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Port of Ningbo
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The history of the port of Ningbo is dated back to the year 738 of the Tang Dynasty, when it was officially opened with Yangzhou and Guangzhou as the Three Largest Foreign Trade Ports in China. In the Song Dynasty, it was tied with Guangzhou and Quanzhou as the Three Largest Foreign Trade Ports. After the First Opium War (Britain's invasion of China, 1840-1842), the port of Ningbo was made one of the Five Treaty Ports opening to foreign trade and residence.

As a traffic artery in the coastal areas of Zhejiang Province, the port has played an important role in the cultural development of Ningbo. As early as 7,000 years ago, people in Ningbo started navigation, as is shown by the unearthed dugout canoe and wooden oars on the Hemudu Site. From the primitive time on, Ningbo has witnessed a steadfast development of its port, from the port of Sanjiangkou Port to the port of Zhenhai, from the port of Zhenhai to today's world-wide known port of Beilun.

However, the unprecedentedly tremendous advancement of the port took place after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, especially after China’s adopting the policy of reformation and opening to the outside world early in the 1980's. Today, the port of Ningbo has 73 container oceangoing ship lines to over 560 ports over the world. In 2002, it handled up to 1.85 million standard containers or 153 million tons of cargo and in this regard, it ranked the 2nd place among the ports of China's mainland and the 8th place in the world. By 2002, the port had been listed No. 1 for successively four years for its annual increase rate of container handling capacity among the main coastal ports of China. Today's port of Ningbo consists of the port of Beilun, the port of Zhenhai and the river port of Ningbo, with well equipped port facilities. As a comprehensive port with multi-functionality, it has 35 deep-water berths, including berths of the fifth generation and sixth generation and those for 300,000-tonage orecarriers. At present, the port is exerting itself to become a key part of the East China International Shipping Center, with five large enterport bases for the shipping of containers, coal, raw oil, refined oil and liquefied oil products.

The construction of the port of Beilun began in 1978. 38 kilometers from downtown Ningbo, the port is located on the south bank of the Jintang waterway of Huangzhou Bay, in the embrace of Daxie Island on the east, the Zhoushan Islands on the north and Huangmang Island on the west, forming a natural defense for the harbor against stormy waves of the sea. Behind the port is a vast stretch of land where are situated Ningbo Economic and Technological Zone and Ningbo Free Trade Zone. The port has a shoreline of 17.5 kilometers (including 13 kilometers of deep-water shorelines), starting from the Changtian Cape to the Chuanshan Cape, and the continental shelf along the shoreline is geologically stable and this enables the port free from sedimentation. All these particularly favorable natural conditions make the port of Beilun a storm-free, ice-free and sludge-free deep-water port. In 1989, the port of Beilun, with the port of Dayao in Dalian, the port of Meizhou in Fujian, the port of Dapeng in Guangdong, was denominated as a deep-water international port of China by Ministry of Communications of China. As a fruition of the policy of reforming and opening up to the outside world, the splendid success of Beilun Port has been highly evaluated by the party and government leaders: Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, Qiao Shi, Li Ruihuan, Zhu Rongji, Liu Huaqing, Hu Jingtao and Rong Yiren. In his inspection of the port in May of 1992, Li Peng, then Premier of the State Council, wrote for the port: "Grand Port in the East," and "the port of Beilun--pioneer of reforming and opening to the outside world."

As a splendid landscape, the port of Beilun is a great attraction for large numbers of tourist delegations by pleasure ships from foreign countries: Nihonomaru, Sakura, Aoi 7th, and the Sino-Japan friendship Visiting Delegation from Tutigi County from Japan, Marine Pearl from France. On March 17, 1989, the American luxury liner Canberra visited the port of Beilun with it load of 1,693 tourists to Ningbo, making a record in the history of tourist industry of Ningbo.

In 1996, the port of Beilun was denominated as the Patriotism Education Base of Zhejiang Province.

(Written by Yu Genyue)

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