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Dongguan-- co-host city of the 16th Asian Games

General Information

Dongguan lies in the northeastern Pearl River Delta, mid-south Guandong Province, in the People's Republic of China. Guangzhou is 50 kilometres to the north, and Shenzhen 90 kilometres to the southeast, while Hong Kong is 100 kilometres away. Dongguan is ideally positioned at the centre of the Guangzhou-Hong Kong economic corridor, making it an important land and water transportation hub.

Night scene in Dongguan.[GAGOC]

 Night scene in Dongguan.[GAGOC]

Dongguan was named for the Cyperaceae grass (Guan) which flourished in the area in ancient times. As one of the twenty-one prefectural cities in Guangdong Province, Dongguan covers a land area of 2,465 square kilometres. Apart from its permanent population of 1.72 million and nearly eight million temporary residents, Dongguan is home to over 800 thousand Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan compatriots and over 200 thousand overseas Chinese, making Dongguan a well-known home for overseas Chinese. Dongguan has a subtropical monsoonal climate, with abundant sunshine and plentiful rainfall, with a yearly average temperature of 22.3°C. Dongguan's climate is well-suited to agriculture with products such as rice, bananas, lychees, longans, pineapples, oranges, tangerines and aquatic products in abundance.

Michelia Alba is the city flower of Dongguan. It symbolises the twin spirits of trail breaking and strenuousness.

An Ancient City in Southern China

Dongguan has a long history. Archaeological excavations show that ancient aboriginals inhabited and flourished in Dongguan since the Neolithic Age some five thousand years ago. Haogang Shell Mound, where the earliest habitation remains have been found, is regarded as "The First Village in the Pearl River Delta." The origin of Dongguan as a town can be traced back 1,200 years ago. In 1839, the well-known incineration of opium just before the start of the First Opium War took place in Dongguan's Humen Town, marking the opening of a new chapter in China's modern history. Dongguan was also the Dongjiang Anti-Aggression Base during World War II.

As a famous historical city, Dongguan embraces a wide range of folk arts such as Dragon Boat Racing, Dragon-Lion Dancing and Cantonese Opera. In fact, it is known in China as the home to weightlifting, basketball, Dragon Boat Racing, swimming, Dragon-Lion Dancing and other folk arts. Dongguan was an important region for the development of southern Chinese culture. Cultural heritages such as the Multi-Angle Lantern - which dates from the Song Dynasty and was regarded as "The Top Lantern in China" - and a great number of memorial temples have been well preserved. Remarkable heroes were raised in this land including Yuan Chonghuan, Xiongfei and Jiang Guangnai.

Dongguan's city spirit is represented by the Chinese couplet: "The vast ocean embraces streams to its tide; keep benevolent and pragmatic." Influenced by deep-rooted southern Chinese culture and extensive international economic activities, a multi-faceted new culture has emerged in Dongguan. The city's libraries, museums and cultural squares are burgeoning, ever adding more cultural flavour to Dongguan. In recent years, enormous budgets have been allocated for the construction of a series of cultural facilities such as the Yulan Theatre, Dongguan Library, Dongguan Exhibition Centre, and the Science and Technology Museum. With cutting-edge ideas and modern design, these facilities top their national counterparts, and have become cultural landmarks of Dongguan.

Economic Strength

Since the 1978 initiation of China's policy of reform and opening-up, Dongguan pursued rural industrialisation, urbanisation and modernisation, and actively developed an export-oriented economy. A modern manufacturing sector with the IT industry as the pillar among many high-tech industries gradually grew and upgraded. This has enabled Dongguan to become a modern city, famous for manufacturing and an important import and export base.

Over the past three decades, Dongguan's economy has grown at 18 per cent year on year. Dongguan is a region with one of the fastest rates of economic growth in China. Powering this growth is Dongguan's strength in manufacturing with the IT, electric, garment, shoe, toy and furniture industries as economy mainstays in Dongguan's export-oriented economic system. Dongguan is regarded as: "The World's Computer City", "The World's Toy City", "The World's Shoe City", and "The South China Fashion City". Foreign investments have come from more than forty countries and regions including: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the United States, Britain, Germany, France, and Switzerland. So far, fifty of the world's top 500 enterprises have set up plants in Dongguan including: Nokia, Dupont, Phillips, Samsung, and Maersk. One of the major high-tech industrial parks, Songshan Lake Science and Technology Industrial Park, has earned global recognition for its excellent investment environment.

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