Fuzhou (fōˈjōˈ) [key] or Foochow fōˈchouˈ, city (1994 est. pop. 952,300), capital of Fujian prov., China, a port on the Min River delta c.25 mi (40 km) from the coast. A regional commercial and fishing center that used to trade chiefly with Taiwan, Fuzhou was linked with the central Chinese railway system in 1956, and its economic ties are now mostly with the mainland. It has an airport, chemical plants, a small integrated iron and steel complex, textile and paper mills, machine shops, food-processing establishments (tea and sugar), and paper mills. Fuzhou consists of an old walled city, which lies c.2 mi (3 km) from the river, and a modern riverside town. A bridge crosses to Nantai island, the former foreign settlement and business center. Large vessels dock 15 mi (24 km) downstream to transship their goods. In 1984 it was designated as one of 14 open port cities. The old city of Fuzhou dates from the T'ang dynasty (A.D. 618–906). Marco Polo, who called it Fugiu, visited the city on his return journey. After the Opium War (1839–42) Fuzhou was established as a treaty port. By 1850 it was the principal Chinese port and the world's largest tea-exporting center. Its importance declined when the demand for tea decreased and when harbor silting barred large vessels. Fuzhou has several institutions of higher learning, including Fuzhou Univ. and Fujian Medical College. In the surrounding hills are beautiful pagodas and monasteries, and a summer resort. The name sometimes appears as Fu-chou.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Chinese and Mongolian Political Geography