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Xiamen (Simplified: 厦门, Traditional: 廈門) is a coastal sub-provincial city in Fujian Province, southern China.

Xiamen was also known as Amoy internationally, which is how "Xiamen" is spoken in the local dialect of Min-nan, the Amoy dialect. The placename means "The Gate of the Grand Mansion".

Table of contents
1 History
2 Administration
3 Geography
4 Colleges, universities and research centres
5 External links


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", "satay" 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.


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


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).

Colleges, universities and research centres

External links