1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Amoy

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AMOY, a city and treaty-port in the province of Fuh-kien, China, situated on the slope of a hill, on the south coast of a small and barren island named Hiamen, in 24° 28′ N. and 118° 10′ E. It is a large and exceedingly dirty place, about 9 m. in circumference, and is divided into two portions, an inner and an outer town, which are separated from each other by a ridge of hills, on which a citadel of considerable strength has been built. Each of these divisions of the city possesses a large and commodious harbour, that of the inner town, or city proper, being protected by strong fortifications. There are dry-docks and an excellent anchorage. Amoy may be regarded as the port of the inland city of Chang-chow, with which it has river communication, and its trade, both foreign and coastwise, is extensive and valuable. The chief articles imported are sugar, rice, raw cotton and opium, as well as cotton cloths, iron goods and other European manufactures. The chief exports are tea, porcelain and paper. The trade carried on by means of Chinese junks is said to be large, and the native merchants are considered to be among the wealthiest and most enterprising in China. By other vessels the trade in 1870 was:—imports, £1,915,427; exports, £1,440,000. In 1904 the figures were:—imports, £2,081,494; exports, £384,494. The falling off of exports is due to the decreased demand for China tea, for which Amoy was one of the chief centres. The native population is now estimated at 300,000, and the foreign residents number about 280. A large part of the trade is that carried on with the neighbouring Japanese island of Formosa. The province of Fuh-kien is claimed by the Japanese as their particular sphere of influence. Amoy was captured by the British in 1841, after a determined resistance, and is one of the five ports that were opened to British commerce by the treaty of 1842; it is now open to the ships of all nations.