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Fuzhou in Fujian Province

Fuzhou known as the “city of a sea of banyan trees” lies near the coast, 25 miles upstream from the mouth of the Min River 3he capital of Fujian Province, it is known also Sanshan because of the three hills of the town.

Early historical reference suggest that the town was established at the end of the sixth century, in the time of the Five Dynasties (A. D. 907-960), it had become capital of the independent state of Minyue, and over the years it become a great trading town, selling sugar, wood, tea; fish, and tropical fruits while buying precious stones and pearls from Indian and Arab trading vessels. Marco Polo mentioned the town in his account or the Journeys he made in China in the fourteenth century, referring to the presence of a Mongol gamin stationed there to keep down the local rebels, and to the presence of many merchants and craftsmen.

Fuzhou was declared an”Open port’ in 1842 in the first of the “unequal treaties” negotiated at Nanjing, which allowed European nations to operate trading establishments in the town. By the end of the century, it had once again become an important trading center, famous for lumber,tea, lithe, and handicrafts. Merchants continued to operate in Fuzhou until 1949 when the Communists seized power. Then trade declined, the town and the province being “‘sealed off” because of its strategic location opposite Taiwan, which had become the haven for the fleeing Nationalist forces under Chiang Kaishek.

The province-Fujian-is mountainous, only a small area being suitable for cultivation, but the rocky coastline and deed-water access makes the province ideal for fishermen. Fujian is also well known as a source of emigrants, many of whom have left to escape poverty and to make their fortune abroad. They once poured through the ports Fuzhou, Xiamen (Amoy), and Quanzhou to nearby countries, and, with their compatriots from Guangdong Province, now represent a significant economic force in Southeast Asia.

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