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Development of Quanzhou and its growth into a hub of maritime trade

By WANG KAIHAO | China Daily | Updated: 2021-07-29 09:28
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・ Third to sixth centuries

Due to continuous war in North China, people of the Jin Dynasty (265-420) move southward to what is present-day Quanzhou and settle down along the river, naming it Jinjiang River in tribute to their homeland.

・ Between 618 and 626

Two disciples of Muhammad introduce Islam to Quanzhou. They are buried there after death. The place is known as the "graveyard of Muslim saints".

・ 686

Kaiyuan Temple, the most important Buddhist temple in the city, is constructed, adopting its current name in 738.

・ 700

The seat of Quanzhou government moves to the historical quarter of the present-day city.

・ Between 946 and 962

Pottery, bronze and ironware are exported in exchange for gold and other treasures. The city is also expanded and erythrinat rees (known as zayton in local dialect) are widely planted. Some refer to Quanzhou as Zayton as a result.

・ 1009

Ashab Mosque (or the Mosque of Holy Friends), which is known as Qingjing Mosque today, is built by Arab Muslims.

・ 1087

The royal court of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) establishes the Maritime Trade Office in Quanzhou to oversee trade affairs.

・ 1130

The Southern Clan Office, which oversees the issues relevant to the royal family, is relocated to Quanzhou.

・ 1174

The earliest known wind-praying ritual is held at Jiuri Mountain.

・ 1206

Documents show that Quanzhou maintained trade relations with 31 countries and regions around the world.

・ 1225

Documents show that Quanzhou enjoyed communication with 58 countries and regions.

・ 1291

Venetian traveler Marco Polo escorts Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) princess Kokachin to marry the Prince of Ilkhanate on a voyage which starts from Quanzhou.

・ 1346

Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta hails Quanzhou as one of the largest ports in the world.

・ 1349

Records show that Quanzhou maintained trade relations with nearly 100 countries and regions.

・ 1370

Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) royal court restricts Quanzhou's trade with present-day Okinawa, marking the decline of Quanzhou's status as a trading hub.


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