Xiamen, alternately known as Amoy, is a sub-provincial city in southeastern Fujian, People's Republic of China, beside the Taiwan Strait. It is divided into six districts: Huli, Siming, Jimei, Tong'an, Haicang, and Xiang'an. All together, these cover an area of 1,699.39 square kilometers with a population of 3,531,347 as of 2010. The urbanized area of the city has spread from its original island to include parts of all six of its districts, with a total population of 1,861,289. This area connects to Quanzhou in the north and Zhangzhou in the west, making up a metropolis of more than five million people. The Kinmen Islands administered by the Republic of China lie less than 6 kilometers away.
Xiamen Island possessed a natural harbor in Yundang Bay, but Fujian's international trade was long restricted to Quanzhou or to Guangzhou in Guangdong. Due to the siltification of Quanzhou's harbor, the British insisted that Xiamen be opened to foreign trade in the treaty that ended the First Opium War in 1842.