Friday, November 18, 2016


Guangdong Province (China) has a population of 107 million. As a country, that would make it the 12th largest in the world just behind Japan. 13 million people live in the capital, Guangzhou, which would be the 73rd largest country behind Chad. The area was called Canton by Westerners. As the Mongol Empire came to dominate Asia and Eastern Europe, the Han Chinese pushed South. Since the 16th century, there were extensive trade links with the rest of the world. Initially by land and the Silk Road, then by sea. The opium traded through Guangdong triggered the First Opium War with conflicting views on trade and which 'rule of law' should be applied, and by whom, to foreign nationals. As a major port of export for goods, and emigration, a large proportion of overseas Chinese people speak Cantonese rather than Mandarin.  

Photo: jo.sau

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