- Integration with Hong Kong
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- The one-time fishing village of Shenzhen, singled-out by late Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平), is a so-called one of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in China originally established in 1978 in competition with Hong Kong, then a British colony.
- Shenzhen, formerly known as "Bao'an County", was promoted to prefecture level, directly governed by the Guangdong province in November 1979. In May 1980, Shenzhen was formally nominated as a 'special economic zone,'the first one of its kind in China. It was given the right of provincial-level economic administration in November 1988.
- The Shenzhen Municipality is made up of six districts: Luohu (羅湖), Futian (福田), Nanshan (南山), Yantian (鹽田), Bao'an (寶安), and Longgang (龍崗). The first four are located inside the Special Economic Zone while Bao'an and Longgang are outside.
- Located in the centre of the SEZ and adjacent to Hong Kong, Luohu is the financial and trading centre. It covers an area of 78.89 km?. Futian, where the Municipal Government is situated, is at the heart of the SEZ and covers an area of 78.04 km?. Covering an area of 164.29 km?, Nanshan is the centre for high-tech industries and it is situated in the west of the SEZ. Outsides the SEZ, Bao'an (712.92 km?) and Longgang (844.07 km?) are located to the north-west and north-east of Shenzhen respectively. Yantian (75.68 km?) is known for logistics. Yantian Port is the second largest deep water container terminal in China.
The boomtown of Shenzhen is located in the Pearl River Delta. It covers an area of 2,020 square kilometres, with a population of 4.05 million. Shenzhen is a sub-tropical maritime region and its average temperature is 22.4 degrees Centigrade.
Integration with Hong Kong
However, aside from work and school, most visitors that cross the Hong Kong SAR/China border to Shenzhen go for the shopping, where goods and services are far cheaper to those in Hong Kong. The largest of the shopping malls is Lo Wu Commercial City, situated close to the railway station. This contains an overwhelmimg array of beauty parlours and stores selling clothes, handbags, fabric, jewellery and electrical goods as well as many vendors of pirated software, DVDs and counterfeit goods.
- About nine container berths will come on stream in 2003 and 2004. The rapid growth of Shenzhen port, its lower labour costs and its proximity to factories in Guangdong province has put pressure on Hong Kong's terminals. Shenzhen's total sea container throughput caught up with Hong Kong's Kwai Chung port in August 2003, when each handled 1.06 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) of goods.
- Shenzhen has moved more goods than maninland China's busiest port of Shanghai for the second month in September 2003.
- Yantian International Container Terminals, Chiwan Container Terminals, Shekou Container Terminals, China Merchants Port and Shenzhen Haixing(Mawan port) are the major port terminals in Shenzhen.
Shenzhen can be reached by air, train, sea or road.
- Shenzhen Airport is just 35km from central Shenzhen and connects the city with many other parts of China, as well as some international destinations. It is normally cheaper for people based in Hong Kong to fly to Mainland Chinese destinations from Shenzhen than from Hong Kong, and it is usually cheaper for those based in southern Mainland China to fly out of Hong Kong to international destinations. The airport is connected to the city by an airport bus route 330 which terminates at Hualian Dasha in Shennan Zhong Lu. Other city buses also connect with the airport, but some only turn round at the roundabout outside leaving passengers with a long walk.
- Shenzhen Railway Station is located at the junction of Jianshe Lu, Heping Lu and Renmin Nan Lu and provides links to different parts of China. There are frequent trains to Guangzhou, plus long-distance trains to Beijing, Jiujiang, Maoming, Shantou and other destinations. The train journey from Hong Kong's Kowloon Tong KCR station to Lo Wu's border crossing takes approximately 40 minutes at a cost of (in September 2003) HK$33, or HK$66 for first class. Trains run every 3-8 minutes from 5.30am to 11.00pm and the border crossing is open daily from 6.30am to midnight.
- There is another railway station located in Nanshan District, Shenzhen Xi, which is used for a small number of long distance trains, such as the one to Hefei.
- Since February 2003, the road border crossing with Hong Kong at Huanggang has been open 24h. The journey can be made by private vehicle or by bus. A shuttle bus connects it with the Lok Ma Chau Public Transport Interchange on the other side of the border.
- A metro system is currently under construction and is due to open in 2004. It will have two lines, one from Luohu (Lo Wu & Shenzhen railway stations)to Window of the World, and the other from Huanggang to a point further north.
- Taxis are metered and come in three colours. Red taxis may travel anywhere, green ones are restricted to outside the SEZ, and yellow ones are restricted to inside the SEZ.
- Shenzhen is also connected by fast ferries linking Shekou, on the west edge of the SEZ with Zhuhai, Macau, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
- Shenzhen has seen its population and activity develop rapidly since the opening of the SEZ, with its population rising to 5 million. Among the reasons for this development is the cost of labour, which is substantially lower than in neighbouring Hong Kong.
- According to the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, in 2002, 7,200 Hong Kong residents commuted daily to Shenzhen for work, and 2,200 students from Shenzhen commuted to school in Hong Kong. Though neighbouring each other, daily commuters still need to pass through customs and an immigration checkpoint as travel between the SEZ and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is restricted.
- China relaxed travel restrictions to allow individuals from southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, as well as Beijing and Shanghai, to visit Hong Kong in late July 2003. Previously, mainland travellers could only visit the city as part of tour groups.
- Immigration into Shenzhen from the Chinese interior is heavily restricted by the hukou system. One consequence is that just outside of Shenzhen there are large towns which consist of blind flow migrants from the Chinese interior.
- In 2001, the working population reached 3.3 million. Though the secondary sector of industry had the largest share (1.85 million in 2001, increased by 5.5%), the tertiary sector of industry are growing fast (1.44 million in 2001, increased by 11.6%).
- The Shenzhen Stock Exchange was established on December 1, 1990. It is one of the two stock exchanges in mainland China (the other is in Shanghai). Analysts in Hong Kong now say that Shenzhen, which is already taking market share from Hong Kong in handling China's exports, is well on its way to replacing Shanghai as the mainland's largest port.
- Apart from commercial development, Shenzhen is also a rising city for tourism. Although many visitors do not venture beyond its sprawling concrete mass, there are a number of different places to visit whilst staying in Shenzhen:
- Window of the World (世界之窗)
Splendid China (錦繡中華微縮景區)
China Folk Culture Villages (中國民俗文化村)
Happy Kingdom (歡樂谷)
Safari Park Shen Zhen (深圳野生動物園)
Evergreen Resort (青青世界)
- At present, there are more than 50 scenic spots and 139 star-ranked hotels. Shenzhen won the honour of being entitled an "International Garden City" at the "Green Oscars" in November 2000.
- A significant number of visitors, mostly from Hong Kong, go to Shenzhen to taste wild animals and game meat such as civet cat, a favourite delicacy for people in southern China.
- However, some experts said that SARS virus was likely to have originated from civet cat.
- Moreover, the massage services provided in Shenzhen are also famous at relatively lower prices than those in Hong Kong.
- Although Shenzhen enjoys a good reputation for shopping and travel, some Hong Kong citizens are concerned about the relatively high crime rate in Shenzhen. Reports of Hong Kong businessmen, tourists or travellers being robbed and kidnapped in Shenzhen are not uncommon in Hong Kong newspapers.
- Shenzhen has been a sister city to Brisbane, Australia since June 1992.