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Shaoxing: 'an age-old land of talent and rich resources'

Date: 2012-10-21

Located to the south of Yangtze River Delta, Shaoxing county has Ningbo to its east and Hangzhou to the west. Under the jurisdiction of the county are four sub-district committees and fifteen townships, with a total population of 710,000.

Renowned as an age-old land of talent and rich resources, Shaoxing not only boasts a booming economy but also has a history of cultural achievements and heritage. In 2001, the Shaoxing county government was relocated to Keqiao, the county's new capital.

As one of the premier 24 historical and cultural cities in China, Shaoxing county was a center of political and cultural life in southern China from the time of the Qin and Han dynasties up to the twilight years of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The county not only bred outstanding people over the centuries, but also enjoyed a preeminent reputation in southern China. It was regarded as the birthplace of silk making, a land of culture and the home of many leading academics and thinkers.

Human occupation of Shaoxing dates back to prehistoric times. In the Neolithic Age, communities lived and worked in the area. The county still preserves many historical sites left over from the days of Shun and Yu, two great emperors of legend from the dawn of Chinese history.

Following the founding of the Republic of China, the prefecture system was abolished and the county system established. Neighboring Shanyin and Shaoxing were unified as one county with the name of Shaoxing.

Despite frequent changes in identity and boundaries, the area and the capital city have remained basically the same for over 2,500 years. In historical terms, Shaoxing has come to represent both the prefecture and the county.

Shaoxing is well known both at home and abroad. It has featured on the State Council's list of historical and cultural cities in the country since 1982.

Since the adoption of the reform and opening up policies, it has ranked as one of the leading counties in the country in terms of overall economic and social strengths, despite a perceived lack of natural resources and investment from the state government. It is believed that its unique regional culture and distinct local character have played a tremendous role in Shaoxing's economic ascendancy. The county has now made rapid headway in terms of economic development and various social undertakings.

Shaoxing also boasts one of the largest marketplaces in China. China Textile City, based in Keqiao, is now Asia's largest textile trading center with its trade volume accounting for one third of the nation's total.

The textile city ranks number two among China's largest wholesale markets. Largely based on the advantages conferred by its textile base, the Shaoxing Keqiao Economic Development Zone, a provincial-grade economic development zone, has now taken initial shape. It is envisaged that it will play an important role in the county's bid to globalize its industrial resources.

Shaoxing is now one of the most significant textile industry hubs in China. It is home to around 10,000 textile-manufacturing businesses, the site of 50,000 advanced shuttleless looms and also to some of the most sophisticated technical equipment available in the sector. Every year 2 million tons of chemical fiber, 5 billion meters of chemical fabrics, 15 billion meters of printing and dyeing cloth and 300 million completed garments are produced here.

Its textile sector now forms a complete industrial chain, extending from the provision of chemical raw materials to the production of chemical fabrics, as well as printing and dyeing, home textile manufacture and the delivery of finished garments. It is now the largest textile industry manufacturing resource in China.