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Geography of Tianjin, China

Learn Ten Geographic Facts about the Municipality of Tianjin, China


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The flag of China.

Source: CIA World Factbook, 2007
Updated June 09, 2011

Population: 12,281,600 (2009 estimate)
Land Area: 4,540.6 square miles (11,760 sq km)
Bordering Areas: Hebei Province, Beijing, Bohai Gulf (Yellow Sea)
Highest Point: Jiushanding Peak at 3,537 feet (1,078 m)

Tianjin is a city in northern China that is governed as one of four direct-controlled municipalities. This means that it is a city that is under the direct control of the federal government. Tianjin is located on the Bohai Gulf, a part of the Yellow Sea, and it shares borders with Beijing (another direct-controlled municipality) and Hebei Province. Tianjin is the fourth largest city based on population in China and it is the 5th largest in land area.

The following is a list of ten more geographic facts to know about Tianjin, China:

1) The area of present-day Tianjin was first settled around 340 B.C.E. but it did not begin to develop into a large city until the early 1400's when the Sui Dynasty opened the Grand Canal of China and it became an important trading center. In 1404 Yongle Emperor then named the area "Tianjin," meaning the Heavenly Ford. Shortly thereafter a fort known as Tianjin Wei was established there.

2) Tianjin officially became a prefecture of China in 1725. In the mid-1800's the Second Opium War took place between China and the British and French Empires. In June 1858 the Treaty of Tientsin was signed at Tianjin (then known as Tientsin) and the area was opened to foreign trade. From 1895 to 1900 Britain and France, along with other countries like Japan and Russia, began establishing concessions or territories in Tianjin. These areas each had their own schools, prisons and hospitals and each had a different architectural style that still shows in Tianjin today.

3) In June 1900 the Boxer Rebellion took place and much of Tianjin was taken over by the rebelling parties. In July 1900 Tianjin was attacked by the Eight Nation Alliance and the Tianjin Provisional Government was established with representatives from each of the eight occupying nations. Tianjin was governed this way until 1902 when the Qing Dynasty regained control of the area. In 1927 Tianjin became a municipality of China.

4) In the late 1930s the Second Sino-Japanese War began and on July 30, 1937 Tianjin was taken over by Japan. It was not fully occupied until 1941 though because Japan did not take over the foreign territories within the city. During Japan's occupation in China Tianjin was controlled by the North China Executive Committee. This occupation lasted until 1945 when World War II ended.

5) Today Tianjin is again governed directly by the Chinese government as are the cities of Beijing, Chongqing and Shanghai. It has a strong economy that is heavily tied to manufacturing but farmland covers about 40% of Tianjin's land. As such agriculture is important to the municipality and wheat, rice and maize are its most important crops. In addition, fishing is important in its coastal areas.

6) In 2009 Tianjin had a population of 12,281,600, making it the fourth largest city in China. The majority of the city's population is urban dwelling but almost 4 million of its people live in rural areas. The population density of Tianjin is 2,705 people per square mile or 1,044 people per square kilometer. Ethnically the majority of the people living in Tianjin are Han Chinese but the major minority groups of the city are Hui, Korean, Manchu and Mongol.

7) Tianjin is located in northern China and it is surrounded by Heibei on all sides except for the northwest where Beijing is and the east where it sits on the Bohai Gulf. In addition to its coastal location on the Gulf, Tianjin also sits on the Grand Canal of China that connects the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers. The city has a varied topography that consists of flat, swamp land near the coast and hills leading into the Yan Mountains in the north. The highest point in Tianjin is Jiushanding Peak at 3,537 feet (1,078 m). Most of Tianjin's urban areas are located in the south-central part of the city.

8) Since it is a large direct-controlled municipality, Tianjin has 16 county-level subdivisions within its borders of which 13 are districts and three are counties. The districts are further divided into seven urban districts, four suburban districts, two rural districts and three rural counties.

9) Tianjin has a continental, monsoon influenced climate with cold, windy and dry winters and hot, humid summers. Most of the city's precipitation falls during the summer months because of the monsoon, while winters are considered semi-arid. The average January low temperature for Tianjin is 18.5˚F (-7.5˚C), while the average July high temperature is 88˚F (30.2˚C).

10) Most of Tianjin's people speak a Tianjin dialect of Mandarin Chinese. The region is known for its culture and historic sites, as well as its food. Much of Tianjin's cuisine is based on seafood because of its coastal location but it is also famous for snack foods like steam cooked buns often filled with meats.

To learn more about Tianjin, visit the municipality's official website.


Wikipedia.org. (27 May 2011). Tianjin - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianjin

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