Statue of Five Horses in Wenzhou
Location of Wenzhou City jurisdiction in Zhejiang
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|• CPC Ctte Secretary||Chen Yixin (陈一新)|
|• Mayor||Chen Jinbiao (陈金彪)|
|• Land||11,784 km2 (4,550 sq mi)|
|• Water||11,000 km2 (4,248 sq mi)|
|• Urban||1,188 km2 (459 sq mi)|
|• Metro||3,640 km2 (1,410 sq mi)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Prefecture-level city||9,122,100|
|• Urban density||2,600/km2 (6,600/sq mi)|
|• Rank in China||15th|
|Time zone||China Standard (UTC+8)|
|GDP||CNY 252.8 billion|
|GDP per capita||CNY 32,595|
|Local Dialect||Wu (Wenzhou dialect)
and Min Nan
|Wu||Iu1ciou1 (Wenzhou dialect)
Uen1tseu1 (Shanghai dialect)
|Literal meaning||Wenqiao Mountains Prefecture|
Wenzhou ( listen (help·info)), (simplified Chinese: 温州市; traditional Chinese: 溫州市; pinyin: Wēnzhōu Shì) formerly written Wenchow, is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Zhejiang province in the People's Republic of China. At the time of the 2010 Chinese census, 3,039,500 people lived in Wenzhou's city proper; the area under its jurisdiction (which includes two satellite cities and six counties) held a population of 9,122,100. Its coastline opens on the East China Sea; its borders connect it to Lishui on the west, Taizhou on the north, and Fujian to the south.
Wenzhou, which translates to "a mild and pleasant land", derives its name from its climate, as it is neither extremely hot in summer nor extremely cold in the winter.
Originally known as Yongjia, Yung-chia or Yungkia (Chinese: 永嘉; pinyin: Yǒngjiā), Wenzhou was a prosperous foreign treaty port, which remains well-preserved today. It is situated in a mountainous region and, as a result, has been isolated for most of its history from the rest of the country, making the local culture and language very distinct not only from the rest of China but from neighbouring areas as well. It is also known for its emigrants who leave their native land for Europe and the United States, with a reputation for being entrepreneurs who start restaurants, retail and wholesale businesses in their adopted countries. People of Wenzhou origin make up a large number of ethnic Chinese residents of Italy, the Netherlands, France, and Africa.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Administration
- 4 Economy
- 5 Transport
- 6 Culture and demographics
- 7 Education
- 8 Notable people
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Wenzhou has a history which goes back to about 2000 BC, when it became known for its pottery production. In the 2nd century BC, it was called the Kingdom of Dong'ou. Under the Tang Dynasty, it was promoted to prefecture status and given its current name in AD 675. The name Wenzhou originally referred to the province itself and referred to the nearby Wenqiao Mountains (温峤岭).
Throughout its history, Wenzhou's traditional economic role has been as a port giving access to the mountainous interior of southern Zhejiang Province. In early European sources, the name Wenzhou-Fu or -Foo was often transcribed Ouen-tcheou-fou after the accounts of French-speaking missionaries. In 1876, Wenzhou was opened for tea exports, but no foreign settlement was ever established there. Between 1937 and 1942, during the Second Sino-Japanese War (i.e., World War II), Wenzhou achieved importance as one of the few ports still under Chinese control. It declined in the later years of the war, but began to recover after coastal trade along the Zhejiang coast was re-established in 1955.
With jurisdiction over three districts, two county-level cities and six counties, Wenzhou covers a land area of 11,784 km2 (4,550 sq mi) and sea area of 11,000 km2 (4,200 sq mi). The population of the prefectural level city is 9.12 million including 2.30 million urban residents, divided among 2 county-level cities and 3 districts.
Much of Wenzhou is mountainous, with many mountain tops reaching altitudes in excess of 1,000 m (3,300 ft), for example in the Yandang Mountains, a coastal mountain range dominating the eastern part of prefecture. Another dominating landscape element is the Ou River, the largest river in Wenzhou prefecture. There are some coastal plains, notably around the mouth of the Ou (where the city proper of Wenzhou is located), and further south, around the mouth of the Feiyun River (in Rui'an, a county-level city). Other notable rivers include the Nanxi River, a tributary of the Ou. Coastal plains are used intensively for agriculture but also host much of the population and industry.
The 339 kilometres (211 mi) long coastline gives the city abundant marine resources and many beautiful islands. Dongtou, one of the counties in Wenzhou, is also called the "County of one hundred islands".
Wenzhou boasts wonderful landscapes with rugged mountains and tranquil waters, including three state-level scenic spots, namely the Yandang Mountains, the Nanxi River and the Baizhangji Fall-Feiyun Lake, and two national nature reserves, namely the Wuyanling Ridge and the Nanji Islands, among which Yandang Mountain has been named as World Geopark, while Nanji Islands are listed as UNESCO’s Marine Nature Reserve of World Biosphere Reserves. Scenic area accounts for 25% of the city’s land space.
Wenzhou derives its present name from its mild climate, and has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa) with short, mild, dry winters and long, hot, humid summers. Summers are similar to the remainder of the province (albeit slightly cooler during the daytime as compared to inland areas), but winter is much milder, partly due to the southerly location and partly due to the sheltering effect of the surrounding mountains. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 8.0 °C (46.4 °F) in January to 28.0 °C (82.4 °F) in July and August, while the annual mean is 18.08 °C (64.5 °F). Heavy rainfalls occur in late spring and early summer due to the plum rains of the East Asian monsoon, while typhoons are commonly a threat in the second half of summer causing considerable damage and destruction. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 26% in March to 53% in August, the city receives 1,706 hours of bright sunshine annually.
|Climate data for Wenzhou (1971−2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||12.2
|Average low °C (°F)||5.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||58.3
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||13.5||14.8||19.0||18.4||18.4||18.1||14.7||16.6||13.4||10.3||9.4||8.1||174.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||113.2||90.5||96.4||119.5||122.0||126.9||214.8||213.3||166.2||157.0||138.2||148.0||1,706|
|Percent possible sunshine||35||29||26||31||29||31||51||53||45||44||43||46||38.6|
|Source: China Meteorological Administration|
|1||Lucheng District||鹿城区||Lùchéng Qū|
|2||Longwan District||龙湾区||Lóngwān Qū|
|3||Ouhai District||瓯海区||Ōuhǎi Qū|
|4||Rui'an City||瑞安市||Ruì'ān Shì|
|5||Yueqing City||乐清市||Yuèqīng Shì|
|6||Dongtou County||洞头县||Dòngtóu Xiàn|
|7||Yongjia County||永嘉县||Yǒngjiā Xiàn|
|8||Pingyang County||平阳县||Píngyáng Xiàn|
|9||Cangnan County||苍南县||Cāngnán Xiàn|
|10||Wencheng County||文成县||Wénchéng Xiàn|
|11||Taishun County||泰顺县||Tàishùn Xiàn|
|District (区) Name||Population
|Lucheng District (鹿城区)||875,006||1,293,300||294.38|
|Longwan District (龙湾区)||204,935||749,300||279|
|Ouhai District (瓯海区)||835,607||996,900||614.5|
|Wenzhou urban area (市区) "city of Wenzhou"||1,915,548||3,039,500||1187.88|
|Ruian City (瑞安市)||1,207,788||1,424,700||1271|
|Yueqing City (乐清市)||1,162,765||1,389,300||1174|
|Yongjia County (永嘉县)||722,390||789,200||2674|
|Pingyang County (平阳县)||740,448||761,700||1042|
|Cangnan County (苍南县)||1,167,589||1,184,600||1272|
|Dongtou County (洞头县)||96,744||87,700||100|
|Wencheng County (文成县)||264,878||212,100||1271|
|Taishun County (泰顺县)||279,799||233,400||1762|
Wenzhou exports food, tea, wine, jute, timber, paper, Alunite (a non-metallic mineral used to make alum and fertilizer). Alunite is quite abundant here and sometimes Wenzhou claims to be the "Alunite Capital of the World". Its 10 main industries each exceeding 1.5 billion dollars are electrical machinery, leather products, general equipment, power supply, plastic manufacturing, textile and garment, transport equipment, chemical products, metal products and metal processing.
From the 1990s, low-voltage electric appliances manufacturing became one of the major industries in Wenzhou, with some of the large private enterprises setting up joint ventures with GE and Schneider.
In 1994, exploration for oil and natural gas commenced in the East China Sea 100 km (62 mi) off the coast of Wenzhou. Companies such as Texaco, Chevron, Shell and JAPEX have started to drill for oil but the operations have been largely unsuccessful.
Wenzhou is a city full of vibrant business activities. When China began economic reforms in 1978, Wenzhou was the first city in China to set up individual and private enterprises as well as shareholder cooperatives. It has also taken the lead in carrying out financial system reform and structural reform in townships. Being a pioneer in utilising marketing mechanism to develop urban constructions, Wenzhou has won a number of firsts in China and set many national records.
From 1978 through 2009, the GDP of the city has increased from 1.32 billion RMB to 252.8 billion RMB with the gross fiscal revenue increasing from 0.135 billion RMB to 36.1 billion RMB, and the net per capita income for rural residents increasing from 113.5 RMB to 10,100 RMB. The per capita disposable income for urban residents increased from 422.6 RMB in 1981 to 28,021 RMB in 2009, which is the third highest among Chinese cities, after Dongguan and Shenzhen.
GDP of the city in 2011 reached 335.087 billion RMB, a YOY growth of 9.5%. Per capita GDP reached 42,278 RMB, or USD 6,546 as per yearly average exchange rate, a 8.2% increase over the previous year.
Financial Reform Pilot Project
In late March 2012 China's State Council announced that Wenzhou would be the site of a pilot project for the reform of private investment rules. The city had been a significant source of illegal loans, and this project would legalize and provide a regulatory framework for such activities. It has been seen not only as an attempt to legitimize Wenzhou's private finance market, but also as a model for cleaning up underground lending in China as a whole.
Birthplace of China's private economy
In the early days of economic reforms, the people of Wenzhou took the lead in developing a commodity economy, household industries and specialized markets. Many thousands of people and families were engaged in household manufacturing to develop individual and private economy. Up till now, Wenzhou has a total of 240,000 individually owned commercial and industrial units and 130,000 private enterprises of which 180 are group companies, 4 among China’s top 500 enterprises and 36 among national 500 top private enterprises. There are 27 national production bases such as "China’s Shoes Capital" and "China’s Capital of Electrical Equipment", China’s 40 famous trademarks and China’s famous-brand products and 67 national inspection-exempt products in the city. The development of private economy in Wenzhou has created the "Wenzhou Economic Model", which inspires the modernization drive in China.
The city of Wenzhou is a world leader in lighter manufacturing with over 500 such companies in the city. The plastic weaving cluster in Wenzhou comprised 1600 enterprises in 2001, employing 42,000 people with an annual output value of 20 billion Yuan. The Local cluster comprised 400 manufacturers in 2001 with a total output of 5 billion Yuan, representing 65 percent of the domestic market share. The cluster is the first in China in terms of market share and sold it products to 60 countries.
There are many areas in which people of Wenzhou opened the first example of private economy in post-1949 China. For instance, Juneyao Airlines started on July, 1991, which is the first private airline company in China. Jinwen Rail Way is also the first rail way company which is built with private capital.
- Wenzhou Economic & Technological Development Zone
Wenzhou Economic & Technological Development Zone was established and approved by State Council in 1992. The main traffic system around the zone include No.104 National Highway, Ningbo-Wenzhou Expressway and Wenzhou Bridge. It is located near to Wenzhou International Airport and Wenzhou Port. Industries encouraged in the zone include electrical equipment, electronic information, chemical medicine, building materials, and textiles.
The Wenzhou Yongqiang Airport serves the Wenzhou area, with scheduled flights to major cities in mainland China as well as Hong Kong and Macau. New direct air route to Taipei and Cheju Island of Korea have been opened in 2012. The Airport is situated on the southeast of Wenzhou city proper, 20 km (12 mi) away from the city center. It’s been graded as nation’s Category B civil airport, serving a population of 20 million spanning areas of Wenzhou, Taizhou and Lishui of Zhejiang and Ningde of the neighbouring Fujian. The correlated GDP of the area reaches 300 billion RMB.
The Airport started opening up in 1995 and direct flight to Macau was approved. Air route to Hong Kong was open in 1996. Linking 65 cities in the country with 34 permanently operating air routes, the Airport is among the fastest-growing and profitable among its peers in China.
The Airport ranks 1st in terms of passenger transit among cities of same level in China. In 2004, the Airport handled 29,700 landings, a passenger transit of 2.439 million, cargo throughput of 38,500 tons.
A new Terminal 2(T2) is being planned, with designed passenger throughput of 13 million per year, while the Terminal 1 will serve as international terminal.
Because of Wenzhou's geographic location, it is difficult to build a railway to connect it with other cities. Wenzhou's first railway, the Jinhua-Wenzhou Line, opened on June 11, 1998. The railway runs northwest to Jinhua and is operated by the Jinwen Railway Company. The railway has a total length of 251 km (156 mi), including 135 bridges of 14 km (8.7 mi) in length 96 tunnels of 35 km (22 mi) in length. The Jinwen Railway was the first in China to be built with local capital, and gave birth to China's first standardized joint-stock enterprise: Zhejiang Jinwen Rail Way Development Co., Ltd.
In September 2009, two high-speed railways opened in Wenzhou. The Hangzhou–Taizhou–Wenzhou Railway runs north to Hangzhou, and the Wenzhou–Xiamen Railway, runs south to Xiamen. Both lines accommodate high-speed CRH (China Railway High-speed) trains running at speeds of up to 200 km/h (120 mph) and have dramatically shortened rail travel time to neighboring cities. The city was the site of China's only major high-speed rail accident to date.
Culture and demographics
Wenzhou natives speak a form of Wu Chinese, the language family shared by Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Shanghai. Geographic isolation and the immigration of Southern Min speakers from nearby Fujian have caused Wenzhounese (温州话, p Wēnzhōuhuà, lit. "Wenzhou dialect") to evolve into a "notoriously eccentric" hybrid. As a result, people from all over China, including Wu speakers from neighboring regions of Zhejiang and Fujian, have trouble understanding or learning the local tongue.
Most of the Wenzhou people practice the Chinese folk religion as in the rest of China, although a large part of the population is non-religious. In addition, Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity also have a presence in the city.
Prior to 1949 there were 2.000 registered places of worship and 4.500 priests and monks in the city. Although religion, like clans, was suppressed after 1949, it revived quickly since the 1980s, and today there are 4.000 registered places of worship. The city has been for centuries a hub of Christian missionary activity; prior to 1949 it was home to 115.000 Christians, more than 1/10 of the total Christians in China at that time. Today it remains an important center of Christianity in China.
Nanxi River located in Yongjia County, Nanxi River was famous for its 36 bends and 72 beaches. The main scenic spots of the Nanxi River area include the Furong Triangle Rock, the Waterfall of Tengxi Pool, the Twelve Peaks, the Taogong Cave, the Warehouse Under The Cliff, the Furong Ancient Hamlet and the Lion Rock. It was named as the one of National Tourist Scenic Spot by the State Council and has been list in Tentative Lists of UNESCO World Heritage.
Yandang Mountains or Yandangshan Mountains, literally the wild goose pond mountain(s), it is known for its natural beauty, arising from its many vertical rock faces and pinnacles, mountain slopes with lush forests and bamboo groves, streams with clear water, waterfalls and caves.
Covered bridges, Taishun County has more than 900 covered bridges, Wuyanling National Nature Reserve in the west of the county represents significant natural values as well as being a touristic attraction.
Art and literature
Wenzhou is 1682 years old with a profound and brilliant cultural background. It has given birth to many outstanding people and great scholars. Among them were Wang Shipeng, Chen Fuliang, Ye Shi, Huang Gongwang and Liu Ji during the South Song Dynasty, as well as Sun Yirang, Xia Nai, Xia Chengtao and Su Buqing and others of the modern era. All of them have exerted significant influence in the history of Chinese philosophy, literature and science. Wenzhou is also the origin of China’s landscape poetry, the founder of which, Xie Lingyun, was the chief of Wenzhou’s Yongjia Prefecture in the Nan Dynasty. In Song Dynasty, there were 4 distinguished poets from Yongjia representing the River and Lake Poetry. In addition, Wenzhou is home to Nan Drama of China, which is said be the origin of Chinese traditional drama. "The Romance of a Hairpin", a tale about Wang Shipeng and Qian Yulian, is well known among locals and serves an inspiration for many who have endured life pains but still have faith in love. For instance, "Tale of Lute", a play by Gao Zecheng of Ming Dynasty, is renowned abroad as one of the most outstanding works of Chinese drama along with Kun Opera of Yongjia which is recognized as the verbal and non-material human heritage. Dancing in public is also part of the Wenzhou culture. Wenzhou is also the birthplace of China’s Mercantilism. From the Southern Song Dynasty, in contrasted to the Confucianism represented by Zhu Xi and Lu Jiuyuan in China urging people to study to be officials in the future, the theory of Wenzhou’s Yongjia School represented by Ye Shi, emphasized the importance of business. The theory has an enduring impact on the mindset of Wenzhou natives and has become the "cultural gene" in the economic development of Wenzhou ever since.
Renowned as the cradle of mathematicians in China, the city has teemed with over 200 mathematic professors in the recent 100 years, among whom Su Buqing, Gu Chaohao, Jiang Lifu and other mathematicians have enjoyed great fame both at home and abroad. Furthermore, Wenzhou is also reputed as the "Home of Swimming in China", "City of Chess" and "City of Poetry in China".
Due to both Wenzhou's cultural and geographical remoteness and its lack of natural resources (land, minerals, etc.), the Chinese central government has left the people of Wenzhou relatively autonomous. Away from the center of the political and economic stage, its people are more independent, self-reliant, and generally more business-oriented. Numerous books have been published about the business sense of people from Wenzhou. Hence, when China switched from its planned economy to its so-called capitalist economy with Chinese (socialist) characteristics in the late 1980s, its people adjusted well to the new system and took advantage of it. A popular saying calls Wenzhounese the "Jews of the Orient" (东方的犹太人). Wenzhounese have been stereotyped by other Chinese as real estate speculators. China Daily notes that investments from Wenzhounese buyers play a disproportionately large role in the increase in Chinese property prices.
The people of Wenzhou are equipped with business sense and a commercial culture more dominant than anywhere else in China. Wenzhou has two economic characteristics: it was the first to launch a market economy, and it has the most active and developed private economy in China.
There are two major universities in Wenzhou: Wenzhou University and Wenzhou Medical College. Wenzhou University resulted from the merger of the former University of Wenzhou, Wenzhou Normal College and other various normal colleges in the rural towns of Wenzhou. Its main campus is situated in the University Town, Cha Shan (茶山). The former campus of Wenzhou Normal College on Xueyuan Road (学院路) is still in use, while the former main campus of the University of Wenzhou now serves as the campus of the Wenzhou Foreign Language School and the Second Experimental Middle School of Wenzhou (No.13 Middle School).
Wenzhou Medical College is a well-known college specializing in ophthalmology (national level key discipline), as well as the provision of other medical courses. Several of Wenzhou's major hospitals are affiliated to this college.
The Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China approved the establishment of Wenzhou-Kean University on November 16, 2011. It is one of the first two Chinese-American cooperatively run universities with legal person status, the other one being NYU Shanghai inaugurated on Oct. 15, 2012.
There are also a few vocational colleges, including:
- Wang Xizhi 王羲之 (303–361), sage of Chinese calligraphy
- Xie Lingyun 謝靈運 (385–433), poet
- Yongjia Xuanjue 永嘉玄覺 (655–713), Chán monk and author of the Song of Enlightenment
- Wang Shipeng 王十朋 (1112–1171), statesman and writer
- Ye Shi 葉適 (1150–1223), philosopher, most important figure of the neo-Confucianism Yongjia School
- Liu Ji 劉基 (1311–1375), great strategist and statesman of the Ming Dynasty
- Zhang Cong 张聪 (1475–1539), Ming Dynasty prime minister
- Sun Yirang 孫詒讓 (1848–1908), scholar and educator, early dicipher of the Oracle Bone Script
- Zheng Zhenduo 鄭振鐸 (1898–1958), writer and scholar
- Zheng Manqing (Cheng Man-ch'ing) 郑曼青 (1902–1975), painter, calligrapher, poet, doctor, taijiquan master
- Su Buqing 苏步青 (1902–2003), mathematician and educator, president of Fudan University
- Xia Nai 夏鼐 (1910–1985), archaeologist
- Gu Chaohao 谷超豪 (1926–2012), mathematician, president of University of Science and Technology of China
- Yang Huanming (1952–), geneticist
- Feng Zhenghu (1954–), economist
- Zhu Chen 诸宸 (1976–), female chess international grandmaster and a world champion
- Zhu Qinan 朱启南 (1984–), 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist in sport shooting
- Sui He (1989–), Victoria's Secret fashion model, supermodel
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- Joseph Fewsmith. The Logic and Limits of Political Reform in China. p. 111
- Rivers of Natural Scenery
- Nanxi River
- "Chinese speculators eye property overseas".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wenzhou.|
- Government website of Wenzhou (Chinese)
- Government website of Wenzhou (English)
- Wenzhou Foreign Affairs Office (English)
- China, China's Boomtowns - National Geographic Magazine
- US Army Service Map of Wenzhou from 1945
- Manufacturing a China crisis - stratfor.com, reprinted by Business Spectator