A bird's-eye view of Tai'an at night. [Photo by Fan Zhixiang/Tai'an Daily]
Tai'an owes its name to Mount Tai and carries the auspicious message of "may the country be prosperous and the people at peace".
Tai'an oversees six counties and districts, has four functional zones, covers a vast area of 7,762 square kilometers and has a population of 5.4 million. It holds titles such as National Civilized City, National Historic City, China Human Settlements and Environment Award, Outstanding Tourism City in China, National Landscape Garden City, National Health City, and National Forest City.
Tai'an is a treasure trove of cultural and tourism resources and has 70 A-level tourist attractions, including one 5A-level and 12 4A-level sites. The acclaimed Mount Tai is a UNESCO world natural and cultural heritage site.
A bird's-eye view of Mount Tai. [Photo by Liu Lei/Tai'an Daily]
The city has a superior ecological environment, five natural reserves, three national wetland parks, and four Chinese forest oxygen bars. Tai'an leads inland cities in air quality and the forest coverage on Mount Tai and Culai Mountain stands at 90 percent. The Dawen River basin spans an extensive 9,098 sq km, and Dongping Lake is Shandong's second-largest freshwater lake which serves as a vital reservoir for the South-to-North Water Diversion Project's eastern route. Tai'an has the most natural sulfur reserves in Asia, the most gypsum reserves in China, and the most rock salt reserves in the province. It is a crucial energy and raw material base in Shandong which has 58 mineral resources.
Tai'an has a well-connected transportation system that features an extensive network of railways and expressways, including the high-speed Beijing-Shanghai railway and Beijing-Shanghai, Beijing-Taipei, Qingdao-Lanzhou, Dongjiakou-Liangshan, and Jinan-Tai'an expressways. The city is located within a 1-hour drive of Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport. By high-speed rail, the city is located 2 hours from Beijing and 3 hours from Shanghai. The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal enables cargo ships with a capacity of over 1,000 metric tons to reach Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai.
Tai'an is at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation, and is recognized as one of the first pilot units for "Innovation China". The city is home to 14 universities and 21 research institutions and has 170,000 university students. It has the province's first and the nation's only national-level manufacturing innovation center in the dyeing and printing field.
In the first three quarters of this year, Tai'an achieved a 6.4 percent year-on-year increase in GDP, the 5th highest in the province. Fixed asset investment grew by 8.3 percent year-on-year, ranking second in the province. Retail sales of consumer goods increased by 9.6 percent year-on-year, securing the 7th spot in the province. Import and export values grew by 24.4 percent year-on-year, positioning Tai'an at third place in the province. From January to October, general public budget revenue increased by 7.8 percent year-on-year, claiming the top position in the province.