Nanning, also referred to as “Yong”, is the capital and the political, economic, cultural, educational, technological and financial center of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It is the permanent venue of China-ASEAN Expo and the nucleus of Beibu Gulf Urban Agglomeration. Enjoying the reputations of the “Green City of China” and the “Folk Song Hub in the World”, it is a winner of the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honor award and the titles of National Civilized City, National Ecological Garden City, National Double Support Model City, National Health City and National Forest City.
In history, Nanning was inhabited by Baiyue people. In the first year of Daxing period of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (318 AD), Jinxing Prefecture was established here and Jinxing (now Nanning) became the seat of the Prefecture Government, ushering in the history of 1,700 years of Nanning’s organizational system. In the sixth year of Zhenguan period of the Tang Dynasty (632 AD), it was renamed Yongzhou and established as the seat of Yongzhou Commandery, because of which Nanning was referred to as “Yong”. In the first year of Taiding period of the Yuan Dynasty (1324 AD), Yongzhou Road was renamed Nanning Road, meaning tranquility of the borderland of South China, and as a result, the name “Nanning” came into being. On December 4, 1949, Nanning was liberated. On February 8, 1950, Nanning was confirmed as the capital of Guangxi. In March 1958, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region was established and Nanning became its capital.
Seated at the forefront of China’s opening-up, Nanning is blessed with unique geographical advantages. Located in the central south of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and backed by Southwest China, it adjoins Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to the east, and the Beibu Gulf to the south, and faces Southeast Asia. It is an important node along the “Belt and Road”, a core city of Guangxi Beibu Gulf Economic Zone, the Pearl River-Xijiang River Economic Belt and the Beibu Gulf Urban Agglomeration, and where the South China economic circle, the Southwest China economic circle and the China-ASEAN economic circle converge. Situated close to the sea and Chinese border and along rivers and lines of transportation, it is about 100 km from the Port of Qinzhou, 170 km from the Port of Fangcheng and 200 km from the Port of Beihai. Besides, it is about 200 km from the Sino-Vietnamese border, making it the closest capital city to ASEAN countries. As the development of the Pinglu Canal has been included into China’s “14th Five-Year Plan”, the geological advantages of Nanning in water way will become more and more prominent, leading it up to Guizhou and Yunnan provinces and directly down to Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.
As a capital city, Nanning is home to Zhuang people in the majority in Guangxi, together with Han, Yao, Miao, Dong and other ethnic groups. At the end of 2021, the permanent resident population of Nanning City was 8.8328 million, an increase of 80,300 over the number at the end of 2020.
Located in the subtropical region, Nanning contains the typical landforms of mountains, hills and basins, with an average elevation of 76.5 m. It has a mild climate and abundant rainfall, with an average annual temperature of 21.7℃ and an average annual rainfall of 1,420 mm. Trees are shady, fruits are fragrant, mountains are green, and rivers are blue throughout the year. “Grass survives the winter and flowers never wither”. Here, there are 39 national 4A level or above scenic spots, such as Qingxiu Mountain Scenic Spot and Daming Mountain Scenic Spot, and 289 cultural relics protection units at various levels including the Dingsishan site, the former site of the Battle of Kunlun Pass and Fubo Temple. In Nanning, the number of national intangible cultural heritage is beyond count, including Zhuang Song Fair, Zhuang Three-part Folk Song, Yong Opera, Binyang Firecracker Dragon Festival, Legend of the Hundred Birds Costume of the Zhuang Ethnic Group, Guangxi Cantonese Opera (Southern-style Cantonese Opera), and Zhuang Sanyuesan Festival.
With a total area of 22,100 square kilometers, Nanning is divided into 7 urban districts, including Xingning District, Jiangnan District, Qingxiu District, Xixiangtang District, Yongning District, Liangqing District and Wuming District, 5 (cities) counties, including Hengzhou City, Binyang County, Shanglin County, Mashan County and Long’an County, and three national development zones, including Nanning New & High-tech Industrial Development Zone, National Nanning Economic and Technological Development Area and Guangxi-ASEAN Economic and Technological Development Zone.
Nanning boasts a well-established three-dimensional transportation network that encompasses highway, railway, civil aviation and waterway. It has been making new breakthroughs in developing itself into an international comprehensive transportation hub in the region. The road network in Nanning radiates in all directions. Multiple expressways lead all the way to the sea in Southwest China, making up an expressway network with one ring, six radial and three horizontal expressways. At present, the city’s expressways in service have mounted up to 1,073 km long and those under construction up to 528 km long; an expressway network with two ring and 15 radial expressways extending out of the region to the border and the sea is taking shape at a faster pace. The railway network is improving day by day. Nanning’s high-speed railways, with Nanning at the core, spread out in a cross-shaped layout that connects the north and the south and also the west and the east of passenger transportation, which has linked 18 provincial capitals and municipalities (3 municipalities and 15 provincial capitals), Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and 11 prefecture-level cities in Guangxi. The phase-I project of Nanning International Railway Port has already been completed and opened to traffic. In 2020, 166 China-Vietnam cross-border container trains came into service, an increase of 49.5%. In 2020, the railway passenger volume of Nanning reached 24,403,800 people. Air routes continue to increase. The annual passenger throughput of Nanning Wuxu International Airport has exceeded 15 million person-times. A total of 205 routes were opened, including 180 domestic routes and 25 international and regional routes. The air routes cover up to 124 cities, including 101 domestic cities and 23 international and regional cities. All have woven an air route network connecting to major cities and provincial capitals in China and ASEAN countries. Water transportation is convenient and fast. The Port of Nanning is one of the major inland ports in China and an important hub of the hundred-million-ton Xijiang River Golden Waterway, which can reach the Sino-Vietnamese border as well as Guizhou and Yunnan and float 2,000-ton ships downstream to Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao via Xijiang River and the Pearl River. Rail transit construction is speeding up. In 2016, Nanning Metro Line 1 was put into operation, making Nanning the first among China’s five autonomous regions for ethnic minorities to own a metro. At present, Nanning Metro Line 1, Line 2, Line 3 and Line 4 are in service. The rail transit in the city has covered a total of 108 km in mileage. A hash-mark-shaped rail transit network has been put in place.
The quality of the “Green City” continues to improve. The fully-furnished Langdong Park was built, bringing the “hundred-li beautiful Yongjiang River” on full display. Green roads thread through urban ecological areas. The Nakao River Ecological Comprehensive Renovation Project won a model award of “China Human Settlements and Environment Award”. Nanning was rated as an excellent pilot city in the first batch of sponge cities in China. The functions of the city are increasingly improving. Guangxi Culture and Art Center, Qingxiang Fast Road and other major projects were completed and put into use. “Old Nanning - Three Streets and Two Lanes” has become a popular place for Internet celebrities. In 2020, the rate of good air quality in the city was 97.5 %, and “blue Nanning” remained normal. The surface water in key river basins is 100% excellent in quality, and the water quality index of the city ranks second among the capital cities in China. As the venue of the 12th China (Nanning) International Garden Expo, Nanning Garden Expo Park has become a new green landmark of the capital city of Guangxi. The forest area stands at 1,157,300 hectares, a forest coverage rate of 48.78%. In 2020, the green space rate, the greening coverage and the per capita park green area in built-up districts (excluding Wuming District) reached 37.07%, 43.04% and 12.34 square meters per person respectively.
Nanning is endorsed by a variety of policies, including those for the construction of the “Belt and Road”, the New Western Land-Sea Corridor, the Nanning Area of China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the Financial Opening-up Gateway Nanning Core Area for ASEAN, the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Central Hub of Nanning, the National Logistics Hub, Nanning Airport Economic Demonstration Zone, the Strategy of Strengthening the Capital of Guangxi, etc., which endow Nanning with exceptional policy advantages.