Xiamen is located in the southeast end of Fujian Province, bordering Zhangzhou to the south and Quanzhou to the north and facing Kinmen Island to the southeast across the sea. It was the shortest frontline battlefield between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party. In 282 A.D., the place was made Tong’an County under Jin’an Prefecture. In 1933, the city was established. It is a sub-provincial city, a municipality with independent planning status, a special economic zone, and a national comprehensive matched reform experiment zone. It administers Siming, Huli, Jimei, Haicang, Tong’an and Xiang’an. In 2012, the total GDP was RMB281.707 billion. The local vernacular is Amoy, a dialect of Southern Min (also called Hokkien). In ancient times, as it was the place inhabited by egrets, it was also called “Lu Island (literally Egret Island)”. During the Taipingxingguo Period of Song Dynasty, as the rice produced on the island featured “many ears in one stalk”, it was also called “Jiahe-Yu”. During the Hongwu Period of the Ming Dynasty, “Xiamen Cheng” was built, meaning the gate of national buildings. The former president of the United States Richard Nixon praised Xiamen as “Oriental Hawaii”. Now it is a modern and international tourism city of scenery of port. It has a national 5A level scenic spot- Gulangyu Island. Xiamen International Marathon has been rated as “IAAF Gold Label Road Race” by the IAAF for 6 consecutive years.
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