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Shuyang County

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Shuyang County

Shuyang County
Location of Shuyang (yellow) in Jiangsu
Location of Shuyang (yellow) in Jiangsu
Shuyang County is located in China
Shuyang County
Shuyang County
Location in China
Country People's Republic of China
Province Jiangsu
 • Mayor Hu Jianjun (胡建军)
 • County 2,299 km2 (888 sq mi)
Population (2012) 1,860,000
 • Metro 560,000
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 223600
Area code(s) 527
GDP ¥50.2 billion (2012)
Major Nationalities Han
Township-level divisions 34
License Plate 苏N
Shuyang County
Traditional Chinese 沭陽
Simplified Chinese 沭阳
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese

1. 中城
2. 郯
3. 厚邱
4. 陰平
5. 懷文
6. 建陵

7. 潼陽
Simplified Chinese

1. 中城
2. 郯
3. 厚邱
4. 阴平
5. 怀文
6. 建陵

7. 潼阳

Shuyang (simplified Chinese: 沭阳县; traditional Chinese: 沭陽縣; pinyin: Shùyáng Xiàn), also known as Pingguo, is a county in northwestern Jiangsu province and is one of the most populated Chinese counties. According to the 2010 census, Shuyang has a population of 1.83 million and over 560,000 of the population lives in the metropolitan area.[1] The demonym "Shuyang" is used in reference to the urban area (county seat) and the region of the county. Shuyang sits on the Northern Jiangsu Plains and borders the city of Xuzhou, Lianyungang, Huai'an, and Suqian to the north, East, South, and west, the city plays a significant role in the transport hub.

Shuyang is noted for its commercial horticulture, software, timber and textile industry. The economy grew dramatically in the last two decades. It has been ranked the top 100 most developed counties in China. Meanwhile, compared to the other cities of East China, Shuyang has a better performance in term of liveability and less pollution.

Before 1949, Shuyang was a county under Haizhou (Lianyungang). From 1949 to 1996, it was one of counties of Huaiyin (Huai'an). After Suqian was established in 1996, Shuyang is under the administration of the new prefecture-level city. However, Shuyang is a province managed county in Jiangsu since 2011. That means it has the similar authorities to the prefecture level city although Suqian still manages the civil servants in Shuyang.


The name of “Shuyang” was first officially used in 549 AD during Eastern Wei.

The two Chinese characters in the county’s name are “沭” and “阳”, together meaning “in the north of Shuhe River”. As the government and commercial center, the county seat was chosen to constructed in the north of Shuhe River in 549 AD in order to control the land around the river basin.[2]


The City Wall in 1803

Prior to its proclamation as Zhou Dynasty in 1111 BC, the area around northern of Jiangsu was inhabited by the Dongyi nation who established a lots of city-states. The area around Shuyang belonged to one of Dongyi states called ‘Tan (郯)’.[3]

In the late period of Zhou Dynasty, that is Spring and Autumn Period, the State of Lu began to expand its power to the south. Part of the region was officially proclaimed as the territory of the State of Lu in 582 BC after the military fortification, ‘Zhongcheng (中城)’, was built on the northwest. This is also the first city in this place in accordance with ‘The Spring and Autumn Annals’ which compiled by Confucius. In the Warring States period, the Chu conquered and controlled the land of this area.

After Qin's wars of unification, the Qin Dynasty was established by Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. ‘Houqiu County (厚丘县)’ was founded for administrating the region and the governments of later dynasties generally follow this pattern.

In 549 AD, the imperial government of Eastern Wei abandoned the old castle and city wall and moved the local government into a new county seat near the north of Shuhe River. In the meantime, the county was changed to the present name, Shuyang County (沭阳县). In later 1400 years, the location of the county seat keep constant.[4]

On the Shuhe Riverside

As the main natural disaster in the northern Jiangsu, rain storms and floods are the principle threat to the county in old days. The castle and city wall of Shuyang was totally destroyed up to the middle of the 15th century. The government rebuilt the city wall until 1512 and was ruined by the floods subsequently. In 1594, the local government started to rebuild a substantial one with a plenty of bricks and stones and finished in 1616.

In early modern period, the life in this region are recognised as peaceful and stable for most of the time. However, the life in modern years was full of challenges and crises. The biggest crisis was the Japanese invasion in 1937. The city wall and many ancient architecture were devastated at the beginning of the war.


Shuyang is on the North China Plain, approximately 260 kilometers to Nanjing, and 450 kilometers to the center of Shanghai. The county stretches 60 kilometers from east to west, and 55 kilometers from north to south.

Shuyang is located in a low-lying plain with an average elevation of merely 4.5 to 7 meters above sea level. Hanshan Hill is east of the county in Hanshan Town at an elevation of 70 meters above sea level. It is the tallest point of the whole region.


Shuyang has a distinct four-seasons, monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers, and generally mild, dry winters (Köppen climate classification Cfa).

Winters are generally mild and dry, however, cold northwesterly winds from Mongolia-Siberia can cause temperatures to drop below freezing in the night, although there is an occasional snowfall in winters in recently years. Summers are hot and humid, southeasterly winds during the summer can push temperatures above 35 °C. In midsummer, occasional downpours, or thunderstorms can be expected.

Climate data for Shuyang (1971−2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4.4
Average low °C (°F) −3.7
Precipitation mm (inches) 19.9
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 4.8 5.6 7.3 7.9 9.1 10 15.1 12.1 9.1 7.1 6.0 4.1 98.2
% humidity 69.1 68.5 68.3 68.1 71.2 78.3 85.5 85.4 79.1 74.5 72.5 69.7 74.18
Mean monthly sunshine hours 144.0 149.3 181.0 190.0 210.0 194.0 184.0 201.0 182.0 191.0 164.8 163.0 2,154.1
Source: China Meteorological Administration[5]

Urban Layout

Shuyang was a planned city originally, and the urban layout was designed by the Magistrate Xu Keda in 1594. In next 350 years, there was merely a few changes in the layout after the urban area was protected by the city wall. According to the record of Major General Yang Yafeng, there were 10 streets and 9 alleys in 1931.[6]

In 1956, the metropolitan area started to expand to the south. From the 1980s, the expansion focus on the east and west. The Shuyang metropolitan region has a total area of 6  km2 in the year of 1987.[7] The booming of metropolitan started from the term of Qiuhe Government, the city and its suburbs have largely expand its layout to the east and the south as per the plan. Numerous former outlying villages and towns have been enveloped by the urban and suburbs. The construction of the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway led to the expanding development of the east suburbs especially the SETDZ (Shuyang Economic and Technological Development Zones), which has subsequently led to new developments and further improvements to that transport corridor. In the same way, the construction of the Xinyi-Changxing Railway and China National Highway 205 led to an explosion development in the south of the city.

In 2012, the Shuyang metropolitan region has a total land area of 83  km2.

Administrative Divisions


The metropolitan area is divided between 6 subdistricts, including Shucheng (沭城街道), Mengxi (梦溪街道), Nanhu (南湖街道), Zhangji(章集街道), Qixiong(七雄街道), and Shizi(十字街道).

Towns and Townships

There are 25 towns, 8 townships, and 1 state farm (a special form of township in China) in Shuyang.


Shuyang is the most populated county in Jiangsu with a population of 1.86 million. It is also considered to be one of the most populated counties in China. Shuyang had a metropolitan population of more than 560,000 refer to 2010 census, making it a midsize city. Major areas of population growth in recent years were in suburbs like Nanhu and Mengxi where now a part of the metropolitan area. In 2015, the urban area will have a population of approximately 800,000. Some 30% of the population of the whole region are residents of the metropolitan area, making Shuyang a thriving city in the north of Jiangsu.


In the period of Republic of China, the economy in Shuyang had collapsed due to the Japanese invasion and frequent floods. In the 1950s, the economy developed rapidly benefit from the recovery and further development of agriculture and industry in the region. However, Shuyang formed decreasingly important in the economy of the Jiangsu Province from the time of Cultural Revolution. Compared with the cities in the southern part of Jiangsu, the local governments held a conservative and pedantic opinion on the economy. In 1997, the Qiuhe Government began its ambitious reformations. The economic portion of the reform mainly focused on the industrialization and privatization and it works. There is a dramatically development in the industrial sector as it attracts a plenty of investment. The economic success makes Shuyang top 100 the most developed counties in China .


Shuyang’s largest employment sector is manufacturing. In the past, wood, printing and textile industries are the largest employer. Nevertheless, the booming industries like machinery, advanced materials, electronic systems and software are play a significant role in the economy in recent years. In 2012, the GIOV (Gross Industry Output value) of Shuyang is 62.197 billion RMB.[8]


Founded in August 2001, the Shuyang Economic and Technological Development Zone (SETDZ) is a significant portion in the industrial sector of Shuyang. In December 2013, SETDZ has been upgraded to one of China National Economic and Technological Development Zones with a planned area of 24.5 km2 .[9]


Shuyang has a prosperous and thriving commerce. It is a center of trade in building materials, garments, textiles, and leathers in the north of Jiangsu.


Shuyang, with 136,000 hectares of farmland, is the main grain grower in Jiangsu, whereas the commercial horticulture and the forestry make the highest profits. The commercial horticulture, with over 27,000 hectares of land, is the most profitable sector of the agriculture. In 2012, the sales revenue of the commercial horticulture is 4 billion RMB .[10]

The forestry is the main supplier of the timber processing industry in Shuyang.


Education is an exponentially important part of the economy, with the number of private educations institution especially those secondary schools increase rapidly in recent years. However, critics believes the education institutions have overed the demand of the market.

Primary and secondary education

There are two systems of school education at the level of primary and secondary education. The public system operated by the local government and the private system of independent schools. All of institutions provide education under the local department of education.

There are 29 primary schools located in Shuyang. Most of them are operated by the local government. Shuyang Experienced Primary School, with 2294 students, was founded in 1904. It is one of the oldest primary schools in China after the Education Reformation in 1904.

The number of high schools is 43, where 30 of them are the junior high school while 13 are the senior. Shuyang High School, with 7000 students, was founded in 1922. Due to the long list of distinguished former students, the high school is considered to the best school even in Jiangsu Province.

Tertiary Education

There are three community colleges in Shuyang which provide vocational education and training. The Suqian College of Business prepares students for specific trades and crafts at various levels from a professional position in engineering, accounting, nursing, e-commerce and other subjects.



There are over 1.7 million people in Shuyang speak a subdialect of Lower Yangtze Mandarin, called Haisi Dialect.[11] Like most of Lower Yangtze Mandarin, Haisi dialect has five tones due to the preservation of the entering tone (rù sheng 入声) of Middle Chinese, more than four toned Standard Chinese which lost the entering tone .[12] The dialect of Haisi has largely lost initial n, replacing it with l, and the retention of entering tone set it apart from other mandarin dialects.

The speaker of the dialect could easily understand other mandarins, not vice versa. As the Standard Chinese (Putonghua) forms increasingly powerful in social life, it has largely impacted on the dialect in words, pronunciation, and grammar.

Huaihai Opera

Huaihai Opera (simplified Chinese: 淮海戏, traditional Chinese: 淮海戲) is a form of local traditional Chinese theatre which combines musics, vocal performance, and dance. Some plays even contain mime, acrobatics, and Kung fu. It was created in the 19th century and fully developed in the World War II. The form is popular in Shuyang, Suqian, Lianyungang and Yancheng, with the dialect of Shuyang as the standard pronunciation.

Huaihai Opera was born in the years around the 1830s and originally as a folk ditty in Shuyang. 50 years later, several famous troupes were found and spread to the other regions near Shuyang rapidly. In 1900, female artists first appeared on the stage. In the Second Sino-Japanese War (World War II), almost all the artists jointed the resistance. The artists wrote and played hundreds of new operas in order to energize the people. This also was the fully developed and recognised time for the Huaihai Opera. The two decades from the 1970s to 1980s were the another golden age for the opera. However, the diversified means of cultural consumption and the impacts from TV programs, pop music, and internet have almost driven the opera into a blind alley. People are losing the interest on the Huaihai Opera and most of the artists quit from this art.[13] .

Now, Huaihai Opera is listed on Chinese National Intangible Cultural Heritage.


The Shuyang Museum and the Shuyang Gallery are a repository of local history and art, with permanent collections and visiting exhibitions. Besides, there are several professional museums and galleries, such as the Horticulture Museum of Shuyang and the 3-D Gallery.


Freedom of religion makes people of all religions live in harmony. However, approximately 95% of the population expressed no religious affiliation in accordance with 2010 Census although Shuyang attaches a wide variety of holy turf.


It has been unverified when the Buddhism was firstly introduced to Shuyang. It might be introduced to this region around the 2nd century to the 3rd century by sea. The oldest temple in Shuyang is the Qingliang Temple which was built before 9th century refer to records.


In 1921, Presbyterian Church in the United States started their missionary work in Shuyang. The current church was built on 1993 in the north of the urban area. The second church will be opened in 2014.


Miaohui is a Chinese culture gathering traditionally adjacent to temple. In Shuyang, Miaohui (or the Shuyang Show) was gathering in a zone in the front of the Zhaode Temple in the past. It is held around late Spring rather than around the time of the Chinese New Year in other places. Activities usually include entertainments like mime, acrobatics and shopping instead of the horse trading in old days.

Intangible Cultural Heritage

National level

Jiangsu level



All the national television networks in Mainland China broadcast high definition digital service in Shuyang. The pay TV is available as cable television in metropolitan area. The government funded community station is run by Shuyang Radio and Television.



There are 44 hospitals in the county. The People’s Hospital of Shuyang, with 1000 healthcare workers, is the first hospital in Shuyang. Founded in 1936, it is the largest public hospital in Shuyang and is a teaching institution. The hospital has a capacity of 1260 beds. Another large hospital in Shuyang is the TCM Hospital of Shuyang with a capacity of 980 beds. Shuyang is famous for its private hospitals. All the hospital in suburbs and towns were privatized. The lager private hospitals include Central Hospital, Renci Hospital, and Xiehe Hospital.


Being centrally located in four prefecture-level cities, Shuyang forms a strategic transport hub for north and south routes. It is also the closest route connecting Jiangsu Province and Shandong Province. Road transport and the motor vehicle are the main form of transports. The road system consists of an efficient network of highways. Public transport in Shuyang consists of an extensive network of road transports as well as rail transport and water transport modes. Shuyang's subdistricts are generally connected by parkways with speed limits generally set at a maximum of 100 km/h. The Yingbin Parkway (迎宾大道), the most important trunk road in the metropolitan area, links the CBD and the Mengxi.


The Xinyi-Changxing Railway, a significant transport service provider in Shuyang, connects the city with other places on the national railway network. The railway is the bridge connects the Longhai and Jiaoxins in the north and with the Nanjing-Nantong, Beijing-Shanghai, Xuancheng-Hangzhou Railways in the south. Shuyang Railway Station, near the metropolitan area, is a third class station on the Xinyi-Changxing Railway.

Two high-speed rails are planned to establish in next decade, that is Lianyungang-Zhenjiang and Lianyungang-Bengbu.


The metropolitan area has one expressway and five Highways. The Beijing-Shanghai Expressway connects Shuyang with the most important cities in China, Beijing and Shanghai. China National Highway 205 and four Jiangsu Province Highways constitute an efficient network for Shuyang.[14]

Air transport

For air transport, Shuyang is served by Xuzhou Guanyin Airport, Lianyungang Baitabu Airport, and Huai'an Lianshui Airport. Xuzhou Airport is 1.5 hour’s drive from the CBD of Shuyang, and others are within 50 minutes.

Water transport

The Lianyungang-Suqian Canal connects the Lianyungang Port and the Grand Canal is under construction.

Public transport

Minsheng, the government-operated bus service, provides public transport throughout the metropolitan area. No.1 Bus Lines and No.2 Bus Lines provide bus services between the urban area and towns through their county-wide public transport system.


There are six local tax companies in the metropolitan area. Taxis are available in the city and are an easy way to get around. The starting price is 5 Yuan for 2 kilometers; for over 2 km, 2 Yuan/per km will be charged. The main vehicle types are Volkswagen Santana (vista) and Passat.


After the privations of Qiuhe government from 1996, it is believed that privatization led to competition from a variety of companies who now separately provide better services for water and electricity.

The Shuyuan Water manages Shuyang's water infrastructure. Shuyang’s water supply is gain from its reservoir, the Shuyang Dam on the Huaishu River. The second water plant is invested by another private corporate called Jingu Agriculture.

SST (Shuyang Sewerage Treatment) and Southern Water, the two private corporations, own the two wastewater treatment plant located in the east and south of the city separately.

Electricity for Shuyang mainly comes from the national power grid . Shuyang itself have a waste incinerators, a PV power station, and a biomass power plant in the suburbs. Some limited local renewable power is produced via a hydro generator on the main water supply pipeline for Shuyang on Yihe River. Thermal station in East Hangzhou Road is the main supplier of SETDZ.

Main sights


Zhouquan (周圈) is a village in Xinhe Town of Shuyang. It is the origin of horticulture in Shuyang and famous for its gardens. It was the home of a number of senior officers and scholars from the 14th century to the 18th century. After the retirement, they would decorate the Zhouquan Gardens with flowers collected from all over the country when they backed to home. Some bonsais are from the Forbidden City as gifts of the emperor in the 18th century.

The Chestnuts Park (古栗林公园) is a popular tourists destination in Jiangsu. Unlike other classical gardens in China, the Chestnuts Park is known for its nature beauty. Temple Pushan (普善寺), a small but historical temple, is the neighbour of the park. It a Buddhism temple and the memorial hall of Consort Yu (虞姬).

Consort Yu River

Consort Yu River, in Mandarin called 虞姬沟. It is the river flow through the home of Consort Yu (虞姬). The river is clear and quiet and some historical sites in her time still stand on the riverside.


  • Temple Qingliang
  • Temple Jueyuan
  • Temple Pushan

Sister Cities



  1. ^
  2. ^ (清)唐仲冕修、汪梅鼎等撰,《嘉庆海州直隶州志》,江苏古籍出版社,2008年.
  3. ^ (民国)戴仁、张景衡、吴鹏等监修,《民国重修沭阳县志》,江苏古籍出版社,2008年.
  4. ^ (明)郑复亨修、裴天祐校,《隆庆海州志》,江苏古籍出版社,2000年.
  5. ^ 中国地面国际交换站气候标准值月值数据集(1971-2000年) (in Chinese).  
  6. ^ (清)张奇抱修、胡简敬撰,《康熙沭阳县志》,东英出版社,1977年.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ 侍建国,“沭阳音系及其历史演变”,《语言研究》,1992(2).
  12. ^ John H. McWhorter (2007). Language interrupted: signs of non-native acquisition in standard language grammars (illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 129.  
  13. ^ 沭阳县地方志编纂委员会,《沭阳县志》,江苏科技出版社,1997年.
  14. ^
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