Guangzhou, famed as the ‘Southern Gate of China,’ is located in the center of the Pearl River Delta area. The coastal city lies 125 kilometers northwest of Hong Kong.
Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is the capital of Guangdong province and is China’s largest and most prosperous southern city (excluding Hong Kong) with a famous historical and cultural heritage spanning over 2,000 years. For several centuries, Canton was the only city accessible to Western travelers and during the 18th century it was the only port in China where the Emperor allowed merchants from the West to trade and dwell. The city is not only an excellent port on the Pearl River navigable to the South China Sea, but with its fast accessibility to Hong Kong and Macau, Guangzhou serves as the political and economic center in the Guangdong area. Guangzhou is recognized as one of China’s most prosperous, liberal, and cosmopolitan cities.
The primary language of Guangzhou is Cantonese, although standard Mandarin, or Putonghua, is also widely spoken due to the large influx of migrants. As with elsewhere in mainland China, standard Mandarin is the only language used in schools.
Guangzhou’s population is constantly growing, attracting hundreds of thousands of new inhabitants every year. Statistics published in 2016 show that the city’s permanent population reached 14 million inhabitants, accounting for 12.9 percent of the province’s total population. This number however does not include the city’s floating population, mainly migrant workers who man the factories in the Pearl River Delta region.
Guangzhou has a humid subtropical climate influenced by the Asian monsoon. Summers are wet with high temperatures, high humidity and a high heat index. Winters are mild and comparatively dry. Guangzhou has a lengthy monsoon season, spanning from April through September. The annual average temperature in Guangzhou is 22.6 °C (72.7 °F), the relative humidity is approximately 68%, whereas annual rainfall in the metropolitan area is over 1,700 mm (67 in).
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Special Economic Zones were founded by the central government under Deng Xiaoping in the early 1980s, with the aim of speeding up industrial and economic development. One of the first such zones was the Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone.
Guangzhou holds the famous and world’s biggest trade fair every year, the Guangzhou Canton Fair Trade Show, which attracts thousands of businessmen and traders every year. This fair has come to Guangzhou twice a year for almost 50 years.
Guangdong Province leads China’s economy, with annual gross domestic product growth of 13.45 % over the three decades since 1978. That is 3.5% higher than the national average.
Did you also know?
In this food-obsessed city, meals are a major source of happiness. A good way to explore the city and get to know its people is to have a dim sum breakfast at a local restaurant.
The Zhujiang beer is one of 4 national Chinese beer brands and is named after the Pearl River (Zhu jiang) in Guangzhou. Its brewery is a large state-owned enterprise in Guangzhou and a source of pride to its inhabitants. In 2002, Anheuser-Busch InBev purchased a 25% stake in the Guangzhou Zhujiang Brewery Group.
There are more than 500 kinds of fruits in Guangzhou, therefore it is called the land of fruits.