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Zhanjiang is located to the southwest of the city of Guangzhou on an inlet of the South China Sea. It is located on the eastern coast of the Leizhou Peninsula. 

During the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), the area of today's Zhanjiang belonged to Xiang Shire and the central government of the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) set Xuwen County administering the whole Leizhou Peninsular. It was one of the earliest departure points on the Marine Silk Road. The population spiked during the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties.

The region was still a small fishing port when it was occupied by the French in 1898. The next year, the French forced the Chinese to lease Zhanjiang to them for 99 years as the territory of Kwang-Chou-Wan. The French wanted to develop the port, which they called Fort Bayard, to serve southern China, in parts of which France had exclusive rights to railway and mineral development. Their efforts, however, were hindered by the poverty of the surrounding land. The French retained control of the region until 1943, when the Japanese occupied the area during World War II. At the end of the war the region returned briefly under French rule before being formally returned to China in 1946 by the general De Gaulle, then French head of state.

Following the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949, Zhanjiang developed new importance. In 1955 a rail link was built to Litang in Guangxi province, where it joined the Hunan-Guangxi rail system. Since then, Zhanjiang has developed into a major modern port serving southern China, usable by ships of up to 50,000 tons. In 1984 Zhanjiang was designated one of the “open” cities of China, where the central government invited foreign investment; this spurred the city’s further industrial development. It has shipyards and engineering works; automobile, electrical-appliance, and textile plants; and sugar refineries, flour and rice mills, and chemical works. In the early 1990s a new rail line was completed, linking Zhanjiang with Guangzhou , the provincial capital. The line was later extended to Hai’an, at the southernmost tip of Leizhou Peninsula, where trains could be transported by ferry across the Hainan Strait to Haikou.

Until the introduction of Pinyin spelling, it was often known in the west as "Tsamkong" due to the Cantonese pronunciation of the name.

Tourist Attractions in Zhanjiang
South Park
North Park
Hoi Tin Park
Southern tropical garden
Sino-Australian Friendship Garden
Jin Sha Wan Park
Sino-Australian Friendship GardenGolden Bay promenade Guanhai
Zhanjiang Waterfront Park
Park fishing port
Xia Lake Park
Green River Wetland Park
French architectural monuments
Victor Catholic ChurchFrench minister to the Department of the Guangzhou Bay
France, the Police Department, Guangzhou Bay
Victor Catholic Church
Calyon site
Guangzhou Bay Chamber of Commerce Center
Zhanjiang Mangrove National Nature Reserve

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