The Yangtze Delta or Yangtze River Delta (YRD, Chinese: 长江三角洲 or simply Chinese: 长三角) is a triangle-shaped megalopolis generally comprising the Wu Chinese-speaking areas of Shanghai, southern Jiangsu province and northern Zhejiang province. The area lies in the heart of the Jiangnan region (literally, "south of the River"), where Yangtze River drains into the East China Sea. Having a fertile soil, the Yangtze Delta abundantly produces grain, cotton, hemp and tea. In 2018, the Yangtze Delta had a GDP of approximately US$2.2 trillion , about the same size as Italy.
The urban build-up in the area has given rise to what may be the largest concentration of adjacent metropolitan areas in the world. It covers an area of 99,600 square kilometres (38,500 sq mi) and is home to over 115 million people as of 2013, of which an estimated 83 million is urban. If based on the greater Yangtze Delta zone, it has over 140 million people in this region. With about 1/10 of China's population and 1/5 of the country's GDP, the YRD is one of the fastest growing and richest regions in East Asia measured by purchasing power parity.
Map of Yangtze Delta city belt
|Major cities||Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Ningbo, Wuxi, Nantong, Shaoxing, Changzhou, Jinhua, Jiaxing, Taizhou, Yangzhou, Yancheng, Taizhou, Zhenjiang, Huzhou, Huai'an, Zhoushan, Quzhou, Ma'anshan, Hefei|
|• Shanghai||Ying Yong|
|• Jiangsu||Li Xueyong|
|• Zhejiang||Li Qiang|
|• Anhui||Wang Xuejun|
|• Total||c. 105,425,600|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (CST)|
|- Total||¥14.42 trillion
$2.18 trillion$4.12 trillion (PPP)
|- per capita||¥136,795
|Hanyu Pinyin||Chángjiāng sānjiǎozhōu (help·info)|
Since the fourth century, when the national capital was moved to Jiankang (present-day Nanjing) at the start of the Eastern Jin dynasty (AD 317–420), the Yangtze Delta has been a major cultural, economic, and political centre of China. Hangzhou served as the Chinese capital during the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), and Nanjing was the early capital of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) before the Yongle Emperor moved the capital to Beijing in 1421.
Other key cities of the region in pre-modern times include Suzhou and Shaoxing. The ancient Suzhou was the capital of the Wu state (12th century BC–473 BC), and the ancient Shaoxing was the capital of the Yue state (20th century BC?–222 BC). Nanjing first served as a capital in the Three Kingdoms period as the capital of Eastern Wu (AD 229–280). In these periods, there were several concomitant states or empires in China and each one had its own capital.
Since the ninth century, the Yangtze Delta has been the most populous area in China, East Asia, and one of the most densely populated areas of the world. During the mid to late period of the Tang dynasty (618-907), the region emerged as an economic centre, and the Yangtze Delta became the most important agricultural, handicraft industrial and economic centre for the late Tang dynasty.
In the Song dynasty, especially during the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), with its capital situated in Lin'an (present-day Hangzhou), Lin'an became the biggest city in East Asia with a population more than 1.5 million, and the economic status of the Yangtze Delta became more enhanced. Ningbo became one of the two biggest seaports in East Asia along with Quanzhou (in Fujian province).
During the mid-late Ming dynasty (1368–1644), the first capitalism bud of the East Asia was born and developed in this area, although it was disrupted by the Manchu invasion and controlled strictly and carefully by the Confucian central government in Beijing, it continued its development slowly throughout the rest of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the delta became a large economic centre for the country, and also played the most important role in agriculture and handicraft industry.
During the Qianlong era (1735-1796) of the Qing dynasty, Shanghai began developing rapidly and became the largest port in the Far East. From late 19th century to early 20th century, Shanghai was the biggest commercial centre in the Far East. The Yangtze Delta became the first industrialized area in China.
After the Chinese economic reform program, which began in 1978, Shanghai again became the most important economic centre in mainland China, and is emerging to become one of Asia's centres for commerce. In modern times, the Yangtze Delta metropolitan region is centred at Shanghai, and also flanked by the major metropolitan areas of Hangzhou, Suzhou, Ningbo, and Nanjing, home to nearly 105 million people (of which an estimated 80 million are urban residents). It is the centre of Chinese economic development, and surpasses other concentrations of metropolitan areas (including the Pearl Delta) in China in terms of economic growth, productivity and per capita income.
In 1982, the Chinese government set up the Shanghai Economic Area. Besides Shanghai, four cities in Jiangsu (Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Nantong) and five cities in Zhejiang (Hangzhou, Jiaxing, Shaoxing, Huzhou, Ningbo) were included. In 1992, a 14-city cooperative joint meeting was launched. Besides the previous 10 cities, the members included Nanjing, Zhenjiang and Yangzhou in Jiangsu, and Zhoushan in Zhejiang. In 1997, the regular joint meeting resulted in the establishment of the Yangtze Delta Economic Coordination Association, which included a new member Taizhou in Jiangsu in that year. In 2003, Taizhou in Zhejiang also joined the association. In 2010, the association accepted six new members after a six-year observation and review, including Yancheng and Huai'an in Jiangsu, Jinhua and Quzhou in Zhejiang, and Ma'anshan and Hefei in Anhui. The total number of cities in the Yangtze Delta Economic Coordination Association is now 22. Some other cities that have been in consideration and in review include Wenzhou and Lishui in Zhejiang, Lianyungang and Xuzhou in Jiangsu, and Chuzhou, Wuhu, Tongling, Huainan and Xuancheng in Anhui.
The delta is one of the most densely populated regions on earth, and includes one of the world's largest cities on its banks — Shanghai, with a density of 2,700 inhabitants per square kilometre (7,000/sq mi). Because of the large population of the delta, and factories, farms, and other cities upriver, the World Wide Fund for Nature says the Yangtze Delta is the biggest cause of marine pollution in the Pacific Ocean.
Most of the people in this region speak Wu Chinese (sometimes called Shanghainese, although Shanghainese is actually one of the dialects within the Wu group of Chinese) as their mother tongue, in addition to Mandarin. Wu is mutually unintelligible with other varieties of Chinese, including Mandarin.
|Shanghai Metropolitan Area||上海都市圈
|Jiangsu Yangtze Metropolitan Belt||江苏沿江城市带
Jiāngsū Yánjiāng Chéngshì Dài
|Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Yangzhou, Nantong|
|Changzhou metropolitan area||常州都市圈
|Zhejiang Hangzhou Greater Bay Area||浙江杭州大湾区
Zhèjiāng Hángzhōu Wān Dàwān Qū
|Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shaoxing, Jiaxing, Zhoushan|
|Hangzhou metropolitan area||杭州都市圈
|Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Jiaxing, Huzhou||13,400,000|
The Yangtze Delta centers around the ancient culture core of China, Jiangnan.
The area of the Yangtze Delta incorporates more than twenty relatively developed cities in three provinces. The term can be generally used to refer to the entire region extending as far north as Lianyungang, Jiangsu and as far south as Wenzhou, Zhejiang. The region includes some of the fastest-growing economies in China in recent years, and as of 2004 has occupied over 21% of China's total gross GDP.
They've gradually established a three-tier model of governance on increased regional cooperation:
There is also a conference with longer history for economical cooperation:
The area is home to a very extensive transport network that include railways and expressways. The area has one of the highest private vehicle ownership rates in the country, and traffic rules governing Jiangsu, Shanghai, and Zhejiang are relatively strict compared to the rest of the country.
The region is served by some of the country's largest seaports:
The region has nine major airports, whose area of coverage is generally around an hour's drive from any point of the delta. They include:
|Climate chart (explanation)|
The Yangtze Delta has a marine monsoon subtropical climate, with hot and humid summers, cool and dry winters, and warm spring and fall. Winter temperatures can drop as low as -10 °C (a record), however, and even in springtime, large temperature fluctuations can occur.
The Yangtze Delta contains the most fertile soils in all of China. Rice is the dominant crop of the delta, but further inland fishing rivals it. In Qing Pu, 50 ponds, containing five different species of fish, produce 29,000 tons of fish each year. One of the biggest fears of fish farmers in this region is that toxic water will seep into their man-made lagoons and threaten their livelihood.
Center for Research of Private Economy (Traditional Chinese: 浙江大學民營經濟研究中心, Simplified Chinese: 浙江大学民营经济研究中心; abbr. CRPE), is an economic research center of Zhejiang University.Changzhou
Changzhou (Chinese: 常州) is a prefecture-level city in southern Jiangsu province, China. It was previously known as Yanling, Lanling and Jinling. Located on the southern bank of the Yangtze River, Changzhou borders the provincial capital of Nanjing to the west, Zhenjiang to the northwest, Wuxi to the east, and the province of Zhejiang to the south. Changzhou is located in the highly developed Yangtze Delta region of China extending from Shanghai going northwest. The population of Changzhou city was 4,592,431 at the 2010 census.China Wu Culture Expo Park
China Wu Culture Expo Park is located in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, China. In July 2008, the municipal CPC committee and Government of Wuxi decided to start this program. Not only does this park contain abundant remains of Wu-Yue Culture, but also original agricultural wetland, so that it’s a treasure land deserving protection and development. China Wu Culture Expo Park is intended to protect, develop, utilize and attach new contents and vitalities to the Wu Culture.Hozon Auto
Hozon Auto is a Chinese all-electric car marque, manufactured by the Zhejiang Hezhong New Energy Automobile Company.
It was founded in 2014 in the Zhejiang province, co-founded by Beijing Sinohytec and Zhejiang Yangtze Delta Region Institute of Tsinghua University and is based in Jiaxing. It opened a Autonomous Vehicle Research Centre in California's Silicon Valley in 2018, and a Beijing-based Design Centre opened in March 2019.
It announced its first concept car in 2017. The first production model Neta N01 compact SUV was launched in 2018 built on its HPA platform, with orders for the mid-sized Hezhong U SUV based on the HPC platform being taken in 2019. The company has plans for further models based on the two platforms.Keqiao District
Keqiao District (simplified Chinese: 柯桥区; traditional Chinese: 柯橋區; pinyin: Kēqiáo Qū), formerly Shaoxing County, is a district of the city of Shaoxing in Zhejiang province, China.Lake Tai
Taihu, literally the Great Lake, also known as Lake Tai or Lake Taihu, rest in the Yangtze Delta plain, is one of the largest freshwater lakes in China. The lake belongs to Jiangsu and the southern shore forms its border with Zhejiang. With an area of 2,250 square kilometers (869 sq mi) and an average depth of 2 meters (6.6 ft), it is the third-largest freshwater lake in China, after Poyang and Dongting. The lake holds about 90 islands, ranging in size from a few square meters to several square kilometers.
Lake Tai is linked to the renowned Grand Canal and is the origin of a number of rivers, including Suzhou Creek. In recent years, Lake Tai has been plagued by pollution as the surrounding region experienced rapid industrial development.List of busiest container ports
This article lists the world's busiest container ports (ports with container terminals that specialize in handling goods transported in shipping containers) by total number of actual twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) transported through the port. The data appears in thousands of TEU.List of modern scientists from Shanghai
Shanghai is the cultural center of the Yangtze Delta Region in China. In late Ming Dynasty, Xu Guangqi started introducing European science to China. Some notable modern scientists from Shanghai are listed below.North China Plain
The North China Plain (Chinese: 華北平原; pinyin: Huáběi Píngyuán) is a large-scale downfaulted rift basin formed in late Paleogene and Neogene and then modified by the deposits of the Yellow River and is the largest alluvial plain of China. The plain is bordered to the north by the Yanshan Mountains, to the west by the Taihang Mountains, to the south by the Dabie and Tianmu Mountains, and to the east by the Yellow Sea. The Yellow River flows through the middle of the plain into the Bohai Sea.
Below the Sanmenxia Dam is the multipurpose Xiaolangdi Dam, located in the river's last valley before the North China Plain, a great delta created from silt dropped at the Yellow River's mouth over the millennia. The North China Plain extends over much of Henan, Hebei, and Shandong provinces, and merges with the Yangtze Delta in northern Jiangsu and Anhui provinces. The Yellow River meanders over the fertile, densely populated plain emptying into the Bohai Sea. The plain is one of China's most important agricultural regions, producing corn, sorghum, winter wheat, vegetables, and cotton. Its nickname is "Land of the yellow earth".
The southern part of the plain is traditionally referred to as the Central Plain (pinyin: Zhōngyuán), which formed the cradle of Chinese civilization.The plain covers an area of about 409,500 square kilometers (158,100 sq mi), most of which is less than 50 metres (160 ft) above sea level. This flat yellow-soil plain is the main area of sorghum, millet, maize, and cotton production in China. Wheat, sesame seed, and peanuts are also grown here. The plain is one of the most densely populated regions in the world.
Beijing, the national capital, is located on the northeast edge of the plain, with Tianjin, an important industrial city and commercial port, near its northeast coast. Shengli Oil Field in Shandong is an important petroleum base.Port of Nanjing
The Port of Nanjing (Chinese: 南京港, SZSE: 002040) is located in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, and is the largest inland port in the world (depending on how you classify the ports in the Yangtze Delta), with throughput reaching 191 million tons of cargo in 2012. Nanjing Port has a long history reaching back to A.D 229, when it became a major seaport. It is situated in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, just before the start of the Yangtze Delta. The Port has authority over 208 km of Yangtze River shoreline, 110 km in the North Shore and 98 km in the South Shore. As of 2010, it operated six public ports and three industrial ports.Port of Taizhou
The Port of Taizhou is a natural seaport on the coast of the prefectural-level city of Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China. The Port is centered at the mouth of the Jiaojiang River, with port areas opening to the Taizhou Bay, Yueqing Bay and Sanmen Bay of the East China Sea. It is considered as the southernmost of the ports of the Yangtze Delta economic area. In 2013 it reached a throughput of 56.28 million metric tons, an increase of 5.0% over 2012, and a container throughput of 166,571 TEUs, an increase of 10.4%.Qing conquest theory
The Qing conquest theory is a theory proposed by Chinese academics that attempts to explain the Great Divergence, the overtaking of China by the Western world as the major economic and industrial world power. Specifically, the theory seeks to explain how Europe could experience an industrial revolution, but China did not. Theory supporters claim that although the prosperous Song and Ming dynasties moved China toward a modern age, the restrictions placed on commerce and industry and the persecution of non-orthodox thought after the Manchu conquest of China caused the country to stagnate and fall behind the West.Tongji University
Tongji University (simplified Chinese: 同济大学; traditional Chinese: 同濟大學; pinyin: Tóngjì Dàxué) is a comprehensive university located in Shanghai. Established in 1907 by the German government together with German physicians in Shanghai, Tongji is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China. It is a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University.Tongji University is especially renowned for its engineering, business and architecture programs; its civil engineering department has consistently ranked first in China for decades. The School of Economics and Management (Tongji SEM) is one of 74 business schools in the world being triple accredited by the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Association of MBAs (AMBA). Tongji University is a member of the Yangtze Delta Universities Alliance and Asian-European Laotse Universities Network.Yang Wenhui
Yang Wenhui (simplified Chinese: 杨文会; traditional Chinese: 楊文會; pinyin: Yáng Wénhùi; Wade–Giles: Yang Wenhui; 1837-1911) was a Chinese lay Buddhist reformer who has been called "The Father of the Modern Buddhist Renaissance". His courtesy name was Rénshān (仁山). He was a native of Shídài (石埭) county (modern Shítái 石台 county) in Anhui province.
While he was young he accompanied his father to live in Beijing, but the Taiping rebellion forced them to flee to the lower Yangtze delta. Although he studied the Confucian classics as a child, in 1862 he became interested in Buddhism after reading a copy of the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana (大乘起信論 dàchéng qǐxìn lùn). In 1866 he moved to Nanjing to manage architectural engineering projects for the government, where his Buddhist beliefs were strengthened through contact with other lay Buddhists.
It was not long after that he and several friends raised money to establish the Jinling Sutra Publishing House (金凌刻經處 Jīnlíng kèjīng chù), Jinling being an old name for Nanjing. In 1878 he left China to visit England and France, bringing back several scientific instruments which he donated to researchers in China. During another trip to England he met the Japanese Buddhist Nanjo Bunyu (南条文雄) and started a correspondence with him. With Nanjō's help, Yang was able to import over 300 sutra texts from Japan that had been lost within China. In 1894 he worked with the British missionary Timothy Richard (李提摩太) to translate Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana into English.Yang established the Zhiheng Monastery (祗洹精舍 zhīhéng jīngshè) in 1908 for teaching Buddhism on the site of his publishing house and wrote the textbooks himself. He invited the poet-monk Su Manshu to teach Sanskrit and English. Over twenty monks studied there, preparing to spread the Dharma. Unfortunately, due to financial trouble the school closed after only two years.
In 1910 he founded the Buddhist Research Society (佛學研究會 fóxúe yánjiù hùi) and served as its head. The lay Buddhist Ouyang Jian (歐陽漸) studied under Yang at this time, and after Yang's death in 1911 Ouyang would reestablish Yang's old publishing house and school as the Chinese Inner Studies College (支那內學院 zhīnà nèi xúeyuàn). Yang Wenhui had many students over his lifetime, including several well-known figures such as Zhang Taiyan, Tan Sitong, and Taixu.Yangcheng Lake
Yangcheng Lake (Chinese: 阳澄湖; pinyin: Yángchéng Hú) is a freshwater lake about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) northeast of the city of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, China. It is the most famous area of origin for the Chinese mitten crabs which are considered a delicacy.
Yangchen lake is located between Lake Tai and the Yangtze River. It crosses the boundary of the cities Suzhou, Changshu and Kunshan and has a surface area of about 20 square kilometres (7.7 sq mi).
The Chinese mitten crabs migrate from Yangcheng Lake towards the Yangtze delta for mating in September and October. The local fishermen harvest the animals during this migration. In 2002, the total production of Chinese mitten crabs in Yangcheng Lake was estimated to be about 1,500 tonnes (1,500 long tons; 1,700 short tons).Yangtze Delta Universities Alliance
Yangtze Delta Universities Alliance is an alliance of eight prestigious universities located in east China. It was established in 2005.Yuan (surname)
Yuan (袁, Mandarin pronunciation: [ɥɛ̌n] (listen)) is a Chinese surname ranked 37th in China by population. In Standard Chinese, the surname is transliterated Yuán (hanyu pinyin) or Yüen2" (Wade-Giles). Other romanizations include Yeu (Shanghainese), Ion (Chang-Du Gan), Yuen (Cantonese), Oan (Hokkien/Min Nan), Wang (Teochew), Won (Korean), and Viên (Vietnamese). Pronunciation differs widely from region to region.According to tradition, the surname originated from a noble family of the ancient state of Chen, in what is now eastern Henan province. The written form of the character took its current standardised form around the 1st century. During the Han Dynasty, it was associated with the powerful Yuan clan of Ru'nan and later during Jin and Southern Dynasties, with the Yuan clan of Chen.
Historically, the name has been fast growing amongst Han Chinese, and has also been taken up by various non-Chinese ethnic groups. The surname is now held by more than 6.5 million people worldwide, and makes up 0.54% of the population of mainland China. Although growth has tapered off in the past six centuries, the Yuan name is still relatively widespread throughout China, as well as among overseas Chinese, with heaviest per capita concentrations in the Yangtze Delta region of central coastal China.
Because the Yangtze Delta region has historically exhibited high clan consciousness, there exist a large number of Yuan genealogies, most of which are now held in public institutions. Renewed interest in ancestry outside mainland China has been encouraged by the PRC government.Zhejiang University
Zhejiang University (ZJU, also known as Che Kiang University; simplified Chinese: 浙江大学; traditional Chinese: 浙江大學; pinyin: Zhèjiāng Dàxué; Wade–Giles: Che-Chiang-ta-hsüeh), usually referred to as Zhèdà (浙大), is an elite C9 League university in Zhejiang province. It is also a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University.
Founded in 1897, Zhejiang University is one of China's oldest, most selective and most prestigious institutions of higher education. It is also a member of the Yangtze Delta Universities Alliance and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities.
The university campus is located in the city of Hangzhou. Zhejiang University Library's collection contains about 7 million volumes, making it one of China's largest academic libraries.
|Average max. and min. temperatures in °F|
|Precipitation totals in inches|
Yangtze Delta metropolitan regions
|Shanghai Metropolitan Area|
|Jiangsu Yangtze Metropolitan Belt|
|Zhejiang Hangzhou Greater Bay Area|