Xiamen is an island city with a rich and dramatic history, replete with pirates, rebel leaders, and European merchants. Now linked to mainland Fujian by a causeway, Xiamen retains a strong international flavor. Known in the West as Amoy, Xiamen has a long history as a port city, and later became a center of British trade in the 19th century. Their foreign settlements, later taken over by Japanese invaders at the start of World War II, were established on the nearby small Gulangyu Island. Many of the old treaty-port and colonial buildings in Western styles survive. Xiamen was declared one of China’s first Special Economic Zones in the early 1980’s, taking advantage of the city’s heritage as a trading center and the proximity to Taiwan. Today Xiamen is one of China’s most attractive and best-maintained resort cities.