Bacheng is a water town whose history as an administrative unit dates back over 2,500 years. Famous in China for Yangcheng Lake Crabs, Bacheng is the origin of Kunqu Opera and the birthplace of Fei Junlong, an astronaut who flew on China's second manned spaceflight of the Shenzhou program. In terms of area, Bacheng is the largest town in Kunshan, covering 157 sq km. With a permanent population of 120,000, its jurisdiction includes three administrative offices of Bacheng, Shipai and Zhengyi, the Yangcheng Lake Tourism Resort, Kunshan Software Park, 5 urban residential communities and 22 administrative villages. Situated to the east of Yangcheng Lake and in the northwest of Kunshan, Bacheng borders Suzhou Industrial Park, Xiangcheng District and Changshu, Suzhou. It is respectively 50 km and 25 km away from Shanghai to the east and Suzhou to the west. In addition to the Shanghai-Nanjing High-speed Railway that stops near Yangcheng Lake, Bacheng also has three accessible expressways running through it, including the Suzhou-Kunshan-Taicang Expressway and the Suzhou Outer Ring Expressway.
Since China initiated reforms and adopted an open-door policy, Bacheng has been focused on developing its economy with a liberal mind and in an enterprising spirit by taking advantage of its superior geographical location and environment to seize growth opportunities. It has maintained a fast, sustained and healthy momentum in socio-economic progress. Particularly in recent years, Bacheng followed a differentiated approach to economic growth by focusing on the development of hi-tech industries, software, leisure-oriented tourism and modern agriculture. In 2015, Bacheng reported RMB 14.56 billion in GDP, RMB 1.515 billion in fiscal revenue, RMB 35.46 billion in industrial output, and RMB 7.4 billion in value added to the service sector. Continuous improvements have been made to local tourist destinations, including Bajie Park, Water Dream Park, Xiefang Garden, Crab Restaurant Street and Bacheng Old Street. In Bacheng, visitors can admire natural beauty in spring, play water games in summer, relish crabs in autumn and enjoy therapeutic services in winter. Every year, there are more than 160 cultural activities held here, including the Yangcheng Lake Culture & Art Festival, Grape Festival and Dongyue Temple Fair. Thanks to its efforts, Bacheng has won many national honors, including China's Capital of Folk Art and Calligraphy, National Healthy Town, National Model Town in Environmental Beauty, National Garden Town, China Model Habitat and National Key Town.
In the next five years, Bacheng will continue to align its efforts with the strategic priorities set by the central government and the municipal government of Kunshan, so as to improve the quality and efficiency of economic growth. Moreover, Bacheng will advance economic transition, pursue innovation-driven development and deepen reforms to transform itself into an economically strong, environmentally agreeable, culturally prosperous and socially inclusive place where people can live a happy and quality life.