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Fujian
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Fujian

Fujian (福建; alternate spellings Fukien, Foukien; pinyin Fújiàn; Wade-Giles Fu-chien; local transliteration Hokkien from Min-nan Hok-kiàn) is one of the provinces on the southeast coast of China. The name Fujian comes from the combination of Fuzhou and Jian'ou, two cities in Fujian. The name was coined during Tang Dynasty. Several outlying islands, namely Kinmen and Matsu, are under the control of the Republic of China (based in Taiwan), while the vast remainder of the province is administered by the People's Republic of China. Thus de facto there are two provinces (in the sense of government organisations) with the same name.

福建省
F˙jiÓn Shěng
Province Abbreviation: 闽 Mǐn
CapitalFuzhou
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 23rd
121,400 km2
xx%
Population
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 18th
34,710,000
286/km▓
Administration TypeProvince
GovernorLu Zhangong

Table of contents
1 History
2 Subdivisions
3 Geography
4 Economy
5 Demographics
6 Culture
7 Tourism
8 Miscellaneous topics
9 Colleges and Universities
10 External links

History

Recent archaeological discoveries demonstrate that Fujian especially the northern coastal region around Fuzhou entered the Neolithic Age by the middle of the 8th millennium BP (6th millennium BC). From the Keqiutou (壳丘头) site (7450-5590 BP), an early Neolithic site in Pingtan Island located ca. 70 km southeast of Fuzhou, numerous tools made of stones, shells, bones, jades, and ceramics (including wheel-made-ceramics) have been unearthed, together with spinning wheels, a definitive evidence of weaving. The Tanshishan (昙石山) site (5500-4000 BP) in suburban Fuzhou spans the Neolithic and Chalcolithic Age where semi-underground circular buildings were found in the lower level. The Huangtulun (黄土崙) site (ca.1325 BC), also in suburban Fuzhou, was of Bronze Age in character. These findings, however, also indicate that the agricultural tradition was weak if not lacking in this area, which is consistent with the early records stating that the indigenous people in Fujian, primarily those living along the Min River, were Austronesians with "large eyes, flat nose and tattooed bodies", who made their living by fishing. These people probably arrived by sea from the southeast Asia. They were eventually exiled during Han Dynasty to eastern China (north of Shanghai).

For the Han Chinese, this area was also known as Minyue. The word "Minyue" was derived by combining "Min", the name of the main river in this area, and "Yue", the name for an ancient kingdom in Zhejiang Province to the north since the royal family of Yue fled Fujian after their kingdom was annexed by Chu in 306 BC. Minyue was a de-facto kingdom until the emperor of Qin Dynasty abolished the status, which was restored by the founding emperor of Han Dynasty in 202 BC. The Minyue king Wuzhu had sent his troops to fight side-by-side with the army of Han in the war between Chu and Han, and his gambling bit was paid off. Thus he was allowed to construct his fortified city in Fuzhou as well as a few locations in Wuyi Mountains, which have been excavated in recent years. His kingdom extended beyond the borders of contemporary Fujian into eastern Guangdong, eastern Jiangxi, and southern Zhejiang. Therefore, Minyue is not an ethnic group as some would like to think, but a combination of very different groups of people, Austronesians, Han, Hakka, etc.

After the death of Wuzhu, Mingyue maintained their militant tradition and launched several expeditions against their neighboring kingdoms in Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang, mostly in the second century BC, only to be stopped by the Han (Chinese) army. The Han emperor eventually decided to get rid of the potential threat by sending in large forces simultaneously from four directions via land and sea in 111 BC. The rulers in Fuzhou surrendered in time to avoid a futile fight and destruction; the first kingdom in Fujian history come to an abrumpt end. Nonetheless, the people of northern Fujian still erect temples in memory of their first kings.

The first wave of immigration of the gentile class arrived in the province in the early 4th century AD when Jin Dynasty collapsed and the north was torned apart by civil war. These immigrants were primarily from eight families in central China: Lin (林), Huang (黄), Chen (陈), Zheng (郑), Zhan (詹), Qiu (邱), He (何), and Hu (胡). The first fours remain the major families in today's Fujian.

Despite the new immigrants, the population density in Fujian was low compared to the rest of China. Only two prefectures and sixteen counties were established by Jin Dynasty. Like other southern provinces such as Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, and Yunan, Fujian still served as penal colony for prisoners and dissidents at that time.

As the Six dynasties reigned south of the Yangtze River, their sovereigns made enormous effort of populating the area with Han Chinese. Sun Quan, the founder of Kingdom of Wu of the Three Kingdoms, spent nearly twenty years of subduing the Shan Yue people, the Yue people living in mountains. Isolation from nearby areas owing to the ragged terrain contributed to its backward technology and economy despite major population boost from northern China during the Wu Hu ravage.

As the Tang Dynasty entered its terminal decline, a second major wave of immigration arrived in the safe heaven of Fujian, led by general Wang, who set up a kingdom of Min with its capital in Fuzhou. After the death of the founding king, however, the kingdom suffered from internal striff, and was soon swallowed up by Southern Tang, another southern kingdom.

Quanzhou was blooming into a seaport under the reign of the Min Kingdom during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. Under the Mongol ruler (known as Yuan Dynasty in China) Quanzhou became the largest seaport in the Eastern hemisphere. In the early Ming dynasty, Quanzhou was the stationary and supply depot of Zheng He (Cheng-ho) exploration. Further development was severely hampered by sea trade ban of the Ming Dynasty, the area was superseded by nearby ports of Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shanghai despite lifting of the ban in 1550 and largescale piracy eventually wiped out by Chinese military and Japanese authority of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The current name of the province was adopted during that time.

Late Ming and early Qing Dynasty symbolized an era of large influx of refugees and another 20 years sea trade ban under Kangxi Emperor against the refuge Ming government of Koxinga in Taiwan. Furthermore these refugees did not translate into a major labor force owing to their re-migration into prosperous regions of Guangdong province. In 1689, the Qing dynasty officially incorporated Taiwan into Fujian province, and the majority of people in Taiwan are descendants of emigrants from Fujian. As Taiwan was separated into its own province in 1885, Fujian took its current area and was substantially influenced by the Japanese after the Treaty of Shimonoseki until the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) of WWII.

Owing to the mountainous landscape, it was the most secluded province of the PRC in eastern China due to the lack of rail and underdeveloped networks of paved roads before 1950's. The first railway to the province was completed in mid-1950s connecting Xiamen to the rest of the mainland. Despite the secluded location, Fujian has established a strong academic tradition since Southern Song Dynasty. Ironically, occupation of northern China by the Jin invaders caused a shift of the cultural center to the south, which benefits Fuzhou and other southern cities. In Chinese Academy of Science and Chinese Academy of Engineering, there are more members from Fuzhou than from any other cities. In addition, it should also be pointed out that the slow development of Fujian in its early days was really a blessing in disguise; today, the province has the highest forest coverage rate and the most diverse biosphere in China whereas central China suffers from severe over population and displays severe signs of soil erosion accompanied by frequent draughts and floods due to lack of forest coverage.

Since the late 1970s, the economy of Fujian along the coast has greatly benefited from its geographic and cultural proximity to Taiwan. In 2003, Xiamen ranked number eight GDP per capita among 659 Chinese cities, ahead of Shanghai and Beijing, while Fuzhou ranked no. 21 (number 4 among 30 provincial capitals). The development has been accompanied by a large influx of population from the over-populated areas in the north and west, and much of the farmland and forest as well as cultural heritage sites such as the temples of king Wuzhu have given way to the ubiquitous high-rise buildings. It is a tough challenge for the government at all levels to sustain the development at the same time to preserve the unique and vital natural and cultural heritage of Fujian.

Subdivisions

The province is entirely divided into 9 prefecture-level cities:

All prefecture-level cities except three (Nanping, Longyan and Sanming) are coastal.

The prefecture-level cities are subdivided into 14 county-level cities, 27 districts and 45 counties. The county-level cities are controlled by the regional municipalities on behalf of the province.

Geography

The province is located on the southeastern coast of China. It borders Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the southwest.

The province is mostly mountainous. Mount Wuyi borders Fujian and Jiangxi. Mount Wuyi contains the highest point in the province, which is 2100 meters above sea level. The widest river in the province is Min River, which is where the province gets its abbreviation. The province faces East China Sea to the east, South China Sea to the south, and Taiwan Strait to the southest.

The provincial government has immediate jurisdiction over 9 administrative prefectures and municipalities, made up of 64 counties and cities.

Fujian is separated from Taiwan by 180 km wide Taiwan Strait. Some of the small islands in the Taiwan Strait are also part of the province. Small parts of the province, namely the islands of Quemoy and Matsu are under the administration of the Republic of China on Taiwan.

Major cities:

Economy

Xiamen was one of the first cities in China to be classified as Special Economic Zone. Because of the closeness both geographically and culturally with Taiwan, Fujian receives much investment from there.

Demographics

Han Chinese makes up most of the population. She is the largest ethnic minorities. Fujian is a the major source of undocumented Chinese American aliens residing in the United States. In some villages, a stay within the United States is considered a rite of passage. People from Fujian are stereotyped as small to medium build and as clannish, petty-minded, cunning and risk-taking.

Culture

Because of its mountainous nature, Fujian is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world, with the local dialect becoming unintelligible within 10 km. There are two main dialects spoken in Fujian: the Fuzhou dialect around Fuzhou and the Min dialect around Xiamen, which is also spoken by the people of Taiwan. The official language in Fujian is Mandarin Chinese which is used for communication between people of different localities. During the Qing dynasty, traders in Fujian used pidgin English as a common language, although this is now extinct

See also: Fujian tea ceremony

Tourism

Places of interest include:

Miscellaneous topics

Early western influence in Fujian

Professional sports teams in Fujian include:

Colleges and Universities

[National]

[Public] [Private] Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

External links


[ Edit {}] Province-level divisions of the People's Republic of China
Provinces¹: Anhui | Fujian | Gansu | Guangdong | Guizhou | Hainan | Hebei | Heilongjiang | Henan | Hubei | Hunan | Jiangsu | Jiangxi | Jilin | Liaoning | Qinghai | Shaanxi | Shandong | Shanxi | Sichuan | Yunnan | Zhejiang
Autonomous Regions;: Guangxi | Inner Mongolia | Ningxia | Tibet | Xinjiang
Municipalities: Beijing | Chongqing | Shanghai | Tianjin
Special Administrative Regions;: Hong Kong | Macau
¹ See also: Political status of Taiwan