Thursday, April 8, 2010
Tianjin, People’s Republic of China
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tianjin's urban area is located along the Hai He River, which connects to
the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers via the Grand Canal in Tianjin. Its ports,
some distance away, are located on the Bohai Gulf in the Pacific Ocean.
Tianjin was once home to foreign concessions in the late Qing Dynasty and
early Kuomintang (KMT) era. The municipality incorporates the coastal region
of Tanggu, home to the Binhai New Area and the Tianjin
Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA). Tianjin Municipality borders
Hebei province to the north, south, and west; the Chinese capital Beijing is
to the northwest, and the Bohai Gulf to the east.
The land where Tianjin lies today was created in historical times by
sedimentation of various rivers entering the sea at Bohai Gulf (渤海湾),
including the Yellow River, which entered the sea in this area at one point.
The opening of the Grand Canal of China during the Sui Dynasty prompted the
development of Tianjin into a trading center. Until 1404, Tianjin was called
"Zhigu" (直沽), or "Straight Port". In that year, the Yongle Emperor renamed
the city Tianjin, literally means "the Heavenly Ford", to indicate that the
Emperor (son of heaven) forded the river at that point. This is because he
had indeed forded the river in Tianjin while on a campaign to scramble for
the throne from his nephew. Later on, a fort was established in Tianjin,
known as "Tianjin Wei" (天津卫), the Fort of Tianjin.
Tianjin was promoted to a prefecture in 1725. Tianjin County was established
under the prefecture in 1731. Tianjin was established as a municipality of
China (直辖市) in 1927.
Tianjin is at the northern end of the Grand Canal of China（大运河）, which
connects with the Yellow River （黃河） and Yangtze River （长江）.
Tianjin Municipality is generally flat, and swampy near the coast, but hilly
in the far north, where the Yanshan Mountains （燕山） pass through the tip of
northern Tianjin. The highest point in Tianjin is Jiushanding Peak on the
northern border with Hebei, at an altitude of 1078 m.
The Hai He River （海河） forms within Tianjin Municipality at the confluence of
the Ziya River（子牙河）, Daqing River（大清河）, Yongding River（永定河）, North Grand
Canal, and South Grand Canal; and enters the Pacific Ocean at Tianjin
Municipality as well, in Tanggu District. Major reservoirs include the
Beidagang Reservoir in the extreme south (in Dagang District) and the Yuqiao
Reservoir in the extreme north (in Ji County).
The urban area of Tianjin is found in the south-central part of the
Municipality. In addition to the main urban area of Tianjin proper, the
coast along the Bohai is lined with a series of port towns, including Tanggu
（塘沽） and Hangu（汉沽）.
Tianjin's climate is a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Koppen
climate classification Cwa) characterized by hot, humid summers, due to the
monsoon, and dry, cold winters, due to the Siberian anticyclone that are
still above -3C. Average high/low in January and July are 1.8 °C (35.2
°F)/−7.5 °C (18 °F) and 31.0 °C (87.8 °F)/22.7 °C (72.9 °F) respectively.
Spring is windy but dry, and most of the precipitation takes place in July
and August. Tianjin also experiences occasional spring sandstorms which blow
in from the Gobi Desert and may last for several days.
People from urban Tianjin speak Tianjin dialect, which comes under the
Mandarin subdivision of spoken Chinese. Despite its proximity to Beijing,
Tianjin dialect sounds quite different from Beijing dialect, which provides
the basis for Putonghua, official spoken language of the People's Republic