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Zhoushan (舟山; formerly transliterated as Chusan) is the only prefecture-level city consisted solely of islands in the People's Republic of China. It is northeast of Zhejiang Province and sits at the southern part of the mouth of the Yangtze, near the delta containing Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Ningpo.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Subdivisions
3 Geography
4 Notable people
5 External links


The archipelago was inhabited 6,000 years ago during the Neolithic. It was called Yongdong (涌东), meaning "east of Yongjiang River", and belonged to the State of Yue during the Spring and Autumn Period.

In 863, the Japanese Buddhist monks Hui'e (慧锷) and Zhang-shi (张氏) of Putuoshan, Zhoushan placed a statue of Guanyin at Chaoying Cave (潮音洞) that would later become popular tourist destination.

Zhoushan was occupied by the Japanese during the Ming dynasty, and served as an important commercial entrepôt.

It was taken by the British forces in 1840 and 1841 during the First Opium War, and retained till 1846 as a guarantee for the fulfilment of the stipulations of the Treaty of Nanjing (1842). It was also occupied by the British in 1860 (Second Opium War).

In February 13, 1862, Wang Yijun (王义钧) of the Heavenly Kingdom of Taiping attempted overtake Zhoushan, but was lost to the Qing army and Wang died.

Sun Yat-sen visited Zhoushan on August 25, 1916 and wrote Travelling to Putuo (游普陀志奇 You Putuo Zhiqi).

On October 1, 1942, the Japanese Lisbon Maru (里斯本丸) transported 1,800 POW back to Tokyo, but Lisbon Maru sank after being hit by a torpedo near Qingbing Island (青浜). 384 of the British POW overboard were rescued by the fishermen of Dongji Township (东极乡) nearby.

It was made Wengshan District (翁山县) of Ming Prefecture (明洲) in 738 (Tang). In 1073 (Song), it was renamed Changguo (昌国县). It was upgraded to a prefecture (昌国州) in early Yuan Dynasty, and changed to Dinghai District (定海县) of Zhejiang Province in 1688 (Qing). It was upgraded to a direct-control subprefecture (定海直隶厅) in 1841, but reverted to a county after the end of empire.

Under the Republic of China's rule, Dinghai County was, as during always in the Qing Dynasty, part of Zhejiang Province. However, Shengsi was separted into an Archipelago Direct-control District (列岛直属区) of Jiangsu Province in 1946, and made a county in October 1949. In that same year, the last year under rule of the Republic, the remaining Dinghai County was divided into Dinghai and Wengzhou (翁洲) Counties.

Zhoushan came to be under communist control on May 17, 1950, and Wengzhou was merged back into Dinghai County, which was then under Ningpo Zhuanqu (宁波专区). Shengsi was made a tequ (特区) of Songjiang Zhuanqu (松江专区), still of Jiangsu this year, and upgraded to a county the following year.

In March 1953, the Council of Ministers approved to divide Dinghai County into the counties of Dinghai, Putuo, and Daishan. In addition, Shengsi County was returned to Zhejiang, to be administered, with the three former Dinghai counties, as Zhoushan Zhuanqu of Zhejiang

Xiangshan County (象山) of Ningpo Zhuanqu was briefly incorporated into Zhoushan from 1954 to 1958.

All subdivisions' county status abolished, the commission became a county of Ningpo Zhuanqu in 1958, and was reverted to a zhuanqu on its own in May 1962, and changed to a prefecture (地区) on 1967 (approved by the State Council on January 23, 1962).

Shengsi was temporarily assigned to Shanghai in the early 1960s. Created in 1962, the short-lived Daqu (大衢) County was halved into parts of Daishan and Shengsi four years later.

The prefecture-level city status was granted on January 27, 1987 to Zhoushan, and Dinghai and Putuo Counties were upgraded to districts. The municipal People's Government was established on March 8 of that year. April of the same year, the ports of Zhoushan became open to foreign ships. On April 10, 1988, it became a coastal economic open zone.


Zhoushan governs two districts and two counties (see Political divisions of China#Levels).

{| cellpadding=5 border=1 ! Divisions !! Areas
(km²) !! Populations
(2003) !! SD !! T !! TS !! COM !! NC !! Village |------------------------------------------------------------------------- |
Dinghai District || 569 || 370,000 || 6 || 7 || 3 || 32 || 11 || 181 |------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Putuo District || 459 || 320,000 || 3 || 7 || 4 || 23 || 7 || 199 |------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Daishan County || 326 || 210,000 || 0 || 7 || 1 || 0 || 17 || 165 |------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Shengsi County || 86 || 80,000 || 0 || 3 || 4 || 0 || 11 || 48 |}


There are in total 9 sub-districts, 24 towns, 12 townships, 55 communities, 46 neighborhood committees, and 593 administrative village. The districts used to be counties as well.

Zhoushan city centre consists of the part of the two districts on Zhoushan Island.


The Zhoushan Archipelago, comprised 1,390 islands and 3,306 reefs, is located outside Hangzhou Bay. It is the largest archipelago of China (not including South China Sea Islands). Among these islands, 103 are inhabited all year round, 58 are larger than 1 km² (these make up 96.9 % of the archipelago land area), and only 15 have populations over 10,000. The larger islands, mostly closer together in southern part of the archipelago, include:

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Zhoushan includes 20,800 km² of marine territory, but only 1440.12 km² of land, 183.19 km² of which are submerged at high tides. It is 182 km east-east and 169 km north-south. It is heavily populated, but now has little farms.

As of late 2001, there are 981,014 people in 351,224 households, with a birthrate of 6.34‰ and death rate of 6.37‰, and population growth rate of -0.03‰ (first time in local history). Population density was 683 persons per km², which is one time higher than provincial average and six times national average. There are 100,000 overseas Zhoushan people.

Notable people

External links