|Silver Beach (HU YONGCHANG)|
Beihai of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, one of the first 14 coastal cities in China's initial opening up to the world a few decades ago, covers a land area of 3,337 square km, and boasts a total population of 1.63 million.
In recent years, the city has received many honorable titles, including China's Famous Historical and Cultural City, Best Tourism City in China, and China's Excellent City With Best Landscaping.
Located at the southern end of Guangxi and the northeastern bank of the Beibu Gulf, Beihai has Southeast Asia to its front and southwest China on its back. As the pivot of the South China Economic Rim, Southwest China Economic Rim and ASEAN Economic Rim, the city also serves as the most convenient gateway leading southwest China to the sea and the bridgehead facilitating exchanges between China and ASEAN countries.
As early as 2,000 years ago, Beihai became an important entry port for the ancient Maritime Silk Road. Today, the establishment of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and the deepening of Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation have endowed Beihai with more geographical advantages than ever before.
With the Guangxi Beibu Gulf Economic Area Development Plan having been approved by the Central Government in 2008, Beihai has entered a new period of opening up and development.
With a sub-tropical maritime monsoon climate, the average temperature in Beihai remains at 22.6 degrees Celsius, never rising more than 33 degrees Celsius, which makes the city boast a pleasant climate both in winter and summer.
Beihai is known as the Biggest Oxygen Bar of all Chinese cities, given its clean air. Since green trees, fragrant flowers and sweet fruits are available year-round, Beihai is considered a top holiday destination and is widely regarded as one of the most livable cities in China.
Surrounded by the sea in three directions, the city is blessed with picturesque seaside scenery, which is shown off by its fabulous seawater, beach and sunshine. With diversified tourist resources, there are many enchanting and fascinating places to visit, namely Beihai Silver Beach, Weizhou Island and Mangrove Forest, among others.
Moreover, Beihai owns the only international cruiser line between China and ASEAN countries, departing from Beihai to Ha Long, Viet Nam.
According to the 2011-15 ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan, Beihai will develop its culture industry and strengthen cooperation with neighboring areas and countries.
With a range of infrastructure, Beihai is the only city in west China that has deep-water ports, an airport, railways and an expressway. It also has a sophisticated network of roads, water supplies, electricity, communications and areas zoned off for environmental protection.
Beihai is a city possessing abundant natural resources. It is rich in fresh water, land and marine and aquatic products.
The sea area here is an important fishing base in China, and the Tieshan Port is also an ideal place along the coast in west China for developing large-scale coastal industries.
The city's offshore area teems with quality pearls, also known as the South Pearl.
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