Linfen is located in the southwestern part of Shanxi Province, at the middle reaches of the Yellow River. It is adjacent to Changzhi and Jincheng to the east, Yuncheng to the south, and Luliang and Jinzhong to the north, and faces Shaanxi Province across the Yellow River. It covers an area of 20,275 sq km and has a population of 4.2 million.
The city has convenient access to railways. The Houma-Xi'an Railway and the Houma-Yueshan Railway, both of which are part of the Europe-Asia Land Bridge, go through the city, linking the city with other major cities along the land bridge. The Datong-Puzhou Railway, running across Linfen, connects the city with the major cities in Shanxi Province.
Linfen is known for its rich mineral resources, which include coal, iron ore, copper and lead. The coal reserves in Hedong Coal Field, Huoxi Coal Field and Qinshui Coal Filed, amount to 62.9 billion tons. The iron ore reserve in the city exceeds 420 million tons.
The city has a typical continental monsoon climate, with four distinct seasons. The average temperature is between 5°C and 11°C. The development of heavy industries, such as coal mining and metallurgy, makes the city one of the most polluted cities in China.
|Economic Features |
|Linfen is the third largest economy in Shanxi, after the provincial capital city Taiyuan, and Changzhi. In 2010, the city's GDP was up 16.9% from a year earlier to RMB 89.21 billion. Primary industry, secondary and tertiary industry comprised 7.5%, 58.4% and 34.1% of the city's total, respectively. |
Total value-added industrial output of enterprises with designated size and above in the city rose 30.1% to RMB 46.51 billion. Heavy industry maintains a leading position in the city's industrial sector. In 2010, its value-added industrial output was RMB 45.9 billion, up 30.43% from the previous year, while that from the light industry stood at RMB 613 million, with a increase of 7.57% year on year. The value-added industrial output from heavy industry and light industry composed 98.68% and 1.32% of the city's total, respectively.
Coal mining and dressing, coking, metallurgy, non-ferrous metal smelting, and chemicals are the pillar industries in the city. Sales revenues for these industries were RMB 41.57 billion, RMB 31.65 billion, RMB 46.64 billion, RMB 4.03 billion and RMB 4.01 billion.
Taigang Group Linfen Iron & Steel, a subsidiary under Taigang Group, is the largest iron and steel-related products maker in Linfen. It began when Ta'ershan Iron & Steel Workshop was set up in 1958. It has an annual production capacity of 2 million tons of steel and 1.8 million tons of steel-related products.
In 2010, the value-added output from the service sector in Linfen increased 10.6% from the previous year to RMB 30.43 billion, accounting for 34.1% of the city's GDP. In 2010, sales of consumer goods rose 18.7% to RMB 30.65 billion.
The foreign trade increased 83.3% to US$651 million. The export value amounted to US$145.5 million, with an increase of 67.5%. The import value rose 88.4% to US$505.5 million. The major export destinations are Japan (US$29.93 million), the U.S. (US$18.96 million), and South Korea (US$12.36 million).
Linfen attracted the utilized FDI of US$77.57 million in 2010. Linfen Economic and Technological Development Zone, set up in 1997, attracted foreign investment from Wal-Mart, GDS and Morgan Stanley.
As one of the origin places of the Chinese nation, Linfen's history can be traced back to over 100,000 years ago, when human settlers began living in this territory. During the Shang Dynasty (1600-1100BC), Linfen was part of Jizhou. During the Spring-and-Autumn Period, the region was under the control of Jin State. During the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC), Hedong Shire administrated the territory. During the 15th century, the region developed into an important commercial center.
Linfen is known as the "town of traditional Chinese opera" because many dramatists, such as Zhao Gongfu, Yu Boyuan and Shi Junbao, came from Linfen. The city is also home to Ping Shui Diao Ban, a kind of wood block engraving popular since the Yuan Dynasty (AD1271-1368).
Linfen is rich in cultural and historical sites, such Ding Village Ruins, Guangsheng Temple, Hongtong Grand Pagoda Tree, the Ancient City of Jin Kingdom and the Yao Temple. The Ding Village Ruins, discovered in 1953, are from the middle of the Paleolithic Age. A large number of stone tools were discovered in the ruins. Guangsheng Temple was first built during the Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD) and re-constructed and maintained during the Ming Dynasty (AD1368-1644). The temple complex consists of the upper Guangsheng Temple at the top of Huo Mountain and the lower Guangsheng Temple at the foot of Huo Mountain. Feihong Tower in the upper Guangsheng Temple is the largest color-glazed tower in China.
There are various flavored local snacks in the city, such as Anze Ham, Fried Saizi (a kind of flour food), Quwo Cured Beef, Saishang Icy Rabbit Meat and Wujia Bacon.