Shanjiang River in front of Xiaoyangfang, Xikou
Fenghua in Ningbo City
Ningbo in China
|• Total||1,253 km2 (484 sq mi)|
|• Density||380/km2 (990/sq mi)|
|Time zone||China Standard (UTC+8)|
Fenghua (help·info) (Chinese: 奉化; pinyin: Fènghuà) is a county-level city in the north of Zhejiang Province, China. It is under the jurisdiction of Ningbo prefecture-level city. The city and its administrative hinterlands has a population of over 480,000.
Fenghua was established as a county in the Tang dynasty, in the territory of Mingzhou. Its name means "Accepting Reform" and adopted during imperial times. During the Song dynasty, immigration from the north increased exponentially, peaking during the loss of northern China to the Jurchen Jin dynasty during the Jin–Song wars. In 1129, Fenghua was raided by Jurchen cavalry in pursuit of Emperor Gaozong. Local militia at Xiaowangmiao (蕭王廟) fought off the invaders.
In late imperial times, Fenghua established itself as a meeting point for trade between the agrarian communities to the north, in Yinxian (鄞县), and the mountain-based communities in the south. In exchange for grain and cereals, the hill peoples would trade bamboo, timber and other cash crops such as tea and tobacco. In the east of Fenghua, around Xiangshan (象山), there existed also a number of fishing communities.
As with the rest of China, the 19th century brought about tumultuous changes. The Opium Wars with Britain devastated the economies of the coast. Around this time, many Fenghua men sought opportunity in the rising cities of Harbin, Weihaiwei and Shanghai. They later became famous in the 1920s for their dominance of the tailoring profession in downtown Shanghai, known as the "Feng Bang" (奉幫). But by far Fenghua's most famous export was Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Kuomintang (KMT) and former President of the Republic of China. Chiang's family were originally salt merchants in the township of Xikou (溪口; old pronunciation "Qikou"), a town in the west of Fenghua county.
- Jinping (锦屏街道)
- Yuelin (岳林街道)
- Jiangkou (江口街道)
- Xiwu (西坞街道)
- Xiaowangmiao (萧王庙街道)
- Xikou (溪口镇)
- Chunhu (莼湖镇)
- Shangtian (尚田镇)
- Dayan (大堰镇)
- Qiucun (裘村镇)
- Song'ao (松岙镇)
Today, Fenghua is a centre for light manufacturing and small scale farming. It boasts a number of premier garment and textiles factories, including the Romon brand widely recognised in China. It is also home to the vast industrial facilities of Ningbo Bird, a leading Chinese mobile phone manufacturer. As the port city of Ningbo is further integrated into the burgeoning economic region of Shanghai, Fenghua will attract increased foreign investment and continue to grow.
Largely as a result of Chiang's fame, Fenghua attracts a large number of tourists. Aside from Chiang's former residence and related nostalgia, Fenghua has relatively few relics from the past. The great Xuedou Temple (雪竇寺), once one of the ten great monasteries of Chan Buddhism, was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Other sites, along with numerous local shrines, clan halls and genealogies, also perished in those chaotic years.
To encourage the growing tourist trade, Fenghua municipality has made efforts to preserve remaining items of cultural interest. In 1988, for example, it rebuilt Xuedou Temple and also restored the Temple of King Xiao at Xiaowangmiao.