The prefecture-level city of Zhoushan administers 2 and 2 .
*Putuo District, Zhoushan
These are further divided into 45 , including 24 , 12 and 9 subdistricts.
The archipelago was inhabited 6,000 years ago during the Neolithic by people of the Hemudu culture. During the Spring and Autumn Period, Zhoushan was called Yongdong , referring to its location east of the Yong River, and belonged to the State of Yue.
The fishermen and sailors who inhabited the islands often engaged in piracy and became recruits for uprisings against the central authorities. At the time of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, Zhoushan Islands served as the base for Sun En's rebellion. Sun En, an adherent of the sect Wudou Midao , launched his rebellion around the year 400 and was defeated by Jin forces in 402.
In 863, the Japanese Buddhist monks Hui'e and Zhang-shi of Putuoshan, Zhoushan placed a statue of Guanyin at Chaoying Cave that would later become popular tourist destination.
During the Ming dynasty, especially between the years 1530 and 1560, Japanese and Chinese pirates used Zhoushan as one of their principal bases from which they launched attacks as far as Nanjing; "the whole Chinese coast from northern Shandong to western Guangdong was ravaged to a distance of sixty miles inland."
After suppression of the pirates, Zhoushan became an important commercial entrep?t. Under the early dynasty, it played a similar role to and as a frequent port of call for Western traders. The restriction of all European trade to the port of Canton in 1760 forced Westerners to leave Zhoushan. One of the requests of 's embassy to emperor in 1793 was an acquisition of "a small unfortified island near Zhoushan for the residence of English traders, storage of goods, and outfitting of ships." Emperor Qianlong denied this request together with all the rest.
British forces under Captain Charles Elliott seized Zhoushan in the summer of 1840 during the First Opium War and evacuated it in early 1841, after Elliott reached an agreement with Qishan, the governor general of Tianjin and grand secretary to emperor Daoguang, in exchange for cession of Hong Kong. At that time, Zhoushan was a well known port while Hong Kong was only a fishing village. The British Foreign Secretary was famously livid when he learned that Elliott agreed to cession of Hong Kong while giving up Zhoushan. Elliott was dismissed in April 1841 for his blunder. His replacement led a British fleet that recaptured Zhoushan in late August 1841. The First Opium War ended with conclusion of the Treaty of Nanjing in which China opened up the cities of Canton, Fuzhou, Amoy, Ningbo, and Shanghai to residence by British subjects for the purpose of trade. As a result, Britain had no longer any use for Zhoushan but it kept the island until 1846 as a guarantee for the fulfilment of the stipulations of the treaty.
Zhoushan was also occupied by the British in 1860 .
In February 13, 1862, Wang Yijun of the Heavenly Kingdom of Taiping attempted overtake Zhoushan from forces, but died in the unsuccessful attempt.
Sun Yat-sen visited Zhoushan on August 25, 1916 and wrote ''Travelling to Putuo'' .
On October 1, 1942, the Japanese ''Lisbon Maru'' transported 1,800 POW back to Tokyo, but ''Lisbon Maru'' sank after being hit by a torpedo near Qingbing Island . 384 of the British POW overboard were rescued by the fishermen of Dongji Township nearby.
Today's Zhoushan city was made Wengshan District of Ming Prefecture in 738 . In 1073 , it was renamed Changguo . It was upgraded to a prefecture in early Yuan Dynasty, and changed to Dinghai District of Zhejiang Province in 1688 . It was upgraded to a direct-control subprefecture in 1841, but reverted to a county after the end of empire.
Under the Republic of China's rule, Dinghai County was, as during always in the Qing Dynasty, part of Zhejiang Province. However, Shengsi was separated into an Archipelago Direct-control District of Jiangsu Province in 1946, and made a county in October 1949. In that same year, the last year under rule of the Republic, the remaining Dinghai County was divided into Dinghai and Wengzhou Counties.
Zhoushan came to be under communist control on May 17, 1950, and Wengzhou was merged back into Dinghai County, which was then under Ningpo ''Zhuanqu'' .
Shengsi was made a ''tequ'' of Songjiang ''Zhuanqu'' , still of Jiangsu this year, and upgraded to a county the following year.
In March 1953, the Council of Ministers approved to divide Dinghai County into the counties of Dinghai, Putuo, and Daishan. In addition, Shengsi County was returned to Zhejiang, to be administered, with the three former Dinghai counties, as Zhoushan ''Zhuanqu'' of Zhejiang County of Ningpo ''Zhuanqu'' was briefly incorporated into Zhoushan from 1954 to 1958.
All subdivisions' county status abolished, the commission became a county of Ningpo ''Zhuanqu'' in 1958, and was reverted to a ''zhuanqu'' on its own in May 1962, and changed to a prefecture on 1967 .
Shengsi was temporarily assigned to Shanghai in the early 1960s. Created in 1962, the short-lived Daqu County was halved into parts of Daishan and Shengsi four years later.
The prefecture-level city status was granted on January 27, 1987 to Zhoushan, and Dinghai and Putuo Counties were upgraded to districts. The municipal People's Government was established on March 8 of that year. April of the same year, the ports of Zhoushan became open to foreign ships. On April 10, 1988, it became a coastal economic open zone.
The Zhoushan Archipelago, comprised 1,390 islands and 3,306 reefs, is located outside Hangzhou Bay. It is the largest archipelago of China . Among these islands, 103 are inhabited all year round, 58 are larger than 1 km?; , and only 15 have populations over 10,000. The larger islands, mostly closer together in southern part of the archipelago, include:
Zhoushan includes 20,800 km? of marine territory, but only 1440.12 km? of land, 183.19 km? of which are submerged at high tides. It is 182 km east-east and 169 km north-south. It is heavily populated, but now has little farms.
As of late 2001, there are 981,014 people in 351,224 households, with a birthrate of 6.34‰ and death rate of 6.37‰, and population growth rate of -0.03‰ . Population density was 683 persons per km?, which is one time higher than provincial average and six times national average. There are 100,000 overseas Zhoushan people.
* , founder of several major companies
*Great Monk Guoru , a National Monk under Cixi
*The Great Lord of Yang Estate , a local fisherman who rescued many later deified in a small temple in Daishan
*Liu Hongsheng businessman and politician
* ,famous Taiwanese writer
*Wang Xipeng , high-ranking official died in a fight against the British
*Yang Jingjuan , famous female communist
*Ying Yao , a martial official who has a biography in ''Song Shi''
Zhoushan is the sister city of the San Francisco Bay Area port city of Richmond, California.