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Changes of administrative division of Xiangshan in the Qing Dynasty
Updated: 2019-05-23    Source: zs.gov.cn Large Medium Small Print

In 1381, the court of Ming Dynasty divided the administrative region of Xiangshan County into 11 Fangs and Dus, the name of which were: Renhou Fang, Langzi Du, Longyan Du, Deneng Du, Sizi Du, Dazi Du, Guzi Du, Gongchang Du, Dalan Du, Huangqi Du and Huangliang Du. 

In the Qing Dynasty, the administrative divisions of Xiangshan changed for three times: 

According to the Annals of Xiangshan County, Xiangshan County was under the jurisdiction of the Guangzhou government in 1645. Later in 1827, the 11 Fangs and Dus were merged into nine Dus: Renhou Fang and Liangzi Du were merged into Renliang Du; Sizi Du and Dazi Du were merged into Sida Du; Longyan Du was renamed Long Du; Guzi Du was renamed Gu Du; Dalan Du was renamed Lan Du; Deneng Du, Gongchang Du, Huangliang Du and Huangqi Du were unchanged. 

According to the Continuation of Annals of Xiangshan County, some "Dus" in Xiangshan County were renamed "Towns" in around 1880. There were 9 "Dus" and "Towns" in the whole country: Renliang Du and Huangqi Du were unchanged; Deneng Du and Sida Du were merged into Dong Town; Gongchang Du was divided into Shanggong Town and Xiagong Town; Long Du was renamed Long Town; Gu Du was renamed Gu Town; Lan Du was renamed Lan Town; Huangliang Du was renamed Huangliang Town. 

The Continuation of Annals of Xiangshan County also records that in 1910, a year before the 1911 Revolution, Zhongshan changed "Towns" to "Districts" and there were 9 districts in the whole county: Renliang Du was changed as the First District (covering the areas of Shiqi, Gangkou, Huancheng and Shigu today); Long Town was changed as the Second District (covering today's Shaxi, Dachong, Henglan, Shanlang and western Banfu areas); Lan Town was changed as the Third District (covering today's Xiaolan, Guzhen, Dongfeng, Dongsheng and Tanbei areas); Dong Town was changed as the Fourth District (covering today's Zhangjiabian, Nanlang, Cuiheng and Changjiang areas); Gu Town was changed as the Fifth District (covering today's Sanxiang, Shenwan and Shiyingqiao areas); Shanggong Town was changed as the Sixth District (covering today's Tangjia, Xiazha and Qi'ao areas); Xiagong Town was changed as the Seventh District (covering today's Xiangzhou, Qianshan, Wanzai, Tanzhou, Hengqin and Wanshan areas); Huangliang Town was changed as the Eighth District (covering today's Doumen, Qianwu, Baijiao and Sanzao areas); and Huangqi Du was changed as the Ninth District (covering today's Huangpu, Fusha, Nantou, Langwang, Minzhong, Sanjiao, Xiaohuangpu, Tanzhou, Dagang and Huangge areas). 

As for Macao, it was still under the governance of Xiangshan County until 1845, when the Portugal authority endorsed a unilateral declaration of Macao becoming a "free port".

Readers today may not be interested in these name changes. However, if you don't understand these concepts, you're going to run into a big obstacle when it comes to history reading. Moreover, in daily life, some people are still using these names. If you are not familiar with their evolution, you may never know why Shaxi Town and Dachong Town are often jointly called Longdu (Long Du) or Long Town as well, or, the Second District or the Twelfth District (Shaxi was once changed into the Twelfth District after the foundation of the country) by some old people. 

In addition, most of Zhongshan associations in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas areas (such as natives associations) are still using the old names. For example, the associations of fellow townsmen of Shaxi and Dachong is called "Long Town Natives Association" in Hong Kong and "Long Du Natives Association" in Macao. Both names are still widely accepted and recognized.

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