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    This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2016)Babao seal paste was invented by the druggist Wei Changan as a traditional medicine in 1673. It was repurposed for artistic use a few years later and gained imperial favor under the Qianlong Emperor. It remains prized for its bright color and pleasant smell.A major petrochemical plant, producing paraxylene, owned by Taiwan-based Xianglu Group is located in Zhangzhou's Gulei Peninsula. The plant suffered major fires in 2013 and 2015.


    Zhangzhou proper lies on the banks of the Jiulong River in southern Fujian about 35 miles (56 km) from central Xiamen,[2] whose urban core has grown to form a single urbanized area with it. The prefecture of Zhangzhou comprises the southeastern corner of the province, surrounding Xiamen. The prefecture of Quanzhou lies to its northeast, Longyan to its northwest, and Shantou in Guangdong to its southwest.Climate[edit]Zhangzhou has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with mild to warm winters and long, very hot and humid summers. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 13.2 °C (55.8 °F) in January to 28.8 °C (83.8 °F) in July, and the annual mean is 21.3 °C (70.3 °F). The frost-free period lasts 330 days.


    The main language of the Zhangzhounese is the local dialect of Hokkien, part of the Southern Min branch of Min Chinese. Government, education, and official business, however, are carried out in Mandarin.


    During the early Qing, Zhangzhou was the primary Fujianese port trading with Portuguese Macao and Spanish Manila. For a time, the Portuguese maintained a factory in the city.During the late Qing, Zhangzhou remained a center of silk, brick, and sugar production with about a million people and extensive internal and maritime trade. Its city wall had a circumference of about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) but included a good deal of open ground and farmland. Its streets were paved with granite but badly maintained. The 800-foot (240 m) bridge across the Jiulong River consisted of wooden planks laid between 25 piles of stones at roughly equal intervals. The port of Xiamen in an island at the mouth of the Jiulong principally functioned as a trading center for the produce and wares of Zhangzhou and its hinterland; both suffered economically when Indian tea plantations cratered demand for Fujianese tea in the late 19th century.The old city of Zhangzhou (now Xiangcheng District) was occupied in April and May 1932 by a column of Communist guerrillas under Mao Zedong. Due to the presence of Western gunboats in Xiamen Bay, arms shipments from the Soviet Union were unable to get up the Jiulong River to Mao's forces and the main Communist bases. Discovering this, Mao retreated from the city, according to some accounts with a substantial amount of loot taken from its residents.

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