- Hefei (Anhui)
- Fuzhou (Fujian)
- Nanjing (Jiangsu)
- Jinan (Shandong)
- Shanghai (Shanghai Municipality)
- Hangzhou (Zhejiang)
- Anhui Population: 68 million
- Fujian Population: 2 million
- Jiangsu Population: 99 million
- Shandong Population: 37 million
- Shanghai Population: 24 million
- Zhejiang Population: 63 million
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The history of the Eastern Region of China centres on Shanghai, the Pearl pf the East. The name Shanghai dates back to the Sung dynasty (11th century), but the town was relatively unknown until it was opened to foreign trade by the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842. The ensuing Western influence launched the city’s phenomenal growth. From the mid nineteenth century, the city was divided into various international settlements. The foreign zones, which were under extraterritorial administration, maintained their own courts, police system, and armed forces. Thus until World War II, Shanghai was a divided city.
In 1943 the United States and Great Britain renounced their claims in Shanghai, as did France in 1946. The city was restored to China at the end of World War II, and the Chinese central government gained control of the entire city for the first time. In May, 1949, it fell to the Communist forces. Since Pudong (East Shanghai) was declared a special development zone in 1990, government and foreign investment has revived Shanghai as an international trade and financial centre.
Shanghai is a popular tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as The Bund, City God Temple andYu Garden as well as the extensive Lujiazui skyline and major museums including the Shanghai Museum and theChina Art Museum. It has been described as the “showpiece” of the booming economy of mainland China
Other historical points of interest for the region include Shandong Province as the birthplace of Confucius, the former capital for the Provisional Government of the New Republic in Nanjing and Fujian Province which is seen as the place from which Chinese culture, literature and architecture flourished.
In addition, the year 2014 marked the 35th Anniversary of the Victoria-Jiangsu Regional City Alliance. The Victoria-Jiangsu sister-state partnership is Victoria’s oldest and most enduring relationship, as well as one of the first Australia-China sister-state agreements. The alliance is built upon a foundation of friendship and a determination to grow together, and our far-reaching relationship encompasses deep trade, cultural and personal ties.
The tertiary sector has replaced the primary to be the 2nd largest industry in Anhui. In terms of composition of the tertiary industry, the three leasing sectors are wholesale and retail trade, real estate and financial intermediation, accounting for 21.6%, 12.1% and 11.7% respectively of the tertiary value-added in 2013. Anhui’s industry is also dominated by heavy industry, which accounted for 68% of the valued-added industrial output in 2013.
Agriculture still plays an important role in Fujian, although the sector’s share in GDP has been decreasing over the years. In 2013, the heavy industry sector accounted for 48.8% of the total industrial value-added while light industry took up the rest. Within the tertiary sector, real estate and finance were the fastest growing industries in terms of value-added in 2013, recording an increase of 17.4% and 16.1% respectively.
Jiangsu is a strong production base of machinery and it is one of the major petrochemical industry bases of China. The pillar industries in Jiangsu are electronics, telecommunications, chemicals, machinery and equipment, textiles & garments and metallurgy. Additionally, in recent years, technology-intensive industry and capital-intensive industries (such as electronic and telecommunications etc.) have been developing quickly. Jiangsu is moving towards the development of new and high technology products. Therefore, Jiangsu is now an important IT manufacturing base.
Shandong is the third strongest industrial production base in China. Major industries include textiles and garments, machinery, consumer electronics, building materials, metals, petrochemicals, steel, coal and soda ash, and food processing. Shandong plans to concentrate on the development of its electronics and information technology industries. Priority will be given to the development of computers, telecommunications, software applicable to information networking and network telecommunications.
In 2013, 62.2% of Shanghai’s GDP was attributed to services industries. The top 3 largest industries were retail and wholesale, financial services and real estate. Shanghai will focus on the development of financial services, logistics and cultural industries. Shanghai also plays a key role in China’s heavy industries. Heavy industries accounted for 78% of the gross industrial output in 2013.
Shanghai is also home to one of China’s Special Free Trade Zones. Officially launched in September 2013, it is the first free trade zone in mainland China. Commodities entering the zone are not subject to duty and customs clearance as would otherwise be the case. The zone also introduces a number of reforms covering areas such as arbitration, corporate establishment, foreign exchange, real estate and foreign investment, allowing for increased access and more favourable conditions for conducting business in China.
Light industries play an important role in the province’s industrial sector. In 2013, the value-added of light industries accounted for 43% of the total value-added industrial output. The labour intensive industries, namely textiles and products for culture and education etc. have predominant advantages. Famous products include garment and textiles (esp. socks and ties), chemical fibre, leather products, wooden furniture, toys, household appliances and paper. Since 2000, heavy industries such as electrical equipment and machinery, raw chemical materials and chemical products have also developed rapidly, and the value-added of heavy industries accounted for 57% of the total output in 2013.
Yan shui ya or salted duck is a local dish from the capital of Jiangsu, Nanjing. The tender white duck meat has some fat but is not greasy, and in presentation the dish is fragrant and often crispy. Nanjing Salted Duck prepared before and after mid-Autumn is reputed to taste the best, because of duck production during the sweet osmanthus blooming season. Yan shui ya is often regarded as a dish to share.
Jianbing are a type of Chinese pancake. A traditional snack that is often eaten for breakfast, the dish is a fried crepe made from a batter of wheat and grain flour that is fried on a griddle with an egg(s) and can be topped with scallions, baocui (a kind of crispy fried cracker) and cilantro. It can be thick, thin, crispy or chewy, but it’s almost always folded several times before serving.
Xiao long bao are a type of steamed dumpling associated with Shanghai and Wuxi. They are traditionally prepared in small bamboo steaming baskets and are considered a type of soup dumpling. Xiao long bao are traditionally filled with pork, however can also be filled with other meats, seafood or vegetarian fillings. In Shanghai, Xiao long bao can be eaten throughout the day and traditionally form part of a Jiangnan-style morning tea.