Tongzhou District, Beijing
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|Township-level divisions||4 subdistricts
1 ethnic township
|District seat||Zhongcang Subdistrict|
|• Total||906 km2 (350 sq mi)|
|Elevation||32 m (106 ft)|
|• Density||1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||China Standard (UTC+8)|
Tongzhou District (simplified Chinese: 通州区; traditional Chinese: 通州區; pinyin: Tōngzhōu Qū; Wade–Giles: T'ung1chou1 Ch'ü1, alternate spellings Tungchow Tungchou (T'ung-chou), or Tong County during 1914-1997) is a district of Beijing. It is located in southeast Beijing and considered the eastern gateway to the nation's capital. Downtown Tongzhou itself lies twelve miles due east of central Beijing, at the northern end of the Grand Canal (on the junction between the Tonghui Canal and the Northern Canal) and at the easternmost end of Chang'an Avenue. The entire district covers an area of 906 square kilometres (350 sq mi), or 6% of Beijing's total area. It had a population of 673,952 at the 2000 Census, and has seen significant growth and development since then, growing to a population of 1,184,000 at the 2010 Census. The district is subdivided into 4 subdistricts, 10 towns, and 1 ethnic township.
Tongzhou was founded in 195 BC during the Western Han Dynasty under the name of Lu (路) County, although there is evidence for human settlement in the Neolithic. At the start of the Eastern Han Dynasty the character Lu by which it was known was altered by the addition of a water radical to become Lu (潞). In 1151 under the Jin Dynasty Lu County was renamed Tongzhou, roughly meaning 'the place for passing through', in recognition of its importance as the land and water approach to Beijing.
Qing & Republican era
In July 1937, subsequent to the galvanising Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Tongzhou became another site of determined Chinese resistance. In the Tongzhou Mutiny troops of the nominally Japanese-puppet East Hopei Army rebelled and came to the aid of hard-pressed Guomindang troops, and attacked the Japanese garrison. In the fall of Tongzhou to the Nationalists, many civilians were murdered and abused as well as captured Japanese military personnel.
The place name changed to Tong County (simplified Chinese: 通县; traditional Chinese: 通縣; pinyin: Tōng Xiàn) when the area was placed under the new municipal region of Beijing in 1914. It reverted again to Tongzhou when the area was upgraded in 1997 to a district.
Geography and environment
Tongzhou District borders the Beijing districts of Shunyi, Chaoyang and Daxing, Wuqing District of Tianjin Municipality, and Langfang City (both the Sanhe City−Dachang County−Xianghe County exclave and Guangyang District) of Hebei province, and is 12 miles from Tiananmen Square and 10 miles from Beijing Capital International Airport.
Tongzhou is situated on the North China Plain with an average elevation of 20 metres (66 ft). Its climate belongs to the mild temperate zone, with distinct seasons including hot summers and freezing winters. Dust storms are common. It has an annual mean temperature of 11.3 °C (52.3 °F). and 620 mm (24 in) of rainfall. Several large rivers, amongst them the Wenyu, the Liangshui and Chaobai flow through the district.
Tongzhou District is divided into 4 subdistricts, 10 towns, and 1 ethnic township. Two of the towns are alternatively classified as areas (simplified Chinese: 地区; traditional Chinese: 地區; pinyin: Dìqū):
- Zhongcang Subdistrict (中仓街道), Xinhua Subdistrict (新华街道), Beiyuan Subdistrict (北苑街道), Yuqiao Subdistrict (玉桥街道)
- Songzhuang (宋庄镇), Zhangjiawan (张家湾镇), Kuoxian (漷县镇), Majuqiao (马驹桥镇), Xiji (西集镇), Taihu (台湖镇), Yongledian (永乐店镇), Lucheng (潞城镇)
- Yujiawu Hui Ethnic Township (于家务回族乡)
Downtown Tongzhou is connected to downtown Beijing by Jingtong Expressway and Line Batong, Beijing Subway. Beijing's Fifth and Sixth Ring Road are roughly equidistant from Tongzhou's CBD. Highways lead to Shenyang, Harbin and Tianjin/Tanggu. A seventh ring road, a sixth subway line, a Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway and a Beijing-Tianjin shuttle are under construction.
Industry and tourism
There are seven industrial zones with a total area of 64 square kilometres (25 sq mi) in Tongzhou, focusing on modern manufacturing and high-tech industries. Downtown Tongzhou is earmarked for redevelopment into a comprehensive central business district with an emphasis on consumer retail. In agriculture, the district places emphasis on horticulture, fruit-farming, seed-growing and aquatics. The district government is currently promoting Tongzhou's position at the head of the Grand Canal to attract tourists to its Grand Canal Cultural Park.
Education and health
Tongzhou has good education facilities including 113 kindergartens, 141 primary schools, 51 high schools and many adult education colleges. It also boasts the Beijing Materials Institute, Beijing University of Technology and the Beijing Institute of Music. Its hospitals include a specialist tuberculosis treatment centre and a hospital specializing in traditional Chinese medicine.
- "2011年统计用区划代码和城乡划分代码：通州区" (in Simplified Chinese). National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "Branding Songzhuang". Studio 360:Made in China. 2007-11-16.
- "SongZhuang Artists Community". Retrieved November 28, 2008.
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