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, province (2010 pop. 36,894,216), c.48,000 sq mi (124,352 sq km), SE China, on Taiwan Strait. The capital is Fuzhou. The climate is warm and very moist, the terrain mostly hilly or mountainous.
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a province in East China, located primarily along the coast of the East China Sea and the Formosa Strait. Much of Fukien lies in the basin of the Min Chiang. The highest elevation is 2,158 m at Wui Shan. Area, 120,000 sq km. Population, 17.5 million (1975). The capital is Fuchou.
Agriculture, especially land cultivation, is the mainstay of Fukien’s economy. The cultivated areas, which make up more than 12 percent of the province, are primarily concentrated in the coastal lowlands and the river valleys; there are terraced fields on the mountain slopes. More than 70 percent of the cultivated land is irrigated. Food crops are harvested twice a year (three times a year in the south). The principal food crops are rice and sweet potatoes; industrial crops include sugarcane, tobacco, peanuts, and sasanqua. Many tropical fruits are grown, including longans, litchis, bananas, and various citrus fruits. Fukien is one of China’s most important tea-producing regions. Livestock and silkworms are raised. Other important agricultural products are the bark of the camphor tree, the fruit of the Japanese varnish tree, and bamboo. The province is one of the chief fishing regions of China.
Iron ore, coal, manganese ore, and alumina are mined in Fukien. Salt is extracted from seawater.
Fukien’s manufacturing industry makes primarily paper, wood products, silk fabrics, and food products, such as tea and sugar. The province also has machine-building plants and enterprises of ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy. Cottage industries produce lacquer ware, and articles made of bamboo. The cities of Fuchou and Amoy (Hsiamen) account for much of Fukien’s industry. Fuchou has shipbuilding, woodworking, and tea-processing enterprises, and Amoy has metalworking and food-processing enterprises. Other major industrial cities are Nanp’ing, Changchou, and Ch’üanchou.
The Min Chiang is navigable. Fuchou and Nan’ping are Fukien’s most important river ports; Amoy is the most important seaport.
K. N. CHERNOZHUKOV
The region that is now Fukien was settled in ancient times by various non-Chinese tribes. In the third and second centuries B.C. it formed part of the Min-yüeh state. Chinese rulers did not conquer the region until the beginning of the Common Era. Between the seventh and tenth centuries Chinese settled in the region in considerable numbers and gradually absorbed the native population. Under the T’ang Dynasty, which ruled from the seventh to ninth centuries, the region was, given the name “Fukien.”
In the second half of the 17th century Fukien was one of the areas of popular resistance to China’s Manchu conquerors. Late in the same century it was made a province by the Manchu Ch’ing Dynasty. The Nanking Treaty of 1842 opened the ports of Amoy and Fuchou to foreign trade. A large-scale anti-Ch’ing popular uprising led by secret societies took place in Fukien in 1853. By the late 19th century the province was part of the Japanese sphere of influence.
In 1929 and 1930 soviet regions were established in western and northern Fukien (seeSOVIETS IN CHINA). In November 1933 the Nineteenth Kuomintang Army mutinied in Fukien against the government of Chiang Kai-shek, but the revolt was suppressed early the next year. From 1937 to 1945 the province’s coastal regions were occupied by the Japanese. The People’s Liberation Army of China freed Fukien from Kuomintang forces betweeen August and October 1949.
V. P. ILIUSHECHKIN