The city is on the coast of Fujian Province and has long been an important port city open to foreign trade. It was controlled and developed by the British Empire from the mid 19th century until 1912.
960-1279 During the Song Empire period, the city was a port open to foreign trade.
1387 A Ming general built a fort to guard against pirates.
1650-1660 Koxinga fought against the invading Manchus from the area.
1841 British troops captured the city and created one of their oldest settlements in China.
1938-1945 The Japanese army occupied the city.
1980 Xiamen was declared to be one of the four original Special Economic Zones.
Significance of the city: It is now a major port city and industrial pioneer heavily invested in and influenced by foreigners and especially Taiwanese and people of Chinese descent outside the mainland. It's port and airport are among China's top twelve busiest such facilities.