Fujian province lies on the southeast coast of China, between 115°50' and 120°47'E and 23°30' and 28°19'N. It is separated from Taiwan by the Formosa Strait.
Some 90 per cent of the province is mountainous country, running from southwest to northeast parallel to the coast. The few areas of plains lie in the east towards the sea. There are 6,500,000ha/16,250,000acres of forest.
The subtropical climate of this zone is very strongly influenced by monsoons. The period in which frosts occur is limited to 100 days of the year.
Between the 8th and 1st C BC Fujian alternated between being independent or forming part of the Chinese Empire, where it remained apart from a period during the first half of the 10th C. As early as the 11th C foreign trade developed, and this was always an important factor for Fujian. Increasing overseas trade saw the beginning of a wave of emigrants to southeast Asia, among other places, After 1949 the Taiwan question brought a reduction in external trade.
Fujian is classed as a Special Economic Zone, which resulted in somewhat frenzied economic development during the 1980s. Important factors in its economy are the cultivation of rice (two harvests each year), tea and sugar-cane, as well as the timber industry and fishing. Other agricultural products include sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, bananas, wheat, ground-nuts, rape and tobacco.
In the industrial sector food, steel and chemicals are of importance. Major minerals include coal, iron-ore, copper and wolfram.
In addition to the capital Fuzhou, Xiamen and Quanzhou possess places of interest to travellers.