Fujian (Chinese: 福建; pinyin: Fújiàn; pronounced [fǔtɕjɛ̂n] ( listen)), formerly romanised as Foken, Fouken, Fukien, and Hokkien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. The name Fujian came from the combination of Fuzhou and Jianzhou (a former name for Jian'ou) two cities in Fujian, during the Tang dynasty. While its population is chiefly of Han origin, it is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse provinces in China.
Most of Fujian is administered by the People's Republic of China (PRC). However, the archipelagos of Kinmen and Matsu are under the control of the Republic of China (ROC, aka Taiwan). Thus, there are two provinces (in the sense of government organizations): the Fujian Province administered by the PRC and the Fujian Province of the ROC.
Fujian Province, where most of the overseas Chinese in southeast Asia originated from, is still famously known as the Hokkien Province, based on the local pronunciation of the two Chinese characters "福建".
Recent archaeological discoveries demonstrate that Fujian had entered the Neolithic Age by the middle of the 6th millennium BC. From the Keqiutou site (7450–5590 BP), an early Neolithic site in Pingtan Island located about 70 kilometres (43 mi) 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 the Bronze Age in character.
Fujian was also the place for the kingdom of Minyue. The word "Mǐnyuè" was derived by combining "Mǐn" (閩/闽; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: bân), perhaps an ethnic name and associated with the Chinese word for barbarians (蠻/蛮; pinyin: mán; POJ: bân), and "Yuè", after the State of Yue, a Spring and Autumn period kingdom in Zhejiang to the north. This is because the royal family of Yuè fled to Fujian after their kingdom was annexed by the State of Chu in 306 BC. Mǐn is also the name of the main river in this area, but the ethnonym is probably earlier.
Minyue was a de facto kingdom until the emperor of Qin dynasty, the first unified imperial Chinese state, abolished the status. In the aftermath of the fall of the Qin dynasty, however, civil war broke out between two warlords, Xiang Yu and Liu Bang; the Minyue king Wuzhu sent his troops to fight side-by-side with Liu Bang and his gamble paid off. Liu Bang was victorious and founded the Han dynasty; in 202 BC, he restored Minyue's status as a tributary independent kingdom. Thus, Wuzhu was allowed to construct his fortified city in Fuzhou as well as a few locations in the 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.
After the death of Wuzhu, Minyue maintained its militant tradition and launched several expeditions against its neighboring kingdoms in Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang, mostly in the 2nd century BC, only to be stopped by the Han dynasty as it expanded southward. The Han emperor eventually decided to get rid of the potential threat by sending a military campaign against Minyue. Large forces approached Minyue simultaneously from four directions via land and sea in 111 BC. The rulers in Fuzhou surrendered to avoid a futile fight and destruction; thus the first kingdom in Fujian history came to an abrupt end.
The Han dynasty collapsed at the end of the 2nd century AD, paving the way for the Three Kingdoms era. Sun Quan, the founder of the Kingdom of Wu, spent nearly twenty years subduing the Shan Yue people, the branch of the Yue living in mountains.
The first wave of immigration of the noble class arrived in the province in the early 4th century when the Western Jin dynasty collapsed and the north was torn apart by invasions by nomadic peoples from the north, as well as 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 four remain as the major surnames of modern Fujian.
Nevertheless, isolation from nearby areas owing to rugged terrain contributed to Fujian's relatively undeveloped economy and level of development, despite major population boost from northern China during the "barbarian" invasions. Population density in Fujian remained low compared to the rest of China. Only two commanderies and sixteen counties were established by the Western Jin dynasty. Like other southern provinces such as Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, and Yunnan, Fujian often served as a destination for exiled prisoners and dissidents at that time.
The Tang dynasty (618–907) oversaw the next golden age of China and culturally and economically benefited Fujian greatly, Fujian's capital Fuzhou's economic and cultural institutions grew and developed. The later years of the Tang dynasty saw a number of political upheavals in the Chinese heartland, prompting another wave of Chinese to immigrate to the modern-day Fujian.
As the Tang dynasty ended, China was torn apart in the period of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. During this time, a second major wave of immigration arrived in the safe haven of Fujian, led by General Wang, who set up an independent Kingdom of Min with its capital in Fuzhou. After the death of the founding king, however, the kingdom suffered from internal strife, and was soon swallowed up by Southern Tang, another southern kingdom.
Quanzhou was blooming into a seaport under the reign of the Min Kingdom and was the largest seaport in the world. Its population is also greater than Fuzhou. Due to the Ispah Rebellion, Quanzhou was severely damaged.
The Lý dynasty monarchs of Vietnam were of Chinese ethnicity. Fujian province, Jinjiang village was the origin of Lý Thái Tổ 李公蘊, the ancestor of the Lý dynasty ruling family.[a] China, Fujian was the home of Lý Công Uẩn. The ethnic Chinese background of Lý Công Uẩn has been accepted by Vietnamese historian Trần Quốc Vượng.
The founder of the Trần Dynasty in Vietnam, Emperor Trần Thái Tông was the great grandon of a Chinese who came to Vietnam from Fujian, from the Chinese Chen clan and several members of the family like Prince Trần Quốc Tuấn continued to be able to speak Chinese The name of his great grandfather was Trần Kinh.
People from Song dynasty China like Zhao Zhong and Xu Zongdao fled to Tran dynasty ruled Vietnam after the Mongol invasion of the Song. The Tran dynasty originated from the Fujian region of China as did the Daoist cleric Xu Zongdao who recorded the Mongol invasion and referred to them as "Northern bandits".
Fujian was the origin of the ethnic Chinese Tran who migrated to Vietnam along with a large amount of other Chinese during the Ly dynasty where they served as officials. Distinctly Chinese last names are found in the Tran and Ly dynasty Imperial exam records. Ethnic Chinese are recorded in Tran and Ly dynasty records of officials. Clothing, food, and language were all Chinese dominated in Van Don where the Tran had moved to after leaving their home province of Fujian. The Chinese language could still be spoken by the Tran in Vietnam. The ocean side area of Vietnam was colonized by Chinese migrants from Fujian which included the Tran among them located to the capital's southeastern area. The Red River Delta was subjected to migration from Fujian including the Tran and Van Don port arose as a result of this interaction. Guangdong and Fujian Chinese moved to the Halong located Van Don coastal port during Ly Anh Tong's rule in order to engage in commerce. The usurpation of the Ly occurred after they married with the fishing Fujianese Tran family.
In 1172 Fujian was attacked by Pi-she-ye pirates.
In the early Ming dynasty, Quanzhou was the staging area and supply depot of Zheng He's naval expeditions. Further development was severely hampered by the sea trade ban of the Ming dynasty, and the area was superseded by nearby ports of Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shanghai despite the lifting of the ban in 1550. Large-scale piracy by Wokou was eventually wiped out by Chinese military and Japanese authority of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Late Ming and early Qing dynasty symbolized an era of large influx of refugees and another 20 years of sea trade ban under the Kangxi Emperor, a measure intended to counter the refuge Ming government of Koxinga in the island of Taiwan.
The seaban implented by the Qing forced many people to evacuate the coast in order to deprive Koxinga's Ming loyalists of resources, this has led to a myth that it was because Manchus were "afraid of water".
Incoming refugees, however, did not translate into a major labor force owing to their re-migration into prosperous regions of Guangdong. In 1683, the Qing dynasty conquered Taiwan and annexed it into Fujian province, as Taiwan Prefecture. Settlement of Taiwan by Han Chinese followed, and the majority of people in Taiwan are descendants of Hokkien people from Southern Fujian. Fujian arrived at its present extent after Taiwan was developed into an independent province (Fujian-Taiwan-Province) starting in 1885. Just ten more years later, the Qing ceded Taiwan to Japan via the Treaty of Shimonoseki after losing the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895.
Owing to the mountainous landscape, Fujian was the most secluded province of the PRC in eastern China due to the lack of rail and underdeveloped networks of paved roads before the 1950s. The first railway to the province, the Yingtan-Xiamen Railway, was completed in 1957. Despite its secluded location, Fujian has had a strong academic tradition since the Southern Song dynasty. At the time, north China was occupied by the Jurchen Jin dynasty during the Jin-Song wars, which caused a shift of the cultural center of China to the south, benefiting Fuzhou and other southern cities. In the Chinese Academy of Science and Chinese Academy of Engineering, there are more members from Fuzhou than from any other city. In addition, it should also be pointed out that the slow development of Fujian in its early days has proven a blessing for the province's ecology; today, the province has the highest forest coverage rate and the most diverse biosphere in China whereas central China suffers from severe overpopulation and displays severe signs of soil erosion accompanied by frequent droughts 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 ubiquitous high-rise buildings, and the government faces challenges at all levels to sustain development while, at the same time, preserving the unique and vital natural and cultural heritage of Fujian.
The province is mostly mountainous, and is traditionally described to be "Eight parts mountain, one part water, and one part farmland" (八山一水一分田). The northwest is higher in altitude, with the Wuyi Mountains forming the border between Fujian and Jiangxi. It is the most forested provincial level administrative region in China, with a 62.96% forest coverage rate in 2009. The highest point of Fujian is Mount Huanggang in the Wuyi Mountains, with an altitude of 2157 m.
Fujian province faces East China Sea to the east, South China Sea to the south, and the Taiwan Strait to the southeast. The coastline is rugged and has many bays and islands. Major islands include Quemoy (also known as Kinmen) (controlled by the Republic of China), Haitan Island, and Nanri Island. Meizhou Island occupies a central place in the cult of the goddess Matsu, the patron deity of Chinese sailors.
The Min River (闽江) and its tributaries cut through much of northern and central Fujian. Other rivers include the Jin River and the Jiulong River. Due to its uneven topography, Fujian has many cliffs and rapids.
Fujian is separated from Taiwan by the 180 kilometres (110 mi)-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.
Fujian has a subtropical climate, with mild winters. In January the coastal regions average around 7–10 °C (45–50 °F) while the hills average 6–8 °C (43–46 °F). In the summer, temperatures are high, and the province is threatened by typhoons coming in from the Pacific. Average annual precipitation is 1,400–2,000 millimetres (55–79 in).
The province has improved its infrastructure considerably by adding 166 kilometres (103 mi) of new roads and 155 kilometres (96 mi) of railways.
As of 2012[update], there are 54,876 kilometres (34,098 miles) of highways in Fujian, including 3,500 kilometres (2,200 miles) of expressways. The top infrastructure projects in recent years have been the Zhangzhou-Zhaoan Expressway (US$624 million) and the Sanmingshi-Fuzhou expressway (US$1.40 billion). The 12th Five-Year Plan, covering the period from 2011 to 2015, aims to double the length of the province's expressways to 5,500 kilometres (3,400 mi).
Due to Fujian's mountainous terrain and traditional reliance on maritime transportation, railways came to the province comparatively late. The first rail links to neighboring Jiangxi, Guangdong and Zhejiang Province, opened respectively, in 1959, 2000 and 2009. As of October 2013, Fujian has four rail links with Jiangxi to the northwest: the Yingtan–Xiamen Railway (opened 1957), the Hengfeng–Nanping Railway (1998), Ganzhou–Longyan Railway (2005) and the high-speed Xiangtang–Putian Railway (2013). Fujian's lone rail link to Guangdong to the west, the Zhangping–Longchuan Railway (2000), will be joined with the high-speed Xiamen–Shenzhen Railway (Xiashen Line) in late 2013. The Xiashen Line forms the southern-most section of China's Southeast Coast High-Speed Rail Corridor. The Wenzhou–Fuzhou and Fuzhou–Xiamen sections of this corridor entered operation in 2009 and links Fujian with Zhejiang with trains running at speeds of up to 250 km/h (155 mph).
Within Fujian, coastal and interior cities are linked by the Nanping–Fuzhou (1959), Zhangping–Quanzhou–Xiaocuo (2007) and Longyan–Xiamen Railways (2012). To attract Taiwanese investment, the province intends to increase its rail length by 50 percent to 2,500 km (1,553 mi).
The major airports are Fuzhou Changle International Airport, Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport, Quanzhou Jinjiang International Airport, Nanping Wuyishan Airport and Longyan Guanzhishan Airport. Xiamen is capable of handling 15.75 million passengers in 2011. Fuzhou is capable of handling 6.5 million passengers annually with a cargo capacity of more than 200,000 tons. The airport offers direct links to 45 destinations including international routes to Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.
|Administrative divisions of Fujian|
|№||Division code||English name||Chinese||Pinyin||Area in km2||Population 2010||Seat||Divisions|
|1||350100||Fuzhou||福州市||Fúzhōu Shì||12155.46||7,115,370||Gulou District||5||6||2|
|2||350200||Xiamen||厦门市||Xiàmén Shì||1699.39||3,531,347||Siming District||6|
|6||350300||Putian||莆田市||Pútián Shì||4119.02||2,778,508||Chengxiang District||4||1|
|8||350400||Sanming||三明市||Sānmíng Shì||22928.79||2,503,388||Meilie District||2||9||1|
|7||350500||Quanzhou||泉州市||Quánzhōu Shì||11245.00||8,128,530||Fengze District||4||5*||3|
|9||350600||Zhangzhou||漳州市||Zhāngzhōu Shì||12873.33||4,809,983||Longwen District||2||8||1|
|4||350700||Nanping||南平市||Nánpíng Shì||26280.54||2,645,549||Jianyang District||2||5||3|
|3||350800||Longyan||龙岩市||Lóngyán Shì||19028.26||2,559,545||Xinluo District||2||4||1|
|5||350900||Ningde||宁德市||Níngdé Shì||13452.38||2,821,996||Jiaocheng District||1||6||2|
All of the prefecture-level cities except Longyan, Sanming, and Nanping are found along the coast.
The nine prefecture-level divisions are subdivided into 85 county-level divisions (28 districts, 13 county-level cities, and 44 counties). Those are in turn divided into 1,107 township-level divisions (605 towns, 328 townships, 18 ethnic townships, and 156 subdistricts). Note: these are the official PRC numbers. Thus, Quemoy (Jinmen) is included as one of the 45 counties and Matsu (Mazu) as one of the 334 townships.
Quemoy (Jinmen) County is nominally controlled by Quanzhou Prefecture-Level city, but it is administered in its entirety by the Republic of China. The PRC-administered Lianjiang County, under the jurisdiction of Fuzhou Prefecture-level City, nominally includes the Matsu Islands (Mazu), but Matsu (Mazu), in reality, is controlled by the Republic of China, which administers Matsu as Lienchiang County (same name romanized differently). The Wuchiu (Wuqiu) islands are nominally administered in the PRC by Xiuyu District of Putian Prefecture, but, in reality, is controlled by the Republic of China, which administers Wuchiu (Wuqiu) as part of Quemoy (Jinmen) County.
List of the Secretaries of the CPC Fujian Committee
List of Governors
Fujian is one of the more affluent provinces with many industries spanning tea production, clothing and sports manufacturers such as Anta, 361 Degrees, Xtep, Peak Sport Products and Septwolves. Many foreign firms have operations in Fujian. They include Boeing, Dell, GE, Kodak, Nokia, Siemens, Swire, TDK and Panasonic.
In terms of agricultural land, Fujian is hilly and farmland is sparse. Rice is the main crop, supplemented by sweet potatoes and wheat and barley. Cash crops include sugar cane and rapeseed. Fujian leads the provinces of China in longan production, and is also a major producer of lychees and tea. Seafood is another important product, with shellfish production especially prominent.
Because of the geographic location with Taiwan, Fujian has been considered the battlefield frontline in a potential war between mainland China and Taiwan. Hence, it received much less investment from Chinese central government and developed much slower than the rest of China before 1978. Since 1978, when China opened to the world, Fujian has received significant investment from overseas Fujianese around the world, Taiwanese and foreign investment. Today, although Fujian is one of the wealthier provinces of China, its GDP per capita is only about the average of China's coastal administrative divisions.
Fujian province will be the major economic beneficiary of the opening up of direct transport with Taiwan which commenced on December 15, 2008. This includes direct flights from Taiwan to major Fujian cities such as Xiamen and Fuzhou. In addition, ports in Xiamen, Quanzhou and Fuzhou will upgrade their port infrastructure for increased economic trade with Taiwan.
Fujian is the host of China International Fair for Investment and Trade annually. It is held in Xiamen to promote foreign investment for all of China.
By 2015 Fujian expects to have at least 50 enterprises that have over 10 billion RMB in annual revenues. The government also expects 55 percent of GDP growth to come from the industrial sector.
As of 1832, the province was described as having an estimated "population of fourteen millions."
Han Chinese make up 98% of the population. Various Fujianese peoples (Min-speaking groups) make up the largest subgroups of Han Chinese in Fujian. This includes the Hoklo people, Fuzhounese people, Teochew people and Putian people.
Hakka, a Han Chinese people with its own distinct identity, live in the southwestern parts of the province bordering Guangdong. Hui'an, also a Han branch with their distinct culture and fashion, populate Fujian's southeast coastline near Chongwu in Hui'an County. The She, scattered over mountainous regions in the north, is the largest minority ethnic group of the province.
Many ethnic Chinese around the world, especially in Southeast Asia, trace their ancestries to Fujian. Descendants of Fujianese emigrants make up the predominant majority ethnic Chinese populations of Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. Fujian, especially Fuzhou City, is also the major source of Chinese immigrants in the United States, especially since the 1990s.
The predominant religions in Fujian are Chinese folk religions, Taoist traditions and Chinese Buddhism. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 31.31% of the population believes and is involved in Chinese ancestral religion, while 3.5% of the population identifies as Christian. The reports didn't give figures for other types of religion; 65.19% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in Chinese folk religion, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, folk religious sects, and small minorities of Muslims.
Because of its mountainous nature and the numerous waves of migration from central China in the course of history, Fujian is one of the most linguistically diverse places in all Han Chinese areas of China. Local dialects can become unintelligible within 10 kilometres (6.2 mi). This is reflected in the expression that "if you drive five miles in Fujian the culture changes, and if you drive ten miles, the language does". Most varieties spoken in Fujian are assigned to a broad Min category. Early classifications, such as those of Li Fang-Kuei in 1937 and Yuan Jiahua in 1960, divided Min into Northern and Southern subgroups. More recent classifications subdivide Min into
As is true of other provinces, the official language in Fujian is Mandarin, which is used for communication between people of different localities, although native Fujian peoples still converse in their native languages and dialects respectively.
Several regions of Fujian have their own form of Chinese opera. Min opera is popular around Fuzhou; Gaojiaxi around Jinjiang and Quanzhou; Xiangju around Zhangzhou; Fujian Nanqu throughout the south, and Puxianxi around Putian and Xianyou County.
Fujian cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood, is one of the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine. It is composed of traditions from various regions, including Fuzhou cuisine and Min Nan cuisine. The most prestigious dish is Fotiaoqiang (literally "Buddha jumps over the wall"), a complex dish making use of many ingredients, including shark fin, sea cucumber, abalone and Shaoxing wine (a type of Chinese alcoholic beverage).
Many well-known teas originate from Fujian, including oolong, Wuyi Yancha, Lapsang souchong and Fuzhou jasmine tea. Indeed, the tea processing techniques for three major classes tea, namely, oolong, white tea and black tea were all developed in the province. Fujian tea ceremony is an elaborate way of preparing and serving tea. In fact, the English word "tea" is borrowed from Hokkien of the Min Nan languages. (Mandarin and Cantonese pronounce the word chá.)
Fuzhou bodiless lacquer ware, a noted type of lacquer ware, is noted for using a body of clay and/or plaster to form its shape; the body later removed. Fuzhou is also known for Shoushan stone carvings.
Places of interest include:
The province and its diaspora abroad also has a tradition of educational achievement, and has produced many important scholars, statesmen and other notable persons since the time of the Song dynasty, such as:
Corporations with headquarters in Fujian include:
Professional sports teams in Fujian include: