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Marine environment
| Updated: 2012-03-21 15:41:56 |By (chinadaily.com.cn) |

A shining pearl on the Bohai coast

Introduction to Tianjin

The city of Tianjin sits on the western edge of the Bohai Sea, south of the Yanshan Mountains, and east of Beijing, on an area that was formed by sedimentary deposits of nine rivers. Since early days, it has served as a gate to Beijing and a pivotal city for the area.

Over time, thanks to its geographical position and environment, it was able to stand out from the crowd in the opening up and reforms and found itself at the center of the Bohai-rim economic development and the biggest city on the North China coast.

In Tianjn, you' ll feel the harmony of nature and humanity, the city's marine economy, ecological friendliness, vigor, and extravagantly charming and vibrant life, which is typical of the internationalization of China's coast.

Over the past 10 years, the city, in its hyperactive economic development, began to shine like a pearl and dazzle.

Marine heritage

Tianjin's marine economy has deep roots and is an important part of the city's strategic development plan. At present, Tianjin has a coastline of 153 kilometers and a sea area of 2,500 square kilometers.

The ocean's natural resources are an invaluable asset for economic development, especially of the city's Binhai New Area. Tianjin's salt industry has a history of more than 1,000 years, and it was already quite sizable even during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD)

At Philadelphia's Sesquicentennial International Exposition in August 1926, "Red Triangle" ("Hong San Jiao") baking soda, from Tianjin's Yongli Soda Co won a Gold Medal, indicating its sodium-product making ability at the time.

Tianjin flourished thanks to its waterways and seaports, which went back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). It gradually became an important point for river and ocean traffic and its ocean freight and military transport capacity made it a strategic player, and a major contributor to North-South economic development and cultural exchanges.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, Tianjin has seen unprecedented development and has become the major seaport for northern China, one with a world-class deep-water port. Its freight volume in 2011 broke the 450-million tons mark, while the number of standard containers handled was 11.5 million.

Tianjin Port is also slated to be a large home-port for Asian cruise ships, and open a new chapter as the center of international cruise lines for this part of China.

Tianjin Port is beautiful, resource-saving, developmentally sustainable, and a harmonious mix of humans and nature.

Sustainable development of the marine economy

During the 11th Five-Year Plan period, Tianjin's marine economy saw rapid development, with each segment growing equally.

The marine economy accounts for roughly 29 percent of the municipality's GDP, and doubled between 2006 and 2010, going from 136.9 billion yuan worth to 308.8 billion. That translated into an annual increase of 20.4 percent, or 3.6 percentage points higher than national average, and double the output over the last stage of the 10th Five-Year Plan period. It also put Tianjin at the very top of the list of rapidly growing coastal cities and provinces.

During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, Tianjin will continue to change its economic development mode, improve its industrial structure and the competitiveness of the marine economy, and increase its ability to innovate and sustain its development. In 2011, the marine economic was worth more than 360 billion yuan, for a year-on-year growth of 17 percent. That output is projected to amount to 500 billion yuan by the end of 2015, accounting for 30 percent of Tianjin's GDP.

Tianjin has 27 ocean research institutes and marine-related institutions of higher learning. It also has a great number of State- and city-owned ocean enterprises employing more than 10,000 talented people.

In Tianjin, scientific projects have had good results in the desalination of seawater, comprehensive utilization of seawater, zoning of the sea, marine environment surveys, protecting the marine environment, and deep sea exploration.

The city's maritime research ranks high compared to other coastal cities and provinces and the city recently increased its support for the more privileged, or traditional, marine industries and high-level strategic marine industries.

Tianjin has plans for a modern marine industrial structure through the adjustment of its traditional industrial structure. It plans to improve its marine management, innovative ability, and competitiveness by integrating its scientific and technological resources.

The city plans to improve its management skills through marine management research and follow a path of sustainable economic development while watching out for environmental constraints. The "Tianjin marine economy and marine affairs' scheme for the 12th Five-Year Plan" calls for changes in the economic development mode" and increase of competitiveness and maritime capabilities in innovation.

Tianjin's Binhai New Area, which sits along the shore of the Bohai Sea, has seen rapid economic growth and its strategic industries, such as green economy and high-value equipment manufacturing hold immense potential. Binhai is the third Chinese area to drive regional development and economic growth, the other two being the Pearl River Delta area and Yangtze River Delta economic zone. It brings together State-level development zones, a free trade zone, export processing zone, a free-trade logistics park, free trade port, and has become an area with a highest degree of openness, one with the most potential in China, most exuberance and most modern economy.

Environmentally friendly area for human-marine coexistence

As one of China's first ecological, low-carbon pilot cities, Tianjin has been active in enlarging its green space through improving mountain and wetland ecological protection and a circular-economic model, and by forming a north-south ecological system. The idea is to be a model, international eco-city with an ecological barrier, as part of the Bohai-rim ecological plan.

The Binhai New Area's goal is to create a "Green Binhai" and an urban ecology, by integrating environmental management and green economic development, a low-carbon economy, and a circular economy. An ecological corridor along the coast is already taking shape.

The Ancient Coast and Wetland preserve located in the Binhai New Area are built to protect the precious oyster beach, coastal relics, natural wetland environment, and ecological system. The preserve is the only State-level marine reserve and the only place where three geological structures are part of one administrative region. The preserve's ecological system has received a great deal of attention from the Tianjin municipality government.

One important development in the Binhai New Area is the Sino-Singaporean Eco-city, a joint project. Three years ago, the 30-square-kilometer site of the eco-city was a saltpan, a watery saline-alkali wasteland. Then, the vegetation, tidal wetlands, estuary ecology and biodiversity of the area underwent a restoration and Tianjin gained some valuable eco-city experience in the process.

Marine cultural heritage

Tianjin has a 600-year history full of remarkable events, and has gone from a small town to a large metropolis, with many historical events and milestones.

The people of Tianjin have grown with the city and have inherited that tradition, while leaving a brilliant footprint. They have long been conscious of the role of the ocean and its environment and it has been a major force in the development of Tianjin.

Tianjin has always valued its marine culture and is aware of the need to protect its cultural heritage. The old town of Beitang, Dagu cannon terrace, and Tian Hou Temple are a testament to Tianjin's marine culture, while the art of wood block, the flying cymbals, and the dragon lantern of the Binhai New Area are new cultural forms that will provide a heritage for generations to come.

As part of the city's effort to protect and revive its marine culture heritage, Tianjin is building a number of ocean theme parks with their own distinct features and a National Maritime Museum to showcase the natural and humanity history of the region. These projects combine scientific research, exchanges, various forms of communication, education, and tourism into a multifunctional cultural whole.


Tianjin now stands at a new point in time and is ready to make another leap forward through rejuvenated development. It is looking forward to the future, a time when, many people believe, Tianjin will be a better, nicer place to live and thrive in.

Midsummer is a season when life blooms and a dynamic new Tianjin welcomes friends and guests from all over to come and enjoy the season.

Summer Davos 2012 I

A large number of entrepreneurs, experts and government heads have been drawn from across the world to Tianjin as the coastal city hosts the World Economic Forum's 6th Annual Meeting of New Champions that runs from Sept 11 to 13.

Summer Davos 2012 II

The Swiss-headquartered World Economic Forum "is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of the society to shape global, regional and industry agendas", according to its official website.

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