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Xiamen (aka Amoy), is a coastal city in southeastern China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city under Fujian Province. It looks out to the Taiwan Strait and borders Quanzhou to the north and Zhangzhou to the south.

Xiamen and the surrounding countryside are famous for being an ancestral home to overseas Chinese. It became one of China's earliest Special Economic Zones in the 1980s. It covers an area of 1 565 km² with a total population of 2.5 million. It was recently named China's 2nd 'most suitable city for living'

During the early Jin Dynasty, the place was made Tong'an District in 282, a sub-entity of Jin'an Prefecture. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), the city was known as a sustainable international seaport, and the Chinese scientist and statesman Shen Kuo (1031-1095) spent some of his youth there while his father was a local bureaucrat on the government staff. In 1387, the Ming Dynasty used the place as base against pirates, and was part of Quanzhou. Koxinga, stationed here in 1650, named it Siming Island, or "Remembering the Ming", but the city was renamed by the Manchus in 1680 to Xiamen Subprefecture. The name "Siming" was changed back after the 1912 Xinhai Revolution and the settlement was made a county. Later it reverted to the name Xiamen City. In 1949, Xiamen became a provincial city, then was upgraded to a vice-province-class city, or a municipality. It was made a Special Economic Zone in 1980.

Xiamen was the port of trade first used by Europeans (mainly the Portuguese) in 1541. It was China's main port in the nineteenth century for exporting tea. As a result, Hokkien (also known as 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" , "cumshaw" (Thanks), "ketchup" , and "Pekoe" , kowtow, and possibly Japan originated from the Hokkien.

Xiamen 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 Britain and China. As a result, it was an early entry point for Protestant missions in China.

In 1999, the largest corruption scandal in China's history was uncovered, implicating up to 200 government officials. Lai Changxing is alleged to have run an enormous smuggling operation, which financed the city's football team, film studios, largest construction project, and a vast brothel rented to him by the local Public Security Bureau. According to Time, "locals used to joke that Xiamen should change its name to Yuanhua, the name of Lai's company." They subsequently claimed that potential investors were discouraged by the taint of corruption.

The local vernacular is Amoy, a dialect of Southern Min also called Hokkien. Amoy is widely used and understood across the southern region of Fujian province as well as overseas. While it is widely spoken in and around Xiamen, the Amoy dialect has no official status, and the official language of all government business is Mandarin. Xiamen is famous for South Music, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, puppet show, Gezi Opera and temple celebration events. You can find information about these cultural events  or stroll to Wave Arthouse near Zhongshan Lu to pick up some information. Xiamen has one of the best beach parties in China.

Gulangyu in Xiamen is an island of 1.78 square kilometers. Once you enter the island's residential area, you'll begin to hear the soft echo of music. Gulangyu is also called "Piano Island" by locals, piano music drifts from the villas and lingers throughout the island's narrow streets, many a famous Chinese musician hail from Xiamen. Every May there's an international music festival, and piano competitions and music festivals are also frequently held. On Huangyan Lu, on the way to Sunlight Rock, there's a concert hall where classical concerts are regularly held on weekends .

Xiamen Wushipu oil painting village has been named as "the second of the world oil painting industry base" and "the second batch of national cultural (art) industry base" by the China artist association and the culture property department of Culture Ministry. Xiamen has strong industry advantage in commercial oil painting, which has two main manufacturing bases here-Xiamen Wushipu Oil Painting Village and Xiamen Haicang Oil Painting Village. 80% market shares in European and American market is taken up by products exported from Xiamen. As the main manufacturing base of commercial oil painting in China, Xiamen Wushipu Oil Painting Village has more than 5,000 artists. It has the ability to produce all kinds of oil paintings with different specifications and styles. With the support of Xiamen Municipal Government, it has formed a powerful industrial chain, provided related accessories such as frames, brushes and paint colors and formed stable target customers composed by hotels, villas, high-class departments, galleries and so on. As another mail manufacturing base of oil painting, Xiamen Haicang Oil Painting Village has more than 3,000 painters. The scale of Xiamen Haicang Oil Painting Village has developed rapidly in recent years, which is from originally 28 enterprises to more than 250 enterprises at the moment. The combination of manufacturing, sales and distribution makes it become true industrial base of commercial oil painting.

Xiamen was recently voted China's cleanest city, and has many attractions for the tourist. Xiamen and its surrounding countryside provides spectacular scenery and pleasant tree-lined beaches. Gulangyu, also known as Piano Island, is a popular, peaceful weekend getaway with amazing views of the city and features many Victorian-era style European edifices. Xiamen's Botanical Garden is a nature lover's paradise. The Buddhist Nanputuo Temple, dating back to the Tang Dynasty, is a national treasure. Xiamen is also famous for its history as a frontline during the war with Kinmen (also known as Jinmen or Quemoy) 50 years ago. One attraction for tourists is to view Kinmen island, a few kilometres away and under Taiwanese control, from Xiamen island.

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