Tianjin (), alternately romanized
as Tientsin, is a municipality
and a coastal metropolis
in Northern China
on the shore of the Bohai Sea
. It is one of the nine national central cities
in Mainland China
, with a total population estimated at 15,621,200 in 2016. Its built-up (''or metro'') area, made up of 12 central districts (all but Baodi, Jizhou, Jinghai and Ninghe), was home to 12,491,300 inhabitants in 2016 and is also the world's 29th-largest agglomeration (between Chengdu
and Rio de Janeiro
) and 11th-most populous city proper
It is governed as one of the four municipalities
under the direct administration of Chinese central government
and is thus under direct administration of the State Council
. Tianjin borders Hebei Province
and Beijing Municipality
, bounded to the east by the Bohai Gulf
portion of the Yellow Sea
. Part of the Bohai Economic Rim
, it is the largest coastal city in Northern China
In terms of urban population, Tianjin is the fourth largest in China, after Shanghai
, and Guangzhou
. In terms of administrative area population, Tianjin ranks fifth in Mainland China. The walled city of Tianjin was built in 1404. As a treaty port since 1860, Tianjin has been a major seaport and gateway to Beijing. During the Boxer Rebellion
the city was the seat of the Tianjin Provisional Government
. Under the Qing dynasty and the Republic of China, Tianjin became one of the largest cities in the region.
At that time, numerous European-style buildings and mansions were constructed in concessions, many of which are well-preserved today. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Tianjin suffered a depression due to the policy of the central government and 1976 Tangshan earthquake
, but recovered from 1990s. Nowadays Tianjin is a dual-core city, with its main urban area (including the old city) located along the Hai River
, which connects to the Yellow
Rivers via the Grand Canal
; and Binhai
, an adjacent New Area urban core located east of the old city, on the coast of the Bohai Gulf. As of the end of 2010, around 285 Fortune 500 companies have set up base in Binhai. Since 2010, Tianjin's Yujiapu Financial District
has become known as ''China's Manhattan
and the city is considered as one of the world's top 100 cities, including in the Global Financial Centres Index
Tianjin is ranked as a Beta global city
by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network
. Tianjin is also one of the top 25 science cities
in the world by scientific research as tracked by the Nature Index
and home to multiple notable institutes
of higher education, including Tianjin University
, Nankai University
and Tianjin Medical University
Tianjin is the pinyin romanization
of the Chinese character
s , which means "Heavenly Ford
" or "Ford of Heaven".
The origin of the name is obscure. One folk etymology
is that it was an homage to the patriotic Chu poet Qu Yuan
, whose "Li Sao
" includes the verse "... departing from the Ford of Heaven at dawn ..." (, ''zhāo fārèn yú Tiānjīn xī''). Another is that it honors a former name of the Girl
, a Chinese constellation
recorded under the name Tianjin in the Astronomical Record section of the Book of Sui
. A third is that it derives from a place name noted in the River Record of the History of Jin
. The most common is that it was bestowed by the Yongle Emperor
of the Ming
, who crossed Tianjin's Gu River on his way south to overthrow his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor
The land where Tianjin is located today was created in between 900 and 1300 CE by sedimentation
of various rivers entering the sea at Bohai Gulf
, including the Yellow River
, which entered the open sea in this area at one point. The construction of the Grand Canal
under the Sui dynasty
helped the future development of Tianjin as the canal ran from Hangzhou
to the Beijing
and Tianjin region by 609 CE. Grain from southern China was regularly transported to the north through the canal and was used during the subsequent dynasties. Tianjin begins to be increasingly mentioned in records during the Song dynasty
and gains importance during the Yuan dynasty
. Tianjin experienced development under the Yuan and became a prime location for the storage of goods and grains. Tianjin became a garrison town and shipping station during the Ming dynasty
. It became a center of commerce and prosperity by the 17th century.
During the Qing dynasty
(16441911) Tianjin Prefecture
or ''Zhou'' () was established in 1725, and Tianjin County was established within the prefecture in 1731. Later it was upgraded to an urban prefecture
or ''Fu'' () before becoming a relay station () under the command of the Viceroy of Zhili
Opening up as a treaty port
In 1856, Chinese soldiers boarded ''The Arrow'', a Chinese-owned ship registered in Hong Kong flying the British flag and suspected of piracy, smuggling, and of being engaged in the opium trade. They captured 12 men and imprisoned them. In response, the British and French sent gunboats under the command of Admiral Sir Michael Seymour
to capture the Taku forts
near Tianjin in May 1858. At the end of the first part of the Second Opium War
in June of the same year, the British and French prevailed, and the Treaty of Tientsin
were signed, which opened Tientsin (Tianjin) to foreign trade. The treaties were ratified by the Xianfeng Emperor
in 1860, and Tianjin was formally opened to Great Britain and France, and thus to the outside world. Between 1895 and 1900, Britain and France were joined by Japan, Germany and Russia
, and even by countries without Chinese concessions
such as Austria-Hungary
, Italy and Belgium
, in establishing self-contained concessions in Tianjin
, each with its own prisons, schools, barracks and hospitals. These nations left many architectural reminders of their rule, notably churches and thousands of villas.
The presence of foreign influence in Tianjin was not always peaceful; one of the most serious violent incidents to date was the Tianjin Church Massacre
. In June 1870, the orphanage held by the Wanghailou Church (Church Our Lady's Victories), in Tianjin, built by French Roman Catholic missionaries
, was accused of the kidnapping and brainwashing of Chinese children. On June 21, the magistrate
of Tianjin County initiated a showdown at the church that developed into violent clashes between the church's Christian supporters and some non-Christian Tianjin residents. The furious protesters eventually burned down Wanghailou Church and the nearby French consulate and killed eighteen foreigners including ten French nuns, the French consul himself, and merchants. France and six other Western nations complained to the Qing government, which was forced to pay compensation for the incident.
In 1885 Li Hongzhang founded the Tianjin Military Academy () for Chinese army officers with German advisors, as part of his military reforms.
The move was supported by Anhui Army
commander Zhou Shengchuan.
The academy was to serve Anhui Army and Green Standard Army
officers. Various practical military, mathematic and science subjects were taught at the academy. The instructors were German officers.
Another program was started at the academy for five years in 1887 to train teenagers as new army officers.
Mathematics, practical and technical subjects including sciences, foreign languages, Chinese Classics and history were taught at the school. Exams were administered to students. The instruction for Tianjin Military Academy was copied at the Weihaiwei and Shanhaiguan military schools.
The 'maritime defense fund' supplied the budget for the Tianjin Military Academy, which was shared with the Tianjin Naval Academy.
The Tianjin Military Academy in 1886 adopted as part of its curriculum the Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Among its alumni were Wang Yingkai
and Duan Qirui
. Among its staff was Yinchang
In June 1900, the Boxers
were able to seize control of much of Tianjin. On June 26, European defense forces heading towards Beijing were stopped by Boxers at nearby Langfang
, and were defeated and forced to turn back to Tianjin. The foreign concessions were also under siege for several weeks.
In July 1900, the Eight-Nation Alliance recaptured Tientsin
. This alliance soon established the Tianjin Provisional Government, composed of representatives from each of the occupying forces (Russian, British, Japanese, German, French, American, Austro-Hungarian, and Italian). The city was governed by this council until August 15, 1902 when the city was returned to Qing control. Eminent Qing General Yuan Shikai
led efforts to transform Tianjin into a modern city, establishing the first modern Chinese police force. In 1907, Yuan supervised China's first modern democratic elections for a county council.
Western nations were permitted to garrison the area to ensure open access to Beijing. The British maintained a brigade of two battalions in Tianjin, and the Italians, French, Japanese, Germans, Russians, and Austro-Hungarians maintained under strength regiments; the United States did not initially participate. During World War I, the German and Austro-Hungarian garrisons were captured and held as Prisoners of War by Allied Forces while the Bolshevik government withdrew the Russian garrison in 1918. In 1920, the remaining participating nations asked the United States to join them, and the US then sent the 15th Infantry Regiment, less one battalion, to Tianjin from the Philippines.
Because of the rapid development of industry, commerce and finance, Tientsin was established as a municipality
of China in 1927. From 1930 to 1935, Tientsin was the provincial capital of Hopeh
, after which it was reestablished as a municipality.
Garrison duty was highly regarded by the troops. General George C. Marshall
, the "architect of victory" in World War II when he was the United States Army Chief of Staff, served at Tianjin in the 1920s as Executive Officer of the 15th Infantry
. The US withdrew this unit in 1938 and a US presence was maintained only by the dispatch of a small US Marine Corps unit from the Embassy Guard at Beijing.
Second Sino-Japanese War
On July 30, 1937, Tianjin fell to Japan, as part of the Second Sino-Japanese War
, but was not entirely occupied, as the Japanese for the most part respected foreign concessions
until 1941, when the American and British concessions
were occupied. In the summer of 1939, there occurred a major crisis in Anglo-Japanese relations with the Tientsin Incident
. On June 14, 1939, the Imperial Japanese Army
surrounded and blockaded the British concession over the refusal of the British authorities to hand over to the Japanese six Chinese who had assassinated a locally prominent Japanese collaborator, and had taken refuge in the British concession. For a time, the 1939 crisis appeared likely to cause an Anglo-Japanese war, especially when reports of the maltreatment by the Japanese Army of British subjects wishing to leave or enter the concession appeared in the British press. The crisis ended when the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
was advised by the Royal Navy
and the Foreign Office that the only way to force the Japanese to lift the blockade was to send the main British battle fleet to Far Eastern waters, and that given the current crisis in Europe that it would be inappropriate to send the British fleet out of European waters, thus leading the British to finally turn over the six Chinese, who were then executed by the Japanese. During the Japanese occupation, Tianjin was ruled by the North China Executive Committee
, a puppet state
based in Beijing.
On August 9, 1940, all of the British troops in Tianjin were ordered to withdraw. On November 14, 1941 the American Marine
unit stationed in Tianjin was ordered to leave, but before this could be accomplished, the Japanese attacked the United States
. The American Marine detachment surrendered to the Japanese on December 8, 1941. Only the Italian and French concessions (the local French officials were loyal to Vichy
) were allowed by the Japanese to remain. When Italy signed an armistice
with the Allies in September 1943, Japanese troops took the Italian concession following a battle with its garrison, and the Italian Social Republic
formally ceded it to Wang Jingwei
's Japan-controlled puppet state
. Japanese occupation of the city lasted until August 15, 1945, with the surrender of Japan marking the end of World War II.
Post World War II
In the Pingjin Campaign
of the Chinese Civil War, the city was captured after 29 hours of fighting. The Communists took Tianjin on January 15, 1949.
From 1949 to February 1958, Tianjin was a municipality directly under the control of the central government. In October 1952, Tanggu New Port
officially opened its doors, and the first 10,000-ton ferry arrived at Newport Pier. In February 1958, due to the "Great Leap Forward" and Tianjin's good industrial foundation, Tianjin was incorporated into Hebei Province and Hebei Province was relocated to Tianjin for eight years. During the period, under the coordination of the State Council, the city of Tianjin implemented a separate policy for central planning, which was independent of Hebei Province. However, a large number of factories and colleges in Tianjin moved to Hebei, adversely affecting Tianjin's economic development. In January 1967, due to "preparation, preparation for disasters", and concerns that Tianjin would become a battlefield, Hebei Province repatriated the provincial capital to Baoding, and the CPC Central Committee decided that Tianjin should be restored to the central municipality and remain so far. In April 1970, in the event that the Central Government had applied for funding for the construction of the subway, the Tianjin Municipal Government decided to raise funds on its own to establish the project on the basis of the name of the channel, and build it on the basis of the old walled river. In July 1973, five counties including Jixian, Baodi, Wuqing, Jinghai, and Ninghe were formally placed under the jurisdiction of Tianjin.
On July 28, 1976, during the 7.6 magnitude Tangshan Earthquake
, Tianjin was affected by the shock waves and suffered major loss of life. In the city, 24,345 people died and 21,497 were seriously injured. 60% of the city's buildings were destroyed and more than 30% of the enterprises and Peking Port Reservoir and Yuqiao Reservoir were seriously damaged. Nearly 700,000 people were left homeless. On October 10 of the same year, the Tianjin Underground Railway was opened to traffic. In 1981, Miyun Reservoir was built on the upper reaches of the Hai River and is used to supply water for Beijing, however the reservoir stopped the river from supplying water to Tianjin, resulting in difficulty in the use of water in Tianjin. In the same year, the State Council of the People's Republic of China
decided to initiate a project to solve the problem of water use in Tianjin and attract talented individuals to the city's academic centers.
In 1984, during the beginning of the Chinese government's economic reforms, Tianjin was listed as one of the 14 coastal open cities by the State Council and the Tianjin Development Zone
's economy began to develop rapidly, However, the overall development speed of Tianjin is still slower than that of special economic zones and that of other southeast coastal areas. In 1994, Tianjin began its strategic industrial shift towards the east and developed the Binhai New Area
with the Tianjin Port
as the core. In October 2005, the Fifth Plenary Session of the 16th CPC Central Committee
was convened. The meeting decided to incorporate the development and opening up of the Binhai New Area
into the "Eleventh Five-Year Plan" and the national development strategy. In March 2006, the State Council executive meeting positioned Tianjin as an "international port city, a northern economic center, and an "ecological city". Since then, the dispute between the Beijing-Tianjin economic center at the policy level has come to an end. In May 2006, the State Council approved the Binhai New Area as a national integrated reform pilot area. In June of the same year, the "State Council's Opinions on Promoting the Development and Opening of the Tianjin Binhai New Area" was announced and clearly stated: "In financial enterprises, financial services, financial markets, and finance Major reforms such as opening up can, in principle, be scheduled to precede the Tianjin Binhai New Area.
In August 2008, China's first high-speed railway
, the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway
, with a speed of 350 kilometers per hour was opened. In August 2008 Tianjin was the co-host city of the 29th Olympic Games
. In September 2008, the Annual Meeting of the New Champions of World Economic Forum
(also called Summer Davos
) began to be established in Tianjin and is held every two years. In October 2010, the UN Climate Change Conference convened in Tianjin. In 2012, the Tianjin Metro
Lines 2, 3, and 9 were completed and open to traffic, and Tianjin Rail Transit was formally networked.
In October 2013, Tianjin hosted the East Asian Games
, which was the first time Tianjin hosted an international comprehensive event. In 2014, the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei was officially incorporated into the national strategy. Tianjin was positioned as "National Advanced Manufacturing R&D Base, Northern International Shipping Core Area, Financial Innovation Operation Demonstration Area, and Reform and Opening-up Preceding Area". In the same year, the first phase of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project
was completed, and the water availability in Tianjin improved. On February 26, 2015, the Tianjin National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone was formally established. On April 21, the China (Tianjin) Free Trade Pilot Zone was formally established. On April 27, Jincheng Bank
, the first private bank in northern China, officially opened its doors. On August 12, 2015, a major fire and explosion accident
occurred in a chemical
warehouse in Tianjin Port
, causing 173 deaths, hundreds of injuries, and property losses.
Tianjin is located along the west coast of the Bohai Gulf
, looking out to the provinces Shandong
across those waters, bordered by Beijing
to the northwest, and is surrounded on all sides by Hebei
, with the exception of its eastern border, the Bohai Sea
. With a latitude ranging from 38° 34' to 40° 15' N, and longitude ranging from 116° 43' to 118° 04' E, the total area is . There is of coastline and of land border. It lies at the northern end of the Grand Canal of China
, which connects with the Yellow River
and Yangtze River
. The municipality is generally flat, and swampy near the coast, but hilly in the far north, where the Yan Mountains
intrude into northern Tianjin. The highest point in the municipality is Jiuding Peak
() in Ji County
on the northern border with Hebei, at an altitude of .
The Hai River
forms within Tianjin Municipality at the confluence of the Ziya River
(), Daqing River (), Yongding River
, North Grand Canal, and South Grand Canal
, and enters the Pacific Ocean within the municipality, as well in Tanggu District
. Major reservoirs include the Beidagang Reservoir
in the extreme south (in Dagang District
) and the Yuqiao Reservoir
in the extreme north in Ji County
Tianjin has a semi-arid climate
''BSk'' bordering on ''Dwa''). It has a four-season, monsoon
-influenced climate, typical of East Asia, with cold, windy, very dry winters reflecting the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone
, and hot, humid summers, due to the monsoon. Spring in the city is dry and windy, occasionally seeing sandstorms
blowing in from the Gobi Desert
, capable of lasting for several days. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from in January to in July, with an annual mean of . With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 48% in July to 61% in October, the city receives 2,522 hours of bright sunshine annually. Having a low annual total precipitation of , and nearly three-fifths of it occurring in July and August alone, the city lies within the semi-arid
zone, with parts of the municipality being humid continental
Extreme temperatures have ranged from to .
Measures to improve air quality
In May 2014, the city's administration enacted new laws in an attempt to lower the city's pollution levels. These measures included several restrictions on days of severe pollution; halving the number of vehicles allowed on roads, halting construction and manufacturing activity, closing schools, and halting large-scale outdoor activities.
Foreign-born professional sportsmen have made statements regarding Tianjin's air quality, citing it as an impediment to athletic activity and being thick enough to "taste".
Tianjin is divided into 16 county-level division
s, which are all districts
In addition, the Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area
(TEDA) is not a formal level of administration, but nevertheless enjoys rights similar to a regular district. At the end of 2017, the total population of Tianjin is 15.57 millio
These districts and counties are further subdivided, , into 240 Administrative divisions of the People's Republic of China#Township level|township-level divisions
, including 120 towns
, 18 townships
, 2 ethnic township
s and 100 subdistrict
The politics of Tianjin is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in the mainland China
The Mayor of Tianjin
is the highest-ranking official in the People's Government of Tianjin. Since Tianjin is a municipality, the Communist Party of China
Municipal Committee Secretary is colloquially termed the "Tianjin CPC Party chief
Tianjin's GDP reached 1.572 trillion yuan in 2014, an increase of 10.0 percent over 2013. The city of Tianjin recorded China's highest per-capita GDP with $17,126, followed by Beijing with $16,278 and Shanghai with $15,847.
Major industries include petrochemical
industries, textiles, car manufacturing, mechanical industries, and metalworking
Airbus is an important manufacturer, and has opened an assembly plant for its Airbus A320
series airliners, operational since 2009. Tianjin also hit the news in 2010, as the current fastest supercomputer in the world, Tianhe-1A
, is located at the National Supercomputing Center
in Tianjin. GDP in 2009 hit ￥750.1 billion, with a per capita of RMB￥62,403.
Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area
As one of the first state-level economic and technological development zones, Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area
(TEDA) was founded on December 6, 1984, with the approval of the State Council. It enjoys relevant state preferential policies with the major task of attracting domestic and foreign investment to develop high and new technology oriented modern industries. As an affiliated organ of the Tianjin Municipal Government, the Administrative Commission of Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area exercises unified administration of TEDA on behalf of the Tianjin Municipal Government and enjoys provincial-level administrative and economic management rights.
Tianjin Export Processing Zone
Tianjin Export Processing Zone is one of the first 15 export processing zones approved by the State Council on April 27, 2000. This is a special enclosed zone where the Customs conduct 24-hour administration on commodities transported into and out of the zone and relevant places. The central government granted this special economic zone special preferential policies to attract enterprises in the business of processing and trade to invest in the zone. Tianjin Export Processing Zone is located to the northeast of TEDA with a planned area of . The area developed in the first phase is 1 m2. A permanent wall is built to separate export processing zone and non-export processing zone.
Tianjin Airport Economic Area
Tianjin Airport International Logistics Zone is jointly invested by Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone and Tianjin Binhai International Airport. It is located inside the airfreight area of Tianjin Binhai International Airport. It has domestic and foreign excellent airfreight logistics enterprises engaged in sorting, warehousing, distribution, processing, exhibition. It is in the process of constructing the largest airfreight base in northern China.
Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone
Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone is the largest free trade zone in northern China as well as the only free trade zone in northern China. The zone was approved to be established in 1991 by State Council. It is from Tianjin city proper, less than away from the wharf and only away from Tianjin Binhai International Airport.
Tianjin Tanggu National Marine High-Tech Development Area
Tianjin Tanggu Marine High-Tech Development Area was established in 1992, and was upgraded to the national-level high-tech development area by the State Council in 1995, it is the only national-level high-tech development area specializing in developing the marine Hi-Tech industry. By the end of 2008, the zone has 2068 corporations and has 5 industries there including new materials, oil manufacturing, modern machinery manufacturing, and electronic information.
Tianjin Nangang Industrial Zone
A heavy and chemical industry base and harbor; an important part of the "dual-city, dual-harbor"space development strategy of Tianjin, a demonstration zone of circular economy
. The total planned area of Nangang Industrial Zone is , of which the terrestrial area is .
Farmland takes up about 40% of Tianjin Municipality's total area. Wheat, rice, and maize are the most important crops. Fishing is important along the coast.
Tianjin Municipality also has deposits of about 1 billion tonne
s of petroleum, with Dagang District
containing important oilfield
s. Salt production is also important, with Changlu Yanqu being one of China's most important salt production areas. Geothermal energy
is another resource of Tianjin. Deposits of manganese
under Tianjin were the first to be found in China.
Binhai New Area
Tianjin Binhai New Area
(TBNA) is located in the juncture of the Beijing-Tianjin City Belt and the Circum-Bohai City Belt. It is the gateway to North China, Northeast China, and Northwest China. Lying in the center of Northeast Asia, it is the nearest point of departure of the Eurasian Continental Bridge.
At the end of 2009, the population of Tianjin Municipality was 12.28 million, of which 9.8 million were residential holders of Tianjin ''hukou
'' (permanent residence). Among Tianjin permanent residents, 5.99 million were urban, and 3.81 million were rural. Tianjin has recently shifted to rapid population growth, its population has reached 14.72 million end.
The encompassing metropolitan area
was estimated by the OECD
(Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) to have, , a population of 15.4 million.
[Linked from the OEC]
The majority of Tianjin residents are Han Chinese
. There are also 51 out of the 55 minor Chinese ethnic groups living in Tianjin. Major minorities
, and Mongols
This excludes members of the People's Liberation Army
in active service.
Tianjin People's Broadcasting Station
is the major radio station in Tianjin. Broadcasting in nine channels, it serves most of North China, part of East
and Northeast China, reaching an audience of over 100 million. Tianjin Television
, the local television station, broadcasts on nine channels. It also boasts a paid digital
channel, featuring home improvement
programs. Both the radio and television stations are now branches of the Tianjin Film, Radio and Television Group, established in October 2002.
Major local newspapers include the Tianjin Daily and Jin Wan Bao (literally, tonight newspaper), which are the flagship papers of Tianjin Daily Newspaper Group and Jinwan Mass Media Group, respectively. There are also three English-language magazines: ''Jin'', ''Tianjin Plus'' and ''Business Tianjin'', mostly directed at ex-pats resident in the city.
The first German newspaper in northern China, ''Tageblatt für Nordchina'', was published in Tianjin.
In 1912 Tianjin had 17 Chinese-language newspapers and 5 daily newspapers in other languages; none of the newspapers in the Tianjin district were trade papers. Of the foreign language newspapers, three were in English and one each was in French and German. Newspapers from Tianjin published in Tianjin included ''China Critic'', ''Peking and Tientsin Times'', ''The China Times'',
[United States Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce]
''Tageblatt für Nordchina'', ''L'Echo de Tientsin'', ''China Tribune'', ''Ta Kung Pao
'' (L'Impartial), ''Min Hsing Pao'', and ''Jih Jih Shin Wen Pao'' (Tsientsin Daily News).
[United States Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce]
Newspapers from Beijing
published in Tianjin included ''Pei Ching Jih Pao'', ''Peking Daily News'', and ''Le Journal de Peking''.
In 1930, the newspaper ''Deutsch-Mandschurische Nachrichten''] moved from Harbin to Tianjin and changed its name to the ''Deutsch-Chinesische Nachrichten''. [Walravens, p]
More and more, China's leading Internet information providers (usually located in Beijing), including social network Sina Weibo, Douban and the online video website Sohu, tend to relocate their censorship departments to Tianjin, where labor costs are cheaper than Beijing, as censorship is a kind of labor-intensive work. In fact, Tianjin has become the censorship capital of Chinese Internet.
The city has many sights; its streetscapes – an assemblage of historic nineteenth – and early twentieth-century European architecture, juxtaposed with the concrete and glass monoliths of contemporary China – are its most engrossing attraction. Though wide swaths of the city are being redeveloped, much of the colonial architecture has been placed under protection, and the shopping opportunities, especially for antiques, just about justify a day-trip from the capital, an hour away by train.
In the nineteenth century, the port city caught the attention of the seafaring Western powers, who used the boarding of a British ship by Chinese troops as an excuse to declare war. With well-armed gunboats, they were assured of victory, and the Treaty of Tianjin, signed in 1856, gave the Europeans the right to establish nine concessionary bases on the mainland, from which they could conduct trade and sell opium. These concessions, along the banks of the Hai River, were self-contained European fantasy worlds: the French built elegant châteaux and towers, while the Germans constructed red-tiled Bavarian villas. Tensions between the indigenous population and the foreigners exploded in the Tianjin Incident of 1870, when a Chinese mob attacked a French-run orphanage, and again during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, after which the foreigners leveled the walls surrounding the old Chinese city to enable them to keep an eye on its residents.
The dense network of ex-concession streets south and west of the central train station, and south of the Hai River, now constitute the areas of most interest to visitors. Unmistakably remarkable are the châteaux of the French concession, which now make up the downtown district just south of the river, as well as the imposing mansions the British built east of here. Farther east, also south of the river, the architecture of an otherwise unremarkable district has a sprinkling of austere German construction.
Landmarks and attractions
* Astor Hotel
* Binjiang Avenue shopping street
* Drum Tower
* Five Main Avenues
* Former Concessions in Tianjin
** Tianjin Italian Style Town
* Hai River Park
* Luzutang Boxer Rebellion Museum
* Memorial Hall to Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao
* Nanshi Cuisine Street
* People's Park
* St. Joseph's Cathedral of Tianjin
* Temple of Confucius Wen Miao
* Temple of Great Compassion
* Century Clock
* Tianjin Ancient Culture Street
** Yuhuangge Taoist Temple
* Tianjin Eye
* Tianjin Museum
* Tianjin Binhai Library
* Tianjin Art Gallery
* Tianjin Natural History Museum
* Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium, also known as "The Water Drop"
* Tianjin Radio and Television Tower
* Tianjin Water Park
* Tianjin World Financial Center
* Tianjin Zoo
* Yangliuqing (including Shi Family Grand Courtyard)
* Porcelain House
* Nankai University
* Nankai Middle School
* Tianjin University
Sights outside the old city urban core area, but within the municipality, including Binhai/TEDA:
* Huangya Pass, a section of the Great Wall of China
* Mount Panshan
* Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city
* Soviet Aircraft Carrier Kiev
* Taku Forts
* TEDA Football Stadium, home stadium of Chinese Super League team Tianjin Teda F.C.
People from Tianjin speak the Tianjin dialect of Mandarin, from which it is derived. Despite its proximity to Beijing, the Tianjin dialect sounds quite different from the Beijing dialect, which provides the basis for Putonghua or Standard Chinese.
Tianjin is a respected home base of Beijing opera, one of the most prestigious forms of Chinese opera.
Tianjin is famous for its stand-up comedy and comedians including Guo Degang and Ma Sanli. Ma Sanli (1914–2003), an ethnic Hui and longtime resident of Tianjin, is renowned for his ''xiangsheng'', a hugely popular form of Chinese entertainment akin to comedy. Ma Sanli delivered some of his ''xiangsheng'' in the Tianjin dialect. Tianjin, along with Beijing, is a center for the art of ''xiangsheng''. Tianjin's style of stand-up also includes the use of rhythmic bamboo clappers, ''kuaiban''.
Yangliuqing (Green Willows), a town about west of Tianjin's urban area and the seat of Xiqing District, is famous for its popular Chinese New Year-themed, traditional-style, colorful wash paintings (). Tianjin is also famous for the Zhang clay figurine, a type of intricate, colorful figurine depicting a variety of vivid characters, and Tianjin's Wei's kites, which can be folded to a fraction of their full sizes and are noted for portability.
On September 28, 2015, the Juilliard School in Manhattan, New York City announced a major expansion into Tianjin during a visit by China's first lady, Peng Liyuan, the institution's first such full-scale foray outside the United States, with plans to offer a master's degree program.
Tianjin cuisine places a heavy focus on seafood, due to Tianjin's proximity to the sea. It can be further classified into several varieties, including the rough (), smooth (), and high (). Prominent menus include the Eight Great Bowls (), a combination of eight mainly meat dishes, and the Four Great Stews (), actually referring to a very large number of stews, including chicken, duck, seafood, beef, and mutton.
The four delicacies of Tianjin include Goubuli baozi, Guifaxiang Shibajie Mahua (), Erduoyan Zhagao () and Maobuwen Jiaozi (). Well-known foods include Caoji donkey meat, Bazhen sheep-leg mutton of Guanshengyuan, Luji Tangmian Zhagao, Baiji Shuijiao, Gaogan of Zhilanzhai, Guobacai of Dafulai, Subao of Shitoumenkan and Xiaobao chestnut. These famous snacks are available in Nanshi Food Street, which was a famous calling-card of Tianjin in the aspect of cuisine.
Tianjin Binhai International Airport is located in Dongli District roughly away from downtown area. The city is also served by the new Beijing Daxing International Airport in Beijing.
Tianjin Binhai International Airport now has a terminal building which covers an area of , a merchandise warehouse which covers an area of and runways measuring in total. It has a grade 4E airstrip, which all kinds of large aircraft can take off from and land safely on. Tianjin Binhai International Airport has 59 flight routes, connecting 48 cities, including 30 domestic cities and 17 foreign cities. Airline companies like Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo and Martinair Holland all have flights to Tianjin Binhai International Airport.
Port of Tianjin
Tianjin port is the world's top-level and China's largest artificial deep water harbor, and the throughput capacity ranks fifth in the world. Located in Binhai Economic Zone, a national new economic zone of China, Tianjin harbor is the port of call of international cruises visiting the wider area, including Beijing.
Tianjin's harbor area of Binhai/TEDA has a modern, high speed rubber tired tram system, which is the first of its kind in China and Asia. Constructed in 2006, this marked a return of the tram to Tianjin, which once had an extensive standard steel-wheeled tramway network. The original Tianjin tram network was constructed by a Belgian company in 1904 and opened in 1906. It was the first citywide tramway system in China. It closed in 1972.
The Tianjin Metro is formerly operated by two companies, Tianjin Metro General Corporation and Tianjin Binhai Mass Transit Development Company. However, in 2017, the two companies merged as Tianjin Rail Transit Group Corporation. They are currently under heavy expansion from five to nine lines. Six lines are currently operating both in the City and the Binhai area. As of April 2019, the entire network of Tianjin Metro has 155 stations and 6 lines.
Construction work on the Tianjin Metro started on July 4, 1970. It was the second metro to be built in China and commenced service in 1984. The total length of track was . The metro service was suspended on October 9, 2001 for reconstruction. The original line is now part of Line 1 of the new metro system. It was reopened to the public in June 2006. The track was extended to and there are a total of 22 stations. Construction work on Line 2 and Line 3 was completed in 2012 and the two lines are now in operation. Several new metro lines are planned.
There was two rapid transit operators in Tianjin. In 2017, the two companies merged as Tianjin Rail Transit Group Corporation.
* Tianjin Metro General Corporation, operates Lines 1, 2, 3 and 6
* Tianjin Binhai Mass Transit Development Company, operates Lines 5 and 9
There are several railway stations in the city, Tianjin railway station being the principal one. It was built in 1888. The station was initially located at Wangdaozhuang (). The station was later moved to Laolongtou () on the banks of the Hai He River in 1892, so the station was renamed Laolongtou Railway Station. The station was rebuilt from scratch in 1988. The rebuilding work began on April 15, 1987 and was finished on October 1, 1988. The Tianjin Railway Station is also locally called the 'East Station', due to its geographical position. In January 2007, the station began another long-term restructuring project to modernize the facility and as part of the larger Tianjin transport hub project involving Tianjin Metro lines 2, 3, and 9 as well as the Tianjin-Beijing High-speed rail.
Tianjin West railway station and Tianjin North railway station are also major railway stations in Tianjin. There is also Tanggu railway station is located in the important port area of Tanggu District, and Binhai railway station and Binhai North railway station located in TEDA, to the north of Tanggu. There are several other railway stations in the city that do not handle passenger traffic. Construction on a Beijing-Tianjin high-speed rail began on July 4, 2005 and was completed by August 2008.
The following rail lines go through Tianjin:
* Jingshan Railway, from Beijing to Shanhai Pass
* Jinpu Railway, from Tianjin to Pukou District, Nanjing
* Jinji Railway, from Tianjin urban area to Ji County, Tianjin
* Jinba Railway, from Tianjin to Bazhou, Hebei
The inter-city trains between Beijing and Tianjin will adopt a new numbering system: Cxxxx (C stands for interCity). The train numbers range between C2001～C2298:
* C2001～C2198: From Beijing South Station to Tianjin, directly
* C2201～C2268: From Beijing South Station to Tianjin, with stops at Wuqing Station (武清站)
* C2271～C2298: From Beijing South Station to Yujiapu Railway Station of Tianjin
The new C trains take only 30 min to travel between Beijing and Tianjin, cutting the previous D train time by more than a half. The ticket price as of Aug 15, 08 is 69 RMB for the first-class seat and 58 RMB for the second-class seat.
There were over 900 bus lines in the city .
Roads and expressways
Some roads and bridges have retained names that hark back to the Republic of China era (1912–1949) such as Minquan Gate and Beiyang Road. Like with most cities in China, many roads in Tianjin are named after Chinese provinces and cities. Also, Tianjin is unlike Beijing, in that very few roads run parallel to the major four cardinal directions.
Tianjin has three ring roads. The Inner and Middle Ring Roads are not closed, traffic-controlled roadways and some often have traffic light intersections. The Outer Ring Road is the closest thing to a highway-level ring road, although traffic is often chaotic.
* Inner Ring Road ''(neihuan)''
* Middle Ring Road ''(zhonghuan)''
* Outer Ring Road ''(waihuan)''
Tianjin's roads often finish in ''dao'' (), ''xian'' (). These are most often used for highways and through routes. The terms ''lu'' (). ''Jie'' () are rare. As Tianjin's roads are rarely in a cardinal compass direction, ''jing'' () roads and ''wei'' () roads often appear, which attempt to run more directly north–south and east–west, respectively.
The following seven expressways of China run in or through Tianjin:
* Jingjintang Expressway, from Beijing, through Tianjin's urban area, to Tanggu District / TEDA
* Jinghu Expressway, from Jinjing Gonglu Bridge to Shanghai (together with Jingjintang Expressway, this is the expressway from Beijing to Shanghai)
* Jingshen Expressway, through Baodi District on its way from Beijing to Shenyang
* Tangjin Expressway, from Tanggu District, Tianjin, to Tangshan, Hebei''—known in Tianjin as the Jintang Expressway''
* Baojin Expressway, from Beichen District, Tianjin, to Baoding, Hebei''—known in Tianjin as the Jinbao Expressway''
* Jinbin Expressway, from Zhangguizhuang Bridge to Hujiayuan Bridge, both within Tianjin
* Jinji Expressway, from central Tianjin to Jixian County
The following six China National Highways pass through Tianjin:
* China National Highway 102, through Ji County, Tianjin on its way from Beijing to Harbin
* China National Highway 103, from Beijing, through Tianjin's urban area, to Tanggu District
* China National Highway 104, from Beijing, through Tianjin Municipality, to Fuzhou
* China National Highway 105, from Beijing, through Tianjin Municipality, to Macau
* China National Highway 112, circular highway around Beijing, passes through Tianjin Municipality
* China National Highway 205, from Shanhaiguan, Hebei, through Tianjin Municipality, to Guangzhou
Residents of Tianjin participate in indigenous religions, such as the veneration of the goddess Mazu. In addition, Tianjin has a Buddhist Temple of Great Compassion, a Catholic St. Joseph's Cathedral (Laoxikai Church), a Catholic Our Lady of Victory Church (Wanghailou Church). A Roman Catholic Diocese of Tianjin exists. According to the Chinese General Social Survey of 2009, Christians constitute 1.51% of the city's population.
[China General Social Survey (CGSS) 2009. Report by] Tianjin has been described as a historically "strong center" of Islam in China. Northwestern Tianjin is traditionally the location of the Muslim quarter of the city, where they have lived for centuries near the city's huge Great Mosque, ''Qingzhen si'', founded in 1703. Other mosques include the Dahuoxiang Mosque.
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Xiuhua Wang (2015, p. 15)
Sports teams based in Tianjin include:
Chinese Super League
* [[Tianjin TEDA F.C.
* [[Tianjin Tianhai F.C. (dissolved in 2020)
[[China Baseball League
* [[Tianjin Lions
[[Chinese Basketball Association
* [[Tianjin Pioneers
[[Chinese Volleyball League
* [[Tianjin Bohai Bank women's volleyball team
The 1995 World Table Tennis Championships, the 2013 East Asian Games, and the 2017 National Games of China were hosted by the city. Additionally, Tianjin will be one of the host cities for both the expanded FIFA Club World Cup (postponed from 2021) and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
Since 2014, a WTA international tennis tournament has taken place in Tianjin every year at the Tuanbo International Tennis Center.
Together with Beijing, Tianjin had been for many centuries considered a center for traditional Chinese martial arts. Many past and present masters of arts such as Bajiquan, Pigua Zhang, Xing Yi Quan, Bagua Zhang and others lived or are living in the city. The districts most famous for martial arts in the city are Hong Qiao and Nankai, and martial artists abound in public green spaces such as Xigu Park and the Tianjin Water Park.
Colleges and universities
Under the National Ministry of Education:
* Tianjin University (founded 1895, the first modern university in China)
* Nankai University (founded 1919, one of the most prestigious universities in China)
Under the municipal government:
* Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts
* Tianjin Agricultural College
* Tianjin Chengjian University
* Tianjin Conservatory of Music
* Tianjin Foreign Studies University
* Tianjin Institute of Physical Education
* Tianjin Medical University
* Tianjin Normal University
* Tianjin Polytechnic University
* Tianjin University of Commerce
* Tianjin University of Finance & Economics
* Tianjin University of Science & Technology
* Tianjin University of Technology
* Tianjin University of Technology and Education
* Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Under the national Civil Aviation Authority:
* Civil Aviation University of China
Under the government of Hebei Province:
* Hebei University of Technology (founded 1903, the earliest institute of technology in China)
* The Florida International University Tianjin Center, opened in 2006 as a cooperative venture between the municipal government and the Miami-based university.
* The Great Wall MBA Program Oklahoma City University Meinders School of Business, established in 1986 on the campus of Tianjin University of Finance & Economics.
* Raffles Design Institute Tianjin is a joint-project between Tianjin University of Commerce, Boustead College and Raffles Design Institute, Singapore.
* Boustead College
Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.
* Tianjin Nankai High School ()
* Tianjin No.1 High School ()
* Tianjin Yaohua Middle School () was founded in 1927. It was previously named as Tianjin Gongxue by Mr. Lefeng Zhuang, and was renamed as Tianjin Yaohua Middle school in 1934.
* Tianjin Xinhua High School ()
* Tianjin Experimental High School ()
* Tianjin No.21 High School (): Tianjin No. 21 High School, formerly Fahan College (), was founded in 1895. The French ambassador to China and consul general in Tianjin called it the French academy, with the purpose of training Chinese in French talent; it was then renamed "" in 1902 before moving to its current address in 1916, when it was then renamed Fahan College (); the French name is still "EcoleMunicipaleFrancaise". The school is located in the center of the political and cultural education in Heping district, adjacent to the largest Catholic church in northern China, thus the main building of the school has retained its church appearance The school covers an area of 10.1 mu (6.7 km2), while the building floor area is 10,300 square meters.
* Tianjin Tianjin High School ()
* Tianjin Fuxing High School ()
* Tianjin Ruijing High School ()
* The Foreign Languages School Affiliated to Tianjin Foreign Studies University (TFLS) ()
* Tianjin No.20 High School ()
* Tianjin No.4 High School ()
* Tianjin Yangcun No.1 High School ()
* Tianjin Ji No.1 High School ()
* Tianjin Dagang No.1 High School ()
* Tianjin Second Nankai High School ()
* Tianjin Tanggu No.1 High School ()
* Tianjin No.42 High School ()
* Tianjin Baodi No.1 High School ()
* Tianjin Dagang Oilfield Experimental High School ()
* Tianjin No.47 High School ()
* Tianjin No.7 High School ()
* Tianjin Jinghai No.1 High School ()
* Tianjin Haihe High School ()
* Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area No. 1 High School ()
* Tianjin No.55 High School ()
* Tianjin High School Affiliated to Beijing Normal University ()
* Tianjin No.21 High School ()
* Tianjin Xianshuigu No.1 High School ()
* The High School Affiliated to Nankai University ()
* Tianjin No.41 High School ()
* Tianjin Lutai No.1 High School ()
* Tianjin No.2 High School ()
* Tianjin No.3 High School ()
* Tianjin Huiwen High School ()
* Tianjin Chonghua High School ()
* Tianjin No.100 High School ()
* Tianjin Hangu No.1 High School ()
* Tianjin Ziyun High School ()
* Tianjin No.102 High School ()
* Tianjin No.45 High School ()
* Tianjin No.25 High School ()
* The High School Affiliated to Tianjin University ()
* Tianjin No.5 High School ()
* Tianjin Yangliuqing No. 1 High School ()
* Tianjin No.14 High School ()
* Tianjin National High School ()
* Tianjin No.54 High School ()
* Tianjin No.43 High School ()
* Tianjin Ironworks No.2 High School ()
* Tianjin No.9 High School ()
* Tianjin No.57 High School ()
* Tianjin No.51 High School ()
* Tianjin Fulun High School ()
* Tianjin Bohai Petroleum No.1 High School ()
* Tianjin No. 7 Middle School
Notable people from Tianjin
* Robert Ya Fu Lee (1913 –1986), actor
*Hou Baolin (19171993), Popular xiangsheng performer
*Xia Baolong (1952), Chinese Politician and a member of National People's Congress Environment Protection and Resources Conservation Committee..
*Wang Hao (1992), World champion diver
*Liu Huan (1963), Popular modern singer and songwriter, professor of western music at the Beijing University of International Business and Economics
*Wen Jiabao (1942), former premier of China 20032013
*Harry Kingman (18921982), the only major league baseball player born in China
*Eric Liddell (19021945), Olympic gold medalist
*Gao Lingwei (18701940), Former premier of the Republic of China 1923-1924
*Gao Lingwen (1862–1945), founder of Tianjin's first public school
* Adeline Yen Mah (1937), Chinese-born American author of ''Falling Leaves'' and ''Chinese Cinderella: The Secret Story of an Unwanted Daughter''
*Zhang Meng (1981), Actress
*Zhang Pengxiang (1980), Chess Grandmaster
*Liu Ping (1984), Paralympic gold medalist sprinter
*Chang Po-ling (18761951), Founder of Nankai University
*Wang Qiang (1992), Chinese professional female tennis player
*Zhou Ruchang (19182012), Renowned Chinese Redologist and calligrapher
*Shao Fang Sheng (1917–2009) Chinese artist
*Peng Shuai (1986), Chinese professional female tennis player
*Zhang Shuai (1989), Chinese professional female tennis player
*Lubert Stryer (1938), Chinese-born American professor of biochemistry
*Lam Suet (1964), actor from Hong Kong
*Fung Wang-yuen (Wu Ma) (19422014), Actor, director, producer, and writer of movies
*Tan Xue (1984), Olympic and world champion fencer
*Zhao Yanming (1981), Professional football goalkeeper
*Sun Yaoting (19021992), Last surviving imperial eunuch from China
*Shang Yi (1979), Professional football midfielder; sports commentator
*Chen Yibing (1984), World champion and Olympic gold medal gymnast
*Xu Yifan (1988), Professional tennis player
*Yu Ying-shih (1930), Master historian and Sinologist
*Duan Yingying (1989), Chinese professional female tennis player
*Ed (Tse-chun) Young (1931), Award-winning Chinese-American children's book writer and illustrator
*Huo Yuanjia (18681910), Famous Chinese martial artist; co-founder of the Chin Woo Athletic Association
*Zhang Yuxuan (1994), Professional female tennis player
Twin towns and sister cities
* Kobe, Japan
* Chiba, Japan
* Incheon, South Korea
* Mobile, Alabama, United States
* Philadelphia, United States
* Melbourne, Australia
* Bangkok, Thailand
* Phnom Penh, Cambodia
* Pyongyang, North Korea
* Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
* Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
* Groningen, the Netherlands (since 1985)
* Rishon LeZion, Israel
* İzmir, Turkey
* Haiphong, Vietnam (since 1997)
* Mar del Plata, Argentina (since 2001)
* Larnaca, Republic of Cyprus (since 2007)
* Jönköping, Sweden (since 1993)
* Tianjin is also the name of an asterism in the Chinese constellation of Girl Mansion.
* List of twin towns and sister cities in China
# ''Miscellaneous series, Issues 7–11''. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, 1912.
# Walravens, Hartmut. "German Influence on the Press in China". – In: ''Newspapers in International Librarianship: Papers Presented by the Newspaper Section at IFLA General Conferences''. Walter de Gruyter, January 1, 2003. , 9783110962796.
Also available at
the website of the Queens Library – This version does not include the footnotes visible in the Walter de Gruyter version
# Also available in Walravens, Hartmut and Edmund King. ''Newspapers in international librarianship: papers presented by the newspapers section at IFLA General Conferences''. K.G. Saur, 2003. , 9783598218378.
* (fr) Mathieu Gotteland, ''Les forces de l'ordre japonaises à Tientsin, 1914–1940 : Un point de vue français'', Éditions universitaires européennes, 2015.
* Maurizio Marinelli, Giovanni Andornino, ''Italy's Encounter with Modern China: Imperial dreams, strategic ambitions'', New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
* Maurizio Marinelli, "The Triumph of the Uncanny: Italians and Italian Architecture in Tianjin", In ''Cultural Studies Review'', Vol. 19, 2, 2013, 70–98.
* Maurizio Marinelli, "The Genesis of the Italian Concession in Tianjin: A Combination of Wishful Thinking and Realpolitik". ''Journal of Modern Italian Studies'', 15 (4), 2010: 536–556.
Tianjin Government website
China (Tianjin) Pilot Free Trade Zone
Official Tianjin Media Gateway
Historic US Army map of Tianjin, 1945
Official promotional video of Tianjin City
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