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A park view  Italian populus Forest
A park view   Italian populus Forest

General Information
Nestling on the North Jiangsu Plain, Siyang County is under the jurisdiction of Suqian Prefecture City. For its name, Siyang was firstly used in the Han Dynasty, 116 A.D. but was frequently replaced or reinstalled afterwards in late dynasties. In 2002, near ten of hundreds of buried items unearthed from tombs of the Han Dynasty were further confirmed the city’s history and they include gold decors, coins, jades, lacquerwares, music instruments, etc.

Like its neighbor Sihong County, Siyang is well known for its alcoholic products and a famous brand of them, Yanghe Daqu, is one of the best spirits in China, which is popular over the county and internationally.

In 1970s, Siyang imported 32 Italian populus and now this exotic tree species has become the principal tree species which covers more than one hundred of thousands of hectares of the county's land and is one of major resources for its wood industry in the county.

Geography, Resources and Climate
Siyang is located in the middle of Jiangsu North Plain, bordering Shuyang on north and Sihong on southwest. Three districts of Huai’an municipality flank Siyang on east and west but the Lake of Hongze is on the south of Siyang.

The county’ is located on the flatland, only 12-17 meters over sea level. There is no hilly area on it territory. The Grand Canal and the old course of the Yellow River flow through the county, dividing it into two halves, the southern and the northern territories.

The principal natural resource is water reserves, and the major bodies of water include the Lake of Hongze, the Grand Canal and other thirty rivers. There is no other major natural resource available in Siyang.

The city has a subtropical monsoon climate with humid and changeable winds. The average temperature is 15°C with the hottest 39.8°C in July and the coldest -19°C in January in record. The raining season is from the middle of June to July and the annual average rainfall is 1,030 mm.

Administration and Jurisdiction
Siyang is under the jurisdiction of Suqian prefecture city and it includes 18 towns and townships. The municipal government is stationed in the Town of Zhongxing. The post code is 223700 and telephone area code is 0527.

Area and Population
Siyang has a land mass of 1,418 square kilometers, in which the land occupies near 1,000 square kilometers but the water surface area fills up 420 square kilometers, 30% of the mass of the land. The county’s population is near one million.

Economy, Industry and Environment
Siyang was traditionally considered as a farming land. Although its soil is not fertile but the moderate rainfall makes the county one of Jiangsu’s agricultural areas. The agricultural earning occupied a major portion of the city’s revenue in past but its importance has been remarkably reduced over years. Primary agricultural products include rice, wheat, maize, cotton, cocoon, vegetables, fruits and Chinese medical herbs. Specifically, Siyang’s cotton production is best known in the East of China with the high quality of cotton fabrics.

Siyang is famed with tree plantations, especially for the plantation of populus, a fast-growing Italian tree species, and this commercial plantation has started the establishment of the county wood production and forest industry. The populus was firstly imported 30 years ago from Italy and have been successfully bred since then in Siyang, which has formed enormous forests, covering near 100,000 hectares of the land. These trees offer an additional benefit to protect the county’s environment.

The alcohonic production in Siyang has been a long history since 17th century starting in the Qing Dynasty and many of its brands have won numerous national and international awards. Now the industry has become one of money-making machines of Siyang and has earned the county a national standing. A well-known brand, Yanghe Dayu, is listed as one of the best eight liquors in China.

The county’s textile industry has been framed in the past decades and now is one of important industrial sectors which has creates thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue.

Economic growth and environmental conservation have seemed like two diverse approaches. Many investment projects in Siyang have caused substantial damages of the county’s ecosystem. The local government has spent massive funds over years to protect its environment and water resource and has planted millions of trees to combat the industrial emission.

Transportation and Tourism
Siyang is connected to its neighbors by convenient road transportation including highway/expressway and railway. For air traffic, it is accessible to use Xuzhou’s Guangfu Airport for its air passengers. The Lake of Hongze, the Grand Canal and other rivers provide the county the handy waterway transportation.

Siyang has a history of more than 3,000 years, starting from the West Zhou (1027-771 B.C.) and lots of historical relics left since then, including a large number of the Han tombs. Archaeological findings have proved that the land, governed by the current Siyang county jurisdiction, was the location for an ancient state of the Han Dynasty, the Sihui State, and a larger number of the Han tombs from the ancient state had since then built and left. Severe tomb robberies had taken place in the past years, left the tombs deadly damaged. The local government has increased the level of protection. Visiting these historical relics would be a good option for tourists.

Siyang has well instituted compulsory primary education system. The secondary schools including high schools achieves significant graduate rate. No higher learning institution is available in the county.

Culture and Folklore
The municipal government has sponsored two times of the Populus Festival and Exhibit in 2005 and 2007.

Notable Personage
Zhang Xiangwen (1866-1933), a native of Siyang, was the greatest geographer in China’s modern history, the founding president of the Chinese Geographical Association from 1909-1930.

Sun Jiazheng, a native of Siyang, was the minister of the Ministry of Culture of the State Council.

Hu Mingfu, the first modern mathematical Ph.D in Chinese contemporary history, graduated from Connell University in 1914. He was born in Siyang in 1891.

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