nav search

Edict for Xiangzhou Port donated to Zhuhai Museum

Updated: 2018-08-16

A treasured Qing Dynasty document describing the original expectations in developing Xiangzhou Port was donated to the Zhuhai Museum on Aug 14.

The Qing (1644-1911) government's royal approval of the Guangdong Xiangzhou Commercial Port with attached geomantic layout was gifted by Wang Weiyi, an 83-year-old Hong Kong resident. Her grandfather was Wang Shen, a gentry-merchant from Macao and one of the early proponents of establishing Xiangzhou Port.


Wang Weiyi with donation

The thin pamphlet was prepared on Feb 26 in the first year of Emperor Hsuan-tung (Xuantong) (1909-11). It details the reasons for the undertaking as well as possible outcomes.

The proposal complied with the Qing government call to stimulate the national economy as the dynasty was nearing its end but was seeking revitalization. Preferential policies were taken to encourage commerce and attract overseas Chinese to return and contribute to business development. 


Head page

In response, several new commercial ports emerged at that time. Wang Shen and Wu Yuzheng, a Taishanese Chinese returned from abroad, suggested that a port should be established in today's Rongshutou near Chaoyang Market in Old Xiangzhou and its surrounding areas, and their proposal was approved.  

The grand opening was held on April 22, 1909, 66 years after that of Shanghai Port and 49 years after Tientsin (Tianjin) Port, attracting a crowd of more than 10,000 merchants and guests. It was designated tax-free for 60 years and businesspeople were allowed to raise funds for opening companies. Social capital was used to construct wharves and build roads.


First anniversary of Xiangzhou Port taken by a Portuguese in 1910 and restored by Lin Jianjun; Yeli Island in background [Photo courtesy WeChat ID: zhx3cn]

In its early heyday, Xiangzhou Port area saw 125 buildings and hundreds of small dwellings emerge while more than 10 roads crowded with thousands of merchants and tourists shuttled between more than 1,000 stores. Lights burned late into the night -- a sight comparable to the splendors of neighboring Macao.

However, Xiangzhou deteriorated back into a fishing village after a great fire in 1911 destroyed many buildings.

Before Wang's gift, the Zhuhai Museum had only the photo recording the first anniversary of the opening of the port. Her donation adds more details to Zhuhai's history and clarifies the roots of the city's modern achievements, according to an official.


Original copy [Photos by Gu Chunting / Zhuhai Daily]


Xi's Moments
1796761356102795270 (1).jpg Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin 2 years on
1920-694.jpg 14th China Intl Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition
Copyright © Zhuhai Municipal Government. All rights reserved. Presented by China Daily. 京ICP备13028878号-22