canton enamel


[Chin. gwahng-joh]

Guangzhou (jyutping : Gwong²zau¹; Yale: Gwóngjàu) 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 alternative English 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) 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.


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

Guangzhou has a humid subtropical climate influenced by the Asian monsoon. Summers are wet with high temperatures and a high humidity index. Winters are mild, dry and sunny.


Population (2006): Metro - 9,754,600, Urban - 6,253,300, and City - 7,607,200

Districts/Cities Population
Yuexiu 1,151,481
Liwan 705,262
Haizhu 890,512
Tianhe 645,453
Baiyun 767,688
Huangpu 193,641
Huadu 636,706
Panyu 947,607
Nansha 147,579
Luogang 167,360
Zengcheng City 810,554
Conghua City 543,377

Administrative divisions

Guangzhou is a sub-provincial city. It has direct jurisdiction over ten districts and two county-level cities.

Name Chinese characters (Hanzi) Hanyu Pinyin
Yuexiu 越秀区 / 越秀區 Yuèxiù Qū
Liwan 荔湾区 / 荔灣區 Lìwān Qū
Haizhu 海珠区 / 海珠區 Hǎizhū Qū
Tianhe 天河区 / 天河區 Tiānhé Qū
Baiyun 白云区 / 白雲區 Báiyún Qū
Huangpu 黄埔区 / 黃埔區 Huángpǔ Qū
Huadu 花都区 / 花都區 Huādu Qū
Panyu 番禺区 / 番禺區 Pānyú Qū
Nansha 南沙区 / 南沙區 Nánshā Qū
Luogang 萝岗区 / 蘿崗區 Luógǎng Qū
County-level cities
Zengcheng City 增城市 / 增城市 Zēngchéng Shì
Conghua City 从化市 / 從化市 Cónghuà Shì

As of April 28, 2005, the districts of Dongshan and Fangcun have been abolished and merged into Yuexiu and Liwan respectively; at the same time the district of Nansha is established out of parts of Panyu, and the district of Luogang is established out of parts of Baiyun, Tianhe, and Zengcheng also a part of Huangpu making an exclave next to Huangpu.

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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 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 6 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 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's monopoly on English trade ended with the Treaty of Nanking, signed in 1842 to end the First Opium War between Britain and China. The treaty opened four new treaty ports, allowing British merchants to trade in Fuzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo, and Shanghai in addition to Guangzhou.

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 canceled 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.


Guangzhou is the economic centre of the Pearl River Delta, one of mainland China's leading commercial and manufacturing regions. In 2007, the GDP reached ¥705 billion (US $92 billion), per capita was ¥71,219 (US $9,302), ranking 6th among the other 659 Chinese cities.

The China Import and Export Fair, also called "Canton Fair", is held every year in April and October by Ministry of Trading. Inaugurated in the spring of 1957, the Fair is a major event for the city.

Industrial zones

  • Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone
  • Guangzhou Nansha Development Zone
  • Shantou Free Trade Zone


With the the first line of Guangzhou Metro opened in 1997, Guangzhou is the fourth city in Mainland China to have an underground railway system, behind Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. Currently the underground network is made up of four lines, covering a total length of 116km, while another four lines are under construction and due to be completed in 2010 before the Asian Games. A long term plan is to make the city's underground system expand over 500km by 2020 with 15 lines in operation.

The existing four lines of Guangzhou Metro network:

  • Line 1: From Guangzhou East Railway Station to Xilang Station
  • Line 2: From Sanyuanli Station to Wanshengwei Station
  • Line 3: From Guangzhou East Railway Station and Tianhe Coach Terminal Station to Panyu Square Station
  • Line 4: From Wanshengwei Station to Jinzhou Station

Guangzhou's main airport is the New Baiyun International Airport in Huadu District open on August 5, 2004, replacing the old Baiyun International Airport which was very close to the city centre and failed to meet the fast-growing air traffic demand.

Guangzhou is well connected to Hong Kong by train, coach and ferry. Express trains depart from the Guangzhou East railway station and arrive at the Hung Hom KCR station in Hong Kong. The route is approximately 182km in length and the ride takes less than two hours. Frequent coach services are also provided, with coaches depart every day from different locations (mostly major hotels) around the city.

There are daily ferry services including an overnight steamer service, which takes eight hours, as well as high-speed catamaran service which takes three hours, to the China Ferry Terminal or Macau Ferry Pier in Hong Kong. The Nansha Pier (新南沙客運港), located in the distant Nansha District outside the city centre, is also operating six daily 75-minute catamaran services to Hong Kong.

From January 1, 2007, the municipal government has banned motorcycles in the urban areas. Motorcycles found violating the ban will be confiscated. The Guangzhou traffic bureau claimed to have reported reduced traffic problems and accidents in the downtown area since the ban.

According to the official China Daily of July 6, 2007, all buses and taxis in Guangzhou will be LPG-fueled by 2010 to promote clean energy for transportation and improve the environment . At present, Guangzhou is the city that uses the most LPG-fueled vehicles in the world. Till the end of 2006, 6,500 buses and 16,000 taxis were using LPG, taking up 85% of all buses and taxis .

Tourist attractions

Guangzhou has a lovely climate year-round with almost no winter. Annual average temperature is 21.8 degrees. Autumn, from October to December, is very moderate, cool and windy, and is the best travel time. There are many tourist attractions around the city which include:

Local products

  • Canton Sculpture includes Canton Ivory Carvings, Jade Sculpture, Wood Sculpture and Olive Sculpture.
  • Canton Enamel is short for Guangzhou Colorful Pottery. It has a history of over 300 years.
  • Canton Embroidery, namely Yue Embroidery, is one of the Four Famous Chinese Embroideries together with Su Embroidery, Xiang Embroidery and Shu Embroidery.
  • Canton Bacon is the general designation of cured meat in the Guangzhou Area.
  • Zhujiang Beer

Parks and gardens

Significant buildings

Major hotels


Guangzhou's two local radio stations, the provincial Radio Guangdong and the municipal Radio Guangzhou, broadcast Cantonese and Mandarin programmes in more than ten channels. The Bejing-based China National Radio broadcast in Putonghua, while other radio stations from cities around Guangzhou broadcast mostly in Cantonese, whose channels can be received in part of the city. Radio Guangdong produces a 15-minute weekly English program, "Guangdong Today", which is broadcast globally through the World Radio Network. English news and several short English programmes can be heard in some of the Chinese channels.

Both TVB Pearl and ATV World, two English channels in Hong Kong, can be received throught cable TV in Guangzhou. Guangzhou Television, the local TV station, also has its own English channel. Though some of its daytime programmes are not in English, it runs all-English programmes from evening to midnight.

Guangzhou has three major newspaper groups, which publish some of the best Chinese-language newspapers in Mainland China. The leading newspaper of the city is the Guangzhou Daily. With a circulation of 1.8 million, it has been China's most successful newspaper for 14 years in terms of advertising revenue.



Higher education institutes

National universities

Public universities and colleges

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

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre also known as Guangzhou University Town, located on an island called Xiaoguwei in Panyu District, is home to campuses of ten universities, part of which also have other campuses elsewhere.

Universities which have campuses in the Mega Centre:

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre can accommodate up to 200,000 students, 20,000 teachers and 50,000 staffs.

High schools

International schools

Sister cities

Guangzhou is twinned with the following cities:

See also


Further reading

External links

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