Guangdong is an important coastal province in China. Since 1978, Guangdong has been the first province in China to adopt the open and reform policy, which prompted the rapid and harmonious development of the economy and society. In the past, Guangdong was a frontier province with agricultural economy mostly and its economy developed quite slowly. At present, it has become a big economic province where the economy is high developed, the people's living standard reaches "well- off" level. It has become one of the regions which have the most developed economy, the most active market and the largest attraction of investment inland.
Guangdong province is located in the south of China, bordering Fujian Province in its east, adjoining Jiangxi Province and Hunan Province in its north, connecting Guangxi Autonomous Region in its west, and facing the South China Sea to its south. Guangdong Province also borders Special Administration Regions of Hong Kong and Macao respectively in the east and west of the Pearl River Delta. In the southwest, Guangdong faces Hainan Province across the Qiongzhou Strait. Guangdong Province covers a land area of 179,800 square kilometers, accounting for about 1.85 percent of China 's land territory. Its continental coastline is as long as 3368.1 kilometers. There are 759 coastal islands. Many rivers exist in Guangdong, such as the Pearl River, Hanjiang River, Moyanjiang River, Jianjiang River and so on. The Pearl River is stretching 2,122 kilometers in total. It is the third largest river in China. The land of the Pearl River Delta is fertile. It is well-known for "town of fish and rice". Because Guangdong is located in the subtropical zone, the trees are light green and full of life all year around. It faces the large and endless sea and backs on the majestic Nanling Mountains. The scenery is very beautiful because of "green water and red cliff".
In 1978, China began to carry out the open and reform policy, and Guangdong was the first province to adapt it. The open and reform policy advanced Guangdong province to form a new all - dimensional, multitiered and wide - ranging opening pattern, and made the economy and society rapidly develop. Guangdong made conspicuous achievements.
1. Guangdong is the first biggest economic province. During the 25 years of reform and opening, the average annual incremental rate is up to 13.4 percent. In 2003, the Gross Domestic Products of Guangdong was 134.5 billion Yuan (about 162 billion US dollars). It was about one ninth of the Gross Domestic Products of China. It has taken the first place among all the provinces for 15 years in a row. The foreign trade of Guangdong is about one third, the use of foreign funds is about one fourth, and the tax revenue is about one seventh of the whole national's.
2. The industrial structure is continuously optimized, and the industrial system is relatively complete. At present, Guangdong has stepped into the medium-post term of industrialization. The industrial structure transforms from light processing to simultaneous development of light and heavy processing. It forms three emerging pillar industries: electronic telecommunication, electric machinery, petrochemical industry; three traditional industries: food stuff and drink, textile and clothing, building materials; three potential industries: paper, medicine, car. These nine industries have relatively strong competitiveness.
3 The export - oriented economy is advanced. The Use of foreign funds and foreign trade take the first place in the whole country. Guangdong has established the business relationship with more than 200 countries and regions of the world. Fortune Global 500 Companies invested in Guangdong and set up more than 400 companies or institutions. During these 25 years, the foreign funds which are used actually add up to more than 170 billion US dollars. The foreign trade has been taking the first place inland since 1986.
4. The infrastructure is quite perfect. The investment environment is excellent. Guangdong is one of the areas where the infrastructure is perfect and the most convenient. The transportation is convenient and the communication is advanced. There are a lot of sea and air routes leading to all the countries and regions of different continents. Guangdong possesses the railway principal and highway network extending in all directions. It owns advanced communication network relying mainly on microwave, optical fiber cable, satellite transmission, broadband network and so on. The transportation web by sea, land and air centering in Guangzhou can reach home and abroad. There are more than 150 entry-and-exit ports, which can reach over 1,100 ports of over 130 countries and regions. There are seven civil airports. Guangdong is the densest place of distributing airports in China.
The Pearl River Delta has become one of the areas which international capital and multinational corporations, big international firms invest most actively. It is one of the important manufacturing industry bases in the world. The electro-information industry develops rapidly. It has become one of the important electro-information industry bases in the world. The output of the computer components in the Pearl River Delta has exceeded that in the whole globe by ten percent.
5. The market is highly developed. The socialist market economy system has been introductorily established. Guangdong is the first one to carry on reform according to the market. The degree of market ranks the first among all provinces and cities in China. Market mechanism has been continuously improved. The pattern with the public sector remaining dominant and diverse sectors of the economy developing side by side has formed.
6. The living standard of the people is been improved every day. All social projects have made complete progress. In 2003, the average disposable income of town resident reached 12,380 Yuan, and the average annual net income of village resident was up to 4,055 Yuan.
Guangdong is a province with a large quantity of people .It is one of the most densely populated provinces in China. By end of 1999, the permanent residents registered 72.7037 million. It made up 5.8 percent of the population of the whole country. It ranked the fourth in China. The average density of population was 409 persons per square kilometer. It ranked the first in China.
Guangdong is a multi-ethnic province inhabited by members from all the 56 nationalities in China. The Han group has the largest population in the province, totaling 81 million, accounting for 98.5% in the province. The ethnic minorities have a population of 1270000. The prevailing religions in the province are Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism and Christianity. There are seven provincial religious communities.
Guangdong is a famous town because of foroverseas Chinese. Chinese nationals abroad and ethnic Chinese, those who originated from Guangdong, add up to 22 million in more than one hundred countries and regions across the world. The returned foroverseas Chinese living in Guangdong province add up to about 20 million. There are many influential organizations of Guangdong's foroverseas Chinese abroad, such as, "the world Hakka Sodality", "the International Chaozhou Fraternity", "Zhongshan all Middle School Classmates Sodality "and so on. Guangdong borders Hong Kong and Macao. Compatriots, those who originated from Guangdong, in Hong Kong and Macao total over six million.
Mineral Resources: Guangdong is rich in mineral resources. There are verities of minerals, widely distributed in Guangdong.
Guangdong is a big oceanic province. The coastline is very long. Shallows are widely distributed. Continental shelf is broad. Harbors are excellent. Guangdong owns not only the advantage of broad oceanic space, but also abundant oceanic resources. The coastline is from Jieshan in Laoping County, which is joined in Fujian province and Guangdong province, in the east to the Ximi Estuary of the Yingluo Harbor, which is joined in Guangdong province and Yunnan province, in the west. It is stretching 3368.1 kilometers (except Hong Kong and Macao). It ranks the first among all the coastal provinces in China. The total area of the sea field is more than 400,000 square kilometers.
Although in Guangdong the rivers aren't too long and the area of rivers isn't too large, the rain has been plentiful. Guangdong has abundant water resources .The total annual volume flowing into the sea amounts to 440 billion cubic meters. The river runoff of the Pearl River is up to 336 billion cubic meters, occupying 13% of the nation's.
Oceanic Creature Resources
The oceanic creatures in Guangdong waters have the characteristic of tropic warm water. There are a variety of creatures, but the number of each special type is much less. The main fishing resources are composed of local species. The East Yue Fishing Ground and Wanshan Fishing Ground in the estuary of the Pearl River are all China's famous fishing grounds. The oceanic fishing in Guangdong has a history of more than 5,000 years. In the present, it has formed four kinds of fishing types: seacoast fishing, offshore fishing, opening fishing and ocean fishing
Special Economic Zone
The special economic zone is the forward positions for the opening to the out side world of Guangdong and China. It is the bridge and windows combining the China's economy with international economy. Guangdong introduced a mass of foreign investment, advanced technical equipments, executive experience and information. These made the whole Guangdong's national economy develop. After 20 years'self-development, Shenzhen has turned itself from a frontier town into a modern city in the initial scale. Zhuhai and Shantou have newly important open coastal cities.
Guangdong dialect is mainly composed of Yue dialect(formerly Cantonese) , the Hakka dialect , the Min dialect.
Yue dialect is mainly used in more than 50 cities and counties, such as Guangzhou city, the central part of Guangdong and the southwest area. It's one of eight dialects of Chinese.
Hakka dialect is mainly used in about 20 cities and counties in South Yue and North Yue. The language used in Meizhou(formerly Mei county) is regarded as standard form. In order to elude chaos of war in ancient times, the Hakka moved from the central area to Guangdong. So Hunan dialect and Hubei dialect have an effect on Guangdong's language. It has some charactrics of Hunan dialect and Hubei dialect. Min dialect includes the language used in Chaoshan and the Leizhou region. It continues to use a large quantity of words in old Chinese. Some pronunciations of these words can't be expressed in modern Chinese.