international programs

Sister Cities

Fuzhou, China

(Link to the City of Fuzhou - Simplified Chinese)

Tacoma's Sister City since 1994.

Fuzhou, a port city and the capital of the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian, lies near the mouth of the Minjiang where it flows into the Straits of Taiwan. A city and suburban area of more than a million inhabitants, it is known for its timber industry, local tea, and lacquerware. As part of Fujian, it is also the ancestral home of many Chinese Americans who settled in the Pacific Northwest in the nineteenth century.

Fuzhou has long held a key position in China's maritime trade. Soon after its founding in the 6th Century, it became renowned for the export of tea, and Marco Polo wrote of thriving commerce in pearls and precious stones in the 13th Century, especially with India. Western powers gained a foothold in Fuzhou in the 1840s, when it was declared one of 5 Chinese ports open at the end of the first Opium War, and Japan was granted a concession there in 1898.

Today, international contacts are welcomed wholeheartedly, and the exotic teas and pearls have become secondary to trade in wood and agricultural products floated down the Minjiang from the mountainous and mystically beautiful highlands. With technical assistance from the Port of Tacoma, Fuzhou is currently building five deepwater port facilities to secure its position as a key southeastern commercial center. In addition, its electrochemical complex for the production of sulfuric acid and its lacquerware factories make it an industrial hub for Fujian Province.

The name Fuzhou, which actually means "wealthy town", has never been more fitting than today for this bustling river city.

Fuzhou Sister City Committee Chair

Dr. Greg Youtz