Nei Lingding Island
Nei Lingding Island (Chinese: 内伶仃岛, Nei Lingding Dao, 'Inner Lingding Island'） is an island in the Pearl River estuary in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. Although it is located closer to the eastern (Hong Kong and Shenzhen) shore of the estuary, it is administratively part of the prefecture-level city of Zhuhai, whose main administrative center is located on the west shore of the river.
When the Portuguese explorer Jorge Álvares and Rafael Perestrello landed on Nei Lingding Island (known in early European sources as Lintin Island) in May 1513, his was the first known arrival of a European-flagged ship to set anchor on the coast of China.
As of 1814 century Nei Lingding (Lintin) Island was called the "outer anchorage" for European ships traveling to Canton (Guangzhou). They would have to stop at the island, have their cargo inspected and measured by the Chinese customs officials stationed at the island, and pay customs duties. When in 1821 the Chinese government prohibited importation of opium into the country's ports, Lintin became a base of drug smugglers; old boats hulks, anchored near the island, served as warehouses and depots where imported opium would be reloaded to smaller boats to be smuggled into Guangzhou and other ports. Edmund Roberts visited the island in 1832, and noted that there were "seven to eight ships" smuggling opium, including American boats. From the 1830s until the cession of Hong Kong in the 1840s, Lintin Island was the main base for British merchants in the Pearl River Delta area. The island was a stopping point during monsoon season for ship repair. Ships would stay on the island on the island upwards of six months.
As of 1814, the population was approximated at less than 60. As of 1821, just under 2,000. When Edmund Roberts visited in 1832, he noted a population of approximately 5,000.
Since 1984, a part of the island forms the "Neilingding Island and Futian (福田) Nature Reserve". The reserve covers 7.8 km2, including 4.5 km2 of land area and 3.0 km2 of mangrove forest, and was created to protect some 300 rhesus macaques and other animals, such as pangolins and pythons.
- Wai Lingding Island ('Outer Lingding Island') lies some 40 km to the southeast, in the Wanshan Archipelago.
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