Tianjin is one of the four municipalities directly under the control of China's central government. It came into being due to the digging of the Grand Canal during the Sui Dynasty. At that time, Tianjin was only a small village, located at the intersection of the South Grand Canal and the North Grand Canal. The spot was the birthplace of today’s Tianjin. By the middle of the Tang Dynasty, Tianjin had become a significant water and land port for transferring food and silk from Southern China into Northern China. During the Jin and Yuan Dynasties, it was also a town of military importance and a food grain transportation center. In 1404, the second year of the Yongle Emperor’s rule during the Ming Dynasty, Tianjin was formally built as a city. It now has a history of over 600 years as a city.



Tianjin, abbreviated in Chinese as Jin, means "a port for the emperor." The name Tianjin first appeared in 1403, the first year of the Yongle Emperor's reign in the Ming Dynasty. In Yongle’s second year, it became a walled garrison.



In 1860, Tianjin was opened as a trading port. After that, the Western superpowers set up concessions one after another. So Tianjin became a spearhead for opening up and the base of the Westernization movement in modern China. Until the 1930s it served as the largest industrial and commercial city and economic center of Northern China.



After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the city of Tianjin became one of the four municipalities that have provincial-level status, reporting directly to the central government. Since the late 1970s, as China began to open up, it has developed rapidly. Now Tianjin ranks as one of the four most important cites in China along with Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. It is also an international harbor and the economic center of Northern China.

Tianjin is a respected home base of Beijing opera, one of the most prestigious forms of Chinese opera.

Ma Sanli (1914 - 2003), an ethnic Hui and longtime resident of Tianjin, is paramountly respected in China for his xiangsheng, a hugely popular form of Chinese entertainment similar to stand-up comedy. Ma Sanli delivered some of his xiangsheng in the Tianjin dialect.

Yangliuqing (Green Willows), a town about 15 km west of Tianjin's urban area and the seat of Tianjin's Xiqing District, is famous for its popular Chinese New Year-themed, traditional-style, colourful wash paintings. Tianjin is also famous for Zhang's clay figurines which are a type of colourful figurine depicting a variety of vivid characters, and Tianjin's Wei's kites, which can be folded to a fraction of their full sizes, are noted for portability.




Municipality of Tientsin/Tianjin



Northern Coastal China


15,168,100 people in Tianjin (2014)


Chinese, Local language

TIME China Standard Time (GMT +8)
CLIMATE Tianjin's climate is a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate. Characterized by hot, humid summers, due to the monsoon, and dry, cold winters, due to the Siberian anticyclone. Average highs in January and July are 2 °C (36 °F) and 31 °C (87 °F) respectively). Spring is windy but dry, and most of the precipitation takes place in July and August. Tianjin also experiences occasional spring sandstorms which blow in from the Gobi Desert and may last for several days.

CNY(Chinese Yuan) is the only legal currency.