Southwest China

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Map of a wide definition of Southwest China, including Tibet but excluding Chongqing. SouthWestChina.png
Map of a wide definition of Southwest China, including Tibet but excluding Chongqing.

Southwest China (Chinese :西南; pinyin :Xīnán; lit. 'Westsouth') is a region in the south of the People's Republic of China, traditionally known as Southwest China due to its location in relation to historical China proper. The narrowest concept of Southwest China consists of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou, while wider definitions often include and Chongqing, Guangxi, and western portions of Hunan. [1] The official government definition of Southwest China includes the core provinces of Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan, and Guizhou, in addition to the Tibet Autonomous Region which has not traditionally been included as part of the region.

Contents

Geography

Southwest China is a rugged and mountainous region, transitioning between the Tibetan Plateau to the west and the Chinese coastal plains to the east. Key geographic features in the region include the Hengduan Mountains in the west, the Sichuan Basin in the north, and the karstic Yungui Plateau in the east. The majority of the region is drained by the Yangtze River which forms the Three Gorges in the northeast of the region. [2]

History

Map of Ming Dynasty China in 1580. Historical Southwest China was anchored by the cities of Chengdu, Kunming, and Guiyang (bottom left). Ming foreign relations 1580.jpg
Map of Ming Dynasty China in 1580. Historical Southwest China was anchored by the cities of Chengdu, Kunming, and Guiyang (bottom left).

Portions of Southwest China were incorporated under Chinese influence as early as the 3nd century BCE in the Qin dynasty. Independent states would continue to exert influence within the region, with notable examples being the Nanzhao Kingdom in the 8th and 9th centuries CE and the Dali Kingdom in 10th and 11th centuries CE. By the time of the Ming Dynasty the region was largely pacified and incorporated into the Chinese domain. [1] During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the city of Chongqing served as the capital of Chinese resistance to imperial Japanese expansion.

Demographics

The diverse areas of Southwest China carry strong regional identities and have been historically considered more rural than the more developed eastern regions of China. [1] Rapid development since the late 1970s has helped transform many parts of the region with modern advancements. In the early 21st century, Southwest China contained 50% of the country's ethnic minority population which in turn formed 37% of the region's population. [1] Han Chinese migration has been largely concentrated in the urban centres while the rural areas are still predominantly made up by minority populations including the Zhuang, Miao, Yi, and others.

Map showing the distribution of Southwestern Mandarin within China. Mandarin del Suroeste.png
Map showing the distribution of Southwestern Mandarin within China.

Inhabitants of Southwest China primarily speak a variant of Mandarin Chinese known as Southwestern Mandarin. This variant uses the same written language as Mandarin but is only approximately 50% mutually intelligible with Standard Chinese. As of 2012, there were approximately 260 million speakers of Southwestern Mandarin. [3]

Administrative divisions

Government defined region of Southwest China, including Tibet. Southwest China.svg
Government defined region of Southwest China, including Tibet.
GB [4] ISO № [5] ProvinceChinese NameCapitalPopulationDensityAreaAbbreviation/Symbol
CQ50 Chongqing Municipality 重庆市
Chóngqìng Shì
Chongqing28,846,170350.5082,300
SC51 Sichuan Province 四川省
Sìchuān Shěng
Chengdu 80,418,200165.81485,000川(蜀)
Chuān (Shǔ)
GZ52 Guizhou Province 贵州省
Gùizhōu Shěng
Guiyang 34,746,468197.42176,000贵(黔)
Guì (Qián)
YN53 Yunnan Province 云南省
Yúnnán Shěng
Kunming 45,966,239116.67394,000云(滇)
Yún (Diān)
XZ54 Tibet Autonomous Region
Xizang Autonomous Region
西藏自治区
Xīzàng Zìzhìqū
Lhasa 3,002,1662.441,228,400
Zàng

Cities with urban area over one million in population

#CityUrban area [6] District area [6] City proper [6] Prov.Census date
1 Chongqing [lower-alpha 1] 8,894,75712,084,38516,044,027CQ2010-11-01
2 Chengdu 6,316,9227,415,59014,047,625SC2010-11-01
3 Kunming [lower-alpha 2] 3,140,7773,272,5866,432,209YN2010-11-01
4 Guiyang 2,520,0613,034,7504,322,611GZ2010-11-01
Notes
  1. Chongqing core area only, satellite urban area separated from Chongqing core area is not included.
  2. Dongchuan is a satellite urban area separated from Kunming and it is not included.

Related Research Articles

Sichuan Province of China

Sichuan is a landlocked province in Southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha River on the west, the Daba Mountains in the north, and the Yungui Plateau to the south. Sichuan's capital city is Chengdu. The population of Sichuan stands at 81 million.

Hubei Province of China

Hubei is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the Central China region. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Dongting Lake. The provincial capital, Wuhan, serves as a major transportation hub and the political, cultural, and economic hub of central China.

Shaanxi Province in Northwest China

Shaanxi is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi, Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichuan (SW), Gansu (W), Ningxia (NW) and Inner Mongolia (N).

Jilin Province of China

Jilin is one of the three provinces of Northeast China. Its capital and largest city is Changchun. Jilin borders North Korea and Russia to the east, Heilongjiang to the north, Liaoning to the south, and Inner Mongolia to the west. Along with the rest of Northeast China, Jilin underwent an early period of industrialization. However, Jilin's economy, characterized by heavy industry, has been facing economic difficulties with privatization. This prompted the central government to undertake a campaign called "Revitalize the Northeast". The region contains large deposits of oil shale.

Guizhou Province of China

Guizhou is a landlocked province in the southwest region of the People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Guiyang, in the central part of the province. Guizhou borders the autonomous region of Guangxi to the south, Yunnan to the west, Sichuan to the northwest, the municipality of Chongqing to the north, and Hunan to the east. The population of Guizhou stands at 34 million, ranking 19th among the provinces in China.

East China Place

East China is a geographical and a loosely defined cultural region that covers the eastern coastal area of China.

North China Place

North China is a geographical region of China, consisting of the provinces of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia. It lies north of the Qinling–Huaihe Line, with its heartland in the North China Plain.

Autonomous regions of China

An autonomous region is a first-level administrative division of China. Like Chinese provinces, an autonomous region has its own local government, but an autonomous region has more legislative rights. An autonomous region is the highest level of minority autonomous entity in China, which has a comparably higher population of a particular minority ethnic group.

Northwest China Place

Northwest China is a statistical region of China which includes the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Ningxia and the provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai.

Sichuanese dialects Branch of the Mandarin Chinese language family

Sichuanese or Szechwanese (simplified Chinese: 四川话; traditional Chinese: 四川話; Sichuanese Pinyin: Si4cuan1hua4; pinyin: Sìchuānhuà; Wade–Giles: Szŭ4-ch'uan1-hua4), also called Sichuanese/Szechwanese Mandarin (simplified Chinese: 四川官话; traditional Chinese: 四川官話; pinyin: Sìchuān Guānhuà) is a branch of Southwestern Mandarin spoken mainly in Sichuan and Chongqing, which was part of Sichuan Province until 1997, and the adjacent regions of their neighboring provinces, such as Hubei, Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan and Shaanxi. Although "Sichuanese" is often synonymous with the Chengdu-Chongqing dialect, there is still a great amount of diversity among the Sichuanese dialects, some of which are mutually unintelligible with each other. In addition, because Sichuanese is the lingua franca in Sichuan, Chongqing and part of Tibet, it is also used by many Tibetan, Yi, Qiang and other ethnic minority groups as a second language.

Southwestern Mandarin A primary branch of Mandarin Chinese

Southwestern Mandarin, also known as Upper Yangtze Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese language spoken in much of Southwest China, including in Sichuan, Yunnan, Chongqing, Guizhou, most parts of Hubei, the northwestern part of Hunan, the northern part of Guangxi and some southern parts of Shaanxi and Gansu. Southwest Mandarin is about 50% mutually intelligible with Standard Chinese.

South Central China Geographic region

South Central China is a region of the People's Republic of China defined by governmental bureaus that includes the provinces of Guangdong, Hainan, Henan, Hubei and Hunan, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; however, the two provincial-level special administrative regions (SAR) are also often included under South Central China: Hong Kong and Macau. This part is often divided into South China (华南) and Central China (华中) regions due to difference between civilian customs.

Western China Geographical and cultural region in China

Western China is the west of China. In the definition of the Chinese government, Western China covers one municipality: Chongqing; six provinces: Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Gansu, and Qinghai; and three autonomous regions: Tibet, Ningxia, and Xinjiang.

Central China Geographic and cultural region

Central China is a geographical and a loosely defined cultural region that includes the provinces of Henan, Hubei and Hunan. Jiangxi is sometimes also regarded to be part of this region. Central China is now officially part of South Central China governed by the People's Republic of China. In the context of the Rise of Central China Plan by the State Council of the People's Republic of China in 2004, surrounding provinces including Shanxi, Anhui, are also defined as regions of Central China development zones.

Wuming District District in Guangxi, Peoples Republic of China

Wuming District is one of 7 districts of the prefecture-level city of Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, South China. The district was approved to build from the dissolution of the former Wuming County (武鸣县) by the Chinese State Council on February 16, 2015. Located north of the city proper, it borders the prefecture-level city of Baise to the west.

Nasu, or Nasu proper, is a Loloish language spoken by a quarter million Yi people of China. Nasu proper and Wusa Nasu are two of six Yi languages recognized by the government of China. Unlike most written Yi languages, Nasu proper uses the Pollard (Miao) script. A distinct form of the Yi script was traditionally used for Wusa, though few can still read it.

The Hani languages are a group of closely related but distinct languages of the Loloish (Yi) branch of the Tibeto-Burman linguistic group. They are also referred to as the Hanoid languages by Lama (2012) and as the Akoid languages by Bradley (2007).

South China

South China is a geographical and cultural region that covers the southernmost part of China. Its precise meaning varies with context.

Guangxi Autonomous region of China

Guangxi, officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in South China and bordering Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin. Formerly a province, Guangxi became an autonomous region in 1958. Its current capital is Nanning.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 China's Southwest (3rd ed.). Lonely Planet. 2007. ISBN   978-1741041859.
  2. Atlas of China. Beijing, China: SinoMaps Press. 2006. ISBN   9787503141782.
  3. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (2012). Zhōngguó yǔyán dìtú jí (dì 2 bǎn): Hànyǔ fāngyán juǎn中国语言地图集(第2版):汉语方言卷[Language Atlas of China (2nd edition): Chinese dialect volume]. Beijing: The Commercial Press. p. 3.
  4. GB/T 2260 codes for the provinces of China
  5. ISO 3166-2:CN (ISO 3166-2 codes for the provinces of China)
  6. 1 2 3 国务院人口普查办公室、国家统计局人口和社会科技统计司编 (2012). 中国2010年人口普查分县资料. Beijing: 中国统计出版社 [China Statistics Press]. ISBN   978-7-5037-6659-6.