Suzhou, the north gate of the province, is situated in the furtheset northern part of Anhui. With the Yellow River and Huaihe River Plain to the south, it adjoins to Huai'an, Xuzhou in Jiangsu, Heze in Shandong, Shangqiu in Henan and so on. In the Year 809 (Emperor Xian Zong of the Tang Dynasty ) Suzhou became a county. Since then it has successively been the capital of the area. On December 6, 1998, the State Council approved the establishment of Suzhou under the Provincial jurisdiction. In May 1999 it became a city consisting of Dangshan County, Xiaoxian County, Lingbi county, Sixian county, and Yongqiao District. It has jurisdiction over 110 townships with a total area of 9786 km², the arable land area of 773 million mu and the total population of 6.0452 million.
Suzhou City is rich in mineral resources, in addition to the existing 28 kinds, the identified reserves of 18 kinds, including coal, dolomite, marble, refractory clay Habitat all top the other areas in the province. Limestone is abundant in wide distributions. Coal is of many categories and fine texture, with the proven reserves of 2.68 billion tons, making up 10% of the provincial total. The coal areas, including Yongqiao District, Xiaoxian County, and Dangshan County, take up one fifth of the city's total. CBM proven reserves is of 315.9 billion cubic meters, distributed in the southern Yongqiao District and the western Xiaoxian County. The kaolin of superior quality and iron are located in Xiaoxian county. 20 varieties of marble are found in Lingbi county and Yongqiao. Dolimite in Yongqiao is of good quality, some of superior quality. The amount of quartzite is estimated 100 million tons, distributed in Sixian county -- the only one mineral site in Huaihai Economic Zone. The rocks located in Lingbi, Yongqiao and Sixian county are of international reputation.
Highways: Suzhou City has 12,226 km length of roads, including two Mainstay National Highway (118 km, Huogao Highway and Hefei-Xuzhou Highway), 4 National Highways (266 km), 9 provincial roads (525 km), 60 county roads (1703 km), and 9614 km of rural roads. All the townships and villages are linked by roads. As to highway transportation, the city has 14,431 vehicles operating (1,611 buses, 11,522 trucks, and 1298 Taxis).
Railways: the Beijing-Shanghai Railway and the Longhai Railway go across the whole area of the city (117.5 km), with 15 stations in Suzhou.
Navigation: Suzhou City has six fairways, more than 167 km in mileage. The navigable mileage of Huihe River, Xinbian River, and other six rivers is 143 km with 9 existing ports, and 24 100-tonnage berths, and an annual throughput of 1.06 million tons.
Aviation: Suzhou City is only 80 km from Guanyin International Airport in Xuzhou.
Post and Telecommunication: Suzhou¡¯s post and telecommunication has been modernized. To meet users¡¯ increasingly diversified demands for communication services, Suzhou has built strong local communication networks, expanding its service coverage and improving the network structure and function. DDNSDH, ADSL broadband access and other advanced technological means of communication have been put into use for the majority of customers with fixed telephone, ISDN, ADSL, 17909 mobile phones, IP and other services. Local Telephone communications networks, mobile communications, and wireless paging cover the entire city, and 95% of the villages. The total capacity of telephone switch is 536,000 gates, with 639,900 users. The initial efforts have been made to set up digital communications, program-controlled exchange, fiber transmission, intelligent control of the local communications network.
Education, Science and Technology
Technology: The development of high-tech industries are up to a new level, characterized by 19 high-tech enterprises, including two national, 11 provincial and 6 municipal businesses; high-tech products total 15 items, including 8 provincial and 7 municipal. In 2003, the city's high-tech industries achieved total income of 965 million yuan from technology, industry and trade. The total exports from high-tech enterprises amounted to 16.954 million U.S. dollars. The enterprises achieving the sales revenue over 1 billion yuan are three, and those over 500 million yuan are four.
Private technological enterprises also develop rapidly. By the end of 2003, the city's private enterprises reached 371 in number, the total income from technology, industry and trade is 1.097 billion yuan. 61 enterprises have realized more than 1 million yuan in total income.
The implementation of the key technical innovation projects has achieved remarkable results. In 2002 34 technological projects of national, provincial and municipal levels were conducted, and most of them have made substantial progress.
According to statistics, in 2002, Suzhou had a total of 76,422 professionals of all levels, accounting for 1.3% of its total population.
Education: In Suzhou, altogether there are 2800 schools: 4 colleges, 41 secondary vocational schools; 410 ordinary schools; 2157 primary schools; 186 kindergartens, and 7 special schools.
Teachers staff totals 52791, among them, 960 in institutions, 714 in secondary vocational schools, 20,598 in ordinary high schools, 1238 in vocational high schools, 27,332 in primary schools, 1,265 in kindergarten, and 234 in special education schools. The total school enrolment is 1303767.