The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit will raise its curtains in June in the port city of Qingdao, Shandong province.

This will be the first summit after the SCO expanded its membership last year. Here is a glimpse of what Qingdao has to offer as a host city of the SCO Summit.

Nestled along the Pacific coast, Qingdao is known for its mild and humid climate, fresh seafood, sandy beaches, German-colonial legacy, and a famous brewery.

But there are more. In recent years, the port city has come into the spotlight for its technological advancement, tourism attractions, and cultural development.

Traditionally known as a national base for the shipbuilding industry, Qingdao has seen robust growth in the high-speed train manufacturing sector.

Located in the north of Qingdao's Chengyang district, the town of Jihongtan occupies a total area of about 20,500 acres and is regarded as the home of electric multiple unit (EMU) trains in China.

Around 60 percent of China's EMU trains set off on their first trip from Jihongtan and 25 percent of the subway trains running across China are produced here.

The area has gathered more than 180 companies in the industry, including CRRC Qingdao Sifang and Bombardier. Their products include high-speed EMU trains, intercity express trains, subway trains, suspension trains and low-floor tramcars, as well as control, traction, braking, and suspension systems.

In recent years, Jihongtan has built itself into a global EMU trains town, which local officials partially attribute to Qingdao's strong industrial foundation and powerful innovation capability in the field of rail transportation.

"After the full operation of China's flagship Fuxing bullet trains, we will launch the new program for maglev trains that can travel 600 kilometers per hour," said Liang Xiaoping, an official with the EMU trains town administrative committee.

The Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology is also developing a center for exascale computing machine, which is known as the "super supercomputer" that is able to execute a quintillion (a thousand raised to the power of six) calculations per second.

This August, the exascale computer will begin testing, with more intensive research and development to follow, said Wei Zhiqiang, director of the supercomputer center at the laboratory. He said the new generation supercomputer will boost R&D in artificial intelligence, data processing, and new material simulation.

The Qingdao West Coast New Area has gradually become a new engine for open cooperation and advanced equipment manufacturing, as more world-leading companies and research institutions like Siemens, Fraunhofer, and Tsinghua University settle in to work in state-of-the-art programs including augmented reality, artificial intelligence and robotics.

The area is home to the Sino-German Eco-park, an innovation industrial park in cooperation with Japan and the Republic of Korea, as well as the Sino-Russian regional cooperation park. A hundred and fifty-two companies have registered in the area, among which 50 are foreign-funded ventures. The total investment volume hit 40 billion yuan (US$6.25 billion).

Qingdao is well known for its tourism. Along its 40-kilometer golden coastline, the city is filled with tourist attractions, headlined by the Zhanqiao Pier, the Eight Great Passes, the Olympic Sailing Center, and Mount Lao.

In recent years, more areas of interest are gaining popularity. The Golden Sand Beach in Qingdao's West Coast New Area, the Qingdao Eye Ferris Wheel, the Oriental Movie Metropolis, and the Tourist Town in Tianheng Island have become the newest attractions.

As the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit draws near, many landmark buildings along the coastline in Qingdao begin to light up at night, bringing more splendor to the city's evening view.

The Qingdao municipal government has renovated its old communities to preserve the glamor of European-styled streets and boulevards, cultural relics, industrial heritage, as well as its German-colonial legacy, which left the port city unique architectural charm and distinctively European urban character.

Today's Qingdao has become a popular tourist city, integrating modern cityscapes with old European-styled architecture on the mountain slopes and by the seashore, blue and beautiful sea beaches scattered with red reefs, and 1,132.7-meter-high Mount Lao, the highest mountain along China's coastal line.

The Qingdao Beer Museum, once a German-built brewery, has kept the architectural structure and traditional craftsmanship from a century before.

The newly renovated Qingdao 1907 Movie Club (Qingdao Film Museum) opened in 2017. The building, at the former site of the Seaman's Club, is home to the first-ever cinema in China. The museum now contains more than 1,000 historical items including film projectors, film documents, film posters and filmmaking equipment.

Last year, Qingdao was designated by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) as a "City of Film," joining 13 other cities around the world in the Creative Cities Network (UCCN).

Since China's reform and opening up, Qingdao has participated in cultural exchanges with the rest of the world. On May 7, Qingdao and the Greek port city Piraeus became sister cities, increasing the city's "friends circle" of twin towns and sister cities to 70.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Qingdao, as one of the first Chinese cities to open up, was an important port for the Belt and Road Initiative, and that people who visit Qingdao during the summit could sense the extensive, profound local culture and the vitality of China's reform and opening up.

"I believe that the Qingdao Summit will become a new milestone in the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization," Wang said.

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