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Guangdong (, ), alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung, is a coastal
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gen ...
in
South China South China () is a geographical and cultural region that covers the southernmost part of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population ...
on the north shore of the
South China Sea The South China Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) ...

South China Sea
. The capital of the province is
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
. With a population of 126.01 million (as of 2020) across a total area of about , Guangdong is the most populous province of China and the 15th-largest by area as well as the second-most populous country subdivision in the world. Its economy is larger than that of any other province in the nation and the 4th largest sub-national economy in the world with GDP of 1.66 trillion USD (10.77 trillion CNY) in 2019. The
Pearl River Delta Economic Zone The Pearl River Delta Economic Zone () (once called 粤江平原), is a special economic zone A special economic zone is an area in which the business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country. SEZs are located within a country ...
, a
Chinese megalopolis Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China * Chinese people, people of Chinese nationality, citizenship, or ethnicity **''Zhonghua minzu'', the supra-ethnic Chinese nationality ** Han Chinese, the majority ethnic group in Mainland China, ...
, is a core for
high tech High technology (high tech), also known as frontier technology (frontier tech), is technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum ...
nology,
manufacturing Manufacturing is the creation or production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (g ...
and
foreign trade International trade is the exchange of capital, goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), dist ...
. Located in this zone are two of the four top Chinese cities and the top two Chinese prefecture-level cities by GDP; Guangzhou, the capital of the province, and
Shenzhen Shenzhen (; ; ), also known as Sham Chun, is a major sub-provincial A sub-provincial division () (or deputy-provincial divisions) in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List ...

Shenzhen
, the first
special economic zone A special economic zone (SEZ) is an area in which the business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country. SEZs are located within a country's national borders, and their aims include increasing trade balance, employment, incre ...
in the country. These two are among the most populous and important cities in China, and have now become two of the world's most populous megacities. The province of Guangdong surpassed
Henan Henan (; ; alternatively Honan) is a landlocked province of China Provincial-level administrative divisions () or first-level administrative divisions (), are the highest-level Chinese administrative divisions. There are 34 such divisio ...

Henan
and
Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...

Shandong
to become the most populous province in China in January 2005, registering 79.1 million permanent residents and 31 million migrants who lived in the province for at least six months of the year;English people.com.cn
the total population was 104,303,132 in the
2010 census2010 census may refer to: * 2010 Chinese Census * 2010 Dominican Republic Census * 2010 Indonesian census * 2010 Malaysian Census * 2010 Russian Census * 2010 Turkish census * 2010 United States Census * 2010 Zambian census {{Disambiguation ...
, accounting for 7.79 percent of
Mainland China The term "mainland China" refers to the area directly governed by the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies b ...

Mainland China
's population.China NBS: 6th National Population Census – DATA
This makes it the most populous first-level administrative subdivision of any country outside of
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the ...

South Asia
. Its population increase since the census has been modest, the province registering 108,500,000 people in 2015. The vast majority of the historical Guangdong Province is administered by the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Pratas Island Pratas Island, United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is an island in the northern part of the South China Sea The South China Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas o ...
in the
South China Sea The South China Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) ...

South China Sea
is part of
Cijin District Cijin District (; Hokkien Hokkien (; , Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ''Hok-kiàn-ōe'', ) or Minnan (閩南語/闽南语), known as Quanzhang or Tsuan-Tsiang (泉漳) in linguistics, is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Standard Chinese, Mandarin pr ...
,
Kaohsiung Kaohsiung City (; : ; : ''Kao¹-hsiung²'') is a in southern . It ranges from the coastal urban centre to the rural with an area of . Kaohsiung city has a population of approximately 2.77 million people and is Taiwan's third most popu ...

Kaohsiung
,
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
(ROC); the island was previously part of Guangdong Province before the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lastin ...
. Guangdong has a diversified economy. It was known as the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road of ancient China. Since 1989, Guangdong has topped the total GDP rankings among all provincial-level divisions, with
Jiangsu Jiangsu (; ; romanized Kiangsu) is an eastern-central coastal of the . It is one of the leading provinces in finance, education, technology, and tourism, with its capital in . Jiangsu is the , but the and the of the 23 provinces of the Peopl ...

Jiangsu
and
Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...

Shandong
second and third in rank. As of 2018, Guangdong's GDP reached 1.47 trillion US dollars (CNY 9.73 trillion), exceeding that of
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...
with GDP of 1.43 trillion US dollars, the 13th largest in the world.the historical PPP GDP figures of Mainland China and exchange rates of Chinese yuan to Int'l. dollar are based on the World Economic Outlook Database April 2019 The province contributes approximately 12% of the total economic output of mainland China, and is home to the production facilities and offices of a wide-ranging set of Chinese and foreign corporations. Guangdong has benefited from its proximity to the financial hub of
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a and of China on the eastern in . With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a territory, Hong ...

Hong Kong
, which it borders to the south. Guangdong also hosts the largest import and export fair in China, the
Canton Fair The Canton Fair or China Import and Export Fair, is a trade fair held in the spring and autumn seasons each year since the spring of 1957 in Canton (Guangzhou), Guangdong Guangdong ( alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung) is ...

Canton Fair
, hosted in the provincial capital of Guangzhou. After the unification of
Lingnan Lingnan (; Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia ** A citizen of Vietnam. See Demographics of Vietnam. * Vietnamese people, or Kinh people, a Southeast Asian ethnic group n ...
region in the
Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a Romanization of Chinese, romanization system for Standard Chinese, Mandarin Chinese. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Francis Wade, during the mid-19th ...

Qin dynasty
, the immigrants from the moved in and formed the local culture with a unique style. With the outward movement of the Guangdong people, the
Hakka The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The fou ...
and
Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale Yale University is a private Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research un ...

Cantonese
languages A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or often Written language, writing. The structure of language is its grammar and the free components are i ...
,
music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated concepts , , and ...
,
cuisine A cuisine is a style of cooking Cooking or cookery is the art, science, and craft of using heat to Outline of food preparation, prepare food for consumption. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the Earth, world, from grill ...
,
opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fundamental component and dramatic roles are taken by Singing, singers, but is distinct from musical theatre. Such a "work" (the literal translation of the Italian word "opera") is typically a c ...
and
tea ceremony A tea ceremony is a ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, includin ...
have been spread throughout the nation,
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions that are south of China, south-east of the Indian sub ...

Southeast Asia
and other countries. Guangdong was also the birthplace of the father of modern China and the founder of the Republic of China,
Sun Yat-sen Sun Yat-sen (; born Sun Deming; 12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) Singtao daily. Saturday edition. 23 October 2010. section A18. Sun Yat-sen Xinhai revolution 100th anniversary edition . was a Chinese statesman A statesman or stateswoman is ...

Sun Yat-sen
where he later declared a
military government {{Systems of government Military dictatorships A military government is generally any government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its br ...
in the
Warlord Era The Warlord Era was a period in the history of the Republic of China The History of the Republic of China begins after the Qing dynasty in 1912, when the formation of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China as a constitutional ...
. The two special administrative regions of
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a and of China on the eastern in . With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a territory, Hong ...

Hong Kong
and
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a and of the in the western by the . With a population of about 680,000 and an area of , it is the most in the ...

Macau
fall within the scope of Guangdong cultural influence, and Guangdong culture still has profound influences on the
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...

Chinese
in
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a island in . It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the , off the southern tip of the , bordering the to the west, the () to the south, and the to the east. The country' ...
and
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions that are geographically south of C ...
.


Name

"''Guǎng''" () means "wide" or "vast", and has been associated with the region since the creation of Guang Prefecture in AD 226. The name "''Guang''" ultimately came from Guangxin (), an outpost established in
Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han dynasty
near modern
Wuzhou Wuzhou (, postal: Wuchow; za, Ngouzcouh / Ŋouƨcouƅ), formerly Ngchow, is a prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a ...

Wuzhou
, whose name is a reference to an order by
Emperor Wu of Han Emperor Wu of Han (30 July 157BC29 March 87BC), formally posthumous name, enshrined as Emperor Wu the filial piety, Filial (), born Liu Che (劉徹) and courtesy name Tong (通), was the seventh emperor of China, emperor of the Han dynasty of imp ...

Emperor Wu of Han
to "widely bestow favors and sow trust". Together, Guangdong and Guangxi are called '' Loeng gwong'' () During the Song dynasty, the Two Guangs were formally separated as ''Guǎngnán Dōnglù'' () and ''Guǎngnán Xīlù'' (), which became abbreviated as ''Guǎngdōng Lù'' () and ''Guǎngxī Lù'' (). "Canton", though etymologically derived from ' (the Portuguese
transliteration Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing system, based on a repertoire of specific elements or symbols, or that repertoire * Script (styles of ha ...

transliteration
of "Guangdong"), usually by itself refers to the provincial capital
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
. Historically, Canton was also used for the province itself, but often either specified as a province (e.g. Canton Province), or written as Kwangtung in the
Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying a ...
system and now most commonly as Guangdong in
Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of la ...

Pinyin
. The local people of the city of
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
(Canton) and their language are called
Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale Yale University is a private Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research un ...
in English. Because of the prestige of
Canton Canton may refer to: Administrative division terminology * Canton (administrative division), territorial/administrative division in some countries, notably Switzerland * Township (Canada), known as ''canton'' in Canadian French Arts and entert ...

Canton
and its accent, Cantonese ''
sensu lato ''Sensu'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...
'' can also be used for the phylogenetically related residents and Chinese dialects outside the provincial capital.


History


Prehistory

The
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It is first seen about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of ...
era began in the
Pearl River Delta The Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region (PRD; ; pt, Delta do Rio das Pérolas (DRP)) is the low-lying area surrounding the , where the Pearl River flows into the . It is one of the most densely urbanized regions in the world, and is often c ...
() 7,000 years before present (BP), with the early period from around 7000 to 5000 BP (c. 5050–3050 BC), and the late period from about 5000 to 3500 BP (c. 3050–1550 BC). In coastal Guangdong, the Neolithic was likely introduced from the middle Yangtze River area (Jiao 2013). In inland Guangdong, the neolithic appeared in Guangdong 4,600 years before present (BP). The Neolithic in northern inland Guangdong is represented by the Shixia culture (), which occurred from 4600 to 4200 BP (c. 2650–2250 BC).


Imperial

Originally inhabited by a mixture of tribal groups known to the Chinese as the
Baiyue The Baiyue ( zh, t=百越), Hundred Yue, or simply Yue, was a blanket term historically used by ancient Chinese to describe various indigenous ethnic groups inhabiting sporadic regions in Southern China and Northern Vietnam during the 1st mil ...

Baiyue
("Hundred Yue"), the region first became part of China during the
Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a Romanization of Chinese, romanization system for Standard Chinese, Mandarin Chinese. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Francis Wade, during the mid-19th ...

Qin dynasty
. Under the Qin Dynasty, Chinese administration began and along with it reliable historical records in the region. After establishing the first unified Chinese empire, the Qin expanded southwards and set up
Nanhai CommanderyNanhai Commandery ( zh, 南海郡) was a Chinese commandery that existed from Qin dynasty to Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 ...
at
Panyu Panyu, alternately romanized as Punyu, is one of 11 urban districts of the prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from ...
, near what is now part of Guangzhou. The region was an independent kingdom as
Nanyue Nanyue () or Namz Yied ( za, Namzyied), was an ancient kingdom ruled by Chinese monarchs of the Triệu dynastyTriệu is a Vietnamese surname, it is the equivalent of the Mandarin Chinese surname Zhou (surname), Zhao (趙). Trieu is the anglic ...

Nanyue
between the fall of Qin and the reign of
Emperor Wu of Han Emperor Wu of Han (30 July 157BC29 March 87BC), formally posthumous name, enshrined as Emperor Wu the filial piety, Filial (), born Liu Che (劉徹) and courtesy name Tong (通), was the seventh emperor of China, emperor of the Han dynasty of imp ...

Emperor Wu of Han
. The
Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han dynasty
administered Guangdong, Guangxi, and northern Vietnam as
Jiaozhi Province Jiaozhi Province was a province of the Ming dynasty that existed during its brief occupation of northern Vietnam (1407–1427), known in Vietnam as the Fourth Era of Northern Domination. The province's name, Jiaozhi, was an earlier Chinese name ...
; southernmost Jiaozhi Province was used as a gateway for traders from the west—as far away as the Roman Empire. Under the Wu Kingdom of the
Three Kingdoms The Three Kingdoms () from 220 to 280 AD was the tripartite division of China among the states of Cao Wei, Wei, Shu Han, Shu, and Eastern Wu, Wu. The Three Kingdoms period started with the End of the Han dynasty, end of the Han dynasty#East ...

Three Kingdoms
period, Guangdong was made its own province, the Guang Province, in 226 CE. Once known as Canton, the town was a prosperous port city along a tropical frontier region beset by disease and wild animals, but rich in oranges,
banyan A banyan, also spelled "banian", is a fig that begins its life as an epiphyte 200px, '' Tillandsia bourgaei'' growing on an oak tree in Mexico An epiphyte is an organism that grows on the surface of a plant and derives its moisture and nutrie ...

banyan
, bananas, and
lychee Lychee (US: ; UK: ; ''Litchi chinensis''; ) is the Monotypic taxon, sole member of the genus ''Litchi'' in the Sapindus, soapberry family, ''Sapindaceae''. It is a tropical tree native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of southeastern Chi ...

lychee
fruits, they traded slaves, silk and
chinaware Chinese ceramics show a continuous development since pre-dynastic times and are one of the most significant forms of Chinese art and ceramic A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials made ...
with
Persians The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of traditions, ancestr ...
, Brahmans and Malays in exchange for their renowned medicines and fragrant tropical woods.
Shi'a Muslims Shia Islam or Shi'ism is one of the two main Islamic schools and branches, branches of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession ...
who had fled persecution in
Khorasan Khorasan may refer to: * Greater Khorasan, a historical region which lies mostly in modern-day northern/northwestern Afghanistan, northeastern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan * Khorasan Province, a pre-2004 province of Iran, ...
and
Buddhists Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on Orig ...
from India lived side by side in the thriving town each erecting their own houses of worship. A foreign quarter sprang up along the
river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of wate ...
where many traders of diverse backgrounds including Arabs, and Singhalese took up residence. The port's importance declined after it was raided by Arabs and Persians in 758 and the foreign residents were at times troubled by the corrupt local officials, sometimes responding violently. During one incident in 684, for example, a merchant vessel's captain murdered a corrupt governor who had used his position to steal from the merchant. Together with
Guangxi Guangxi (; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; ; za, Gvangjsih), officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, uni ...

Guangxi
, Guangdong was made part of
Lingnan Lingnan (; Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia ** A citizen of Vietnam. See Demographics of Vietnam. * Vietnamese people, or Kinh people, a Southeast Asian ethnic group n ...
Circuit (political division Circuit), or Mountain-South Circuit, in 627 during the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
. The Guangdong part of Lingnan Circuit was renamed Guangnan East Circuit () in 971 during the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
(960–1279). "Guangnan East" () is the source of the name "Guangdong" (). As time passed, the demographics of what is now Guangdong gradually shifted to (
Han Han may refer to: Ethnic groups * Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on ...
) Chinese dominance as the populations intermingled due to commerce along the great canals, and abruptly shifted through massive migration from
the north North is a cardinal direction or compass point. North or The North may also refer to: Places * North, South Carolina, a town in the United States * North (London sub region), a sub-region of the London Plan * Northern Canada or the North, northe ...

the north
during periods of political turmoil and nomadic incursions from the fall of the Han dynasty onwards. For example, internal strife in northern China following of
An Lushan An Lushan or An Lu-shan (20th day of the 1st month (February), 703 – 25/29 January 757) was a general in the and is primarily known for instigating the . An Lushan was of n and origin,Yang, Zhijiu, "An Lushan". ' (Chinese History Edition), 1 ...
resulted in a 75% increase in the population of Guangzhou prefecture between the 740s–750s and 800s–810s. As more migrants arrived, the local population was gradually assimilated to Han Chinese culture or displaced. As
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...
from the north engaged in their conquest of China in the 13th century, the
Southern Song The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...

Southern Song
court fled southwards from its capital in
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franc ...

Hangzhou
. The defeat of the Southern Song court by Mongol naval forces in The
Battle of Yamen A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...
1279 in Guangdong marked the end of the Southern Song dynasty (960–1279). During the Mongol Yuan dynasty, large parts of current Guangdong belonged to Jiangxi. Its present name, "Guangdong Province" was given in early Ming dynasty. Since the 16th century, Guangdong has had extensive trade links with the rest of the world. European merchants coming northwards via the Straits of Malacca and the
South China Sea The South China Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) ...

South China Sea
, particularly the Portuguese people, Portuguese and British, traded extensively through Guangzhou.
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a and of the in the western by the . With a population of about 680,000 and an area of , it is the most in the ...

Macau
, on the southern coast of Guangdong, was the first European settlement in 1557. In the 19th century, the opium traded through Guangzhou triggered the First Opium War, opening an era of Western imperialists' incursion and intervention in China. In addition to
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a and of the in the western by the . With a population of about 680,000 and an area of , it is the most in the ...

Macau
, which was then a History of Macau#Portuguese settlement, Portuguese colony, Hong Kong was ceded to the British, and Guangzhouwan, Kwang-Chou-Wan (modern day area of Zhanjiang) to the French. Due to the large number of people that emigrated out of the Guangdong province, and in particular the ease of immigration from Hong Kong to other parts of the British Empire (later British Commonwealth), many overseas Chinese communities have their origins in Guangdong and/or Cantonese culture. In particular, the
Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale Yale University is a private Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research un ...

Cantonese
, Hakka, Teochew dialect, Teochew dialects have proportionately more speakers among overseas Chinese people than Mandarin-speaking Chinese. Additionally, many Taishanese-speaking Chinese Chinese emigration, emigrated to Western countries, with the results that many Western versions of Chinese words were derived from the Cantonese dialects rather than through the mainstream Mandarin language, such as "dim sum". Some Mandarin Chinese words originally of foreign origin also came from the original foreign language by way of Cantonese. For example, the Mandarin word ' (), meaning "Lemon", came from Cantonese, in which the characters are pronounced as '. In the United States, there is a large number of Chinese who are descendants of immigrants from the county-level city of Taishan, Guangdong, Taishan (Toisan in Cantonese), who speak a distinctive dialect related to Cantonese called Taishanese (or Toishanese). During the 1850s, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, whose leader Hong Xiuquan was born in Guangdong and received a pamphlet from a Protestant Christian missionary in Guangdong, was allied with a local Guangdong Red Turban Rebellion (1854–1856). 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 Sun Yat-sen (; born Sun Deming; 12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) Singtao daily. Saturday edition. 23 October 2010. section A18. Sun Yat-sen Xinhai revolution 100th anniversary edition . was a Chinese statesman A statesman or stateswoman is ...

Sun Yat-sen
, was also from Guangdong.


20th century

During the early 1920s of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China, Guangdong was the staging area for the Kuomintang (KMT) to prepare for the Northern Expedition (1926–1927), Northern Expedition, an effort to bring the various warlord era, warlords of China back under a unified central government. Whampoa Military Academy was built near Guangzhou to train military commanders. 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. It is now the province with the highest gross domestic product in China. In 1952, a small section of Guangdong's coastline (Qinzhou, Lianzhou (now Hepu County), Fangchenggang and Beihai) was given to Guangxi, giving it access to the sea. This was reversed in 1955, and then restored in 1965. Hainan Island was originally part of Guangdong, but it was separated into its own province in 1988.


Geography

Guangdong faces the
South China Sea The South China Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) ...

South China Sea
to the south and has a total of of coastline. The Leizhou Peninsula is on the southwestern end of the province. There are a few inactive volcanoes on Leizhou Peninsula. The
Pearl River Delta The Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region (PRD; ; pt, Delta do Rio das Pérolas (DRP)) is the low-lying area surrounding the , where the Pearl River flows into the . It is one of the most densely urbanized regions in the world, and is often c ...
is the convergent point of three upstream rivers: the Dong Jiang, East River, Bei Jiang, North River, and Xi Jiang, West River. The river delta is filled with hundreds of small islands. The province is geographically separated from the north by a few mountain ranges collectively called the Nan Mountains (Nan Ling). The highest peak in the province is Shikengkong with an elevation of 6,240 feet (1,902 meters) above sea level. Guangdong borders Fujian to the northeast, Jiangxi and Hunan to the north,
Guangxi Guangxi (; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; ; za, Gvangjsih), officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, uni ...

Guangxi
autonomous region to the west, and
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a and of China on the eastern in . With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a territory, Hong ...

Hong Kong
and
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a and of the in the western by the . With a population of about 680,000 and an area of , it is the most in the ...

Macau
special administrative region (People's Republic of China), Special Administrative Regions to the south. Hainan is offshore across from the Leizhou Peninsula.
Pratas Island Pratas Island, United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is an island in the northern part of the South China Sea The South China Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas o ...
, which were traditionally governed as part of Guangdong, are part of
Cijin District Cijin District (; Hokkien Hokkien (; , Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ''Hok-kiàn-ōe'', ) or Minnan (閩南語/闽南语), known as Quanzhang or Tsuan-Tsiang (泉漳) in linguistics, is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Standard Chinese, Mandarin pr ...
, Kaoshiung,
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
(ROC). Cities around the
Pearl River Delta The Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region (PRD; ; pt, Delta do Rio das Pérolas (DRP)) is the low-lying area surrounding the , where the Pearl River flows into the . It is one of the most densely urbanized regions in the world, and is often c ...
include Dongguan, Foshan,
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
, Huizhou, Jiangmen,
Shenzhen Shenzhen (; ; ), also known as Sham Chun, is a major sub-provincial A sub-provincial division () (or deputy-provincial divisions) in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List ...

Shenzhen
, Shunde, Taishan, Guangdong, Taishan, Zhongshan, and Zhuhai. Other cities in the province include Chaozhou, Chenghai, Nanhai District, Nanhai, Shantou, Shaoguan, Zhanjiang, Zhaoqing, Yangjiang, and Yunfu. Guangdong has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen ''Cfa'' inland, ''Cwa'' along the coast). Winters are short, mild, and relatively dry, while summers are long, hot, and very wet. Average daily highs in Guangzhou in January and July are and , although the humidity makes it feel hotter in summer. Frost is rare on the coast but may happen a few days each winter.


Economy

In 2020, the gross domestic product (GDP) is about $1.6 trillion, Guangdong has been the largest province by GDP since 1989 in
Mainland China The term "mainland China" refers to the area directly governed by the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies b ...

Mainland China
. Guangdong is responsible for 11 percent of the China' $14.7 trillion GDP.GDP-2020 is a preliminary data In 2020, Guangdong's GDP was slightly larger than that of Canada ranking 9th. Comparable to that of country subdivisions in dollar terms, Guangdong's GDP is larger than that of all but 3 country subdivisions: California, Texas and New York. This is a trend o
official estimates
of the gross domestic product of the Province of Guangdong with figures in millions of Chinese Yuan: After the Chinese Revolution (1949), communist revolution 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. Economic development policies encouraged industrial development in the interior provinces which were weakly joined to Transport in Guangdong, Guangdong via transportation links. The government policy of economic autarky made Guangdong's access to the ocean irrelevant. 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 Tax system in China, 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-Liberation status of being economically backward. Guangdong's economic boom began with the early 1990s and has since spread to neighboring provinces, and also pulled their populations inward. The economic growth of Guangdong province owes much to the low-value-added manufacturing which characterized (and in many ways still defines) the province's economy following Deng Xiaoping's reforms. Guangdong is not only China's largest exporter of goods, it is the country's largest importer as well. The province is now one of the richest in the nation, with the most billionaires in mainland China, 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. In 2011, Guangdong's aggregate nominal GDP reached 5.30 trillion RMB (US$838.60 billion) with a per capita GDP of 47,689 RMB. By 2015, the local government of Guangdong hopes that the service industry will account for more than 50 percent of the provinces GDP and high-tech manufacturing another 20 percent. 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 of the People's Republic of China, Special Economic Zones:
Shenzhen Shenzhen (; ; ), also known as Sham Chun, is a major sub-provincial A sub-provincial division () (or deputy-provincial divisions) in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List ...

Shenzhen
, Shantou and Zhuhai. The affluence of Guangdong, however, remains very concentrated near the
Pearl River Delta The Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region (PRD; ; pt, Delta do Rio das Pérolas (DRP)) is the low-lying area surrounding the , where the Pearl River flows into the . It is one of the most densely urbanized regions in the world, and is often c ...
. 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.


Economic and technological development zones

*
Shenzhen Shenzhen (; ; ), also known as Sham Chun, is a major sub-provincial A sub-provincial division () (or deputy-provincial divisions) in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List ...

Shenzhen
Export Processing Zone * Shenzhen Futian Free Trade Zone * Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industrial Park * Yantian Port Free Trade Zone * Foshan National New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone *
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
Development District * Guangzhou Export Processing Zone * Guangzhou Free Trade Zone * Guangzhou Nansha Economic and Technical Development Zone * Guangzhou Nanhu Lake Tourist Holiday Resort (Chinese Version) * Guangzhou New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone * Huizhou Dayawan Economic and Technological Development Zone * Huizhou Export Processing Zone * Huizhou Zhongkai Hi-Tech Development Zone * Nansha Subdistrict, Nansha Free Trade Zone * Shantou Free Trade Zone * Shatoujiao Free Trade Zone * Zhanjiang Economic and Technological Development Zone (Chinese Version) * Zhuhai National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone * Zhuhai Free Trade Zone * Zhongshan Torch High-tech Industrial Development Zone


Demographics

Guangdong officially became the List of People's Republic of China administrative divisions by population, most populous province in 2005. Official statistics had traditionally placed Guangdong as the 4th-most populous province of China with about 80 million people, though an influx of migrants, temporary workers, and newly settled individuals numbered around 30 million. The massive influx of migrants from other provinces, dubbed the "floating population", is due to Guangdong's booming economy and high demand for labor. If Guangdong were an independent nation, it would rank among the List of countries and dependencies by population, twenty largest countries of the world by population.


Urbanization

Guangdong's population is 70.7% urban and 29.3% rural.


Genealogy

Guangdong is the ancestral home of large numbers of overseas Chinese. Most of the railroad laborers in Canada, Western United States and Panama in the 19th century came from Guangdong. Many people from the region also travelled to the US / California during the gold rush of 1849, and also to Australia during its gold rush a decade or so later.


Languages and ethnicities

The majority of the province's population is Han Chinese. Within the Han Chinese, the largest subgroup in Guangdong are the Cantonese people. Two other major groups are the Teochew people in Chaoshan and the Hakka people in Huizhou, Meizhou, Heyuan, Shaoguan and Zhanjiang. Shaozhou Tuhua is spoken in Shaoguan and Leizhou Min is spoken in the Leizhou Peninsula. There is a small Yao people, Yao population in the north. Other smaller List of Chinese ethnic groups, minority groups include She people, She, Hmong people, Miao, Li Chinese, Li, and Zhuang people, Zhuang.


Gender ratio

Guangdong has a highly unbalanced gender ratio that is among the highest of all provinces in China. According to a 2009 study published in the British Medical Journal, in the 1–4 age group, there are over 130 boys for every 100 girls.


Religion

According to a 2012 survey only around 7% of the population of Guangdong belongs to organised religions, the largest groups being Buddhism in China, Buddhists with 6.2%, followed by Protestantism in China, Protestants with 1.8% and Catholicism in China, Catholics with 1.2%. Around 90% of the population is either irreligious or may be involved in Chinese folk religions worshipping nature gods, ancestral deities, Chinese salvationist religions, popular sects, Taoism, Taoist traditions, Buddhist religious traditions & Confucian religious traditions. According to a survey conducted in 2007, 43.71% of the population believes and is involved in Chinese ancestral religion, ancestor veneration, the traditional Chinese religion of the lineages organised into lineage churches and ancestral shrines.


Politics

Guangdong is governed by a dual-party system like the rest of China. The Governor is in charge of provincial affairs; however, the Communist Party Secretary, often from outside of Guangdong, keeps the Governor in check.


Relations with Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a and of China on the eastern in . With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a territory, Hong ...

Hong Kong
and
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a and of the in the western by the . With a population of about 680,000 and an area of , it is the most in the ...

Macau
, while historically parts of Guangdong before becoming colonies of the United Kingdom and Portugal, respectively, are Special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, special administrative regions (SARs). Furthermore, the Basic Laws of both SARs explicitly forbid provincial governments from intervening in local politics. As a result, many issues with Hong Kong and Macau, such as border policy and water rights, have been settled by negotiations between the SARs' governments and the Guangdong provincial government.


Media

Guangdong and the greater Guangzhou area are served by several Radio Guangdong stations, Guangdong Television, Southern Television Guangdong, Shenzhen Television, and Guangzhou Television. There is an English programme produced by Radio Guangdong which broadcasts information about this region to the entire world through the WRN Broadcast.


Culture

The central region, which is also the political and economic center, is populated predominantly by Yue Chinese speakers, though the influx in the last three decades of millions of Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin-speaking immigrants has slightly diminished Cantonese linguistic dominance. This region is associated with Cantonese cuisine. Cantonese opera is a form of Chinese opera popular in Cantonese speaking areas. Related Yue dialects are spoken in most of the western half of the province. The area comprising the cities of Chaozhou, Shantou and Jieyang in coastal east Guangdong, known as Chaoshan, forms its own cultural sphere. The Teochew people here, along with Hailufeng dialect, Hailufeng Min people in Shanwei, speak Hokkien, which is a Min Chinese, Min dialect closely related to mainstream Hokkien, Southern Min (Hokkien) and their cuisine is Chiuchow cuisine, Teochew cuisine. Teochew opera is also well-known and has a unique form. The Hakka people live in large areas of Guangdong, including Huizhou, Meizhou,
Shenzhen Shenzhen (; ; ), also known as Sham Chun, is a major sub-provincial A sub-provincial division () (or deputy-provincial divisions) in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List ...

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, Han opera (), Hakka ''Hanyue'' and ''sixian'' (traditional instrumental music) and Hakka folk songs (). The outcast Tanka people traditionally live on boats throughout the coasts and rivers of Guangdong and much of Southern China. Zhanjiang in southern Guangdong is dominated by the Leizhou Min, Leizhou dialect, a variety of Min language, Minnan; Cantonese and Hakka are also spoken there. Mandarin is the language used in education and government and in areas where there are migrants from other provinces, above all in Shenzhen. Cantonese maintains a strong and dominant position in common usage and media, even in eastern areas of the province where the local languages and dialects are non-Yue ones. Guangdong Province is notable for being the birthplace of many famous Xiangqi (Chinese chess) grandmasters such as Lü Qin, Yang Guanli, Cai Furu and Xu Yinchuan.


Education

Guangdong Province Department of Education is the department of the provincial government that oversees education.


Colleges and universities


National

* Sun Yat-sen University * South China University of Technology * Jinan University * South China Agricultural University * Guangdong University of Foreign Studies * Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine


Provincial

* Dongguan Institute of Technology * Dongguan University of Technology * Foshan University * Guangdong Education and Research Network * Guangdong General Hospital * Guangdong Institute of Education * Guangdong Institute of Science and Technology * Guangdong Medical College * Guangdong Ocean University * Guangdong Petrochemical Academy * Guangdong Pharmaceutical University * Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University * Guangdong Radio and TV University * Guangdong University of Finance & Economics * Guangdong University of Finance * Guangdong University of Technology * Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts * Guangzhou Education College * Guangzhou Medical College * Guangzhou Normal University * Guangzhou Sports University * Guangzhou University * Hanshan Teachers College * Huizhou University * Panyu Polytechnic * Shaoguan University * Shenzhen Party School * Shantou University * Shenzhen University * Shenzhen Technology University * Shenzhen Polytechnic * Shunde University * South China Normal University * South University of Science and Technology of China * Southern Medical University * Wuyi University * Xijiang University * Xinghai Conservatory of Music * Zhanjiang Normal University * Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering * Zhaoqing University


Sports

List of current professional team sport, sports based in Guangdong:


Tourism

Notable attractions include Danxia Mountain in Shaoguan, Yuexiu Hill, Baiyun Mountain (Guangdong), Baiyun Mountain in Guangzhou, Star Lake (Zhaoqing), Star Lake and the Seven Star Crags, Dinghu Mountain in Zhaoqing, the Huangmanzhai waterfalls in Jieyang, and the Zhongshan Park, Zhongshan Sun Wen Memorial Park for
Sun Yat-sen Sun Yat-sen (; born Sun Deming; 12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) Singtao daily. Saturday edition. 23 October 2010. section A18. Sun Yat-sen Xinhai revolution 100th anniversary edition . was a Chinese statesman A statesman or stateswoman is ...

Sun Yat-sen
in Zhongshan.


Administrative divisions

Guangdong is divided into twenty-one prefecture-level divisions: all Prefecture-level city, prefecture-level cities (including two Sub-provincial divisions in the People's Republic of China, sub-provincial cities): The twenty-one Prefectures of the People's Republic of China, Prefecture of Guangdong are subdivided into 119 county-level divisions (64 District of China, districts, 20 county-level cities, 34 County (People's Republic of China), counties, and 3 Autonomous counties of the People's Republic of China, autonomous counties). For county-level divisions, see the list of administrative divisions of Guangdong.


Urban areas


International relations

Guangdong is twinned with: * Aichi Prefecture, Japan * Hawai'i State, Hawai'i, United States of America * New South Wales, Australia


See also

* Governors of Guangdong * Major national historical and cultural sites (Guangdong), Major national historical and cultural sites in Guangdong


References


Citations


Sources


Economic profile for Guangdong
at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council


External links

*
Guangdong provincial government official website

Complete Map of the Seven Coastal Provinces
from 1821 to 1850
Pictures and comments about life in Guangdong
{{Authority control Guangdong, South China, . Gulf of Tonkin Pearl River Delta Provinces of the People's Republic of China