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A view of city  Kunshan Forest Park
A view of city   Kunshan Forest Park

General Information
Kunshan City, a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Suzhou, is located in the Yangtze River Delta, between two metropolises, Shanghai and Suzhou.

The city is well-known for its fabulous water resources and enriched human cultures. Of them, Kun Opera, which was presented in the Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2008, and numerous water towns including Zhouzhuang, Qiandeng and Jinxi, are among treasures. As a county-level city, Kunshan’ economy has been listed on the top of China’a Top 100 Counties (county-level cities) for its comprehensive economic strength for recent years and the No 2 for 2007.

Geography, Resources and Climate
Kunshan is located in the Southern Jiangsu Plain and in the southeast of Suzhou jurisdiction, bordering Suzhou and Wujiang city on its west, Taicang and Changsu cities on east and northeast. The city flanks Jiading and Qingpu districts of Shanghai metropolis on the southeast. Two major freshwater lakes, Dingshan and Yangcheng, sandwiches the city's southern portion from both sides.

Kunshan is crisscrossed by numerous bodies of water, totally 62 rivers/canals and 41 lakes. The total water surface area occupies about 30 per cent of its land and the freshwater resources are traditional treasures for locals.

Kunshan is on the northern subtropical belt and is influence by a maritime monsoon climate, a mild and humid climate with distinct four seasons. The humid and hot so called "Meiyu" season starts at the begining of June and terminates about three to four weeks later. The annual average temperature is 16-17ºC around and the rain precipitation is between 800-1,000 mm annually. The sunshine time is close 2,000 hours and frost-free period is 240 days yearly.

Administration and Jurisdiction
Kunshan is under the jurisdiction of Suzhou. The city is comprised of 10 towns and a national economic & high-tech zone. The well-known water town, Zhouzhuang, is situated in the Zhouzhuang Town of the city. The municipal government is stationed in the Town of Chunxi.

Area and Population
Kunshan has a land mass of 927 square kilometers and its water surface area occupies around 30% of its land mass, 286 square kilometers. The total population is 640,000.

Economy, Industry and Environment
In its history, Kunshan was conventionally a farming land on the southern Jiangsu Plain and the agricultural and aquatic incomes occupied a major portion of the city’s revenue. The agricultural and aquatic produces mainly include various crops and aquatic products. However, the farm income occupies less than 10 percent of the total GDP of the city right now.

The rapid economic expansion and industrialization over the past two decades have turned the city to a wealthy metropolis and the industrial income is becoming prominence of the city. Investors from more than fifty countries and regions, specifically from Taiwen, have established their subsidiaries in the city, with over 3,500 projects in place. These industrial sectors have greatly enhanced the city’s economy and have won the city the tremendous foreign funding.

From 2001, Kunshan has been ranked on the list of China’a Top 100 Counties (county-level cities) and was even topped the list in 2005 and 2006. It has been recommended by Taiwen Electrical/Electronic Manufacturers Association as one of the best cities with investment enfironment in the mainland of China. More than 10 thousands of expatriates live in this city, in which most of them are Taiwenese.

Economic growth and environmental conservation have seemed like two diverse approaches. However, the Kunshan government has been putting stiff environmental policies into practice over years. The city has spent massive funds over years to protect its environment including air and water. Since then the city has been awarded numerous titles in environment protection, including “National Forest Garden City”, “China’s Most Lovely City”, “National Ecological Model”, etc.

Transportation and Tourism
Lying within the gateway of Yangtze River Delta, Kunshan is blessed with a highly advantageous geographical position in which the convenient land-water-air transportation network connects it to the whole economic region.

Three major land tranport artiries - Beijing-Nanjing-Shanghai Railway, national highway G312 and Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway, run through the city and its towns, providing an accessible land transport system. Althrough not possessing any airport, Kunshan is only 42 km away from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and 92 km to Pudong International Airport. Via its abundant waterways including two major rivers, Wusong and Loujiang, Kunshan is conveniently connected to Shanghai Port and Taicang Port of Jiangsu province, only 60 km and 40 km, respectively.

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 and visitors.

Kunshan has numberous tourist attranctions including historical sites, parks and temples. The most attractive tourist destinations of Kunshan are its water towns, including three most famous ones: Zhouzhuang, Qiandeng and Jinxi.

Another tourist attraction needed to be mentioned is a Chinese snowball viburnum, a special and rare flower tree species that has only been found in Kunshan as well as in Yangzhou. The tree blooms during April to May and its elegant and beautiful flowers are so attractive that draw thousands people coming to watch during blooming.

Kunshan has well instituted compulsory primary education system. The secondary schools including high schools achieves significant graduate rate. Jiangsu Broadcast and Television University has a branch in Kunshan.

Culture and Folklore
Kunshan is the birthplace for the best known Chinese local opera, Kun Opera, and is famed with “the origin of all operas” in China. This opera has won the United Nation title “Haman Being’s Representation Work of Oral and Non-Substance”. In 2008, the opera was demonstrated in the Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Notable Personage
Notable people born or grown in Kunshan include three ancient eminent figures in Chinese history, Gu Yanwu - an eminent thinker in Ming Dynasty, Gui Youguang – a writer, and Zhu Bailu – Wang – an educator.

An Wang (1920-1990), a Chinese American born in Kunshan, was a computer engineer and inventor who was a co-founder of computer company, Wang Laboratories. Wang graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University in 1940 and attended Harvard University for graduate school in 1945. He earned his Ph.D in applied physics in 1948. Dr. Wang founded Wang Laboratories in 1951 and the laboratories finally developed into a giant in computer manufacture and research. In addition, Dr. Wang contributed his time and funding in founding Wang Institute of Graduate Studies and other philanthropic projects. In 1989, the laboratories employed over 30,000 staff. He died of cancer in 1990.

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