Meaning of CHEKIANG in English

CHEKIANG

Chinese (Wade-Giles) Che-chiang, (Pinyin) Zhejiang, sheng (province) of China. It is the third smallest province of China and also one of the most densely populated and affluent. Its area is 39,300 square miles (101,800 square kilometres). A coastal province, it is bounded by the East China Sea on the east and by the provinces of Fukien on the south, Kiangsi on the southwest, Anhwei on the west, and Kiangsu on the north. The provincial capital is Hang-chou. Chekiang has for many centuries been one of the great cultural and literary centres of China. Its landscape is renowned for its scenic beauty. The name of the province derives from its principal river, the Che (Crooked) River, formally known as the Ch'ien-t'ang River at the estuary of Hang-chou Bay, and known as Fu-ch'un River inland. Chekiang is among the leading Chinese provinces in farm productivity and leads in the tea and fishing industries. Wade-Giles romanization Che-chiang, Pinyin Zhejiang, second smallest sheng (province) of the People's Republic of China, and one of the country's most densely populated and affluent. A coastal province, Chekiang is bounded by the East China Sea on the east and by the provinces of Kiangsu on the north, Fukien on the south, Anhwei on the west, and Kiangsi on the southwest. Hang-chou is the largest city and serves as the capital of the province. Occupying parts of various kingdoms until the 13th century, Chekiang was divided in the 1270s into eastern and western regions, which became the traditional geographic divisions of the province. Lin-an (modern Hang-chou) was made capital of the Chinese empire during the Southern Sung dynasty (11271279). Hang-chou's population in 1275 was estimated at more than 1,000,000. Marco Polo described it as the finest and noblest city in the world. It continued to be a great cultural centre until 1862, when it was destroyed and virtually all of its inhabitants died during the Taiping Rebellion. Hang-chou did not fully recover but was eventually rebuilt and modernized. Foreign penetration of Chekiang began in the 1840s, with the opening of Ning-po as a treaty port city following the first Opium War. After the Chinese Revolution (191112), Chekiang became a power base for the Nationalist Party of Chiang Kai-shek, who was born in the province. During World War II, most of Chekiang was occupied by the Japanese. It was little affected by the 194649 civil war. Hang-chou has remained the capital of the province. The landscape of Chekiang is renowned for its scenic beauty. The northwest section of the province lies within the fertile Yangtze River delta. Its coastal lowlands are protected by dikes. The greater part of Chekiang lies to the south of Hang-chou Bay and is largely mountainous. It has a rocky and deeply indented coast, dotted with numerous islands. The chief river of the province is the Fu-ch'un Chiang, meaning River of Abundant Spring. Farther downstream it is called the Ch'ien-t'ang Chiang and flows from Hang-chou to the sea. Chekiang has a humid subtropical climate, controlled chiefly by monsoonal airflows. However, considerable climatic differences exist, particularly in winter, between the coast and the hinterland, the north and the south, and the lowlands and the highlands. The hilly interior has more precipitation than the coast, which is frequently visited by devastating typhoons, especially during late summer and early autumn. About 25 percent of the population lives in cities and towns. There are seven main urban centres, each with developed modern industry. Two-fifths of the population is concentrated in the T'ai Lake plain in the north and in the southern coastal region of Hang-chou Bay. The ethnic composition of the population is overwhelmingly Chinese. Chekiang is one of the more prosperous of China's provinces, leading the country in farm productivity and in the tea industry. The province also ranks high in silkworm raising. Chekiang farmers practice a diversified form of agriculture. Staple food crops, including rice, wheat, barley, corn (maize), and sweet potatoes, are grown on about two-thirds of the arable land. The rest of the farmland grows either green fertilizer crops or such industrial crops as cotton, jute, ramie (a shrub yielding a fibre used for textiles), rapeseed, sugarcane, and tobacco. Soybeans, vegetables, and crops used for animal feed are also grown. Most farmers also raise poultry and pigs on their private plots. Chekiang has a thriving fishing industry and has also developed an aquaculture industry, which produces kelp; edible red algae, called Porphyra and used in making soups and condiments; mussels; scallops; clams; oysters; and crabs. A flourishing handicraft industry exists in most rural villages. Nationally and internationally known products include the porcelain of Lung-ch'uan, the silk umbrellas and tapestry of Hang-chou, embroideries, laces, cross-stitchings, wood carvings, stone carvings, clay sculpture, and inlay ware. Hydroelectric-power plants have spurred the development of light industry, which produces much of Chekiang's wealth. Industrial centres are Hang-chou (machinery, textiles, agricultural implements) and Ning-po (tractors, electronics, petrochemicals). Wen-chou is an important port city. Goods are moved on waterways, several railways, and a modern highway network. Area 39,300 square miles (101,800 square km). Pop. (1988 est.) 41,212,000. History Before the 8th century BC western Chekiang was a part of the ancient state of Wu, while eastern Chekiang was the land of Yeh tribes. In about the 6th century BC the two subregions became the rival kingdoms of Wu and Yeh. The heartland of the Wu state lay in southern Kiangsu Province, whereas that of Yeh occupied the coastal area to the south of the Ch'ien-t'ang Estuary where it merges into Hang-chou Bay. Yeh and Wu engaged in constant warfare from 510 until 473 BC, when the Yeh conquered Wu, after which the victorious kingdom became a dominant power in the Chinese feudal empire, nominally headed by the Tung (Eastern) Chou dynasty. Yeh was itself subsequently subjected, first by the kingdom of Ch'u in 334 BC and then by the kingdom of Ch'in in 223 BC. Yeh (consisting of Chekiang and Fukien) was quasi-independent during the Han dynasty (206 BCAD 220). Chekiang later formed a part of the kingdom of Wu (220280). During the T'ang (618907) and Sung (9601279) dynasties, Chekiang was divided into Che-hsi (Western Chekiang) and Che-t'ung (Eastern Chekiang), which became the traditional geographic divisions of the province. Lin-an was made capital of the Chinese empire during the Nan Sung dynasty, and its population in 1275 was estimated at about 1,000,000. Marco Polo, who visited the city, described it as the finest and noblest in the world. Odoric of Pordenone also visited the city, which he called Camsay, then renowned as the greatest city of the world, of whose splendours he, like Marco Polo and the Arab traveler Ibn Battutah, gave notable details. Chinese, Mongols, Nestorian Christians, and Buddhists from different countries lived together peaceably in the city during this period. Hang-chou continued to be a great cultural centre until 1862, when it was destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion. Of its citizens, 600,000 were slaughtered, while the rest either drowned themselves or else perished from starvation and disease. Hang-chou did not fully recover from this disaster, but it was eventually rebuilt and underwent gradual modernization. Foreign penetration of Chekiang began in the 1840s with the opening of Ning-po as a treaty port city. Ning-po merchants gradually established commercial networks in Shanghai and along the coast. In 1913 a railroad linking Hang-chou to Shanghai was built. During the Chinese Revolution of 191112 the moderate landed elite seized power, but the province soon fell into the hands of warlords and became in the mid-1920s the power base of Sun Ch'uan-fang. In the late 1920s the province became a base of power for the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) of Chiang Kai-shek, who was born at Feng-hua near Ning-po. The Chekiang elite came to dominate the Nationalist regime, and the province benefited from modernization programs introduced between 1928 and 1937. The Japanese occupied much of Chekiang after 1938, but the harbour at Wen-chou remained in Chinese hands from 1938 to 1942. Frederick Fu Hung Victor C. Falkenheim

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