Hunan

Hunan

[hoo-nahn]
Hunan [south of the lake], province (1994 est. pop. 63,050,500), c.80,000 sq mi (207,254 sq km), S central China, S of Dongting lake. Changsha is the capital. Largely hilly in the south and west, Hunan becomes an alluvial lowland in the Dongting basin in the northeast; the Xiang River, which traverses the province from north to south, and the lesser Yuan and Zi rivers drain into Dongting lake. The mountainous uplands include the Nanling range and Hengshan Mts. Rice is the outstanding crop, particularly in the "rice bowl" of Dongting lake; corn, sweet potatoes, barley, potatoes, buckwheat, rapeseed, fruits, and tea are also produced. Although much of the province's forested land has been cleared due to excessive cutting, many stands of cedar, pine, fir, oak, camphor, bamboo, and tung wood are found in the southwestern hills. Fishing and livestock raising are important rural activities. Pulp and paper mills are found along the upper Yuan and Zi rivers. Hunan abounds in minerals such as iron ore, lead, zinc, antimony, tungsten, manganese, coal, mercury, gold, tin, and sulfur. Although agriculture is still its main industry, Hunan has a variety of heavy and light industries, such as food processing, aluminum smelting, iron, steel, and textile mills, and the manufacture of machine tools, pyrotechnics, and traditional handcrafts. The population of Hunan, concentrated mainly in the Xiang and lower Yuan valleys and along the Wuhan-Guangzhou RR, is overwhelmingly Chinese and speaks a variety of Mandarin. There are aboriginal Miao and Yao peoples in the hills of the south and west; since 1952 several autonomous reserves have been established for these minorities. Under Chinese rule since the 3d cent. B.C., the region was traditionally called Xiang for its main river. It belonged to the kingdom of Wu at the time of the Three Kingdoms (A.D. 220-80) and later became part of the Chu kingdom of the Five Dynasties (907-60). Its present name, first used (12th cent.) under the Sung dynasty, was revived in the 17th cent. by the Manchus when the historic province of Huguang was divided into the present provinces of Hubei and Hunan. Hunan, traditionally the home of fighting men, supplied the troops that saved the Ch'ing (Manchu) dynasty from the Taiping rebels (1850-64). Largely unoccupied by the Japanese in World War II, it passed to Communist rule in 1949. Mao Zedong was born in Hunan.
or Hu-nan

Province (pop., 2002 est.: 66,290,000), south-central China. It lies south of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) and is bordered by Guizhou, Hubei, Jiangxi, and Guangdong provinces, Chongqing municipality, and Guangxi autonomous region. It has an area of 81,300 sq mi (210,500 sq km), and its capital is Changsha. Part of the 3rd-century-BC kingdom of Chu, it passed to the Qin dynasty and became part of the Chinese empire during the Han dynasty (206 BCAD 220). Hubei and Hunan were one province until split in the mid-17th century. Hunan was invaded in the mid-1850s by Taiping rebels, and in 1927 Mao Zedong led an armed uprising there. It was also the scene of bitter fighting during the Sino-Japanese War (1937–45). Much of the terrain is mountainous; Mount Heng, one of China's sacred mountains, is located there. The economy is basically agricultural. Hunan is one of China's major rice-producing regions.

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is a province of China, located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting (hence the name Hunan, meaning "south of the lake). Hunan is sometimes called 湘 (pinyin: Xiāng) for short, after the Xiang River which runs through the province.

Hunan borders Hubei in the north, Jiangxi to the east, Guangdong to the south, Guangxi to the southwest, Guizhou to the west, and Chongqing to the northwest. The capital is Changsha.

History

Hunan's primeval forests were first occupied by the ancestors of the modern Miao, Tujia, Dong and Yao peoples. It entered the written history of China around 350 BC, when under the kings of the Zhou dynasty, it became part of the State of Chu. At this time, and for hundreds of years thereafter, it was a magnet for migration of Han Chinese from the north, who cleared most of the forests and began farming rice in the valleys and plains. To this day many of the small villages in Hunan are named after the Han families who settled there. Migration from the north was especially prevalent during the Eastern Jin Dynasty and the Southern and Northern Dynasties Periods, when nomadic invaders pushed these peoples south.

During the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, Hunan was home to its own independent regime, Ma Chu.

Hunan and Hubei became a part of the province of Huguang (湖廣) until the Qing dynasty.

Hunan became an important communications center due to its position on the Yangzi River (Changjiang). It was also on the Imperial Highway constructed between northern and southern China. The land produced grain so abundantly that it fed many parts of China with its surpluses. The population continued to climb until, by the nineteenth century, Hunan became overcrowded and prone to peasant uprisings.

The Taiping Rebellion began to the south in Guangxi Province in 1850. The rebellion spread into Hunan and then further eastward along the Yangzi River valley. Ultimately, it was a Hunanese army under Zeng Guofan who marched into Nanjing to put down the uprising in 1864. Hunan was relatively quiet until 1910 when there were uprisings against the crumbling Qing dynasty, which were followed by the Communist's Autumn Harvest Uprising of 1927. It was led by Hunanese native Mao Zedong, and established a short-lived Hunan soviet in 1927. The Communists maintained a guerilla army in the mountains along the Hunan-Jiangxi border until 1934. Under pressure from the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT), forces they began the famous Long March to bases in Shaanxi Province. After the departure of the Communists, the KMT army fought against the Japanese in the second Sino-Japanese war. They defended the capital Changsha until it fell in 1944. Japan launched Operation Ichigo, a plan to control the railroad from Wuchang to Guangzhou (Yuehan Railway). Hunan was relatively unscathed by the civil war that followed the defeat of the Japanese in 1945. In 1949, the Communists returned once more as the Nationalists retreated southward.

As Mao Zedong's home province, Hunan supported the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976. However it was slower than most provinces in adopting the reforms implemented by Deng Xiaoping in the years that followed Mao's death in 1976.

Former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji is also Hunanese.

Geography

Hunan Province is located on the south bank of the Yangtze River (Changjiang, 长江), about half way along its length. Shanghai lies 1000 km away, Beijing 1200 km away, and Guangzhou 500 km away.

Hunan is situated between 109°-114° east longitude and 20°-30° north latitude. The east, south and west sides of the province are surrounded by mountains and hills, such as the Wuling Mountains to the northwest, the Xuefeng Mountains to the west, the Nanling Mountains to the south, and the Luoxiao Mountains to the east. The mountains and hills occupy more than 80% of the area and the plain comprises less than 20% of the whole province.

The Xiangjiang, the Zijiang, the Yuanjiang and the Lishui Rivers converge on the Yangtze River at Lake Dongting (Dongting Hu, 洞庭湖) in the north of Hunan. The center and northern parts are somewhat low and a U-shaped basin, open in the north and with Lake Dongting as its center. Most of Hunan Province lies in the basins of four major tributaries of the Yangtze River.

Lake Dongting is the largest lake in the province and the second largest freshwater lake of China. Due to the reclamation of land for agriculture, Lake Dongting has been subdivided into many smaller lakes, though there is now a trend to reverse some of the reclamation, which had damaged wetland habitats surrounding the lake.

Hunan's climate is subtropical, with mild winters and plenty of precipitation. January temperatures average 3 to 8 °C while July temperatures average around 27 to 30 °C. Average annual precipitation is 1200 to 1700 mm.

Administrative divisions

Hunan is divided into fourteen prefecture-level divisions, of which thirteen are prefecture-level cities and the remaining division an autonomous prefecture. The prefecture-level cities are:

The autonomous prefecture:

The fourteen prefecture-level divisions of Hunan are subdivided into 122 county-level divisions (34 districts, sixteen county-level cities, 65 counties, seven autonomous counties). Those are in turn divided into 2587 township-level divisions (1098 towns, 1158 townships, 98 ethnic townships, 225 subdistricts, and eight district public offices).

See List of administrative divisions of Hunan for a complete list of county-level divisions.

Politics

The Politics of Hunan is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in mainland China.

The Governor of Hunan is the highest ranking official in the People's Government of Hunan. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor has less power than the Hunan Communist Party of China Provincial Committee Secretary, colloquially termed the "Huanan CPC Party Chief".

Economy

Hunan's traditional crop is rice. The Lake Dongting area is an important center of ramie production, and Hunan is also an important center of tea cultivation.

The Lengshuijiang area is noted for its stibnite mines, and is one of the major centers of antimony extraction in China.

Its nominal GDP for 2007 was 914.5 billion yuan (US$120.3 billion). In 2007, its per capita GDP was 14,405 yuan (US$1,894).

Artistic

The Hunan Province is accredited with being filled with skilled craftsmen and women who create embroidered silks, carved jade and other skillfully hand made artistic goods of international quality.

Demographics

As of the 2000 census, the population of Hunan is 64,400,700 consisting of forty-one ethnic groups. Its population grew 6.17% (3,742,700) from its 1990 levels. According to the census, 89.79% (57,825,400) identified themselves as Han people, 10.21% (6,575,300) as minority groups. The minority groups are Tujia, Miao, Dong, Yao, Hui, Bai, Zhuang, Uyghurs and so on.

Culture

Xiang is a subdivision of spoken Chinese that originates from Hunan.

Hunan cuisine is noted for its use of chili peppers.

Nü shu is a writing system that was used exclusively among women in Jiangyong County.

Hunan's culture industry generated 87 billion yuan (US$11.76 billion) in economic value in 2007, , a major contributor to the province's economic growth. The industry accounts for 7.5 percent of the region's GDP - 0.9 percentage points higher than the previous year.

In recent years, Hunan's cultural exports to the rest of China have been making a big impact. For instance, the Supergirl contest -- a Chinese version of American Idol -- was a significant and ground-breaking achievement for Chinese television. It included live broadcast, voting by mobile phones, and featured quirky and atypical characters. Another television export has been the television cartoon series Blue Cat.

The gross profit for the Supergirl contest in 2005, for example, was 17.79 million yuan (US$ 2.48 million). As a result of programs like Supergirl, Golden Eagle Broadcasting System's Hunan satellite television channel has become the most-watched regionally-produced channel in China, with over 5.6 billion viewers. According to Golden Eagle, its programming also airs in the US, Japan, and Europe.

The local government started developing its cultural industry earlier than other cities, which is the main reason why they are ahead. There is a mature entertainment chain and standardized management in Hunan`s cultural industry. A prime example of this is Golden Eagle Broadcasting System.

Tourism

Education

Colleges and universities

Sports

Professional sports teams in Hunan include:

Notes

External links

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