TAISHAN / TAIAN (Chinese: 泰山/泰安; pinyin: Tàishān/Tàiān) is a prefecture-level city in western Shandong province of the People’s Republic of China. Centered on Mount Tai, the city borders the provincial capital of Jinan to the north, Laiwu to the northeast, Zibo to the east, Linyi to the southeast, Liaocheng to the extreme west and Jining to the south. To the west, Taishan is separated from the province of Henan by the Yellow River.
Taishan / Taian in Brief
Geography: Taian City is located in the central part of Shandong Province. It covers an area of 7762 square kilometers. Mt. Tai, as Head of Five Sacred Mountains in China, is situated in the north of the City. Jade Emperor Peak, the main peak of the Mountain is 1545 meters above sea level, which is the highest peak in Shandong. As the symbol of the spirit of the great Chinese nation, Mt. Tai is World Natural and Cultural Heritage site, World Geopark, National Civilized Scenic Spot, First Batch of 5A Scenic Spot and Famous Mountain of Chinese Calligraphy. Taian is in the middle of the tourism hotline of Mountain, Water and Sage. It is the world-renowned tourism resort.
Taian is located in the warm and semi-humid continental monsoon climate zone, and its average annual temperature is 13℃.The highest temperature is in July, which is 26.4 degrees centigrade on average, and the lowest temperature is in January, which is minus 2.6 degrees centigrade on average. The average annual rainfall is 697 millimeters. The area of the mountainous region accounts for 18.3% of the city’s total, the hilly land accounts for 41.1%, the plain area accounts for 29.6%, and the low-lying land accounts for 11%. Dongping Lake covers a general area of 627 square kilometers. The perennial water area is 209 square kilometers, which is the second largest fresh water lake in Shandong Province as well as the remnant water area of the Water Margins.
Process of Historical Administrative Changes and Development: In the Zhou Dynasty, Taian belonged to Lu State and Qi state. In the Han Dynasty, Taian County was established. In the fourteenth year of Tianhui Emperor of the Jin Dynasty, Taian Military was set up, and the name of Taian prevailed from then on. In the twenty-second year of the Emperor Dading of the Jin Dynasty, Taian Prefecture was founded, and in the thirteenth year of Yongzheng Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Taian Government was formed. In 1925, Taian County was set by Beijing Government. In 1950, one year after the People’s Republic of China was founded, Taian District Administrative Inspection Specialist Office of Shandong was established, and was renamed as Taian District Specialist Office in the same year. In 1967, the Office was replaced by Taian Revolutionary Committee. In 1978, the newly-set Taian Region Administrative Office took the place of the Revolutionary Committee. In 1985, Taian District was promoted as a city, implementing the system of city governing county.
History and Culture: Taian derived its name from Mt. Tai, which means the state is at peace and the people live in contentment. With time-honored history and glorious culture, Taian is a famous historical and cultural city of China. The majestic landscape of Mt. Tai was bestowed by nature, and long-term human civilization forged the profound and unique Mt. Tai Culture. Mt. Tai was reputed as Head of Five Sacred Mountains of China. It is the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilization as well as the symbol of spirit of the Chinese nation. Emperors of ancient China offered sacrifice to Mt. Tai, and the people of the grassroots paid homage by burning incense in the mountain. Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism developed harmoniously. There are 9 sites of relics protection units at national level, and 15 relics protection units at provincial level. Built against Mt. Tai, Taian is situated at the foot of it. It is the combination of mountain and city. Taian was among the first batch of opening-up tourism cities announced by the State Council. The present site of the city took shape in the middle and latter period of the Tang Dynasty. As the county site and downtown for mountain worshiping, it has developed itself since the fifth year of Kaibo Emperor of the Song Dynasty. The Tiankuang palace in the Dai Temple is one of the three palace architectures of ancient China. The ruins of Dawenkou Culture in the south of Taian revealed the fact that this region is one of the birthplaces of ancient Chinese civilization.
Administrative Division: There are six districts, counties and county-level cities under Taian’s jurisdiction including, Taishan District, Daiyue District, Xintai City, Feicheng City, Ningyang County and Dongping County with 86 townships. It covers an area of 7762 square kilometers. It has a population of 5.56 million.
Resources and Transportation: There are 310,000 hectares of arable land, which accounts for 40.6% of the general area. Taian is rich in mineral resources. There are 58 kinds of minerals mainly including coal, iron, rock salt, gympsum, sulphur, limestone and granite. There are over 300 ore occurrences all over the city, among which the reserve of sulphur is 3.19 billion tons, ranking No, one in Asia. The prospected reserve of gympsum is 36.09 billion tons, ranking No. one in China. The prospected reserve of rock salt is 7.52 billion tons, ranking No. one in Shandong. The prospected reserve of sylvite is 9.44 million tons, ranking No. one in Shandong. The reserve of iron ore is 740 million tons, ranking No. three in Shandong. The prospected reserve of coal is 2.27 billion tons, ranking No. four in Shandong. Taian is also abundant in land resources. The agriculture is developed in Taian. In history, there is a saying that the land in Shandong has been fertile since ancient times, while the land in Taian is the best. Taian is the largest production base of organic vegetables and famous, excellent and special agricultural produces in Shandong. The produces of wheat, corn, sweet potato, peanut, cotton, soy beans, vegetable as well as poultry, fruits, medicine, ganoderma lucidum, Feicheng Peach, Ningyang Dates and Mt. Tai Chestnut are world-renowned. Taian enjoys convenient transportation. Beijing-Shanghai Railway crosses Taian from north to south. There is Taian Station along the Beijing-Shanghai Express Railway to be constructed. Beijing-Shanghai Expressway, Beijing-Fuzhou Expressway, Taian-Laiwu Expressway, Laiwu-Xintai Expressway crisscross Taian. And Taian, together with Jinan, is in the one-hour transportation circle. It is one hour’s drive from Jinan International Airport. It is 4 hours’ drive from Taian to Qingdao Port, Tianjin Port and Lianyungang Port.
Economic Development: Since the reform and opening-up was introduced, particularly in recent years, aiming at building competitive economic and cultural city and forging a world-renowned tourism city, efforts have been vigorously made to accelerate the reform and opening-up, promoting the sustainable, rapid and sound economic development. In 2009, the GDP of 171.57 billion yuan was realized, up 13.6% over the previous year. The local taxation revenue reached 9.14 billion yuan, up 19.7%. Investment of fixed assets above designated scale reached 103.19 billion yuan, up 24.9%. The amount of retail sales of social consumer goods reached 55.64 billion yuan, up 19.2%. The disposable income of city dwellers per capita and the net income of farmers per capita reached 17672 yuan and 6600 yuan, up 9.8% and 9.2% respectively. About 23.459 million visits were made from home and abroad and the tourism revenue reached 18.81 billion yuan, up 25.6% and 31.1% respectively. With years of development, the industrial system with complete kinds of coal, power, mechanics, construction materials, chemicals, light textiles and food processing has taken shape, fostering a batch of famous and excellent products with relative competitiveness including cross-linked cables, high-voltage switches, special steel, auto parts and alkali-free fiber glass.
Social Undertakings: Taian enjoys relatively developed scientific and technological, and educational development. There are seven institutions of higher learning including Shandong Agricultural University, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Taishan Medical University and Taishan University with 93000 students at school. There are 27 secondary vocational schools with 66000 students and 2733 teachers at school. In recent years, Taian won the titles of National Hygienic City, National Double Supports Model City, China’s Excellent Tourism City, One of the 50 Top Chinese Cities with Comprehensive Innovation and National Garden City.
Work on Forging a World-Renowned Tourism City: Guided by strategic framework and long-term development goal, the work to forge a world renowned tourism city was carried out comprehensively in 2009. Starting from the innovation of institutions and systems, the people of Taian were mobilized to take part in the work to realize the goal of “Making a Big Stride Every Year and Having the City Take on a Great Look in Three Years”. The leading group was established, and ten key project headquarters were set up last year, which was fleshed out and adjusted to twelve. Five investment and financing platforms including Taian Governmental Investment and Financing Management Center, City Development Investment and Financing Center and City Construction Investment and Financing Center were formed, raising construction funds by way of socialization and marketization. Now 105 projects are under construction with total investment of 32.5 billion yuan. The Ring-Mt. Tai Road with the length of 26 kilometers was open to traffic. The construction of infrastructure around Tourism Economic Development Zone and the area of the new station of Beijing-Shanghai Express Railway has been comprehensively carried out. The second phase of Times Development Axle has been substantially advanced. The reform of downtown villages and the development of Changcheng Road have been accelerated. The Tianzehu Lake Project for the comprehensive development of Dawenhe River is under construction. Remarkable effects have been achieved in city environment management. And great breakthrough has been made in the field of fund raising. The work for investment promotion has brought about great effects, attracting investments from a lot of competitive enterprises. The results for “Making a Big Stride Every Year” were initially displayed before the world.