Quanzhou, alternatively known as Chinchew, is a prefecture-level port city on the north bank of the Jin River, beside the Taiwan Strait in Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China. It is Fujian’s largest metropolitan region, with an area of 11,245 square kilometres and, as of 2010, a population of 8,128,530. To its east is Taiwan separated from Quanzhou by the East Sea, making the city the famous mother town of Chinese compatriots in Taiwan and overseas. The climate is warm and humid, comfortable for year-round travel, making it a popular tourist destination.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
Quanzhou was founded in 718 AD during the Tang Dynasty, later changing its name to Min Nan. During the Tang Dynasty, Quanzhou became a budding seaport city but was overshadowed by the port city of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. However, during the Song (960-1279AD) Dynasty, Quanzhou became China’s largest seaport. It became known as the Religion of Light (Mingjiao), and gradually assimilated to Buddhism. In the Song and Yuan Dynasties, Quanzhou was one of the most important bases of Manichaean activities in China. Quanzhou is home to descendants of immigrants with religious beliefs. A large number of them are devotees of Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Hindus and Jews who practice their worship and rituals on a regular basis.
Brief City History
A Quanzhou prefecture was established there in 618 CE. The only sizable settlement in the present area was Nan’an county—some 12.5 miles (20 km) up the Xi River valley—which had been set up in the 6th century by the Nan (Southern) Chen regime (557–589). The present Quanzhou was founded in 700 as Wurongzhu; its name was changed to Quanzhou in 711, and it was established as a county seat; it was a convenient administrative centre for the scattered Chinese settlements in the area, under the name Jinjiang, in 718. The prefecture of Quanzhou was promoted to a superior prefecture under the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911/12) dynasties. After 1911, under the Chinese republic, the superior prefecture reverted to county status under its old name Jinjiang. In 1951, when Quanzhou was established as a city, all of Jinjiang county was merged into it. The Jinjiang county administration was moved and established on the south bank of the Pujiang River, though it was later named Jinjiang city within the Quanzhou urban area.
During the later Tang period (618–907), Quanzhou began to develop into a major seaport and a centre of foreign trade, rivaling Guangzhou (Canton) and Hanoi, Viet. Many Persians and Arabs settled there. During the 10th century, first under the independent Fujianese kingdom of Min (909–945), then under local warlords (944–960), and finally under the reunified empire of Song (960–1279), Quanzhou remained a centre of both foreign trade and the manufacture of oceangoing ships, which gradually enabled Chinese from Fujian to replace Arabs as chief carriers in the trade with the Middle East. Between 742 and 1162, Quanzhou’s population increased more than tenfold, and it soon outstripped Guangzhou in the volume of trade. By the 13th century Quanzhou was said to have 500,000 inhabitants, including numerous Arabs, who had their own merchant quarter on the waterfront. Under the Yuan (Mongol) dynasty (1279–1368), it was China’s greatest port and was renowned throughout the world, is known to the 13th-century Venetian traveler Marco Polo and to the 14th-century Muslim traveler Ibn Baṭṭūṭah as Zaytūn—a rendering of the common name for the city, Citongcheng. After the beginning of the 15th century, however, when the Chinese withdrew from long-range trade and when the attacks of Japanese pirates put the Ming leadership on the defensive, Quanzhou was deeply affected. At the same time, the harbor began to silt up, and in the 17th century Fuzhou and, more particularly, the nearby port of Xiamen (Amoy) began to rival it in both coastal and foreign trade. It gradually declined into a secondary coastal port, most of whose commerce was with Taiwan. Many people from this area emigrated to Taiwan, elsewhere in Southeast Asia, or overseas. Quanzhou to a large extent became economically dependent on Xiamen. Its role receded still further when Xiamen’s rail link with the interior was completed in 1956.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
Locals speak the Quanzhou variety of Min Nan essentially the same as the Amoy dialect spoken in Xiamen, and similar to South East Asian Hokkien and Taiwanese. It is unintelligible with Mandarin.
Important Types of Commerce in Quanzhou
Ten industrial clusters with output exceeding RMB 100 billion have been established, namely, Xiamen photoelectric, Fuzhou photoelectric, Meizhou Bay petrochemical, Quanzhou textile and garment, Changle textile and chemical fiber, Zhangzhou agricultural products processing, Quanzhou construction ceramics and bathroom.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Quanzhou
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