Xiamen is a major city on the southeast (Taiwan Strait) coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of 1575.16 km and population of 3.61 million. Its built up area is now bigger than the old urban island area and covers now all six districts of Xiamen (Huli, Siming, Jimei, Tong'an, Haicang and recently Xiang'an), for a total of 3,531,147 inhabitants. It borders Quanzhou to the north and Zhangzhou making with this city a unique built up area of more than 5 million people. The Jinmen (Kinmen) Islands administered by the Republic of China (Taiwan) are less than 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away.
Xiamen and the surrounding southern Fujian countryside are the ancestral home to large communities of overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. The city was a treaty port in the 19th century and one of the four original Special Economic Zones opened to foreign investment and trade when China began economic reforms in the early 1980s. It is endowed with educational and cultural institutions supported by the overseas Chinese diaspora. In 2006, Xiamen was ranked as China's second "most suitable city for living", as well as China's "most romantic leisure city" in 2011