Fujian Province is located on the southeast coast of the Chinese mainland. The province is called Min for short for being where the Minyue people lived. In the Qin Dynasty, Minzhong Prefecture was set up in this area. In the early Han Dynasty (202 B.C.), it was established as the Minyue State. In 733, an official post of Fujian military commissioner was set up during the Kiayuan Reign of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). From then on, the area has been known as Fujian.
During the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), Fujian was composed of one Fu, five Zhous, and two Juns. For that reason, the province is also known as Eight Min (eight administrative divisions). Now, under Fujian's jurisdiction are nine multi-district cities, i.e., Fuzhou, Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Quanzhou, Sanming, Putian, Nanping, Longyan, and Ningde, and Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone, comprising 85 counties (or county-level cities) and district. By 2015, Fujian's population amounted to 38.39 million.
Fujian is a province of green mountains and lucid water. It covers a land area of 124,000 km2, 65.95% of which are woodlands, ranking first in China. The picturesque Wuyi Mountains are the largest and most representative example of the primordial forest system in subtropical regions of the same latitude. It is a microcosm of biodiversity with various plants and animals widely seen here.
With a sea area of 136,000 km2 Fujian boasts rich marine resources and the second longest continental coastline in China. Along the coast from north to south are Sanduao, Luoyuan Bay, Xinghua Bay, Meizhou Bay, Xiamen Bay, and Dongshan Bay, suitable for building berths to accommodate 100,000-300,000 tons ships. It ranks first in terms of waterpower resources and second in terms of per capita availability of aquatic products.
Influenced by the subtropical oceanic monsoon climate, Fujian enjoys warm and pleasant weather. The annual mean temperature ranges between 17℃ and 21℃. As one of the most environmentally-friendly regions in the same latitude, Fujian is committed to building itself into an ecological province. It speaks volumes that water, air and ecological conditions here are all in great quality; that the ecological index comes out on top in China; that GDP per unit of energy use is only 79.3% of the national level; and that “Refreshing Fujian” has now become a household name.
Fujian is among the provinces housing the largest number of world heritage sites in China. Wuyi Mountains (a world cultural and natural heritage site), Fujian Tulou (the earthen buildings, a world cultural heritage site), Taining Danxia landscape (a world natural heritage site), and two Global Geoparks (Taining and Ningde), just to name a few. Fujian has nine 5A national tourist attractions, 89 4A national ones, 18 national places of interest and 14 national geoparks. Moreover, there are four renowned national historical and cultural cities, 17 national nature reserves, 29 national forest parks, 4 national forest cities, 137 cultural relic sites under national protection, 42 national historical and cultural towns or villages, and 229 traditional villages. It enjoys a harmonious coexistence between mankind and nature with nature reserves, forest parks and places of interest taking up 8% of its aggregate land area.
Fujian boasts a time-honored history. As early as 5,000 years ago, the indigenous inhabitants created the Tanshishan culture. It is also the birthplace of Zhu Xi culture, Minnan culture (Southern Fujian culture), Hakka culture, Mazu culture and shipyard culture. It's here in Fujian that many outstanding historical figures were brought up, such as Wang Shenzhi, Zhu Xi, Song Ci, Zheng Chenggong, Lin Zexu, Yan Fu, Lin Shu, Chen Jiageng, Bing Xin, Hou Debang, and Chen Jingrun. And 147 academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences are from Fujian or working in Fujian. Besides, as an important starting point of the Long March by the Red Army, Fujian is a famous old revolutionary base, making great sacrifices for and contribution to the success of the Chinese Revolution.
The province abounds with intangible cultural heritage. It is home to seven world intangible cultural heritage projects, including Mazu belief and customs and traditional design and practices for building Chinese wooden arch bridges. Fujian is the first province in China that has projects or activities registered in three UNESCO lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage, namely Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, and Register of Good Safeguarding Practices. Apart from these, the Minnan Culture-Ecology Preservation Area is the first one of its kind established in China.
Fujian is a well-known ancestral home of overseas Chinese, of whom about 15.8 million in over 180 countries and regions around the world are of Fujian origin. With their diligence, wisdom and courage, they made significant contribution to economic and social development of their host countries. They also serve as an important bridge to link up Fujian with the rest of the world.
Fujian also has profound historical links with Taiwan. Geographically, the province is in proximity to Taiwan, which facilitates frequent people-to-people exchanges. With its close ties and complementarities with Taiwan, the province is stepping up efforts for more mutually beneficial cooperation. Activities themed on ancestral culture, kinship, folk custom, education, tourism, or other areas keep flowing across the Straits. And the Straits Forum has become a major platform for non-governmental cross-Straits communication. Pingtan Island, an offshore island on the eastern waters of Fujian and China's fifth largest islands, is the Chinese mainland-governed island closest to Taiwan, and serves as a harmonious home for people on both sides of the Straits. In the near future, Pingtan will develop into an international tourism island.
Fujian is keeping steady economic growth for years. In 2016, it was close to RMB 2.85 trillion, an increase of RMB 1.09 trillion compared with that in 2011. In 2014, its per capita GDP exceeded USD 10,000 for the first time, the 8th province in China to do so. In 2015, the per capita GDP was RMB 67,966, ranking 7th in China.
In structural adjustment, we are also making breakthroughs. Modern agriculture with local features is developing faster; traditional industries continue to improve and upgrade; and strategic emerging industries and modern services sector are growing rapidly. Meanwhile, we endeavor to accelerate the cultivation of Internet economy and other new types of business. And the project of “Digital Fujian” has achieved significant outcomes, ranking Fujian the 6th place nationwide in terms of informatization application.
Recent years witness the province’s infrastructure in constant improvement. By the end of 2015, the total mileage of expressways topped 5,000 km, while that of railways in service exceeded 3,197 km with high speed rail running over 1,500 km. Within the province, all cities are linked by high speed rail, all counties are connected by the expressways, every township has access to trunk road, and buses run through each single village. In 2015, ports in Fujian handled more than 500 million tons of cargo and the airports handled 38 million passengers. Now the province becomes a better energy provider and a key energy base in China's coastal areas. The total installed electricity capacity reaches 49.29 million kilowatts. Moreover, better infrastructure services are available in such areas as urban roads, transportation, fuel gas, water supply and discharge, and communications.
People in the province are living a better life. A nine-year compulsory education program is fully implemented in Fujian; a disease prevention and control system and a medical aid network have been basically in shape to cover the provincial, city and county levels; social security system has brought the whole province under its coverage; and a network of public cultural services is being put in place to cover the provincial, city, county, township, and village levels.
Fujian is a pilot zone of China's comprehensive reforms. With an aim to improve the market-oriented, open, social, and ecological environments, we are making great effort to carry out pilot programs and take bold initiative to make breakthroughs in various reform endeavors. Fujian has become a frontrunner in reforms on administrative approval, medicine and health system, eco-compensation practice, and collective forest ownership.
Fujian is also one of the first provinces starting the reform and opening up drive. Xiamen is one of the four Special Economic Zones in China that first opened to the outside world. After more than 30 years of development, an all-dimensional, multi-tiered, and wide-ranging opening up pattern has taken shape in Fujian, enabling the province to carry out worldwide exchanges. We have established economic and trade relations with 225 countries and regions, and opened 33 international airline routes. We have also twinned with 89 provinces or cities in 36 countries, with 23 pairs at the provincial level.
The two-way trade between Fujian and the rest of the world keeps rising. In the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the international trade grew by 9.2% annually, the accumulative paid-in FDI reached USD 34.02 billion, and the outbound investment totaled USD 5.14 billion. Import and export in 2016 totaled RMB 1.035 trillion, and paid-in FID reached USD 8.195. Closer ties with BRICS countries are realized as fruitful results have been achieved through mutually beneficial cooperation in such areas as business and trade, investment, agriculture, fishery, culture and education, tourism, and twinning cities. Two-way trade between Fujian and other four BRICS countries in 2016 stood at RMB 67.88 billion (export and import reached RMB 27.8 billion and RMB 40.08 billion respectively), a 2% year-on-year increase, accounting for 6.6% of Fujian's total foreign trade.
Fujian was a major starting point of the ancient maritime Silk Road. The initiative of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR), a grand vision that transcends time and space, injects new momentum of the modern times into such Maritime Silk Road. As a pioneering and key province to drive forward China's reform and opening up effort, Fujian has all along developed close economic and trade cooperation with countries along the Maritime Silk Road. Now that Fujian is to be the core area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, we will enhance exchanges and cooperation in all respects with MSR countries, making active contribution to the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Among the second batch of FTZs approved by the Central Government, China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone was inaugurated on April 21st, 2015. The Fujian Pilot FTZ consists of three areas of Fuzhou, Xiamen and Pingtan which are complementary to each other in their own strengths and functions. Based on the cross-Straits ties and a vision to serve the whole nation and open wider to the outside world, Fujian Pilot FTZ will be developed into a test field of reform and innovation, a demonstration zone of deeper cross-Straits economic cooperation, and a high land for cooperation with countries and regions along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
With support from the Central Government, we allow full play to the multiple advantages brought forth by the core area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone, National Ecological Conservation Pilot Zone, Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone, Fuzhou-Xiamen-Quanzhou Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone, and Fuzhou New Area, and spare no effort to elevate the level of social and economic development to a new height featuring flexible mechanisms, competitive industries, a prosperous life, and sound eco-environment.
Fujian, riding on the rising tide of development momentum, is ready to open wider and embrace win-win cooperation with the whole world.