Covering an area of 2,465 sq km, Dongguan became a city at county level only in 1985, and then, a city at prefectural level in 1988. Dongguan is also a well-known hometown of thousands of overseas Chinese. Dongguan has become an outstanding city, a rising star in South China's economic development in recent years. With a population of over 7 million, Dongguan is a city of migrants, for there are over 5 million migrant workers and businessmen out of its total population. They are from the different parts of the country to seek for a fortune or a better life.
Humen, which is in Dongguan, was the main battleground of the Opium War. In Qing Dynasty, Linzexu, our national hero, destroyed the opium in Humen also. And there is Shajiao Fort, Weiyuan Fort, the Opium Destroying Pool and Linzexu Park. Also, there is Ke Garden that is one of the four famous gardens in Guangdong Province.
Dongguan abounds in mineral resources. There is wolfram, tin, copper, sulphur iron, pottery clay, cement, limestone, coal and so on. In industry, light industry is the main part. There are light industry machines, electrical equipment, pharmacy, food, clothes, shipbuilding, building materials and some other kinds.
The special products in Dongguan are sugarcane, bananas, mangoes and oranges. And also there is fireworks, straw products, Hou Street sausages, Baisha chickens, Shilong malt sugar and Daning Wutou Fish, etc.
Dongguan is an ancient city with a long history which can be traced back to more than 5000 years ago. It was in Humen, a town of Dongguan, that the event of Incineration of Opium took place, which opened a new chapter in china's modern history. During the War of Resistance against Japan, Dongguan had been a base for the resistance forces in the East River Basin area, where thousands of Dongguan people fought bravely for and devoted their lives to the nation's independence and prosperity. Thanks to its long history and glorious revolutionary tradition, Dongguan has become a well-known historic and cultural city in south Guangdong.
Historically, more than 150 years ago, the incineration of opium during the Opium War took place in HuMen (one of the 32 towns of DongGuan) which to many symbolized the beginning of China's modern history. HuMen was the historically recognized town where the opium trade into China was stopped by the local authorities and even today you can visit the fort and artilleries display which at the time protected the sea route into Guangzhou (Canton).