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Special> 60th Anniversary of The People's Republic of China> Discovering China> Qingdao
UPDATED: September-21-2009 NO. 38 SEPTEMBER 24, 2009
A Cut Above the Rest

Qingdao, or Tsingtao, as spelt in the old-fashioned Wade-Giles Romanization system, is a port city in east China some 790 km from Beijing. Located at the southeastern tip of Shandong Province, where it overlooks the Yellow Sea, Qingdao is known for a number of things: home to many international brand names, a bustling freight and transportation hub, unique city layout and countless German-style architecture, as well as broad beaches and reclusive holiday resorts. With its well-preserved eco-environment, sound social security and services, average well-off status and higher civic standards, among other indexes, the city tops the annual list of 10 Best Chinese Cities to Live In, prepared by the Hong Kong-based China Institute of City Competitiveness in July.

The recorded history of Qingdao dates back to the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), when it served as a strategic military fortress contested by army commanders of neighboring states in warfare. From the early 20thcentury onward, the city began to expand and flourish in the wake of the construction of such modern infrastructures as railways and port facilities, which laid the foundation for Qingdao to later become a major industrial and shipping center along the coastline. After the founding of New China in 1949, and particularly since the launch of reform and opening up in the end of the 1970s, the city entered a golden period of development. Its economy grew in leaps and bounds, thanks in part to the preferential and more liberalized state policies, favorable geographic locations and a solid industrial base.

Decades of economic and industrial development have helped forge a number of renowned brands for the city. They include Tsingtao Beer, Haier and Aucma appliances, Hisense electronics, Yellow Sea Tires and Double Star sports outfit, some of which have earned fame in the world market. Statistics suggest the city has thus far churned out 68 brands of national standing. While reflecting the innovative spirit and entrepreneurship of the local people, these top-notch products may well function as synonyms for the city that will bring Qingdao more fame beyond its shores.

Not only is Qingdao highly competitive economically, it is also one of the hottest tourist destinations in summer --- some 34.70 million Chinese and foreign tourists visited the city last year. Qingdao can draw from rich tourism resources, ranging from various seaside resorts, scenic areas and historical sites, aquatic sporting events, and colorful cultural and entertainment activities, typical local cuisines, exquisite specialties, to well-appointed hospitality facilities and an efficient transportation network. Together, these will make tourism in Qingdao an unforgettable experience.

Qingdao also boasts strong cultural, educational and scientific research establishments: It has 25 universities or colleges, operates more than 40 museums, public libraries and cultural centers, and runs nearly 60 academic institutions, including 28 institutes of marine science research. These institutions constitute a large intellectual bank, an invaluable asset for the growth of the city.

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