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Zhanjiang city, Guangdong province [Photo by Chen Mingli/ Zhanjiang.gov.cn]

Zhanjiang sits at the southern end of the Chinese mainland and the southwest of Guangdong province, covering the northern part of Leizhou Peninsula. It has the longest coastline among cities in Guangdong. The city lives off the sea and has a 20,000-square-kilometer sea area, a 2,043-kilometer coastline, more than 134 islands of various sizes and 490,000-hectare shallow beach. It enjoys abundant marine resources and aquatic products.

Two thousand years ago, people on Leizhou Peninsula and royal court envoys sailed to the Roman Empire via India, making the earliest marine trading route in the world. They opened the ancient Maritime Silk Road, and a peaceful, friendly and cooperative route for exchanges between the East and the West.

According to the "History of the Han Dynasty", the ancient imperial court in the period of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty set up management institutes in today’s Xuwen county of Zhanjiang and recruited sailors to form a commercial fleet.

They set sail from Xuwen, across Vietnam and Malacca to Burma, India and Sri Lanka, taking silk and gold in exchange for pearls, colored glaze, and exotic stone and items along the way.

With prominent marine resources, Zhanjiang city is determined to develop a marine economy, which has seen an annual growth of above 10 percent in the last three years. In 2013, the city’s ocean industry output hit 127.58 billion yuan ($20.51 billion). The marine economic aggregate is only second to Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Guangdong. The marine industry structure has been optimized, and coastal industry, marine oil and chemical sectors have seen rapid development. Port logistics also enjoyed strong development in 2013. Port cargo throughput reached 180 million tons and container throughput stood at 450,000 TEUs, up 5.4 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively.

Fishery comprehensive competitiveness has also strengthened. Zhanjiang’s fishery sector’s gross output value stood at 43.37 billion yuan in 2013. Total aquatic product output reached 1.2 million tons and output value reached 15.48 billion yuan. The figures have increased by 12.5 percent, 3.2 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively.

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