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Historic section of Shantou, China
with both Western and Chinese architecture

Shantou (Simplified: 汕头, Traditional: 汕頭 Pinyin: shan4 tou2), transliterated in Min Chinese as Swatow, is a city of 784,000 in coastal eastern Guangdong Province, China.

Shantou was one of the original Special Economic Zones of the People's Republic of China, but failed to blossom like others cities such as Shenzhen, Xiamen and Zhuhai. However, it is the home to the only university in the northeast region of Guangdong province, Shantou University.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Administration
3 Demographics
4 Tourism
5 External links


Shantou was a fishing village part of Tuojiang City (鮀江都), Xieyang District (揭陽縣) during the Song Dynasty. It came to be Xialing (廈嶺) during the Yuan Dynasty. In 1563, Shantou was a part of Denghai District (澄海縣) in Chao Prefecture (Chaozhou). As early as 1574, Shantou had been called Shashan Ping (沙汕坪). In the seventeenth century, a cannon platform called Shashan Toupaotai (沙汕頭炮臺 sha shan tou pao tai) was made here, and the placename later was shortend to "Shantou".

It became a city in 1919, and was separated from Denghai in 1921. As a high-level city, Shantou administered Chaozhou City from 1983 to 1989.


Since November 1991 (consented by the PRC in April), Shantou expanded to contain the entire Shantou metropolitan area: Five county-level districts, one county, and two cities (administered on behalf of the province):


It has a large population from
Chaozhou, and most residents use the local Chaozhou dialect of Min Chinese, or the national dialect, putonghua.

Government statistics show that 2.16 million overseas Chinese have roots in Shantou, with significant populations of Chaozhou people residing in Thailand and Singapore. This is demonstrated by the unusually high number of international direct flights between Bangkok and Shantou.


See also: Li Ka Shing

External links