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General Introduction

One of the four centrally administered municipalities, Tianjin is the gateway to Beijing, situated along the Haihe River near the shores of the Bohai Sea. It is 70 kilometers from the Bohai Sea in the east and 120 kilometers from Beijing in the northwest.

The building of the city began in 1404 in the second year of the reign of Emperor Chengzu of the Ming Dynasty. Known as the Tianjin Garrison, it was a military base and an important economic center. Tianjin was opened to foreign aggressors as a trading port under the Convention of Peking in 1860. Later it became a "settlement" of eight imperialist powers.

Tianjin covers an area of 11,305 square kilometers, of which 190 square kilometers belong to the city proper and 11,100 kilometers to the suburban counties. It has a population of 7.51 million, of which 66 percent live in the city and 34 per cent in the rural areas.

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