Guangzhou (also Canton, Kuang-chou, or Kwangchow) is a neighbour to Hong Kong and Macao and the largest city in southern China Sights in the city include Sha Mian (Shameen) Island, where foreign traders formerly lived; Guangxiao Temple - the earliest temple in Guangzhou; Six-Banyan Temple - also called Flower Pagoda or 1000 Buddha Pagoda dating from 537; and Huaisheng Mosque said to be the oldest in China. In Yuexiu Park you will find a 14th-century watchtower (Conquering the Sea Tower), the Monument to Sun Yat-sen, the Statue of Five Rams and the Seaman's Pavilion.
An ancient settlement, Guangzhou became part of the Chinese Empire in the 3rd century BC. Arab, Persian, Hindu, and other merchants traded here for centuries before the Portuguese arrived in search of silk and porcelain in the 16th century. They were followed by British merchants in the 17th century and French and Dutch traders in the 18th century. Guangzhou became a treaty port in 1842 and was returned to China in 1946. Guangzhou was a key centre during the Republican Revolution of 1911, led by Sun Yat-sen. The Japanese occupied and heavily damaged the city between 1938 and 1945.
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