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China is a cultural region and ancient civilization in East Asia. China refers to one of the world's oldest civilizations, comprised of states and cultures dating back more than six millennia. The stalemate of the last Chinese Civil War following World War II has resulted in two separate states using the name China, the People's Republic of China PRC, administering mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau and the Republic of China ROC, administering Taiwan and its surrounding islands.
Zhoushan, formerly transliterated as Chusan, is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Zhejiang province, People's Republic of China. The only prefecture-level city consisting solely of islands, it lies across the mouth of the Hangzhou Bay, and is separated from the mainland by a narrow body of water. The area of the city is 1,440.12 square kilometers, and the population is 985,000.
The archipelago was inhabited 6,000 years ago during the Neolithic by people of the Hemudu culture. During the spring and autumn period, Zhoushan was called Yongdong, referring to its location east of the Yong River, and belonged to the state of Yue. The fishermen and sailors who inhabited the islands were often engaged in piracy and became recruits for uprisings against the central authorities.
During the Ming dynasty, especially between the years 1530 and 1560, Japanese and Chinese pirates used Zhoushan as one of their principal bases from which they launched attacks as far as Nanjing, the whole Chinese coast from northern Shandong to western Guangdong was ravaged to a distance of sixty miles inland. At that time, Zhoushan was a well known port while Hong Kong was only a fishing village. Zhoushan was also occupied by the British in 1860.
The Zhoushan Archipelago, comprised 1,390 islands and 3,306 reefs, is located outside Hangzhou Bay. It is the largest archipelago of China. Among these islands, 103 are inhabited all year round, 58 are larger than 1 square kilometers, and only 15 have populations over 10,000. Zhoushan includes 20,800 square kilometers of marine territory, but only 1440.12 square kilometers of land, 183.19 square kilometers of which are submerged at high tides.

Zhoushan, justifiably so, enjoys a very positive reputation with worldwide travelers, and is one of the most visited places. It is also said the place of best geographical environment and can trace its origin back to prehistoric times.

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