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Prefecture-level city
Location of Quanzhou City in Fujian
Location of Quanzhou City in Fujian
Quanzhou is located in China
Location in China
Country People's Republic of China
Province Fujian
 • CPC Secretary Zheng Xincong
 • Mayor Zhu Ming
 • Prefecture-level city 11,218.91 km2 (4,331.65 sq mi)
 • Urban 872.4 km2 (336.8 sq mi)
 • Metro 4,274.5 km2 (1,650.4 sq mi)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Prefecture-level city 8,128,533
 • Density 720/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
 • Urban 1,435,185
 • Urban density 1,600/km2 (4,300/sq mi)
 • Metro 6,107,475
 • Metro density 1,400/km2 (3,700/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 362000
Area code(s) 0595
GDP 2009[1]
 - Total CNY 300.229 billion (USD 43.99 billion)
 - Per capita CNY 38,368 (USD 5,622)
 - Growth Increase 12.5%
License Plate Prefixes 闽C
Local Dialect Min Nan: Quanzhou dialect
"Quanzhou", as written in Chinese
Chinese 泉州
Postal Chuanchow
Literal meaning Capital of Spring Prefecture

Quanzhou (formerly called Zayton/Chinchew, Chinese: 泉州; pinyin: Quánzhōu; Wade–Giles: Ch'üan2-chou1) is the largest city of Fujian Province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two (Ningde and Nanping) and faces the Taiwan Strait. In older English works, its name may appear as Chinchew, Chinchu, Choanchew, or Zayton, from Arabic.

The prefecture-level city of Quanzhou has an area of 11,245 square kilometres (4,342 sq mi) and, as of the 2010 Census, a population of 8,128,530 inhabitants.[2] Its extended metropolitan (built-up area) is home to 6,107,475 inhabitants, encompassing the Licheng, Fengze, and Luojiang urban districts, Jinjiang, Nan'an, and Shishi cities, Hui'an county, and the Quanzhou District for Taiwanese Investment.[3] Quanzhou is now the 12th largest Chinese extended metropolitan area (as of 2010).


  • Administrative divisions 1
  • Geography 2
  • History 3
    • Trading port 3.1
    • Massacre of Portuguese community 3.2
    • Immigration 3.3
  • Minnan dialect 4
  • Economy 5
  • Transport 6
    • Air 6.1
    • Railway 6.2
    • Bus 6.3
  • Colleges and universities 7
  • Culture 8
  • Notable products 9
  • Gallery 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

Administrative divisions

The prefecture-level city of Quanzhou administers four districts, three county-level cities, four counties, and two special economic districts. The People's Republic of China claims Jinmen County, more widely known as Kinmen County, as part of Quanzhou, but the territory is currently under the jurisdiction of the Republic of China.

English Name Simplified Pinyin POJ Area Population Density
Licheng District 鲤城区 Lǐchéng Qū Lí-siâⁿ-khu 52.41 404,817 7,724
Fengze District 丰泽区 Fēngzé Qū Hong-te̍k-khu 132.25 529,640 4,005
Luojiang District 洛江区 Luòjiāng Qū Lo̍k-kang-khu 381.72 187,189 490
Quangang District 泉港区 Quán'gǎng Qū Chôan-káng-khu 306.03 313,539 1025
Shishi City 石狮市 Shíshī Shì Chio̍h-sai-chhī 189.21 636,700 3,365
Jinjiang City 晋江市 Jìnjiāng Shì Chìn-kang-chhī 721.64 1,986,447 2,753
Nan'an City 南安市 Nánān Shì Lâm-oaⁿ-chhī 2,035.11 1,418,451 697
Hui'an County 惠安县 Huì'ān Xiàn Hūiⁿ-oaⁿ-kūiⁿ 762.19 944,231 1,239
Anxi County 安溪县 Ānxī Xiàn An-khoe-kūiⁿ 2,983.07 977,435 328
Yongchun County 永春县 Yǒngchūn Xiàn Éng-chhun-kūiⁿ 1,445.8 452,217 313
Dehua County 德化县 Déhuà Xiàn Tek-hòe-kūiⁿ 2,209.48 277,867 126
Jinmen County * 金门县 Jīnmén Xiàn Kim-mn̂g-kūiⁿ
*: Since its founding in 1949, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has considered Jinmen part of Quanzhou. However, the PRC has never controlled Jinmen. The Republic of China (ROC) currently administers Jinmen.


Quanzhou is a coastal prefecture bordered by Xiamen, a sub-provincial city to the southwest. It also borders the Zhangzhou and Longyan prefecture-level city towards the west. Putian and Fuzhou form Quanzhou's northeast border and Sanming forms the northwest one.

Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: The Public Weather Service Center of CMA 1981–2010 normals

Quanzhou is mountainous and has many rivers and tributaries originating from the interior. The prefecture's two major rivers (Jinjiang and Luojiang) flow into Quanzhou Bay from the west and north, respectively, forming wide estuaries.

Quanzhou has four distinct seasons. Its moderate temperature ranges from 0 to 38 degree Celsius. In summer there are typhoons that bring rain and some damage to the city.


Trading port

Zayton imagined by a 15th-century European illustrator of The Travels of Marco Polo

Quanzhou was established in 718 during the Tang Dynasty (618–907). In those days, Guangzhou was China's greatest seaport, but this status would be surpassed later by Quanzhou. During the Song Dynasty (960–1279) and Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368), Quanzhou was one of the world's largest seaports, hosting a large community of foreign-born inhabitants from across the Eurasian world. Today, a number of relics related to that era are preserved and exhibited in the Quanzhou Overseas Relations Museum. A particularly important exhibit is the so-called Quanzhou ship, a seagoing junk that sunk some time after 1272, and was recovered in 1973–74.[4]

Due to its reputation, Quanzhou has been called the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road. Zhao Rugua, a Quanzhou customs inspector during the Song dynasty, wrote the Zhu fan zhi (諸蕃志, Chu-fan-chi), which was about foreign places and items involved in trade with China. From the Arabic name of the city, Zayton زيتون (alternately spelt Zaitun or Zaytun), the word satin would be coined.[5] Zayton is also the word for olive and the symbol of peace in the Arabic and Persian languages. Quanzhou may have been given this title by the Muslims in honour of fact that it was a cultural melting pot at the time due to the trade culture.

In The Travels of Marco Polo, Quanzhou (called Zayton, T'swan-Chau, or Chin-Cheu) was listed as the departure point for Marco Polo's expedition to escort the 17-year-old Mongol princess bride Kököchin to her new husband in the Mongol Ilkhanate. In 1357 however a military revolt by the local Muslim militia against the Yuan dynasty led to the Ispah Rebellion that resulted in large civilian casualties in Quanzhou, with the Yuan loyalist commander Chen Youding massacring the Muslim community.

Of the Chinese Li family in Quanzhou, Li Nu, the son of Li Lu, visited Hormuz in Persia in 1376, converted to Islam, married a Persian girl, and brought her back to Quanzhou. Li Nu was the ancestor of the Ming Dynasty reformer Li Chih.[6][7][8]

Quanzhou was an important port in Yuan dynasty. For example, the Mongol invasion of Java during the reign of Kubilai Khan sailed from this port.[9]

Tomb of the two worthies, who were among the earliest Islamic missionaries in China.

The Ding family of Chendai in Quanzhou claims descent from the Muslim leader Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar through his son Nasr al-Din (Nasruddin or Na-su-la-ding in Chinese).[10] The Ding family has branches in Taiwan, the Philippines, and Malaysia among the diaspora Chinese communities there, no longer practicing Islam but still maintaining a Hui identity. The deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Muslim Association on Taiwan, Ishag Ma (馬孝棋), has claimed "Sayyid is an honorable title given to descendants of the Prophet Mohammed, hence Sayyid Shamsuddin must be connected to Prophet Mohammed". The Ding (Ting) family in Taisi Township in Yunlin County of Taiwan, traces descent from him through the Ding of Quanzhou in Fujian.[11]

Nasruddin was appointed governor in Karadjang, and retained his position in Yunnan till his death, which Rashid, writing about 1300, says occurred five or six years before (according to the Yüan shi, Na-su-la ding died in 1292). Nasr-uddin's son Abubeker, who had the surname Bayan Fenchan (evidently the Boyen ch'a-r of the Yüan shi), was governor in Zaitun at the time Rashid wrote. He bore also his grandfather's title of Sayid Edjell, and was minister of Finance under Kubilai's successor (D'Ohsson, torn, ii, pp. 476, 507, 508). Nasr-uddin is mentioned by M. Polo, who styles him Nescradin (vol. ii, p. 66).[12][13][14]

Quanzhou is a city with a long history and rich culture. It also has many religions, people believe in different religions from various countries came to Quanzhou in ancient time, especially during Song and Yuan Dynasty. Religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism etc. can be seen here, you can visit different places of interest about these religion in Quanzhou city. It was elected as "Ten Most Charm City in China" in 2004 by CCTV China's first charm city selected activities.

Massacre of Portuguese community

Quanzhou's restored Quanshan Gate, flanked by two stele-carrying turtles

A massacre of the Portuguese at Quanzhou resulted in the Portuguese settlement of Macau. After the Portuguese bribed their way into obtaining a trade mission in Ch' uanchou (Quanzhou), they inflicted savage behaviour against the Chinese. In retaliation, in 1549 the entire Portuguese community of Quanzhou was exterminated by Chinese forces.[15][16][17][18][19] The Emperor had ruled that all Portuguese encountered everywhere should be killed on the spot. The result of this massacre in addition to another at Ch'uanchow resulted in the Portuguese survivors fleeing to Macao, where they were allowed by China to start a colony to build sheds for drying goods in 1557.[20][21][21] The Portuguese were ultimately considered responsible for the massacre by the Chinese, since it was they who provoked the Chinese through "rapaciousness".[22] The Portuguese considered it permissible to attack and pillage "Eastern peoples", and not treat them according to the law. The historian Kenneth Scott Latourette said that "the Portuguese had chiefly themselves to thank" for the massacres the Chinese committed against them.[23][24] The Portuguese commander Albuquerque once stated "a Chinese junk man knew more about courtesy and humanity than a European knight". The Chinese had massacred them after the Portuguese engaged in pillaging and murder in Chinese villages. "A Lesson" was delivered to the Portuguese in this manner from the Chinese.[25] They later built some rudimentary stone-houses around the area now called Nam Van. But not until 1557 did the Portuguese establish a permanent settlement in Macau, at an annual rent of 500 taels ( 20 kilograms/44 pounds ) of silver.[26]


New developments east of the city center

Quanzhou is also a migration source of many Overseas Chinese living in South East Asia and to Taiwan during the last couple of centuries. About 6 million people whose ancestors were from Quanzhou now live abroad. Most of them live in Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), or Thailand. One tenth (0,6) of overseas Quanzhounese now live in Hong Kong.

Minnan dialect

Locals speak the Quanzhou variety of Min Nan similar to Amoy (spoken in Xiamen), similar to South East Asian Hokkien and Taiwanese. It is essentially the same as the dialect spoken in Xiamen, and is unintelligible with Standard Chinese (Mandarin). Many overseas Chinese whose ancestors came from the Quanzhou area, especially those in Southeast Asia, often speak mainly Hokkien at home. In Taiwan, the locals speak a version of the Minnan language which is called Taiwanese. Around the "triangle area," which includes Quanzhou, Xiamen and Zhangzhou, locals all speak Minnan languages. The dialects they speak are similar but have different intonations. It is analogous to the differences between American English and British English.


Quanzhou's Sunwu Creek

Historically, Quanzhou exported black tea, camphor, sugar, indigo, tobacco, ceramics, cloth made of grass, and some minerals. They imported, primarily from Guangzhou, wool cloth, wine, and watches, as of 1832. As of that time, the East India Company was exporting an estimated ₤150,000 a year in black tea from Quanzhou.[27]

Quanzhou is a major exporter of agricultural products such as tea, banana, lychee and rice. It is also a major producer of quarry granite and ceramics. Other industries include textiles, footwear, fashion and apparel, packaging, machinery, paper and petrochemicals.[28]

Quanzhou is the biggest automotive market in Fujian; it has the highest rate of private automobile possession.[29]

Its GDP ranked first in Fujian Province for 20 years, from 1991 to 2010. In 2008, Quanzhou's textile and apparel production accounted for 10% of China's overall apparel production, the production of sport and tourism shoes accounts for 80% of Chinese, and 20% of world production, stone exports account for 50% of Chinese stone exports, resin handicraft exports account for 70% of the country's total, ceramic exports account for 67% of the country's total, and candy production accounts for 20%.

Different districts and counties in Quanzhou have their own special industries which are known to the rest of China. Jinjiang and Shishi are famous for apparel and textiles, Huian is famous for its stone, Quangang is famous for petrifaction, Dehua for Ceramics, Yongchun for Citrus, Anxi for wulong tea, Nan An for building materials, and Fengze for resin.


Street in Quanzhou
Quanzhou Railway Station

Quanzhou is an important transport hub within southeastern Fujian province. Many export industries in the Fujian interior cities will transport goods to Quanzhou ports. Quanzhou Port was one of the most prosperous port in Tang Dynasty while now still an important one for exporting. Quanzhou is also connected by major roads from Fuzhou to the north and Xiamen to the south.

There is a passenger ferry terminal in Shijing, Nan'an, Fujian, with regular service to the Shuitou Port in the ROC-controlled Kinmen Island.


Jinjiang Domestic Airport is Quanzhou region's airport, served by passenger flights within Fujian province and other destinations throughout the country.


Quanzhou has two kinds of railway service. The Zhangping–Quanzhou–Xiaocuo Railway, a "conventional" rail line opened ca. 2001, connects several cargo stations within Quanzhou Prefecture with the interior of Fujian and the rest of the country. Until 2014, this line also had passenger service, with fairly slow passenger trains from Beijing, Wuhan, and other places throughout the country terminating at the Quanzhou East Railway Station, a few kilometers northeast of the center of the city. Passenger service on this line was terminated, and Quanzhou East Railway Station closed on December 9, 2014.[30]

Since 2010, Quanzhou is served by the high-speed Fuzhou–Xiamen Railway, part of the Hangzhou–Fuzhou–Shenzhen High-Speed Railway, which runs along China's southeastern sea coast. High-speed trains on this line stop at Quanzhou Railway Station (in Beifeng Subdistrict of Fengze District, some 10 miles north of Quanzhou city center) and Jinjiang Railway Station. Trains to Xiamen take under 45 minutes, making it a convenient weekend or day trip. By 2015, direct high-speed service has become available to a number of cities in the country's interior, from Beijing to Chongqing and Guiyang.


Long-distance bus services also run daily/nightly to Shenzhen and other major cities.

Colleges and universities


Kaiyuan Temple, Renshou Pagoda

Quanzhou is one of the twenty-four famous historic cultural cities first approved by the Chinese government.

Notable Historical and cultural sites (the 18 views of Quanzhou as recommended by the Fujian tourism board) include:

  • Qing Yuan mountain (清源山) - The tallest hill within the city limits, which hosts a great view of West lake.
  • East Lake Park (东湖) - Located in the city center. It is home to a small zoo.
  • West lake Park (西湖公园) - The largest body of fresh water within the city limits.
  • Kaiyuan Temple (开元寺) - A very old and famous pair of giant stone pagodas surrounded by temples and wonderful gardens and trees.
  • Ashab Mosque (清净寺) - Said to date to 1009, it is thought to be one of the oldest Mosques in the world and the only one build in that century in China.
  • Scholar Street (状元街) - Champion street about 500 meters long, elegant environment, mainly engaged in tourism and cultural crafts.

Notable Modern cultural sites include:

  • Fengze Square - Located in the city center and acts as a venue for shows and events.
  • Da Ping Shan - The second tallest hill within the city limits, crowned with an enormous equestrian statue of Zheng Chenggong.
  • The Embassy Lounge - Situated in the "1916 Cultural Ideas Zone" which acts as a platform for mixing traditional Chinese art with modern building techniques and designs. It also acts as the unofficial headquarters for the expats of Quanzhou.

Notable products

The city hosted the Sixth National Peasants' Games in 2008.

Quanzhou is also the birthplace of the actress Yao Chen.



  1. ^
  2. ^ (Chinese) Compilation by LianXin website. Data from the Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China
  3. ^
  4. ^ Quanzhou Overseas-relations History Museum
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ (Original from Harvard University)
  13. ^ (Original from Harvard University )
  14. ^ (Original from the University of Michigan )
  15. ^
  16. ^ (the University of Michigan)
  17. ^ (the University of Michigan)
  18. ^ (the University of California)
  19. ^ (the University of Michigan)
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^ (the University of Michigan)
  23. ^ (the University of Michigan)
  24. ^ (the University of Michigan)
  25. ^ (the University of Michigan)
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Quanzhou, Fujian. InJ. R. Logan (Ed.), The new Chinese city: Globalization and market reform (pp. 227-245). Oxford: Blackwell
  29. ^ KFC, McDonald's to Open Drive-in Restaurants in Quanzhou SinoCast China Business Daily News. London (UK): Aug 23, 2007. pg. 1
  30. ^ 泉州东站将停止办理客运业务 (Quanzhou East Station will stop passenger service), 2014-12-04
  • Brown, Bill (2004). Mystic Quanzhou: City of Light. Xiamen, China: Xiamen University Press.
  • - collection of research papers

External links

  • The Stones of Zayton speak from China Heritage Newsletter
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