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Hangzhou: an emerging brand-new “paradise” blending cultural legacies with modern elements

HANGZHOU, China, Sept. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Hangzhou, a city of more than 12 million people on China’s southeastern coast, is known for its cultural legacies and scenic views. Long famed as “a paradise on earth”, Hangzhou, which will be the third Chinese city to host the Asian Games, has charted a path featuring sustained economic prosperity and harmonious development of humanity and economy, according to the People’s Government of Hangzhou Municipality. Today, the time-honored city is seeking to nurture a brand-new “paradise” that integrates cultural legacies and modern elements.

As one of the first batch of national historical and cultural cities in China, Hangzhou is home to three world cultural heritages: West Lake Cultural Landscape, the Grand Canal and Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City. Like a historical and cultural treasure house, Hangzhou is waiting for people to explore and discover.

Many renowned Chinese poets have left their traces in Hangzhou, including Bai Juyi in the Tang Dynasty, Su Shi and Liu Yong in the Northern Song Dynasty and Lu You in the Southern Song Dynasty. Thus, Hangzhou offers visitors not only picturesque views but also profound cultural legacies.

In this city that has made into the list of China’s happiest cities for 16 consecutive years, a series of activities to showcase the cultural styles in the Song Dynasty, a peak period for Hangzhou in the ancient times, have been held with much popularity, and Hangzhou-based plays have become hit shows.

At the same time, Hangzhou is also a metropolis full of modern vibe. The unique charm and development potential of the digital economy has turned the city into a popular destination for young people, where ancient cultural heritages and modern skyscrapers together make up an impressive landscape.

Less than five kilometers from the West Lake, China’s first national wetland park located in west Hangzhou offers visitors a spectacular view of the south of the Yangtze River.

Only six or seven kilometers away lies Hangzhou Future Sci-tech City, where e-commerce giant Alibaba’s global headquarters with a total construction area of nearly one million square meters stands. The large intelligent complex has become a new local landmark.

Driven by the digital economy, Hangzhou boasts world-class infrastructure and advanced technology industries, with dozens of leading enterprises such as Alibaba and Hikvision, and scientific research institutions such as Westlake University, Zhejiang Lab and Alibaba DAMO Academy. In 2022, the core industry of Hangzhou’s digital economy achieved an added value of 507.6 billion yuan, accounting for 27.1 percent of the city’s GDP.

In northwest Hangzhou lies the archaeological site of Liangzhu ancient city. With its magnificent jade artifacts, magnificent three components sites, and large-scale water conservancy project relics, the site proves that China had a great prehistoric rice civilization and urban civilization more than 5,000 years ago.

About an hour’s drive away from the ancient city of Liangzhu, World of Metaverse, a high-intelligence park in Hangzhou’s Qiantang district, is introducing and cultivating a large number of future-oriented start-ups around the core underlying technologies of metaverse such as digital twin technology, and new application scenarios such as games, social networking and education.

Hangzhou has been making strides on various fronts.

In the sci-tech field, the city has made a leap from developing marine technologies and integrating land-sea development to cultivating innovation in the high-tech arena.

On cultural development, in addition to establish popular tourism towns featuring the integration of cultural and natural resources, Hangzhou has implemented a series of cultural inheritance projects such as the collection of various Chinese painting schools since ancient times and the local branch of the China National Archives of Publications and Culture.

From the context of humanistic economic development, Hangzhou is building a “city of the future” from many aspects, and striving to become a model city in Chinese-style modernization.

The 19th Asian Games opened on September 23 in Hangzhou.

The city will leverage the Asian Games and Asian Para Games to improve urban management and games services simultaneously in a bid to amplify the comprehensive effect of the games and build a brand-new “paradise” with unique charm, said Chen Weiqiang, executive secretary general of the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee and deputy mayor of Hangzhou.

By implementing the top-priority government project of improving the quality of digital economy through innovation, Hangzhou will improve the local income distribution system by expanding the middle-income community and improving the well-being of the low-income community, so that a brand-new “paradise” with robust innovation and entrepreneurship where happiness is shared, and good laws and good governance are practiced can be established, Chen added.