The capital of Fujian province, on the east coast across the straits from Taiwan, Fuzhou is an important coastal city especially for business people and those with relatives here. It is on the way to the mountain resort of Wuyi, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Fujian has been in the news recently as the home of “boat people,” who risked their lives trying to enter the U.S. and Canada illegally. These adventurers come from towns in the north of the province with a tradition of immigration. As you look around the cities listed here, ask yourself if people here need to spend thousands of dollars to leave.
Fuzhou is a 5000-year-old city. In the Tang dynasty, it was expanded to include three hills and the waterfront Bund. Opened to foreign trade in 1842 because of the Opium War, Fuzhou had British and American dockyards, and factories for making tea bricks. It was once home to about 10 foreign consulates. The old British Community Church is still a church. Across the street the Hua Nan Women’s College which is looking for native English-speakers it each English in return for room and board.
Fuzhou is also noted for its hot springs. It became the provincial capital v1949. Prominent is a statue of Lin Zexu (Lin Tse-Hsu), 1785-1850, the minister born here who destroyed the opium in 1840 outside of Guangzhou. The population is l.5 million urban, four million total. The Min River runs through town from Wuyi. The hottest temperature is
Fuzhou is different from the rest of China and yet very Chinese and very pleasant. It is easy and cheap to get around on good buses. The weather is subtropical and most of the province s mountainous and beautiful. The only problem is that very little English is understood here. The Southern Fujian dialect is distinct, neither Cantonese nor Mandarin. This language is spoken also by the majority on Taiwan only l
Flights arrive from Hong Kong, Macau, and 39 other Chinese cities. Flights with Macau connect directly with those from Taiwan. Currently only cargo ships arrive directly from Taiwan, but hopefully this will change soon. The international airport is modern and gleaming, almost a quarter-kilometer long, and waiting for an influx of visitors EAST CHINA 317 on Taipei some day. A left-luggage room and hotel booths are outside
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