Dongtai: A magical city of coastal province of Jiangsu



Dongtai is seeking green, smart development driven by new technologies.

Dongtai is mulling a deeper change to accelerate the construction of a modern industrial system with many great projects related to green and smart technologies. The cloud-kissing skyscrapers, smooth roads in urban and rural areas and scenic parks have renovated the city, which is moving toward a well-off society.

Dongtai, located in the central part of Jiangsu’s coastal area and covering an area of 3,176 square kilometers, has a population of 1.13 million. As the biggest county-level city in Jiangsu province, the city is known as the “land of fish and rice” and the “pearl of the Yellow Sea”. Due to its beautiful natural landscapes, profound cultural traditions and enviable modernization, Dongtai has been given many titles including the “Demonstration City of Moderately Prosperous Society”, the “Top 100 Industrial Chinese Counties” and the “National-level Ecological Demonstration Zone”. Dongtai has been making great efforts to grow into a city featuring new transportation, new economy, new ecology, new tourism and new lifestyle.

A humanistic city with a thousand-year history

Dongtai has a long history and is a cradle of countless talents and cultural relics. In the ancient town of Xixi alone, there are many legendary stories and historical sites left intact. The love story of Dong Yong and the Seventh Fairy in the Han Dynasty is widely spread, the Haichun Xuan Pagoda, an ancient pagoda built in the Tang Dynasty, stands the test of time, and the Taishan Temple reminds people of their good memories about the glorious ancient times with its historical bell and drum sounds.

As early as 5,000 years ago, there were ancestors living in Dongtai, which can be corroborated by the discovery of the Kaizhuang Neolithic Site and the Ancient Site of Taidong River.

Dongtai was set as a town in the Western Han Dynasty, and then it turned into a prefecture in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, and into a county during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty. It is known as the production base of top-class salt on the shore of the Yellow Sea. Since the Han Dynasty, people have begun making written records about salt production. From Nantang to the Qing Dynasty, Dongtai contributed one-third of the country’s total salt production.

The three famous prime ministers in the Northern Song Dynasty, Yan Shu, Lv Yijian and Fan Zhongyan, all served as officials taking the charge of salt-related affairs in Dongtai. Wang Hao, the founder of the Taizhou School, and poet Wu Jiaji also had close connection with Dongtai. The father of modern journalism, Ge Gongzhen, the former National Federation of Literary and Art Circle Chairman Zhou Wei and the contemporary sculptor Wu Weishan are all outstanding talents from Dongtai.

People in Dongtai are fond of writing, painting and calligraphy. Since the Ming Dynasty, Dongtai has long been a home to famous painters and calligraphers. Dongtai is also famous for folk arts including erhu and Yaotai music, the sacrificial ceremony conducted by salt producers and a distinct ceremony by fishermen. Some of these folk arts have been included into the list of the national intangible cultural heritages.

A growing coastal city

Dongtai cannot grow without sea. The city has an 85-kilometer-long coastline, with its land extending to the Yellow Sea at a speed of 150 meters every year, which means that more than 10,000 mu of land is added annually. Dongtai has an advantage in land cost and geography, making it a promising coastal city with the country’s largest land reserve. The city has been identified by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as the biggest unpolluted ecological wetland in the Western Pacific Ocean.

Because of Dongtai’s unique geographic position, Dongtai delicacies are a combination of Huaiyang dishes and seafood. Authentic seafood, sweet watermelon and fish soup are must-eat foods for travelers. The city has more than 180 kinds of aquatic products and is known for watermelon and cocoon silk. Its cocoon silk is exported to Europe and America.

An eco-friendly city

Dongtai boasts beautiful landscapes, including the Yellow Sea, sandbank, grassland and wetland, and historical sites like Xixi. It also has a “natural oxygen bar” – the 4A-level Yellow Sea National Forest Park

It is an eco-friendly city where people can breathe clean air. The city’s forest coverage rate and greenery coverage rate are 27.5 percent and 41.6 percent respectively. The total area of natural wetland reaches 209,900 hectares, 95,000 hectares of which are highly protected by the local authorities. Days with good air quality account for 75 percent of a year. The good forest and vegetation environment makes rich biodiversity possible in the city, where there are 628 kinds of plants, 342 kinds of birds and 30 kinds of animals

Over the recent years, Dongtai has followed the path of green, low-carbon and sustainable development, with a focus on the development of high technologies related to electronic information, equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials and marine biology. The city is stepping up efforts to set up an industrial park for intellectual manufacturing and an incubator for smart manufacturing companies in the hope of upgrading the industrial structure. The city also attaches great importance to the construction of ecological civilization amid its efforts to grow the economy, prioritizing the environment effect in the approval process of projects. In order to protect the environment, the city has taken many measures such as vegetation restoration and dust control.

With China embracing the era of high-speed railway, Dongtai will create a better future by joining the “Belt and Road” initiative and the development plan for the Yangtze River Delta region.

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