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- Language: Local dialect is Hokkien (or Min Nan, or Taiwanese). Mandarin, the official standardized dialect, is also used here
- Area: 1565.09 km≤ (300 km≤ water)
- Population: 1,371,600 (late 2002)
- GDP per capita: •38567 (ca. US$4660) in 2003, ranked no 9 among 659 Chinese cities.
Xiamen is also known as Amoy internationally, which is how "Xiamen" is spoken in Northern Min, the vernacular of the provincial capital Fuzhou. In the vernacular of Xiamen, known as Southern Min, it is pronounced Ē-mn̂g. The placename means "The Gate of the Grand Mansion".
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" (茄汁), "satay", and "Pekoe" (白毫) originated from the Amoy dialect.
In 2000, the largest corruption scandal in China's history was uncovered, implicating up to 200 government officials.
All six sub-municipal entities in Xiamen are districts, whereas other Fujianese municipalities have mixed districts and counties.
- Haicang District (海沧区)
- Huli District (湖里区)
- Jimei District (集美区)
- Siming District (思明区)
- Tong'an District (同安区)
- Xiang'an District (翔安区)
Siming and Huli co-exist with the Special Economic Zone.
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.
Colleges and Universities
- Xiamen University (厦门大学) (founded in 1921) (shortform "Xiada")
- Lujiang University (厦门理工学院/鹭江职业大学)
- Jimei University (集美大学)
- Xiamen Oceanography Vocational College (厦门海洋职业技术学院)
- Xiamen Nanyang College (厦门南洋学院)
- Xiamen Yanyi College (厦门演艺职业学院)
- Informatics College (Xiamen) 英华美(厦门)学院
- Expatriates Guide to Xiamen and Fujian Province
- City guide to Xiamen, updated frequently
- Official website (in English, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese)
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