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Wenzhou

Wenzhou is a major city in southeastern Zhejiang Province of China. The prefecture under its jurisdiction, which includes 2 satellite cities and 6 counties, had a population of 7,645,700 in 2007. About 1,423,600 residents live in Wenzhou's city proper. It borders Lishui to the west, Taizhou to the north, and looks out to the East China Sea on its eastern coast.

Wenzhou was a prosperous foreign treaty port, which remains well-preserved today. It is situated in a very mountainous region and, as a result, have been isolated for most of its history from the rest of the country, making the local culture and language very different from those of neighbouring areas. It is also known for its emigrants who leave their native land for Europe and the United States, with a reputation for being enterprising natives who start restaurants, retail and wholesale businesses in their adopted countries.

History
Wenzhou, also known as Yongjia (or Yung-chia) has a history which goes back to about 2000 BC, when it became known for its pottery production. In the 2nd century BC it was called the Kingdom of Dong'ou. Under the Tang Dynasty, it was promoted to prefecture status and given its current name in 675 AD.

Throughout its history, Wenzhou's traditional economic role has been as a port giving access to the mountainous interior of southern Zhejiang Province. In 1876 Wenzhou was opened to the foreign tea trade, but no foreign settlement was ever made there. In 1937 - 1942 during the war with Japan, Wenzhou became an important port due to its being one of the few Chinese ports still under Chinese control. It declined in the later years of the war but began to recover after coastal trade along the Zhejiang coast was re-established in 1955.

Geography and Weather
Wenzhou derives its present name from its mild climate. With jurisdiction over three districts, two county-level cities and six counties, Wenzhou covers a land area of 11,784 square kilometers and sea area of 11,000 square kilometers. The population of the prefectural level city is 7.7 million including 2 million urban residents, divided among 2 "county level" cities and 3 wards.

The coast of Wenzhou is rich in natural resources. The 339-kilometer long coastline gives the city abundant marine resources and many beautiful islands. Dongtou, one of the counties in Wenzhou, is also called the "County of one hundred islands". Wenzhou also boasts wonderful landscapes with rugged mountains and tranquil waters, including three state-level scenic spots, namely the Yandang Mountain, the Nanxi River and the Baizhangji Fall-Feiyun Lake, and two national nature reserves, namely the Wuyanling Ridge and the Nanji Islands, among which Yandang Mountain has been named as World Geopark, while Nanji Islands listed as UNESCO's Marine Nature Reserve of World Biosphere Reserves. Scenic area accounts for 25% of the city's land space, which is a perfect integration of exotic mountains, tender water and charming sea.

Wenzhou has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen: Cfa) with short, mild, dry winters and long, hot, humid summers. Summers are similar to the remainder of the province, but winter is much milder, partly due to the southerly location and partly due to the sheltering effect of the surrounding mountains. Average highs are 12C (54F) and 32C (90F) in January and July respectively. Heavy rainfalls occur in late spring and early summer due to the monsoon, while typhoons are common in late summer causing considerable damage and destruction.

Culture
Wenzhou's unique business culture. Due to both cultural and geographical remoteness and its lack of natural resources (land, minerals, etc.), the Chinese central government has left the people of Wenzhou relatively autonomous. Away from the center of the political and economic stage, its people are more independent, self-reliant, and generally more business-oriented. Numerous books have been published about the the business sense of people from Wenzhou. Hence, when China switched from its so-called socialist economy to its so-called capitalist economy in the late 1980s, its people adjusted well to the new system and took advantage of it.

The people of Wenzhou are equipped with business sense and a commercial culture more dominant than anywhere else in China. Wenzhou has two economic characteristics: it was the first to launch a market economy, and it has the most active and developed private economy in China. In the process of developing its economy, its people have survived adversity, with little positive help from the government. People traditionally are Buddhist,around 80% of Wenzhou residents are Buddhist. with numerous Buddhist temples scattered over the landscape. But recently there has been a rapid growth of Christian community, one source claims that between 15 and 20% of the city's population is Christian.

Wenzhou is a city with profound and brilliant cultural background with a history dating back 1682 years. It has given birth to many outstanding people and great scholars. Among them were Wang Shipeng, Chen Fuliang, Ye Shi, Huang Gongwang and Liu Ji during the South Song Dynasty, as well as Sun Yirang, Xia Nai, Xia Chengtao and Su Buqing and others of the modern era. All of them have exerted significant influence in the history of Chinese philosophy, literature and science. Wenzhou is also the originating place of China's landscape poetry, the founder of which, Xie Lingyun, was the chief of Wenzhou's Yongjia Prefecture in Nan Dynast. In Song Dynasty, there were 4 distinguished poets from Yongjia representing the River and Lake Poetry. Besides, Wenzhou is home to Nan Drama of China. For instance, "Tale of Lute", a play by Gao Zecheng of Ming Dynasty, is renowned abroad as one of the most outstanding works of Chinese drama along with Kun Opera of Yongjia which is recognized as the verbal and non-material human heritage. Wenzhou is also the birthplace of China' Mercantilism. From the Southern Song Dynasty, in contrasted to the Confucianism represented by Zhu Xi and Lu Jiuyuan in China urging people to study to be officials in the future, the theory of Wenzhou's Yongjia School represented by Ye Shi, emphasized the importance of business. The theory has an enduring impact on the mindset of Wenzhou natives and has become the "cultural gene" in the economic development of Wenzhou ever since.

Renowned as the cradle of mathematicians in China, the city has teemed with over 200 mathematic professors in the recent 100 years, among whom Su Buqing, Gu Chaohao, Jiang Lifu and other mathematicians have enjoyed great fame both at home and abroad. Furthermore, Wenzhou is also reputed as the "Home of Swimming in China", "City of Chess" and "City of Poetry in China".
 

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