City overview
Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, is located 180 kilometers southwest of Shanghai. As a central city on the Southern wing of Yangtze Delta, Hangzhou's city proper covers an area of 3,068 square kilometers with a population of 3.932 million.
 
History
The healthy silk and tea trade expanded during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). The 1,000 km Grand Canal linked the city to distant Beijing and to ocean trade routes to Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The city's population grew in number and wealth. Merchants and officials led lives of leisure, building extravagant homes and pleasure boats for West Lake. The city's fame brought curious visitors throughout the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and Emperors Kangxi (1662-1722) and Qianlong (1711-1799) held court in Hangzhou, the latter building a palace on Solitary Island (Gu Shan) and an imperial library.
 
Climate
Hangzhou experiences four distinct seasons with cold winter (average temperature of 3º C (37º F)) and hot summer (average of 29º C (84º F)). Summers are rainy through May-July and can grow exceedingly humid. Whatever the weather, Hangzhou paints a pretty picture. In the winter, light snow blankets stone brides and walkways and spring and summer bring blooms of flowers. The best time to visit Hangzhou is in the fall, when the weather cools and the rains decrease.
 
Transportation
Hangzhou is serviced by the Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, which has direct flights to Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, regional routes to Hong Kong and Macau, as well as numerous domestic routes. Located just outside of the city in the Xiaoshan District, it is one of the major secondary international airports in China. Hangzhou Railway Station serves the city centre with direct trains departing for Shanghai, (journey time now 1hr18, 55 yuan) and most other major cities in China. The significantly less modern Hangzhou East Railway Station has many through trains and local trains, though few terminating or departing. Trains leaving Hangzhou reach more than 20 cities directly, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an. The construction of the Shanghai-Hangzhou Maglev Train Line has been debated for several years, and on 18 August 2008 Beijing Authorities gave the project the go-ahead, to start construction in 2010. Transrapid has been contracted to construct the line.
 
Economy
Hangzhou's economy has rapidly developed since its opening up in 1992. It is an industrial city with many diverse sectors such as in light industry, agriculture and textile. It is also considered a important manufacturing base and logistics hub for coastal China. In 2001, the GDP of the whole city amounts to RMB 156.8 billion which ranks the second among all of the provincial capitals except for Guangzhou. The city has tripled GDP and Per capita GDP in the last seven years, with GDP increasing from RMB ¥156.8 billion in 2001 to RMB ¥478.1 billion in 2008 and GDP per capita increasing from USD 3,025 to USD 10,199. The city has developed many new industries since, they include medicine, information technology, heavy equipment, automotive components, household electrical appliances, electronics, telecommunication, fine chemicals, chemical fibre and food processing.
 
Prospect
Sciences and educations in Hangzhou are advanced, and there are 35 colleges, numerous polytechnic schools, and more than 80 natural science research institutes here. The total number of college students is 269,800. In addition, Hangzhou also boasts its rapidly developing culture and sanitation causes, increasingly improved housing situation and community environment. It has altogether 12 national honors including National Hygienic City and National Environment Protection Model City, etc. In October 2001, Hangzhou won UN Human Habitat Award in October 2002, and the honor of International Garden City. Since 2000, Hangzhou has successfully held the annual West Lake Expo four times, and made known its city brand name by launching four gold name cards (traveling, living, learning, and careering in Hangzhou), a channel for the world to know Hangzhou and for Hangzhou to head for the world.
2012 China University Ranking
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