The municipality of Tianjin has a unique history as the closest port to Beijing, capital of China. Founded during the Ming Dynasty (1400s), it was one of the treaty ports where foreigners accessed Chinese market since 1860. For this reason, it has a strong western influence. British, French, Russian, Italian, Austro-Hungarian, German, Belgian and Japanese built their concessions, each with its own architecture and autonomy. Chinese government got back all the concessions after World War II and Chinese civil war ended. Tianjin became then an international port in 1984 by Deng Xiaoping’s opening up reforms.
The Geography of Tianjin
Being on the connection of two main rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze, as well as close to the sea, Tianjin is well connected to the Hebei province and Beijing municipality. Most of the territory consists of plains, with few mountains and hills on the north. With the vast majority being Han, on a total of around 15 million people, Tianjin hosts also some minorities, such as Hui, Manchu, Mongols, Korean, Zhuang and Tujia.
Tianjin’s economy is strongly reliant on trade and industry. Tianjin is certainly one of the richest cities of China. Its GDP per capita is one of the highest of the country.
Among its industries, car and plane manufacturing, mechanical, textile and petrochemical.
As for natural resources, regardless of the small size of the municipality if compared with the provinces of China, Tianjin still hosts a considerable oil field, and has one of the biggest production of salt in China. Farming and fishing are also common activities, and they account for 40% of the population of the municipality.
Tianjin also hosts many special economic and technology development areas, especially focused on exports, logistics and shipping,
Tourism is also a factor in Tianjin, attracting lots of tourists due to the mixture of traditional and foreign influence in its architecture around the city and to its Beijing Opera.
Regardless of the proximity of Beijing, Tianjin has a peculiar culture, different from the capital. It has its own cuisine and even dialect.
Tianjin is indeed an interesting city. Its location is perfect to access a huge portion of Northern China (including the capital and near land-locked countries like Mongolia). It also is one of the greatest ports of the world and there is plenty of opportunities for trade.