Hunan () is a landlocked province
of the People's Republic of China
, part of the South Central China
region. Located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze
watershed, it borders the province-level divisions
to the north, Jiangxi
to the east, Guangdong
to the south, Guizhou
to the west and Chongqing
to the northwest. Its capital and largest city is Changsha
, which also abuts the Xiang River. With a population of just over 67 million residing in an area of approximately , it is China's 7th most populous
province by population and the 10th most extensive
province by area. Its 2018 nominal GDP
was more than US$500 billion, which is among the top 30 largest sub-national economies in the world
with its PPP GDP
being over US$1 trillion.
The name ''Hunan'' literally means "south of the lake". The lake that is referred to is Dongting Lake
, a lake in the northeast of the province; Vehicle license plates from Hunan
are marked (), after the Xiang River
, which runs from south to north through Hunan and forms part of the largest drainage system for the province.
The area of Hunan first came under Chinese rule around 350 BC, when the province became part of the State of Chu
. Hunan was the birthplace of communist revolutionary Mao Zedong
, who became the founding father
of the People's Republic of China
. Hunan today is home to some ethnic minorities, including the Tujia
, along with the Han Chinese
, who make up a majority of the population. Varieties of Chinese spoken include Xiang
and Southwestern Mandarin
Hunan is located on the south bank of the Yangtze
River. The site of Wulingyuan
was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
in 1992. Changsha
, the capital, is located in the eastern part of the province; it is now an important commercial, manufacturing and transportation centre.
Hunan's primeval forests were first occupied by the ancestors of the modern Miao
and Yao people
s. The province entered written Chinese history
around 350 BC, when under the kings of the Zhou dynasty
, the province became part of the State of Chu
. After Qin
conquered the Chu heartland in 278 BC, the region came under the control of Qin, and then the Changsha Kingdom
during the Han dynasty
. At this time, and for hundreds of years thereafter, the province was a magnet for settlement of Han Chinese
from the north, who displaced and assimilated the original indigenous inhabitants, cleared forests and began farming rice in the valleys and plains. The agricultural colonization of the lowlands was carried out in part by the Han empire, which managed river dikes to protect farmland from floods. 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 Northern and Southern 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
until the Qing dynasty
. Hunan province was created in 1664 from Huguang, renamed to its current name in 1723.
Hunan became an important communications center due to its position on the Yangzi River
. It was an important centre of scholarly activity and Confucian
thought, particularly in the Yuelu Academy
. 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. Some of the uprisings, such as the ten-year Miao Rebellion of 1795–1806
, were caused by ethnic tensions. The Taiping Rebellion
began in 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.
In 1920, a famine raged throughout Hunan and killed an estimated 2 million Hunanese civilians. This sparked the 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 guerrilla army in the mountains along the Hunan-Jiangxi
border until 1934. Under pressure from the Nationalist Kuomintang
(KMT) forces, they began the 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 Changsha until it fell in 1944. Japan launched Operation Ichigo
, a plan to control the railroad from Wuchang
). 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.
In addition to Mao Zedong
, a number of other first-generation communist leaders were also from Hunan: President Liu Shaoqi
; Secretary-generals Ren Bishi
and Hu Yaobang
; Marshals Peng Dehuai
, He Long
, and Luo Ronghuan
; Wang Zhen
, one of the Eight Elders
; Xiang Jingyu
, the first female member of the party's central committee; Senior General Huang Kecheng
; and veteran diplomat Lin Boqu
. An example of a more recent leader from Hunan is former Premier Zhu Rongji
Hunan is located on the south bank of the Yangtze River
, about half way along its length, situated between 108° 47'–114° 16' east longitude
and 24° 37'–30° 08' north latitude
. Hunan covers an area of , making it the 10th largest
provincial-level division. 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. Mountains and hills occupy more than 80% of the province, and plains less than 20%. At 2115.2 meters above sea level, the highest point in Hunan province is Lingfeng ().
, the Zi
, the Yuan
and the Lishui
Rivers converge on the Yangtze River at Lake Dongting
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 lies in the basins of four major tributaries of the Yangtze River.
is the largest lake in the province and the second largest freshwater lake of China.
area and Lake Dongting figure prominently in Chinese poetry and paintings, particularly during the Song dynasty when they were associated with officials who had been unjustly dismissed.
Changsha (which means "long sands") was an active ceramics district during the Tang dynasty
, its tea bowls, ewers and other products mass-produced and shipped to China's coastal cities for export abroad. An Arab dhow dated to the 830s and today known as the Belitung Shipwreck
was discovered off the small island of Belitung, Indonesia with more than 60,000 pieces in its cargo. The salvaged cargo is today housed in nearby Singapore.
Hunan's climate is subtropical
, and, under the Köppen climate classification
, is classified as being humid subtropical
(Köppen ''Cfa''), with short, cool, damp winters, very hot and humid summers, and plenty of rainfall. January temperatures average while July temperatures average around . Average annual precipitation is .
Epoch in the Cambrian
Period of geological time is named for Hunan; Furong () means "lotus
" in Mandarin and refers to Hunan which is known as the "lotus state".
Hunan is divided into fourteen prefecture-level divisions
: thirteen prefecture-level cities
and an autonomous prefecture
The fourteen prefecture
-level divisions of Hunan are subdivided into 122 county
-level divisions (35 district
s, 17 county-level cities
, 63 counties, 7 autonomous counties
). Those are in turn divided into 2587 township
-level divisions (1098 town
s, 1158 township
s, 98 ethnic township
s, 225 subdistrict
s, and eight district public office
s). At the year end of 2017, the total population is 68.6 millio
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 "Hunan CPC Party Chief
As of the mid 19th century, Hunan exported rhubarb
, musk, honey, tobacco, hemp
, and birds.
The Lake Dongting
area is an important center of ramie
production, and Hunan is also an important center of tea cultivation. Aside from agricultural products, in recent years Hunan has grown to become an important center for steel, machinery and electronics production, especially as China's manufacturing sector moves away from coastal provinces such as Guangdong
area is noted for its stibnite
mines, and is one of the major centers of antimony
extraction in China.
Hunan is also well known for a few global makers of construction equipment such as concrete pumps
, etc. These companies include Sany Group
. Sany is one of the world's major players. The city of Liuyang
is the world's top center for manufacturing fireworks
As of 2016, its nominal GDP was US$475 billion (CNY 3.16 trillion), the per capita GDP was US$6,983 (CNY 46,382).
Economic and technological development zones
National Economic and Technical Development Zone
The Changsha National Economic and Technology Development Zone was founded in 1992. It is located east of Changsha. The total planned area is and the current area is . Near the zone is National Highways G319 and G107 as well as Jingzhu Highway. Besides that, it is very close to the downtown and the railway station. The distance between the zone and the airport is . The major industries in the zone include high-tech industry, biology project technology and new material industry.
* Changsha National New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
* Chenzhou Export Processing Zone
Approved by the State Council, Chenzhou Export processing Zone (CEPZ) was established in 2005 and is the only export processing zone in Hunan province. The scheduled production area of CEPZ covers 3km2. The industrial positioning of CEPZ is to concentrate on developing export-oriented hi-tech industries, including electronic information, precision machinery, and new-type materials. The zone has good infrastructure, and the enterprises inside could enjoy the preferential policies of tax-exemption, tax-guarantee and tax-refunding. By the end of the "Eleventh Five-Year Plan
", the CEPZ achieved a total export and import volume of over US$1 billion and provided more than 50,000 jobs. It aimed to be one of the first-class export processing zones in China.
National New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
Zhuzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone was founded in 1992. Its total planned area is . It is very close to National Highway G320. The major industries in the zone include biotechnology, food processing and heavy industry. In 2007, the park signed a cooperation contract with Beijing Automobile Industry, one of the largest auto makers in China, which will set up a manufacturing base in Zhuzhou HTP.
As of the 2000 census
, the population of Hunan is 64,400,700 consisting of forty-one ethnic group
s. Its population grew 6.17% (3,742,700) from its 1990 levels. According to the census, 89.79% (57,540,000) identified themselves as Han Chinese
and 10.21% (6,575,300) as minority group
s. The minority groups are Tujia
and so on.
In Hunan, ethnic minority languages are spoken in the following prefectures.
*Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture
: Qo Xiong language
, Tujia language
: Qo Xiong language
, Dong language
, Hm Nai language
, Hmu language
: Maojia language
, Hm Nai language
, Pa-Hng language
: Mien language
, Biao Min language
: Dzao Min language
Around 5,000 Uyghurs live around Taoyuan County
and other parts of Changde
and Uyghurs have intermarried in this area. In addition to eating pork, the Uygurs of Changde practice other Han Chinese customs, like ancestor worship at graves. Some Uyghurs from Xinjiang visit the Hunan Uyghurs out of curiosity or interest. The Uyghurs of Hunan do not speak the Uyghur language
, instead, Chinese is spoken as their native language.
The predominant religions in Hunan are Chinese Buddhism
, Taoist traditions
and Chinese folk religion
s. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 20.19% of the population believes and is involved in ancestor veneration
, while 0.77% of the population identifies as Christian.
The reports didn't give figures for other types of religion; 79.04% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in worship of nature deities
, Buddhism, Confucianism
, Taoism, folk religious sects
File:Puguang chansi 0152.jpg|Puguang Buddhist Temple in Zhangjiajie.
File:Confucius Temple of Liuyang 01.jpg|Temple of Confucius in Liuyang.
File:Hunan traditional temple front.jpg|An ancestral shrine in the province.
* Zeng Guofan
* Mao Zedong
* Ma Ying-jeou
* Yuet-ching Lee
(1918–1997), Hong Kong actress
* Ted Hui
(born 1982), Hong Kong politician
Hunan's culture industry generated 87 billion yuan (US$11.76 billion) in economic value in 2007, and is major contributor to the province's economic growth. The industry accounts for 7.5 percent of the region's GDP.
() is the eponymous variety of Chinese spoken in Hunan. In addition to Xiang Chinese, there are also other dialects and languages present, such as Southwestern Mandarin
, and Xiangnan Tuhua
. Nü shu
, a writing system for Xiangnan Tuhua, is used exclusively among women in Jiangyong County
and neighboring areas in southern Hunan.
is noted for its near-ubiquitous use of chili pepper
, and shallot
s. These ingredients give rise to a distinctive dry-and-spicy () taste,
with dishes such as smoked cured ham, and stir-fried spicy beef being prime examples of the flavor.
is a local form of Chinese opera
that is very popular in Hunan province.
Located in the south central part of the Chinese mainland, Hunan has long been known for its natural environment. It is surrounded by mountains on the east, west, and south, and by the Yangtze River on the north. For thousands of years, the region has been a major center of agriculture, growing rice, tea, and oranges. China's first all glass suspension bridge was also opened in Hunan, in Shiniuzhai National Geological Park
is a World Heritage Site
and a 5A Scenic Area
. Located in south-central Hunan, Wulingyuan is noted for its thousands of quartzite sandstone
pillars, caves, and waterfalls. The area also contains Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
* Shaoshan County
, known for being the birthplace of Mao Zedong
* Yueyang Tower
, on the shores of Lake Dongting
, was built in the Han
and Jin dynasties
, and has existed in its current state since the Qing Dynasty
. Alongside the Pavilion of Prince Teng
and Yellow Crane Tower
, it is one of the Three Great Towers of Jiangnan
* Mount Heng
, in Hengyang
, is one of the Five Great Mountains of China
, and is home to the largest temple in southern China
* Fenghuang County
, in Xiangxi Prefecture
, has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage
Tentative List for its ancient town. Fenghuang is known for its incorporation of mountain features and water flow into city design, and the ancient syncretism between the local Han
Professional sports teams in Hunan include:
* Chinese Football Association League One
** Hunan Billows F.C.
*Major national historical and cultural sites in Hunan
, the "lakes and rivers" region of south-central China
*State of Chu
, ancient Chinese state partly in modern-day Hunan
*Hunan Government website
History of Hunanese
, the first book on the history of Hunanese(Phoelanese) civilization and nation from the perspective of we the hunanese (phoelanese) people.
Category:Provinces of the People's Republic of China