Lying on the southeastern coast of China and bordering Zhejiang province, Jiangxi province and Guangdong province, Fujian faces Taiwan across the Taiwan Straits and is one of the closest mainland provinces to Southeast Asia and Oceania. It is an important window and base of China for global exchanges. Boasting a long history, Fujian was called the Region of Minyue during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Prefecture of Min-Zhong during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). In the middle of Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), the post of Fujian Military Commissioner was established, and the province was thereafter called Fujian.
The brief name of Fujian, "Min," is derived from the Min River, the largest river in the province. Covering a land area of 121,400 square kilometers and a sea area of 136,000 square kilometers, Fujian governs Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou, Zhangzhou, Putian, Longyan, Sanming, Nanping and Ningde (nine municipal cities), as well as 85 subordinated counties, cities and districts (including Jinmen county). By the end of 2005, the total population of Fujian reached 35.35 million (exclusive of Jinmen and Mazu). As one of the earliest provinces opening to the outside world, Fujian has launched 12 national development zones and special economic zones, establishing a comprehensive opening-up configuration. The people of Fujian are famed for their diligence, courage, industry and hospitality. This mountainous province is also renowned for Chinese who start careers abroad, making it a famous hometown of overseas Chinese.