Tianjin (literally "Heaven's Ferry") is a metropolis in northern coastal China and one of the five national central cities of China, with a total municipal population of 15,469,500. It is governed as one of the fourdirect-controlled municipalities of the PRC and is thus under direct administration of the central government. Tianjin borders Hebei Province and Beijing Municipality, bounded to the east by the Bohai Gulfportion of the Yellow Sea. Part of the Bohai Economic Rim, it is the largest coastal city in northern China.
In terms of urban population, Tianjin is the fourth largest in China, after Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. In terms of administrative area population, Tianjin ranks fifth in Mainland China. The walled city of Tianjin was built in 1404. As a treaty port since 1860, Tianjin has been a major seaport and gateway to the nation's capital. During the Boxer Rebellion the city was the seat of the Tianjin Provisional Government. In the period of late Qing dynasty and the Republic of China, Tianjin became one of the largest cities in China. At that time, numerous western-style buildings and mansions were constructed in concessions, many of which are well-preserved today. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Tianjin suffered a depression due to the policy of the central government and Tangshan earthquake, but recovered from 1990s. Nowadays Tianjin is a dual-core city, with its main urban area (including the old city) located along theHai River, which connects to the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers via the Grand Canal; and Binhai, a New Area urban core located east of the old city, on the coast of Bohai Sea. As of the end of 2010, around 285 Fortune 500 companies have set up base in Binhai, which is a new growth pole in China and is a hub of advanced industry and financial activity.
The city has many sights; it's the streetscapes – an assemblage of historic nineteenth - and early twentieth-century European architecture, juxtaposed with the concrete and glass monoliths of contemporary China – that are its most engrossing attraction. Though wide swaths of the city are being redeveloped, much of the colonial architecture has been placed under protection, and the shopping opportunities, especially for antiques, just about justify a day-trip from the capital, an hour away by train.
In the nineteenth century, the port city caught the attention of the seafaring Western powers, who used the boarding of an English ship by Chinese troops as an excuse to declare war. With well-armed gunboats, they were assured of victory, and the Treaty of Tianjin, signed in 1856, gave the Europeans the right to establish nine concessionary bases on the mainland, from which they could conduct trade and sell opium. These concessions, along the banks of the Hai River, were self-contained European fantasy worlds: the French built elegant châteaux and towers, while the Germans constructed red-tiled Bavarian villas. Tensions between the indigenous population and the foreigners exploded in the Tianjin Incident of 1870, when a Chinese mob attacked a French-run orphanage, and again during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, after which the foreigners levelled the walls around the old Chinese city to enable them to keep an eye on its residents.
The dense network of ex-concession streets south and west of the central train station, and south of the Hai River, now constitute the areas of most interest to visitors. Unmistakable are the châteaux of the French concession, which now make up the downtown district just south of the river, and the haughty mansions the British built east of here. Farther east, also south of the river, the architecture of an otherwise unremarkable district has a sprinkling of stern German constructions.
The land where Tianjin is located today was created in ancient times by sedimentation of various rivers entering the sea at Bohai Gulf, including the Yellow River which entered the sea in this area at one point. Before this time, it was open sea.
There are diverse viewpoints for the origin of the name, "Tianjin". One version states that "Tianjin" as a word initially appeared in the poems of Qu Yuan, a famous patriotic poet of Chu State in the Warring States period. In his masterpiece Li Sao, there is a verse, ”At dawn, departing from the Port of the Heaven” (Chinese: 朝发轫于天津兮; pinyin: Zhāo fārèn yú tiānjīn xī). Another view is that "Tianjin" also used to be a name of constellation in the Chinese traditional astronomical system as recorded in the Astronomy Record in the Book of Sui. A third view states that "Tianjin" was recorded in the River Record in History of the Jin. The Origin from Emperor’s Name-giving-This perhaps is the most reliable point of view. Tianjin means literally The Ferry Site of Emperor (The Son of Heaven). It was said that the Yongle Emperor, who was one of the sons of the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming dynasty, before his enthronement for getting the crown of the Emperor, launched a war against the Jianwen Emperor, the grandson and successor of the Hongwu Emperor, in Nanjing. He departed from the Gu River of Tianjin and, after his success in enthronement, gave his departure site a name: Tianjin.
The opening of the Grand Canal during the Sui dynasty prompted the development of Tianjin into a trading center. Until 1404, Tianjin was called "Zhigu" (直沽), or "Straight Port". In that year, the Yongle Emperor renamed the city Tianjin meaning "the Heavenly Ford" to indicate that the Emperor (the Son of Heaven) forded the river at that point. This is because he had indeed forded the river in Tianjin when in contention with his nephew for the throne. Later, a fort was established in Tianjin, known as "Tianjin Wei" (天津卫), the Fort of Tianjin.
During the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) Tianjin was promoted to a prefecture or Zhou (州) in 1725 with Tianjin County established under the prefecture in 1731. Later it was to upgraded to an urban prefecture or Fu (府) before becoming a relay station (驻地) under the command of the Viceroy of Zhili.
Opening up as a treaty port
In 1856, Chinese soldiers boardedThe Arrow, a Chinese-owned ship registered in Hong Kong flying the British flag and suspected of piracy, smuggling, and of being engaged in the opium trade. They captured 12 men and imprisoned them. In response, the British and French sent gunboats under the command of Admiral Sir Michael Seymour to capture the Taku forts near Tianjin in May 1858. At the end of the first part of the Second Opium War in June of the same year, the British and French prevailed, and the Treaties of Tianjin were signed, which opened Tianjin to foreign trade. The treaties were ratified by the Emperor of China in 1860, and Tianjin was formally opened to Great Britain and France, and thus to the outside world. Between 1895 and 1900, Britain and France were joined by Japan, Germany and Russia, and even by countries without Chinese concessions such as Austria-Hungary, Italy and Belgium, in establishing self-contained concessions in Tianjin, each with its own prisons, schools, barracks and hospitals. These nations left many architectural reminders of their rule, notably churches and thousands of villas. Today those villas provide an exotic flavour to Tianjin.
The presence of foreign influence in Tianjin was not always peaceful; one of the most serious violent incidents to take place was the Tianjin Church Incident. In June 1870, the orphanage held by the Wanghailou Church (Church Our Lady's Victories), in Tianjin, built by French Roman Catholic missionaries, was accused of the kidnapping and brainwashing of Chinese children. On June 21, themagistrate of Tianjin County initiated a showdown at the church that developed into violent clashes between the church's Christian supporters and non-Christian Tianjin residents. The furious protestors eventually burned down Wanghailou Church and the nearby French consulate and killed eighteen foreigners including ten French nuns, the French consul, and merchants. France and six other Western nations complained to the Qing government, which was forced to pay compensation for the incident.
In June 1900, the Boxers were able to seize control of much of Tianjin. On June 26, European defense forces heading towards Beijing were stopped by Boxers at nearby Langfang, and were defeated and forced to turn back to Tianjin. The foreign concessions were also under siege for several weeks.
In July 1900, the Eight-Nation Alliance recaptured Tianjin. This alliance soon established the Tianjin Provisional Government, composed of representatives from each of the occupying forces (Russian, British, Japanese, German, French, American, Austro-Hungarian, and Italian). The city was governed by this council until August 15, 1902 when the city was returned to Qing control. Eminent Qing General Yuan Shikai led efforts to transform Tianjin into a modern city, establishing the first modern Chinese police force. In 1907, Yuan supervised China's first modern democratic elections for a county council.
Western nations were permitted to garrison the area to ensure open access to Beijing. The British maintained a brigade of two battalions in Tianjin, and the Italians, French, Japanese, Germans, Russians, and Austro-Hungarians maintained understrength regiments; the United States did not initially participate. During World War I, the German and Austro-Hungarian garrisons were captured and held as Prisoners of War by Allied Forces while the Bolshevik government withdrew the Russian garrison in 1918. In 1920, the remaining participating nations asked the United States to join them, and the US then sent the 15th Infantry Regiment, less one battalion, to Tianjin from the Philippines.
Because of the rapid development of industry, commerce and finance, Tientsin was established as a municipality of China in 1927. From 1930 to 1935, Tientsin was the provincial capital of Hopeh, after that re-established as a municipality.
Garrison duty was highly regarded by the troops. General George C. Marshall, the "architect of victory" in World War II when he was the United States Army Chief of Staff, served at Tianjin in the 1920s as Executive Officer of the 15th Infantry. The US withdrew this unit in 1938 and a US presence was maintained only by the dispatch of a small US Marine Corps unit from the Embassy Guard at Beijing.
Second Sino-Japanese War
On July 30, 1937, Tianjin fell to Japan, as part of the Second Sino-Japanese War, but was not entirely occupied, as the Japanese for the most part respected foreign concessions until 1941, when the American and British concessions were occupied. In the summer of 1939, there occurred a major crisis in Anglo-Japanese relations with the Tientsin Incident. On June 14, 1939, the Imperial Japanese Army surrounded and blockaded the British concession over the refusal of the British authorities to hand over to the Japanese six Chinese who had assassinated a locally prominent Japanese collaborator, and had taken refuge in the British concession. For a time, the 1939 crisis appeared likely to cause an Anglo-Japanese war, especially when reports of the maltreatment by the Japanese Army of British subjects wishing to leave or enter the concession appeared in the British press. The crisis ended when the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was advised by the Royal Navy and the Foreign Office that the only way to force the Japanese to lift the blockade was to send the main British battle fleet to Far Eastern waters, and that given the current crisis in Europe that it would be inappropriate to send the British fleet out of European waters, thus leading the British to finally turn over the six Chinese, who were then executed by the Japanese. During the Japanese occupation, Tianjin was ruled by the North China Executive Committee, a puppet state based in Beijing.
On August 9, 1940, all of the British troops in Tianjin were ordered to withdraw. On November 14, 1941 the American Marine unit stationed in Tianjin was ordered to leave, but before this could be accomplished, the Japanese attacked the United States. The American Marine detachment surrendered to the Japanese on December 8, 1941. Only the Italian and French concessions (the local French officials were loyal to Vichy) were allowed by the Japanese to remain. When Italy signed an armistice with the Allies in September 1943, Japanese troops took the Italian concession following a battle with its garrison, and the Italian Social Republic formally ceded it to Wang Jingwei's Japan-controlled puppet state. Japanese occupation of the city lasted until August 15, 1945, with the surrender of Japan marking the end of World War II.
Post World War II
In Pingjin Campaign of Chinese Civil War, the city was captured after 29 hours of fighting. Finally the Communists took over Tianjin on 15 January 1949.
More recently, since 2008 Tianjin has held the Annual Meeting of the New Champions of World Economic Forum (also called Summer Davos), in alternating years with another Chinese city, Dalian.
In October 2010, the UN Climate Change Conference convened in Tianjin.
2015 Tianjin explosions
On 12 August 2015, huge explosions in the Binhai area of the city caused widespread damage and hundreds of casualties. The cause was not immediately known, though reports initially pointed to an industrial accident. Chinese state media reported that at least the initial blast was from unknown hazardous materials in shipping containers at a plant warehouse owned by Ruihai Logistics, a firm specializing in handling hazardous materials. 173 people were killed, nearly 800 others were wounded, and eight remain missing.
Tianjin features a four-season, monsoon-influenced climate, typical of East Asia, with cold, windy, very dry winters reflecting the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone, and hot, humid summers, due to the monsoon. Spring in the city is dry and windy, occasionally seeing sandstorms blowing in from the Gobi Desert, capable of lasting for several days. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −3.4 °C (25.9 °F) in January to 26.8 °C (80.2 °F) in July, with an annual mean of 12.90 °C (55.2 °F). With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 48% in July to 61% in October, the city receives 2,522 hours of bright sunshine annually. Having a low annual total precipitation of 511 millimetres (20.1 in), and nearly three-fifths of it occurring in July and August alone, the city lies within the semi-arid zone, with parts of the municipality being humid continental .
Extreme temperatures have ranged from −22.9 °C (−9 °F) to 40.5 °C (105 °F).
|Daily highs (°C)||2||5||12||21||26||30||31||30||26||20||11||4|
|Nightly lows (°C)||−8||−5||1||9||15||20||23||22||16||9||1||−5|
Humidity is highly seasonal; only summer is consistently humid
Tianjin is located along the west coast of the Bohai Gulf, looking out to the provinces Shandong and Liaoning across those waters, bordered by Beijing 120 kilometres (75 mi) to the northwest, and except for the east, is surrounded on all sides by Hebei. With a latitude ranging from 38° 34' to 40° 15' N, and longitude ranging from 116° 43' to 118° 04' E, the total area is 11,860.63 square kilometres (4,579.41 square miles). There is 153 km (95 mi) of coastline and 1,137.48 kilometres (706.80 miles) of land border. It lies at the northern end of the Grand Canal of China, which connects with the Yellow River and Yangtze River. The municipality is generally flat, and swampy near the coast, but hilly in the far north, where the Yan Mountains intrude into northern Tianjin. The highest point in the municipality is Jiuding Peak (九顶山) in Ji County on the northern border with Hebei, at an altitude of 1,078.5 m (3,538 ft).
The Hai River forms within Tianjin Municipality at the confluence of the Ziya River (子牙河), Daqing River (大清河), Yongding River, North Grand Canal, and South Grand Canal, and enters the Pacific Ocean within the municipality as well, in Tanggu District. Major reservoirs include the Beidagang Reservoir in the extreme south (in Dagang District) and the Yuqiao Reservoir in the extreme north in Ji County.
Tianjin's GDP reached 1.572 trillion yuan in 2014, an increase of 10.0 percent over 2013. The city of Tianjin recorded China's highest per-capita GDP with $17,126, followed by Beijing with $16,278 and Shanghai with $15,847.
The municipality recorded a 16.5% increase in GDP in 2009, second only to the 16.9% rate in resource-rich Inner Mongolia, and nearly double the national growth rate. In the short term, infrastructure spending will buoy Tianjin's economy. There are substantial projects under way to extend the metro system and improve road and rail links with the nearby national capital, Beijing.
Although the international financial crisis spread rapidly and the speed of world economy growth is slowing down, Tianjin economy still maintains at a steady and fast growing speed. In 2008, Tianjin's total output value was RMB 635.438 billion, an increase of 16.5%, say RMB 130.398 billion increase over last year, the first time with an increase of exceeding RMB 100 billion. The total output value per capita in Tianjin was US$7,800, nearing the level of middle developed countries. Tianjin had realized a directly contracted foreign investment of up to $13.256 billion, an increase of 15.1%, and actual contributed capital of $7.420, increasing 40.6% year on year. So far Tianjin has had 21,048 companies with foreign investment, with accumulated foreign investment of $47.2 billion.
At the same time, Tianjin is actively developing financial reform and innovation. The China Bohai Bank, the first national commercial bank limited by shares with headquarters in Tianjin, had set up six branches and 14 offices open to the public by the end of 2008. In March 2008, the national non-listed public companies equity exchange market (OTC) was established in Tianjin upon approval of the State Council.Tianjin has become the pilot city with the most industrial investment funds in China. The China National Private Equity Forum was held in Tianjin again, with approx. 500 investment companies and private fund institutions as well as about 2,000 growing enterprises involving in global capital circulation through this Capital Connection in Tianjin. Supported by the strong actual goods exchange, Tianjin takes futures industry development as a key part of its financial reform and innovation. In July 2008, the Yide Futures Broker Co. moved its headquarters to Tianjin. Tianjin Finance Town Project, North Jiefang Road as its axle, has been initiated. It will be built into a comprehensive, open and intellectual finance service area within ten years.
Tianjin is transforming into a hub city for international shipping and logistics, modern manufacturing and research and development. Nominal GDP of Tianjin has swelled by 2.8 times from 184 RMB billion in 2001 to 505 RMB billion in 2007. Tianjin pillar industries are electronic information technology, automotive, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, metallurgy and petrochemicals industries. The new coastal area, consisting of Tianjin Port, Tianjin Economic and Technology Development Area and Tianjin Bonded area, has attracted numerous world-famous businesses like Motorola, Toyota and Samsung. Globalization and opening up of the economy to the rest of the world have brought about remarkable benefits to the economic growth of Tianjin.
Government finance revenue of Tianjin increased by more than threefold from 16 RMB billion in 2001 to 54 RMB billion in 2007. As revenue rose, expenditure on science and technology, education, culture, health and sports followed suit as well, reaching 10 billion RMB in 2004, constituting to 30.7% of the city's financial expenditure. Revenue has also been used in the building of infrastructure such as new roads, new bridges and commercial houses. One of the development objectives in the 11th Five year Plan is to have financial revenue growing at the rate of 16% annually.
|Skyscrapers in Tianjin:|
|Goldin Finance 117||597.00m|
|Tianjin World Financial Center||336.9 m|
|Yujiapu Administrative Services Center||299.45 m|
|Powerlong Center||289 m|
|Bohai Bank Tower||270 m|
|5 Taian Dao||253.40 m|
Tianjin total investments in fixed assets have increased from 62 RMB billion in 2001 to 239 RMB billion in 2007, representing a 3.9 times surge over a period of six years. Tianjin has built up its competitive advantages in the investment landscape such as: convenient port transportation services, an open market, advanced logistic services, alluring preferential policies and having efficient government services. By the end of 2004, more than 118 countries and regions invested in Tianjin, setting up approximately 16, 000 enterprises. Currently, Tianjin is developing itself into an eco-city, thus, bringing multiple prospects for investments in fixed assets in the subsequent time periods.
Tianjin is divided into 16 county-level divisions, which are all districts .
|Administrative divisions of Tianjin|
|Division code||English name||Chinese||Pinyin|
|120000||Tianjin Municipality||天津市||Tiānjīn Shì|
|120101||Heping District||和平区||Hépíng Qū|
|120102||Hedong District||河东区||Hédōng Qū|
|120103||Hexi District||河西区||Héxī Qū|
|120104||Nankai District||南开区||Nánkāi Qū|
|120105||Hebei District||河北区||Héběi Qū|
|120106||Hongqiao District||红桥区||Hōngqiáo Qū|
|120110||Dongli District||东丽区||Dōnglì Qū|
|120111||Xiqing District||西青区||Xīqīng Qū|
|120112||Jinnan District||津南区||Jīnnán Qū|
|120113||Beichen District||北辰区||Běichén Qū|
|120114||Wuqing District||武清区||Wǔqīng Qū|
|120115||Baodi District||宝坻区||Bǎodǐ Qū|
|120116||Binhai New Area||滨海新区||Bīnhǎi Xīn Qū|
|120117||Ninghe District||宁河区||Nínghé Qū|
|120118||Jinghai District||静海区||Jìnghǎi Qū|
|120119||Jizhou District||蓟州区||Jìzhōu Qū|
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