Eastern Potential. Western Performance.

Suzhou’s Past, Present, And Future

Suzhou (苏州), the home and namesake of Suzhou Pharma Services,  is a major city in China’s Jiangsu Province. Located on the shores of Taihu Lake, Suzhou is a part of the Yangtze River Delta region. About a hundred kilometers from Shanghai, Suzhou has over 6 million residents in its metropolitan area.

Suzhou is rich in history, with a story that begins in 514 BC. Evidence of the 2,500-year history is abundant in the city to this day, with beautiful canals, bridges, pagodas, and immaculate gardens giving the area a timeless quality. Accordingly, Suzhou is one of the top tourist attractions in China.

For over a thousand years, Suzhou has been an important centre for China’s silk industry, but today the city’s trade has expanded to the world of high-tech. This growth has been assisted by the Suzhou Industrial Park and the Suzhou High & New Technology Development Zone.  Suzhou is now one of the most successful cities in China.

Suzhou Pharma Services is thrilled to call Suzhou home. We’re inspired by the city’s past, proud of its present, and optimistic about its future.

Suzhou (simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Sūzhōu; Suzhou dialect: [səu tsøʏ]), previously transliterated as Su-chou, Suchow, and Soochow, is a major city located in the southeast of Jiangsu Province in Eastern China, located adjacent to Shanghai Municipality. The city is situated on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and on the shores of Taihu Lake and is a part of the Yangtze River Delta region. Administratively, Suzhou is a prefecture-level city with an urban population of over 2.4 million expanding to over 6 million in the extended metropolitan area.

Originally built in 514 BCE, Suzhou has over 2,500 years of rich history, and relics of the past are abundant to this day. The city’s canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions in China. Since the Song Dynasty (960-1279), it has also been an important centre for China’s silk industry.

In 1981, Suzhou was listed by the State Council, the PRC government, as one of four cities (the other three being Beijing, Hangzhou and Guilin) where the protection of historical and cultural heritage as well as natural scenery should ideally be treated with utmost care. The classical gardens in Suzhou were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000. Suzhou is often dubbed the “Venice of the East” or “Venice of China”.[3][4][5]

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[edit] History

Suzhou, the cradle of Wu culture,[citation needed] is one of the oldest towns in the Yangtze Basin. 2500 years ago in the late Zhou Dynasty, local tribes who named themselves Gou Wu (勾吳) lived in the area which would become the modern city of Suzhou. These tribes formed villages on the edges of hills above the wetlands around Lake Tai, their territorial range was centered on Wuxi.

In 514 BC, during the Spring and Autumn Period, King Helu (闔閭/阖闾) of Wu established “Great City of Helu”, the ancient name for Suzhou, as his capital. In 496 BC, Helu was buried in Huqiu (Tiger Hill 虎丘).

In 473 BC Wu was defeated by Yue, a kingdom to the east which was soon annexed by the Chu in 306 BC. The golden era of Suzhou ended with this conquest. Remnants of this culture include remainders of a 2,500 year old city wall and the gate through it at Pan Gate.

By the time of the Qin Dynasty, the city was known as Wu County. Xiang Yu (项羽) staged his historical uprising here in 209 BC, which contributed to the overthrow of Qin.

During the Sui Dynasty – in 589 AD – the city was renamed Suzhou.

When the Grand Canal was completed, Suzhou found itself strategically located on a major trade route. In the course of the history of China, it has been a metropolis of industry and commerce on the south-eastern coast of China.

During the Tang Dynasty (825 AD), the great poet Bai Juyi (白居易) constructed the Shantang Canal (called “Shantang Street” or 山塘街) to connect the city with Huqiu for tourists. In 1035 AD, the temple of Confucius was founded by famed poet and writer Fan Zhongyan (范仲淹). It became the venue for imperial civil examinations.

In February 1130, the advancing Jin army from the north ransacked and massacred the city. This was followed by the Mongol invasion (1275).

In 1356, Suzhou became of the capital of Zhang Shicheng, one of the leaders of the Red Turban Rebellion against the Yuan Dynasty and the self-proclaimed King of Wu. In 1367 Zhang’s main rival, Nanjing-based Zhu Yuanzhang took the city after a 10-month siege. Zhu – who was soon to proclaim himself as the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty – demolished the royal city (in the centre of Suzhou’s walled city), and imposed crushing taxes on the city’s and prefecture’s powerful families.[6]

Despite the heavy taxation and the resettlement of some of Suzhou’s prominent citizens’ to the area of Hongwu’s capital, Nanjing, Suzhou soon was prosperous again. When in 1488 the shipwrecked Korean official Choe Bu had a chance to see much of Eastern China – from Zhejiang to Liaoning – on his way home, he described Suzhou in his travel report as exceeding every other city in China he had seen.[7] Many of the famous private gardens were constructed by the gentry of the Ming and Qing dynasties. However, the city was to see another disaster in 1860 when Taiping soldiers advanced on and captured the city. In November 1863 the Ever Victorious Army of Charles Gordon recaptured the city from the Taiping forces.

The next crisis that met the city was the Japanese invasion in 1937. Many gardens were devastated by the end of the war. In the early 1950s, restoration was done on gardens such as Zhuo-Zheng Yuan (Humble Administrator’s Garden) and Liu Yuan (Lingering Garden) to bring them back to life.

[edit] Administrative divisions

An old area in Pingjiang Road

The urban core of Suzhou is informally called Old Town Suzhou. It is divided among Pingjiang District, Canglang District, and Jinchang District. Suzhou Industrial Park is on the west of the old town, and Suzhou High & New Technology Development Zone is on the east. In 2000, the original Wu County was divided into two districts including Xiangcheng and Wuzhong. They now form the northern and southern parts of the city of Suzhou.

Changmen at Night

Suzhou is one of the most prosperous cities in China. Its development has a direct correlation with the growth of its satellite cities, including Kunshan, Taicang, Changshu, Wujiang and Zhangjiagang, which together with the city of Suzhou form the Suzhou prefecture. The Suzhou prefecture is home to many high-tech enterprises.

Prosperous Suzhou by Qing Xu Yang

Suzhou has jurisdiction over (at county level):

Suzhou Pharma Services

In China:
No.58, Qunxing Yi Road,
Suzhou Industrial Park, PRC. 215006
Contact: Julie Gu
jgu@suzhoupharma.cn
+86-512-6745-1085 ext 101

In the US:
9 Polito Ave, Suite 900
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
Contact: Michelle Valsera
mvalsera@suzhoupharma.cn
(732) 993-9827