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A city view  Wild Pere David's deers
A city view   Wild Pere David's deers

General Information
Dafeng is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Yancheng which is one of 13 prefecture-level cities in Jiangsu province. Dafeng is located in Jiangsu North Plain with a coastline of 112 km. In its history, Dafeng was one of the largest salt-making areas in China and now is famed for its well preserved eco-system and numerous national conservation parks. The city has the largest national nature reserve for a rare deer species, Pere David’s Deer or Milu in Chinese.

Geography, Resources and Climate
Dafeng borders four counties including Dongtai, Sheyang, Yancheng and Xinghua. The county has a coastline of 112 km and a magnificent size of the wetland along its coastline, which is around near 800,000 hectares, sheltering enormous numbers of species of insects, fish, wild animals, and millions of migrating birds.

Upon the completion of Suzhou-Nantong Yangtze River Bridge, the city will significantly reduce the driving time to two hours to Shanghai and the south of Jiangsu.

Dafeng has a warm and wet subtropical climate and is influenced by the East Asia monsoon. It has distinct seasons and an abundant sunshine. The average annual temperature is close to 15ºC and the normal precipitation is over 1,000 mm yearly.

Administration and Jurisdiction
Under the jurisdiction of Yancheng, Dafeng is comprised of 17 towns and townships and two provincial economical zones.

Area and Population
Dafeng occupies a physical land mass of 2,370 square kilometers and the city’s population is 0.7 million. In order to boost its economic development, the city contracts the government of Shanghai and Jiangsu provincial government in which the city rents out a part of its coastal territory to two governments in exchange for more investment and cooperation.

Economy, Industry and Environment
Traditionally, Dafeng heavily depended on its agriculture income and its principal agricultural products include rice, cotton, oil seed, cocoon, fruit, livestock and aquatic products. In 2006, its agricultural earning occupied half of the total GTP of the city.

The city has been designated by the national government as one of ecology-pioneering cities and a comprehensive experimental zone in China. Its industrial sectors, including machinery, foods, light and chemical industries, have been developing in a good shape and fast. The incoming investment funds are further improving the city’s economic capability.

Dafeng Port is a sea-orientated port and has been listed by the state government as one of important ports in the east coastline of China. The city has been included in the Shanghai Economical Zone and the Yangtze Delta Economical Circle.

Regardless of its success in rapid industrial growth, Dafeng still emphasizes its eco-balanced development. The city drafted the first comprehensive protocol in China to highlight its ecologic priority in the city’s development scheme and has been selected by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as an experimental area of the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development program. In addition, the city has been working hard to establish its national reputation in produce of diverse organic food, vegetables, fruits, etc.

Dafeng maintains the largest national nature reserve for the unpolluted wetland in China and the reserve has been recognized as a fabulous conservation land for an endangered deer species, Pere David’s Deer or Milu in Chinese. The wild deer perished in the early 19th century in China but was re-introduced to the national park in 1985. The immense coastline and wetland is a paradise as well for other species of insects, fish, animals, and millions of migrating birds.

Transportation and Tourism
Dafeng has an hour of driving distance to its neighbors including Yancheng, Dongtai, Sheyang and Xinghua, about three hours to the provincial capital, Nanjing, and two hours to Shanghai. The city is connected by railways and highways, plus recently constructed expressways. For air passengers, Nanjing Pukou International Airport and Yancheng Airport are two options. Upon completion of Nantong-Suzhou Yangtze Bridge, Shanghai and the southern Jiangsu would be accessible within two hours of driving distance.

Dafeng Port is a sea-orientated cargo port and has been listed by the national government as one of important port in the middle of the east coastline of China. It handles ocean-going vessels and containers to or from South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.

In the inner city, the public transportation including bus, taxi and cargo transport, long distance buses to near cities or towns, provides convenience to commuters and visitors even if the system still needs a major improvement.

Dafeng is one of 15 eco-orientated touring cities in China, designated by the central government. Over years, the city has been becoming an attractive tourist paradise for its marvelous natural resources including the reservation parks and the diverted wildlife.

Dafeng has well instituted compulsory primary education system. The secondary schools including high schools achieves significant graduate rate. Dafeng does not have higher learning institutions available in the city.

Culture and Folklore
Early settlers of Dafeng were migrants from either the north of China or the south of Yangtze River. They primarily lived in separated communities and the separation has eventually shaped the today’s distinct dialects, the local dialect and the Haimen dialect, in which the Haimen dialect is similar with Wu language used in the southern Jiangsu and Zhejiang. With frequent and much easier ethnic exchanges today, the vocal diversity has been minimizing but a mixture of use of vocabulary has formed since then.

Notable Personage
Shi Nai’an, a most well-known novelist in China’ history, attributed the first compiler of the famous novel, The Water Margin.

Zhang Jian, founder of China’s modern textile industry and a prominent statesman, once established the Dafeng Salt Exploitation Limited in 1917.

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