Xiamen City

Xiamen city is one of the first Special Economic Zones in China. It was honored with the United Nations Habitat Award in 2004 and is considered one of the best cities to live in China.

Within the past 10 years, Xiamen received many awards including National Sanitary City, National Garden City, National Civilized City, National Top 10 Most Livable Cities, and International Garden City. All aspects considered, Xiamen is the best host city for our international guests in the summer program.

For a virtual tour, please visit our Photo Gallery.

History & Economic Development

The history of Xiamen dates back to Emperor Taikang's reign in the Jin Dynasty (282 A.D.). After thousands of years, Xiamen was finally established as a special municipal by the "People's Revolutionary Government of the Republic of China" in 1933. During the period from 1938 to 1945, Xiamen was in the hands of Japanese invaders. In October 1945 Xiamen was freed and re-established, which comprised of four districts: Zhongxin (later renamed as Siming), Kaiyuan, Gulangyu and Heshan. The districts neighboring Xiamen took on various names during the following 62 years, currently there are seven districts: Gulangyu, Siming, Kaiyuan, Xinglin, Huli, Jimei and Tong'an.

In Oct. 1980, Xiamen was empowered by the Chinese government to be established as a special economic zone. From 1989 to 1993, the State Council granted an approval for Xiamen to establish Taiwanese Investment Zones in Haicang, Xinglin and Jimei Districts within Xiamen. Xiamen Torch Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone was established in 1990, Xiangyu Free Trade Zone was established in 1992, and Xiamen Haicang Export Processing Zone was established in 2002.

Today, as China’s 7th biggest port for foreign trade and the world’s 26th largest container port, Xiamen is a focal point of foreign trade. At the end of 2000, Xiamen has approved 4991 contracts involving foreign investment, with a total contractual amount of 17.5 billion US dollars, of that, 11.5 billion US dollars has been put into operation. Industrial enterprises with foreign, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao investment generated an output of 59.355 billion Yuan (RMB) in 2000. These investments cover the fields of electronics, chemicals, textile, foodstuff, electric power, real estate, finance, etc.


Xiamen is situated on the southeast coast of Fujian Province in Southern China, bordering Zhangzhou-Quanzhou Plain on the northwest side, and facing the islands of Taiwan and Penghu across the strait. Xiamen comprises Xiamen Island proper, Gulangyu (Gulang Islet) and the northern coast of Jiulong River. It has a land area of more than 1565.09 square kilometers and a sea area of 300 square kilometers. At the end of 1999, the population of the whole city was 1,290,000, 99.3% of which are of the Han Minority Nationality, and the rest is made up of more than 20 ethnic groups. South Fujian Dialect is the predominant language.

The Xiamen Harbor has a zigzag patterned coastal line that runs 234 kilometers. Scattered islands beyond the harbor form a natural barrier protecting the harbor from turbulent waves, and the mountains surrounding the harbor provide excellent windbreak. Because of such favorable conditions, Xiamen has been an important seaport of foreign trade on the southeast coast of China since the ancient times.


Xiamen has a subtropical climate: winter in Xiamen is not harsh while summer is free from extreme heat. It has an average annual temperature of approximately 21˚C and an average annual rainfall of about 1200mm, mainly concentrated during the months of May to August. Because of air currents resulting from the difference in temperature in the Pacific, Xiamen is affected by typhoon three to four times annually, usually from July to September.

To learn more about Xiamen city, please follow this link.