Matzu Palace of Meizhou Island
The Matzu Palace in Putian’s Meizhou Island is the ancestral temple of thousands of other Matzu temples home and abroad. For over 1,000 years, the palace has been esteemed as the Eastern Mecca by the 200 million Matzu devotees around the world.
In 960 A.D., Matzu, whose mortal name is Lin Mo, was born in Meizhou Island. It is said that she was very smart. At the age of 8, she could recite Buddhist scriptures; at the age of 12, she was able to read the mystical ‘heavenly character-less book’; and at the age of 16, she could even forecast the weather and tell fortunes, saving lots of people from natural disasters. On the 9th day of the 9th lunar month in 987 A.D., Lin ascended to the heavens and became immortal. As she often bestowed good luck on fishermen and their boats, she was esteemed as Sea Goddess, and Meizhou islanders built the Palace in her honor. Despite the fact that the following imperial regimes have conferred as many as 28 official tittles to her, such as ‘Heavenly Princess Consort’, ‘Heavenly Empress’ and ‘Heavenly Holy Mother’, people are used to calling her ‘Matzu’.
After several expansions, Matzu Palace is regarded as ‘The Potala Palace on the Seashore’ for its magnificent and spectacular architectures. Today, hundreds of thousands of Matzu devotees from all over the world, most from Taiwan, flock to Meizhou Island to pay respect to Matzu. It’s largely due to the fact that 2/3 of Taiwan’s population believe in Matzu. And Matzu worship testifies to a close link between Taiwan and Fujian. In recent years, ‘Matzu Culture Fever’ has risen again across the Taiwan Straits, and Matzu Culture is making increasing influence as it becomes a research subject in the academic circle.
Hometown of Consort Plum
Consort Plum, whose name is Jiang Caiping, was a beautiful but humble duck herder before becoming an imperial concubine. Emperor Tang Minghuang called her as 'Plum Fairy' or 'Consort Plum' because she reveled in growing plum trees. Consort Plum, the legendary beauty, actively assisted Emperor Tang Minghuang in bringing peace and prosperity to the country. Puxian Opera, which prevails around Putian, is said to be created by her. As a Chinese proverb puts it, “Pretty Face, Poor Fate”, that’s what Jiang was. Yang Yuhuan, one of China’s 4 legendary beauties, was so jealous of Jiang after becoming the emperor’s concubine that she conspired to have Jiang neglected and forgotten by the emperor. Later in a political upheaval, Jiang committed suicide by throwing herself into a well. Residents in her birthplace, namely the Jiangdong Town, erected the Pukou Palace in her honor. There stands an upright megalith nearby engraved with “Hometown of the Consort Plum” in Chinese.
Mulan Dam, lying at the foot of Mulan Mountain, is an ancient weir in the Northern Song Dynasty, which is one of the most intact ancient large-scale water conservancy projects in existence in China. According to historical records, in 1064 A.D., Ms Qian Siniang from Fuzhou spent every penny of her money in an attempt to build a dam there with her town fellow Lin Congshi. It was a pity that their efforts failed due to the wrong choice of the construction site. Eleven years later, Mr. Li Hong followed the Imperial Edicts and Orders to try again. He drew upon the lessons of his failed predecessors, and sought assistance from a local monk named Feng Zhiri. Through 8 years of efforts, they completed the 219.3-meter-long dam, with 33 piers and 32 sluice gates. Thanks to the dam, water followed the diversion channels in the north and the south and flowed to Nan Bei Yang Plain to irrigate 32,000 acres of farmland.
Meizhou Bay & Xiuyu Harbor
Xiuyu Harbor is located at the midpoint of the Western Taiwan Straits Economic Zone, and along the northern coast of Meizhou Bay. The harbor is approximately 510 nautical miles from Shanghai to the north, 392 nautical miles from Hong Kong to the south, and only 72 nautical miles to Taichung Port of Taiwan to the east. From the entrance to the inner part of Meizhou Bay, Meizhou Island, Pan Island and Luo Island form three natural protective barriers to ensure calm water all year round. Besides, the harbor is free from silting up or getting frozen, with a deep, wide, smooth and straight fairway. The northern shore of the Bay runs as long as 127km., of which 51.4 km. is under planning for development, suitable for building 80 plus berths that can dock 10,000- to 300,000-ton ships. Xiuyu Harbor is regarded as one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the world.
Tries Garments Co., Ltd.
Tries Garments Co., Ltd. was established in 1983, restructured from Fujian Tries Group Limited. Its headquarters, Chinese Tries Clothing City, is located in the north shore of Meizhou Bay—Haitou Industrial Zone in Donghai Town of Chengxiang District, Putian City. It mainly engages in clothes design, production and sale. Its product range includes shirt, western suits, jacket, T-shirt, sweaters, western trousers, casual pants and various related accessories. The company produces close to 10 million suits or pairs annually with 252 technical workers and 3,016 other employees.
Tries fought its way into the rank of China’s top 100 garment producers, and has become a national key garment enterprise. The brand Tries has developed into a famous brand in China and beyond. In particular, Tries men’s wear is targeted at the elite Chinese. Taking China’s 5,000-year cultural heritage as its source of creative design, it aims to build up an original brand of Chinese culture. Through 25 years’ hard work, Tries has found a way of brand building with distinctive character.
Hualin Vegetable Base
Hualin Vegetable Base in Hanjiang, Putian City was founded in 1993. It is a large modern agrobusiness specializing in producing and selling various kinds of high quality pollution-free vegetables, particularly those for export.
It boasts perennial vegetable base covering an area of 373 hectares, seasonal base over 400 hectares, and multiple cropping land over 912 hectares. Besides, the base has cooperation with more than 10,510 rural households with the farming land of more than 900 hectares. In May 2002, Hualin Vegetable Base was granted the certificate to bear the national pollution-free vegetable logo. In August 2003, it was honored as the leading agrobusiness in the province. In 2004, it became the technological innovation center of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. And since then, it has been taken as a business entity meeting all the quality control requirements by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.
The products of Hualin Vegetable Base were sold in the domestic and overseas markets. The sales volume in 2005 was RMB 165.1 million, among which the profit in foreign currency was 7.5 million US Dollars. The base employed 5,860 people from rural areas in 2005, making great contribution to the increase of farmers’ income. Also, it has been in cooperation with several domestic and overseas research institutes for a long time, which helps develop its technological strength significantly.
The base owns independent intellectual property rights and has made great achievements in breeding and processing more than 20 kinds of high yield and high quality vegetables. At present, a processing workshop covering an area of 1,800m2 and five cold stores, each with the capacity of 300 tons, have been put into use. Every year the base increases its output value by RMB 26 million, and the profit in foreign currency by over 2 million US dollars. And more than 1,600 job opportunities will be newly created for the rural households. It is also expected that the farmers’ income will grow by more than RMB 30 million annually.