Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong. Located in southern China on the Pearl River about 120 km north-northwest of Hong Kong and 145 km north of Macau, Guangzhou has a history of over 2,200 years and was a major terminus of the maritime Silk Road and continues to serve as a major port and transportation hub today, as well as one of China's three largest cities.
Guangzhou is situated at the heart of the most-populous built-up metropolitan area in mainland China, an area that extends into the neighboring cities of Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan and Shenzhen, forming one of the largest urban agglomerations on the planet. Administratively, the city holds sub-provincial status; and is one of China's five National Central Cities. In 2015 the city's administrative area was estimated to have a population of 13,501,100. Guangzhou is ranked as an Alpha- Global city. In recent years, there has been a rapidly increasing number of foreign residents and immigrants from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and especially from Africa. This has led to it being dubbed the "Capital of the Third World".