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Quanzhou ( ; Min Nan (Hokkien): Chôan-chiu) is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Fujianmarker province, People's Republic of Chinamarker. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two (Ningdemarker and Nanpingmarker) and faces the Taiwan Straitmarker. In older English works, its name may appear as Chinchew or Chinchu.

The People's Republic of China claims Jinmen County, more widely known as Quemoymarker, as part of Quanzhou, but the territory is currently under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Chinamarker.


Quanzhou was established in 718 during the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618-907). In those days, Guangzhoumarker was China's greatest seaport, but this status would be surpassed later by Quanzhou. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and Yuan Dynastymarker (1279-1368), Quanzhou was one of the world's largest seaports, hosting a large community of foreign-born inhabitants from across the Eurasian world. Due to its reputation, Quanzhou has been called the starting point of the Silk Road via the sea. In The Travels of Marco Polo, Quanzhou (called Zayton, T'swan-Chau or Chin-Cheu) was listed as the departure point for Marco Polo's expedition to escort the 17-year-old Mongol princess bride Kököchin to her new husband in the Persian Ilkhanate.

Quanzhou is also a migration source of many Overseas Chinese living in South East Asia and to Taiwanmarker during the last couple of centuries.


Quanzhou is a coastal prefecture bordered by Xiamenmarker sub-provincial city to the south west. It also forms another border with Zhangzhoumarker and Longyanmarker prefecture level city towards the west. Putianmarker and Fuzhoumarker forms Quanzhou's north east border and Sanmingmarker from the north.

Quanzhou is mountainous and has many rivers and tributaries originating from the interior.


Quanzhou Minnan is the origin of the various sub-minnan dialect,, variant such as Malaysian and Singapore Hokkien, Xiamen Amoy, Taiwanese and Chiuchow Teochewmarker.

Administrative divisions

The prefecture-level city of Quanzhou administers 4 districts, 3 county-level cities and 5 counties.


Quanzhou is a major exporter of agricultural products such as tea, banana, lychee and rice. It is also a major producer of quarry granite and ceramics. Other industries include textiles, footwear, fashion and apparel, packaging, machinery, paper and petrochemicals.

Quanzhou is the biggest automotive market in Fujian, it has the highest number of private automobile possession.


Quanzhou is an important transport hub within south eastern Fujian province. Many export industries in the Fujian interior cities will transport goods to Quanzhou ports. Quanzhou Port was one of the most prosperous port in Tang Dynasty while now still an important one for exporting. Quanzhou is also connected by major roads from Fuzhoumarker to the north and Xiamenmarker to the south. Jinjiang Domestic Airport is Quanzhou's airport servicing flights within Fujian province and other destinations.

Colleges and universities


Quanzhou is one of the twenty-four famous historic cultural cities first approved by the Chinese Government.

Famous products

The city hosted the Sixth National Peasants' Games in 2008.


  • Brown, Bill (2004). Mystic Quanzhou: City of Light. Xiamen, China: Xiamen University Press.

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