Dongguan’s Zhongshan Land Dispute

city fact

A historic shrine has existed inside the 114 year-old Dongguan Middle School since the day it was established, but few people, even students from the school, know the story behind it. The shrine was built to report a heroic deed that was done by Dongguan locals who risked their lives to protect Dongguan’s land which was almost taken by Zhongshan bullies. Between 1796-1820, a large piece of silted land formed that extended out from Dongguan’s Wanqingsha area on the border of Dongguan and Zhongshan (now the Nansha District of Guangzhou). People from Zhongshan had cast covetous eyes on it for some time before five people finally built fences around it in 1838. Three Dongguan locals sued them in a Guangdong court and during the 1840 investigation in Wanqingsha, six Dongguan locals were trapped and attacked by 50 Zhongshan people while boating. The case was on trial in both Dongguan and Zhongshan for nearly 10 years. In 1849, a border was drawn in Wanqingsha and Dongguan and Zhangshan were each given half of the territory. That land had belonged to Dongguan until 1949, when the PRC was founded.

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