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Toishan, Toisan
Taicheng Subdistrict
Location of Taishan City (pink) within Jiangmen City (yellow) and Guangdong
Location of Taishan City (pink) within Jiangmen City (yellow) and Guangdong
Taishan is located in Guangdong
Location of the administrative center in Guangdong Province
Coordinates: 22°15′07″N 112°47′38″E / 22.252°N 112.794°E / 22.252; 112.794
Prefecture-level cityJiangmen
 • County-level city3,286.3 km2 (1,268.8 sq mi)
 • Urban
156.8 km2 (60.5 sq mi)
 (2020 census[2])
 • County-level city907,044
 • Density280/km2 (710/sq mi)
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
Postal code
529200 - 529267
Area code750
Taishan, Guangdong
Simplified Chinese台山
Traditional Chinese臺山
Former names
Traditional Chinese新寧
Simplified Chinese新宁

Taishan (simplified Chinese: 台山; traditional Chinese: 臺山; pinyin: Táishān; Jyutping: Toi4saan1), alternately romanized in Cantonese as Toishan or Toisan, in local dialect as Hoisan, and formerly known as Xinning or Sunning (新寧),[a] is a county-level city in the southwest of Guangdong province, China. It is administered as part of the prefecture-level city of Jiangmen. During the 2020 census, there were 907,354 inhabitants (941,095 in 2010), but only 433,266 were considered urban. Taishan calls itself the "First Home of the Overseas Chinese". An estimated half a million Chinese Americans are of Taishanese descent.[5]


Taishan is in the Pearl River Delta, in southwestern Jiangmen Prefecture. It has 95 islands and islets, including Shangchuan Island, Guangdong's largest island now that Hainan is a separate province. Taishan is one of Guangdong's "Four Counties" (Sze Yup), which excluded Heshan and is now part of the Greater Taishan Region.


Climate data for Taishan (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 28.2
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 18.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.5
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 11.6
Record low °C (°F) 2.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 41.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 6.2 8.5 11.4 13.1 16.0 18.9 17.3 17.4 13.7 6.0 5.0 5.0 138.5
Average relative humidity (%) 73 78 82 83 83 84 82 83 80 73 71 67 78
Mean monthly sunshine hours 125.8 97.1 85.7 108.2 159.7 177.4 220.3 192.9 178.7 196.2 169.1 155.7 1,866.8
Percent possible sunshine 37 30 23 28 39 44 54 49 49 55 51 47 42
Source: China Meteorological Administration[6][7]


During the Ming dynasty, the area of present-day Taishan was carved out of Xinhui County on 12 February 1499 as "Xinning County". By the 19th century, Xinning was already a source of migrant and emigrant workers, but a series of subsequent natural and political disasters in the area exacerbated the situation. Aside from the disruption of the Sea Ban regulations (Haijin) themselves, their revocation led to an influx of northern settlers who began long-running feuds with the returning locals; this erupted into full-scale war in the 1850s and '60s.[8] The 1842 Treaty of Nanking that ended the First Opium War opened China to greater foreign trade just before the California Gold Rush made the prospect of emigration to the United States appealing. Many also served as contract workers abroad, as in Hawaii, Peru and Cuba and—most famously—for the Central Pacific half of America's Transcontinental Railroad, where the Chinese made up 80% of the company's workforce as they laid track over the mountains and deserts of the west.[9] By 1870, there were 63,000 Chinese in the U.S., almost all in California.[10]

Chin Gee Hee's Sun Ning Railway Company connected Sun Ning (Xinning) with its hinterland in 1908 and reached Jiangmen (Kongmoon) in 1913. It was notable as one of only three railways financed, built, owned, and run by the Chinese themselves before the 1949 Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War.[11]

In 1914, the new Republican government renamed the area Taishan County to avoid confusion with other places named Xinning.[12][13] (Foreign sources now frequently confuse it with Mount Tai in Shandong.) During the Second World War, the Sun Ning Railway was destroyed to prevent its use by the Japanese.[11] Japanese soldiers entered Taicheng, the county seat, in March 1941 and killed nearly 280 people. One quarter of the "Flying Tigers", a joint American and Chinese group of airmen who fought the Japanese before the U.S. entered the Second World War, hailed from Taishan.[14]

Taishan was promoted to county-level city status on 17 April 1992, reflecting its increasing level of urbanization.[13]


Chixi (labeled CH'IH-CH'I (CHIKKAI) 赤溪) (1954)

Taishan administers one subdistrict and 16 towns,[15] which in turn are subdivided into 313 administrative villages (村委会), and residential communities (社区委会).[13] The city has 3,655 natural villages, but they do not function as administrative divisions (自然村).[13]

Taishan's township-level divisions are:

Name Chinese (S)[15] Hanyu Pinyin Population (2010)[16]
Taicheng Subdistrict 台城街道 Táichéng Jiēdào 246,844
Dajiang [zh] town 大江镇 Dàjiāng Zhèn 46,674
Shuibu town 水步镇 Shuǐbù Zhèn 42,578
Sijiu town 四九镇 Sìjiǔ Zhèn 37,402
Baisha town 白沙镇 Báishā Zhèn 52,462
Sanhe town 三合镇 Sānhé Zhèn 36,215
Chonglou town 冲蒌镇 Chōnglóu Zhèn 32,483
Doushan town 斗山镇 Dòushān Zhèn 48,229
Duhu [zh] town 都斛镇 Dōuhú Zhèn 42,657
Chixi [zh] town (Chihkai; Chihchi) 赤溪镇 Chìxī Zhèn 34,450
Duanfen town 端芬镇 Duānfēn Zhèn 45,729
Guanghai town 广海镇 Guǎnghǎi Zhèn 43,465
Haiyan town 海宴镇 Hǎiyàn Zhèn 73,212
Wencun [zh] town 汶村镇 Wèncūn Zhèn 49,565
Shenjing [zh] town 深井镇 Shēnjǐng Zhèn 52,767
Beidou [zh] town 北陡镇 Běidǒu Zhèn 28,091
Chuandao town 川岛镇 Chuāndǎo Zhèn 28,272

Some of the city's natural villages include Annanjiangchao (安南江潮), Bihou (庇厚), Jilong, and Guanbuli (官步里).


Counting the total Greater Taishan Region or Sze Yap Region, which includes Kaiping, Xinhui, Enping and Taishan, there are about 8 to 9 million Taishanese people worldwide. According to American historian Him Mark Lai, approximately 430,000 or 70% of Chinese Americans in the 1980s were Taishanese according to 1988 data.[17] About 500,000 Chinese Americans claim Taishanese origins today.[17]

While Taishan itself has a population of about 1 million, there are around 1.3 million Taishanese people overseas, distributed in 91 countries and regions.[18] It is estimated that, up to the mid- to late-20th century, over 75% of all overseas Chinese in North America claimed origin in Taishan, so Taishan has been called the "Home of Overseas Chinese".[5][19]


Taishan's main dialect is Taishanese (台山话; 台山話).[citation needed] Most Taishanese today use Mandarin in school or formal occasions, but Taishanese is the lingua franca.[citation needed] Schools require their students to speak Mandarin in the classroom, and teachers are required to lecture in Mandarin.[citation needed]

Taishanese is a language of the Yue Chinese, a large group that includes, but is broader than, the Cantonese spoken in Hong Kong and Guangzhou.[citation needed] Cantonese and Taishanese are thus related but distinct.[20] Cantonese is also widely known in Taishan, as it serves as Guangdong Province's lingua franca.[citation needed]

Before the 1980s, Taishanese was the predominant Chinese language spoken throughout North America's Chinatowns.[5]


In 2018, Taishan's GDP reached 43.25 billion Yuan, government revenue was 2.92 billion Yuan, fixed-asset investment was 27.33 billion Yuan, retail sales totaled 25.52 billion Yuan, and foreign trade totaled 13.76 billion Yuan.[1]

Power generation

Taishan is home to two major power plants: the Guohua Taishan Power Station and the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant.[1]



Taishan is nicknamed the "hometown of volleyball",[1] after the game was introduced to the city in 1915 by Lingnan University student Wu Xiumin (伍秀民).[21] Many prominent Chinese volleyball players have hailed from Taishan.[21] In recent years, local governments in the city have invested in the area's volleyball programs, and the city hosted a number of Volleyball Women's Nations League matches in 2018.[21] 9-man is a form of volleyball from Taishan brought to American Chinatowns by Taishanese immigrants.

Music and Entertainment

Taishan and Guangzhou are the birthplaces of Guangdong music.[citation needed]

Parts of the movie Let the Bullets Fly were filmed in Taishan in 2010.[22][23]


Education enjoys significant support from Overseas Chinese professionals and businessmen. Many secondary schools were built and financed by Chinese living in China's Special Administrative Regions, as well as various foreign countries, such as the United States, Canada, and Brazil. To honor their benefactors, these schools often bear either their names or the names of said donor's parents.

For example, the Peng Quan School (鹏权中学; 鵬權中學) is a prime example, which was constructed during 1999–2001, and is now integrated into Taishan's public school system. It is situated on the west side of Taicheng, and was built by a Hong Kong businessman.[24]

There are many middle schools and high schools in Taishan, but no academic universities. Students must study rigorously in order to be accepted at universities located in other cities.

Taishan schools include:


Secondary schools (including combined junior-senior high schools and senior high schools):


Taishan railway station, which is built to resemble the former Ningcheng Station of the Sunning Railway

Taishan is accessible by bus with a long-distance bus station in Taicheng, and through a port at GongYi on the Tan River which flows into the Pearl River Delta.[citation needed] The ferry service between GongYi and Hong Kong has been discontinued.[citation needed]


Ferry services connect the island of Shangchuan with the mainland, sailing between the Sanzhou Harbor (三洲港) on Shangchuan, and Shanzui Harbor (山咀港) in the town of Chuandao.[25][26] There are also daily ferry services between Sanzhou Harbor and the nearby island of Xiachuan.[26]


In 2018, Taishan railway station opened in Taicheng Subdistrict, connecting the city via rail.[27] The station, located 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) north of the city center, is a stop on the Shenzhen–Zhanjiang high-speed railway, and has a couple dozen trains a day running to Guangzhou South railway station.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Xinning was also formerly romanized as Sin-ning,[3][4] Sinning, Hsinning, Hsînnîng and Llin-nen.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d 台山概况(2019年) [Taishan Overview (2019)] (in Chinese). Taishan City People's Government. 2020-01-06. Archived from the original on 2020-07-18. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  2. ^ "China: Guăngdōng (Prefectures, Cities, Districts and Counties) - Population Statistics, Charts and Map".
  3. ^ Baynes, T. S., ed. (1878), "China" , Encyclopædia Britannica, vol. 5 (9th ed.), New York: Charles Scribner's Sons
  4. ^ Gützlaff, Charles (1838), China Opened, p. 526.
  5. ^ a b c Pierson, David (2007-05-11). "Taishan's U.S. well runs dry". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  6. ^ 中国气象数据网 – WeatherBk Data (in Simplified Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 21 September 2023.
  7. ^ 中国气象数据网 (in Simplified Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 21 September 2023.
  8. ^ "Official Web of Taishan-Overseas Chinese Hometow". Archived from the original on 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
  9. ^ Mutze. "Remembering origins from Taishan, China" DailyQi. 2008-11-03
  10. ^ ""From Gold Rush to Golden State". California history Collection". Retrieved 2014-01-05.
  11. ^ a b Chinese Emigration, the Sunning Railway and the Development of Toisan by Lucie Cheng and Liu Yuzun with Zheng Dehua, Amerasia 9(1): 59-74, 1982.
  12. ^ Ling Huping (18 January 2012), Chinese Chicago: Race, Transnational Migration, and Community since 1870, Stanford University Press, p. 20, ISBN 9780804783361.
  13. ^ a b c d 台山简介. (in Chinese). Taishan City People's Government. 2008-11-30. Archived from the original on 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  14. ^ "Ruins from a history of exodus". 2010-01-23. Archived from the original on 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
  15. ^ a b 2020年统计用区划代码. (in Chinese). National Bureau of Statistics of China. 2020. Archived from the original on 2021-01-22. Retrieved 2021-06-14.
  16. ^ Census Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China; Population and Employment Statistics Division of the National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China (2012). 中国2010人口普查分乡、镇、街道资料 (1 ed.). Beijing: China Statistics Print. ISBN 978-7-5037-6660-2.
  17. ^ a b Wu, Olivia (February 18, 2007). "Young Americans find roots in China: S.F. program offers history and genealogy, helps locate relatives". San Francisco Chronicle. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
  18. ^ "Official Web of Taishan". Archived from the original on 2005-11-10. Retrieved 2005-07-20.
  19. ^ Hsu, Madeline Y. (2000). Dreaming of Gold, Dreaming of Home. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. p. 3.
  20. ^ "Cantonese vs Taishanese (Ft. Inspirlang)". YouTube.
  21. ^ a b c 四九─“排球之乡”中的“排球之乡” (in Chinese). Taishan City People's Government. 2018-06-05. Archived from the original on 2020-07-18. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  22. ^ Kaiping Location of "Let the Bullets Fly", CRI, 3 December 2010
  23. ^ Travel Around Taishan, CNTV, March 2011
  24. ^
  25. ^ 旅游船班. (in Chinese). 2007-04-01. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  26. ^ a b 交通指南. (in Chinese). 2007-04-01. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  27. ^ 台山站:忆往昔峥嵘岁月,百年铁路梦再圆. 台山广播电视台 [Taishan Broadcast TV] (in Chinese). 2018-10-16. Archived from the original on 2020-07-17. Retrieved 2020-07-17.