Rizhao’s name was given from an old saying that “the city is the first to get the sunshine”. Rizhao is a rising open city, a tourist city and a port city. It is located in the combining area of the Pacific Economic Rim, Pan-Yellow (Bohai) Sea and Economic Belt of New Eurasian Continental Bridge. It neighbors Qingdao City in the north and Lianyungang City of Jiangsu Province in the south. Facing Japan and Korea across the Yellow Sea in the east, Rizhao boasts unique advantages for opening up. Rizhao now has Donggang District, Lanshan District, Ju County, Wulian County, Rizhao Economic & Technological Development Zone and Shanhaitian Tourism &Vocation Zone under its jurisdiction. Covering a land area of 5,310 square kilometers, Rizhao has a population of 2.845 million. As a key member of the eight cities of the Shandong Peninsula City Cluster, and the only estuary of southern Shandong Economic Belt, Rizhao takes an important place in the regional strategic development of Shandong Province. Honorary titles: World Clean Energy Award in 2007; UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honor in 2009; China Top Tourist City; National Model City for Environmental Protection; China Human Habitat Award; National Clean City; National Garden City; China Model Green City; China Water Saving City; National Demonstration City for Circular Economy; China Fascinating City;100 Cities in China with Best Investment Environment National Financial Ecological City; National Sustainable Development Pilot Zone; National Pilot City for Building Ecological Demonstration Zone; National Security and Stability city.
Rizhao boasts many unique advantages: firstly, Rizhao has the environment advantage of “Blue sky, Blue sea and Golden Beach”. Rizhao is located in the transitional zone between the northern and southern climate. It is neither too cold in winter nor too hot in summer. With rich rainfall and sufficient sunshine and pleasant climate, Rizhao is reputed as the south of the northern area and the north of the southern area. Rizhao has a coastline of 100km, of which 64km is golden sand beach. All beaches in Rizhao meet the standards of international first-class bathing beaches; it is an ideal place for recreation, summer, holiday and rehabilitation. Due to favorable ecological environment, the tourism of Rizhao enjoys rapid development. In 2009, the number of tourists from home and abroad rocketed to 17.41 million, and the total tourism income reached RMB 10 billion Yuan，increased by 18.8% and 21.9% separately. The quality of potable water and sea water near the coast is up to the first level of the State standard. The environment of Rizhao is among the best ones in the north of the Yangtze River, it is a most livable city.
Secondly, Rizhao boasts geographic advantages of bridgehead eastern. Rizhao is the eastern bridgehead of the New Eurasian Continental Bridge decided by the State. It is an important port for the middle and western areas of China. The railways connecting with the Rizhao port and Lanshan Port can directly reach the Rotterdam Port of Netherlands and Antwerp Port of Belgium Alataw Pass of Xinjiang Autonomous Region. It is reputed as the two ports connecting with the world and the continental bridge linking with the Eurasia. Rizhao is also the candidate Pearl City of UN New Silk Road. As a small-and-medium- sized city with a population of less than 3 million, Rizhao enjoys convenient transportation. There are 3 railways, 2 expressways, 2 national highways and 10 provincial highways which is rare in China. There are 3 airports within radius of 150km connected by expressways. Qingdao Liuting International Airport has opened virtual airport in Rizhao. After the completion of Qingdao-Rizhao-Lianyungang Railway, Qingdao-Rizhao railway and Qingdao Bay Bridge and Undersea tunnel, the development focus of Qingdao will move towards west, the development priority of Rizhao will extend to south and north. Qingdao and Rizhao will form a one-hour economic circle, and the epoch of same city come true.
Thirdly, Rizhao boasts port advantages with handling capacity of 100 million ton. Rizhao has two first-class open ports --Rizhao Port and Lanshan Port. Rizhao Port is the largest port for iron ore import in China. With excellent conditions for port building, both ports are natural deep water ports, free of silt and ice and have no record of typhoon landing. According to General Planning of Rizhao Port jointly examined and approved by the State Ministry of Communications and Shandong Provincial Government, 280 berths are planned to be built here with annual handling capacity of 600 million tons in the long run. Currently, there are 39 productive berths including coal, iron ore, containers, crude oil, bulk grains and wood chips. They have opened navigation to more than 100 countries and regions. In 2009, the annual handling capacity of Rizhao Port exceeded 181 million tons. The growth rate is the highest among the ports along Chinese coast. In recent years, based on the ports and location advantages, Rizhao has focused on the development of port-related industries including steel & iron, energy, machinery manufacturing, paper-making, food processing, and petrochemicals. A number of international famous enterprises including Hyundai Group of Korea and RGM International have been settled in Rizhao.Now, we are pressing ahead of the planning and construction of Rizhao fine steel base, which is list in the National stimulus package of steel industry. The major products will be fine steel such as the high grade hot-roll sheet, wide thick plate with high tech contents and high added value. The project will drive the port-related industries even the national economy remarkably.
Fourthly, Rizhao has profound culture advantages. Rizhao is one of the origins of Longshan Culture. Until now, over 100 relics sites have been discovered, including Liuyanghe Site and Liangcheng Town Site, of which four relics sites have been listed as State Key Relics Protection Unit. According to the Brief Guide of World History published by British Oxford University, Liangcheng Town was the earliest city in Asia between 3500 B.C and 2000 B.C. The 3600-year-old Gingko Tree, deduced4000 years old, on Mount Fulai is the “No. 1 Gingko Tree in the world”, which is called “living fossil of ancient organisms” by UNESCO.
Mount Wulian was the home of azalea in the north. Guangming Temple is the only imperial temple in Ming Dynasty. The pictograph inscribed on the earthenware excavated in Ju County of Rizhao is proved to be the earliest pictograph, which is over 1000 years earlier than oracle. In Spring and Autumn Period (770 B.C-476 B.C), Ju Culture originating from Ju Kingdom is one of three cultures of Shandong Province, together with Qi Culture and Lu Culture. Rizhao black pottery with a history of 5000 years is the treasure of Chinese civilization. Rizhao is one of the three famous places of Modern Chinese Folk Paintings, together with Jinshan in Shanghai and Huxian in Shanxi Province. Rizhao folk paintings are very popular both at home and abroad. A number of celebrities are from Rizhao for example, Jiang Shang, the strategist and politician in West Zhou Dynasty, Liu Xie, the famous Chinese literary critic in South and North Dynasty and Dr. Samuel Ting, the world famous physicist and Nobel Prize Winner.
Fifthly, Rizhao has advantage of fascinating water sports. The Olympic Water Sports Park was officially named by China Olympic Committee. Covering an area of 9.2 square kilometers, all water sports items both dynamic and static items can be held.In recent years, Rizhao has successfully hosted over 40 im]portant events both at home and aboard, such as International Europe Class World Championship, 470 Class World Championship, 2007 China Water Games, and 2008 China-Japan-Korea Keelboat Regatta. Rizhao will hold 2010 China Water Games, the preparatory works is on the going. The key competition facilities such as the indoor natatorium are under construction. The indoor skiing course is being pressed ahead. Rizhao can held all the water sports events both indoor and ourtdoor, static and dynamic including solid, liquid state of water, after the completion of the two projects.
Sixthly, Rizhao has the advantage of attracting talents and technology. In recent years, we make use of location and environment advantages, follow the principle that we do not seek the ownership, but make universities settled in Rizhao, Rizhao vigorously attract universities to Rizhao, now 6 universities including Qufu Normal University, Shandong Sports University have settled in Rizhao. The 7th university is under construction. Such famous universities as Peking University, Qinghua University have established Industry- University-Research- Residence bases in Rizhao. Several hundred professors have settled in Rizhao. The city of Rizhao is becoming an ideal place for science and technology R&D, academic exchanges, relaxation and living.
Seventhly, Rizhao boasts favorable environment advantages. There are six provincial-level economic development zones with complete infrastructure of water, electricity, road, steam and telecommunication, which enables Rizhao to attract investment and tap its development potentials. Based on a series of advantages, we implemented four master strategies, namely build the city by the port, strengthen the port with industries, invigorate the city through science and technology and build an eco-city and two wheel driving policies of opening up and innovation. With rapid economic and social development, the urban and rural outlook changed greatly, Rizhao grows to be a charming port city with great development potential from a small coastal town with weak infrastructure. During the process we promote scientific development, leap-forward develoment and harmonious development of socitey and science; we attach great importance on clean energy development especially solar energy. It beaifits from the unique solar energy advantages, Rizhao belongs to temperate zone continental climate with subhumid monsoon, with four distinct seasons, the average sunlight reaches 2540 hours, and 330 days that solar energy can be used.
Rizhao has tremendous potential for development. We will strive for the objectives of “one overtaking and two advances ” in the next five years, namely overtaking the average per capita GDP of the whole province, building up a moderately prosperous society and realizing modernization on the whole in 2020 ahead of the schedule of Shandong Province. Guided by the scientific outlook on development and focusing on leap-forward development, we will fully implement the strategy of “build the city by the port, strengthen the city with industries, invigorate the city through science and education and build an eco-city”. Driven by reform and innovation, we will accelerate our pace toward an industrialized, urbanized, market-oriented city integrated with the world and promote the building of a harmonious society in all respects.