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Home / Culture / Heritage

Thirteen Hongs: China's Trade Legacy

By Qiu Quanlin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-21 10:52
Items donated by Wang Heng and his wife, well-known collectors, are displayed at the Guangzhou Thirteen Hongs Museum.[Photo provided to China Daily]
思维车   据悉,今年上半年全国商标评审争议同比增长50%,其中产业集聚的长三角地区占比较多。 武汉论坛 (9月8日《扬子晚报》《彭城晚报》))  “我在马路边捡到一分钱,把它交到警察叔叔手里边……”“春天在哪里呀,春天在哪里”等曾伴随亿万少年儿童成长的歌曲,都是出自国家一级作曲家、著名音乐家潘振声之手。 思维车   金立军在试验田里查水稻情况。 宠物论坛 蕉溪岭遂道 宠物论坛 江厦桥东 宠物论坛 回隆彝族乡

Museum houses treasures from Qing Dynasty's sole trading port.

In 2006, some 260 years after a wooden ship, the Goteborg, laden with Chinese goods, sank on the return trip to Sweden from Guangzhou, Guangdong province, a rebuilt vessel repeated the journey to the longtime trading hub in South China.

Salvage work began in the 1980s after the shipwreck was found not far from its home in Goteborg (also known as Gothenburg), Sweden. Four-hundred pieces of porcelain and nine tons of porcelain fragments that had gone down with the Goteborg were recovered after 10 years of effort.

"The porcelain is truly a reflection of the prosperous trade between Guangzhou and the rest of the world during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)," said Ge Hua, director of the Thirteen Hongs Cultural Promotion Association.

The Goteborg visited Guangzhou three times from 1739 to 1745. Unfortunately, on its final voyage it struck a coral reef and sank on its way home.

A replica of the Goteborg is now on display in the Thirteen Hongs Museum in Guangzhou, which shows examples of the prosperous trade between China and the West, including Chinese antiques.

"The Thirteen Hongs in Guangzhou was once the gate through which China connected with the world, as well as the window through which the world got to know China. It is the cultural and historical calling card renowned both abroad and at home," Ge said.

The word hongs, in Cantonese, refers to merchant houses or trade houses, similar to companies. The number 13 is an appellation, or a generic term, not the actual number of merchant houses.

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