Wenzhou (simplified Chinese: 温州; traditional Chinese: 溫州; pinyin: Wēnzhōu; formerly Yongjia, Yung-chia) is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Zhejiang province, People's Republic of China.
It borders Lishui to the west, Taizhou to the north, and looks out to the East China Sea on its eastern coast.
Wenzhou was a prosperous foreign treaty port, which remains well-preserved today. It is situated in a mountainous region and, as a result, has been isolated for most of its history from the rest of the country, making the local culture and language very different from those of neighbouring areas. It is also known for its emigrants who leave their native land for Europe and the United States, with a reputation for being enterprising natives who start restaurants, retail and wholesale businesses in their adopted countries.
Being the land of Ou in ancient times, Wenzhou had become the capital of the Kingdom of the Eastern Ou. In 323 it was built as Yongjia Prefecture. It was also called the City of White Deer because, according to the legend, when the city was being built a white deer passed by holding a flower in its mouth, a sign of good fortune. In 675 it began to be called Wenzhou.
Historically, Wenzhou has been a city renowned for its handicrafts and also as one of the birthplaces of celadon. Its papermaking, shipbuilding, silk, embroidery, lacquerware, shoes and leather products achieved a fairly eminent position in the history of China. As early as the Southern Sony Dynasty (1127-1279), it was opened up as a foreign trade port, enjoying a reputation as a prosperous coastal city comparable to Hangzhou, which was the capital city of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). It is the hometown of Nanxi Opera (also known as the Southern Opera). The Tale of the Pipa, written by the famous Wenzhou playwright Gao Ming in the mid-fourteenth century, has been translated into a number of foreign languages and achieved worldwide renown.
Wenzhou is located in the middle section of the 18,000km-long east coast of China, intersecting the two economic zones of the Yangtze River and the Pearl River Deltas. It is the center of economy, culture and transportation in south Zhejiang Province.
Wenzhou has a land area of 12,083 square kilometers, and sea area of 8,649 square kilometers.
The terrain of the entire region of Wenzhou inclines like a ladder from the southwest to the northeast. There are 150 rivers of various lengths, among which Oujiang, Feiyun and Aojiang are the main ones. There are 436 islands along the 355-kilometer twisty coastline, forming excellent natural ports such as Huanghua.
Wenzhou derives its present name from its mild climate. It is located in the subtropical monsoon climate zone, featuring noticeable alternating monsoon in winter and summer, distinct seasons and abundant rainfall, yet without intense heat in summer or bitter cold in winter. It has an average annual temperature ranging from 17.3 to 19.4℃ (4.9-9.9℃ in January and 26.7-29.6℃ in July).
It has an annual rainfall of 1113-2492 mm, much owing to mould rains in the end of spring and beginning of summer, and tropical cyclone during July and September. It boasts a frost-free period of 241-326 days and an annual duration of sunshine of 1,442-2,264 hours.
Blessed with fertile soil, crisscrossing rivers and lakes, and abundant ocean resources, Wenzhou is known as a “land of fish and rice” among the regions south of the Yangtze River. It has paddy as its main grain crop and more than 160 kinds of commercial crops such as orange and tangerine, tea, loquat, red bayberry and sugarcane, etc.
It boasts over 370 species of fish (such as hairtail, yellow croaker, and eel) and over 430 varieties of shellfish. The tidal belt along the coast, with a total area of 65,000 hectares, breeds razor clams, sea clams, oysters, shrimps, crabs, hard clams and other kinds of marine life.
It has over 280 varieties of timber, including pine, China fir and oak. Its nonmetal mineral resources include alunite, granite and quartzite. The alunite reserves amount to 80 percent of the national total, winning Wenzhou the title of “the world alunite capital”, while its granite reserves rank highly in the country in terms of both quality and variety.
As one of the 25 major national harbors, Wenzhou Harbor is an excellent natural harbor with the merits of both river port and bay port.
Offshore continental shelf basin, to the east of Wenzhou, holds in store abundant oil and gas resources. Wuyanling Ridge, possessing a subtropical evergreen broad-leafed forest with primary-growth vegetation, is the green treasure-house of south Zhejiang Province.
Administrative Division and Population
Wenzhou has jurisdiction over 4 districts (Lucheng, Longwan, Ouhai and Dongtou), 3 county-level cities ( Ruian, Yueqing and Longgang), and 5 counties (Yongjia, Pingyang, Cangnan, Wencheng and Taishun). The city has 67 sub-districts, 92 towns, 26 townships, 2951 villages, 703 communities and neighborhood committees. The Wenzhou Municipal People’s Government is located in Lucheng District.
At the end of 2021, Wenzhou had a permanent resident population of 8,328 million, while the registered population was 9.645 million.
In 2021, Wenzhou responded to Covid-19 and pursued economic and social development in a well-coordinated way; by aiming five new targets, it began to break new ground in ten fields, accelerated the construction of model cities and pacesetters in five aspects, and launched “three 100-day crucial actions” for major project construction, making a good beginning in implementing the 14th Five-Year Plan. Last year, the city kept the fundamentals of the economy stable, and major economic indicators within an appropriate range, continued to improve the quality of development, sped up the growth of new drivers, with progress made in social undertakings, people's livelihood and common prosperity.
Wenzhou is one of education hubs in Zhejiang Province. At the end of 2019, there were 568 elementary schools, which had 635.7 thousand pupils and enrolled 110.5 thousand new pupils. The enrollment rate for elementary school pupils was 100%. The per capita school area for them was 8.36 square meters. There were 339 junior high schools, which had 278.8 thousand students and enrolled 94.8 thousand new students. The per capita building area for them was 18.24 square meters. There were 37 vocational schools, which had 85.1 thousand students and enrolled 31.6 thousand new students. There were 103 senior high schools which had 121 thousand students and 39.1 thousand graduates, and enrolled 43.1 thousand new students. There were 11 universities (2 private colleges included), which had 104.3 thousand students. There were 59.6 thousand full-time elementary and junior high school teachers. There were 5 thousand full-time vocational school teachers (skill workers’ school excluded). There were 1,405 kindergarten, which had 289 thousand children.