Qinglong Village, Fuding, Fujian Province

Geography and Population

Fuding County, a region in the northeastern corner of Fujian province, has a rich history and was established in 1739 AD during the Qing Dynasty. Nestled within the county is the small village of Qinglong, home to some the world’s most famous white tea farms. Qinglong and Fuding County are located a little over 200 kilometres from Fuzhou, Fujian’s capital and largest city. It is located near the coast, and almost directly north of Taiwan. Fuding has a population of over half a million people, however Qinglong is much smaller in size and population. Fuding encompasses 10 towns and 3 townships, and a great majority of its residents are Han Chinese, while the remaining few are smaller, more indigenous groups known as the She people. Tea’s rich history is able to thrive among the smaller communities in Fuding County, as well as the Chinese cultural aspects that originated in the area.

Geography

Much like its sibling county Anxi, Fuding County is considered to have subtropical monsoon weather. Growing conditions are ideal, and Qinglong Village takes full advantage of the average annual temperature highs ranging 17-30° C throughout the year. The region receives about 1.8 metres of rainfall per year, and usually 95% of the year is frost-free. The landscape of Fujian and Fuding is mostly mountainous, and, like Anxi, the region has been described traditionally as “eight parts mountain, one part water, and one part farmland.” The elevation of the area is approximately 1700 metres, but is home to mountain peaks that reach above 2000 metres. Vegetation is lush in the area, and much of the landscape is very green.

Economy of Fuding

The county’s economy has vastly improved, as has the economy of Fujian province overall. Fuding is located strategically between northeast Fujian and southern Zhejiang province, making it a highly commuted city as trade and shipping run through it. Fuding is also home to the deep-sea port Shacheng, allowing large ships to travel through. The result is an increase in economic activity and trade. In September of 2009, the first high speed railways opened in Fuding, improving transportation conditions and cutting travel time for passengers. Fuding’s important location, continuous commitment to improving the local economy, and increasing affluence has led to its resurgence, although the area has stayed true to its rich foundation in Chinese history and culture.