Quanzhou City is located in the Southeast of Fujian Province, which is to the west coast of Taiwan Channel. The city covers 11,015 square meters, with the population of 6.54 million (excluding Jinmeng County). Being built in 718 A.D., Quanzhou has a long history of around a thousand years. In 1985, the State Department upgraded Quanzhou Municipal Government to a higher rank in the policital system administrating its subordinative counties and inferior cities such as Licheng District, Fengze District, Luojiang District, Jinjiang City, Shishi City, Nan'an City, Hui'an County, Anxi County, Yongchun County, Dehua County, Jinmeng County (to be unified) as well as Xiaocuo Administrative Committee and Qingmeng Administrative Committee.
Quanzhou is the starting point of the “Silk Route on the Sea”, it had once been very prosperous both in overseas communications and foreign trades. In Song and Yuan Dynasties, Quanzhou Harbour had once been one of the largest harbours in the world, and was equally matched to the Alexandria Harbour in Egypt.
Quanzhou is one of the twenty-four famous historic cultural cities firstly approved by the State Department .The assembled literature, the long-term mixture of Sino-Western civilizations, all these have brought up numerous brilliant scholars and writers, and have left over a large sum of cultural relics and precious Sino-foreign historic treasure, taking the Southern Opera, the Southern Music and Southern Shaoling Wushu as examples. Twelve scenic spots in the city are of the national protective cultural relics, thirty-seven of the provincial relics, and more than two hundred of the local ones. Quanzhou Liyuan Opera, Puppet Show, Gaojia Opera and Dacheng Opera have inherited the style of simplicity and elegance among which the Southern Music——admired as “the Lively Fossil of Chinese Court Music”——is regarded by the overseas Chinese as the dearest folk music. The local products like the porcelain of Dehua, the stoneware of Hui'an, the wooden puppet heads of Quanzhou, the Wulong Tea of Anxi and the vinegar of Yongchun are all well-known and well sold abroad.
Quanzhou is a famous chief native place of many Overseas Chinese and compatriots in Taiwan Han nationality. The population of Quanzhou Overseas Chinese distributed in about 100 countries and areas throughout the world reaches the amount of 6 million, in Hong Kong and Macao 600 thousand. About 44.8% (9 million) of the compatriots in Tanwan Han is originated from Quanzhou. For a long time, the Quanzhou Overseas Chinese and Quanzhou compatriots in Taiwan love their motherland and hometowns and have made great contributions to the constructions in all fields of our city.
Since the realization of the policy of reformation and opening, great changes have taken place in the economic and social aspects of Quanzhou. Its economic summation has leapt to the front row among the nine municipal cities in the province. Its fulfilled chief economic index occupies one fourth of the total index of the province. From 1978 to 1998, the average economic increment speed of the whole city had reached 19.9%. In 1998, the city achieved the gross production of 86.39 billion RMB, the gross value of industry and agriculture reached 139.18 billion RMB with total financial income of 4.27 billion RMB. The per-capita income of the citizens in towns and cities was 7,300 yuan while the per-capita income of the peasants were 4,000 yuan. All the prefectures have been listed in the “Ten Best Economic Strength of Fujian Province” or the “Ten Best Economic Developing Enterprises”. The whole area has attained a comparatively well-off level and is proceeding towards an ample prosperity. Quanzhou has successively been appraised as the trial city for national comprehensive reforms in whole range, the trial city for national technical innovation programs, the national advanced city in science and education, the national model city of civilization, and has been appraised three times as the “National Model City of Mutual Support”.
Since the “Eighth Five-year Plan” being carried out, Quanzhou has raised the fund of about 20 billion yuan RMB invested into the construction of the basic facilities so as to improve the facilities in communications, energy and telecom to a higher level. Being appraised as the first national “forty best investment environment”, Quanzhou is proceeding to increase its investment, and trying to improve the conditions in order to bring the appearances of the towns and villages on decisively. The solid communication net on “Land, Sea and in the Air” has been established; the high ways throughout the city stretches to 9,006 kilometers with the density of 82.9 kilometers per hundred kilometers. The Express Way between Quanzhou and Xiamen has been put into use, Quanzhou period of Fuzhou-Quanzhou Express was opened as a trial with great success in Sept.,1999. The railway between Zhangzhou, Quanzhou and Xiaocuo has been opened to the public. Quanzhou Jinjiang Airport has run more than ten air lines including the line to Hong Kong, Manila,etc., which produces one of the fifty largest output among the airports in the country. By the end of 1998, the city has twenty-four ports and wharfs and thirty-nine berth with an annual output of 15 million ton. Houzhu Port is of the national first-level with complete sets of facilities, which opens several transportation courses for containers both home and abroad. For the present moment, it has a ten-thousand-ton goods wharf and a one-hundred-thousand-ton oil wharf respectively. The fifty-thousand-ton coal wharf is under construction. Moreover, Shihu Port in Shishi, Weitou Port and Shenhu Port in Jinjiang all have built up ten-thousand-ton berth.
The power supply is sufficient. There is one transformer substation of 500KV, six transformer substations of 220KV, thirty-two transformer substations of 110KV throughout the city. Apart from the provincial power supply net, the city takes advantage of the local water resources to build up Shanmei Water and Electricity Station together with a group of small power supply stations. The annual power supply capacity reaches 9.5 billion. The city has rich water resources with ample water supply. There is a water works in the city area with the output capacity of 165 thousand ton per day. There are other local water works all over the counties and county-level cities.
The telecommunication and postal services have been in leading development with the nation's first programme-controlled telephone net connecting cities, counties and villages. By the end of 1998, the telephone users had reached the amount of 800 thousand , the mobile phone users 420 thousand, and page users 540 thousand , of which the ratio of users is 18.58% (including mobile phone users).
The Half-Hour-Distance City Group has been established. The centric city and the sub-centric cities have obvious achievements in construction. By the end of 1998, the detailed design of the centric city covers the space of 41.71 square kilometers with the space three times larger than it was in 1978. Centring in Quanzhou with sub-centric cities of Jinjiang, Shishi, Nan'an and Hui'an, supported by the port and the key towns along the seashore, the river of Jinjiang and the highways, a big Quanzhou “Half-Hour-Distance City Group” with typical Minnan character has been initially formed.