2014 CECF The Yangtze Delta Region Official Strategic Partner: Kunshan City

A Look at the Official Strategic Partner of the Upcoming 2014 CECF Yangtze Delta Region.

Racing with Kunshan

 Kunshan (Jiangsu)

The city of Kunshan is located in China's most economically developed Yangtze River Delta, east of the international metropolis of Shanghai and west of the historical and cultural city of Suzhou. The inward flows of international industrial, financial and innovation capital in this area of the Yangtze River Delta has birthed a new, modern industrial city, a Chinese city of harmony and happiness. The holistic integration of rural and urban spaces, ecology, cultural and social constructs and the transformation through technology, modern agriculture has made this city one of the most liveable places in China. In 2013, GDP grew to RMB292 billion. Over the years, Kunshan has received accolades that range from the best Chinese Charm City, the National Hygiene City, National Model City of Environmental Protection, National Garden City, National Model Zone of Ecology, Excellent Tourism City of China and the "UN Habitat Award." In 2010, the most prestigious award by the United Nations in the field of human settlements development, recognising the city’s granting of access rights to migrants for essential services. In Forbes’ rankings, it made top spot as best of county-level cities in Mainland China for five consecutive years.

In the period of July 1994, the Kunshan government approved the establishment of the Sothern Zhouzhuang tourist area in a quaint province. Here, a lovely old canal town greets visitors. The annual southeast winds that sweep in leave the senses invigorated, leaving a fresh scent.

This important historical and cultural destination dovetails with the northern tourist area centred around the Yangcheng lake where the area of planning encompasses 330 sq km, of which 110 sq km have been designated as ecologically protected land with the lake and river making up 95 sq km.

Just as important is Kunshan as the cradle of Chinese opera. Its long history in the arts has also birthed Zhu Bo Lu Wang Wangan and other great sages, the ancient mathematician Zu and aerospace hero Fei Junlong. Through its fusion of traditional culture and modern civilisation, Kushan has attracted plenty of talent from the outside, with two-thirds of its current population comprising people from across the country, with the foreign population at nearly 20,000 and the Taiwanese population at over 100,000.

This beautiful tourist destination of Kunshan, so rich in natural scenery, rich historical and cultural heritage, is responsible for more than 70 per cent of the city’s tourism industry. The city’s trio of tourism heavyweights include this picturesque canal town of Zhouzhuang, the heritage of Kunshan itself – rich with operatic lore and culture and, the deliciously unforgettable Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs. Last year alone, some 12.97 million tourists visited, bringing with them a total tourism revenue of 14.9 billion yuan.

Kunshan is located in the southeast of Jiangsu Province, east of Shanghai with Suzhou towards the west. The Shanghai Hongqiao Airport lies just 40km away while the Pudong International Airport is easily reached in an hour, being just 90km away. Connectivity by road and rail includes the Suzhou Ring, with highways leading to Nanjing, Jiangsu and Shanghai. From the Kunshan South Station, one can get on the Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed rail as well as the high-speed line to Beijing via Shanghai. Other main rail terminals include the Yangcheng Lake Station and the Huaqiao station while the Shanghai Rail Transit Line 11 extends to Kunshan’s Huaqiao station.

The Kunshan tourist area will adhere to a philosophy of "international, modern, market-oriented features", striving to be an example of a national tourist resort as well as meeting its overall objective in being the most celebrated Eastern tourist area. Through a carefully planned transformation – Kunshan will be positioned as a tourism paradise, with leisure as its core and highlighted by its heritage of local culture.