Since the completion of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal in the Sui dynasty (581-618 AD) Tianjin has occupied an increasingly important position in China. In the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) Tianjin’s became a docking station for north-south grain and silk transportation which led to a surge of developments in the city. In the Jin dynasty (1115-1234 AD), Tianjin was named “Zhiguzhai” before being renamed as “Town of Haijin” in the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368 AD). During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 AD), Prince of Yan Zhu Di marched south via the Grand Canal starting from Tianjin to fight for the throne. He renamed the city “Tianjin” (literally meaning “Heavenly Ford”) after ascending to the throne. In 1404, Tianjin Wei (Wei is a kind of military unit governing a place) was established given that Tianjin’s location was militarily important. It can be said that it has been 616 years (to 2020) since Tianjin was established as a city.
After entering the period of modern history, various countries have successively established concessions here and Tianjin became one of the trading ports China opened to the West. After the founding of People’s Republic of China, Tianjin became a municipality directly under the central government, which allowed it to play to its strength as a comprehensive industrial base and commercial center. Since reform and the adoption of the opening up policy, Tianjin has been sharpening its competitive edge as a coastal port city by actively communicating with foreign countries and through a series of undertakings.