Communication with foreign cultures

In the middle of the 19th century, the global development entered the second stage, when the western industrial countries represented by the Britain and France showed fast increasing demand for expansion to global capital markets. With the enhanced transnational and transboundary flow of commodities, people and capitals all over the world, the cultures and civilizations of different countries and regions in the west and the east met, collided and integrated with each other. With the outbreak of the China and Britain Opium War in 1940, the ancient China entered a brand-new historical period and began the tottering process of modernization. Promoted by the trend of globalization, China was experiencing the social and institutional reform, for which the southeast coastal area served as a pioneer and became the field for collision, exchange and integration of diversified cultures. In 1843, in accordance with the Treaty of Nanjing between China and Great Britain, Xiamen was opened as a commercial port. Therefore, it became one of the first foreign trade ports of the Qing dynasty. With the development of foreign trade in Xiamen, many foreign businessmen, officials and missionaries came to Xiamen. Because Kulangsu faces the Xiamen Port across the sea and features good conditions for ferry transportation and beautiful landscape, it attracted many westerners. Since then, Kulangsu has stepped into a new historical stage for modernization. The foreigners with modern concepts and cultural mindset promoted the first-stage social and cultural changes of Kulangsu. They brought their cultures to the island through the construction of residential buildings, public buildings and infrastructure, spread of religions, establishment of cultural, education and medical institutions, organization of sports and Recreational activities as well as promotion of business and trade activities. The western missionaries based on the island to extend the Christianity and western culture to southern Fujian and even wider inland areas. The foreign businessmen based on the island to deal with foreign trade through the Xiamen Port. Foreign consulates, along with foreign firms, warehouses, and residences for staff of the consulates and foreign firms, were built. The western missionaries also build many residential houses, churches and chapels and promoted the construction of missionary schools and public medical and health service facilities. Moreover, sports facilities, clubs and other cultural and recreational facilities were built, while road, cemetery, dock and other infrastructure construction had an initial development. Foreigners’ settlements the separated from the local residential areas were set up…

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