Wu (city)


Suzhou (; ; ,
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
), alternately romanized as Soochow, is a major city in southeastern
Jiangsu Province Jiangsu (; formerly romanized Kiangsu) is an eastern-central coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major ter ...

Jiangsu Province
East China East China () is a geographical and a loosely defined cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human geography), and the interacti ...

East China
, its city center being west of that of
Shanghai Shanghai (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua fra ...

– and outer suburbs of the two global hubs meet. It is a major economic center and focal point of trade and commerce, and Jiangsu's second-largest, surpassed by its capital
Nanjing Nanjing (; , Mandarin pronunciation: ), alternately romanized as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu Jiangsu (; ; Postal romanization, formerly romanized Kiangsu) is an eastern-central coastal Provinces of the People's Republic of China, pr ...

. The city's north waterfront is on a lower reach of the
Yangtze The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ) is the longest , the in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the (Tibetan Plateau) and flows in a generally easterly direction to the . It is ...
whereas it has its more focal south-western waterfront on
Lake Tai Taihu (), also known as Lake Tai or Lake Taihu, is a lake in the Yangtze Delta and one of the largest freshwater Fresh water (or freshwater) is any naturally occurring water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparen ...

Lake Tai
– crossed by several waterways, its district belongs to the
Yangtze River Delta The Yangtze Delta or Yangtze River Delta (YRD, or simply ) is a triangle-shaped megalopolis A megalopolis (), sometimes called a megapolis; also megaregion, city cluster or supercity, is a group of two or more roughly adjacent metropolitan a ...

Yangtze River Delta
region. Administratively, Suzhou is a
prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from the Huangshi main urban area. A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefect ...
with a population of 4.33 million in the city proper, and a total resident population () of 10.58 million in its administrative area. Its urban population grew at an unprecedented rate of 6.5% between 2000 and 2014, which is the highest among cities with more than 5 million people. Founded in 514BC, Suzhou has had a long and productive history. Local museums host abundant displays of its relics and many sites of historical interest exist. Around AD100, during the
Eastern Han Dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...
, it became one of the ten largest cities in the world mostly due to emigration from
Northern China Northern China () and Southern China () are two approximate mega-regions within China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's ...
. Since the 10th-century
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kuan ...
, it has been an important commercial center of China. During the
Ming#REDIRECT Ming dynasty#REDIRECT Ming dynasty {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...

Qing The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford Univers ...
dynasties, Suzhou was a national economic, cultural, and commercial center, as well as the largest non-
capital city A capital or capital city is the holding primary status in a , , , , or other , usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a that physically encompasses the government's offices and meeting places; the status as capital is ...
in the world, until the 1860
Taiping Rebellion The Taiping Rebellion, also known as the Taiping Civil War or the Taiping Revolution, was a massive rebellion Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an ...
. When
Li Hongzhang Li Hongzhang, Marquess Suyi ( zh, t=李鴻章; also Li Hung-chang; 15 February 1823 – 7 November 1901) was a Chinese politician, general and diplomat of the late Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was ...

Li Hongzhang
Charles George Gordon Major-General Charles George Gordon CB (28 January 1833 – 26 January 1885), also known as Chinese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British Army officer and administrator. He saw action in the Crimean War The Crimean ...
recaptured the city three years later, Shanghai had already taken its predominant place in the nation. Since major economic reforms began in 1978, Suzhou has become one of the fastest growing major cities in the world, with GDP growth rates of about 14% in the past 35 years. With high life expectancy and per capita incomes, Suzhou's
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of , (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the education system), and indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers ...
ratings is roughly comparable to a moderately developed country, making it one of the most highly developed and prosperous cities in China. Suzhou is also one of the top 50 major cities in the world by scientific research outputs as tracked by the
Nature IndexThe Nature Index is a database, that tracks institutions and countries and their scientific output since its introduction in 2016. Each year, Nature Index ranks the leading institutions (which can be companies, universities, government agencies, rese ...
, and home to multiple major universities in China, including Soochow University, Suzhou University of Science and Technology,
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
and Changshu Institute of Technology. The city's canals, stone bridges,
pagoda A pagoda is an n tiered with multiple common to , , , , and other parts of . Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most often but sometimes , and were often located in or near s. The pagoda traces its origins to the of a ...

s, and meticulously designed
gardens A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation, or enjoyment of plant Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other ...

have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions and liveable cities in China. The
Classical Gardens of Suzhou The Classical Gardens of Suzhou ( Chinese: 苏州园林; pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland China, Taiwan (ROC), and Singapo ...
were added to the list of the
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialised agency of th ...

World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
s in 1997 and 2000. Suzhou is often dubbed the "
Venice of the East The following is an incomplete list of places which have been nicknamed Venice of the East List See also * Venezuela, country whose name means "Little Venice" * Venice of the North * Little Venice (disambiguation), Little Venice * Paris of the E ...
" or "Venice of China".


During the
Zhou Dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese, and the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese. The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscript ...
, a settlement known as Gusu after nearby Mount Gusu () became the capital of the ancient Chinese states, state of Wu (state), Wu. From this role, it also came to be called Wu as well. In 514BC, King Helü of Wu established a new capital nearby at Helü City and this grew into the modern city. During the Warring States period, Helü City continued to serve as the local seat of government. From the areas it administered, it became known as Wuxian (. "Wu County") and Wujun ("Wu Commandery"). Under the Qin Dynasty, Qin, it was known as Kuaiji after its greatly enlarged commandery, which was named for the Mount Kuaiji, reputed resting place of Yu the Great near modern Shaoxing in Zhejiang. The name "Suzhou" was first officially used for the city in AD 589 during the Sui dynasty. ''Su'' ( or ) in its name is a contraction of the old name Gusu. It refers to the mint perilla (''shiso''). The ''zhou'' originally meant Zhou (Chinese administrative division), something like a province or county (cf. Guizhou), but often came to be used metonymy, metonymously for the capital of such a region (cf. Guangzhou, Hangzhou, etc.). Suzhou is the Hanyu Pinyin spelling of the Putonghua pronunciation of the name. Prior to the adoption of pinyin, it was variously romanization of Chinese, romanized as Soo-chow, Suchow, or Su-chow.


Suzhou, the cradle of Wu (region), Wu culture, is one of the oldest towns in the
Yangtze The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ) is the longest , the in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the (Tibetan Plateau) and flows in a generally easterly direction to the . It is ...
Basin. By the Spring and Autumn period of the Zhou, local tribes named the Gou Wu are recorded living in the area which would become the modern city of Suzhou. These tribes formed villages on the edges of the hills above the wetlands surrounding
Lake Tai Taihu (), also known as Lake Tai or Lake Taihu, is a lake in the Yangtze Delta and one of the largest freshwater Fresh water (or freshwater) is any naturally occurring water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparen ...

Lake Tai
. Sima Qian's ''Records of the Grand Historian'' records traditional accounts that the Zhou dynasty, Zhou lord Wu Taibo, Taibo established the state of Wu at nearby Wuxi during the 11th centuryBC, civilizing the local people and improving their agriculture and mastery of irrigation. The Wu court later moved to Gusu within the area of modern Suzhou. In 514BC, King Helü of Wu relocated his court nearby and called the settlement Helü City after himself. His minister Wu Zixu was closely involved with its planning and it was this site that grew into present-day Suzhou. The height of his tower on Gusu Hill (''Gusutai'') passed into Chinese legend. In 496BC, King Helü was buried at Tiger Hill, Suzhou, Tiger Hill. In 473BC, Wu was defeated and annexed by State of Yue, Yue, a kingdom to its southeast; Yue was annexed in turn by State of Chu, Chu in 306BC. Remnants of the ancient kingdom include pieces of its 2,500-year-old city wall and the gate through it at Pan Gate. The city was originally laid out according to a symbolic three-by-three grid of nine squares, with the royal palace occupying the central position. During the Warring States period, Suzhou was the seat of Wu County and Commandery. Following the Qin Empire's conquest of the area in 222BC, it was made the capital of Kuaiji Commandery, including lands stretching from the south bank of the Yangtze to the unconquered interior of Minyue in southern Zhejiang. Amid the fall of Qin, collapse of the Qin, Kuaiji's governor Yin Tong attempted to organize his own rebellion only to be betrayed and executed by Xiang Liang and his nephew Xiang Yu, who launched their own rebellion from the city. When the Grand Canal of China, Grand Canal was completed, Suzhou found itself strategically located on a major trade route. In the course of the history of China, it has been a metropolis of industry and commerce on the southeastern coast of China. During the Tang dynasty, the great poet Bai Juyi constructed the Shantang Canal (better known as "Shantang Street") to connect the city with Tiger Hill for tourists. In AD1035, the Suzhou Confucian Temple was founded by famed poet and writer Fan Zhongyan. It became a venue for the keju, imperial civil examinations and then developed into the modern Suzhou High School in the 1910s. In February 1130, the advancing Jin Dynasty, 1115–1234, Jin army from the north ransacked the city. This was followed by the Mongol invasion of China, Mongol invasion in 1275. In 1356, Suzhou became the capital of Zhang Shicheng, one of the leaders of the Red Turban Rebellion against the Yuan dynasty and the self-proclaimed King of Kingdom of Dazhou, Wu. In 1367, Zhang's
Nanjing Nanjing (; , Mandarin pronunciation: ), alternately romanized as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu Jiangsu (; ; Postal romanization, formerly romanized Kiangsu) is an eastern-central coastal Provinces of the People's Republic of China, pr ...

-based rival Hongwu Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang took the city after a 10-month siege. Zhu who was soon to proclaim himself the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty demolished the royal city in the center of Suzhou's walled city and imposed crushing taxes on the city and prefecture's powerful families. Despite the heavy taxation and the resettlement of some of Suzhou's prominent citizens' to the area of Hongwu's capital at Nanjing, Suzhou was soon prosperous again. During the early Ming, Suzhou Prefecture supervised the Yangtze shoals which later became
Shanghai Shanghai (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua fra ...

's Chongming Island."Chongming County" in the ''Encyclopedia of Shanghai'', pp. 50 ff.
Shanghai Scientific & Technical Publishers (Shanghai), 2010. Hosted by the Municipality of Shanghai.
For centuries the city, with its surroundings as an economic base, represented an extraordinary source of tax revenue. When the shipwrecked Korean official Choe Bu had a chance to see much of Eastern China from Zhejiang to Liaoning on his way home in 1488, he described Suzhou in his travel report as exceeding every other city. Many of the area's private gardens were constructed by the gentry of the Ming and
Qing The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford Univers ...
dynasties. The Taiping Rebellion, Taipings captured the city in 1860, however, and many of its former buildings and gardens were "almost... a heap of ruins" by the time of their recovery by Charles George Gordon, Charles Gordon's Ever-Victorious Army in November 1863. Nonetheless, by 1880, its population was estimated to have recovered to about 500,000, which remained stable for the next few decades. In the late 19th century, the town was particularly known for its wide range of silks and its Chinese-language publishing industry. The town was first opened to direct foreign trades by the Treaty of Shimonoseki ending the First Sino-Japanese War and by the most favored nation clauses of earlier unequal treaties with the Great Powers. The new expatriates opened a European-and-Chinese school in 1900 and the Suzhou railway station, connecting it with Shanghai North railway station, Shanghai, opened on 16 July 1906. Just prior to the World War I, there were 7000 silk looms in operation, as well as a cotton mill and a large trade in rice. As late as the early 20th century, much of the city consisted of islands connected by rivers, creeks, and canals to the surrounding countryside. Prior to their demolition, the city walls ran in a circuit of about with four large suburbs lying outside. The Second Sino-Japanese War, Japanese invaded in 1937, and many gardens were again devastated by the end of the war. In the early 1950s, restoration was done on the Humble Administrator's Garden and the Lingering Garden.

Administrative divisions

The urban core of Suzhou is informally called the "Old Town". It is Gusu District. Suzhou Industrial Park is to the east of the old town, and Suzhou High & New Technology Development Zone is to the west. In 2000, the original Wu County was divided into two districts including Xiangcheng District, Suzhou, Xiangcheng and Wuzhong District, Wuzhong. They now form the northern and southern parts of the city of Suzhou.In 2012, the original Wujiang City became Wujiang District of Suzhou City. Suzhou is one of the most prosperous cities in China. Its development has a direct correlation with the growth of its satellite town, satellite cities, including Kunshan, Taicang, Changshu, and Zhangjiagang, which together with the city of Suzhou form the Suzhou prefecture. The Suzhou prefecture is home to many high-tech enterprises.


Suzhou is on the Lake Tai Plain south of the Yangtze River, about to the west of Shanghai and just over east of Nanjing.


Suzhou has a four-season humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and cool, cloudy, damp winters with occasional snowfall (Köppen climate classification ''Cfa''). Northwesterly winds blowing from Siberia during winter can cause temperatures to fall below freezing at night, while southerly or southwesterly winds during the summer can push temperatures above . The hottest temperature recorded since 1951 was at on 7 August 2013, and the lowest at on 16 January 1958.

Cityscape and environment

File:Suzhou from Beisi Pagoda.jpg, Suzhou as viewed from Beisi Pagoda File:Near-Pingjiang-Road.JPG, Pingjiang Road File:Changmen at Night.jpg, Changmen at night File:Humble Administrator's Garden1.jpg, The Humble Administrator's Garden File:Youyicun garden.jpg, An entrance to the Youyicun Garden File:Xuanmiao Guan (Temple of Mystery), Suzhou.jpg, Xuanmiao Temple File:Suzhoupic1.jpg, A canal in Suzhou File:20090926 Suzhou Pan Men 5941.jpg, Picture of the Land and Water Gate File:Panmen Scenic Area 1.jpg, View of Panmen Scenic Area and Ruiguang Pagoda

Classical Gardens of Suzhou

Suzhou is famous for its over 60 Classical Gardens of Suzhou, Classical Gardens, collectively a
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialised agency of th ...

World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
. The city has the most UNESCO-recognized gardens in the world. The Humble Administrator's Garden and Lingering Garden are among the four most famous classical gardens in China. The Canglang Pavilion, Lion Grove Garden, Humble Administrator's Garden and Lingering Garden, respectively representing the garden styles of the Song Dynasty, Song, Yuan Dynasty, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasty, Qing dynasties, are called the four most famous gardens in Suzhou. Other gardens inscribed on the World Heritage List include the Couple's Retreat Garden, the Garden of Cultivation, and the Retreat and Reflection Garden.


* Hanshan Temple * Xiyuan Temple * Xuanmiao Temple * Lingyanshan Temple * Chongyuan Temple

Canals and Historic Districts

The Suzhou section of the Jiangnan Canal, Grand Canal (China), includes ten city gates and over 20 stone bridges of traditional design and historic areas that have been well preserved, as well as temples and pavilions. There are a full 24 waterways in Suzhou near the Grand Canal. In 2015, both 800-year-old Pingjiang Road Historical Block () and 1,200-year-old Shantang Street Scenic Area () were added to the list of China's "National Historic and Cultural Streets". Pingjiang Road runs parallel to the Pingjiang River for 1.5 kilometers and is lined with homes and some teahouses. Shantang Street, over twice as long at 3.8 km, is described by the BBC as retaining "the alluring qualities of an old canal-side street: whitewashed buildings are completed by red-tasseled lanterns that swing softly in the breeze, adding to the charm of the river bank". Boat tours are offered on the waterways of this city that was dubbed the "Venice of the East" by Marco Polo because of its criss-crossing canals and stone bridges. The Grand Canal (from Beijing to Zhejiang province) is a UNESCO
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...

Resorts and natural reserves

Suzhou Taihu National Tourism and Vacation Zone () is in the western part of Suzhou, from the city center.


Gate to the East is a 301.8 meter, 74-story skyscraper in Suzhou's central business district, built in 2015 at a cost of 700 million USD and is currently the tallest building in Suzhou.

Pan Gate

Pan Gate is on the southwest corner of the Main Canal or encircling canal of Suzhou. Originally built during the Warring States Period in the state of Wu, historians estimate it to be around 2,500 years old. It is now part of the ''Pan Gate Scenic Area''. It is known for the "three landmarks of Pan Gate". They are the Ruiguang Pagoda, the earliest pagoda in Suzhou built in 247BC, the ''Wu Gate Bridge'', the entrance to the gate at that time over the water passage and the highest bridge in Suzhou at the time, and the ''Pan Gate''. The Ruigang Pagoda is constructed of brick with wooden platforms and has Buddhist carvings at its base.

Baodai Bridge

Baodai Bridge stretches across the Tantai Lake in the suburbs of Suzhou. To raise money to finance the bridge, the magistrate donated his expensive belt, hence the name. The bridge was first built in 806 A.D. in the Tang Dynasty and has 53 arches with a length of 317 meters. It was made out of stone from Jingshan Mountains, Jinshan Mountain and is the longest standing bridge of its kind in China. The bridge was included on the list of national monuments (resolution 5-285) in 2001.

Tiger Hill

Tiger Hill, Suzhou, Tiger Hill is known for its natural environment and historical sites. The hill is so named because it is said to look like a crouching tiger. Another legend states that a white tiger appeared on the hill to guard it following the burial The hill has been a tourist destination for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, as is evident from the poetry and calligraphy carved into rocks on the hill. The Song Dynasty poet, Su Shi said, "It is a lifelong pity if having visited Suzhou you did not visit Tiger Hill."


Huqiu Tower, Yunyan Pagoda (or Huqiu Tower), built in 961, is a Chinese pagoda built on Tiger Hill in Suzhou. It has several other names, including the "Leaning Tower of China" (as referred to by historian O.G. Ingles)Ingles (1982), 144. and the Yunyan Temple Tower. The tower rises to a height of 47 m (154 ft). It is a seven-story octagonal building built with blue bricks. In more than a thousand years the tower has gradually slanted due to forces of nature. Now the top and bottom of the tower vary by 2.32 meters. The entire structure weighs some , supported by internal brick columns.Ingles (1982), 145. However, the tower leans roughly 3 degrees due to the cracking of two supporting columns. Beisi Pagoda or North Temple Pagoda is a Chinese pagoda at Bao'en Temple in Suzhou. It rises nine stories in a height of . It is the tallest Chinese pagoda south of the Yangtze river. Twin Pagodas (Suzhou), Twin Pagodas () lie in the Dinghui Temple Lane in the southeastern corner of the city proper of Suzhou. They are artistic and natural as they are close at hand. One of them is called "Clarity-Dispensing Pagoda," and the other, the "Beneficence Pagoda"; they are in the same form of architecture. There are many legends about this one-thousand-year-old pagodas. It is charming that the exquisite and straight Twin Pagoda look like two inserted writing brushes. There was originally a single-story house with three rooms just like a writing brush holder with the shadows of the two pagodas reclining on its roof at sunset. To the east of the pagoda is a square five-story bell building built in the Ming Dynasty which appears exactly like a thick ink stick. So there is a saying that "the Twin Pagodas are as writing brushes while the bell building as ink stick".


The city's major museums include the Suzhou Museum (designed by I. M. Pei), Suzhou Silk Museum, and the China Kunqu Museum.


As a result of its recent rapid population increase, healthcare demand in Suzhou is increasing rapidly. In July 2019, Washington University School of Medicine announced a collaboration with Huici Health Management Co., and the Xiangcheng District, Suzhou, Xiangcheng District, to open the new Huici Medical Center, which will include a 1,000-bed hospital for adult and pediatric patients. Once the hospital is unveiled, Washington University in St. Louis, Washington University doctors in St. Louis will be able to provide long-distance health-care services to patients in China through a telemedicine program.


The population of Suzhou is predominantly Han Chinese. The official language of broadcast, instruction, etc. is Standard Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, although many speak a dialects of Chinese, local dialect known as Suzhounese, a member of the Wu languages, Wu language family. In addition to American and European expatriates, there is a large Koreans, Korean community in Suzhou. The Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) estimated that there were 15,000 Koreans in the municipality in 2014. That year 850 Korean companies operated in Suzhou, and the Koreans made up the largest number of students at the Suzhou Singapore International School.


Suzhou's economy is based primarily on its large manufacturing sector—China's first largest(from 2020)—including iron and steel, IT and electronic equipment, and textile products. The city's service sector is notably well-developed, primarily owing to tourism, which brought in a total of RMB 152 billion of revenue in 2013. Suzhou's overall GDP exceeded RMB 1.3 trillion in 2013 (up 9.6 percent from the year previous)."China Regional Focus: Suzhou, Jiangsu Province"
, ''China Briefing'', Shanghai, 2 May 2014.
The city is also one of China's foremost destinations for foreign investment, based on its relative proximity to Shanghai and comparatively low operating costs. The municipal government has enacted various measures to encourage Foreign direct investment, FDI in a number of manufacturing (e.g. pharmaceutical, electronic goods, automobile) and service (e.g. banking, logistics, research services) sectors. Included among these measures is a preferential tax policy for limited partnership venture capital enterprises in the Suzhou Industrial Park. Suzhou is a highly developed economic region in China and is the economic centre, industrial, commercial and logistical hub city of Jiangsu province, as well as an important financial, cultural, artistic, educational and transportation centre. Agriculture In 2013, total grain production reached 1,311,200 tonnes, a decrease of 2.9%. Grain supply was effectively guaranteed through the vigorous construction of commodity grain production bases, wholesale grain markets and reserve systems. Traditional handicrafts Suzhou has a long history of reeling silkworms and has always been an important base for silk production in China. Since the Song and Yuan dynasties, Suzhou has been one of the centres of silk weaving and dyeing in the country, and in the Ming dynasty, the area around Suzhou, Song was the scene of the "clothing of the world".

Development zones

Suzhou Industrial Park

The Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) is the largest cooperative project between the Chinese and the Singaporean government. It is beside Jinji Lake, which lies to the east of the Suzhou Old City. On 26 February 1994, Vice Premier Li Lanqing and Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew represented China and Singapore respectively in signing the Agreement to jointly develop Suzhou Industrial Park (originally called the Singapore Industrial Park). The project officially commenced on 12 May in the same year. SIP has a jurisdiction area of , of which, the China-Singapore cooperation area covers with a planned residential population of 1.2 million. SIP is home to the Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District, an area of universities and higher education institutions, including Soochow University and . Suzhou Industrial Park is also a popular residential district for many foreigners who work and live in Suzhou, as well as 'new Suzhou' residents who migrated to the area in search of work opportunities.

Suzhou Industrial Park Export Processing Zone

The Suzhou Industrial Park Export Processing Zone was approved to be established by the government in April 2000, with a planning area of . It is in Suzhou Industrial Park set up by China and Singapore. Inside the Export Processing Zone, all the infrastructures are of high standard.

Suzhou New District

The Suzhou New District was established in 1990. In November 1992, the zone was approved to be the national-level hi-tech industrial zone. By the end of 2007, foreign-invested companies had a registered capital worth of US$13 billion, of which US$6.8 billion was paid in. SND hosts now more than 1,500 foreign companies. Some 40 Fortune 500 companies set up 67 projects in the district.


Suzhou Dongwu currently play in China League Two, the third division of Chinese football. The 13,000 seat Suzhou Industrial Park Sports Center, Suzhou Industrial Park Sports Arena will be one of the venues for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.



Suzhou is on the Shanghai-Nanjing corridor which carries three parallel railways. Suzhou railway station, near the city center, is among the busiest passenger stations in China. It is served by the Beijing–Shanghai railway (mostly "conventional" trains to stations throughout China) and the Shanghai–Nanjing intercity railway, Shanghai-Nanjing intercity railway (high-speed D- and G-series trains providing frequent service primarily between Shanghai and Nanjing). It takes only 25 minutes to reach Shanghai railway station on the fastest G-series trains and less than 1 hour to Nanjing. The Suzhou North railway station, a few kilometers to the north, is on the Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway (opened 2011), served by high-speed trains to Beijing, Qingdao, etc. Other stations on the Beijing–Shanghai railway and the Shanghai–Nanjing intercity railway serve other points in the same corridor within Suzhou Prefecture-level city, such as Kunshan. In between Suzhou and Kunshan South railway station, Suzhou Industrial Park railway station is also an important station for people visiting and living in the areas. The northern part of the city, which includes Zhangjiagang, Changshu and Taicang, presently has no rail service. However, plans exist for a cross-Yangtze railway from Nantong to the Shanghai metropolitan area (the Shanghai–Nantong railway), which will run through most of these county-level cities. Construction work is expected to start in 2013 and to take five and a half years.


The Nanjing-Shanghai Expressway connects Suzhou with Shanghai, alternatively, there is the Yangtze Riverine Expressway and the Suzhou-Jiaxing-Hangzhou Expressway. In 2005, the Suzhou Outer Ring was completed, linking the peripheral county-level cities of Taicang, Kunshan, and Changshu. China National Highway 312 also passes through Suzhou.

Air transport

Suzhou is served by three airports, Sunan Shuofang International Airport (co-owned by Wuxi and Suzhou), Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (one hour drive), and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (two hours drive).

Water transport

Port of Suzhou, on the right bank of the Yangtze River, dealt with 428 million tons of cargo and 5.86 million Twenty-foot equivalent unit, TEU containers in 2012, which made it the busiest inland river port in the world by annual cargo tonnage and container volume.


The Suzhou Rail Transit currently has five lines in operation and five other lines under construction. The masterplan consists of nine independent lines. Line 1, Suzhou Rail Transit, Line 1 started operation on 28 April 2012, Line 2, Suzhou Rail Transit, Line 2 started operation on 28 December 2013, and Line 4, Suzhou Rail Transit, Line 4 started operation in 2017, Suzhou railway line 5 stars operation from june 2021. Line 6, Line 7 and Line 8 and Line S1 are under construction at the same time.


The Suzhou Tram system has two routes in the Suzhou New District.


Suzhou has public bus routes that run into all parts of the city. Fares are flat rated, usually 1 Yuan for a non-air-conditioned bus and 2 Yuan for an air-conditioned one. The Suzhou BRT, a -long bus rapid transit system opened in 2008, operates 5 lines using elevated busways and bus-only lanes throughout the city.


* Opera: Kunqu originated in the Suzhou region, as does the much later Suzhou Opera. Ballad-singing, or Suzhou pingtan (artform), pingtan, is a local form of storytelling that mixes singing (accompanied by the pipa and sanxian) with portions in spoken dialect. * Silk: throughout China's Imperial past, Suzhou silk has been associated with high-quality silk products, supplying silks to ancient royal families. By the 13th century, Suzhou was already the center of the profitable silk trade. * Song brocade: Suzhou's Song brocade, with its flashy colors, exquisite patterns, strong and soft texture, is one of China's three famous brocades, together with Nanjing Yun brocade and Sichuan Shu brocade. Suzhou's brocade production can be traced back to the Five Dynasties. It prospered in the Song Dynasty. After the government moved the capital southward, the country's political and cultural center moved to the Yangtze River area. To cope with the special need of artists, a type of very thin brocade for decorating paintings emerged in Suzhou. These brocades and paintings have been preserved. Whenever people talked about brocade, they mentioned the Song Dynasty, and thus Song brocade got its name and has been well-known ever since. * Handicrafts: Suzhou embroidery, Hand fan, fans, Chinese musical instruments, scroll mounting, lanterns, mahogany furniture, jade carving, silk tapestry, traditional painting pigments of Jiangenxutang Studio, the New Year's wood-block prints of Taohuawu Studio. * Chinese painting, Paintings * Chinese calligraphy, Calligraphic art * Chinese cuisine, Cuisine: Yangcheng Lake large crab * Suzhou Silk Hand Embroidery Art * Suzhou is the original place of "Mo Li Hua, Jasmine", a song sung by Chinese singers or actresses thousands of times on the occasions of almost every important meetings or celebrations. Jasmine is the symbol of Suzhou as well as Tai Hu Lake. * Suzhou Gardens: Gardens in Suzhou have an ancient history. The first garden in Suzhou belonged to the emperor of Wu State in Spring and Autumn Period (600 BC). More than 200 gardens existed in Suzhou between the 16th and 18th centuries. Gardens in Suzhou were built according to the style of Chinese Paintings. Every view in a garden can be seen as a piece of Chinese Painting and the whole garden is a huge piece of Chinese Paintings. At present, the Humble Administrator's Garden, built in 16th, is the largest private garden in Suzhou. It belonged to by Wang Xianchen, an imperial censor. * Suzhou embroidery together with embroidery of Hunan, Sichuan and Guangdong are called as the "Four Famous Embroideries". Suzhou tapestry method is done in fine silks and gold thread. Other art forms found in this area are sculpture, Song brocade, jade and rosewood carving. * The Suzhou Museum has a rich collection of relics from many eras. The collection includes revolutionary records, stele carving, folk customs, drama and verse, Suzhou embroidery, silk cloth, gardens, coins and Buddhist artifacts. * Wedding gowns

Notable people


High schools

* Changshu High School * Dulwich College Suzhou * Dulwich International High School Suzhou * Kunshan Senior High School * * Suzhou Experimental High School * Suzhou High School * Suzhou Singapore International School * * Suzhou No.10 High School * Suzhou Wuxian High School () * Taicang Senior High School * Zhenze Middle School

Universities and colleges

* Changshu Institute of Technology * Duke Kunshan University * KEDGE Business School * Jiangnan Social University * Jiangsu University Zhangjiagang Campus * Renmin University of China Suzhou Campus * Skema Business School – Chinese campus of the French business school * Soochow University * Suzhou Polytechnic Institute of Agriculture * Suzhou University of Science and Technology *

Under construction

*Nanjing University Suzhou Campus *Northwestern Polytechnical University Taicang Campus

Postgraduate institutions

* Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate School * Suzhou Dushu Lake Higher Education Town (National University of Singapore and Fudan Joint Graduate School, Nanjing University Graduate School, etc.)


* Japanese School of Suzhou * Overseas Chinese Academy Chiway Suzhou ()https://www.ocac-suzhou.com/

See also

* List of twin towns and sister cities in China * Port of Suzhou


Works cited

* . * . *

General references

Economic profile for Suzhou
at Hong Kong Trade Development Council, HKTDC

External links

Official Resource
for English-speaking travelers
Official website
for Suzhou's municipal government
Suzhou city guide with open directory
(Jiangsu Network) * {{Authority control Suzhou, Cities in Jiangsu Jiangnan Populated places established in the 6th century BC Port cities and towns in China Prefecture-level divisions of Jiangsu Yangtze River Delta