Guangzhou (Canton) architecture
 
 
01- Chen Family Academy 02- Guangxiaosi Temple 03- Sun Yat-Sen Memorial
04- Wongtaisin Temple 05- Wuxianguan Temple 06- Zhenhai Tower
07- Shamian Island 08- Museum of the Tomb of the King of Southern Yue in Western Han Dynasty 09- Temple of the Six Banyan Trees
 
10- Shishi Holy Heart Cathedral 11- Huaisheng Mosque 12- M
13- Guangdong Olympic Stadium 14- CITIC Plaza 15- Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower
     
16- G 17- Pearl River Tower 18- Guangzhou Zhujiang Brewery Group
     
 
 
Guangzhou (simplified Chinese: 广州; traditional Chinese: 廣州; pinyin: Guǎngzhōu ; jyutping : Gwong²zau¹) is the capital and a sub-provincial city of Guangdong Province in the southern part of the People's Republic of China. The city is also known by an older English-language name, Canton. It is a port on the Pearl River, navigable to the South China Sea, and is located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Hong Kong. As of the 2000 census, the city has a population of 6 million, and a metropolitan population of roughly 8.5 million (though some estimates are as high as 12.6 million)[citation needed] making it the most populous city in the province and the third most populous metropolitan area in mainland China. The official estimate of the metro's population at end 2006 by the Provincial Government was 9,754,600.
Tianhe, Guangzhou
 
History
The first known city built at the site of Guangzhou was Panyu (蕃禺, later simplified to 番禺; Poon Yu in Cantonese) founded in 214 BC. The city has been continuously occupied since that time. Panyu was expanded when it became the capital of the Nanyue Kingdom (南越) in 206 BC.

Recent archaeological founding of her palace suggests that the city might have traded frequently with by foreigners by the sea routes. The foreign trade continued through every following dynasty and the city remains a major international trading port to this day.

The Han Dynasty annexed Nanyue in 111 BC, and Panyu became a provincial capital and remains so until this day. In 226 AD, the city however became the seat of the Guang Prefecture (廣州; Guangzhou). Therefore, "Guangzhou" was the name of the prefecture, not of the city. However, people grew accustomed to calling the city Guangzhou, instead of Panyu.

Although the Chinese name of Guangzhou replaced Panyu as the name of the walled city, Panyu was still the name of the area surrounding the walled city until the end of Qing era.

Arab and Persian pirates sacked Guangzhou (known to them as Sin-Kalan) in AD 758, ² according to a local Guangzhou government report on October 30, 758, which corresponded to the day of Guisi (癸巳) of the ninth lunar month in the first year of the Qianyuan era of Emperor Suzong of the Tang Dynasty.

During the Northern Song Dynasty, a celebrated poet called Su Shi (Shisu) visited Guangzhou's Baozhuangyan Temple and wrote the inscription "Liu Rong" (Six Banyan Trees) because of the six banyan trees he saw there. It has since been called the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive to the city by sea, establishing a monopoly on the external trade out of its harbor by 1511. They were later expelled from their settlements in Guangzhou (in Portuguese Cantão), but instead granted use of Macau (first occupied in 1511)as a trade base with the city in 1557. They would keep a near monopoly of foreign trade in the region until the arrival of the Dutch in the early seventeenth century.

After China claimed control of Taiwan in 1683, the Qing government became open to encouraging foreign trade. Guangzhou quickly emerged as one of the most adaptable ports for negotiating commerce and before long, many foreign ships were going there to procure cargos. Portuguese in Macau, Spanish in Manila, and Armenians and Muslims from India were already actively trading in the port by the 1690s, when the French and English British East India Company's ships began frequenting the port through the Canton System. Other companies were soon to follow: the Ostend General India company in 1717; Dutch East India Company in 1729; the first Danish ship in 1731, which was followed by a Danish Asiatic Company ship in 1734; the Swedish East India Company in 1732; followed by an occasional Prussian and Trieste Company ship; the Americans in 1784; and the first ships from Australia in 1788. By the middle of the 18th century, Guangzhou had emerged as one of the world's great trading ports under the Thirteen Factories, which was a distinction it maintained until the outbreak of the Opium Wars in 1839 and the opening of other ports in China in 1842. The privilege during this period made Guangzhou one of the top 3 cities in the world.

Guangzhou was one of the five Chinese treaty ports opened by the Treaty of Nanking (signed in 1842) at the end of the First Opium War between Britain and China. The other ports were Fuzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo, and Shanghai.

In 1918, the city's urban council was established and "Guangzhou" became the official name of the city. Panyu became a county's name to the southern side of Guangzhou. In both 1930 and 1953, Guangzhou was promoted to the status of a Municipality, but each time promotion was cancelled within the year.

Japanese troops occupied Guangzhou from October 12, 1938 to September 16, 1945, after violent bombings. In the city, the Imperial Japanese Army conducted bacteriological research unit 8604, a section of unit 731, where Japanese doctors experimented on human prisoners.

Communist forces entered the city on October 14, 1949. Their urban renewal projects improved the lives of some residents. New housing on the shores of the Pearl River provided homes for the poor boat people. Reforms by Deng Xiaoping, who came to power in the late 1970s, led to rapid economic growth due to the city's close proximity to Hong Kong and access to the Pearl River.

As labor costs increased in Hong Kong, manufacturers opened new plants in the cities of Guangdong including Guangzhou. As the largest city in one of China's wealthiest provinces, Guangzhou attracts farmers from the countryside looking for factory work. Cantonese links to overseas Chinese and beneficial tax reforms of the 1990s have aided the city's rapid growth.

In 2000, Huadu and Panyu were merged into Guangzhou as districts, and Conghua and Zengcheng became county-level cities of Guangzhou.

Economy
Guangzhou is the economic centre of the Pearl River Delta and is the heart of one of mainland China's leading commercial and manufacturing regions. In 2006, the GDP exceeded ¥600 billions (USD 76.8 billions), per capita was ¥85,000 (about US $11,000), ranking first among the other 659 Chinese cities.

The Chinese Export Commodities Fair, also called "Canton Fair", is held each spring and autumn by Bo Liu. Inaugurated in the spring of 1957, the Fair is a major event for the city.
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