City is situated in the northeast of Guangdong Province, bordering on Fujian and
Jiangxi Provinces. It was named for its plum blossoms. It exercises jurisdiction
over six counties-Meijiang District, Meixian County, Dapu, Fengshun, Wuhua,
Pingyuan, Jiaoling, and mandate of Xingning City.
The total area is 15,800 square kilometers, with a Hakka speaking population with exception of some minor part of people at Fengshun and Dapu that speak Chaozhou dialect, and an exception of over 2000 people of She's. It is the biggest of the Hakkas community of the Hans in the country. There are peaks after peaks with lots of rivers. Meizhou belongs to the hilly land south of Nanling with a topography of high in the north and low in the south. The main mountain ridges are the Phoenix, Xiangshan, and Yinnashans. Yinnashans ( called Lotus Ridges) is called the backbone of east Guangdong. The tallest peak is Tongguzhang, 1,560 meters above sea level, the No. tallest peak there. There are numerous basins, big and small, with a total area of 2000 square kilometers. The biggest one is Xingning Basin, with an area of about 302 square kilometers. There are 53 rivers that collect rainwater from land over 100 square kilometers, the main ones are Meijiang, Dinjiang, and Hanjiang. Meizhou is in the sub-tropical zone, with short winter and long summer, annual average temperature is 21°C, long sunshine time and plenty of rainfall. It is suitable for developing production base of eco-agriculture and various economic crops .
Meizhou has a long history: the ancestors of Hakkas in the Qin and Han Dynasties migrated southward from Central China and settled down in Lingnan. So they were called Hakka (literally 'guess people'). Meizhou belonged to Nanhai Prefecture. In South Han Dynasty it was Jingzhou. In the Reign of Kaibao of the Song Dynasty, it began to be called Meizhou, and in the Yuan Dynasty, Meizhou Lo was set up and it belonged to Chaozhou in the Ming Dynasty. In the 11th year of the Reign of Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty, it was changed to Jiayingzhou, under direct jurisdiction. In the Republic of China, it belonged to Chaoxun Prefecture, the 6th Administrative District. After the founding of New China in 1949, it was administrative region. From 1952 onwards, it belonged to the East Guangdong Administrative Region, and to Shantou Region. In 1965 Meixian Region was set up. In 1970 it was renamed Meixian Prefecture. In 1988 Meixian Prefecture was rescinded by the approval of the State Council and Meizhou City was established in its stead. The Municipality was seated in Meijiang District. The City is a historical cultural famous city of the country. The culture and education have been quite developed. Football is very popular in the cities and villages. There are over 2.90 million overseas Chinese living abroad, wide-spread over 80 countries and areas. It has long been known as the "Land of Culture, Overseas Chinese, and Football". In history, there emerged many famous personalities with distinguished achievements like Huang Zunxian, Qiu Fengjia, Luo Xianglin, and Lin Fengmian, etc. There were also legendary figures known by Hakkas at home and abroad like Song Xiang, Ye Bihua and Li Huitang. and historical celebrities like Zhang Jiuling, Han Yu, Wen Tianxiang, Zhu Xi, etc. left their traces in Meizhou. In 1964 at an inspection tour, Guo Moruo wrote a poem in praise of Meizhou, to the effect that "Meizhou takes the first place in matters of culture".
Meizhou is bestowed with rich resources of tourism. There are major relic spots: the thousand- year-old Lingguang Temple, built in the Tang Dynasty, Yuankui Pagoda, Lion Pagoda of Wuhua, Five Fingers Peak of Yinna Mountain, a Streak of Sky at Changtan of Jiaoling, Natural Protection Area of Fengxi Forest Farm of Dapu, Nantai Mountain of Pingyuan, Five Fingers Rock, Yitang Reservoir at Wuhua, Waterfall at Geling of Fengshun, Heshhuihu Mountain, Shenguang Mountain of Xingning; some special features like Tourist Holiday Village at Chatian, Holidaying Center of Yanming Lake, Drifting along Longjing River at Fengshun, Tangkeng Hot Spring, Hot Mineral Mud Village of Wuhua, and the Hakka Round House; besides there are old residences of Marshal Ye Jianying, Huang Zunxian, and Qiu Fengjia. The unique Hakka folk custom and colorful culture and arts and the special taste of the cuisine are there to recommend themselves.
Meizhou is at the vital communication hub of the three provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, and Jiangxi., is the bridge connecting the coast and the inner land.. State Highways 205 and 206 run across the city. Guangzhou-Meizhou-Shantou Railway and Meizhou-Kanshi Railway cross here. Expressways, state, provincial county and village highways reach all places. The highway density ranks in the forefront of the mountainous areas in the Province. In air transport, there are airlines reaching Guangzhou and Hong Kong, waterways of Meijiang, Hanjiang reach Chaozhou and Shantou. A communication network with highways, railways airlines and waterways interconnected has been formed initially in the City.
The major mineral resources are coal, iron, copper, magnesiu, rare earth, clay, lime stone, marble, and granite, 48 in all. The reserve of magnesium ranks the first in the Province, that of lime the fourth, that of coal the third. Hydro-power resource is abundant, with great reserve of hot springs and fine mineral drinking water that are of high value for exploitation. Meizhou in the biggest pomelo production base in the country and also the homeland of the famous "Dancong Tea".
Now great changes have taken place in Meizhou. In 2001, the GDP reached 18.9 billion yuan. The economic structure has been optimized, the industries of superiority are growing. The resource processing industries with building material, cigarette, power, and processing of farm by-products as the mainstay have taken shape. In 2001, a number of ten thousand mu, thousand mu production bases of fruit and tea, and pollution-free farming products have been built. with a total output of 0.65 million tons of fruit, 8,300 tons of tea. The scale of comprehensive development in hilly areas is expanding, with economic benefit ever rising. The environment for investment has greatly improved: infrastructure facilities like urban construction, communication, electric power, and telecommunication have made breakthrough progress. An area of 38 square kilometers of urban district has been completed with a population of over 0.38 million. The City has taken shape of a city at medium level. The highway traffic mileage is 10,200 km, the density being 64.3 km per hundred square km , exceeding the average of the Province. The installed capacity of electric generation is 1.07 million KW, with over 4 billion KWH. So the supply is more than enough. Telephone calls can be put through to all the villages. The dyke engineering project having been completed in Meicheng, Meizhou urban districts can resist big flood one time in a hundred years. There is rapid development in export-oriented economy. More than US$ 800 million has been introduced and over 1000 enterprises of sole foreign proprietorship, state-ownership and joint venture have been built with annual output value of over 3 billion yuan. Donation to the public welfare business by compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and overseas Chinese amounted to 1.9 billion yuan. The building up of spiritual civilization develops synchronically with various social causes like science, technology and education.. The living standards of the people has risen at a big margin, absolute poverty has been rid of, some sections of people have come to a well-off level.
The proposed economic target of 2002 is : an increase of 8% in GDP, 12% in investment in social fixed assets, 6% in local financial revenue, 4% in net income of rural population per capita. Emphasis is laid on doing a good job in : 1. emancipating the mind and changing the idea so as to break new ground; 2. seizing the opportunity and adding investment, bringing about a new surge in the construction of infrastructure facilities with communication and water conservancy as the key; 3. pushing forward the industrialized management in agriculture to increase the income of the farmers; 4. developing the mainstay industries like the resource processing type, speeding up the process of industrialization; 5. doing a good job with afforestation of the hilly areas, building Meizhou into an eco-barrier in the northeast of Guangdong, and developing tourism in a big way, expanding the tertiary industry; 6.creating fine environment for the rapid development of private economy; 7. quickening the pace of urbanization, pushing forward the transfer of farmers to the secondary and tertiary industries; 8. further make a success of the development of population and environmental protection so as to realize sustained development; 9 . grasping the opportunity of entering into WTO to raise the level of opening to the outside world; 10. reinforcing the building up of the Party, the spiritual civilization, and democracy and legality, giving a prominent position to the building up of the leading bodies at all levels, cultivating an army of cadres of high quality with devotion to the work in hilly areas so as to lead the people in the hard struggle.
With the great effort of the people of the City, Meizhou will rise up in the northeast of Guangdong with a socialist image of new homeland of overseas Chinese with stable social order, sound legality, and fine civilization.