Guangzhou (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Guǎngzhōu; Wade-Giles: Kuang-chou; Jyutping: Gwong2zau1; Yale: Gwóngjaū; Indonesian transliteration: Kuangcou) is the largest city in southern China and the capital of Guangdong Province. Guangzhou was the largest city in the world in the early 19th century. Its highly educated population has always been active in political activity, being involved in the 1911 Cantonese Rise that led to the Chinese Revolution against the Qing Dynasty.
Here the annual Spring Festival features unrivaled flower collections, the city's full-fledged museums, and thriving universities including Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Guangzhou Institute of Mechanical Engineering.
Guangzhou is located mainly on the north bank of the Pearl River. The Yueh Hsiu district in the old location remains a center of commerce and a seat of government. As before, winding streets full of people can be found, but skyscrapers, parks, and highways dominate. Among the best monuments in the district are the Guangzhou Municipal Government Museum, housed in a red pagoda dating back to 1380, the Peasant Movement Institute, located near the city center, and the Huai Sheng Mosque (built in AD 627) considered the oldest mosque in China.
Also crowding the city center is Guangzhou's most populous population of 3 million, with the Chinese accent used known as the Guangzhou accent.
The city was founded in 214 BC. The city prospered under the original Chinese regime, building Buddhist temples and developing communities run by Arab and Hindu traders. The city walls were expanded to accommodate growth during the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) and many Chinese families flooded the south to escape Mongol attacks from the north of the 13-14th centuries. The Man Chu dynasty ruled from 1644-1911, and Guangzhou became the capital of Guangdong and Guangxi. The EIC began trading in 1699, and the Opium War I (1839-1842) broke out when the Guangzhou people confiscated and destroyed illegal British smuggled opium, which encouraged its wearers to weaken Indian and Chinese workers. It cost $6 million to save it from destruction after China's massive defeat.
The Second Opium War was fought between England, France, and China in 1856, and Guangzhou was occupied by Anglo-French forces until 1861. At that time hostilities against the ruling dynasty erupted in the Taiping Rebellion (1820-1864). The movement went underground after the rebels' first defeat in the campaign but came to the fore again with the dynamic Sun Yat Sen in 1885.
In 1949, following the Japanese occupation in World War II, the communist government took power and the city's growth continued amid a period of continued strife, including the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1967.
Now Guangzhou is emerging as one of the densest cities in China. Being an important trading center, characterized by a growing Western-style civilization and respect for capitalism.
The city of Guangzhou has twin city relations with the following cities:
Beckner, Chrisanne and Soetrisno, Eddy. 2001. Smart Books of 100 Biggest Historic Cities in the World. Jakarta: Ladang Pustaka & Intimedia