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Guangzhou (Traditional Chinese: 廣州, Simplified Chinese: 广州, Hanyu Pinyin: Guǎngzhōu, Wade-Giles: Kuang-chou, Tongyong Pinyin: Guangjhou) (23n06, 113e16 AWST) is the capital of the Guangdong Province in southern China. It was formerly known as Canton.

The Chinese abbreviation of Guangzhou is Sui (TC: 穗;; SC: 穗;; pinyin: suì). Population (1999): city: 6.85 million; urban population: 4.05 million. This city has a nickname Wuyangcheng (city of five rams), Yangcheng(city of rams), Huacheng(city of flowers) or Suicheng.



Guangzhou has direct jurisdiction over twelve districts: Yuexiu , Dongshan , Liwan , Haizhu , Tianhe , Baiyun , Huangpu , Fangcun , Huadu , Conghua , Zengcheng , Panyu .


It is believed that the first city was built in 214 BC, named Panyu (番禹 the locals pronounced this in Cantonese as Poon Yu) and have had a continuous occupation since that time.

In 206 BC, it became the capital of Kingdom Nanyue (南越), and the city was expanded.

Han Dynasty annexed Nanyue in 111 BC, and Panyu became a provincial capital and remains so until this day.

Panyu was renamed Guangzhou in AD 226.

Guangzhou was sacked by Arabs &sup1 and Persians in AD 758, &sup2 based on 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 Tang Dynasty. &sup3

During Song Dynasty, Su Shi, a celebrated poet, visited Baozhuangyan Temple (founded in AD 537), and left his hand-writing "liu rong" (six banyan trees) to the temple, so the name "Liu Rong Temple".

In 1711, the British East India Company established a trading post in Guangzhou.

1888 German map of Hong Kong, Macau, and Canton (now Guangzhou)
1888 German map of Hong Kong, Macau, and Canton (now Guangzhou)

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


Guangzhou is located at 112°57'E to 114°3'E and 22°26'N to 23°56'N. The Municipality is part of the Pearl River Delta.


The Pearl River Delta is one of mainland China's leading economic regions and a massive manufacturing centre.

Guangzhou's main airport is Baiyun International Airport, a hub for China Southern Airlines. The New Baiyun International Airport in Huadu District opened on 5 August 2004.

The GDP per capita was ¥38568 (ca. US$4660) in 2003, ranked no. 8 among 659 Chinese cities.


Touristic highlights

  • Shamian Island
  • Museum of the Tomb of the King of Southern Yue in Western Han Dynasty
  • Temple of the Six Banyan Trees
  • Shishi Holy Heart Cathedral

Other buildings

Colleges and Universities



  • Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (广东外语外贸大学()
  • South China Agricultural University (华南农业大学) (founded 1909)
  • Zhongkai Agrotechnical College (仲恺农业技术学院) (founded 1927)
  • South China Normal University (华南师范大学)
  • Guangzhou Medical College (广州医学院)
  • Guangzhou University of TCM (广州中医药大学)
  • Guangdong College of Pharmacy (广东药学院)
  • Guangdong University of Technology (广东工业大学)
  • Guangzhou University (广州大学)
  • Guangdong Business College (广东商学院)
  • Xinghai Conservatory of Music (星海音乐学院)
  • GuangDong Polytechnic Normal University (广东技术师范学院)
  • Guangzhou Physical Education Institute (广州体育学院)

Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.


&sup1 Frank Welsh, A Borrowed Place: The History of Hong Kong, Maya Rao (editor), p. 13, ISBN 1568361343
&sup2 Joseph Needham, Science & Civilization in China, 1, pp.179 - Cambridge University Press 1954
&sup3 Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian, ch. 220.

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Last updated: 11-07-2004 20:30:51