Nanjing, the provincial capital of Jiangsu in eastern China, is one of the nation's Four Great Ancient Capitals along with Xian, Beijing and Luoyang. It was established some 2,500 years ago during the Western Zhou dynasty.
Nanjing has been the capital of 10 dynasties and regimes since the third century, including the Republic of China when it was chosen as Dr Sun Yat-sen was sworn in as provincial president in January 1912. Nanjing remained the nation's capital until the Chinese civil war in 1949 led to the formation of the People's Republic of China, with Beijing as its capital.
Today, Nanjing is an important industrial and economic centre in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. It covers an area of 6,600 square kilometres, with a population of 8 million.
Last year, the city recorded a gross domestic product of 501 billion yuan (HK$611 billion), with per-capita GDP of 65,490 yuan. The average disposable income of urban residents was 28,312 yuan.
The city's economy is built on a strong base of pillar industries, including hi-tech and electronics, automotive, petrochemicals, and iron and steel. Other major industries include machinery manufacturing, household appliances and building materials.
Nanjing is also a major transport hub in eastern China and will play a bigger role when the new Nanjing Southern station is in full operation later this year. It is believed to be the largest high-speed train station in Asia, and will become the key transit point for the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed train and several intercity trains.
As one of the four scientific research education cities in China, Nanjing has 41 general higher education universities with more than 600,000 students. Its best-known universities include Nanjing University, Southeast University and Nanjing Normal University. In addition, there are more than 540 scientific research organisations with 530,000 research staff.
The city has set up several economic zones catering to industry clusters. These include Nanjing Baixia Hi-Tech Industrial Zone, Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone, Nanjing Export Processing Zone and Nanjing New & Hi-Tech Industry Development Zone.
Companies from more than 104 countries and regions have invested in about 10,500 projects in the city, of which about 100 were launched by 80 of the world's top 500 corporations, including BASF, Siemens, Shell, BP, Ericsson, Ford, Motorola, Sharp, Fujitsu and LG.