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Qingdao, situated in the south of Shandong Peninsula (35°35'-37°09' north latitude, 119°30'-121°00' east longitude) and lying on the shore of the Yellow Sea, is one of the 70 large and medium-sized cities of China and one of five cities specifically designated in the state plan. Located in the south-east of Shandong Peninsula, it neighbours on the Yellow Sea in the east and south, Yantai in the northeast, Weifang in the west and Rizhao in the southwest.
Qingdao leads the economic development of Shandong Province. In February 1994, it was designated one of the 15 deputy provincial cities of China. By the end of 2012, the total registered population of Qingdao was 7,695,600 with 3,639,000 people from downtown (former Jiaonan City included) and 4,056,600 people from four county-level cities. In 2012, its constructed area was 374.64 km2.
Besides being a city specifically designated in the state plan and a deputy provincial city, Qingdao, this central place on the eastern coast, belongs to the first lot of coastal cities opened up as well as to the historically and culturally famous cities of the nation. It is a civilized and sanitary city, one of eight international conference cities, and ranks among the top 10 of economically dynamic and excellent business cities in China. It is also the Chinese center for marine research, the first city for national technology innovation pilot projects, a national model city for environment protection and a national garden city. It has won the “Chinese Habitat’s Best Practice Prize” as well as “China Investment Environment Gold Medal City”.
Thanks to numerous brand-name enterprises, Qingdao is honored as “Chinese Brand Capital” and “World Beer City”. It is also one of the second lot of national low-carbon pilot cities and its four satellite cities Jimo, Jiaozhou, Pingdu and Laixi all hit the Top 100 Chinese Counties. 2005 saw Qingdao winning the first prize of “the most desirable Chinese cities in public opinion” and Chinese National Geography selecting Badaguan as one of China’s five most beautiful urban areas. In 2007, Qingdao became the only Chinese city chosen for “The Most Beautiful Bay of the World” and one year later, then known as the “World’s Sailing Capital”, it successfully organized the Sailing Competition of the 29th Olympic Games. On January 7th of 2011, the State Council approved the planning of the Marine Economic Zone of Shandong Peninsula of which Qingdao is the core. In 2012, Qingdao ranked 9th on the list of Chinese competitive cities. Some more nationwide rankings and titles from the same year include “Best Leisure City”, “Top 10 Tourist City” and “Happiest City”.