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Bao'an County

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Title: Bao'an County  
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Subject: Shenzhen, History of Guangdong, Military history of Hong Kong, LGBT history in Hong Kong, History of Hong Kong
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Bao'an County

Bao'an County
Simplified Chinese 宝安县
Traditional Chinese 寶安縣
Postal Poon County
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 新安县
Traditional Chinese 新安縣
Postal Sunon County
Literal meaning new peace

Bao'an County (simplified Chinese: 宝安县; traditional Chinese: 寶安縣; pinyin: Bǎo'ān Xiàn; Hong Kong Hakka: Bau3on1 Hien4), formerly named Xin'an County (simplified Chinese: 新安县; traditional Chinese: 新安縣; pinyin: Xīn'ān Xiàn; Hong Kong Hakka: Sin1on1 Hien4) is a historical region of South China. It is the predecessor of the modern city of Shenzhen and the territory of Hong Kong.

During the Han Dynasty, and at the time of the Three Kingdoms, the later Bao'an County, together with those of Dongguan and Boluo, formed only one large district bearing the name of Boluo (Chinese: 博羅).[1]

In 331, the Eastern Jin Dynasty established Bao'an County, which was one of six counties under Dōngguān (Chinese: 東官) Prefecture. This prefecture's area covered modern Shenzhen and Dongguan.[2] Since the second year of the Zhide of Suzong of the Tang Dynasty (757 AD), Dōngguān was renamed to Dōngguǎn (Chinese: 東莞).

Map of Bao'an (Po'On) County in 1866. It shows that Hong Kong and Shenzhen used to be a part of Bao'an (Po'On) County in ancient China.

Hongwu Emperor (1368–1399), the founder of the Ming dynasty, found it necessary in the 27th year of his reign, to appoint an officer with the title Shou-yu-suo (Chinese: 守御所; literally: "Protector of the region"), in order to protect the population, which was rapidly increasing from the bands of robbers and vagabonds which infested the district.[1]

In 1573, during the first year of the reign of Wanli of the Ming Dynasty, Xin'an County (sometimes referred to as district) was established as a separate administrative division of Guangzhou Prefecture. The area was then separated from the old Dongguan County for reasons of defence.[3]

Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, an unequal treaty signed between Qing China and the United Kingdom in 1898, shows that south of the Shenzhen river of Xin'an County was leased out to British government.

During the Qing Dynasty, Xin'an County was one of the fourteen districts of the department of Guangdong. During the time of the Great Clearance (1661–1669), most of Xin'an County was affected by the coastal evacuation. By the 5th year of Kangxi (1666), Xin'an had ceased to be a separate administrative county, and the areas not affected by the evacuation were temporarily absorbed into the adjoining Dongguan County, until the lift of the ban in 1669.[3] From 1842 to 1898, 1055.61 km2 out of 3076 km2 of Xin'an County was ceded to the United Kingdom to form Hong Kong.[2]

After the Republic of China was founded, the name of Xin'an was changed back to Bao'an in 1913.[2]

In 1979, Bao'an County was renamed Shenzhen City and became a Special Economic Zone. In 1981, Shenzhen City was renamed Bao'an County again. In 1992, Bao'an County was renamed Shenzhen City again.

See also


  1. ^ a b Krone 1859.
  2. ^ a b c Brief History of Shenzhen, Shenzhen Government official website.
  3. ^ a b , Vol. 14, 1974. pp.108-135Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong BranchJames Hayes: "The Hong Kong Region: Its Place in Traditional Chinese Historiography and Principal Events Since the Establishment of Hsin-an County in 1573", in


  • Mr. Krone 1859: A Notice of the Sanon District, Transactions, Vol.6, pp. 71–105, Hong Kong (1859).
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