Quanzhou, formerly known as Chinchew, is a prefecture-level city beside the Taiwan Strait in Fujian Province, China.Its is Fujian's largest metropolitan region, with an area of 11,245 square kilometers (4,342 sq mi) and, as of the 2010 census, a population of 8,128,530.In Taiwan, the locals speak a version of the Minnan language which is called Taiwanese.Around the "Southern Min triangle area," which includes Quanzhou, Xiamen and Zhangzhou, locals all speak Minnan languages.Quanzhou proper lies on a spit of land between the estuaries of the Jin and Luo rivers as they flow into Quanzhou Bay on the Taiwan Strait.
Medieval Quanzhou was long one of the most cosmopolitan Chinese cities, with folk, Buddhist, and Hindu temples; Islamic mosques; and Christian churches, including a cathedral (financed by a rich Armenian lady) and two Franciscan monasteries.
A 1206 report listed merchants from Arabia, Sumatra, Cambodia, Brunei, Java, Champa, Burma, Korea, and the city-states of the Philippines.
In 1357, the Shiite Muslim garrison undertook the Ispah Rebellion against the Yuan and their local Sunni Muslim leadership.
By 1473, trade had declined to the point that Quanzhou was no longer the headquarters of the imperial customs service for Fujian.
The Sea Ban that followed did not help the city's traders or fishermen: they were forced to abandon their access to the sea for years at a time and coastal farmers forced to relocate miles inland.
By 1362, they controlled the countryside as far as the outskirts of Fuzhou, but after a defeat by the Yuan there they retreated to Quanzhou.