Xiamen

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Xiamen (shyä´mŭn´) or Amoy (ämoi´), city (1994 est. pop. 458,000), S Fujian prov., China, on Xiamen island, at the mouth of the Jiulong River. It has an excellent natural harbor and is connected to the mainland by a railroad (built 1957) that crosses on a dike. Fishing, shipbuilding, food processing, and tanning are the major industries; machine tools and chemicals are also manufactured. Xiamen has been designated a special economic development city, in part because of its key position across the Taiwan Strait from Taiwan. Opposite Xiamen proper, across the inner harbor, is the island of Gulangxu, the former foreign settlement and a fine residential section. Xiamen was one of the earliest seats of European commerce in China, with Portuguese (16th cent.) and Dutch (17th cent.) establishments. It was captured (1841) by the British in the Opium War and became a treaty port in 1842. It was long a Chinese port of emigration, mainly to SE Asia. Xiamen Univ. is there.

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Xiamen Seaport city in Fujian province, se China. As Amoy, it flourished in the 19th century after being declared an open port by the Treaty of Nanking (1842). Xiamen gained extra strategic importance after the communists took control of the Chinese mainland (1949), and in 1981 was granted the status of a ‘special economic zone’, accelerating its role as the centre of growing trade between China and Taiwan. Pop. (1999) 593,401.