As a major town in the south of Kunshan, the town of Qiandeng covers an area of 80 sq km. It is home to a population of about 200,000, including 60,000 people officially registered as local residents. Within its jurisdiction, it has one sub-district, 16 administrative villages and 6 communities.
Qiandeng is a well-known historic and cultural town in China, with a history of more than 2,500 years. In addition to its reputation as the birthplace of prominent thinker Gu Yanwu (1613-1682), Qiandeng is also home to a number of historical sites, including the Qinfeng Tower that was built in 503, Shaoqing Hill where the Liangzhu Culture was discovered and the ruins where Han Shizhong, a famous general of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) fought against the invasion by the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234). Qiandeng is also widely known for a flagstone street, which is the longest of its kind in China. In recent years, it has been engaged in an endeavor to renovate and preserve its ancient architecture and culture in order to develop culture-oriented tourism and promote traditional Chinese culture. This undertaking is not only intended to enrich local culture and help generate new sources of income for local people, but can also contribute to optimize the local economic structure. As a national AAAA scenic spot, Qiandeng has been granted a number of honors, such as Famous Historic and Cultural Town, Capital of Opera, and Special Town-level Tourist Destination.
Qiandeng has been selected by Suzhou as a pilot town in urban-rural integration, which will be facilitated in eight areas: development planning, distribution of industries, infrastructure, resource allocation, public service, employment security, ecological improvement and public administration. Following a people-centric approach to urbanization, Qiandeng is pushing for the concentration of industries in parks; residents in communities; and farmland in the hands of efficient farmers, so as to improve land efficiency in both rural and urban areas. Qiandeng has developed a number of modern residential communities to house farmers and adopted differentiated measures to beautify urban environment, so that urban infrastructure, public services and lifestyles can be equally accessible to rural residents. Thanks to these efforts, Qiandeng has been honored as a "National Garden Town".
Qiandeng is also a national model in comprehensive agriculture development, owning nearly 5,000 acres of quality farmland. In 2009, it started to reform land ownership and use rights by encouraging farmers to transfer, on a voluntary basis, their land use rights and setting up 24 land shareholding cooperatives, which has resulted in the transfer use right of about 4,940 acres of farmland (99.68%). Transferees include large farmers, rural cooperatives and leading agricultural companies that grow crops, vegetables, flowers, fruits and aquatic products on a large scale. As a result, Qiandeng has given birth to quite a few influential agricultural companies, including 3D Horticulture and Datang Ecological Garden, blazing a new trail for the industrialization, large-scale and park-based development of agriculture. In 2015, Qiandeng reported a net per-capital income of RMB 34,466 for local farmers.
Qiandeng boasts a balanced development among the manufacturing, agriculture and service sectors. While promoting culture-driven tourism and efficient farming, it has also developed several industrial clusters of factories for circuit boards, auto parts and components as well as new materials. The circuit board park has become an industrial center for the national Torch Program, supplying accessories for Shenzhen spacecrafts, Changzheng rockets and Fengyun meteorological satellites. In 2015, Qiandeng reported RMB 340 million in agricultural output, RMB 55.8 billion in industrial production, RMB 5.5 billion in value added to the service sector, and RMB 1.35 billion in fiscal income.