Shenzhen is located on a southern tip of the Chinese mainland and on the eastern bank of the Pearl River. It neighbors Hong Kong. Occupying 1,991.64 square kilometers, the city has a subtropical marine climate with plenty of rain and sunshine and is rich in tropical fruit. By the end of 2014, there were 10.78 million permanent residents.
The country's first special economic zone - the brainchild of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping - was established here in 1980. Shenzhen has been a touchstone for China's reform and opening-up policy since then.
In merely 35 years, Shenzhen, once a tiny border town of just over 30,000 people, has grown into a modern metropolis. It established many firsts in the history of world industrialization, urbanization and modernization.
The city is the high-tech and manufacturing hub of southern China, home to the world's third-busiest container port and the fourth-busiest airport on the Chinese mainland. It is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. It was also elected one of the top 10 Chinese cities popular with expats in 2014. The high-tech, financial services, modern logistics and cultural industries are mainstays of the city. Emerging industries of strategic importance and modern service industries are quickly becoming new engines for the city's economic growth.
As a State-level innovative city, Shenzhen has chosen independent innovation as the dominant strategy for its future development. The number of Shenzhen's PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications has topped Chinese cities for several years. Over the years, the number of makers in Shenzhen has been growing drastically. Many of the institutions, including Chaihuo Maker Space, Makeblock, and Seeed Studio, have already gained much fame and influence both domestically and overseas. A Maker Week is held every June in Shenzhen, which provides makers from all over the world an international platform to create and innovate.
Shenzhen is the window of China's reform and opening up and one of the Chinese cities that enjoy the highest degree of opening up. Its export has topped the nation's large and medium-sized cities for 22 consecutive years. The number of Shenzhen's international sister cities has doubled to reach 65 in the past five years.
Shenzhen strives to play a pivotal role in the construction of the Belt and Road to build itself into a gateway along the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road by making full use of its geographic location and advantages in business and human resources, putting emphasis on the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Big Bay Area, and focusing on transportation connectivity, economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges.