Xiamen, on the southeastern coast of China, to the west of Taiwan Strait, covers a total area of 1,569.3 square kilometers and has a registered household population of 1.6 million at the end of 2006 and a permanent population of about 2.33 million. Under the jurisdiction of the municipality are six districts Siming, Huli, Jimei, Haicang, Tong'an and Xiang'an.
Dubbed "China's coziest city", Xiamen has a pleasant climate, picturesque views and clean and tidy environment. In 2002, Xiamen received the Gold Medal at the "International Nations in Bloom" competition in Stuttgart , Germany. Domestic awards have included " National Sanitary City", "National Garden City", and " National Model City for Environmental Protection", "National Excellence in Tourism", "National Top 10 Most Livable Cities and National Habit Award". In 2004, Xiamen is world's only city to win the 2004 UN Habit Award.
Xiamen was one of the first four special economic zones (SEZ) in China. One of the few municipalities enjoying independent status in state economic planning, Xiamen enjoys provincial level autonomy and local legislative power in economic administration. It is also one of the most competitive cities in China. According to the 2005 Competitiveness Report of Cities in China, Xiamen is regarded as one of Top 10 cities in terms of competitiveness in Mainland China, and it also ranks the top in comprehensive competitiveness of government service, legal system, system building, culture & education, infrastructure, market openness, etc.
Xiamen port is one of the top 10 ports of China. It boasts of 80 berths of various sizes. There are navigation routes from Xiamen to over 60 ports in more than 40 countries and regions. With 62 international and domestic air routes opened, Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport is a main air hub in east China. The well-developed system of railway and highway transportation links the city with all over the country.
Xiamen has become one of the most important ports in China for international trade. It has been a hot destination for foreign investment. By the end of 2006, 7454 foreign-invested projects have been approved with a total contractual value of USD25.5 billion of which USD15.6 billion has been paid up.