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About Nanjing

Nanjing was one of the earliest established cities in China (around 495 BCE). Today, the city is the capital of Jiangsu province in Eastern China. The city is 300 kilometres northwest of Shanghai and 1,200 kilometres southeast of Beijing. As in most of eastern China, the ethnic makeup of the city is predominantly Han nationality (98.5%), with 50 other minority nationalities. It has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions. Given its strategic location – located in the lower Yangtze River drainage basin and Yangtze River Delta economic zone, Nanjing has long been one of China’s most important cities (e.g. being the capital of Wu during the Three Kingdoms Period and its recognition as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China). It has long been a national centre of education, research, transport, networks and tourism. The city will host the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics. It is also one of the fifteen sub-provincial cities in China’s administrative structure, meaning it enjoys jurisdictional and economic autonomy only slightly less than that of a province. Nanjing is endowed with rich natural resources, which include more than 40 kinds of minerals. 

Nanjing has a humid subtropical climate and is influenced by the East Asian monsoon. The four seasons are distinct, with damp conditions throughout the year; very hot and muggy summers, cold winters, and lengthy spring and autumn. Typhoons are uncommon but possible in the late stages of summer and early autumn. The annual mean temperature is around 15.46 C with a highest recorded temperature of 43 C and the lowest -16.9 C. On average, precipitation falls 115 days a year. 

Interesting facts

  • The city is surrounded by mountains, which made access difficult until recent decades. However, this preserved some of the traditional culture.
  • Nanjing is one of China’s main business, industrial and education centres.
  • 60 highways meet in Nanjing

Top three activities

  • One of the open wounds in China's recent history is the Nanjing Massacre. In 1937, the Japanese killed over 300,000 inhabitants of the city in a period of six weeks. This memorial, built in 1985, is a sight you must visit!
  • From 1927 to 1949, the Presidential Palace housed the president of the Republic of China. Nowadays the building is home to the China Modern History Museum. It is one of the few places in the country where the flag of the Republic of China is publicly shown!
  • The Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, completed in 1968, was the first heavy bridge designed and built by Chinese expertise. It's upper deck, used by cars is as long as 4,588 metres, whereas the lower deck is a railway of 6,772 metres. It carries over 80,000 cars and 200 trains everyday!

Facts about Nanjing

Population      8,100,000
Size (km²)6,598
Life expectancy76,5 years
GDP per capita$16,200

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