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. Name was coined during Tang Dynasty. Several outlying islands, namely Kinmen and Matsu, are still 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.
|Province Abbreviation: 闽 min3|
- % water
|Ranked 23rd |
- Total (2000)
Not much of recorded history was known before the expedition by Qin Shi Huang Di except as residence of the Yue people, a collective term of southern "barbarians" with respect to Han Chinese and nominally related to today Vietnamese. Although few prefectures were established during the Qin and Han dynasties, the area mainly served as penal colony for prisoners and dissidents.
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. First provincial administration was established and coined Fuzhou in early Tang Dynasty, more than 400 years after Sun Quan's campaign, reflecting a sluggish growth of inhabitants.
Significant advancement flourished after the catastrophic An Shi Rebellion[?] in North China. Local military officers gradually gained independent administrative authority over the economy and military as central Tang government dwindled. They developed sizable economic power to support their tiny regimes. Quanzhou[?] was bloomed into a seaport under the reign of the Min Kingdom[?] during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms and upgraded to a national status under the Song Dynasty. Notable figures and families increasingly influenced the central government and substantial trading attracted foreign merchants and immigrants. Pu Shougeng[?], a third generation Muslim, switched side with the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty, ceased financial support to Zhang Shijie[?] and the exiling Song court, and hence indirectly assisted the collapse of Chinese patriotic rallies.
The region continued its world-class status of maritime economy during the short-lived Yuan Dynasty and early Ming dynasty. Zenith of prosperity was observed, as Quanzhou was the stationary and supply depot of Cheng-ho exploration. Severely hampered by sea trade ban, 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. Sea route was the main mean of transport into and out of the province. As a result modern industry rarely blossomed in Fujian until the limited transportation (further hampered by US blockade of Taiwan Strait in the 1950s) was upgraded. The first railway to the province was completed in mid-1950s connecting Xiamen to the rest of the mainland.
Since the late 1970s, the economy of Fujian along the coast has greatly benefited from its geographic and cultural proximity to Taiwan. The interior regions of Fujian remain underdeveloped. Starting in the mid-1980s, Fujian has become the largest source of undocumented Chinese immigrants to the United States particularly New York City.
The province is entirely divided into 9 regional municipalities or regional cities (地級市):
All municipalities except three (Nanping, Longyan and Sanming) are coastal.
The municipalities are subdivided into 14 county-level cities (县级市), 27 districts (市辖区) and 45 counties (县). The county-level cities are controlled by the regional muncipalities on behalf of the province.
The provincial is mostly mountainous. Mount Wuyi[?] borders Fujian and Jiangxi. Mount Wuyi contains the highest point in the province, which is 2100 meters above see level. The widest river in the province is Min River, which is where the province get its abbreviation. The province facest 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.
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.
Han Chinese makes up most of the population. She[?] is the largest ethnic minorities. Fujian is a the major source of undocumented Chinese 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.
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. These dialects are grouped into the category Min dialect which also includes Taiwanese. The official language of 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
Places of interest include: