Shantou (simplified Chinese: 汕头; traditional Chinese: 汕頭; pinyin: Shàntóu; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Sòaⁿ-thâu), also known as Swatow or Suátao, is a prefecture-level city on the eastern coast of Guangdong province, People's Republic of China, with a total population of 5,391,028 as of 2010 and an administrative area of 2,064 square kilometres (797 sq mi). With it and the immediately surrounding cities of Jieyang and Chaozhou, the metropolitan region – known as Chaoshan – covers an area of 10,404 square kilometres (4,017 sq mi), and had a permanent population of 13,937,897 at the end of 2010. It is the fourth-largest most populated area in China, after Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. Shantou, a city significant in 19th-century Chinese history as one of the treaty ports established for Western trade and contact, was one of the original Special Economic Zones of the People's Republic of China established in the 1980s, but failed to blossom like other cities such as Shenzhen, Xiamen and Zhuhai. However, it remains as Eastern Guangdong's economic centre, and is home to Shantou University, a member of the “Project 211” group.
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