Information of Shandong Province
Situated along the east coast of China and on the lower reaches of the Yellow River, Shandong Province covers a total land area of 157 thousand sq. km., bordering on the Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea in the east with a coastline of more than 3,000 km. It is about 420 km from the south to the north in width and about 700 km from the east to the west in length. It is just located between Beijing and Shanghai, the two biggest cities of China, facing Japan and South Korea across the sea to the east and adjoining Hebei, Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces.
Shandong Province has 17 major cities, with 139 counties, county-level cities or districts under the provincial jurisdiction. The 17 major cities include Jinan, Qingdao, Zibo, Dongying, Zaozhuang, Heze, Dezhou, Rizhao, Binzhou, Jining, Liaocheng, Tai'an, Laiwu, Weifang, Yantai, Weihai and Linyi. Jinan is the capital city and Qingdao is the largest city of Shandong Province, which is also the one hosting the aquatic sports of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Located in the warm temperate monsoon zone, Shandong Province enjoys mild climate, moderate rainfall and four distinct seasons, with average annual temperatures ranging from 11 to 14 degrees centigrade and average annual rainfall of 550-590 mm.
As one of the birthplaces of China's culture, civilization of Shandong can be traced from more than 5,000 years ago. Shandong has unearthed the earliest Chinese characters, the earliest city-state, and the earliest “Great Wall". It is still one of the birthplaces of pottery and silk. During the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods (770-221 BC) in Chinese history, the Qi State and the Lu State were located in the territory of present-day Shandong. Therefore Shandong is usually referred to as "Lu" or "Qilu". The unique Qilu culture constitutes an important aspect of traditional Chinese culture.
Enjoying the fame of "home of ceremony and propriety", Shandong is the home of a large number of historical figures, whose important influences on China's culture are still evident in contemporary China. Confucianism, founded by Confucius, the great thinker, educator and statesman in ancient China, is dominant in traditional Chinese culture and has been exerting great influence in the world today. Sun Tsu Art of War, written by Sun Wu, one of the most famous military strategists in ancient China, is still regarded as classical work in military and business affairs both in China and in the world nowadays.