Guangzhou (Simplified Chinese: 广州; Traditional Chinese: 廣州; pinyin: Guǎngzhōu; Wade-Giles: Kuang-chou; Jyutping: Gwong2zau1; Yale: Gwóngjaū) is the capital of the Guangdong Province in southern China. Its international name was formerly Canton, after a French language corruption of Guangdong. As of 1999, the population of the city is about 6.85 million while the urban population is about 4.05 million.
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The Chinese abbreviation of Guangzhou is Sui (穗; pinyin: sùi; Jyutping: seoi6; Yale: seuīh). This city has the nicknames of Wuyangcheng (city of five rams), Yangcheng (city of rams), Huacheng (city of flowers), or Suicheng.
Canton, the French diplomatic romanisation for Europeans who could not understand ideographic characters at that time, when pronounced in French, is a closer oral rendering of the name in its original Cantonese. Guangdong is a Mandarin pronunciation of the Han ideographs.
It is believed that the first city was built in 214 BC, named Panyu (番禹; the locals pronounced this in Cantonese as Poon Yu) and have had a continuous occupation since that time.
In 206 BC, it became the capital of Kingdom Nanyue (南越), and the city was expanded.
Han Dynasty annexed Nanyue in 111 BC, and Panyu became a provincial capital and remains so until this day. In 226AD, Panyu became the seat of the Guang Prefecture (廣州; Guangzhou). Therefore, "Guangzhou" was the name of the prefecture, not of the city. However, people had grown accustomed to calling the city Guangzhou, instead of Panyu.
Guangzhou was sacked by Arabs ¹ and Persians in AD 758, ² based on a local Guangzhou government report on October 30 758, which corresponded to the day of Guisi (癸巳) of the ninth lunar month in the first year of the Qianyuan era of Emperor Suzong of the Tang Dynasty. ³
During the Song Dynasty, Su Shi, a celebrated poet, visited Baozhuangyan Temple (founded in AD 537), and left his hand-writing "liu rong" (six banyan trees) to the temple, so the name "Liu Rong Temple".
Guangzhou 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 United Kingdom and China. The other ports were Fuzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo and Shanghai.
In 1918, "Guangzhou" became the official name of the city, when an urban council was established in Guangzhou. & Panyu became a county's name south of Guangzhou. In 1930 & 1953, Guangzhou was promoted to the status of Municipality twice, but two promotions were all cancelled within a year. Guangzhou was occupied by Japanese troops between October 12, 1938 & September 16, 1945.
Guangzhou is located at 112°57'E to 114°3'E and 22°26'N to 23°56'N. The Municipality is part of the Pearl River Delta.
The Pearl River Delta is one of mainland China's leading economic regions and a massive manufacturing centre.
The GDP per capita was ¥38568 (ca. US$4660) in 2003, ranked no. 8 among 659 Chinese cities.
The Chinese Export Commodities Fair, also called Canton Fair, is held twice a year in Spring and Autumn. It was inaugurated in the Spring of 1957. It is a major event for the city.
- Shamian Island
- Guangdong Provincial Museum
- Museum of the Tomb of the King of Southern Yue in Western Han Dynasty
- Temple of the Six Banyan Trees
- Shishi Holy Heart Cathedral
- Huaisheng Mosque
In the next years it is planned to build the tallest TV tower of the world at Guangdong.
Guangzhou keeps sister city relationships with the following cities:
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Frankfurt am Main, Germany (April 11, 1988)
- Fukuoka, Japan
- Gwangju, Korea
- Los Angeles, USA (March 2, 1982)
- Lyon, France
- Manila, Philippines
- Sydney, Australia
Colleges and Universities
- Jinan University (暨南大学) (founded 1906)
- Sun Yat-sen University (中山大学) (founded 1924)
- South China University of Technology (华南理工大学)
- Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (广东外语外贸大学（)
- South China Agricultural University (华南农业大学) (founded 1909)
- Zhongkai Agrotechnical College (仲恺农业技术学院) (founded 1927)
- South China Normal University (华南师范大学)
- Guangzhou Medical College (广州医学院)
- Guangzhou University of TCM (广州中医药大学)
- Guangdong College of Pharmacy (广东药学院)
- Guangdong University of Technology (广东工业大学)
- Guangzhou University (广州大学)
- Guangdong Business College (广东商学院)
- Xinghai Conservatory of Music (星海音乐学院)
- GuangDong Polytechnic Normal University (广东技术师范学院)
- Guangzhou Physical Education Institute (广州体育学院)
Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.
- ¹ Frank Welsh, A Borrowed Place: The History of Hong Kong, Maya Rao (editor), p. 13, ISBN 1568361343
- ² Joseph Needham, Science & Civilisation in China, 1, pp.179 – Cambridge University Press 1954
- ³ Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian, ch. 220.
| Prefecture-level divisions of Guangdong
|List of Guangdong County-level divisions|