City Profile

Hangzhou, located at the south wing of the Yangtze River Delta, western end of Hangzhou Bay, the lower reach of the Qiantang River and southern end of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, is an important central city of the Yangtze River Delta and the transportation hub of Southeast China. Besides, it is the capital of Zhejiang Province, a national political, economic, scientific and education and cultural center, and also a national key scenic tourist city and famous historical and cultural city confirmed by the State Council and a sub-provincial city. Moreover, it has always been famous as the “paradise on earth”. “state of culture”, “prefecture of silk”, “capital of tea” and “land of fish and rice”.
Hangzhou, as one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization, has a long history. For example, Kuahu Bridge Culture in Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou has a history of 8000 years, and Liangzhu Culture in Yuhang District, Hangzhou, has a history of 5000 years. Since the Qin Dynasty established the county jurisdiction, Hangzhou has had a history of over 2200 years. Hangzhou was once the capital of the Wuyue Kingdom in the Five Dynasties and the Southern Song Dynasty, and one of the seven great ancient capitals in China. In ancient times, Hangzhou was called Qiantang. In 589, the first emperor of Sui Dynasty abolished Qiantang County, but established Hangzhou. This was the first time that the name Hangzhou had appeared in history. In 1129, Emperor Gaozong of Southern Song Dynasty moved to Hangzhou and raised Hangzhou to be Lin’an Prefecture. In 1138, the Southern Song Dynasty officially chose Lin’an as its capital, which lasted for over 140 years. In the 13th century, Marco Polo, an Italian traveler, said that Hangzhou “is the finest and most splendid city in the world” in his travel notes.
Now, Hangzhou has 9 districts – Shangcheng, Xiacheng, Jianggan, Gongshu, Xihu, Binjiang, Xiaoshan, Yuhang and Fuyang and 4 counties (cities) – Lin’an, Jiande, Tonglu and Chun’an. It covers an area of 16596km2 in total and has a permanent resident population of 9.018 million (by the end of 2015).
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