Taicang (simplified Chinese: 太仓; traditional Chinese: 太倉; pinyin: Tàicāng) is a city in southeastern Jiangsu province, People's Republic of China. It is approximately 60 km (37 mi) to the northwest of Shanghai, and the same distance to the east of Suzhou. It is a county-level city under jurisdiction of Suzhou prefecture level city. In 2008, the registered population was at 466,300, and total GDP reached RMB 52.8 billion (US$7.6 billion). The GDP per capita reached RMB 79,449 (US$11,439). Taicang has been consistently ranked in top 10 of the National Bureau of Statistics' 100 Most Competitive County Level Cities in China.
The city traces its roots back to the Three Kingdoms era (220~280 AD), when Eastern Wu build storage facilities for agriculture products in this area. The literal meaning of Taicang is "grand barn". Taicang is a natural sea port, and because of this the city developed into a port city over the years. In Yuan dynasty, the city reached its peak around 1271-1368 as the number one port of the world which is manifested in the next dynasty - Ming dynasty. Taicang became the place where Zheng He set off his voyages to explore the world.
Taicang is centered at 31°30' North and 120°40' East. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the city has a total area of 318.0 square miles (823.0 km²), of which, 208.0 square miles (537.0 km²) of it is land and 110 square miles (285 km²) of it is water. Yangtze River has 61% of the water area. Taicang is in the Yangtze River Delta Depositional Plain. The whole region is flat, leaning slightly toward southwest. Altitude: 3.5~5.8 meters in east; 2.4~3.8 meters in west. Taicang port is in the east of the city, and south of the Yangtze exit into the East China sea. The center of Taicang port is in 31°37′00" North, 121°14′00" East. Port line stretches 24.3 miles (38.8 km), of which 15.6 miles can park 50 thousand ton vessels. Taicang is in humid subtropical climate zone with distinctive seasons. Average year round temperate is 15.5 Celsius. Precipitation is around 1078.1 mm.
In 2007, the registered population is at 463,800 and the gender ratio is 95. Urban residents compose 62.4% of total population. The racial makeup of the city has 29 ethnic races. Han Chinese is the majority. Among 28 minorities, Hui Chinese and Manchu are the two largest groups.
Pioneering physicist from Taicang's Liuhe Township (瀏河). Her father, Zhong-Yi Wu, established Mingde Girl Vocational School in 1913, which is one of the first girls' schools in China. The modern day Mingde School evolved into several schools, covering whole K12 education in Taicang, and it enrolls both genders. Wu left China in 1936 to study physics in United States. She became an American citizen in 1954 and was one of the most well-respected physicists of the 20th century, specializing in the study of atomic physics and radioactivity.