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Prefecture-level city
Location of Zhongshan in Guangdong
Location of Zhongshan in Guangdong
Zhongshan is located in China
Location in China
Country People's Republic of China
Province Guangdong
County-level divisions None
Township-level divisions 5 districts
18 towns
1 development zone
 • CPC Committee Secretary Xue Xiaofeng (薛晓峰)
 • Mayor Chen Liangxian (陈良贤)
 • Total 1,783.67 km2 (688.68 sq mi)
Elevation 11 m (36 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 3,142,300
 • Density 1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard Time (UTC+8)
Postal code 528400
Area code(s) 0760
License plate prefixes 粤T
GDP ¥218.85 billion (2011)
GDP per capita ¥92,154 (2011)
City flower Chrysanthemum
Website (Chinese)
"Zhongshan City", as written in Chinese
Chinese 中山
Cantonese Jyutping Zung1 saan1
Cantonese Yale Jūngsāan
Hanyu Pinyin Zhōngshān ()
Postal Chungshan
Literal meaning Central mountain
(Named after Sun Yat-sen)
(former name)
Chinese 香山
Cantonese Jyutping Hoeng1 saan1
Cantonese Yale Hēungsāan
Hanyu Pinyin Xiāngshān
Postal Heungshan
Literal meaning Fragrant Mountain

Zhongshan (; Chinese: 中山) is a prefecture-level city in the south of the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong province, China, with a population of over 3 million (2012). The city used to be called Xiangshan (香山).

Zhongshan is one of a very few cities in China named after a person. It is named after Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1866–1925), who is known in Mandarin as Sun Zhongshan. Sun, the founding father of the Republic of China who is also regarded positively by the People's Republic, was born in Cuiheng village in Nanlang Township of what was then Xiangshan County. In 1925, the year after his death, Xiangshan was renamed Zhongshan in his honor.

Sunwen Lu (Road) West at dusk.


  • Names 1
  • History 2
  • Geography 3
  • Cityscape 4
  • Administration 5
  • Language 6
    • Yue 6.1
    • Min 6.2
    • Hakka 6.3
  • Economy 7
    • Primary industries 7.1
    • Manufacturing industries 7.2
  • Tourism, Recreations and Lessures 8
  • Education 9
    • Colleges and Universities 9.1
    • High schools and Institutions 9.2
  • Public Transportation 10
  • Twin towns – Sister cities 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Until 1925, Zhongshan was generally known as Xiangshan or Heung-san (Chinese: 香山; literally: "Fragrant Mountain"), in reference to the many flowers that grew in the mountains nearby.[1] The city was renamed in honor of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who had adopted the name Zhongshan. Sun is considered by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China to be the "Father of Modern China", and was from Cuiheng village – now part of Nanlang Town in Zhongshan.


Thousands of years ago, much of the Zhongshan area lay within the Pearl River estuary, with only scattered islands above the surface. Gradually from south to north, the area filled in with alluvial silt and became dry land. The northern parts of today's Zhongshan did not fill in until the time of the Ming Dynasty.

The Zhongshan area was part of an extended Dongguan County during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD), and was a significant sea salt producer. In 1082, during the Northern Song Dynasty, a fortified settlement called Xiangshan was founded in the area, marking the first official use of the name by which it would be known throughout most of its modern history. The prosperous settlement was then upgraded to a county in 1152. After the collapse of the Southern Song Dynasty, many descendants of Song court officials, including members of the imperial family, settled in Xiangshan. Under the Qing Dynasty, embankments were built to prevent flooding in the new alluvial lands, and the area of cultivation was extended.

Much of the First Opium War took place in and around Xiangshan. In 1839, the official Lin Zexu arrived in Xiangshan and ordered the expulsion of Sir Charles Elliot and other British traders from the area. Qing Dynasty soldiers resisted British attacks on the area in 1840, but were ultimately overwhelmed.

After the Opium Wars opened the region to foreign influence, a number of Xiangshan residents, including Sun Zhongshan (Yatsen), left to study overseas and were among the creators of modern China. Xiangshan was one of the first counties in China liberated as part of the Xinhai Revolution. After Sun Zhongshan's death in 1925, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Republic of China decided to memorialize Sun by renaming his county of birth from Xiangshan to Zhongshan.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, in July 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army seized several islands belonging to Zhongshan. During March 1940, the Japanese army occupied most of Zhongshan. The Japanese army implemented Unit 8604 or Nami Unit, a secret military medical unit, related to Unit 731, that researched biological warfare and other topics through human experimentation. It was headquartered at Zhongshan Medical University (Hal Gold, Unit 731 Testimony, 2003, p. 50). Nationalist and Communist units launched guerrilla attacks on Japanese forces beginning in 1942. On August 15, 1945, Japanese forces declared an unconditional surrender, and Zhongshan was liberated.

Zhongshan was the scene of fighting during the Chinese Civil War and was held for much of the war by Nationalists. On October 30, 1949, however, the People's Liberation Army defeated Nationalist forces in Zhongshan, and the county came under the control of the People's Republic of China.

In 1983, Zhongshan was elevated in administrative status from a county to a county-level city under the administration of Foshan. In 1988 Zhonshan became a prefecture-level city.


Zhongshan is located along the west side of the mouth of the Pearl River, directly opposite Shenzhen and Hong Kong. It lies south of Guangzhou and Foshan and north of Zhuhai and Macau. The northern part of Zhongshan, including most of the urbanized area, lies on the alluvial plains of the Pearl River Delta, while the southern part of the city's territory reaches into a range of coastal hills.

The most notable of these are the Wugui Hills (Chinese: 五桂山; pinyin: Wǔguī Shān; Jyutping: Ng5gwai3 Saan1). The city's current geography is typical of southern China: numerous steep mountains and hills with alluvial plains in between down to the coastline. The main summit of the Wugui Hills is the highest point in the city, at 531 metres (1,742 ft) above sea level.

Like nearly all of southern China, Zhongshan's climate is warm and humid most of the year, with an average temperature of 22 °C (72 °F) and 175 centimetres (69 in) of rainfall each year. Southern China experiences fairly frequent typhoons and thunderstorms, and most rain falls between April and September.

Zhongshan's location in the Pearl River Delta.


Fufeng pagoda in Zhongshan Park.

Zhongshan is a city of numerous leafy parks, wide boulevards and various monuments. Notable sights include:

  • Sunwen Road West (or Sunwen Xilu) in Zhongshan Old Town, a pedestrian mall lined with dozens of restored buildings from the colonial period in treaty port style. Several of these buildings were built in the 1920s. The seven story Fufeng Pagoda, built in 1608, which is visible from all over the city, is located on a hill in Zhongshan Park, which abuts the western end of Sunwen Road West immediately to its north. A Sun Yat-sen memorial pavilion stands near the pagoda.
  • Sunwen Memorial Park, at the southern end of Xingzhong Road, is the site of the largest bronze sculpture of Sun Yat-sen in the world.


Zhongshan is a prefecture-level city of the Guangdong province. An uncommon administrative feature is that it has no county-level division. The city government directly administers 6 Subdistricts and 18 towns:

Map Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Population
(2010 census)
Shiqi Subdistrict 石岐街道 Shíqí Jiēdào 206,362 26.0 7,937.00
Dongqu Subdistrict 东区街道 Dōngqū Jiēdào 153,477 72.0 2,131.62
Nanqu Subdistrict 南区街道 Nánqū Jiēdào 64,548 48.0 1,344.75
Xiqu Subdistrict 西区街道 Xiqū Jiēdào 97,864 26.7 3,665.31
Zhongshangang Subdistrict
(Torch Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone)
Zhōngshāngǎng Jiēdào
(Huǒjù Gāojìshù Chǎnyè Kāifā Qū)
229,997 90.0 2,555.52
Wuguishan Subdistrict 五桂山街道 Wǔguìshān Jiēdào 48,019 113.0 424.94
Nanlang Town 南朗镇 Nánlǎng Zhèn 107,977 206.0 524.16
Sanxiang Town 三乡镇 Sānxiāng Zhèn 200,197 93.6 2,138.85
Tanzhou Town 坦洲镇 Tǎnzhōu Zhèn 219,943 136.0 1,617.22
Shenwan Town 神湾镇 Shénwān Zhèn 31,392 59.0 532.06
Banfu Town 板芙镇 Bǎnfú Zhèn 82,412 82.0 1,005.02
Dachong Town 大涌镇 Dàyǒng Zhèn 74,276 45.5 1,632.43
Shaxi Town 沙溪镇 Shāxī Zhèn 119,372 55.0 2,170.40
Henglan Town 横栏镇 Hénglán Zhèn 103,135 76.0 1,357.03
Guzhen Town 古镇镇 Gǔzhèn Zhèn 147,440 47.8 3,084.51
Xiaolan Town 小榄镇 Xiǎolǎn Zhèn 315,626 75.4 4,186.02
Dongfeng Town 东凤镇 Dōngfèng Zhèn 123,562 54.8 2,254.78
Nantou Town 南头镇 Nántóu Zhèn 130,712 30.0 4,357.06
Huangpu Town 黄圃镇 Huángpǔ Zhèn 145,017 83.6 1,734.65
Sanjiao Town 三角镇 Sānjiǎo Zhèn 121,770 72.3 1,684.23
Minzhong Town 民众镇 Mínzhòng Zhèn 108,417 125.4 864.56
Gangkou Town 港口镇 Gǎngkǒu Zhèn 113,748 70.5 1,613.44
Fusha Town 阜沙镇 Fùshā Zhèn 57,570 37.0 1,555.94
Dongsheng Town 东升镇 Dōngshēng zhèn 118,052 76.7 1,539.13


The main ethnic group in Zhongshan is Han Chinese, but there is no dominant language spoken, Zhongshan is known as one of the most diverse cities in China. Dialects spoken varies from the Yue to the Hakka and to the Min, dialects include the Shiqi dialect, Shatian dialect, Longdu dialect, Nanlang dialect, Sanxiang dialect, Guzhen dialect, Sanjiao dialect, Zhangjiabian dialect and the only Hakka Dialect in the City, Wuguishan dialect. But most shares the common language, Cantonese.





Primary industries

Primary productions are agricultural, such as rice, lychee, banana, and sugar cane. Added to this, horticulture in Xiaolan Town is famous throughout southern China for its blooming chrysanthemum.

Manufacturing industries

Zhongshan, together with Dongguan, Nanhai and Shunde, are dubbed as Four Little Tigers in Guangdong. The proximity of Zhongshan to Hong Kong and Macau is an advantage to its economic development, especially in manufacturing.

In the 1980s, Zhongshan had a relatively developed state-owned enterprise (SOE) sector that was used to stimulate Township and Village Enterprises (TVE) development in the countryside. Currently, the SOE sector is much weaker, and the economy is dominated by foreign investment and TVEs, and also by various specialized manufacturing towns. Each of these towns specializes in making a particular product. Most of the towns are so successful that they earn a reputation as leading manufacturers in their own pillar industries. Indeed, "One Industry in One Town" has become a unique economic feature in Zhongshan.

Pillar industries in various specialized manufacturing towns in Zhongshan include:

The government of Zhongshan encourages "Research and Design" in the region by setting up national level research centres and specialized industrial regions. For example, the Zhongshan National Torch High-Tech Industrial Development Zone (中山国家级火炬高技术产业开发区) was established in 1990 in the east of the city by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the governments of Guangdong province and Zhongshan. Zhongshan Port, which ranks among the top 10 ports nationwide in terms of container-handling capacity, is in the zone.[2] Since 2001, it has included the Zhongshan Electronic Base of China (中国电子中山基地) for its reputation in the electronic acoustics industry. Following possible development in Nansha, the city considers its eastern part, of which 400 square kilometres (154 square miles) of land is available, a focus of future development.

Currently, the city is trying to re-organize its fragmented industrialization. Meanwhile, the light and labour-intensive industry characteristic of Zhongshan's economy faces the problem of a shortage of land in Zhongshan.

Tourism, Recreations and Lessures

There are 2 naturally hot spring resorts are located in Sanxiang Town such as the national own firm Zhongshan Hot Springs Resort that is ranked Top 10 hot spring restorts in China due to the fact that there is a rare hot spring reservoir in the Pearl River Delta . The World Lamp King Museum, a lamp museum in the form of a giant lamp scheduled to open in 2015[3] will be a major tourist attraction.

  • Former Residence of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Museum The former residence of Sun Zhongshan is at the center of the Memorial Museum, located in the village of Cuiheng.
  • Xiaolan Many houses in the town of Xiaolan have garden pavilions dedicated to the cultivation of chrysanthemums. Roofs and balconies, streets and lanes feature countless varieties of chrysanthemum plantings.


Aim to provide fair educations for all Zhongshan citizens and its new residents, in 2015, the Ministry of Education of Zhongshan initiated an electronic random distribution selection system for primary school entrance, promoting a new trend of "good schools are just nearby your vicinity!"

Colleges and Universities

Statue of Sun Yat-sen in Sunwen Memorial Park.
  • Zhongshan College
  • Guangdong Pharmaceutical University
  • University of Electronic Science and Technology

High schools and Institutions

  • Zhongshan Overseas Chinese Middle School (中山市華僑中學) opened in 1954, it is one of the first top-grade schools of Guangdong Province and the first national demonstrative ordinary high schools, which attracts lots of overseas, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan students.(
  • Sun Yat-sen Memorial Middle School (Chinese: 中山纪念中学; pinyin: Zhōngshān Jìniàn Zhōngxúe) opened in 1932. It was established in memory of the Chinese revolutionist Sun Yat-sen, and built under the supervision of Soong Ching-ling, the widow of Sun Yat-sen.
  • Zhongshan No.1 Middle School [2] (Chinese: 中山市第一中学; pinyin: Zhōngshānshì Dìyī Zhōngxúe) opened in 1908.
  • Guangdong Zhongshan Experimental Middle School
  • Zhongshan Guishan Middle School
  • Guangdong Bowen International School
  • Sanxin Bilingual School
  • China Hong Kong English School

Public Transportation

For travelling convinience, Zhongshan has developed a penetrative public green bus transportation citywide and yellow bus for each townwide. People can apply a Zhongshan Tong traveling card in any One-Plus-One Supermarket or other authorized selling places. Using the Zhongshan Tong there is a 50% off ticket fee. For elderly of age of 60 and disable perons, can apply a free Zhongshan Tong in their village councils.

Twin towns – Sister cities

Zhongshan is an official sister city of five cities worldwide.

Country City County/District/Region/State Date
 Japan Moriguchi Osaka 1988
 United States Honolulu County[4] Hawaii 1997
 Mexico Culiacán Sinaloa 2007
 Canada Burnaby[5] British Columbia 2011
 Malaysia George Town Penang 2012


  1. ^ Tai Ping Huan Yu Ji 《太平寰宇记》, juan 157, 3019.
  2. ^ "Zhongshan Torch Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone". 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "International Relations, Official Web Site for The City and County of Honolulu". 2014. Archived from the original on 28 June 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Sister & Friendship Cities". 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 

External links

  • Zhongshan government website
  • Zhongshan News website (in Simplified Chinese)
  • Zhongshan News website (translated to English by Google)
  • Zhongshan Overseas Friendship Association website (in Simplified Chinese)
  • ZSRenn (English information for expats and tourists in Zhongshan)
  • Map of Zhongshan

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