Shangchuan Island (Chinese: 上川岛; pinyin: Shàngchuāndǎo) also written (Schangschwan, Sancian, Sanchão, Chang-Chuang or St. John's Island) is the main island of Chuanshan Archipelago on the southern coast of China. Its name originated from São João ("Saint John" in Portuguese). It is part of the Guangdong province, in the South China Sea. Located 14 km from the mainland, it is the largest island in the province. The largest island of the province used to be Hainan Island, which was carved out of Guangdong to form a separate province in 1988.
The population of the island is 16,320.
It is known in history for having been the place of death of St. Francis Xavier.
Shangchuan Island was one of the first bases established by the Portuguese off the China coast, during the 16th century. They abandoned this base after the Chinese government gave consent for a permanent and official Portuguese trade base at Macau in 1557.
The island has been isolated from the mainland since the last ice age. It is located near Xiachuan Island, which lies west of Shangchuan. The two islands, together with smaller islet, form Chuanshan Archipelago.
Shangchuan covers the main Shangshuan Island, and 12 islets. The total area of the town is 156.7 km². Shangshuan Island has an area of 137.3 km². The island has a 217 km long coastline.
Feisha Beach Resort (飞沙滩旅游区) is a commercial tourist resort located on the island's eastern shore.
- Chuanshan Archipelago
- List of islands of the People's Republic of China
- List of islands in the South China Sea
- Stuckey, Peter; Bailey, Chris (2002). "Visiting St. John's Island" (PDF). Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch 42: 435–448. ISSN 1991-7295.
- Satellite view on Google Maps
- Website about Shangchuan (Chinese) (English)
- Shangchuan on taishan.com (English)
- on tsinfo.com.cn (English)
- Pictures of the island (click on the links on the left to view more)
Francis Xavier Chapel
- Picture of Shangchuan island. The chapel marks the location of Francis Xavier's death
- Another picture of the chapel
- Satellite view of the chapel