Kunshan is a county-level city in southeastern Jiangsu province with Shanghai bordering its eastern border and Suzhou on its western boundary. It is under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Suzhou.
There is a strong possibility that the name Kunshan is derived from a hill, but which one is controversial. According to an impacted version, the hill is present-day Little Kunshan (Xiaokunshan) in Shanghai's Songjiang District. The character 崑 (Kun) was the old Chinese name for the Kunlun Mountains. From it developed the Chinese idiom "a jade from Kunlun Mountains", meaning any "outstanding figure". This was applied to Lu Ji and a hill in his hometown was designated as Kun to commemorate him.
Lou county (婁縣) which administered Kunshan and the area around was established in Qin dynasty. It was named after Lou River (婁江; present-day Liu River: 瀏河), while its seat was located in the north eastern of Kunshan. In 507, Xinyi county (信義縣) which hold Lou county 's former seat was separated from the old Lou county. In 535, the old Kunshan county was separated from the old Xinyi county, while its seat was moved to the north of Kun Hill, Songjiang. In 751, the seat was moved to the south of Ma'anshan (Ma'an Hill: 馬鞍山; in Kunshan nowadays). In 1724, then Kunshan county was divided into new Kunshan county and Xinyang county (新陽縣), the walled city also was halved to locate their own seat respectively. In 1860, Taiping Rebellions captured the walled city, then the Ever Victorious Army?recaptured it in 1863. On 11 November 1911, the local rally announced that both of the counties seceded from the Qing court from then on. In 1912, Xinyang county was merged into Kunshan county. On 15 November 1937, the Japanese army captured the walled city. On 13 May 1949, the CPC controlled the walled city. On 28 September 1989, the county was turn into a county-level city.
Kunshan is divided into 10 towns:
However, both of Yushan and Huaqiao are nominal divisions at present, they even not to be listed in an official website. Kunshan New & Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone (昆山高新技术产业开发区, KSND) administering the main part of Yushan functions as the seat of the city, while Huaqiao Economic Development Zone (花桥经济开发区) administers the north of Huaqiao and Kunshan Economic & Technological Development Zone (昆山经济技术开发区, KETD) administers the east of Yushan.
On July 10, 2018, the Jiangsu Provincial Government approved the Master Plan of Kunshan for Urban Development (2017-2035), which is based on the master plan of the Xiong’an New Area. These zones include the Qingyang Port Waterfront City Center, the Duke Creative Park, the Kunshan South Gateway, the Chaoyang Road CBD and the Tinglin Park Traditional Culture Zone—in addition to the S1 Rail Line Corridor.
Qingyang Port Waterfront City Center
Covering an area of 3.4 sq km, the area is located in Kunshan’s city center. Planned as an ecological, cultural and smart area, it will include six zones—a media port, a cultural oasis, an urban lifestyle community, a waterfront park, a futuristic life experience center, and a youth entrepreneurship park. The area is designed to be a waterfront space that will enrich and diversify citizens’ urban life as the most environmentally attractive and economically prosperous hub in the city.
Duke Creative Park
The park is located west of the city’s technology innovation cluster, covering an area of 3.84 sq km. It sits nearby three lakes, two industrial parks, and a town. With the support of Duke Kunshan University, the area will host the Sino-US (Kunshan) Technology Innovation Center and serve as a mixed-used project integrating R&D centers, business services, and ecological parks. It aims to become a global magnet for technology entrepreneurs and innovators.
Kunshan South Gateway
The area is located around the city’s high-speed railway station, with an area of 1.6 sq km. While serving as a transportation hub integrating high-speed trains, rail transportation, and public buses, the area will develop businesses such as office spaces for lease, business services and recruitment agencies. As an open, innovative modern gateway, the area will become an important business cluster in the inter-city economic belt of Shanghai and Nanjing.
Chaoyang Road CBD
The CBD covers an area of 5.55 sq km in the old city center of Kunshan. The area will be furnished with enhanced amenities and infrastructure according to a plan featuring “one ring, two axes, three centers and four zones”. The project aims to revive and transform the old city center into an exquisite and livable model business district.
Tinglin Park Traditional Culture Zone
The zone is located at the foot of Yufeng Mountain, with a planned area of 0.73 sq km. It is designed with cultural and art parks, culture-oriented businesses and ecological and leisure facilities. It will epitomize the natural beauty and cultural richness of the city.
S1 Rail Line Corridor
The line is 41 km long and will be completely constructed underground with 28 stops. The line will pass by all the major zones of the city and will significantly alleviate local traffic congestion. The project will be integrated with the surface transportation system and serve as a strong boost to the city’s renewal.
The area is relatively flat, but there is a gentle slope stretching from the south-east to north-west. The northern part consists of dense polder, while the southern part is dotted with various lakes. The major lakes are Dianshan Lake, Yangcheng Lake, Cheng Lake and Kuilei Lake. Wusong River winds through the city, while smaller rivers criss-cross it in a grid pattern.
According to the analysis of the local meteorological bureau, from 1961 to 2008, the annual and seasonal air temperatures were the increasing trends, especially in spring. The total precipitation remained static relatively, however, much concentrated in summer and winter.
The composition of local GDP have changed drastically since 1978. In 1978, the primary sector, the secondary sector and the tertiary sector accounted for 51.4%, 28.9% and 19.7% respectively. However, the data in 2015 were 0.9%, 55.1% and 44.0%. Kunshan is also home to over 1,000 hi-tech companies that have helped shape the city’s four economic pillars—optoelectronics, semiconductors, intelligent manufacturing, and RNAi and biomedicine.
Kunshun is also home to many Taiwanese who have invested over the decades since China's opening up to the world in the late 70s. Kunshun is also known as "Little Taiwan" because of the large Taiwanese community.
Kunshan is the cradle of Kunqu opera which evolved from Kunshan tune. The tune was fused the Southern Operas and the Kunshan local cultural elements in the late Yuan dynasty, it was preferred by some scholars and dramatists since mid-Ming dynasty. Being improved by them, Kunshan tune became quite popular until the 1800s.
Kunshan Culture & Art Center situated in the west of the downtown is usually used as the venue for considerable local performances and conventions. The center is composed of a performing arts center, a convention center, a movie theater. Its first phase of the project is set in about 17.6 acres of land.
Kunshan is one of the most visited tourist destinations among the Yangtze River Delta with over 20 million visits in 2016.
There are two institutions in Kunshan issuing at least bachelor's degree:
The city also hosts a variety of primary and secondary schools, both public and private:
A motion made to construct two metro railways running through the city center was passed by the Jiangsu provincial government. Kunshan is the first county-level city with a metro railway system. Line 11, Shanghai Metro has been extended to Kunshan in 2013. An extension of Line 3, Suzhou Rail Transit to Kunshan has also been proposed.
|Climate data for Kunshan (1959−1987)|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−11.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||35.2
|Source: Kunshan County Chorography|