Anqing lies in the southwest of Anhui, along the northern bank of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River -- a famous port city. It includes a perfectural city Tongcheng, seven counties -- Huaining, Zongyang, Qianshan, Yuexi, Taihu, Wangjiang and Susong, and three districts -- Yingjiang, Daguan and Yixiu with a total area of 15,300 km² and a population of 6.1 million. The urban area is 821 km², with 730,000 residents.
Anqing is a famous city with a long cultural history and many talents. The Neolithic Age cultural remains at Xuejiagang and Zhangsidun witnessed the ancestral life in Anqing.
In East Zhou Dynastry, Anqing was the land of the ancient Wan State, from which came the brief name of Anhui ¡°Wan¡±. In the seventeenth year of Shaoxing in Nan Song Dynasty (AD 1147), the government changed Shuzhou Deqing Army to Shuzhou Anqing Army, from which came the name ¡°Anqing¡±. The city of Anqing was established in 1217, eight hundred years of historical development up to the present day. The poet Guopu of East Jin Dynasty called this place "Yicheng" (meaning a comfortable place), from which Anqing has another name "Yicheng".
From the twenty-fifth year of Qianlong in Qing Dynasty (1760) to the twenty-sixth year of the Republic of China (1938), Anqing had been the capital of Anhui Province and the center of economy, politics and culture. It is one of the cities blessed with modern civilization comparatively early in China. In the eleventh year of Xianfeng in Qing Dynasty (1861), Zeng Guofan set up Anqing Ordnance Institute, in which Chinese first steam engine and motorized ship were made. In the period of Guangxu in Qing Dynasty, Chen Duxiu made political speeches in Cangshulou (Library), and founded Anhui Popular Conversation Newspaper, thus, pioneering the new culture movement in modern China. In the thirty-third year and the thirty-fourth year of Guangxu in Qing Dynasty (1907 and 1908), the uprising at Police School led by Xu Xiling and the uprising at Horse-Training Camp led by Xiong Chengji, started the Revolution of 1911 and the Uprising of New Army. Many firsts of Anhui Province were set up here, such as the first power station of Anhui Province, the first water-supply factory, the first telegram office, the first telephone, the first highway made by the official, the first airport, the first modern library, the first university, the first newspaper and so forth. Anqing has been called ¡°the city of culture¡±, ¡°the hometown of opera¡±, and ¡°the holy place of Buddhism¡±. Many famous storie happened here, such as ¡°The Peacock Flies Southeast¡±,"The Qiao Sisters","Never Step into the Forbidden Place" and "Six Chi Alley£¢. It is also the hometown of £¢Tongcheng School£¢which dominated Chinese literature for almost three hundred years. It is the cradle of Anhui School represented by the founder of Beijing Opera Cheng Changgeng. It is the place in which Huangmei Opera was formed and developed. It is the hometown of talents as Chen Duxiu (the pioneer of the new culture movement), Zhao Puchu (the leader of Buddhism), Chen Yingning (the leader of Daoism), Deng Jianxian (the founding scholar of Chinese nuclear technology), Ci Yungui (the founding scholar of computer technology in China), Huangzhen (a famous general and a diplomat), Xi Juhua (princess of acrobatics) and Zhang Henshui (the master of popular novels). The culture of Ancient Wan, the culture of Buddhism, the opera culture and the culture of Tongcheng School are intertwining here to form the unique regional culture of Anqing.
Anqing is one of the national garden cities with fine ecology and environment. Anqing has Longshan Mountain lying on its north, facing Yangtze River on its south. Wanhe River is flowing on its west, with Shitang and Pozhi lakes on its east. Shizi Mountain, Fenghuang Mountain, Linghu Lake and Qintang Lake are within the area, making the city a huge park. The Dalongshan-Shitang Lake Scenic Area in the north of the city has a unique characteristic combining natural beauty of mountain, lake, stone, tree and cave. The Cemetery of Chen Duxiu (the founder of Chinese Communist Party and pioneer of New Culture Movement) is quiet with dense woods, creating a solemn atmosphere. The Bund Park and the Bridgehead Park in the south of the city stretch for about ten kilometers, forming a beautiful landscape. The ancient architectures in the city such as £¢Shitaishi Residence£¢,£¢Tanhua Residence£¢and£¢Yingwang Residence of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom(1851-1864)£¢kept the architectural style of Ming and Qing Dynasty. The historical Linghu Park, Lotus Park, Citizen Park and Big Lake Scenic Area, all combine to make a successive landscape -- comparable to West Lake in Hangzhou. The total scenic area is about five km² . Modern buildings stand up in the city, such as the Cultural Square, Huanmei Opera Art Center, the Monument Place of Deng Shiru, Huangmei Pavilion, Xieyi Pavilion, Japanese Sakura Park, Huipai Bonsai Garden, Huangzhen Memorial Hall and Science and Technology Hall, Gymnasium, Library, and the Statues of Cheng Changgeng, Deng Shiru, Yan Fengying, Deng Jiangxian and Chen Yannian, highlight the city's culture. The rate of forestry in the city is about 38.26%. The rate of the green land coverage in the city is 35.66% -- 8.03 square meters green land per capita.
Anqing is a splendid tourist city with its beautiful scenery and rich resources. There are famous scenic resorts of the State Four-A-Class -- Tianzhu Mountain and Huating Lake in Anqing. There are almost ten national scenic resorts, national natural reserve zones, national forest parks, national geology park, national historical heritage reserve -- Dalong Mountain, Xiaogu Mountain, Mountain Fu, Baiyazhai, Sparrow Hawk Perching Place, Miaodao Mountain, Xuejiagang and so on. Anqing is also the transportation hub to many scenic resorts, such as Yellow Mountain, Jiuhua Mountain, and Mountain Lu. Tianzhu Mountain in Qianshan County is famous for its grandness and delicacy; Sikong Mountain in Yuexi County is the famous holy place of Buddhism where Huike the second ancestor of Buddhism withdraw from vernacular life and practiced Buddhism; Xiaogu Mountain in Susong County standing in the great river is called £¢a door to the sea and a post to the sky£¢; Baiyazhai is called ¡°the great wall of south China¡±; Mountain Fu in Zongyang County looks like Penglai (a fabled abode of immortals above the sea) -- a park of typical volcanic geology. Zhenfeng Tower in downtown Anqing on the bank of the Yangtze River wins the saying ¡°It is no longer meaningful to mention tower after a trip to Anqing¡±. The traffic is convenient in Anqing. The facilities and services of tourism in the city are highly functional. Accommodation here is good and convenient. Traditional food and flavor snacks are famous. Special food, such as shad, anchovy, crabs, Mozi cakes, oil pastry, Tongcheng Fenggao (a dessert), Huaining Gonggao (a dessert), Jiangmao dumplings, parched rice with chicken soup and so on, are pretty delicious. Handicraft articles and native products are quite attractive that people can hardly tear themselves away from them, such as Wangjiang cross-stitch works, Qianshan Shuxi (bamboo mat), Susong wax printing, Yuexi Cuilan tea. The expressway route, such as Shanghai-Chengdu expressway, Dong-Xiang expressway, Anqing-Hefei expressway, Hefei-Tongling-Huangshan expressway, the three national highways -- 105, 206 and 318, and Hefei-Jiujiang Railway, are intersecting in Anqing. Anqing Yangtze River Highway Bridge and Anqing Railway Bridge (in construction), the intercity Nanjing-Anqing Railway, the expressway along Yangtze River, and Anqing-Jingdezhen expressway are all intersecting in Anqing. Anqing Tianzhu Mountain Civil Airport (in re-construction for expansion) has already opened flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xiamen and other cities. A three-dimensional traffic network in Anqing has been formed, consisting of highway, railway, waterway, and aviation.
Anqing is a great potential and promising city, full of vitality and vigour for further boost. Anqing has obvious geographical advantages, lying in the junctions of Anhui, Jiangxi and Hubei Provinces. It is a communication link of the three provinces and a link of combining Shanghai and Wuhan -- the two major economic regions in the country. It is also the last port for 3000-ton ocean-going vessel to access the river. After the founding of the PRC, especially through 30 years of reform and opening up, Anqing, as the national production base of major grain, cotton, oil-bearing crops, aquatic products and livestock and poultry, as an important petrochemical, automotive components manufacturing and textile industry base in Anhui Province, is listed as one of the key open cities for development in Anhui. The city has achieved rapid socio-economic progress. In 2006, the local GDP reached 49 billion yuan; the fiscal revenue reached 4.5 billion yuan. Agriculture continues to maintain a high rate of development; its industry has formed the four pillars -- petrochemical, textile, building material, and machinery -- seeing a large number of well-known domestic and foreign enterprises, such as Anqing Petrochemical, Huamao, Huangxin, Conch, Quanli, Hongrun, and so on. Basic education has gained a solid status of quality brand. Cultural and health undertakings have developed steadily. Urban water supply, power supply, gas supply, public transportation, telecommunications, business services, and other infrastructure facilities have been greatly improved. People's living standards and the quality of life have significantly improved. Anqing have established trade relations with over a hundred countries and regions in the world, exporting about two hundred categories of goods.