Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Abbreviation: 粤 (pinyin: Yuè)|
|Origin of Name|| 广 guǎng - region name|
东 dōng- east
|CPC Guangdong Committee Secretary||Zhang Dejiang|
|Area||177,900 km² (15th)|
| Population (2002) |
| 78,590,000 (4th) |
| GDP (2002)|
- per capita
| 1177.0 billion ¥ (1st) |
14976 ¥ (5th)
|Major Nationalities (2000)|| Han - 99%|
Zhuang - 0.7%
Yao - 0.2%
Together, Guangdong and neighboring Guangxi are called the "Two Guangs" (兩廣 liăng guăng).
Sometimes, "Canton Province" (based on an obsolete transliteration of "Guangdong") is used to mean Guangdong. This is as opposed to "Canton (City)", which refers to the city of Guangzhou, the provincial capital.
The modern abbreviation 粵/粤 (Yue) is related to the Hundred Yuet (百越), a collective name for various peoples that lived in Guangdong and other areas in ancient times.
Since the 16th century, Guangdong has had extensive trade links with the rest of the world. European merchants, particularly the British, traded extensively through Guangzhou, and it was the opium trade through Guangzhou that triggered the Opium Wars.
In the 19th century, Guangdong was the major port of exit for laborers in southeast Asia and the Western United States. Until the late 20th century, residents in Chinatowns tended to be overwhelmingly from Guangdong.
During the 1850s, the first revolt of the Taiping Rebellion took place in Guangdong. Because of contact with the West, Guangdong was a 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 KMT to prepare for the Northern Expedition. 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.
Guangdong was incorporated into the new prefecture named Guang Prefecture(廣州, Guangzhou)in AD 226.
The current immediate administrative divisions of Guangdong consist of 21 prefecture-level cities:
- Chaozhou (潮州)
- Dongguan (东莞)
- Foshan (佛山)
- Guangzhou (广州)
- Heyuan (河源)
- Huizhou (惠州)
- Jiangmen (江门)
- Jieyang (揭阳)
- Maoming (茂名)
- Meizhou (梅州)
- Qingyuan (清远)
- Shantou (汕头)
- Shanwei (汕尾)
- Shaoguan (韶关)
- Shenzhen sub-provincial city (深圳)
- Yangjiang (阳江)
- Yunfu (云浮)
- Zhanjiang (湛江)
- Zhaoqing (肇庆)
- Zhongshan (中山)
- Zhuhai (珠海)
The above division include, in total, 49 districts, 30 county-level cities, 42 counties, and 3 autonomous counties.
Guangdong faces the South China Sea to the south and had a total of 4,300 km of coastline. Leizhou Peninsula is on the southwestern end of the province. There are a few inactive volcanoes on Leizhou Peninsula. The Pearl River Delta is the convergent point of three upstream rivers: the East River, North River, and 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 Southern Mountain Range (南岭). The highest point in the province is about 1,600 meters above sea level.
Guangdong borders Fujian province to the northeast, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces to the north, Guangxi autonomous region to the west, and Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions to the south. Hainan province is offshore across from the Leizhou Peninsula.
Cities around the Pearl River Delta include Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Shunde, Taishan, Zhongshan and Zhuhai. Other cities in the province include Chaozhou, Chenghai, Kaiping , Nanhai , Panyu , Shantou, Shaoguan, Xinhui, Zhanjiang and Zhaoqing.
After the communist takeover and until the start of the Deng Xiaoping reforms in 1978, Guangdong was an economic backwater. Economic development policies encouraged industrial development in the interior provinces which were weakly linked to 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, its closeness 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 historical status of being economically backward.
The province is now one of the richest in the nation. It has three of the four Special Economic Zones: Shenzhen, Shantou and Zhuhai.
Even though official statistics show Guangdong as the 4th most populous province of China with about 80 million people, recently released information  suggests that there are an additional 30 million immigrants who reside in Guangdong for at least six months every year, making Guangdong the most populous province of China with a population of more than 110 million. The massive influx of migrants from other provinces, dubbed the "floating population ", is due to Guangdong's booming economy and high demand for labour.
Owing to the closeness of Guangdong to the ocean, Guangdong is also the ancestral home to large numbers of overseas Chinese. Most of the railroad laborers in the Western United States in the 19th century came from the province. Emigration in recent years has slowed due to the relatively good economy in the province.
The Cantonese dialect, rather than the official Mandarin, serves as the lingua franca for 60,000,000 or so people of Guangdong speaking various dialects. Minnan and Hakka dialects are also spoken. Mandarin is taught in school and understood by majority of the population.
Because of the high population density and the close proximity in which humans and animals live, Guangdong has often been the source of respiratory diseases such as influenza. In late 2002, Guangdong was the initial source of SARS.
During the 1980s, the Guangdong provincial government had a reputation of resisting central government directives, especially those regarding the economy. At the same time, the good economic situation of Guangdong has made it relatively quiet in the area of political and economic activism. Although some in the West assume that Guangdong's economic growth and distinctive language would give rise to separatism, this is not the case, and there has never been any significant support for separatism.
Although both Hong Kong and Macau have historically been part of Guangdong, the Basic Laws of both Special Administrative Regions (SARs) explicitly forbid provincial governments from intervening in political issues. Many issues, such as border policy and water rights, regarding the relationship between Hong Kong and Macao and the rest of China are settled via negotiation between the SAR's and the Guangdong provincial government. Because the SAR's are subdivisions of China, it is impossible for a negotiation to occur between the central government and the SAR government since they are of different statuses with the central government the higher power. However, because Guangdong and the SAR's of equal status with neither having control over the other, negotiation between them is possible and in fact encouraged on issues in which the Central Government has no opinion.
- Cantonese cuisine (Simplified Chinese: 粤菜; Traditional Chinese: 粵菜)
- Chiuchow cuisine
- Cantonese opera (Simplified Chinese: 粤剧; Traditional Chinese: 粵劇) is a form of Chinese opera popular in Cantonese speaking areas.
- Hakka cuisine
Professional sports teams based in Guangdong include:
- Chinese Football Association Super League
- Chinese Football Association Jia League
- Guangzhou Rizhiquan
- Chinese Basketball Association
Colleges and universities
- Jinan University (Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Shenzhen)
- Shantou University (Shantou)
- South China University of Technology (Guangzhou)
- Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou, Zhuhai)
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