Nantong (Chinese: 南通; pinyin: Nántōng; former names: Nan-t’ung, Nantung, Tongzhou, or Tungchow; Qihai dialect: [nie tʰoŋ]) is a prefecture-level city in Jiangsu province, China. Located on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, near the river mouth. Nantong is a vital river port bordering Yancheng to the north, Taizhou to the west, Suzhou and Shanghai to the south across the river, and the East China Sea to the east. Its current population is 7,282,835 at the 2010 census, 1,994,708 of whom live in the built-up area made up of three urban districts.
In September 26, 2004, the first World Metropolitan Development Forum was held in Nantong. In 2005, Nantong had a GDP growth of 15.4%, the highest growth rate in Jiangsu province, and in 2016 Nantong’s GDP had a total of about 675 billion yuan, ranking the 21st in the whole country.
Because the coast of the East China Sea is constantly expanding eastward as the Yangtze River adds silt to its delta, the distance between Nantong and the seashore is getting longer than it once was in ancient times.
The area that is now Nantong was originally part of the State of Wu during the Spring and Autumn period, which was later conquered by the State of Yue in 473 BC. After yet again being subjected to a new foreign rule by the State of Chu in 334 BC, the inhabitants of present day Nantong would again experience another regime change during the first unification of China by the State of Qin.
From the Han dynasty up until the Tang dynasty, what is now called Nantong was a minor city county subordinate to Yangzhou. By ad 958, that city county had already gained sufficient importance for it to be upgraded to an independent prefecture called Tongzhou (“Opening Prefecture”, possibly from its position near the mouth of the Yangtze) to be created. The increasing wealth of Yangzhou caused Tongzhou to be once again eclipsed as an administrative center in 1368.
Nantong was historically known as an agricultural area and a traditional site for salt-making. Its principal agricultural products include cotton, rice, wheat, fishing, fruit, and more. Currently, the city is making efforts to upgrade its farming sectors and increase production of organic foods.
Nantong is one of the 14 port cities opened to foreign investment projects under China’s current policies of modernization. Nantong was traditionally an industrial city, especially around the turn of the 20th century, specializing in salt and cotton textile production. Today’s industrial corporations have made Nantong into an industrial hub since it opened its door to the outside world in the 1990s. With its excellent geographic location and the completion of two Yangtze River bridges, the prefecture is attracting more investment funding nationwide. Many of these investments come from international corporations.
Nantong Guide Map