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Zhanjiang

Trip Planner Asia  /  China  /  Guangdong  /  Zhanjiang
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Zhanjiang, is a prefecture-level city at the southwestern end of Guangdong province, People's Republic of China, facing Hainan to the south.Its population was 6,994,832 inhabitants at the 2010 census. 1,611,868 live in the built-up area made of four urban districts: Chikan, Xiashan, Potou and Mazhang. In 2007, the city is named China's top ten livable cities by Chinese Cities Brand Value Report, which was released at 2007 Beijing Summit of China Cities Forum.HistoryDuring the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC), the area belonged to Xiang Shire. The central government of the Han Dynasty (206 BC−220 AD) set Xuwen County administering the whole Leizhou Peninsula. It was one of the earliest departure points on the Marine Silk Road. The population spiked during the Tang (618–907) and Song () dynasties.French colonial periodThe region was still a small fishing port when it was occupied by the French in 1898. The next year, the French forced the Chinese to lease a small enclave of Zhanjiang to them for 99 years (or until 1997, as the British did in Hong Kong's New Territories) as the territory of Kouang-Tchéou-Wan. The French wanted to develop the port, which they called Fort-Bayard, to serve southern China, in parts where France had exclusive rights to railway and mineral development. Their efforts, however, were hindered by the poverty of the surrounding land. The French retained control of the region until 1943, when the Japanese occupied the area during World War II. At the end of the war, the region returned briefly under French rule before being formally returned to China in 1946 by General Charles de Gaulle, then French head of state.
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