Meaning of SZECHWAN BASIN in English

WadeGiles romanization Ssu-ch'uan P'en-ti, Pinyin Sichuan Pendii, also called Red Basin, basin comprising the greater part of eastern Szechwan Province (sheng), southwest China. It is surrounded by high mountains, including the TsinghaiTibet Plateau on the south, the YunnanKweichow Plateau on the south, Wu Shan (mountains) on the east, and the Ta-pa Shan on the north, which protect the interior from temperature extremes. The basin covers 88,600 sq mi (229,500 sq km) of red-brick sandstone, deeply dissected in the south by the Yangtze River and in the centre by three of its tributaries. Its floor is just under 800 ft (244 m) in elevation and its outer margins lie at about 2,000 ft. The basin, which is heavily populated, has a mild climate that permits diversified agriculture, mainly on terraced hillsides. The basin is one of China's main rice-producing areas; other products include tung oil, sugarcane, oranges, tangerines, and medicinal herbs. Industries utilize the coal, oil, natural gas, salt, manganese, sulfur, and iron ore deposits of the basin. Ch'eng-tu is the major centre of population. History Apart from the Upper Huang Ho (Yellow River) Valley provinces, Szechwan was the first area of China to be settled by the Han. The first organized Han migration took place in the 5th century BC. Szechwan was known as the Shu Pa territory during the Chou dynasty (1111255 BC). During the Ch'in dynasty (221206 BC) the territory was incorporated within the Ch'in Empire and began to assume considerable importance in China's national life. It was at this time that the Tu Chiang-yen irrigation system was built. In the time of the San-kuo (Three Kingdoms; AD 220280) the Szechwan region constituted the Shu kingdom. From the end of this period until the 10th century, Szechwan was known by various names and administered through various political subdivisions. During the Sung dynasty (AD 9601279) it was known as Szechwan Lu (Szechwan Province). Szechwan was established as a province during the Ch'ing, or Manchu, dynasty (16441911/12). During the early years of the Chinese republic (191130) Szechwan suffered seriously from the feudal warlord system; at one time it was divided into as many as 17 independent military units, and not until 1935 was it unified under the Nationalist government. During the Sino-Japanese War of 193745 there was a great influx of people and new ideas from coastal China, which resulted in extensive economic development. Many factories and trading posts were moved from the coastal area into Szechwan, and a number of industrial centres were established, especially in Chungking and at Ch'eng-tu. Because of its geographic isolation, inaccessibility, extensive area, large population, and virtual economic self-sufficiency, Szechwan has served periodically as a bastion in its own right. The area is easily defensible, and geography has encouraged political separatism. During the war with Japan, the province was the seat of the Nationalist government from 1938 to 1945; the Japanese were never able to penetrate the area. Charles Y. Hu Yueh-Gin Gung Hu Robert Lee Suettinger The Editors of the Encyclopdia Britannica

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