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Dalian--The Pearl of Northern China
BY 2015-02-27 14:46:08
In the 19th century, it was only a small fishermen's village named Qingniwa. In 1889, people started to build port and city here. Since then the city proper has been constantly expanded. Today it has become an important city mainly engaged in port, manufacture, trade and tourism in Northern China. Its economic strength and people's living has been elevated year-on-year. Since 1992, its GDP has kept increasing at the annual rate of two-digit numbers every year and reached 140.6 billion yuan(RMB), and the per capita GDP reached 3,056 US Dollars in 2002. The city has 10 districts and counties and five introductory foreign investment zones under its administrative jurisdiction, covering a total area of 13,800 square kilometers with a population of 5.9 million. Including 3.74 million urban dwellers. 

Civilization started in Dalian and its surroundings at least 17,000 years ago. After suffering from the colonial rules of the Tsarist Russia and Japan imperialists for nearly half a century, Dalian was liberated in August 1945. On November 8th of the same year, the municipal government of Dalian approved Dalian as an open coastal city, and a city with budget privilege of a provincial level respectively. On the occasion of centennial celebration of the city in 1999, comerade Jiang Zemin, wrote an epigraph "going through the hardships in the past 100 years, the pearl of Northern China looks even brighter."

Located on the southern tip of the Eastern Liaoning Peninsula and at the starting point of the Circum-Bohai Sea Region, Dalian has a superb geographical location and serves as a gateway to Beijing and Tianjin; with the Yellow Sea on its east, the Bohai Sea on its west; Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, the three provinces of Northeastern Chinaand part of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on its north; and facing the Shandong Peninsula in the south across the sea; and neighboring Japan, Korea and the far eastern part of Russia.


Dalian boasts its convenient communication and telecommunication networks. It is a hub of the comprehensive transportation system with a powerful capacity either through the sea, land or air. The Dalian Port is a world-known deep and non-frozen harbor with more than 70 berths, including 40 with above 10,000 tons berthing capacity, connecting with over 300 ports in 160 or more countries. The port it's the largest transient terminal for grains and petroleum of China. In 2002, it has handled 11 billion tons of cargos. The port also has opened several domestic passenger sea routes to Shanghai, Tianjin, Yantai and Weihai, etc. and 45 international cargo sea routes with the U.S.A, Japan, and India and so on.

Regarding its land transportation, its railway stations connect to the railway networks of Northern China and Northeastern China. Dalian is linked with the well-developed highway networks, among which the most significant ones are Shenyang-Dalian Expressway, the earliest of its kind in China; Dalian-Zhuanghe and Dalian-Lushun highways. In the city proper, there are many convenient public transportation lines with light rail wagons, trolley buses and buses; and the most advanced urban traffic controlling system in the world. Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport can be landed with Boeing 747 and has opened 86 domestic or international air routes.

Dalian has rich natural resources and has long been reputed as the "Apple Land" and the "Aquatic Product Base". There are many kinds of quality fruits produced here such as apples, peaches, cherries and grapes. There are also great deal of delicious seafood produced and exported from here such as abalone, prawns, trepangs, scallops and crab; and its seafood such as comb shell, urchin, stichopus and wakame account for above 90% of the country's total. Dalian takes the grains, aquatic products and fruits as its mainstay in agriculture and shaping the following five as its mainstay in agriculture and shaping the following five major lines: aquatic products, fruits, vegetables, husbandry and flowers. Mineral resource such as limestone is also abundant in Dalian. Other more, diamond mining resource in Dalian is excellent in quality and its reserves rank the first in China.

As an important industrial base of China, Dalian has all categories of industries capable to manufacture complete sets of equipments. The main lines include machinery, electronics, petrochemical, household, textile, garment, and metallurgical, building material, food processing and pharmaceutical industries. There are many leading manufactures of its kind in China: Dalian Shipyard, with a history of about one hundred years and the largest of its kind in China; Dalian New Shipyard, the largest modernized ship assembler in China and with a shipbuilding dock of 300,000 tons capacity, reputed as the "flag-ship" of China's ship building industry (Dalian is also the largest ship exporters and the largest ship it has ever exported is with 300,000 tons capacity); Dalian Locomotive Work, the largest one in China to manufacture large power inner combustion locomotives and boasting one half market share in China and some to abroad. Dalian Elevating Machinery Work (Now Dalian Zhonggong Elevating Machinery Co. Ltd) is the earliest and largest of its kind in China. China Hualu Group Company is engaged in digitalized households electric appliances, audio-visual culture, IT and Telecommunication, service and so on and exported 2 million DVD players in 2002; Besides, Dalian Petrochemical Corporation, Western Pacific Petro-chemical Corporation, Western Pacific Petro-chemical Corporation, Wafandian Bearing Work, Dalian Iron and Steel Work, etc are also very famous.

Now in Dalian 70% of large and medium-sized state-owned enterprises have initially established the modern corporate system.

With fast development in its finance industry, Dalian has become the largest host city of foreign banks in Northern China. By the end of 2002, 14 foreign banks and finance institutions have established branches or offices in Dalian. The finance institutions in Dalian have set up settlement net works with 150 countries and regions in the world, which makes Dalian become the largest international clearing center in Northern China. The insurance industry also grows dynamically in Dalian. In 2002, the total insured amount in Dalian reached over 600 billion yuan (RMB) and Shouchuang Antai Life Insurance Co., the first life insurance joint venture in Dalian was founded. Dalian Commodity Exchange is one of the three futures exchange in China and the No.1 in Asia and No.2 in the world soybean futures market and its turn value of futures in 2002 reached 2 trillion yuan(RMB), a 53% share of futures market in China.

Trading is flourishing in Dalian, which is covered by well-developed commercial networks. The modern forms of trading have mushroomed. The modern forms of trading have mushroomed. The state-owned, private and foreign capital businesses coexisted through competition; the shopping malls, supermarkets and chain stores co-developed with different features. In Dalian there are three major business quarters: Qingniwa, Tianjin Street and Xi'an Road; and 15,500 shops including over 50 large scaled shopping malls with international standard. Dalian Shopping Mall is one of the ten major ones of China and the largest state-owned retailer group in China. Besides, a lot of world famous multinational commercial giants were introduced to Dalian, such as Wal-mart based in the USA, Carrefour based in France, Metro based in Germany and Parkson based in Malaysia. The modern ways of trading, such as E-commerce, credit consuming, and etc, have emerged. In short, Dalian is becoming a modern time an internationalized metropolis.

Exposition industry is the newly-rising star and newly economic contributor of Dalian. Xinghai Exposition Center is equipped with all kinds of up-to-date facilities and since its inception in 1996, it has been the venue of Dalian Import and Export Fairs of China, Dalian International Garments Fairs and other 300 or more exhibitions in automobiles, household electrical appliances, furniture, metal wares, fishery, electronics and telecommunication with total value of trade of more than 100 billion yuan(RMB) and hosting 16,000 companies from 65 countries and regions.

Educational, scientific and cultural undertakings are booming in Dalian. There are 18 universities or colleges, over 100 research institutions and 18 state academicians of natural science or engineering in Dalian, turning over a lot of professional of high-level and research findings. Dalian Peking Opera Troupe and Dalian Acrobatic Troupe have won several international prizes. Dalian Museum of Nature, Lushun Museum and the Dalian Contemporary Museum are all well know both at home and abroad. Dalian has many respectful nicknames, such as the "Garment City", "Soccer City", "Home of track and field", and "Home of Swimming". Dalian Soccer Team has won champions for seven times in the total nine sessions of the top-level Football League of China.

Dalian is the famous summer resort and hot-spot of the tourists of China with its beautiful scenery and pleasant environment. The city is backed by mountains and facing the sea. It is neither extremely cold in winter, nor utterly hot in summer. The average temperature of a year is 10 Co; the annual average rainfall is about 700 mm; and the frost-free period is six months. Dalian won the "Habitant of Scroll of Homour Award" issued by the UN in 1999, and Global 500 in Environment issued by the UNEP in 2001 and many national awards in landscaping, environment improvement, sanitation and dwelling, etc. It was also identified as a "leading city in environmental improvement in Asian-Pacific Region" by the UN.

At Present the green coverage ratio of the city reaches 41.5% and the per capita public green area reaches 9.5 square meters. As a winner of the first "Qutstanding Cities of Tourist Attraction Award", Dalian boasts both abundant cultural spots of interest and plenty of beautiful natural scenes, such as the Southern Coast, Lushun Port, Jinshitan Beach and Binyu Valley, the four major scenic areas; as well as the annual Dalian International Garments Festival, Spring Firework and firecracker festival, Pagoda Trees Festival and International Marathon Race, etc. Integrating the economy, culture and tourism, these world famous areas and events have created immense business opportunity and vitality for the city. Tourism has become a newly-emerged industry of Dalian and earned foreign exchange of 330 million US Dollars and gross income of 13.5 billion yuan(RMB) for the city.

Dalian has become one of the most overseas-oriented cities of China. Dalian Economic and Technological Development Area is the first approved one in China bye the central government, and the hitherto largest one in China in terms of the developed area. Since its starting construction in October 1984, the developed area has totaled 50 square kilometers with residence of 1,500 or more foreign-capital businesses. Dalian Bonded Area is the only one of its kind in Northeastern China established in May 1992. So far its developed area has reached 1.98 square kilometers and by the end of 2002 it has housed 3,000 or more enterprise. In April 2000, the State Council approved to establish Liaoning Dalian Export processing Zone in China. In May 2001, it passed the acceptance inspection. Now its developed area reaches 2.98 square kilometer. Dalian High-grade Technology Industrial Park was approved by the central government in March 1991. Now its developed area reaches 8.2 square kilometers with residence of over 460 high-tech based companies. High-grade technology industry has become a mainstay economy of Dalian. In May 2001, Dalian was approved as the first "demonstrative city in internationalization of the software industry" of China.

Dalian is approaching the objectives to become the largest software development depot in Northeastern China and one of the best software industry depots of China. By the end of 2002, 8,000 or more foreign invested businesses have been approved to be founded in Dalian, among which nearly 60 are in the list of "Global 500". In recent years, foreign trade in Dalian has grown steadily. The total export import volume hit 12.986 billion US Dollars in 2002 in Dalian.

Dalian has kept enhancing its relation with foreign countries. Since starting reform and opening up policies, Dalian has been more and more widely known to the world and has established friendly or cooperative relationship with 18 cities in Japan, the USA, Germany, France, the U.K., Canada, Korea, Russia, Congo, Australia, Macedonia, Italy, Cuba, Ukraine and so on. Dalian International Garments Festival and other large-scaled economic and cultural events has become important stages for Dalian to communicate with the world. Chiefs of states or heads of government from Russia, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Bulgaria, Thailand and India have visited Dalian. Many international figures such as Kissinger, the former secretary of state of the USA; Gali, the former secretary-general of the UN; Samaranch, the former Chairman of IOC have been the honored guests of Dalian. Ministers of more than 50 countries and ambassadors to China of about 100 countries have left their footprints in Dalian. In 2001, Dalian successfully organized the Third Session of the APEC Senior Officials' Meeting with 780 participants from 21 countries and regions.

In the advent of the 21st century, Dalian joins a new round of modernization drive of the world with a wider vision and greater ambition. In October 2002, on the 16th Conference of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Central Committee set the strategic objective: "Building a Well-off Society in All Round Way and Speeding up the Socialist Modernization Drive", which has been inspiring the people of Dalian. In the same year, on the fifth session of the 9th CPC Committee of Dalian City, the committee put forward the objective of "building the Grand Dalian". "Building the Grand Dalian" is a visualized expression of the guideline and objective of the new round of modernization drive of Dalian on the basis of building the well-off society in all round way and by adopting the new pattern of industrialization and urbanization. "Building the Grand Dalian" calls for high-level planning, construction, inputting and administration; and turning Dalian much stronger, bigger, richer and brighter.

The major connotations are: 1. Expanding the urban development space, that is, based on the territory of Dalian of 13,800 square kilometers and in light of the guideline of urbanization and intergrating the urban and rural areas, redesigning the implementing the developing blueprint and providing wider space for economic and social development as well as urban construction. 2. Enhancing the overall economic scale, that is, optimizing the industrial structure and layout; adopting the new pattern of industrialization; incubating industries with competitive edges; enlarging the economy strength of the peer cities of China; and sharpen the international competition capability of Dalian. 3. Upgrading the city's multiple functions, that is, enlarging the city's carrying capacity and technological innovation ability; letting the production factors freely flow and enhancing influence and service ability to the hinterland and preparing to receive the international industrial shift so as to reinforce the key position of Dalian in Northeast China and Circum-Bohai Sea Economic Region. 4. Creating a better urban environment, that is, building the city and improving its environmental quality to a higher standard; elevating the city's ecologic status so as to maintain the city's leading position in urban construction and environmental quality in China and create a environment most suitable for business and dwelling.

When this objective is realized, Dalian will become a significant manufacturing base of China and an international shipping center, financial center, business center, tourist center and information center in its region; and will better play its leading role as a key city in Northern China to bring the regional economy to a new round of fast development. Dalian, the "Pearl of Northern China" will be even brighter.
(Editor:Grace) (From:dalian-gov.net)
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