—  Prefecture-level city  —
Xihoumen Bridge
Zhoushan (red) in Zhejiang province (orange) and China
Coordinates: 30°10′10″N 122°24′10″E / 30.16944°N 122.40278°E / 30.16944; 122.40278
Country People's Republic of China
Province Zhejiang
County divisions 4
Township divisions 45
 – Mayor Guo Jianbiao (郭剑彪)
 – Land 1,440.12 km2 (556 sq mi)
 – Water 20,800 km2 (8,030.9 sq mi)
Population (2004)
 – Total 969,145
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Area code(s) 580
License Plate 浙L
Website http://www.zhoushan.gov.cn/
Chinese 舟山
Wu Cieuse (Ningbo dialect)
Tseusae (Shanghainese)
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 舟山群島新區
Simplified Chinese 舟山群岛新区

Zhoushan or Zhoushan Archipelago New Area; formerly transliterated as Chusan, is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Zhejiang province of Eastern China. The only prefecture-level city of the People's Republic of China consisting solely of islands, it lies across the mouth of the Hangzhou Bay, and is separated from the mainland by a narrow body of water. On 8 July 2011 the central government approves Zhoushan's status as a state-level new area.



The prefecture-level city of Zhoushan administers 2 districts and 2 counties.

These are further divided into 45 township-level divisions, including 24 towns, 12 townships and 9 subdistricts.


The archipelago was inhabited 6,000 years ago during the Neolithic by people of the Hemudu culture. During the Spring and Autumn Period, Zhoushan was called Yongdong (甬东), referring to its location east of the Yong River, and belonged to the State of Yue.

The fishermen and sailors who inhabited the islands often engaged in piracy and became recruits for uprisings against the central authorities. At the time of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, Zhoushan Islands served as the base for Sun En's rebellion. Sun En, an adherent of the Taoist sect Wudou Midao (Five Bushels of Rice), launched his rebellion around the year 400 and was defeated by Jin forces in 402.[1]

In 863, the Japanese Buddhist monk Hui'e (慧锷; Egaku)[2] and a Putuoshan local Zhang-shi (张氏) placed a statue of Guanyin at Chaoyin Cave (潮音洞) that would later become a popular tourist and pilgrim destination.

During the Ming dynasty, especially between the years 1530 and 1560, Japanese and Chinese pirates used Zhoushan as one of their principal bases from which they launched attacks as far as Nanjing; "the whole Chinese coast from northern Shandong to western Guangdong was ravaged to a distance of sixty miles inland."[3]

After suppression of the pirates, Zhoushan became an important commercial entrepôt. Under the early Qing dynasty, it played a similar role to Amoy and Canton as a frequent port of call for Western traders.[4] The restriction of all European trade to the port of Canton in 1760 forced Westerners to leave Zhoushan. One of the requests of Lord Macartney's embassy to emperor Qianlong in 1793 was an acquisition of "a small unfortified island near Zhoushan for the residence of English traders, storage of goods, and outfitting of ships." Emperor Qianlong denied this request together with all the rest.[5]

British forces under Captain Charles Elliot captured Zhoushan on 5–6 July 1840 during the First Opium War and evacuated it in early 1841, after Elliot reached an agreement with Qishan, the governor general of Tianjin and grand secretary to emperor Daoguang, in exchange for cession of Hong Kong.[6] At that time, Zhoushan was a well known port while Hong Kong was only a fishing village. The British Foreign Secretary Palmerston was famously livid when he learned that Elliot agreed to cession of Hong Kong ("a barren island with hardly a house on it") while giving up Zhoushan. Elliot was dismissed in April 1841 for his blunder.[7] His replacement Sir Henry Pottinger led a British fleet that recaptured Zhoushan on October 1, 1841.[8] The First Opium War ended with conclusion of the Treaty of Nanjing in which China opened up the cities of Canton, Fuzhou, Amoy, Ningbo, and Shanghai to residence by British subjects for the purpose of trade. As a result, Britain had no longer any use for Zhoushan but it kept the island until 1846 as a guarantee for the fulfilment of the stipulations of the treaty.[9]

Zhoushan was also occupied by the British in 1860 (Second Opium War).

On February 13, 1862, Wang Yijun (王义钧) of the Heavenly Kingdom of Taiping attempted to (re)take Zhoushan from Qing forces, but died in the unsuccessful attempt.

Sun Yat-sen visited Zhoushan on August 25, 1916 and wrote Travelling to Putuo (游普陀志奇 You Putuo Zhiqi).

On October 1, 1942, the Japanese Lisbon Maru (里斯本丸) transported 1,800 POW back to Tokyo, but Lisbon Maru sank after being hit by a torpedo near Qingbing Island (青浜). 384 of the British POW overboard were rescued by the fishermen of Dongji Township (东极乡) nearby.

Administrative history

Today's Zhoushan city was made Wengshan District (翁山縣; Wu Chinese: on se yoe, [oŋ se ɦø]) of Ming Prefecture (明州, or modern Ningbo) in 738 (Tang). In 1073 (Song), it was renamed Changguo (昌國縣; Wu Chinese: tshan kueh yoe [tsʰã kuəʔ ɦø]). It was upgraded to a prefecture (昌國州) in early Yuan Dynasty, and changed to Dinghai District (定海縣) of Zhejiang Province in 1688 (Qing). It was upgraded to a direct-control subprefecture (定海直隸廳) in 1841, but reverted to a county after the end of empire.

Under the Republic of China's rule, Dinghai County was, as during always in the Qing Dynasty, part of Zhejiang Province. However, Shengsi was separated into an Archipelago Direct-control District (列島直屬區) of Jiangsu Province in 1946, and made a county in October 1949. In that same year, the last year under rule of the Republic, the remaining Dinghai County was divided into Dinghai and Wengzhou (翁洲) Counties.

Zhoushan came to be under communist control on May 17, 1950, and Wengzhou was merged back into Dinghai County, which was then under Ningpo Zhuanqu (寧波專區). Shengsi was made a tequ (特區) of Songjiang Zhuanqu (松江專區), still of Jiangsu this year, and upgraded to a county the following year.

In March 1953, the Council of Ministers approved to divide Dinghai County into the counties of Dinghai, Putuo, and Daishan. In addition, Shengsi County was returned to Zhejiang, to be administered, with the three former Dinghai counties, as Zhoushan Zhuanqu of Zhejiang Xiangshan County (象山) of Ningpo Zhuanqu was briefly incorporated into Zhoushan from 1954 to 1958.

All subdivisions' county status abolished, the commission became a county of Ningpo Zhuanqu in 1958, and was reverted to a zhuanqu on its own in May 1962, and changed to a prefecture (地區) on 1967 (approved by the State Council on January 23, 1962).

Shengsi was temporarily assigned to Shanghai in the early 1960s. Created in 1962, the short-lived Daqu (大衢) County was halved into parts of Daishan and Shengsi four years later.

The prefecture-level city status was granted on January 27, 1987 to Zhoushan, and Dinghai and Putuo Counties were upgraded to districts. The municipal People's Government was established on March 8 of that year. April of the same year, the ports of Zhoushan became open to foreign ships. On April 10, 1988, it became a coastal economic open zone.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: CMA

The Zhoushan Archipelago, comprised 1,390 islands and 3,306 reefs, is located outside Hangzhou Bay. It is the largest archipelago of China (not including South China Sea Islands). Among these islands, 103 are inhabited all year round, 58 are larger than 1 km2 (0 sq mi); (these make up 96.9 % of the archipelago land area), and only 15 have populations over 10,000. The larger islands, mostly closer together in southern part of the archipelago, include:

  • Zhoushan Island, the largest (舟山岛)
  • Daishan Island (岱山岛)
  • Qushan Island (衢山岛)
  • Zhujiajian Island (朱家尖岛)
  • Liuheng Island (六横岛)
  • Jintang Island (金塘岛)
  • Taohua Island (桃花岛)
  • Mount Putuo (普陀山)
  • Cezi Island (册子岛)
  • Xiushan Island (秀山岛)
  • Mount Maji (马迹山)
  • Tong Island (童岛(海礁))
  • Fodu Island (佛渡岛)
  • Mount Ao (岙山)
  • Shengshan Island (嵊山岛)
  • Greater Mount Yang (大洋山)
  • Lesser Mount Yang (小洋山)
  • Sijiao Island (泗礁山)
  • Changzhi Island (长峙岛)
  • Greater Mount Changtu (大长涂山)
  • Lesser Mount Changtu (小长涂山)
  • Changbai Island (长白岛)

Zhoushan includes 20,800 km2 (8,031 sq mi) of marine territory, but only 1,440.12 km2 (556 sq mi) of land, 183.19 km2 (71 sq mi) of which are submerged at high tides. It is 182 km (113 mi) east-east and 169 km (105 mi) north-south. It is heavily populated, but now has little farms.

Zhoushan has a four-season, monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with cool, damp winters, and hot, humid summers. Conditions, especially during summer, are generally moderated by the surrounding waters of the East China Sea, bringing a January average of 5.8 °C (42.4 °F) and August average of 27.1 °C (80.8 °F), with an annual mean of 16.4 °C (61.5 °F). Though rainfall occurs mostly during summer, precipitation is still significant during the winter months, which are the driest.


As of late 2001, there are 981,014 people in 351,224 households, with a birthrate of 6.34‰ and death rate of 6.37‰, and population growth rate of -0.03‰ (first time in local history). Population density was 683 persons per km², which is 100% higher than the provincial average and six times than the national average. There are 100,000 people from Zhoushan living overseas.


  • Scheduled ships travel between Zhoushan and Shanghai, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Fuzhou.
  • Zhoushan Airport serves the area with scheduled passenger flights to major cities in China.
  • Zhoushan Trans-oceanic Bridges, the highway bridges, connect Zhoushan to the mainland.

Notable people

  • Yang Yuanqin (杨元庆,1964-), Lenovo CEO
  • Dong Haoyun (董浩云, 1912–1982), shipping tychoon and founder of several major shipping companies
  • Tung Chee Hwa (董建华), eldest son of Dong Haoyun and the first elected Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
  • Qiao Shi (乔石), former chairman of People's Congress of the People's Republic of China
  • Great Monk Guoru (高僧果如, 1854–1917), a National Monk under Cixi
  • The Great Lord of Yang Estate (羊府大帝), a local fisherman (Yang-shi) who rescued many later deified in a small temple in Daishan
  • Liu Hongsheng (刘鸿生, 1888–1956), one of the early industrialists in Shanghai and politician
  • Zhu Baosan (朱葆三,1848-1926),shipping tychoon
  • San Mao (三毛,原名陈懋平,后陈平 1943-1991),famous Taiwanese writer
  • Wang Xipeng (王锡朋, 1786–1841), high-ranking official died in a fight against the British
  • Yang Jingjuan (杨静娟, 1924–1941), famous female communist
  • Ying Yao (应繇, died 1255), a martial official who has a biography in Song Shi
  • Tang Zhibo(1971-), a professor
  • Michael Miu (苗僑偉 1958-) Hong Kong TVB actor


  •  This article incorporates text from The Imperial gazetteer, by Walter Graham Blackie, a publication from 1875 now in the public domain in the United States.
  1. ^ Gernet 2002, pp. 182-183.
  2. ^ David McCraw (2003). "Magic Precincts: Five Buddhist temples and How They Grew" (PDF). Center for Chinese Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. http://www.chinesestudies.hawaii.edu/community/faculty/mccraw/lingjing.pdf. 
  3. ^ Gernet 2002, p. 422.
  4. ^ Spence 1991, p. 120.
  5. ^ See "Ch'ien lung's Letter to George III," http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/~jobrien/reference/ob41.html.
  6. ^ Spence 1991, p. 156.
  7. ^ Welsh 1997, p. 108.
  8. ^ Spence 1991, p. 157.
  9. ^ Walter Graham Blackie (1875). The Imperial gazetteer. LONDON. p. 696. http://books.google.com/books?id=8ewDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA696&dq=mosque+ningpo&hl=en&ei=fwncTbrtFce90AG2uM3GDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CEIQ6AEwBTge#v=onepage&q=mosque%20ningpo&f=false. Retrieved 17th of July, 2011. (Original from Oxford University)


  • Gernet, Jacques (2002). A History of Chinese Civilization. translated by J.R. Foster and Charles Hartmann (2nd edition ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-49781-7. 
  • Spence, Jonathan (1991). The Search for Modern China. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-30780-8. 
  • Welsh, Frank (1997). A History of Hong Kong (revised edition ed.). London: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-638871-X. 

External links

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