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Encyclopedia > Amoy

Xiamen (Simplified Chinese: 厦门; Traditional Chinese: 廈門; pinyin: Ximn; Wade_Giles: Hsiamen) is a coastal sub_provincial city in Fujian Province, southern China.

  • Area: 1565.09 km (300 km water)
  • Population: 1,371,600 (late 2002)
  • GDP per capita: 38567 (ca. US$4660) in 2003, ranked no 9 among 659 Chinese cities.

Xiamen is also known as Amoy internationally, which is how "Xiamen" is spoken in Northern Min, the vernacular of the provincial capital Fuzhou. In the vernacular of Xiamen, known as Southern Min, it is pronounced Ē-mn̂g. The placename means "The Gate of the Grand Mansion".

Xiamen with old and new buildings


The place was made Tong'an District (同安縣) in 282, a sub-entity of Jin'an Prefecture (晉安郡). In 1387, the Ming Empire used it as base against pirates, and was part of Quanzhou. Koxinga stationed here in 1650, naming it Siming Island (思明洲), or "Remembering the Ming", but the city was renamed by the Manchus in 1680 to Xiamen Subprefecture. The name "Siming" was reverted after the 1912 Xinhai Revolution and made a county. The following it was reverted to Xiamen City. In 1949, Xiamen became a provincial city (省轄市), then upgraded to a vice-province-class city (副省級市), or a municipality. It was made a Special Economic Zone in 1980.

Xiamen was the port of trade first used by Europeans in 1541. It was China's main port in the 19th century for exporting tea. As a result, the Amoy dialect had a major influence on how Chinese terminology was translated into English and other European languages. For example, the words "Amoy", "tea" (茶), "cumshaw" (感謝), "ketchup" (茄汁), "satay", and "Pekoe" (白毫) originated from the Amoy dialect.

Xiamen was one of the five Chinese treaty ports opened by the Treaty of Nanjing (signed in 1842) at the end of the First Opium War between Britain and China.

In 2000, the largest corruption scandal in China's history was uncovered, implicating up to 200 government officials.


All six sub_municipal entities in Xiamen are districts, whereas other Fujianese municipalities have mixed districts and counties.

  • Haicang District (海沧区)
  • Huli District (湖里区)
  • Jimei District (集美区)
  • Siming District (思明区)
  • Tong'an District (同安区)
  • Xiang'an District (翔安区)

Siming and Huli co-exist with the Special Economic Zone.

In May 2003, Gulangyu and Kaiyuan were merged into Siming. Xinglin District (杏林區) was renamed Haicang District. Xiang'an was created out of a section of Tong'an.


Gulangyu Island contrasted with central Xiamen (background)

Xiamen Municipality comprises of Xiamen Island, Gulangyu Island, and a larger region along the mouth of Jiulong River on the mainland. Huli District and most of Siming District (except Gulangyu) are on Xiamen Island. The other four districts are on mainland.

Xiamen Island is geographically very close to the island of Quemoy, which is governed by the Republic of China (based on Taiwan).

Xiamen is twinned with Cardiff, Wales.

Colleges and Universities



  • Lujiang University (厦门理工学院/鹭江职业大学)
  • Jimei University (集美大学)
  • Xiamen Oceanography Vocational College (厦门海洋职业技术学院)


  • Xiamen Nanyang College (厦门南洋学院)
  • Xiamen Yanyi College (厦门演艺职业学院)
  • Informatics College (Xiamen) 英华美(厦门)学院

External links

  • Expatriates Guide to Xiamen and Fujian Province (http://www.amoymagic.com)
  • City guide to Xiamen, updated frequently (http://www.whatsonxiamen.com)
  • Official website (http://www.xm.gov.cn/) (in English, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese)

  Results from FactBites:
Amoy - LoveToKnow 1911 (347 words)
AMOY, a city and treaty-port in the province of Fuh-kien, China, situated on the slope of a hill, on the south coast of a small and barren island named Hiamen, in 24° 28' N. and 118° 10' E. It is a large and exceedingly dirty place, about 9 m.
Amoy may be regarded as the port of the inland city of Chang-chow, with which it has river communication, and its trade, both foreign and coastwise, is extensive and valuable.
Amoy was captured by the British in 1841, after a determined resistance, and is one of the five ports that were opened to British commerce by the treaty of 1842; it is now open to the ships of all nations.
Psychosocial difficulties of Amoy Gardens residents After the SARS outbreak (772 words)
  The Hong Kong Mood Disorders Center at The Chinese University of Hong Kong examined the psychosocial impact of SARS on the residents of the Amoy Gardens complex in a study conducted from June to August 2003.
In order not to be treated differently, nearly 40% of the respondents had concealed their Amoy Gardens identity when eating out in the public or visiting a doctor.
Almost 40% of the respondents had concealed their identity as Amoy Gardens residents when seeking jobs during the outbreak whilst nearly 20% would do so when necessary in future employment.
  More results at FactBites »



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