and beautiful city Shenzhen is a modern and beautiful garden city located in southern China just across the border from Hong Kong. A popular destination for business travellers and Chinese tourists, Shenzhen has been relatively undiscovered by international tourists. However that is changing as people hear about the city’s great attractions and that it is easily accessed from Hong Kong. Shenzhen has been selected as the most livable city in China in a report released at the 2007 China City Forum in Beijing. The Beijing International Institute for Urban Development compared and analysed the quality of life in 287 cities in China, examining factors such as facilities, government services, clothing, food, accommodation and travel. In another study, conducted by the Hong Kong-based China Research Institute for Urban Competitiveness, Shenzhen was named as the third most beautiful city in China, following Beijing and Hong Kong. Described as a window of China’s opening up policy, Shenzhen was established as a Special Economic Zone in 1980. Since that time it has grown from a fishing village into a major and economically significant city. Universiade Shenzhen 2011 international games In 2011 Shenzhen will host the 26th Universiade games. An event of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), Universiades are a major international sporting and cultural event second in importance only to the Olympic Games. The 26th Summer Universiade was attributed to the city of Shenzhen at the FISU Executive Committee meeting prior to the 2007 Winter Universiade in Torino. Other candidates were Kazan (RUS), Koashiung (TPE), Murcia (ESP) and Poznan (POL). After Beijing in 2001 (summer) and Harbin in 2009 (winter), the Universaide will once more return to China as the city of Shenzhen was successfull in its bid for the 2011 Summer Universiade. On the southern tip of China, on the Hong-Kong border, Shenzhen has been the fastest growing Chinese city for the last thirty years. The population of 13 million occupies an area of 2020 sqkm. Shenzhen’s strategic location is a great advantage for business and trade. Its many industries benefit from a very dense transport network and considerable investment interest. The high technology sector has rapidly become the driver of the local economy. Trade with Hong-Kong is another of Shenzhen’s main resources. The two cities have concluded a favoured partner agreement. In the last eight years since Hong-Kong has returned to Chinese sovereignty, business between the two cities has doubled. Their cooperation extended in 2004 and now concerns a whole series of common projects including trade, as well as scientific research, education, finance and tourism. Along the same lines, close cooperation has been developed between the universities of Shenzhen, and Hong-Kong, as well as those of Macao and Chinese Taipei. Student exchanges are numerous and are growing on an international scale.
Maya Carnival of Happy Valley
- Maya Carnival of Happy Valley
July and August every year Maya Carnival of Happy Valley is a grand water carnival introduced by Shenzhen Happy Valley. It fully illustrates the ancient and mysterious South American civilization of Maya though grand brushing of Maya Volcano, holy Maya apparel, Maya warrior dancing, hunting dance, carnival tour, etc. Rock, samba drum dance and everything else enjoyable are there waiting for you.
Shenzhen International Tourist Culture Festival
- Shenzhen International Tourist Culture Festival
October and November ever year It is a tourist culture fair held by Shenzhen Municipal Government and sponsored by Shenzhen Tourism Bureau and Municipal Culture Bureau. With “Splendid Shenzhen and capital of joy ” as the theme, it fully demonstrates the strong local features and styles of Shenzhen, show the magnificent international demeanor of Shenzhen ,creates strong tourist &cultural atmosphere ,and promotes the tourism & culture of Shenzhen ,merging with the world.
Photo: Happy Valley
- Shenzhen Happy Valley
Photo: Overseas Chinese Town
- Overseas Chinese Town
Photo: Window of the World
- Window of the World
Photo: Wutong Mountain
- Wutong Mountain
Guangdong Province on the border with Hong Kong, 163km (102 miles) SE of Guangzhou
In the 1980s, Shenzhen grew seemingly overnight from nothing to a metropolis. The growth spurt came at the instigation of then-supreme leader Deng Xiaoping, and remains the primary symbol of the reform and opening policy he initiated. It’s equally a symbol of everything that’s wrong with what China has become — a jostle of shanty-towers with a rootless, money-grubbing, gone-in-a-day atmosphere. Hardly anyone’s a native, and many Chinese are here illegally. Far from finding the get-rich-quick scheme of their dreams, often many of these workers end up in sweatshops or prostitution. Seemingly oblivious to the city’s terrifying growth in violent crime, the authorities seem to believe that even more expansion will cure all ills. To this end, Shenzhen is trying to remake itself, attempting to disassociate itself from the fake handbag shops that line the border and focusing instead on a spanking new Central Business District in Futian.
If you’re in Hong Kong and are considering Shenzhen as a side trip, then be aware that shopping is the main activity. Otherwise, the main point of visiting here is to use its airport to get somewhere else. Warning: Although Hong Kong has “returned to the motherland,” this is a full-scale international border crossing, open from 6:30am to midnight, and is prohibited even to Chinese who don’t have the right documentation. Lines can be long, especially during holiday periods. In either direction, allow at least an hour, and whether you’re coming or going, be sure to collect immigration cards and fill them in while waiting in line. There are lines for Hong Kong residents, mainland Chinese, and foreigners — you’ll be sent to the back again if you join the wrong one. Full Chinese tourist visas cannot be obtained here. A 5-day permit allowing access only to Shenzhen can be purchased at the border by citizens of most developed nations for ¥100 ($13/£6.50), but the list of favored nations changes as high-level diplomatic spats eventually filter down to the ordinary traveler. Last year it was the British who were out of favor; this year it is the Americans who are in the doghouse.
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