Ancient Huangpu Port and Village
2014-June-9 Source: Newsgd.com
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Huangpu Village is located in the east of Haizhu District, facing Changzhou in Huangpu District across the river. With a total area of 60ha., the village currently has 3,580 permanent residents and 1,177 households. The most common surnames in the village are Liang, Feng, Hu, Luo, Guan, Huang, Wei and Chen. Huangpu Village is also known as Fengpu and Huangzhou. It took shape during the Northern Song. The ancient Huangpu Port had become “a place where ships converge” during the Southern Song.

In the 24th year during the Kangxi Reign of Qing Dynasty (1685), four customs houses were established in Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Guangdong and Fujian respectively. In 1686, the Yue (Guangdong) Customs House set up a registration office (namely, the checkpoint for Guangdong Customs House) to collect tariffs and stipulated in explicit terms that “foreign merchant ships with imported goods were not permitted to be berthed along the river and were required to anchor at Huangpu as well as were not allowed to trade secretly in the other places”. In 1757, the Qing government retained Guangdong Customs House only for the Canton System so that Guangzhou became the only foreign trade port in China then and played a decisive role in the history of foreign trade.

According to statistics, during the 80 years from 1758 to 1838, altogether 5,107 foreign ships were anchored at the ancient Huangpu Port, providing a platform for trade globalization. From the point of view of the then gross foreign trade value, the port had an absolute advantage. Take the year 1871 as an example, the gross foreign trade value of Guangdong was 23.48 million, accounting for 60% of China. The exports from the ancient Huangpu Port reached 19.71 million, accounting for over 80% of Guangdong’s gross foreign trade value. This is to say, approximately half the national gross foreign trade value was achieved through the ancient Huangpu Port. In its most flourishing period, there were 86 ships from 6 countries anchored at the port. The ships came and went on the river from the Thirteen Hongs to Huangpu Village. Even the foreigners said: “The ships on the bustling Pearl River are just like those on the Thames River under the London Bridge. The difference is the big sailing boats here. Nothing is more magnificent than the sailing boats in a long row for a foreigner.” The ancient Huangpu Port is not only for Guangzhou but also for China and the world.

Today, Guangzhou International Convention & Exhibition Center has been built in the place not far from the ancient trading port. The merchants from all over the world gather in Pazhou Island again. The “Ancient Marine Silk Road” and the modern international trade events add radiance and beauty to each other in the ancient Huangpu Port.

 

Editor: 张斯
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