[Photo provided by Peng Changqing]
Located on the north wing of the Yangtze River estuary, Nantong is in the southeastern part of Jiangsu province, adjacent to Taizhou to the west, and bordering on Yancheng to the north. Nantong is surrounded by water on three sides, and thus is shaped as a peninsula, with its northern to the northeastern parts adjacent to the Huanghai Sea, and its southern part facing the Yangtze River. Nantong is connected to Suzhou and Shanghai via two cross-river bridges, the Su-Tong Yangtze River Highway Bridge and the Chongqi Bridge.
The city covers a total area of 8,001 square kilometers, 1,521 of which are urbanized. The river and sea lines are 425 kilometers in length, and include 219 kilometers of the Yangtze River bank line and 206 kilometers of coastline.
By the end of 2019, Nantong had a permanent population of 7.32 million. The urban population was 4.98 million, 1.6 percent larger than that of the previous year; the urbanization rate was 68.1percent, an increase of 1 percent over the previous year. At the end of 2019, Nantong's registered population was 7.598 million. The birth and mortality rates of the city were respectively 5.85 percent and 8.6 percent, and the natural population growth rate was -2.75 percent.
In 2019, Nantong achieved a sustainable and stable economic growth. The regional GDP was 938.34 billion yuan ($133.9 billion), a year-on-year increase of 6.2 percent. Public budget revenue increased 2.2 percent year on year to 61.93 billion yuan; fixed-asset investment grew 6.6 percent; total retail sales of consumer goods rose 5.6 percent; and per capita disposable incomes of urban and rural residents grew 8.4 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively, to 50,217 yuan and 24,303 yuan.
Nantong is an ethnically mixed center with the Han as the dominated group; it accounts for more than 99.7 percent of the permanent population. Known as the “land of promise”, Nantong is famous for its abundance of products and outstanding people, and boasts such honors as being known as the hometown of textiles, architecture and education. Nantong is one of the coastal port cities that China has further opened to the outside world since the beginning of reform and opening up.
Entering the twenty-first century, it has developed its economy and society in a leapfrog way at all levels, earning itself a reputation and national ranking for civilized culture, environmental protection, sanitation, gardens, ecology, excellent comprehensive management of public security, and advanced scientific and technological progress.
[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]