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A street view  Ten-thousands Good Pagoda
A street view   Ten-thousands Good Pagoda

General Information
Danyang is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Zhenjiang Prefecture City. Situated on the southern bank of Yangtze River, Danyang is only 70 km and 230 km away from the provincial capital Nanjing and Shanghai, respectively.

Danyang, signifying “Scarlet Sun” in Mandarin, was named as an independent county jurisdiction in 742 A.D. in the Tang Dynasty, but later it was subordinated to Zhenjiang’s jurisdiction. On this territory, two of ancient Chinese emperors once spent their early times before ascending the throne.

Geography, Resources and Climate
Under the jurisdiction of Zhenjiang, Danyang borders Yangzhong City, Dantu District of Zhenjiang and Wujin District and Jintan of Changzhou.

The city's southern part is on a flatland, occupying the major portion of Danyang. Its northwest is on a hilly area with the highest summit 166 m, the Crystal Hill Peak.

Danyang's mineral resource is not abundant. However, it is rich in water resource, crisscrossed by a total 96 rivers, including the Grand Canal and Danyan-Liyang Canal, and ten of thousands of ponds, lakes and reservoirs. The surface area of the body of water occupies about 20% of the city’s territory.

Danyang is on the subtropical belt and is under influence of Asian monsoon. It has a humid climate with distinct four seasons. The annual average temperature is 15-17ºC with highest 38.8ºC in the summer of 1959 and the lowest -4.6ºC in the winter of 2001. The annual precipitation is over 1,000 mm. The sunny time is close two-thousand hours a year and frost-free period is around 240 days annually.

Administration and Jurisdiction
Under the jurisdiction of Zhenjiang, Danyang is comprised of 15 towns, 225 townships. The Changzhou Benniu Airport is partially located within its territory.

Area and Population
Danyang has a physical land mass of 1,059 square kilometers and the population is close to 900,000.

Economy, Industry and Environment
Danyang was traditionally considered as an agriculture area and much of its economy relied on its farm revenue in history. Over years, the agricultural sector has been steadily shrinking and the earning in 2006 is only less than 1% of its total GDP.

Situated in the Yangtze Delta Economic Zone and between Shanghai and Nanjing, Danyang has an excellent location to attract investors and fundings for its thriving industrial sectors. The city's booming economy has brought it a dramatic increase of 15-30% annually in various economic growth indexes.

The most famed industrial sectors in Danyang include the manufacturers of textile & clothing, chemistry, machineries, wood, electronics and auto parts. A few of national titles have been since then presented to Danyang for its large coverage of production in shoes, glasses, lamps and wood.

The city has been ranked on the top in many national contests. Its GDP is ranked within the top ten in the province and is one of the China’s 100 Top Counties (county-level cities) with the high score in the national economic contest.

Many investment projects along Yangtze River have became significant in environment pollution. The municipal government has been putting stiff environmental policies into practice and has spent significant funds over years to protect its environment. The city has been awarded with numerous titles in environment protection, including municipal hygiene, eco-balanced agriculture, etc. However, farmers and local residents are still complaining that the polluted river water killed their fish stocks or caused them ill.

Transportation and Tourism
Danyang is 70 km away from the provincial capital, Nanjing, and 230 km from Shanghai. Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway and Railway go through the city, providing it a convenient access to the up-to-date transportation. To access to air traffic, there are four airports near the city, including Changzhou Benniu Airport, Nanjing Lukou International Airport, and Shanghai Hongqiao and Pudong airports.

The Grand Canal runs eastward in Danyang but the Yangtze River passes along its northeastern boundary, in which both provide the city an excellent waterway. Dagang Port, the third largest port along the Yangtze River, is 18 km away from its urban area. It has established the shipment cooperation with more than 50 countries or regions.

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

Danyang has eleven historical relics which have been listed in the national protective project and four in the provincial protection. Most of these historical relics were left from the South and the Tang dynasties.

Danyang has an extensive primary education system coving municipal and rural areas. The secondary schools including high schools achieves significant graduate rate. Danyang does not have higher learning institutions available in the city.

Culture and Folklore
There was a popular legend spread widely in China’s folk history, touching and sad:

Dong Yun, a filial piety son and a farmer, lived with his father after his mother died. They were so poor that when his dad died Dong Yun did not even have enough money to buy a coffin for the deceased. In desperation he sold himself to a greedy landlord as a slave in exchange for bucks to bury his father.

His story moved an angel who is the seventh daughter of the Goddess of the Heaven. She broke the rules of the Heaven and descended to the Earth in secret. With her sisters’ help, she was arranged to meet Yun and finally married him. She wove 300 bolts of cloth within a month for the landlord in return for her husband’s relief from slavery.

Months later, however, the Goddess was finally aware of her daughter's disappearing and sent right way warriors to the Earth to take her back. The angel was dragged to leave her husband but Dong Yun chased after his wife to the sky. To prevent fierce warriors from harming her husband, the angel made a river in a hurry, the Milky Way, in the sky using her hairpin, which kept her husband away from warriors but unfortunately separated forever him from joining her.

In the Heaven, the angle gave a birth of a baby boy but the Goddess ruled that the infant should not stay. The newborn was seized from grieving mom and was sent back to Yun who was in poverty. Day and night, the lonely husband bore his crying infant on his back but the sobbing wife was instead in custody in the Heaven.

Touched by the desperate situation, the Goddess eventually agreed that the couple could meet once a year. With help from a bird species, magpie, using their bodies and feather, a bridge is formed over the river by countless flying birds, on which the broken family could ultimately reunite in the evening of the 7th Day of the 7th Lunar Month, each year in China’s lunar calendar. This day is now depicted the China’s Valentine’s Day.

Danyang is one of three Jiangsu cities, each of which claims that their city was the origin of the folk legend and the hometown for Dong Yun. Other two cities are Dongtai, one county under the jurisdiction of Yancheng City, and Jintan, under the jurisdiction of Changzhou City.

Notable Personage
There are many notable people born or raised in Danyang, including Ma Xiangbai (Educator and founder of Shanghai Fudan University), Lu Shuxiang (linguist), Tang Bangzhi (histologist), and more.

In Chinese history, two emperors, Xu Daocheng (427 – 482 A.D.), the founder emperor of the South Dynasty, and Xu Yan (464 – 549 A.D.), the founder of the Liang Dynasty, spent their early times in the town before ascending the throne.

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