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General Information
Changshu is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Suzhou Prefecture City, about 50 and 100 km far from the metropolises of Suzhou and Shanghai. In Chinese, Chang means “frequent and always” and Shu expresses “harvest”.

Changshu was first named as an independent town in 540 A.D., and later was subordinated to Suzhou’ jurisdiction. Traditionally, it was a market town popular for trades of agricultural products and was enriched with its agricultural civilization.

Changshu became even more popular in 1960s to 70s after a traditional Peking Opera, Sha Jia Bang, which was a small township of Changshu, was played on theater stages during a chaotic time, the Cultural Revolution. The opera since then became so popular that people watched it again and again while there was actually nothing else to watch in the political chaos. The story vividly depicted a scene, happened in China’s Anti-Japanese war, in which local residents helped a group of wounded anti-Japanese guerrilla in this lake-surrounded town full with reed marshes.

Geography, Resources and Climate
Changshu City is located in the southeastern part of Jiangsu Province, the most rich and fertile land on the Yangtze River Delta. Facing the Yangtze River on its northeast, the city borders Taicang, Suzhou and Zhangjiagang on south, southwest and northwest, respectively.

The city has a low elevation in a range of 3 to 7 meters above sea level and the highest hill, Yu Hill Peak, is only 261 meters. It is a water abundant city and is crisscrossed by numerous rivers, reservoirs and lakes. The most critical bodies of water include three lakes: Yangcheng, Shang, Kuncheng, and rivers: Wangyu, Changhu, Yuanhetang, and Yantie.

The city is under the influence of East Asia Monsoon, like its neighbor cities of Suzhou and Wuxi. It has a mild and humid climate and seasons are distinct. The average annual temperature is close to 20ºC and the normal precipitation is around 1,000 mm annually.

Administration and Jurisdiction
Under the jurisdiction of Suzhou, Changshu is comprised of 21 towns and townships and two provincial economy and technology development districts. The municipal government is stationed in the Town of Yushan.

Area and Population
The physical size of the city is near 1,264 square kilometers and its population is close to 1.1 million.

Economy, Industry and Environment
Traditionally, Changshu was considered as a farming land and its fertile soil and moderate rainfall make the city one of Jiangsu’s richest agricultural areas. The agricultural income occupied a major portion of the city’s economy in the past but was remarkably declined over years while the city has been forwarding to its industrialization. Now it fill up only 2% or less of the city's total revenue.

The agricultural products mainly include rice, cocoon, vegetables, fruits and medical herbs. With its abundant water resource, the aquatic production is the second major agricultural revenue of Changshu, consisting of fish, shrimp, crabs and diversity of aquatic vegetable. A mitten crab, Dazhaxia, is loved by locals urban residents as a delicacy. In the harvest season, hundreds of thousands of residents from nearby major metropolises, including Shanghhai, drive out of towns to get a taste of the crab.

The heavy investment in the Yangtze River Delta has also enhanced Changshu’s rapid economic expansion and urbanization. In 2006, the city’ industrial income reaches $30 billions, 24% increase than 2005. In recent years, there are near 2,000 of new investment projects pouring into the city from Europe, Japan, Singapore and Taiwen and GDP increase reaches 2 digits each year. The city has became one of the most well developed cities in China, with its GDP frequently ranked among the top 10 counties in China. Since 2001, more than seven years in a row, Changshu has been ranked on the list of China’a Top 100 Counties (county-level cities) with its comprehensive economic strength.

Changshu Port is a prestigious river port relying on Yangtze River and serves near development zones and Suzhou Industrial Park.

Economic growth and environmental conservation have seemed like two diverse approaches. Many investment projects along Yangtze River have became substantial in environment pollution. Farmers and residents have frequently complained the contaminated river water by chemicals penetrated from nearby chemical factories. The local government has been putting stiff environmental policies into practice and has spent massive funds over years to protect its environment. By doing those, the city has been awarded with numerous titles in environment protection, including National Hygienic City, National Garden City, etc. But more need to do in the future.

Transportation and Tourism
Changshu is connected to its nearby neighbors and remote cities by its waterway network and highway system including Yangtze Riverine Expressway and Suzhou-Jiaxing-Hangzhou Expressway. Sutong Yangtze River Bridge, connecting Nantong to Changshu, officially opened in June 2008.

In the inner city, the public transportation, including bus, taxi and cargo transport, shuttle buses to near cities or towns, provides convenience to the city’s commuters.

Changshu Port is a prestigious river port relying on Yangtze River. Facing commercial rivals from Zhejiang Province, the port merged with three other ports including Zhangjiagang, Taicang and Suzhou under the united administration of Suzhou City.

Tourist destinations include many parks, gardens and historical relics, including Square Tower Park, Yushan Hill, Shanghu Lake, Zeng Garden, Zhao Garden, Yushan Hill Xizhan Hill, Xingfu Temple, Shongyong Tomb, and more.

Changshu has well instituted compulsory primary education system, very high percent of school-age children are enrolled in schools. The secondary schools including high schools achieves significant graduate rate.

Changshu Institute of Science and Technology is a polytechnics. It has 13 schools and departments. The institution was founded in 1958 as a teacher’s school, merged with Chnagshu Vocational School in 1989, and again with Jiangsu Population School in 2001.

Changshu Radio & TV University is a branch of China Radio & TV University, which is a vocational university and a far distance school using TV and radio.

Culture and Folklore
A well known produce of the city is its aquatic product, the Chinese mitten crab – a hairy animal. The crab is produced in lakes situated in the city including the Yangcheng Lake.

Notable Personage
Huang Gongwang (1269-1354), a well known painter in Yuan Dynasty. Wang Ganchang (1907-1998), a most famed nuclear physicist in China, dubbed “Father of China’s Hydrogen Bomb”, participated in designing and making China’s first atomic bomb, hydrogen bomb and satellite in the 1960s and early 70s.

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