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Fujian: mountains, tourism, tea and… politics

Fujian, on the south-east coast of China, is a unique province in China, as it is the only territory partially managed by Taiwan government – in particular, some of the islands on Fujian’s coast are. Fujian has been historically inhabited for a long time, and its natural views still can clearly show why: vast (while not tall) mountains and hills covered by woods make up the majority of the territory alongside rivers: this, though, slows down growth, and cities are not big by Chinese standards. The capital, Fuzhou, and the largest city, Xiamen, are unable to reach 10 million people even together.

Map of the provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions and special administrative regions of China. Source: chokkicx / Getty Images

The Geography of Fujian

Fujian’s climate is sub-tropical, and during the summer even its mountains won’t escape the hot weather. It is also subject to rain and typhoons, and its territory has a fairly large amount of forests, making it a very good tourist area, especially for the urban population.
Population (around 40 million people) is mostly Han (with a strong Hakka influence). There are minorities such as the She (of which more than half live there) and the Muslim Hui.
Due to the territory being largely mountainous, its railways are pretty recent. In fact, China just around 20 years ago completed the rail with the richer neighboring provinces of Zhejiang and Guangdong. For this reason the infrastructure of the province is not as good as in other eastern provinces. Still, Fujian traditionally relied on its coast for sea shipment and travel, and has many airports, too.

The Economy

The economy has always been based on tea: many famous tea types come from Fujian, like Da Hong Pao, Wulong (or Oolong) and Wuyi Yan. Its territory limits farming to tropical fruits such as lychee and longyan (or longan), alongside sugar cane and rice.
Its closeness to Taiwan and the massive past emigration from Fujian to USA made it an interesting investment area. Both Taiwan residents and overseas citizens invested in Fujian heavily.
Another important part for the economy are its many tourist sites.
Special Industrial, Economic, Technology and Trade zones are present, as well as specific tourist resort areas. Many of those are in Fuzhou and Xiamen. It is interesting to note the focus given to economic cooperation between Taiwan and Fujian province through many trade zones.

The Culture

Fujian’s territory helped its cultural diversity.
For 700 years the Muslim culture influenced Fujian. This, combined with the huge influence of Hakka culture, made Fujian people’s language and culture rather special.
Locals have a hard time to even understand each other without using mandarin because their dialects are so different. People say that, if you cross 10 km of Fujian, you will notice the local language changes a lot. The tea and food culture is very advanced, as the methods to prepare white, black and wulong tea all come from Fujian.
In Fujian there are 4 world heritage sites, for example Wuyi mountains, AAAAA-rated by Chinese government (the highest level for tourist sites).
Many of the Chinese immigrants in USA actually came from Fujian, so there are pockets of Fujian culture across the seas.

Fujian has a huge potential for tourism, especially since its infrastructures have been improved. This can provide comfortable traveling means from other parts of China.
Its natural landscapes are so amazing that one can find ancient Chinese inscriptions complimenting them.

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