Mosques first appeared in China during the Tang Dynasty (618–907), when Islam was introduced to China by Arabic traders. The first mosques were built in the places where the Arabic traders settled down, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Quanzhou. The Huaisheng Mosque in Guangzhou, Qingjing Mosque in Quanzhou, Zhenjiao Mosque in Hangzhou and Libai Mosque in Yangzhou were the oldest four mosques in China.
Mosques set up before the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)) followed the Arabic architectural styles. However, during the Ming and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties, elements of traditional Chinese architecture began to be added to mosques. Mosques built during these periods such as Niujie Mosque in Beijing, the Great Mosque in Xian and Songjiang Mosque in Shanghai are mixtures of Chinese garden and Arabic style.
Islam developed fast during the Qing Dynasty, and a lot of mosques were set up across the country. Nowadays, there are around 20,000 mosques in China.
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