China Travel Info/Cities and Attractions/Fuzhou


Fuzhou Location

Fuzhou is the capital city of Fujian Province , located on China 's southeastern coast. With a long tradition as a coastal port and shipbuilding center, Fuzhou is the major coastal city between Hong Kong and Shanghai . It is known as “ Banyan Town ” after the subtropical banyan trees planted there since the Song dynasty. As the central city of a province with many ethnic and linguistic links to Taiwan , Fuzhou has benefited from cross-strait investment and is today a major commercial and manufacturing center.

Fuzhou lies on the Min River , in the east of Fujian Province , some 50 km (30 mi les ) from the sea. The city is on a subtropical plain close to the Fu Mountains. It is 700 km (435 mi les ) northeast of Hong Kong, and 1,500 km (930 mi les ) southeast of Beijing .

Fuzhou 's history dates back to the 3rd century AD, when it became a center of ore smelting. Thereafter it was capital, known as Minzhou, of the coastal kingdom of Minyue . When it was absorbed into the Tang dynasty, Fuzhou acquired its present name, which mean “prosperous city” or “fortunate city.” It grew wealthy as a coastal port for the export of tea.

Marco Polo is supposed to have passed through Fuzhou at the end of the 13th century . He described it as a great center of international commerce with special links to the Indian trade, prosperous, with great gardens and an abundance of fruit. He also noted the presence of a large Christian community there, with roots going back several hundred years. These were possibly descendants of Nestorian Christians, a Syrian sect that had come to China via the Silk Road .

Fuzhou 's international links continued in the Ming dynasty, when it was the homeport for the international voyages of the eunuch-admiral Zheng He in the early 15th century. In 1842, following the Opium Wars, Fuzhou became one of the five ports declared open to foreign trade. It also became a center of both Catholic and Protestant missionary activity after that time.

Because of Fuzhou 's proximity to Taiwan , and the ethnic and linguistic closeness of the two regions, cross-strait investment has made Fuzhou one of China 's most prosperous cities.

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