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Zhangjiagang

ZhangjiagangZhangjiagang is a county-level city in Jiangsu province, China, and is an administrative division of Suzhou City. Zhangjiagang's population is around 1,200,000, with around 100,000 residents of the city proper (urban area). Natives of the area speak a variant of Wu Chinese, close to the Suzhou variant, and similar but distinct from Shanghainese. Communities surrounding the city are mostly rural, and their economies traditionally depended heavily on agriculture and water - based activities. The GDP reached RMB 125 billion yuan (US$18 billion) in 2008, a growth of 19.1% from 2007. The GDP per capita reached RMB 139,100 yuan (ca. US$20,000).

Zhangjiagang is known for being cleaner than most cities in China, and it certainly lives up to its reputation as a quiet and orderly city. There are several family-friendly parks scattered throughout the city, including Shazhou Park, Zhangjiagang Park, and Jiyang Lake. Zhangjiagang is also home to a large public indoor swimming pool and sports center, both of which are located on Renmin Road.There is not much crime to speak of, and very little visible poverty other than beggars near the city center. The busiest part of town centers around the buxingjie, or "walk street", a shopping area restricted to pedestrian traffic. West of the pedestrian mall is the largest supermarket in the city, as well as a small strip of bars. Those in search of German-speakers can usually count on Malone's, an American-style sports bar frequented by local English teachers, expats, and business travelers alike. Another interesting area for nightlife is Long Tong Road, near the large public swimming pool. Tong Luo Wan, a popular bar on that strip, often features a band playing live music. Like most cities in China, Zhangjiagang also has its share of coffee shops, karaoke establishments, and dance clubs.

Economy

EconomyZhangjiagang is ranked the 3rd in the top 100 counties (cities) in economic strengths of its industry, with metallurgy, textiles, chemical industry, grain and oil and foodstuffs as the mainstays of its industry. The internationalization of Zhangjiagang's economy picks up speed increasingly. It's export commodities include 15 categories and 500 varieties in respect of textiles, knitting, garments, light industry, chemical and medicine, machinery and electronics. Trade business is extended to about 100 countries and regions. The bonded area of Zhangjiagang is the only one of its kind in the island-river-type posts in China. The bonded area has brought into full play the unique conditions of utilizing custom bond, becoming an important investment vehicle in the drainage areas of China and an important bridge connecting domestic market with the overseas market.

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