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Home Chinese Cities and Province Information Fujian Province Xiamen

China City and Province Information
Xia'men (Amoy)

Xiamen Basics
  Area (City) 133 square km
  Area (Metro) 1,699.39 square km
Population: 2.49 million (2008)
Coordinates: 24°23'-24°54'N  117°53'-118°26'E
Local Time:  
January Average  Temperature: 12.5°C (54.5°F)
July Average  Temperature: 27.8°C (82.04°F)
Average Frost Free Days: 360 days
Average Elevation: 63.2 meters
Annual Rainfall: 1,048 mm
Annual Sunshine: 1,853 hours
Phone Area Code: 0592
Postal Code: 361000
Xiamen Information
Xiamen is a costal city of Fujian Province. Xiamen (also called Amoy in history) is an island city with a rich and dramatic history, replete with pirates, rebel leaders, and European merchants. Now linked to mainland Fujian by a causeway, Xiamen retains a strong international flavor. Known in the West as Amoy, Xiamen has a long history as a port city, and later became a center of British trade in the 19th century. Their foreign settlements, later taken over by Japanese invaders at the start of World War II, were established on the nearby small Gulangyu Island. Many of the old treaty-port and colonial buildings in Western styles survive. Xiamen was declared one of China’s first Special Economic Zones in the early 1980’s, taking advantage of the city’s heritage as a trading center and the proximity to Taiwan. Today Xiamen is one of China’s most attractive and best-maintained resort cities.

Xiamen was founded in 1394 at the beginning of the Ming dynasty as a center of defense against coastal pirates. Its prosperity was due to its deepwater sheltered harbor, that supplanted nearby Quanzhou, the port that had been the center of the maritime trade with the Indies.

In the mid-17th century, Xiamen and Gulangyu Island became a stronghold of Zheng Chenggong, known in the West as Koxinga, a Ming loyalist who held out against the Manchu invaders until being driven to Taiwan. Born in Japan to a Chinese pirate father and a Japanese mother, Zheng became allied with holdout Ming princes in the south who hoped for a restoration. He built up a resistance force of some 7,000 junks and a mixed force of three-quarters of a million troops and pirates. In 1661 he drove the Dutch from Taiwan and set up another base there, before his death in 1662.

After the Opium Wars  (which determined trade over the substance whose addictive properties continue to account for needs of drug addiction treatment today.) Xiamen became one of the first treaty ports to be opened to foreign trade and settlement following the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842. Gulangyu Island was transformed into an international settlement, where many Victorian and Neoclassical style buildings still survive. The city’s prosperity was due both to trade and to wealth sent back by Xiamen’s substantial emigrant community of overseas Chinese.

Prosperity returned to Xiamen in the early 1980’s when Xiamen was designated one of the four Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
Gulangyu Island A ten-minute ferry ride off the southwest side of Xiamen, the 2 square km (3/4 sq. mile) Gulangyu Island (Island of Blown Waves) was the center for foreign communities who settled here after 1842. Many built Western-style mansions, churches, warehouses, and government buildings which still survive.

Sunlight Rock (Riguang Yan) dominates the island from its modest 93-meter height. The island includes a statue of Koxinga and a Koxinga Museum (Koxinga bowuguan), which documents the career of that pirate turned resistance leader. The Xiamen Museum (Xiamen Bowuguan) includes more than a thousand exhibits, including porcelain and jade collections. On the southern shore of the island is the Shuzhuang Garden, which once belonged to a Taiwanese businessman who moved to the island after the Japanese took over Taiwan in 1895.

As an important city in the southeastern coast in China, Xiamenis one of the four special economic zones which are the earliest opening-up zones in China. Xiamen has been well known as an important foreign trade port in history.

 Xiamen History
In 282, Tongan County was build up, which belonged to Jingan prefecture and was merged into Nanan County later on. In 909 Wang Shengzhi became the king of Min and Fuzhou was the capital. In 933, the Tongan County was managed by Quanzhou. In 949, Southern Tang (937-975) upgraded  Quanzhou into Qingyuanjun which was changed into Pinghaijun in 963. In Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), this place was under the control of Quanzhou Government. In 1378, the Xiamen City was firstly built up and in 1650 and Zheng Chenggong set troops  in Xiamen. And still in 1650, Simingzhou was set up in Xiamen. And still in 1650, Simingzhou was set up and in 1680 it was abolished. In 1903, the Gulangyu in Xiamen became the public concession and till today, it is traditionally known in the West as Amoy.


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 Xiamen Useful Links and Sites
 Xiamen Related Report and Article Links
 China's Administrative Divisions
4 Municipalities

23 Provinces

5 Autonomous Regions

2 Special Administrative Regions (SAR)

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