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Changzhou: Mystery and Flow


The City has a rich water system.

CANOPY of foliage and a silky drizzle turned the water city of Changzhou into a poetic dreamland when I was visiting it this summer. Like other southern watertowns, the ancient city is endowed with a robust system of waterways, comprised of the Grand Canal, the Yangtze River, misty Taihu Lake and a reticulation of large and small canals.

The city is not only an ancient enclave of Chinese urban culture, but also a modern manufacturing center humming with equipment, electronic information, new materials, new energy, environmental protection projects, bio-technology and pharmaceutical operations. Located in southern Jiangsu Province, it is a major member of the city cluster driving the prosperity of the Yangtze River Delta, and immediately adjoins Suzhou and Wuxi and is flanked at equal distances by powerhouses Nanjing and Shanghai. Changzhou ranked ninth on the 2008 list of the Forbes Best Commercial Cities in the Chinese mainland and topped the 2009 Chinese City Competitiveness Blue Book in the category of government innovation capability.

The paleontology of Changzhou can be traced back to prehistoric times via fossils of Eosimias sinensis that have been discovered in Shuimu Mountain near Liyang City, under Changzhou’s jurisdiction. The species is believed to have lived 45 million years ago, 8-10 million years before the time evidence places the early higher primates of North Africa. E. sinensis was tiny, about 10 centimeters high and weighing no more than 100 grams. Due to its highly primitive nature, some paleontologists consider it to be evidence that higher primates may have originated in Asia rather than Africa. Jia Lanpo, one of the founders of Chinese anthropology and a leader of the Peking Man excavation, remarked that E. sinensis was a very important 20th-century discovery for paleontology, one whose significance could be compared with that of Peking Man.

Deep-rooted Fidelity and Heroism

Research done by the ancient scholar Jizha (576-484 BC) indicates Changzhou is at least 2,500 years old.

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VOL.59 NO.12 December 2010 Advertise on Site Contact Us