Hangzhou is one of the core cities in the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone and city clusters in the southeast coastal region in China, acting as the capital of Zhejiang Province. The administrative area of Hangzhou City covers 16.6 thousand square kilometers with a population of 9.01 million. In 2015, the gross regional production of Hangzhou reached RMB1,005,358,000,000, with the per capita GDP of permanent residents as USD18,025. The humanistic spirit of Hangzhou is defined as being harmonious and open, indicating both profound Chinese cultures as well as an internationalized view in this city.
A City with Profound Historical and Cultural Background
As one of the ancient capitals in China, archaeologists have discovered the culture of Kuahu Bridge 8,000 years ago, and the Liangzhu Culture 5,000 year ago in Hangzhou. What’s more, Hangzhou was once the capital of the State of Wuyue (AD907-978) and the Southern Song Dynasty (AD1127-1279).
Hangzhou owns 54 famous museums including China Silk Museum and China National Tea Museum, 38 buildings within the national-level protection for history and culture, three intangible culture heritages listed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, and many renowned institutions of higher education like Zhejiang University and China Academy of Art. Bai Juyi, a prominent poet in Tang Dynasty once served as the Mayor of Hangzhou 1,200 years ago. After leaving the office, he once created lines in his poem praising the beauty of this city. Additionally, Italian traveler Marco Polo living over 700 years ago also expressed much admiration for Hangzhou, remarking it as the most splendid and prosperous city in the world.
A Travel Destination with Various Scenic Spots
The forest coverage rate in Hangzhou is as high as 65%, with the per capita green area in built-up downtown districts covering 15.1 square meters. Thanks to this feature, Hangzhou is awarded the UN Habitat Award as well as the title of an international garden city. What’s more, Hangzhou is also awarded honorary titles like China National Forest City and the National Model City for Environmental Protection.
Hangzhou is famous for its widely recognized scenic spots including the West Lake, the Qiantangjiang River, the Tianmu Mountain that is a national reserve area, the Thousand-island Lake with most islands worldwide, and the Xixi Wetland, the widest urban wetland in China. In its downtown area, there are 27 traditional culture blocks like Qinghefang, outhern Song Imperial Street, and Gong-chen Bridge. Owing to these splendid scenic spots, Hangzhou was once awarded the honorary title of the Best Tourist City in China jointly by World Tourism Organization and the China National Tourism Administration, and called the City of Leisure in Orient by the World Leisure Organization. Additionally, Hangzhou was even ranked in the List of 52 Most Valuable Travel Destinations Worldwide by the New York Times.
A Modern City with Advanced Ideas
The urban management and construction of Hangzhou top the list in China. In 2002, the West Lake, a well-known scenic spot became a visit leisure center accessible to citizens for free. In recent years, Hangzhou built up the world’s largest urban public bicycle system. In 2015, Hangzhou took the lead in achieving iron-business-free, coal-fired-unit-free, and heavy-polluting-vehicle-free cities, with local possession of new-energy vehicles ranked the third nationwide. In September 2016, Hangzhou successfully held the G20 Summit, which marks the first conference of G20 held in China. Apart from boosting the construction of municipal traffic infrastructures and urban environment, this summit also gives people around the world the image of neatness and grace for Hangzhou, which significantly contributes to Hangzhou’s international reputation.
A City of Talents and Innovation
Hangzhou is one of the national self-dependent innovation demonstrative areas as well as the top ten cities for innovation ecosystems. Its IT industries are leading nationwide, with its cultural and creativity industries ranked the third. The Hangzhou West High-tech Innovation Corridor is turning into an entrepreneurial and innovation base for talents both at home and abroad, which gathers many famous enterprises’ headquarters. As the first comprehensive cross-border e-commerce pilot area in China, Hangzhou is the base for over one third of comprehensive e-commerce companies nationwide, serving as a key hub for the Online Silk Road of China. Owing to these features, Hangzhou has been awarded the honorary title of the City with the Best Overall Investment Environment of China by the World Bank for several years in a row.