Yancheng, literally "Salt City", is named after the salt harvest fields surrounding the city. According to historical records, collection and production of sea salt in the region began as early as 119 BC during the Western Han Dynasty, when the settlement on the current location of Yancheng was named Yandu County (鹽瀆縣). According to the 2010 Census, Yancheng has a registered population of 8,203,728 — with 7,260,240 permanent residents. Its built up area of Tinghu and Yandu Districts, was home to 1,615,717 inhabitants in 2010.
The prefecture-level city of Yancheng administers 9 county-level divisions, including 3 districts, 1 county-level city and 5 counties. The population information here presented uses 2010 census data of permanent residents.
Yancheng has a history of 2,100 years since the first canton was founded here in Han Dynasty at year 119 BC. It was named for the salt reserves in rivers around the area, its name literally meaning "Salt City". In later years, the city was the home of Fan Zhongyan, the 12th century statesman and Shi Nai'an, the reputed author of famous novels.
Yancheng was in the limelight during the Chinese Civil War from the 1930s to 1940s. The New Fourth Army led by the Communist Party of China was reestablished in Yancheng after being ambushed and battered by the enemy. After the revival, the Army played a very important role in the war and finally the foundation of the People's Republic of China. Many monuments in honor of these heroes can still be found around Yancheng.
Yancheng occupies the flat coastal plains of Eastern Jiangsu. Those areas not cultivated are mainly marshlands, which are home to several endangered species, including the red-crowned crane and the Pere David's deer. Yancheng has a temperate climate with fairly mild winters and distinctly tropical late summers.
Recent development of transportation infrastructure in Northern Jiangsu has directly impacted Yancheng, which is located on the Xinyi-Changxing Railway, completed in 2005. The Yancheng train station opened in 2006, and Yancheng now offers overnight train service (on Trains Z156, Z140, Z52 and T216) to Beijing. Yancheng is also the endpoint of the Ningjingyan Expressway as well as a major stop on the Coastal Expressway, connecting it with Shanghai.
Transportation by bus is available on a flowing basis to Lianyungang as well as neighbouring counties Funing, Sheyang, Binhai, and Xiangshui.
Yancheng's BRT (bus rapid transport) system uses a dedicated bus lane and allows daily unlimited ridership for 1 RMB per day.
Yancheng Nanyang International Airport now flies directly to Shanghai and Beijing, as well as flying directly to Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and so on.
Yancheng's financial income used to rely heavily on agricultural industry. In 2002, Yancheng's economy has been boosted by an initial joint venture between Kia Motors and Dongfeng Automotive Group, with the creation of the Yancheng Plant. The plant was expanded in 2007.
The city hosts numerous higher learning institutions, including Yancheng Teachers' University, Yancheng Institute of Technology, Yancheng Nursing College, Yancheng Textile Vocational College and Yancheng Transport Technology College.
Yancheng Radio and Television University is a branch of this national educational giant in the city.
Jiangsu Yancheng Middle School (江苏省盐城中学), founded in 1927, is recognized as one of the top secondary schools in Jiangsu province, currently ranked around Top 10 in the province. It has over 6000 students and the school offers a variety of subjects to choose from.
The city has well instituted compulsory primary education system. The secondary schools including high schools achieves significant graduate rate. Its adult vocational education system has brought diverse programs to its labor forces.
Outdoor activities include the Yangcheng wetlands and salt marshes, home of some unique and endangered species, including Père David's deer and the red-crowned crane. There is also a famous food street in east road springing up in recent years in which stands many restaurants in a style of Huizhou architecture.
A number of notable people were born in Yancheng.Lu Xiufu (1236-1279), one of the "Three heroes of the late Song Dynasty", was born in modern-day Jianhu County in Yancheng. During the battle of Yamen against Mongols on March 19, 1279, He carried the eight-year-old Emperor Bing of Song on his back and jumped into the sea, symbolizing the end of Southern Song Dynasty.
Qiao Guanhua (1913–1983) was the Chinese Foreign Minister during the 1970s and he was the first top Chinese diplomat at the UN after the legitimate position of China was restored during the Cold War.
Hu Qiaomu (1912–1992) served as a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, Director of the Party Literature Research Centre of the Central Committee, Director of the Party History Research Centre of the Central Committee and President of the Chinese Academy of Social Science in the 1980s. Two of them are referred to "Two Qiao" of Yancheng.
Hau Pei-tsun (born 13 July 1919) was the Premier of the Republic of China from May 30, 1990 to February 10, 1993, and a four-star general in the ROC Army.
Wei Yi (born 02 June 1999) Chess player
Yancheng is twinned with the following domestic and foreign cities.
In addition, the county-level city of Dafeng, administered by Yancheng, is also twinned with Ascoli Piceno, Italy (September 2001) and Guri, South Korea (February 20, 2003) respectively.