Canton History, China
The first city built where Canton now stands was Panyu in 214 BC. Many archaeological sites in the area have suggested that Panya was a large hub for trading with foreigners.
It is still a large international trading center today. In 111 BC, Panyu/Canton became the capital of Nanyue, China and remains so today.
The first Europeans to arrive in Canton were the Portuguese. They arrived by sea and quickly established a monopoly on all of the external trade leaving the harbor in 1511.
Until the Dutch arrived in the early 17th century, the Portuguese would rule the foreign trade in the region.
When China took control of Taiwan in 1683, it began to encourage foreign trade. Canton’s port was the most adaptable for foreign trade and it grew quickly.
By the middle of the 18th century, Canton was one of the world’s greatest trading ports. It allowed for Canton to become on of the three top cities in the world.
Japan occupied the city in the mid 1900’s during the Second World War. Communist party forces entered Canton in 1949 and the city renewal projects improved the lives of some of Canton’s residents.
Communism remains today and Canton is still considered a major international foreign trade port.
Many of Canton’s historical sights are available to tourists. The Zhenhai Tower, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Western Han Nanyue King’s Tomb Musuem provide a great avenue to see Canton’s 2,000 year old history.
Consider Canton on your next vacation getaway.
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