Shenzhen, situated just across the border from Hong Kong, is a beautiful coastal garden city in South China. It is a city of sunshine and modernity, where economic development keeps pace with social development, and people live in harmony with nature.
Shenzhen which is the China's first special economic zone established via the patronage of the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping is a pioneering and innovative city. It is in the vanguard of China's reforms and opening up to the rest of the world. In its short history of 27 years, Shenzhen has developed from a small fishing village into a modern city with a gross domestic product (GDP) per capital which gives it premier ranking in China. This is a remarkable achievement, notable in the annals of urbanization, industrialization and modernization across the globe.
As Shenzhen embraces the world, concomitantly it is becoming internationalized. As China's first special economic zone, Shenzhen began to open up to the rest of the world in 1980, becoming one of the country's major channels of communication with the outside world. Shenzhen has 17 sea, land and air ports, including China's largest land passenger port and land cargo port. In 2011, the 26th Universiade will be held here, which will make Shenzhen the youngest city in history to host the Games.
Shenzhen is a city with deep cultural roots that sit in tandem with its forgetive and modern ethos. It is said to have a history of 5,000 years, but was only founded 27 years ago. Since its foundation, Shenzhen has built a migrant culture and an innovative spirit of "encouraging innovation and pursuing excellence." At the forefront of Chinese cities in promoting the use of voluntary services, it boasts about 530,000 volunteers in various fields of activity. Moreover, given the high level of public services offered by the city's government departments, Shenzhen is one of China's "10 Most Welcomed Cities for Rural Migrant Workers."
Shenzhen is a coastal city, close to Hong Kong, in South China. Its longitude lies between 113.46 and 114.37 degrees east, and its latitude is between 22.27 and 22.52 degrees north. Sitting south of the Tropic of Cancer, it is in the south ofGuangdong Province. Demarcated from Hong Kong by Shenzhen River to the south, it is bordered by Dongguan and Huizhou to the north, Daya Bay and Dapeng Bay to the east, and Lingding Sea and the mouth of the Pearl River to the west.
Shenzhen has a mild, subtropical maritime climate with plenty of both rain and sunshine. The annual average temperature is 22.4; as many as 355 days per year are frost-free. Annual average rainfall is 1,933.3 mm and solar radiation is 2,120.5 hours. Tourism and tourist activities are possible all year round.
In the 27 years since the foundation of Shenzhen, an urban infrastructure of streets, lighting, sewage, environmental care, drainage and transport has been developed in Shenzhen. The city government strives to improve its management of the infrastructure network. The city's construction area totals 719.88 square kilometers. In 2006, the city's investment in urban infrastructure reached 40.784 billion yuan, up 23.9 percent over the previous year. Tap water is now available for use in all households in the city.
Beautiful, Ecological Garden City
Shenzhen has a beautiful, natural environment. The green area of the city, with 16.01 square meters of greenery per person, covers 45 percent of the urban area. Forests cover 47.6 percent of the city's total land area. The city has 442 parks totaling 240.40 hectares. Shenzhen has won awards from domestic and overseas authorities, which include "Nations in Bloom," UNEP's "Global Top 500 Laureate Roll of Honor," "National Hygienic City," "National Model City for Environmental Protection," "Model City for Protection of Ozone Layer," "National Greenery Model City," "National Brilliant Tourism City."
Shenzhen is the "City of Parks." At present, the city has more than 400 parks, scenic zones, and forest parks. By 2010, the number of forest parks in the city will reach 17, which will make up 22.03 percent of the city's total land area.
Asia-Pacific International City, Adjacent to Hong Kong
Downtown Shenzhen is only a 45-minute drive from Hong Kong. The government of Shenzhen plans, over the next 15 years, to modernize Shenzhen in accordance with socialist ideals and to develop the city into a key regional and international metropolis.
More than 13,000 expatriates live and work in Shenzhen on a long-term basis, which has been key to the increasing internationalization of the city. The expatriates come from 111 counties; most are representatives sent by foreign companies to China, employees of foreign-invested enterprises, cultural workers, teachers, and foreign students. In 2005, the number of foreigners who entered the country through various checkpoints in Shenzhen totaled 3.4 million. About 5 percent of the city's residential buildings were purchased by foreigners and people from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.