Suzhou, the paradise on earth, is situated in the southeast of Jiangsu Province, with Shanghai to the east, Zhejiang Province the south, the Taihu lake the west and the Yangtze River the north. Suzhou occupies a soil deposit plain land of 8488 square kilometers, of which the urban area is 1650 square kilometers. Its total population is 6.16 million by the end of 2006. Under the jurisdiction of Suzhou municipality there are Zhangjiagang City, Changshu City, Taichang City, Kunshan City, Wujiang City, Wuzhong District, Xiangcheng District, Pingjiang District, Canglang District, Jinchang District, and the Suzhou Industrial Park and Suzhou High-tech area. Suzhou is not only one of the important cities in the Yangtze River Delta, but also our country¡¯s famous historical and cultural city and the nation¡¯s key tourist city.
Suzhou, as an ancient city, was first built in 514 BC, about over 2500 years ago, and here still exist 538 units of various levels and types of the preserved heritage, including 34 units of national level, 106 units of provincial level. She lies in the network of rivers. Paralleled with the river run the streets and near the river stand many buildings.This scenery of ¡®streets before, rivers back¡¯ forms the unique pattern of ¡®small bridge, flowing water and people¡¯s housing¡¯.
"Suzhou gardens are famous all over the world". These gardens, setting the buildings, mountains and rivers, flowers and trees, sculpture, calligraphy, and painting and so on all into one, are the treasure of human civilization. There are more than 60 well-preserved classical gardens in Suzhou, in which Humble Administrator¡¯s Garden, Lingering Garden, The Master-of-Nets Garden, Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty, Canglang Pavilion, The Lion Forest Garden, Garden of Cultivation, The Couple¡¯s Garden Retreat, Retreat and Reflection Garden were ascribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO respectively in December, 1997 and November, 2000. Moreover, there are also many other famous scenic spots like The Tiger Hill, The Pump Gate, The Stone Lake, The Lingyan Moutain, The Flat Top Mountain, Yushan Mountain. And most of the scenic spots and area of Taihu Lake are located in the territory of Suzhou. Plenty of ancient towns of more than 1000 years old like Zhouzhuang in Kunshan City, Tongli in Wujiang City, Luzhi and Mudu in Wuzhong District and Shaxi in Taicang City are all of the Yangtze River style. Suzhou was awarded the National Excellent Tourist City and successfully joined the Alliance of the World Heritage Cities respectively in 1998 and 2006.
Under the policy of reform and opening up, Suzhou is developing with vitality. Suzhou government has set up the strategy of ¡®revitalizing Suzhou with science and education, export-orientation and sustainable development¡¯. Thanks to this strategy, the two major advantages of export-oriented economy and village enterprises have formed, the new high-tech based economic growth point has been cultivated and the new advantages of talent, industry, environment, etc. are developing.
Suzhou is on the road of becoming a modern manufacturing base led by high-tech industry, a technology innovation base of integrated production and research gathering various talents, a modern agricultural base of high technology, high export-oriented degree and good economic returns and a tourist resort that embodies cultural heritage and natural scenery and is blessed with beautiful ecological environment. In view of this, Suzhou will surely become a basically modernized city of prosperity, high technology, affluence, good environment and civilization in the 21st century.
(from Suzhou, China http://www.suzhou.gov.cn/index.shtml )