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    Economy

    Shantou HarborShantou's economy is medium by Guangdong standards. Manufacturing accounts for a large and increasing share of employment. Canning, garments, lithography, plastic, and toys are some of the principal products. Toy manufacturing is the city's leading export industry, with 400 million U.S. dollars worth of exports each year.Guiyu, a populous town in Chaoyang District, is the biggest electronic waste site on earth. Health-environmental issues incurred have concerned international organisations such as Greenpeace.In 2000, the biggest tax fraud in the history of the People's Republic of China was uncovered, estimated worthy of 32.3 billion yuan.Development zoneWith an area of 2.34 km2 (0.90 sq mi), Shantou Free Trade Zone lies at the south part of Shantou city. It was ratified by the State Council of the People's Republic of China and founded in January 1993, it formally came into use on December of the same year after its supervision installations are checked and accepted by the General Customs. It has been comprehensively developing export processing, storage, international trade, finance and information industry. Its goal is to establish a modernized international zone that is open to the overseas by drawing experience from international free trade zone.

    Geography

    Shantou is located in eastern Guangdong with latitude spanning 23°02′33″ – 23°38′50″ N and longitude 116°14′40″ – 117°19′35″ E; the Tropic of Cancer passes through the northern part of the city, and along it there is a monument, in fact the easternmost in mainland China, at 23°26′33″N 116°35′20″E / 23.44240°N 116.58885°E / 23.44240; 116.58885.[14] The highest peak in the city's administration is Mount Dajian (大尖山) on Nan'ao Island, at 587 m (1,926 ft); the highest peak on the geographic mainland is Mount Lianhua (莲花山), at 562 m (1,844 ft) in Chenghai District. The city is located at the mouths of the Han, Rong (榕江), and Lian Rivers.Shantou is 187 miles (301 km) north of Hong Kong.[15]Climate[edit]Shantou has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with short, mild to warm winters, and long, hot, humid summers. Winter begins sunny and dry but becomes progressively wetter and cloudier. Spring is generally overcast, while summer brings the heaviest rains of the year though is much sunnier; there are 8.2 days annually with 50 mm (1.97 in) of rainfall. Autumn is sunny and dry. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 13.8 °C (56.8 °F) in January to 28.3 °C (82.9 °F) in July, and the annual mean is 21.53 °C (70.8 °F). The annual rainfall is around 1,630 mm (64 in), about 60% of which occurs from May to August. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 28% in March to 58% in July and October, the city receives 1,979 hours of bright sunshine annually.

    Demographics

    Shantou is one of the most densely populated regions in China. Former Chaoyang City was China's most populous county-level administrative region, with 2.4 million inhabitants.Most residents are linguistically Teochew. There are also Hakka, popularly known as Half-Hakka (半山客), living mainly in Chaoyang District (潮陽區) and Chaonan District (潮南區), although they speak Teochew on a daily basis and practise Teochew culture. Thanks to the Mandarin-medium education system, most people, especially the younger generations, can speak Mandarin fluently. Thanks to Cantonese-language TV and labor migrations to the Pearl River Delta, Cantonese is widely spoken as a second or third language by the younger generations.Governmental statistics show that 2.16 million overseas Chinese have roots in Shantou, with significant populations of Teochew people residing in Thailand and Cambodia. This is demonstrated by the unusually high number of international direct flights between Bangkok and Shantou. In addition, there are at least two Teochew-speaking air hostesses on board each China Southern flight between Shantou and Bangkok. The Teochew presence, furthermore, is evident in Singapore and Malaysia; Johor Bahru, a coastal city situated at the latter's southernmost tip, is known as 'Little Swatow'.

    History

    The historic quarter of Shantou, which features both Western and Chinese architectureShantou was a fishing village part of Tuojiang Du (鮀江都), Jieyang County (揭陽縣) during the Song dynasty. It came to be Xialing (廈嶺) during the Yuan dynasty. In 1563, Shantou was a part of Chenghai County (澄海縣) in Chao Prefecture (Chaozhou). As early as 1574, Shantou had been called Sha Shan Ping (沙汕坪). In the seventeenth century, a cannon platform called Shashantou Cannon (沙汕頭炮臺) was made here, and the placename later was shortened to "Shantou". Locally it has been referred to as Kialat.Connecting to Shantou across the Queshi Bridge is Queshi (礐石) which had been known by the local people through the 19th century as Kakchio. It was the main site for the American and British Consulates. Today the area is a scenic park but some of the structures are somewhat preserved from its earlier history. In 1860, Shantou was opened for foreigners and became a trading port according to Treaty of Tientsin.It became a city in 1919, and was separated from Chenghai in 1921. 1922 saw the devastating Swatow Typhoon, which killed 5,000 out of the 65,000 people then inhabiting the city. Some nearby villages were totally destroyed. Several ships near the coast were totally wrecked. Other ones were blown as far as two miles inland. The area around the city had around another 50,000 casualties. The total death toll was above 60,000, and may have been higher than 100,000.In the 1930s, as a transport hub and a merchandise distribution centre in Southeast China, Shantou Port's cargo throughput ranked third in the country. A brief account of a visit to the city in English during this period is the English accountant Max Relton's A Man in the East: A Journey through French Indo-China (Michael Joseph Ltd., London, 1939). On 21 June 1939, Japanese troops invaded Shantou. Japanese force occupied Shantou until 15 August 1945. The Communist People's Liberation Army captured Shantou on 24 October 1949, 23 days after the People's Republic of China founded.With higher-level administrative authority, Shantou governed Chaozhou City and Jieyang City from 1983 to 1989.

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