This article is about the city located in the heartland of lower Yangtse region in China. For other uses, see Nanjing (disambiguation).
Sub-provincial city

Location of Nanjing City jurisdiction in Jiangsu

Location in China

Coordinates: 32°03′N 118°46′E / 32.050°N 118.767°E / 32.050; 118.767Coordinates: 32°03′N 118°46′E / 32.050°N 118.767°E / 32.050; 118.767
Country  People's Republic of China
Province Jiangsu
County-level 11
Township-level 129
Settled unknown (Yecheng, 495 BC. Jinling City, 333 BC)
  Type Sub-provincial city
  Party Secretary Huang Lixin
  Mayor Miao Ruilin
  Total 6,598 km2 (2,548 sq mi)
Elevation 20 m (50 ft)
Population (2015)
  Total 8,230,000
  Density 1,237/km2 (3,183/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Nankinese[1]
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 210000–211300
Area code(s) 25
GDP (Nominal) 2015
 - Total US$ 147.8 billion
 - Per capita US$ 18,241
 - Growth Increase 9.3%
GDP (PPP) 2015
 - Total US$ 253.2 billion
 - Per capita US$ 31,263
Licence plate prefixes A
Website City of Nanjing
City trees
Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara),
Platanus × acerifolia[2]
City flowers
Méi (Prunus mume)

"Nanjing" in Chinese characters
Chinese 南京
Postal Nanking
Literal meaning "Southern Capital"

Nanjing ( listen), formerly romanized as Nanking and Nankin,[3] is the city situated in the heartland of lower Yangtze River region in China, which has long been a major centre of culture, education, research, politics, economy, transport networks and tourism. It is the capital city of Jiangsu province of People's Republic of China and the second largest city in the east China region,[4] with acreage about 6600 square kilometers and a total population of 8,230,000.[5] Nanjing remains the de jure official legal capital of the Republic of China, which lost control of the mainland during the civil war in 1949. Meanwhile, Taipei serves as the provisional capital of the central government of the ROC, and controls the island of Taiwan.[6] The inner area of Nanjing enclosed by the city wall is Nanjing City (南京城), with acreage of 55 km2, while Nanjing Metropolitan Region includes surrounding cities and areas, with acreage over 60 thousand km2 and population over 30 million.

Nanjing has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having served as the capitals of various Chinese dynasties, kingdoms and republican governments dating from the 3rd century CE to 1949.[7] The city has a number of other names, and some historical names are now used as names of districts of the city, and among them there is the name Jiangning (江寧), whose former character Jiang (, River) is the former part of the name Jiangsu and latter character Ning (, simplified form , Peace) is the short name of Nanjing. When being the capital of a state, for instance, the ROC, Jing () is adopted as the abbreviation of Nanjing. As a city located in southern part of China, it first became Chinese national capital as early as in Jin dynasty, and the name Nanjing was officially designated to the city in Ming dynasty, about a thousand years later.[8] Nanjing is particularly known as Jinling or Ginling (金陵, literally "Gold Mountain") and the old name has been used since the Warring States period in Zhou Dynasty.[9]

Located in Yangtze River Delta area and the center of east China, Nanjing is home to one of the world's largest inland ports. The city is also one of the fifteen sub-provincial cities in the People's Republic of China's administrative structure,[10] enjoying jurisdictional and economic autonomy only slightly less than that of a province.[11] Nanjing has been ranked seventh in the evaluation of "Cities with Strongest Comprehensive Strength" issued by the National Statistics Bureau, and second in the evaluation of cities with most sustainable development potential in the Yangtze River Delta. It has also been awarded the title of 2008 Habitat Scroll of Honour of China, Special UN Habitat Scroll of Honour Award and National Civilized City.[12] Nanjing boasts many high-quality universities and research institutes, with the number of universities listed in 100 National Key Universities ranking third, including Nanjing University.[13] The ratio of college students to total population ranks No.1 among large cities nationwide. Nanjing is one of the three Chinese top research centers according to Nature Index.[14]

Nanjing, one of the nation's most important cities for over a thousand years, is recognized as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, and had been the world's largest city aggregately for hundreds of years, enjoying peace and prosperity while with painful days of suffering wars and disasters.[15][16][17][18] Nanjing served as the capital of Eastern Wu, one of the three major states in the Three Kingdoms period (211280); the Eastern Jin and each of the Southern Dynasties (Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang and Chen), which successively ruled southern China from 317589; the Southern Tang, one of the Ten Kingdoms (93776); the Ming dynasty when, for the first time, all of China was ruled from the city (13681421);[19] and the Republic of China (192737, 194549) prior to its flight to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War.[20] The city also served as the seat of the rebel Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (1851–64) and the Japanese puppet regime of Wang Jingwei (1940–45) during the Second Sino-Japanese War, and suffered appalling atrocities in both conflicts, including the Nanjing Massacre. It has been serving as the capital city of Jiangsu province after the People's Republic of China was established and it accommodates many of its important heritage sites, including the Presidential Palace and Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. Nanjing is famous for human historical landscapes, mountains and waters such as Fuzimiao, Ming Palace, Chaotian Palace, Porcelain Tower, Drum Tower, Stone City, City Wall, Qinhuai River, Xuanwu Lake and Purple Mountain. Key cultural facilities include Nanjing Library, Nanjing Museum and Art Museum.


Early history

Archaeological discovery shows that "Nanjing Man" lived in more than 500 thousand years ago. Zun, a kind of wine vessel, was found to exist in Beiyinyangying culture of Nanjing in about 5000 years ago.[21] In the late period of Shang dynasty, Taibo of Zhou came to Jiangnan and established Wu state, and the first stop is in Nanjing area according to some historians based on discoveries in Taowu and Hushu culture.[22] According to legend, Fuchai, King of the State of Wu, founded a fort named Yecheng (冶城) in today's Nanjing area in 495 BCE. Later in 473 BCE, the State of Yue conquered Wu and constructed the fort of Yuecheng (越城) on the outskirts of the present-day Zhonghua Gate. In 333 BCE, after eliminating the State of Yue, the State of Chu built Jinling Yi (金陵) in the western part of present-day Nanjing.[23] It was renamed Moling (秣陵) during reign of Qin Shi Huang. Since then, the city experienced destruction and renewal many times. The area was successively part of Kuaiji, Zhang and Danyang prefectures in Qin and Han dynasty, and part of Yangzhou region which was established as the nation's 13 supervisory and administrative regions in the 5th year of Yuanfeng in Han dynasty (106 BCE). Nanjing was later the capital city of Danyang Prefecture, and had been the capital city of Yangzhou for about 400 years from late Han to early Tang.

Imperial China

A bixie sculpture at Xiao Xiu's tomb (518 CE). Stone sculpture of the southern dynasties is widely considered as the city's icon[24]

Nanjing first became a state capital in 229 CE, when the state of Eastern Wu founded by Sun Quan during the Three Kingdoms period relocated its capital to Jianye (建業), the city extended on the basis of Jinling Yi in 211 CE.[19] Although conquered by the Western Jin dynasty in 280, Nanjing and its neighbouring areas had been well cultivated and developed into one of the commercial, cultural and political centers of China during the rule of East Wu.[18] This city would soon play a vital role in the following centuries.

Shortly after the unification of the region, the Western Jin dynasty collapsed. First the rebellions by eight Jin princes for the throne and later rebellions and invasion from Xiongnu and other nomadic peoples that destroyed the rule of the Jin dynasty in the north. In 317, remnants of the Jin court, as well as nobles and wealthy families, fled from the north to the south and reestablished the Jin court in Nanjing, which was then called Jiankang (建康), replacing Luoyang.[25] It's the first time that the capital of the nation moved to southern part.

During the period of North–South division, Nanjing remained the capital of the Southern dynasties for more than two and a half centuries. During this time, Nanjing was the international hub of East Asia.[26] Based on historical documents, the city had 280,000 registered households.[27] Assuming an average Nanjing household had about 5.1 people at that time, the city had more than 1.4 million residents.[25]

As the old capital of China, many legendary stories happened here. Residents in Nanjing all have the warmest affection for this city. Throughout glory and darkness in past centuries, Nanjing becomes a low-key city and enters into a high-speed development period. GDP growth rate significantly exceeds the average rate in China for decades, which also maintain a fast developing model.

A number of sculptural ensembles of that era, erected at the tombs of royals and other dignitaries, have survived (in various degrees of preservation) in Nanjing's northeastern and eastern suburbs, primarily in Qixia and Jiangning District.[28] Possibly the best preserved of them is the ensemble of the Tomb of Xiao Xiu (475–518), a brother of Emperor Wu of Liang.[29][30] The period of division ended when the Sui Dynasty reunified China and almost destroyed the entire city, turning it into a small town.

The Śarīra pagoda in Qixia Temple. It was built in 601 CE and rebuilt in the 10th century.

The city of Nanjing was razed after the Sui dynasty took over it.[31] It renamed Shengzhou (昇州) in Tang dynasty and resuscitated during the late Tang.[32] It was chosen as the capital and called Jinling (金陵) during the Southern Tang (937–976), a state that succeeded Wu state.[33] It renamed Jiangning (江寧) in Northern Song dynasty and renamed Jiankang in Southern Song dynasty. Jiankang's textile industry burgeoned and thrived during the Song dynasty despite the constant threat of foreign invasions from the north by the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty. The court of Da Chu, a short-lived puppet state established by the Jurchens, and the court of Song were once in the city.[34][35][36] Song was eventually exterminated by the Mongol empire under the name Yuan and in Yuan dynasty the city's status as a hub of the textile industry was further consolidated.[37]

Yuan dynasty map of Nanjing.
Zhonghua Gate is the south gate of the walled city of Nanjing. The city wall was built in the 14th century and is the longest in the world.

The first emperor of the Ming dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang (the Hongwu Emperor), who overthrew the Yuan dynasty, renamed the city Yingtian, rebuilt it, and made it the dynastic capital in 1368. He constructed a 48 km (30 mi) long city wall around Yingtian, as well as a new Ming Palace complex, and government halls.[38] It took 200,000 laborers 21 years to finish the project. The present-day City Wall of Nanjing was mainly built during that time and today it remains in good condition and has been well preserved.[39] It is among the longest surviving city walls in China.[40] The Jianwen Emperor ruled from 1398 to 1402.

It is believed that Nanjing was the largest city in the world from 1358 to 1425 with a population of 487,000 in 1400.[41] Nanjing remained the capital of the Ming Empire until 1421, when the third emperor of the Ming dynasty, the Yongle Emperor, relocated the capital to Beijing.

Besides the city wall, other famous Ming-era structures in the city included the famous Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum and Porcelain Tower, although the latter was destroyed by the Taipings in the 19th century either in order to prevent a hostile faction from using it to observe and shell the city[42] or from superstitious fear of its geomantic properties.[43]

A monument to the huge human cost of some of the gigantic construction projects of the early Ming dynasty is the Yangshan Quarry (located some 15–20 km (9–12 mi) east of the walled city and Ming Xiaoling mausoleum), where a gigantic stele, cut on the orders of the Yongle Emperor, lies abandoned, just as it was left 600 years ago when it was understood it was impossible to move or complete it.[44]

As the center of the empire, early-Ming Nanjing had worldwide connections. It was home of the admiral Zheng He, who went to sail the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and it was visited by foreign dignitaries, such as a king from Borneo (Boni 渤泥), who died during his visit to China in 1408. The Tomb of the King of Boni, with a spirit way and a tortoise stele, was discovered in Yuhuatai District (south of the walled city) in 1958, and has been restored.[45]

Over two centuries after the removal of the capital to Beijing, Nanjing was destined to become the capital of a Ming emperor one more time. After the fall of Beijing to Li Zicheng's rebel forces and then to the Manchu-led Qing dynasty in the spring of 1644, the Ming prince Zhu Yousong was enthroned in Nanjing in June 1644 as the Hongguang Emperor.[46][47] His short reign was described by later historians as the first reign of the so-called Southern Ming dynasty.[48]

Zhu Yousong, however, fared a lot worse than his ancestor Zhu Yuanzhang three centuries earlier. Beset by factional conflicts, his regime could not offer effective resistance to Qing forces, when the Qing army, led by the Manchu prince Dodo approached Jiangnan the next spring.[49] Days after Yangzhou fell to the Manchus in late May 1645, the Hongguang Emperor fled Nanjing, and the imperial Ming Palace was looted by local residents.[50] On June 6, Dodo's troops approached Nanjing, and the commander of the city's garrison, Zhao the Earl of Xincheng, promptly surrendered the city to them.[51][52] The Manchus soon ordered all male residents of the city to shave their heads in the Manchu queue way.[53] They requisitioned a large section of the city for the bannermen's cantonment, and destroyed the former imperial Ming Palace, but otherwise the city was spared the mass murders and destruction that befell Yangzhou.[54]

An artist's impression of the Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864).

Under the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), the Nanjing area was known as Jiangning (江寧) and served as the seat of government for the Viceroy of Liangjiang.[55] It was the site of a Qing army garrison.[56] It had been visited by the Kangxi and Qianlong emperors a number of times on their tours of the southern provinces. Nanjing was invaded by British troops during the close of the First Opium War, which was ended by the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842. As the capital of the brief-lived rebel Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (founded by the Taiping rebels[57] in the mid-19th century, Nanjing was known as Tianjing (天京, "Heavenly Capital" or "Capital of Heaven").

Both the Qing viceroy and the Taiping king resided in buildings that would later be known as the Presidential Palace. When Qing forces led by Zeng Guofan retook the city in 1864, a massive slaughter occurred in the city with over 100,000 estimated to have committed suicide or fought to the death.[58] Since the Taiping Rebellion began, Qing forces allowed no rebels speaking its dialect to surrender.[59] This systematic mass murder of civilians occurred in Nanjing.[60]

Modern China

The Xinhai Revolution led to the founding of the Republic of China in January 1912 with Sun Yat-sen as the first provisional president and Nanking was selected as its new capital. However, the Qing Empire controlled large regions to the north, so revolutionaries asked Yuan Shikai to replace Sun as president in exchange for the abdication of Puyi, the Last Emperor. Yuan demanded the capital be Beijing (closer to his power base).

The headquarters of the National Government of the Republic of China in Nanjing, 1927

In 1927, the Kuomintang (KMT; Nationalist Party) under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek again established Nanjing as the capital of the Republic of China, and this became internationally recognized once KMT forces took Beijing in 1928. The following decade is known as the Nanking decade.

In 1937, the Empire of Japan started a full-scale invasion of China after invading Manchuria in 1931, beginning the Second Sino-Japanese War (often considered a theatre of World War II).[61] Their troops occupied Nanjing in December and carried out the systematic and brutal Nanking Massacre (the "Rape of Nanking").[62] Even children, the elderly, and nuns are reported to have suffered at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army.[63] The total death toll, including estimates made by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal after the atomic bombings, was between 300,000 and 350,000.[64] The city itself was also severely damaged during the massacre.[62] The Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall was built in 1985 to commemorate this event.

A few days before the fall of the city, the National Government of China was relocated to the southwestern city Chungking (Chongqing) and resumed Chinese resistance. In 1940, a Japanese-collaborationist government known as the "Nanjing Regime" or "Reorganized National Government of China" led by Wang Jingwei was established in Nanjing as a rival to Chiang Kai-shek's government in Chongqing.[65] In 1946, after the Surrender of Japan, the KMT relocated its central government back to Nanjing.

On 21 April 1949, Communist forces crossed the Yangtze River. On April 23, the Communist People's Liberation Army (PLA) captured Nanjing.[66] The KMT government retreated to Canton (Guangzhou) until October 15, Chongqing until November 25, and then Chengdu before retreating to Taiwan on December 10. By late 1949, the PLA was pursuing remnants of KMT forces southwards in southern China, and only Tibet was left. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China in October 1949, Nanjing was initially a province-level municipality, but it was soon merged into Jiangsu province and again became the provincial capital by replacing Zhenjiang which was transferred in 1928, and retains that status to this day.


Nanjing Region - Lower Yangtze Basin and Eastern China.

Nanjing, with a total land area of 6,598 square kilometres (2,548 sq mi), is situated in the heartland of drainage area of lower reaches of Yangtze River, and in Yangtze River Delta, one of the largest economic zones of China. The Yangtze River flows past the west side and then north side of Nanjing City, while the Ningzheng Ridge surrounds the north, east and south side of the city. The city is 650 kilometres (400 mi) south-east of Luoyang, 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) south-southeast of Beijing, 300 kilometres (190 mi) west-northwest of Shanghai, and 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) east-northeast of Chongqing. The downstream Yangtze River flows from Jiujiang, Jiangxi, through Anhui and Jiangsu to East Sea, north to drainage basin of downstream Yangtze is Huai River basin and south to it is Zhe River basin, and they are connected by the Grand Canal east to Nanjing. The area around Nanjing is called Hsiajiang (下江, Downstream River) region, with Jianghuai stressing northern part and Jiangzhe stressing southern part.[67] Meanwhile, the region is well known as Dongnan (東南, South East, the Southeast) and Jiangnan (江南, River South, South of Yangtze).[68]

Nanjing borders Yangzhou to the northeast, one town downstream when following the north bank of the Yangtze, Zhenjiang to the east, one town downstream when following the south bank of the Yangtze, and Changzhou to the southeast. On its western boundary is Anhui province, where Nanjing borders five prefecture-level cities, Chuzhou to the northwest, Wuhu, Chaohu and Maanshan to the west and Xuancheng to the southwest.[69]

Nanjing is the intersection of Yangtze River, an east-west water transport artery, and Nanjing–Beijing railway, a south-north land transport artery, hence the name “door of the east and west, throat of the south and north”. Furthermore, the west part of the Ningzhen range is in Nanjing; the Loong-like Zhong Mountain is curling in the east of the city; the tiger-like Stone Mountain is crouching in the west of the city, hence the name “the Zhong Mountain, a dragon curling, and the Stone Mountain, a tiger crouching”. Mr. Sun Yet-sen spoke highly of Nanjing in the “Constructive Scheme for Our Country”, “The position of Nanjing is wonderful since mountains, lakes and plains all integrated in it. It is hard to find another city like this.”

Climate and environment

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: CMA[70]

Nanjing has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) and is under the influence of the East Asian monsoon. The four seasons are distinct, with damp conditions seen throughout the year, very hot and muggy summers, cold, damp winters, and in between, spring and autumn are of reasonable length. Along with Chongqing and Wuhan, Nanjing is traditionally referred to as one of the "Three Furnacelike Cities" along the Yangtze River (长江流域三大火炉) for the perennially high temperatures in the summertime.[71] However, the time from mid-June to the end of July is the plum blossom blooming season in which the meiyu (rainy season of East Asia; literally "plum rain") occurs, during which the city experiences a period of mild rain as well as dampness. Typhoons are uncommon but possible in the late stages of summer and early part of autumn. The annual mean temperature is around 15.91 °C (60.6 °F), with the monthly 24-hour average temperature ranging from 2.7 °C (36.9 °F) in January to 28.1 °C (82.6 °F) in July. Extremes since 1951 have ranged from −14.0 °C (7 °F) on 6 January 1955 to 40.7 °C (105 °F) on 22 August 1959.[72][73][74] On average precipitation falls 115 days out of the year, and the average annual rainfall is 1,090 millimetres (43 in). With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 37 percent in March to 52 percent in August, the city receives 1,926 hours of bright sunshine annually.

Nanjing is endowed with rich natural resources, which include more than 40 kinds of minerals. Among them, iron and sulfur reserves make up 40 percent of those of Jiangsu province. Its reserves of strontium rank first in East Asia and the South East Asia region. Nanjing also possesses abundant water resources, both from the Yangtze River and groundwater. In addition, it has several natural hot springs such as Tangshan Hot Spring in Jiangning and Tangquan Hot Spring in Pukou.

Surrounded by the Yangtze River and mountains, Nanjing also enjoys beautiful natural scenery. Natural lakes such as Xuanwu Lake and Mochou Lake are located in the center of the city and are easily accessible to the public, while hills like Purple Mountain are covered with evergreens and oaks and host various historical and cultural sites. Sun Quan relocated his capital to Nanjing after Liu Bei's suggestion as Liu Bei was impressed by Nanjing's impeccable geographic position when negotiating an alliance with Sun Quan. Sun Quan then renamed the city from Moling (秣陵) to Jianye (建鄴) shortly thereafter.[75]


Nanjing skyline, taken in 2012.

Environmental issues

Air pollution in 2013

7 December 2013 image from NASA's Terra Satellite of the Eastern China smog

A dense wave of smog began in the central and east parts of China on 2 December 2013 across a distance of around 1,200 kilometres (750 mi),[76] including Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shanghai and Zhejiang. A lack of cold air flow, combined with slow-moving air masses carrying industrial emissions, collected airborne pollutants to form a thick layer of smog over the region.[77] The heavy smog heavily polluted central and southern Jiangsu Province, especially in and around Nanjing,[78] with its AQI pollution Index at "severely polluted" for five straight days and "heavily polluted" for nine.[79] On 3 December 2013, levels of PM2.5 particulate matter average over 943 micrograms per cubic metre,[80] falling to over 338 micrograms per cubic metre on 4 December 2013.[81] Between 3:00 pm, 3 December and 2:00pm, 4 December local time, several expressways from Nanjing to other Jiangsu cities were closed, stranding dozens of passenger buses in Zhongyangmen bus station.[78] From 5 to 6 December, Nanjing issued a red alert for air pollution and closed down all kindergarten through middle schools. Children's Hospital outpatient services increased by 33 percent; general incidence of bronchitis, pneumonia, upper respiratory tract infections significantly increased.[82] The smog dissipated 12 December.[83] Officials blamed the dense pollution on lack of wind, automobile exhaust emissions under low air pressure, and coal-powered district heating system in north China.[84] Prevailing winds blew low-hanging air masses of factory emissions (mostly SO2) towards China's east coast.[85]


People's Government of Nanjing City

At present, the full name of the government of Nanjing is "People's Government of Nanjing City" and the city is under the one-party rule of the CPC, with the CPC Nanjing Committee Secretary as the de facto governor of the city and the mayor as the executive head of the government working under the secretary.

Administrative divisions

The sub-provincial city of Nanjing is divided into 11 districts.[86]

Map District Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Population (2013) Area (km2)
Xuanwu 玄武区 Xuánwǔ Qū 660,557 80.97
Qinhuai 秦淮区 Qínhuái Qū 1,034,822 50.36
Jianye 建邺区 Jiànyè Qū 446,899 82.00
Gulou 鼓楼区 Gǔlóu Qū 1,292,291 57.62
Yuhuatai 雨花台区 Yǔhuātái Qū 415,885 131.90
Qixia 栖霞区 Qīxiá Qū 664,103 340.00
Jiangning 江宁区 Jiāngníng Qū 1,178,628 1,573.00
Pukou 浦口区 Pǔkǒu Qū 728,798 913.00
Luhe 六合区 Lùhé Qū 926,445 1,485.50
Lishui 溧水区 Lìshuǐ Qū 419,523 983.00
Gaochun 高淳区 Gāochún Qū 420,429 801.00


Population trend[87]
Year Residents (in million) natural growth rate (%)
1949 2.5670 13.09
1950 2.5670 15.64
1955 2.8034 19.94
1960 3.2259 0.23
1965 3.4529 25.58
1970 3.6053 20.76
1975 3.9299 9.53
1978 4.1238 8.84
1990 5.0182 9.18
Year Residents (in million) natural growth rate (%)
1995 5.2172 2.62
1996 5.2543 2.63
1997 5.2982 2.16
1998 5.3231 1.00
1999 5.3744 2.01
2000 5.4489 2.48
2001 5.5304 1.60
2002 5.6328 0.70
2003 5.7223 1.50
2006 6.0700 6.11

According to the Sixth China Census, the total population of the City of Nanjing reached 8.005 million in 2010. The statistics in 2011 estimated the total population to be 8.11 million. The birth rate was 8.86 percent and the death rate was 6.88 percent. The urban area had a population of 6.47 million people. The sex ratio of the city population was 107.31 males to 100 females.[88][89]

As in most of eastern China the ethnic makeup of Nanjing is predominantly Han nationality (98.56 percent), with 50 other minority nationalities. In 1999, 77,394 residents belonged to minority nationalities, among which the vast majority (64,832) were Hui nationalities, contributing 83.76 percent to the minority population. The second and third largest minority groups were Manchu (2,311) and Zhuang (533) nationalities. Most of the minority nationalities resided in Jianye District, comprising 9.13 percent of the district's population.[90]


Earlier development

Since the Three Kingdoms period, Nanjing has been an industrial center for textiles and minting owing to its strategic geographical location and convenient transportation. During the Ming dynasty, Nanjing's industry was further expanded, and the city became one of the most prosperous cities in China and the world. It led in textiles, minting, printing, shipbuilding and many other industries, and was the busiest business center in East Asia. Textiles boomed particularly in Qing dynasty, the industry created around 200 thousand jobs and there were about 50 thousand satin machines in the city in 18th and 19th century.[91]

Modern times

Into the first half of the twentieth century after the establishment of ROC, Nanjing gradually shifted from being a production hub towards being a heavy consumption city, mainly because of the rapid expansion of its wealthy population after Nanjing once again regained the political spotlight of China. A number of huge department stores such as Zhongyang Shangchang sprouted up, attracting merchants from all over China to sell their products in Nanjing. In 1933, the revenue generated by the food and entertainment industry in the city exceeded the sum of the output of the manufacturing and agriculture industry. One third of the city population worked in the service industry, .

In the 1950s after PRC was established by CPC, the government invested heavily in the city to build a series of state-owned heavy industries, as part of the national plan of rapid industrialization, converting it into a heavy industry production center of east China.[92] Overenthusiastic in building a “world-class” industrial city, the government also made many disastrous mistakes during development, such as spending hundreds of millions of yuan to mine for non-existent coal, resulting in negative economic growth in the late 1960s. From 1960s to 1980s there were Five Pillar Industries, namely, electronics, cars, petrochemical, iron and steel, and power, each with big state-owned firms. After the Reform and Opening recovering market economy, the state-owned enterprises found themselves incapable of competing with efficient multinational firms and local private firms, hence were either mired in heavy debt or forced into bankruptcy or privatization and this resulted in large numbers of layoff workers who were technically not unemployed but effectively jobless.


The current economy of the city is basically newly developed based on the past. Service industries are dominating, accounting for about 60 percent of the GDP of the city, and financial industry, culture industry and tourism industry are top 3 of them. Industries of information technology, energy saving and environmental protection, new energy, smart power grid and intelligent equipment manufacturing have become pillar industries.[93] Big civilian-run enterprise include Suning Commerce, Yurun, Sanpower, Fuzhong, Hiteker, 5stars, Jinpu, Tiandi, CTTQ Pharmaceutical, Nanjing Iron and Steel Company and Simcere Pharmaceutical. Big state-owned firms include Panda Electronics, Yangzi Petrochemical, Jinling Petrochemical, Nanjing Chemical, Jincheng Motors, Jinling Pharmaceutical, Chenguang and NARI. The city has also attracted foreign investment, multinational firms such as Siemens, Ericsson, Volkswagen, Iveco, A.O. Smith, and Sharp have established their lines, and a number of multinationals such as Ford, IBM, Lucent, Samsung and SAP established research center there. Many China-based leading firms such as Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo have key R & D institutes in the city. Nanjing is an industrial technology research and development hub, hosting many R & D centers and institutions, especially in areas of electronics technology, information technology, computer software, biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology and new material technology.

In recent years, Nanjing has been developing its economy, commerce, industry, as well as city construction. In 2013 the city's GDP was RMB 801 billion (3rd in Jiangsu), and GDP per capita(current price) was RMB 98,174(US$16041), a 11 percent increase from 2012. The average urban resident's disposable income was RMB 36,200, while the average rural resident's net income was RMB 14,513. The registered urban unemployment rate was 3.02 percent, lower than the national average (4.3 percent). Nanjing's Gross Domestic Product ranked 12th in 2013 in China, and its overall competence ranked 6th in mainland and 8th including Taiwan and Hong Kong in 2009.[94]

A panoramic view of Nanjing in 2005
Industrial zones

There are a number of industrial zones in Nanjing.


Nanjing is the transportation hub in eastern China and the downstream Yangtze River area. Different means of transportation constitute a three-dimensional transport system that includes land, water and air. As in most other Chinese cities, public transportation is the dominant mode of travel of the majority of the citizens. As of October 2014, Nanjing had five bridges and two tunnels over the Yangtze River, which are tying districts north of the river with the city center on the south bank.[95]


Nanjing South Railway Station

Nanjing is an important railway hub in eastern China.[96] It serves as rail junction for the Beijing-Shanghai (Jinghu) (which is itself composed of the old Jinpu and Huning Railways), Nanjing–Tongling Railway (Ningtong), Nanjing–Qidong (Ningqi), and the Nanjing-Xian (Ningxi) which encompasses the Hefei–Nanjing Railway. Nanjing is connected to the national high-speed railway network by Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway and Shanghai–Wuhan–Chengdu Passenger Dedicated Line, with several more high-speed rail lines under construction.

Among all 17 railway stations in Nanjing, passenger rail service is mainly provided by Nanjing Railway Station and Nanjing South Railway Station, while other stations like Nanjing West Railway Station, Zhonghuamen Railway Station and Xianlin Railway Station serve minor roles. Nanjing Railway Station was first built in 1968.[97] In 1999, On November 12, 1999, the station was burnt in a serious fire.[98] Reconstruction of the station was finished on September 1, 2005. Nanjing South Railway Station, which is one of the 5 hub stations on Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway, has officially been claimed as the largest railway station in Asia and the second largest in the world in terms of GFA (Gross Floor Area).[99] Construction of Nanjing South Station began on 10 January 2008.[100] The station was opened for public service in 2011.[101]


Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, built in 1968,[97] the first bridge over the Yangtze River to be built without foreign assistance.

As an important regional hub in the Yangtze River Delta, Nanjing is well-connected by over 60 state and provincial highways to all parts of China.

Express highways such as Hu–Ning, Ning–He, Ning–Hang enable commuters to travel to Shanghai, Hefei, Hangzhou, and other important cities quickly and conveniently. Inside the city of Nanjing, there are 230 km (140 mi) of highways, with a highway coverage density of 3.38 kilometres per hundred square kilometrs (5.44 mi/100 sq mi). The total road coverage density of the city is 112.56 kilometres per hundred square kilometres (181.15 mi/100 sq mi).[102] The two artery roads in Nanjing are Zhongshan Road and Hanzhong. The two roads cross in the city center, Xinjiekou.


National Highway (GXXX):

Public transportation

Xinjiekou Station of Line 2, Nanjing Metro

The city also boasts an efficient network of public transportation, which mainly consists of bus, taxi and metro systems. The bus network, which is currently run by three companies since 2011, provides more than 370 routes covering all parts of the city and suburban areas.[103] Nanjing Metro Line 1, started service on September 3, 2005, with 16 stations and a length of 21.72 kilometres (13.50 miles).[104] Line 2 and the 24.5 km-long south extension of Line 1 officially opened to passenger service on May 28, 2010.[105][106] At present, Nanjing has a metro system with a grand total of 223.6 kilometers (138.9 mi) of route and 121 stations. They are Line 1, Line 2, Line 3, Line 10, Line S1 and Line S8. The city is planning to complete a 17-line Metro and light-rail system by 2030.[107] The expansion of the Metro network will greatly facilitate the intracity transportation and reduce the currently heavy traffic congestion.


Nanjing's airport, Lukou International Airport, serves both national and international flights. In 2013, Nanjing airport handled 15,011,792 passengers and 255,788.6 tonnes of freight.[108] The airport currently has 85 routes to national and international destinations, which include Japan,[109] Korea, Thailand,[110][111] Malaysia, Singapore, United States[112] and Germany. The airport is connected by a 29-kilometre (18 mi) highway directly to the city center, and is also linked to various intercity highways, making it accessible to the passengers from the surrounding cities. A railway Ninggao Intercity Line is being built to link the airport with Nanjing South Railway Station.[113] Lukou Airport was opened on 28 June 1997, replacing Nanjing Dajiaochang Airport as the main airport serving Nanjing. Dajiaochang Airport is still used as a military air base.[114]


Port of Nanjing is the largest inland port in China, with annual cargo tonnage reached 191,970,000 t in 2012.[115] The port area is 98 kilometres (61 mi) in length and has 64 berths including 16 berths for ships with a tonnage of more than 10,000.[116] Nanjing is also the biggest container port along the Yangtze River; in March 2004, the one million container-capacity base, Longtan Containers Port Area opened, further consolidating Nanjing as the leading port in the region. As of 2010, it operated six public ports and three industrial ports.[117] The Yangtze River’s 12.5-meter-deep waterway enables 50,000-ton-class ocean ships directly arrive at the Nanjing Port, and the ocean ships with the capacities of 100,000 tons or above can also reach the port after load reduction in the Yangtze River’s high-tide period.[118]

Yangtze River crossings

In the 1960s, the first Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge was completed, and served as the only bridge crossing over the Lower Yangtze in eastern China at that time. The bridge was a source of pride and an important symbol of modern China, having been built and designed by the Chinese themselves following failed surveys by other nations and the reliance on and then rejection of Soviet expertise. Begun in 1960 and opened to traffic in 1968, the bridge is a two-tiered road and rail design spanning 4,600 metres on the upper deck, with approximately 1,580 metres spanning the river itself. Since then four more bridges and two tunnels have been built. Going in the downstream direction, the Yangtze crossings in Nanjing are: Dashengguan Bridge, Line 10 Metro Tunnel, Third Bridge, Nanjing Yangtze River Tunnel, First Bridge, Second Bridge and Fourth Bridge.

Culture and art

Being one of the four ancient capitals of China, Nanjing has always been a cultural center attracting intellectuals from all over the country. In the Tang and Song dynasties, Nanjing was a place where poets gathered and composed poems reminiscent of its luxurious past; during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the city was the official imperial examination center (Jiangnan Examination Hall) for the Jiangnan region, again acting as a hub where different thoughts and opinions converged and thrived.

Today, with a long cultural tradition and strong support from local educational institutions, Nanjing is commonly viewed as a “city of culture” and one of the more pleasant cities to live in China.


Some of the leading art groups of China are based in Nanjing; they include the Qianxian Dance Company, Nanjing Dance Company, Jiangsu Peking Opera Institute and Nanjing Xiaohonghua Art Company among others.

Jiangsu Province Kun Opera is one of the best theatres for Kunqu, China's oldest stage art.[119] It is considered a conservative and traditional troupe. Nanjing also has professional opera troupes for the Yang, Yue (shaoxing), Xi and Jing (Chinese opera varieties) as well as Suzhou pingtan, spoken theatre and puppet theatre.

Jiangsu Art Gallery is the largest gallery in Jiangsu Province, presenting some of the best traditional and contemporary art pieces of China;[120] many other smaller-scale galleries, such as Red Chamber Art Garden and Jinling Stone Gallery, also have their own special exhibitions.


An elderly man sketches plum blossoms at the festival.

Many traditional festivals and customs were observed in the old times, which included climbing the City Wall on January 16, bathing in Qing Xi on March 3, hill hiking on September 9 and others (the dates are in Chinese lunar calendar). Almost none of them, however, are still celebrated by modern Nanjingese.

Instead, Nanjing, as a popular tourist destination, hosts a series of government-organised events throughout the year. The annual International Plum Blossom Festival held in Plum Blossom Hill, the largest plum collection in China, attracts thousands of tourists both domestically and internationally. Other events include Nanjing Baima Peach Blossom and Kite Festival, Jiangxin Zhou Fruit Festival and Linggu Temple Sweet Osmanthus Festival.


Nanjing Library, founded in 1907, houses more than 10 million volumes of printed materials and is the third largest library in China, after the National Library in Beijing and Shanghai Library. Other libraries, such as city-owned Jinling Library and various district libraries, also provide considerable amount of information to citizens. Nanjing University Library is the second largest university libraries in China after Peking University Library, and the fifth largest nationwide, especially in the number of precious collections.


Nanjing has some of the oldest and finest museums in China. Nanjing Museum, formerly known as National Central Museum during ROC period, is the first modern museum and remains as one of the leading museums in China having 400,000 items in its permanent collection,.[121] The museum is notable for enormous collections of Ming and Qing imperial porcelain, which is among the largest in the world.[122] Other museums include the City Museum of Nanjing in the Chaotian Palace, the Oriental Metropolitan Museum,[123] the China Modern History Museum in the Presidential Palace, the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, the Taiping Kingdom History Museum, Jiangning Imperial Silk Manufacturing Museum,[124] Nanjing Yunjin Museum, Nanjing City Wall Cultural Museum, Nanjing Customs Museum in Ganxi House,[125] Nanjing Astronomical History Museum, Nanjing Paleontological Museum, Nanjing Geological Museum, Nanjing Riverstones Museum, and other museums and memorials such Zheng He Memorial,[126] Jinling Four Modern Calligraphers Memorial.[127]


Most of Nanjing's major theatres are multi-purpose, used as convention halls, cinemas, musical halls and theatres on different occasions. The major theatres include the People's Convention Hall and the Nanjing Arts and Culture Center. The Capital Theatre well known in the past is now a museum in theatre/film.

Night life

Qinhuai River

Traditionally Nanjing's nightlife was mostly centered around Nanjing Fuzimiao (Confucius Temple) area along the Qinhuai River, where night markets, restaurants and pubs thrived.[128] Boating at night in the river was a main attraction of the city. Thus, one can see the statues of the famous teachers and educators of the past not too far from those of the courtesans who educated the young men in the other arts.

In the past 20 years, several commercial streets have been developed, hence the nightlife has become more diverse: there are shopping malls opening late in the Xinjiekou CBD and Hunan Road. The well-established "Nanjing 1912" district hosts a wide variety of recreational facilities ranging from traditional restaurants and western pubs to dance clubs. There are two major areas where bars are densely located; one is in 1912 block; the other is along Shanghai road and its neighbourhood. Both are popular with international residents of the city.

These days, the most comprehensive source of nightlife information (in English) can be found on and

Local people still very much enjoy street food, such as Turkish Kebab. As elsewhere in Asia, Karaoke is popular with both young and old crowds.

Food and symbolism

Many of the city's local favorite dishes are based on ducks, including nanjing salted duck, duck blood and vermicelli soup, and duck oil pancake.[129]

The radish is also a typical food representing people of Nanjing, which has been spread through word of mouth as an interesting fact for many years in China. According to, "There is a long history of growing radish in Nanjing especially the southern suburb. In the spring, the radish tastes very juicy and sweet. It is well-known that people in Nanjing like eating radish. And the people are even addressed as 'Nanjing big radish', which means they are unsophisticated, passionate and conservative. From health perspective, eating radish can help to offset the stodgy food that people take during the Spring Festival".[130]

Sports and stadiums

Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre

Nanjing's planned 20,000 seat Youth Olympic Sports Park Gymnasium will be one of the venues for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.[131]

As a major Chinese city, Nanjing is home to many professional sports teams. Jiangsu Suning F.C., the football club currently staying in Chinese Super League, is a long-term tenant of Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre.[132] Jiangsu Nangang Basketball Club is a competitive team which has long been one of the major clubs fighting for the title in China top level league, CBA. Jiangsu Volleyball men and women teams are also traditionally considered as at top level in China volleyball league.

There are two major sports centers in Nanjing, Wutaishan Sports Center and Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre. Both of these two are comprehensive sports centers, including stadium, gymnasium, natatorium, tennis court, etc. Wutaishan Sports Center was established in 1952 and it was one of the oldest and most advanced stadiums in early time of People's Republic of China.

Nanjing hosted the 10th National Games of P.R.C. in 2005 and hosted the 2nd summer Youth Olympic Games in 2014.[133][134]

In 2005, in order to host The 10th National Game of People's Republic of China, there was a new stadium, Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre, constructed in Nanjing. Compared to Wutaishan Sports Center, which the major stadium's capacity is 18,500,[135] Nanjing Olympic Sports Center has a more advanced stadium which is big enough to seat 60,000 spectators. Its gymnasium has capacity of 13,000, and natatorium of capacity 3,000.

On 10 February 2010, the 122nd IOC session at Vancouver announced Nanjing as the host city for the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games. The slogan of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games was “Share the Games, Share our Dreams”. The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games featured all 28 sports on the Olympic programme and were held from 16 to 28 August. The Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (NYOGOC) worked together with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to attract the best young athletes from around the world to compete at the highest level. Off the competition fields, an integrated culture and education programme focused on discussions about education, Olympic values, social challenges, and cultural diversity. The YOG aims to spread the Olympic spirit and encourage sports participation.


Nanjing is one of the most beautiful cities of mainland China with lush green parks, natural scenic lakes, small mountains, historical buildings and monuments, relics and much more, which attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Buildings and monuments

Imperial period

Classical buildings in the Mochou Lake

Republic of China period

Zhonghua Gate
Hall of Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

Because it was designated as the national capital, many structures were built around that time. Even today, some of them still remain which are open to tourists.

People's Republic of China period

Zifeng Tower ranks among the tallest buildings in the world, opened for commercial operations in 2010.[136]

Parks and gardens

Other places of interest


Nanjing has been the educational center in southern China for more than 1700 years. There are 75 institutions of higher learning till 2013. The number of National key laboratories, National key disciplines and the academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering all rank third in the nation. It boasts some of the most prominent educational institutions in the region, some of which are listed as follows:

Nanjing University

Universities and colleges

National universities and colleges

Operated by Ministry of Education

Operated by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology

Operated by the joint Commission of the State Forest Administration and Public Order Ministry

Operated by the general sport Administration

National military universities and colleges
Provincial universities and colleges
Private universities and colleges

Notable high schools


Former Sister cities and friendship cities

See also


  1. Nankinese, sometimes may be translated as Nanjinese, Nanjingese, Nankingese, Nanjinger, Nankiner, etc.. In Nanjing dialect there is no difference between Nanjing and Nanjin or between Nanking and Nankin. This means the two pronunciations Jing and Jin in Mandarin Chinese pronounce the same in Nanjing dialect, and king and kin are also the same.
  2. "A Grass Roots Fight to Save a 'Super Tree'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
  3. "Romanisation of the Chinese Language". Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding. Retrieved 2014-07-12.
  4. In East China, in terms of urban population and urban area, the largest city is Shanghai, and the second largest is Nanjing.
  5. "南京市2015年1%人口抽样调查数据出炉 常住人口823万". Retrieved 2016-10-19.
  6. Nanking is the capital of Republic of China, and the central government of Republic of China is located in Taipei.
  7. "南京历史沿革". 中国南京政府官网.
  8. Since becoming capital in southern part, the city was called Nanking (Nanjing, 南京) unofficially, and was officially named Nanjing (Nanking) when there're two capitals after Peking (Beijing 北京, renamed from Peping or Beiping, 北平) became capital city during early Ming dynasty. As for the city being called Nanking (Nanjing, 南京) before Ming dynasty, an echo poem (蕭子顯 《奉和昭明太子鐘山講解詩》:“崇嶽基舊宇,盤嶺跨南京”) in Southern dynasties is an example. It's also unofficially called Nandu (南都), and Nandu Fanhui Tu (《南都繁會圖》, Nandu Prosperity Picture) is an example.
  9. Nanjing is also called Jincheng (金城, Gold City), derived from Jinling City. In addition, Jincheng was a city in Nanjing area. In the 1st year of Hsiankang in Jin dynasty (335 CE), Langya (瑯琊) prefecture governor Huan Wen stationed in Jincheng, submit proposal to establish the prefecture of South Langya in the land of Jiangsheng (江乘) county and then the city Jincheng became the capital city of the newly established South Langya Prefecture (南瑯琊郡). The Jincheng later renamed Jinling township, in today's Qinhuai District. (《至大金陵新志》:“金城在城东二十五里,吴筑,今上元县金陵乡地名金城戍即其地。” 《至正金陵新志》:“上元縣金陵鄉,舊名金城戍。晉太元八年,謝安勞師于金城,即此。或稱琅邪城。咸康初,桓溫為琅邪內史,鎮金城。”)
  10. 薛宏莉 (2008-05-07). "15个副省级城市中 哈尔滨市房价涨幅排列第五名" [Prices rose in 15 sub-provincial cities, Harbin ranked fifth]. 哈尔滨地产 (in Chinese). Sohu. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
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Preceded by
Capital of China
Succeeded by
Capital of China
Succeeded by
Wuhan (wartime)
Preceded by
Chongqing (wartime)
Capital of China
1945-present (de jure)
1945–1949 (de facto)
Succeeded by
Taipei (de facto)
for the Republic of China
Succeeded by
for the People's Republic of China
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