Xin'an County (Bao'an)
Bao'an County formerly named Xin'an County is a historical region of South China
Northern and southern China
Northern China and southern China are two approximate regions within China. The exact boundary between these two regions has never been precisely defined...

. It is the predecessor of the modern city of Shenzhen
Shenzhen is a major city in the south of Southern China's Guangdong Province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. The area became China's first—and one of the most successful—Special Economic Zones...

 and the territory of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...


During the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 and at the time of the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
The Three Kingdoms period was a period in Chinese history, part of an era of disunity called the "Six Dynasties" following immediately the loss of de facto power of the Han Dynasty rulers. In a strict academic sense it refers to the period between the foundation of the state of Wei in 220 and the...

, the later Bao'an County, together with those of Dongguan and Boluo, formed only one large district bearing the name of Boluo (博羅).

In 331, the Eastern Jin Dynasty established Bao'an County, which was one of the six counties under Dōngguān (東官) Prefecture. This prefecture's area covered modern Shenzhen and Dongguan
Dongguan is a prefecture-level city in central Guangdong province, People's Republic of China.An important industrial city located in the Pearl River Delta, Dongguan borders the provincial capital of Guangzhou to the north, Huizhou to the northeast, Shenzhen to the south, and the Pearl River to...

. Since the second year of the Zhide of Suzong
Emperor Suzong of Tang
Emperor Suzong of Tang , personal name Li Heng , né Li Sisheng , known as Li Jun from 725 to 736, known as Li Yu from 736 to 738, known briefly as Li Shao in 738, was an emperor of the Tang Dynasty and the son of Emperor Xuanzong...

 of the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 (757 AD), Dōngguān was renamed to Dōngguǎn (東莞).

Hongwu Emperor
Hongwu Emperor
The Hongwu Emperor , known variably by his given name Zhu Yuanzhang and by his temple name Taizu of Ming , was the founder and first emperor of the Ming Dynasty of China...

 (1368–1399), the founder of the Ming dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

, found it necessary in the 27th year of his reign, to appoint an officer with the title Shou-yu-suo (守御所), "Protector of the region", in order to protect the population, which was rapidly increasing, against the bands of robbers and vagabonds which infested the district.

In 1573, during the first year of the reign of Wanli
Wanli Emperor
The Wanli Emperor was emperor of China between 1572 and 1620. His era name means "Ten thousand calendars". Born Zhu Yijun, he was the Longqing Emperor's third son...

 of the Ming Dynasty, Xin'an County (sometimes referred to as district) was established as a separate administrative division of the Guangzhou Prefecture. The area was then separated from the old Dongguan County in response to problems of defence.

In Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

, the Xin'an County, to which the mainland opposite to the Island of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 belongs, was one of the fourteen districts of the department of Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

. During the time of the Great Clearance
Great Clearance
The Great Clearance or Great Evacuation was ordered in southern China by imperial edicts of the Qing Emperor Kangxi , then under the regency of Oboi, in 1661 and 1662. It required the evacuation of the coastal areas of Guangdong in order to fight the anti-Qing movement, begun by Ming Dynasty...

 (1661–1669), most of Xin'an County was affected by the coastal evacuation. By the 5th year of Kangxi
Kangxi Emperor
The Kangxi Emperor ; Manchu: elhe taifin hūwangdi ; Mongolian: Энх-Амгалан хаан, 4 May 1654 –20 December 1722) was the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty, the first to be born on Chinese soil south of the Pass and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper, from 1661 to 1722.Kangxi's...

 (1666), Xin'an had ceased to be a separate administrative county, and the areas not affected by the evacuation were temporarily absorbed into the adjoining Dongguan County, until the lift of the ban in 1669. From 1842 to 1898, 1055.61 km2 out of 3076 km2 of Xin'an County was ceded to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 to form Hong Kong.

After the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 was founded, the name of Xin'an was changed back to Bao'an in 1913.

In 1979, Bao'an County was renamed to Shenzhen City and became a Special Economic Zone
Special Economic Zone
A Special Economic Zone is a geographical region that has economic and other laws that are more free-market-oriented than a country's typical or national laws...

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