Nánjīng Shě
Abbreviation: 宁 (pinyin: Níng)
Missing image
Nanjing, China

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Nanjing is highlighted on this map of Jiangsu province

Origin of Name 南 nán - South
京 jīng - Capital
Together - Southern Capital
Administration Type Sub-provincial city, Provincial capital
CPC Nanjing Committee Secretary Luo Zhijun
Mayor Jiang Hongkun
Area 6598 km²
Population (2004)
 - Density
GDP (2004)
 - per capita
Ą191.0 billion
City tree Deodar Cedar
(Cedrus deodara)
City flower Plum
(Prunus domestica)
County-level divisions 13
Township-level divisions 129
Postal Code 210000 - 211300
Area Code 25
License Plate Prefix 苏A
Offical website: City of Nanjing (

Nanjing (Template:Zh-cp; Wade-Giles: Nan-ching; Postal System Pinyin: Nanking), formerly known as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu province and a prominent historical and cultural city in China.

Located in the downstream Yangtze River drainage basin and Yangtze River Delta economic zone, Nanjing has always been one of the most important cities in China. Apart from have been the capital of China for six ancient dynasties and the Republic of China, Nanjing is also a hub for education, research, transportation and tourism throughout the history, as well as the second largest financial center in East China region today (the first is Shanghai).


Geography and climate

  • 31°17' - 32°37' N 118°22' - 119°14' E

Nanjing, with a total area of 6,598 km², is situated in the largest economic zone of China, the Yangtze River Delta, which is part of the downstream Yangtze River drainage basin. Yangtze River flows past the west side of Nanjing City Proper, while the Ningzheng Ridge surrounds the north, east and south side of the city. The city is 300 km from Shanghai, 1200 km from Beijing, and 1400 km from Chongqing.

Nanjing has a sub-tropical climate, and is under the influence of East Asia Monsoon. Seasons are distinct in Nanjing, with usually hot summer and plenty precipitation throughout the year. The average annual temperature is 15.7şC, with the highest recorded temperature being 43 şC (July 13, 1934) and the lowest -16.9 şC (Jan 6, 1955). On average it precipitates 117 days out of a year and the average annual precipitation is 1106.5 mm. From mid-June to end of July is the Meiyu season, during which the city experiences a durative period of mild rain and dampness. According to the city government’s website, the best weather of the year occurs from September to November.

Nanjing is endowed with rich natural resources, which include more than 40 kinds of minerals. Among them, iron and sulfur reserves take 40% of those of Jiangsu province; its Strontium reserves ranks first in the East Asia and South East Asia region. Nanjing also possesses ample water resource, both from Yangtze River and ground water, and it has several natural hot springs such as Tangshan Hot Spring in Jiangning and Tangquan Hot Spring in Pukou.

Surrounded by Yangtze river and mountains, Nanjing also enjoys beautiful natural sceneries. Natural lakes such as Xuanwu Lake and Mochou Lake are located in the center of the city and easily accessible to the public, while hills like Purple Mountain are covered with evergreens and host various historical and cultural sites. The famous strategist and politician in Three Kingdoms Period, Zhuge Liang, so pleased by Nanjing’s geographic position, gave the following praise:

“With Purple Mountain as twining dragon and Stone Wall as crouching tiger, Jinling (old-name of Nanjing) is absolutely a home of emperors.” (钟山龙蟠,石头虎踞,真乃帝王之宅也)


Nanjing is one of the earliest established cities in the southern China area. According to the legend, Fu Chai, the Lord of the State of Wu, founded the first city, Yecheng (冶城) in today's Nanjing area in 495 BC. Later in 473 BC, The State of Yue conquered Wu and constructed the city of Yuecheng (越城) on the outskirt of the present day Zhonghua Gate. In 333 BC, after eliminating the State of Yue, the State of Chu built Jinling Yi(金陵邑) in the northwestern part of the present day Nanjing. Since then the city experienced numerous destructions and reconstructions.

Nanjing first became a capital in 229 BC, where Sun Quan of the Wu Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms Period relocated its capital to Jianye (建邺), a city he extended on the basis of Jinling Yi in 211 BC. After the invasion of the Five Hu, the nobles and wealthies of Jin Dynasty escaped across the Yangtze River and established Nanjing as the capital, which was then called Jiankang (建康). Since then Jiankang remained as the capital of Southern China during the North-South Division period, until Sui Dynasty reunified China and destroyed the entire city, turning it into farmland.

The city was reconstructed during late Tang and was again made the capital by the short-lived Southern Tang Kingdom (937 – 975). Jiankang’s industry burgeoned and thrived during Song Dynasty, although it was constantly under threat from the northern foreign invasion. The Mongolians, after taken over China, further consolidated the city’s status as a texile industry hub.

After successfully emerged as the winner during the warlords division period at the end of Yuan Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of Ming Dynasty, established the city again as the capital of China in 1368, first time adopting the modern name, Nanjing, for the city. He constructed what was the largest city in the world during that time, and it took 200,000 labors 21 years to finish the project. The present day city wall of Nanjing was mainly built during that time, and it is the longest surviving city wall in the world.

During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the Nanjing area was known as Jiangning (江宁) and served as the seat of government for the Liangjiang Viceroy. Nanjing was the capital of the Taiping Kingdom in the mid-19th century, being renamed as Tianjing(天京) (lit. Heaven's Capital). As Qing general Zeng Guofan retook the city in 1864, Massive slaughering occurred in the city with over 100,000 committing suicide or fighting to the death.

In 1912, Dr. Sun Yat-sen led a successful democratic revolution to overthrow Qing Dynasty and founded the Republic of China, making Nanjing its capital. The capital was later moved to Beijing after Yuan Shi-kai taking over the presidency. Yet in 1928, the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-Shek again established Nanjing as the capital of China, as opposed to a government in Beijing led by northern warlords and an alternate government in Wuhan led by Wang Jingwei.

In 1937, Japanese army occupied Nanjing, which was then the capital of China. Although fiercely debated, it is commonly recognized that a systematic massacre was carried out by the occupying force in the city, and the estimated deathtoll varies wildly according to different sources. The current Chinese government held the death figure as 300,000. During the Japanese occupation, a puppet government led by Wang Jingwei was established in Nanjing, and after the World War II, Kuomingtang relocated its central government to Nanjing. On April 23, 1949, The People's Liberation Army conquered Nanjing, officially ending the Republic of China’s ruling in mainland China. Nanjing has hence become the provinical capital of Jiangsu until today.

Government and Administrative Division

The full name of the government of Nanjing is “People’s Government of Nanjing City”. The city is under the one-party ruling of CPC, with the CPC Nanjing Committee Secretary as the de facto governor of the city and the Mayor as the executive head of the government working under the secretary.

Nanjing is currently consisted of 13 County-level divisions, of which 12 are districts and 2 are counties. The districts are the urban area of Nanjing while the counties are the rural area governed by the city.




Population trend
Year Residents (in million) natural growth rate (%)
1949 2.5670 13.09
1950 2.5670 15.64
1955 2.8034 19.94
1960 3.2259 0.23
1965 3.4529 25.58
1970 3.6053 20.76
1975 3.9299 9.53
1978 4.1238 8.84
1980 4.3587 8.08
1985 4.6577 4.56
Year Residents (in million) natural growth rate (%)
1990 5.0182 9.18
1995 5.2172 2.62
1996 5.2543 2.63
1997 5.2982 2.16
1998 5.3231 1.00
1999 5.3744 2.01
2000 5.4489 2.48
2001 5.5304 1.60
2002 5.6328 0.70
2003 5.7223 -0.60

According to the Fifth China Census, The total population of the City of Nanjing reached 6.24 million in 2000. The statistic in 2004 estimated the total population to be 6.40 million, while the number of city residents is 5.836 million. The birth rate is 7.73‰ and the death rate is 5.44‰. 47,429 couples married in 2004, while 7036 pairs divorced. Among the newly-wed, 10,473 people are remarried.

The racial makeup of Nanjing is predominantly Han nationality (98.56%), with 50 other minority nationalities. In 1999, 77,394 residents belonged to minority nationalities, among which 64,832 are Hui nationalities, contributing 83.76% to the minority population. The second and third largest minority groups are Man (2311) and Zhuang (533) nationalities. Most of the minority nationalities reside in Jianye District, which makes up 9.13% of the District population.

In 2003 the sex ratio of the city population is 106.49 males to 100 females.

In 2004 the city’s GDP is RMB 191 million (3rd in Jiangsu), and GDP per capita is RMB 33,050, a 15% increase from 2003. The urban resident’s disposable income is RMB 11,601; while the rural resident’s net income is RMB 5,333. Urban unemployment rate is 4.03%, lower than the national average (4.2%).


Early Development

Since Three Kingdoms period, Nanjing has become an industrial center for textile and mint due to its strategic geographic location and convenient transportation. During Ming Dynasty Nanjing’s industry was further expanded, and the city became one of the most prosperous cities in China and even the world. It led in textile, mint, printing, shipbuilding and many other industries, and was the busiest business center in the Far East region.

Into the first half of the 20th century, Nanjing has gradually shifted from a production hub into a heavy consumption city, mainly because of the rapid expansion of wealthy population after Nanjing once again regained the political spotlight of China. A number of huge department stores such as Zhongyang Shangchang sprouted, attracting merchants all over China to sell their products in Nanjing. In 1933, the revenue generated by food and entertainment industry in the city has exceeded the sum of the output of manufacturing and agriculture industry. One third of the city population worked in the service industry, while sex, drug and gambling also thrived along.

In 1950s, the CPC invested heavily in Nanjing to build a series of state-owned heavy industries, as part of the national plan of rapid industrialization. Electrical, mechanical, chemical and steel factories were established successively, converting Nanjing into a heavy industry production center of East China. Over-enthusiastic in building a “world-class” industrial city, leaders of Nanjing also made many disastrous mistakes during the development, such as spending hundreds of millions of Yuan to mine for non-existing coal resource, resulting in the negative economic growth in the late 60s.

Current Situation

The current industry of the city basically inherited the characteristics of the 60s of last century, with electronics, cars, petrochemical, iron and steel, and power as the “Five Pillar Industries”. Some representive big state-owned firms are Panda Electronics, Jincheng Motors and Nanjing Steel. The tertiary industry also regained prominence, counting for 44% of the GDP of the city. The city is also vying for foreign investment against neighboring cities in Yangtze River Delta, and so far a number of famous multinational firms, such as Fiat, Iveco, A.O. Smith and Sharp, have established their lines there. After China’s entry into WTO, Nanjing has received increasing attention from foreign investors, and on average, two new foreign firms establish offices in the city everyday.

The city government is further improving the investing desirability of the city by building large industrial parks, which now totals to five: Gaoxin, Xingang, Huagong and Jiangning. Despite the effort, Nanjing is still falling behind other neighboring cities such as Wuxi, Suzhou and Hangzhou, which have an edge in attracting foreign investment and local innovation. In addition, the traditional state-owned enterprises find themselves incapable of competing with efficient multinational firms, and hence are either mired in heavy debt or forced into bankruptcy or privatization. This resulted in large number of layoff workers who are technically not unemployed but effectively jobless.

Missing image
Panorama:Evening Skyline of Nanjing.


Cities on the Yangtze, between Wuhan and Shanghai
Cities on the Yangtze, between Wuhan and Shanghai

Nanjing is the transportation hub in eastern China and the downstream Yangtze River area. Different means of transportation constitute a three-dimensional transport system that includes land, water and air. As most other China cities, public transportation is the dominant mode of travel of the majority of the citizens.


As a regional hub, Nanjing is well-connected by over 60 state and provincial highways to all parts of China. Express highways such as Hu-Ning, Ning-He, Ning-Hang enable commuters to travel to Shanghai, Hefei, Hangzhou, and other important cities fast and conveniently. Inside the city of Nanjing, there are 230 kilometers of highway, with a highway coverage density of 3.38 km per hundred square km; the total road coverage density of the city is 112.56 km per hundred square km.

As for the railway system, the Tianjin-Pukou, Shanghai-Nanjing and Nanjing-Wuhu Trunk Railways meet in Nanjing, which has become an important hub of railways linking north, east and central China.

The city also boasts an efficient network of public transportation. The bus network, which is currently run by four companies (Nanjing Gongjiao, Zhongbei, Argos and Xincheng), provides more than 170 routes to all parts of the city and suburban areas. The city’s first mass transit line, Metro Line No.1, started service on May 15, 2005, and Metro Line No. 2 will begin construction in November 2005. The city is planning to complete a 433-kilometer long Metro and light-rail system by 2050. The expansion of the Metro network will greatly facilitate the intra-city transportation and reduce the currently heavy traffic congestion.


Nanjing currently has one airport, Lukou International Airport, which serves both national and international flights. The airport is ranked 15th among 126 civilian airports in China in terms of yearly passenger transport, and 10th for yearly goods transport. The airport currently has 85 routes to national and international destinations, which include Japan, Korea, Thailand and Singapore. The airport is connected by a 29 km highway directly to the city center, and is also linked to various inter-city highways, making it accessible to the passengers from the surrounding cities.


Port of Nanjing is the largest inland port in China, yearly throughput reaching 66 million tons in 2003. The port area is 98 kilometres in full length and has 64 berths including 16 berths for ships with a tonnage of more than 10,000. Nanjing is also the biggest container port along Yangtze River; in March 2004, the one million container-capacity base, Longtan Containers Port Area opened, further consolidating Nanjing as the leading port in the region.

Culture and Art

Being one of the seven ancient capitals of China, Nanjing has always been a cultural center attracting intellectuals from all over the country. In Tang-Song period, Nanjing was a place where poets gathered and composed poems reminiscence of its luxurious past; in Ming and Qing Dynasties, the city was the official imperial examination center for the Jiangnan region, again acting as a hub where different thoughts and opinions converged and thrived.

Today, with long cultural tradition and strong support from local educational institutions, Nanjing is commonly viewed as a “city of culture” and one of the more pleasant cities to live in China.


Main article: list of Nanjing Art Groups

Some of the leading art groups of China are based in Nanjing; they include: Qianxian Dance Company, Nanjing Dance Company, Jiangsu Peking Opera Institute, Nanjing Xiaohonghua Art Company and so on.

Jiangsu Art Gallery is the largest gallery in Jiangsu Province, presenting some of the best traditional and contemporary art pieces of China; many other smaller-scale galleries, such as Red Chamber Art Garden and Jinling Stone Gallery, also have their own special exhibitions.


Main article: list of Nanjing Libraries

Nanjing Library, founded in 1907, houses more than 7 million volumes of printed materials and is the 3rd largest library in China, after National Library in Beijing and Shanghai Library. Other libraries, such as city-owned Jinling Library and various district libraries, also provide considerable amount of information to the citizens. Nanjing University Library, owned by Nanjing University, with a collection of 4.2 million volumes, is also one of the leading university libraries in China.


Main article: list of Nanjing Museums

Nanjing has some of the oldest and finest museums in China, among which include Nanjing Museum, City Museum of Nanjing, Taiping Kingdom History Museum, Nanjing Customs Museum and Nanjing City Wall Cultural Museum. Nanjing Museum, formerly known as National Central Museum under the KMT ruling, is the first modern museum and remains as one of leading museums in China.

Night Life

Traditionally Nanjing’s nightlife was mostly centered around Fuzi Miao area along the Qinhuai River, where night markets, restaurants and pubs thrived, and boating at night on the river was a main attraction of the city. The area was also famous (or infamous) for the high concentration of upper-class prostitutes, many of them patronized by high-ranking government officials and wealthy businessmen. The prostitution was banned after CPC took over Nanjing.

In recent years, several commercial streets have been developed by the city and the night life has become more diverse: there are mega-shopping malls opening late in the Xinjiekou CBD and Hunan Road, and the newly-opened “Nanjing 1912” district hosts a wide variety of pastime facilities ranging from traditional restaurants to western pubs.


Most of Nanjing’s major theatres are multi-purposed, used as convention halls, cinemas, musical halls and theatres on different occasions. The major theatres include People’s Convention Hall and Nanjing Arts and Culture Center.

Most of the city’s cinemas are not well maintained due to lack of revenue and rampant movie piracy. Yet a new cinema, Nanjing Shangying-Warner Cinema Complex, was opened in 2004, as the first modern cinema complex in Nanjing and an effort to encourage more moviegoers.


As a popular tourist destination, Nanjing has its unique charm: with vast number of cultural sites and pleasant natural surroundings perfectly blending together, the ancient city enchants millions of tourists with memorable experience all the time.

A photograph of the Nanjing skyline.
A photograph of the Nanjing skyline.

Buildings and monuments

Ancient time

Mingguo period (1912-1949)


Museums and galleries

See Culture and Art above.

Parks and gardens

Markets and Shopping Areas

  • Fuzi Miao
  • Hunan Road
  • Xinjiekou

Other places of interests


Nanjing has been the educational center in southern China for more than 1700 years. Presently, it boasts with some of the most prominent educational institutions in the region, which are listed as follows;




Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

Nanjing City

Nanjing City(南京城) means the area surrounded by city wall, i.e., the ancient Nanjing city.

Sister Cities

Nanjing currently has 15 sister cities (areas), namely:

See also

Template:Jiangsude:Nanking es:Nanjing eo:Nankingo fr:Nankin ko:난징 ms:Nanjing nl:Nanking ja:南京 pl:Nankin ru:Нанкин fi:Nanjing sv:Nanjing zh:南京


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