Provinces of China: Guangdong - the most prosperous province of China
General informationArea: 186,000 square kmPopulation: 86.42 million (2006)Capital City: GuangzhouPopulation: 113,040,000 (2005)GDP: CNY 3,908,159 million(2009)Nationalities: Han, Yao, Zhuang, Hui, Manchu and She.Coastline: 4,300 kilometers long.Neighboring areas: Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian, and Hainan Provinces; Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Hong Kong and Macao.Major cities: Guangzhou, Shantou, Foshan, Zhanjiang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, ShaoguanGuangdong (simplified Chinese: 广东省; traditional Chinese: 廣東省; pinyin: Guǎngdōng Shěng) province is situated on the southern coast of People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province. It surpassed Henan and Sichuan to become the most populous province in China in January 2005, registering 79 million permanent residents and 31 million migrants who lived in the province for at least six months of the year. The provincial capital Guangzhou and economic hub Shenzhen are amongst the most populous and important cities in China.Guangdong is China's most prosperous province; its GDP has topped the rankings since 1989 amongst all provincial-level divisions. The province contributes approximately 12% of China's national economic output, and is home to the production facilities and offices of a wide-ranging set of multinational and Chinese corporations. Guangdong also hosts the largest Import and Export Fair in China called the Canton Fair in Guangdong's capital city Guangzhou.
Geography of GuangdongBordering on the South China Sea, Guangdong is China’s southern most provinces with a coastline of over 4,300 kilometres. It consists of the continental part and off-shore Island and reefs, including Hainan Island and the South China Sea Islands. The province covers an area of more than 212,000 square kilometres and has a population of 86.42 million (2006). The region is inhabited by people of the Han, Li, Yao, Zhuang, Miao, Hui, Manchu and She nationalities. Guangdong Province's capital is Guangzhou.
Climate of GuangdongGuangdong has tropical and subtropical monsoon climate with long time summer and abundant rainfall. The Leizhou Peninsula is in the tropical zone.Since Guangdong province is located in the low latitude area and faces the South China Sea, it's tropical and subtropical climates.The Guangdong's average temperature of spring is about 20°C; summer is 28°C (82 °F) ; autumn is 25°C (77 °F); winter is 12°C (54 °F). There are many typhoons in summer and autumn.Between April and September is the rainy seasons, with an annual average rainfall of 1,500-2,000mm. The Pearl River Delta is where "there is no snow in three winters and flowers blossom all year around". The spring and autumn are the best seasons for traveling in Guangdong.
Economy of GuangdongAfter the communist takeover and until the start of the Deng Xiaoping reforms in 1978, Guangdong was an economic backwater, although a large underground, service-based economy has always existed.Deng Xiaoping's open door policy radically changed the economy of the province as it was able to take advantage of its access to the ocean, proximity to Hong Kong, and historical links to overseas Chinese. In addition, until the 1990s when the Chinese taxation system was reformed, the province benefited from the relatively low rate of taxation placed on it by the central government due to its post-1949 status of being economically backward.Although Shanghai is often cited as evidence of China's success, Guangdong's economic boom exemplifies the reality of the vast labor-intensive manufacturing powerhouse China has become, and all the rewards and shortcomings that come with it. The economy is based on manufacturing and export.The province is now one of the richest in the nation, with the highest GDP among all the provinces, although wage growth has only recently begun to rise due to a large influx of migrant workers from neighboring provinces. Its nominal GDP for 2009 was 3.91 trillion yuan (US$570 billion).In 2009, Guangdong's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 201 billion yuan, 1.93 trillion yuan, and 1.78 trillion yuan respectively. Its per capita GDP reached 40,748 yuan (about US$5,965). Guangdong contributes approximately 12% of the total national economic output. Now, it has three of the six Special Economic Zones: Shenzhen, Shantou and Zhuhai. The affluence of Guangdong, however, remains very much concentrated near the Pearl River Delta.In 2008 its foreign trade also grew 7.8% from the previous year and is also by far the largest of all of China. By numbers, Guangdong's foreign trade accounts for more than a quarter of China's US$2.56 trillion foreign trade or roughly US$683 billion.
History of GuangdongSituated to the south of the Nanling Mountains, Guangdong was developed much late than the central plains. The region was occupied by the 500,000 troops sent by the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty soon after he had conquered the 6 independent states in 221 BC. It was then divided into three prefectures, namely, Guilin, Nanhai, and Xiang. The prefectural government of Nanhai was located at Panyu(Guangzhou). In the Tang Dynasty, Panyu became an important trade centre. In the 19th century, it was the opium trade through Guangzhou that triggered the Opium Wars, opening an era of foreign incursion and intervention in China. In addition to Macau, which was then a Portuguese colony, Hong Kong was ceded to the British, and Kwang-Chou-Wan to the French.During the 1850s, the first revolt of the Taiping Rebellion took place in Guangdong. Because of direct contact with the West, Guangdong was the center of anti-Manchu and anti-imperialist activity. The generally acknowledged founder of modern China, Sun Yat-Sen, was from Guangdong.During the early 1920s of the Republic of China, Guangdong was the staging area for Kuomintang (KMT) to prepare for the Northern Expedition, an effort to bring the various warlords of China back under the central government. Whampoa Military Academy was built near Guangzhou to train military commanders.Hainan Island was originally part of Guangdong but it was separated as its own province in 1988.In recent years, the province has seen extremely rapid economic growth, aided in part by its close trading links with Hong Kong, which borders it.
Administrative divisionsGuangdong has 21 cities, 73 counties, and 3 autonomous counties as below:# Name Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Administrative Seat— Sub-provincial city —9 Guangzhou 廣州市 Guǎngzhōu Shì Yuexiu District21 Shenzhen 深圳市 Shēnzhèn Shì Futian District— Prefecture-level city —1 Qingyuan 清遠市 Qīngyuǎn Shì Qingcheng District2 Shaoguan 韶關市 Sháoguān Shì Zhenjiang District3 Heyuan 河源市 Héyuán Shì Yuancheng District4 Meizhou 梅州市 Méizhōu Shì Meijiang District5 Chaozhou 潮州市 Cháozhōu Shì Fengxi District6 Zhaoqing 肇慶市 Zhàoqìng Shì Duanzhou District7 Yunfu 雲浮市 Yúnfú Shì Yuncheng District8 Foshan 佛山市 Fóshān Shì Chancheng District10 Dongguan 東莞市 Dōngguǎn Shì Dongguan11 Huizhou 惠州市 Hùizhōu Shì Huicheng District12 Shanwei 汕尾市 Shànwěi Shì Chengqu District13 Jieyang 揭陽市 Jiēyáng Shì Rongcheng District14 Shantou 汕頭市 Shàntóu Shì Jinping District15 Zhanjiang 湛江市 Zhànjiāng Shì Chikan District16 Maoming 茂名市 Màomíng Shì Maonan District17 Yangjiang 陽江市 Yángjiāng Shì Jiangcheng District18 Jiangmen 江門市 Jiāngmén Shì Pengjiang District19 Zhongshan 中山市 Zhōngshān Shì Zhongshan20 Zhuhai 珠海市 Zhūhǎi Shì Xiangzhou District
Guangdong Local CuisineBraised salamander and Eight Delicacies and Feast of Tianmahan Chicken are famous local dishes with high nutrition. Love Bean Curd Fruit and Bijie Stuffed Dumplings are popular refreshments with diners.
Places of Interests and Tourist Attractions of GuangdongGuangdong is now seeing more and more of its cities designated as "Excellent Tourist Cities" for the list now includes Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Zhaoqing, Zhongshan, Foshan, Jiangmen, Shantou, Huizhou, Nanhai. In particular Zhongshan and Nanhai rank first and second among the cities at prefecture and county levels to have been awarded this honor.Eleven of the province's scenic spots and scenic areas are now graded 4-A designating them as top quality tourist areas:1. Baiyun Hill in Guangzhou2. Xiangjiang Wildlife Park in Guangzhou3. Overseas Chinese Town in Shenzhen4. Guanlan Golf Course in Shenzhen5. Yuanming New Park in Zhuhai6. Dr. Sun Yat-sen's birthplace in Zhongshan7. Star Lake in Zhaoqing8. Mount Sijiao in Foshan9. Mount Danxia in Shaoguan10. Qingxin Hot Springs in Qingyuan11. Hailing Island's Dajiao Bay in Yangjiang
Culture of GuangdongGuangdong is a multicultural province. The central region, which is also the political and economic center, is populated predominantly by Cantonese speakers, though the influx in the last three decades of millions of Putonghua-speaking immigrants has diminished Cantonese linguistic dominance somewhat. This region is associated with Cantonese cuisine(simplified Chinese: 粤菜; traditional Chinese: 粵菜). Cantonese opera (simplified Chinese: 粤剧; traditional Chinese: 粵劇) is a form of Chinese opera popular in Cantonese speaking areas.The Hakka people live in large areas of Guangdong, including Huizhou, Meizhou, Shenzhen, Heyuan, Shaoguan and other areas. Much of the Eastern part of Guangdong is populated by the Hakka people except for the Chaozhou and Hailufeng area. Hakka culture include Hakka cuisine (客家菜), Han opera (simplified Chinese: 汉剧; traditional Chinese: 漢劇), Hakka Hanyue and sixian (traditional instrumental music) and Hakka folk songs (客家山歌).The area comprising the cities of Chaozhou, Shantou and Jieyang in east Guangdong, known as Chaoshan, forms its own cultural sphere. The Teochew people here, alongside withHailufeng people in Shanwei, speak Teochew (simplified Chinese: 潮语, traditional Chinese: 潮語), which is closely related to Min-nan and their cuisine is Teochew cuisine. Teochew opera (simplified Chinese: 潮剧, traditional Chinese: 潮劇) is also very famous with a unique form.In addition to their mother tongue of Cantonese, Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese) is increasingly spoken, especially by the younger generation.
Pearl River DeltaThe Pearl River Delta covers an area of 11,000 square kilometers and includes the cities of Xinhui, Gaoming, Sanshui, Zencheng, Dongguan, and Shenzhen. It is a densely populated, economically prosperous, and fertile region. Originally a bay with many islands, the delta was formed by sand brought down by the tributaries of the Pearl River. Gradually an alluvial plain accumulated in the bay, and the original islands became hills on the delta. Today the land continues to grow into the sea, pushing back the water 10-15 meters every year. The plain is crossed in the west by the Xijiang and Beijiang Rivers and in the east by the Dongjiang and the Pearl Rivers.The saying "four seasons of flowers and three winters without snow" accurately describes this region. The temperature seldom drops below 0ºC, even when the region is struck by a cold wave from the north. However, flooding is frequent, especially from May to July.In addition to being a fishing region, the delta is an important production base for sugar cane and a major silkworm base. Other delta products include rice, wheat, potatoes, peanuts, jute, lychees, longans, and ornamental plants and flowers.
Hong KongSituated to the east of the mouth of the Pearl River, Hong Kong is a key outpost; it guards international navigation lines and is the gate to South China. It is composed of Kowloon Peninsula, its adjacent islands including Hong Kong and Dahao, and part of the Dapeng and Shenzhen Bays. Hong Kong has an area of 1,062 square kilometers with a population of 5.6 million (1988). Its urban core covers the northern part of Hong Kong Island and the southern part of Kowloon Peninsula. A deepwater port lies between the two areas.In 1898, Britain obtained from China's Qing government a 99-year lease on Hong Kong. On December 19, 1984, the Chinese and British Governments signed a joint declaration concerning Hong Kong stating that Britain would restore Hong Kong to China on July 1, 1997.
MacaoMacao is located on the tip of Macao Peninsula in the southern part of the Pearl River Delta and includes Dangzai and Luhuan Islands in its domain. The territory's 16 square kilometers are inhabited by 426,400 (by the end of 1986) people, 96 percent of which are Chinese. It has been a Portuguese colony since the 16th century when some Portuguese businessmen made a landing on the pretext of sunning their water-soaked goods. The Chinese and Portuguese Governments signed a joint declaration on April 13, 1987 concerning Macao, stating that Portugal would restore Macao to China on December 20, 1999.
Transportation in GuangdongGuangdong Province is located in the south of China. Guangzhou, its capital city, serves as the transportation hub for south China. As one of the most prosperous provinces in China, Guangdong Province is conveniently accessible by air, railway, highway and waterway. It is also the major gateway adjoining Hong Kong and Macau.AirThere are five civil airports within Guangdong Province, respectively located in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou and Zhanjiang. Among them, international airports are Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Shenzhen Baoan International Airport, via which tourists can get to almost all the major cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Qingdao and Guilin. There are also some international flights, such as Guangzhou-Melbourne, Guangzhou-Kuala Lumpur, Shenzhen-Singapore, Shenzhen-Bangkok, and so on.China HighwayThere is a developed highway system in Guangdong. It has established a land way traffic network system which connects major towns, cities, airports and harbors. There are highway coaches to and from many major southern cities in the country.Guangzhou Provincial Passenger Bus Station is the largest bus station in Guangdong province. Buses depart here daily to the neighboring Guangxi, Hunan, Fujian and Jiangxi Provinces. There are also deluxe buses to Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macau. The easiest way from Guangzhou to Hong Kong is by the deluxe bus following along the Guangzhou-Shenzhen freeway in 2.5 hours. In Zhuhai, tourists can get to Macau by simply taking a bus to Gongbei Port and pass through the customs.WaterwayLocated at the Pearl River Delta, Guangdong has abundant waterways within the province. It is also the major southern gateway connecting Hong Kong and Macau.Guangzhou is located by the Pearl River. Boats sailing along the river can take visitors to Hong Kong, Macau, Haikou and Sanya. From Shenzhen, visitors can get to Zhuhai, Guangzhou, Macau, Hong Kong and Kowloon by boat.