Located in the northwestern part of Shandong Province and lying in the lower reaches of the Yellow River, Dezhou City serves as the north entrance to Shandong Province. In history, Dezhou has been an important wharf along the Great Beijing-Hangzhou Canal. Thus it has got the reputation of "the place reaching everywhere." At present Dezhou City administrates Decheng District, Leling City, Yucheng City and eight counties, including Pingyuan, Lingxian, Qihe, Xiajin, Wucheng, Linyi, Ningjing and Qingyun. It has a total area of 10,341 square kilometers and a total population of 5.24 million.
With the continental monsoon climate of the warm temperate zone, Dezhou has four distinctly different seasons with separate dry and wet seasons and plenty sunshine. Here grow various plants and live various animals, thus providing abundant product resources. Dezhou is also rich in mineral resources, with a proven reserve of 200-million-ton petroleum, 1.5-billion-cubic-meter natural gas and 950-million-ton coal, offering broad prospects for exploitation.
Over the past years, especially the past 20 years since the reform and opening, Dezhou's economy, as well as its various social undertakings, has been making sustainable and rapid progress. The living standard of the people has been improved and great changes have taken place in the appearance of the city. Dezhou is marching to the world and the 21st century with a readiness to open all-directionally to the outside world.
Dezhou lies between Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang and Jinan, and in the meeting area of the Bohai Economic Sphere and the Great Jingjiu Economic Development Zone, with its back on the inland and its face to the coastal area.
Therefore it has the advantages of both inland and coastal areas. Dezhou City is an important hub of communications in northern China. The Beijing-Shanghai Railway runs across the city from north to south, met by the Dezhou-Shijiazhuang railway in the city proper. The Dezhou-Yantai Railway to be built soon will run across the city from east to west, with the coal base of Shanxi Province on its west end, and provincial roads running across the city. The section from Dezhou to Jinan along the Beijing-Fuzhou Expressway has been built and put into use. It's about an hour's way to Jinan International Airport from Dezhou. The post and telecommunications in Dezhou is developing rapidly. Dezhou's local program-controlled telephone network, wireless paging network, the simulated mobile phone and digital mobile phone network were established successively. Now there has formed a modern advanced telecommunication network of digital exchange and transmission covering 10 counties and cities with Dezhou as the center. And a postal network with rational distribution and diversified services has taken shape.
Dezhou has an ample supply of electricity. Dezhou Huaneng Power Plant is designed to have a total capacity of 252 kilowatts. The generating units with a total capacity of 120 kilowatts of the first and second phases of the project have begun operation, while the 132-kilowatts unit of the third phase of the project is under construction. When completed, Dezhou Power Plant will be the largest thermal power plant in Shandong Province. Dezhou Reservoir with a total capacity of 108 million cubic meters, together with the 2 billion cubic meters of the Yellow River and abundant ground water, guarantees the supply of water for both industrial and agricultural production and daily life.
In the past few years, great progress has been made in the city planning, construction and management of Dezhou. The city's central heating system and natural gas supplying project are well on the way. With flowers and plant in every corner, the city is making a big step forward to the goal of establishing a civilized sanitary city.
Dezhou City lays great emphasis on the improvement and protection of environment so as to ensure sustainable development. Alongside with economic development, a beautiful living environment is presenting itself to people.
With the all-round implementation of the industry-drive strategy, industry in Dezhou is developing rapidly. At present there has formed an industrial system with 8 sectors and 25 branches as its mainstay, including textile, machinery, electronics, chemical industry, building materials and food. The country's important production bases of cotton textile, building materials, carpets, glass steel and so on have been set up here. A number of famous products including medium-and high-grade cotton yarn, cotton cloth, cashmere products, hollow glass bricks, manual hydraulic pumps, hardware, date products and so on all sell well in both domestic and overseas markets.
A number of large enterprises, such as Dezhou Cotton Textile Group, Dezhou Hengsheng Group, Dezhou Jinghua Group, Dezhou Hongli Group, Dezhou Electronic Group and Dezhou Hydraulic Group, have realized standardized operation and thus become more competitive. Medium-and small-sized enterprises in Dezhou, which have been transformed into flexible and diversified economic forms, such as mixed economy, joint-stock economy and privately managed economy, have become more prosperous.
Privately managed economy is developing rapidly. Dezhou municipal government has worked out a series of preferential policies encouraging and supporting the development of individual economy. The counties and districts have successively set up development quarters for individual economy, offering favorable environment and broad scope for its growth. Huangming-brand solar water heaters have become the most famous brand solar water heaters have become the most famous brand among China's solar water heaters; Wucheng's glass steel and automobile airproof devices, Yang'an Town's condiments, and equipment for banking offices made in Qingyun County all hold the lead in China; and the related industries have helped bring about the development of local economy as a whole.
Located on the Northern China Plain, Dezhou is endowed with vast and fertile land. With mainly wheat, corn and cotton grown here, Dezhou is one of the important production bases of grain and cotton in China. Among its 11 counties, cities and districts, 7 of them have been given the title of major counties of grain production by the central government, with the amount of grain per capita ranking first in Shandong Province. In recent years, with the all-round implementation of the strategy of agricultural industrialization, the extensive management of traditional agriculture is transferring into an intensive management of modern agriculture. There have formed in the city six leading farming industries including stock raising, vegetables, forestry and fruits aquaculture, mulberry growing and silkworm breeding, and flowers and plants, and also eight leading products including cattle, chickens, vegetables, melons, dates, eggs, fish, silkworms and flowers, Dezhou Braised Chickens, Dezhou Watermelons and Leing Dates are traditional famous products in history, and have been called "three treasures of Dezhou." Leing has developed into the largest production base of dates in China. Pingyuan is the largest production county of laying hens in China.