Tianjin, called “Jin” in short, lies in the northeast of the North China Plain. It is 120 km northwest of Beijing and borders the Bohai Sea in the east. This municipality directly under the Central Government covers an area of over 12,000 sq km and has a population of 9.64 million.
As a dual-core city, Tianjin is divided into the old city and the Binhai New Area. Binhai New Area is a new growth pole in China, and it maintains an annual growth rate of nearly 30% of the GDP. As of the end of 2010, 285 Fortune Global 500 companies have established branch offices in Binhai. It is a base of China’s advanced industry, financial reform, and innovation.
Tianjin’s urban area is located along the Hai River, which connects to the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers via the Grand Canal in Tianjin.In terms of urban population, it is the sixth-largest city of the People’s Republic of China, and its urban land area (Binhai New Area is not included) ranks fifth in the nation.
The historical changes in the past 600 years have made Tianjin a unique city with a mixture of the ancient and the modern in both Chinese and Western styles. The city has developed a tourist pattern with its downtown area playing the leading role, which is supported by Tanggu and Jixian County. In its downtown area, there are the Water Amusement Park, Heavenly Queen Palace, Dabei Buddhist Temple and Grand Mosque; and on its outskirts there are Panshan Mountain, Dule Temple and White Pagoda. Tianjin is regarded as a bright pearl on the Beijing-Tianjin golden itinerary.