Meaning of YUNNAN in English

Chinese (Wade-Giles) Yn-nan, (Pinyin) Yunnan, sheng (province) of China. The fourth largest province of China, it is a mountain and plateau region on the country's southwestern frontier. It is bounded by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the northwest, Szechwan on the north, and the Chuang Autonomous Region of Kwangsi and Kweichow Province on the east. To the south and southeast it adjoins Laos and Vietnam, and to the west it borders Burma for 600 miles (950 kilometres). The area of Yunnan is 152,100 square miles (394,000 square kilometres). The provincial capital is K'un-ming. The name Yunnan has been in use since the region was made a province under the Yan (Mongol) dynasty (12061368). Literally meaning Cloudy South, it denotes the location as south of the Yn-ling (Cloudy Mountain) Range. Although richly endowed with natural resources, Yunnan remained an underdeveloped region until recent times; and for centuries the ethnic, religious, and political separatism of the province posed obstacles to the efforts of a central government to control it. Although the province remains relatively underdeveloped and isolated, its economic, political, and cultural integration into the Chinese nation essentially is complete. Wade-Giles romanization Yn-nan, Pinyin Yunnan, sheng (province) of China, bounded by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the northwest, Szechwan province on the north, and the Chuang Autonomous Region of Kwangsi and Kweichow province on the east. To the west Yunnan borders Myanmar (Burma), and to the south and southeast it adjoins Laos and Vietnam. Yunnan is the fourth largest province in China. The capital is K'un-ming. The Yan, or Mongol, dynasty (12061368) marked an end to various power struggles in the region. In 1253 the Mongols destroyed a Tai kingdom called Nanchao and, naming the area Yunnan, made it a province of the Chinese empire. Han (Chinese) migration into Yunnan was encouraged during the Ming dynasty (13681644), and the province was governed by local leaders representing Chinese magistrates. This policy continued through the Ch'ing dynasty (16441911/12) and under the Chinese republic in its various guises (1911/1249), when efforts were undertaken to bring the province under central government control. Since 1949 Yunnan has been one of China's high-priority industrial belts. A Sino-Burmese treaty in 1960 put an end to border disputes between the two countries. Yunnan's terrain consists of a series of high mountain chains that spread out across the province. These include the Kao-li-kung, Nu, and Yn-ling mountains. Yunnan contains two distinct regions separated by the Ai-lao Mountainsa canyon region to the west of it and a plateau region to the east. Flowing through the deep valleys between these mountains are Yunnan's major rivers: the Nmai Hka (headstream of the Irrawaddy), the Salween, the Mekong, and the Black River. The towering height of the mountains in the north is such that the valley floors lie at heights averaging 4,000 to 5,000 feet (1,200 to 1,500 m) below the mountaintops. In the southern part of the canyon region the mountains are much lower and the valleys more open. The eastern plateau region stretches from the Ai-lao Mountains to the Kweichow-Kwangsi border. Its dominant land use is for rice paddies, but fruit orchards are located in the terraced rims of the basin. This region is noted for its moderate climate. Despite its proximity to the Equator and because of high elevation, summers are cool; winters are mild because of shelter from the mountains. The western canyon region experiences sultry heat with high humidity at the valley bottoms, temperate climates at 6,000 to 11,000 feet (1,800 to 3,400 m), and freezing winds at the mountaintops. Yunnan's population is known for its great ethnolinguistic complexity. The bulk of both the city population and the agricultural population consists of Han, who live on the plains and in the valleys devoted to rice cultivation, but there has been much intermarriage between the Han and non-Han immigrants and between the Han and Hui (Chinese Muslims). There is a substantial unassimilated non-Han population, which comprises more than 20 nationalities and numerous other minorities. These groups are highly intermixed in distribution: not one county is inhabited by only a single nationality. Approximately one-tenth of Yunnan's population is urban. In addition to the enormous rice crop, corn (maize), wheat, barley, sweet potatoes, soybeans, and oilseeds are grown. Sugarcane is grown in the southeastern part of Yunnan and bananas, coconuts, and coffee in the deep south. Walnuts, chestnuts, mulberry trees, peaches, and persimmons are grown in many parts of the province. The western canyon region holds enormous timber reserves and produces some tung oil. Industrial crops include tobacco, cotton, and hemp. Mining is far more important than agriculture. Yunnan has one of the world's largest tin deposits. The province is also a large producer of copper and has moderate deposits of coal and iron. Other mineral products include antimony, tungsten, mercury, phosphorus, and silver. Gypsum, sulfur, fluorite, arsenic, alum, and asbestos exist in large quantities. Deposits of bauxite provide the basis for an aluminum industry. Marble is quarried at Ta-li. Rock salt is also produced. Yunnan's manufacturing industries produce machinery, refined metals, chemical products, tobacco products, sugar, leather, hemp, and textiles. The K'un-ming area is a giant industrial complex, consisting of steelworks, iron- and copper-smelting facilities, plants for machinery and engineering, facilities for manufacturing fertilizers and industrial chemicals, and textile and food-processing industries. Since the government has emphasized Yunnan's economic development, the railroad network has been expanded, and the province's highways are well developed. Most of the rivers in Yunnan are unnavigable, except for short distances. K'un-ming serves as the hub for domestic and international air service. Area 168,400 square miles (436,200 square km). Pop. (1990) 36,972,610; (1994 est.) 38,850,000. History In classical antiquity, Yunnan was inhabited by aboriginal tribes that were beyond the reach of Chinese civilization though they acknowledged Chinese suzerainty under the Ch'in (221206 BC) and Han (206 BCAD 220) dynasties. Governmental power rested with tribal chiefs, and Chinese settlers penetrated only the eastern parts of the province. Under the T'ang dynasty (AD 618907) a Tai kingdom, known as Nanchao, flourished in the Ta-li region. First sanctioned as a bulwark against Tibetan incursions, Nanchao eventually threatened Chinese power, which declined during the period of the Wu-tai (Five Dynasties; 907960) and the Sung dynasty (9601279). This state of affairs came to an end during the Yan dynasty (12061368). The Mongols destroyed Nanchao in 1253, and, having named the area Yunnan, they made it a province of the Yan Empire. Marco Polo visited the region in the latter part of the 13th century. To resettle the region, which had been depopulated by warfare, the governor brought in large numbers of Hui (Chinese Muslims) from northwestern China. Thus, the Mongol conquest drew Yunnan into the orbit of Chinese affairs but failed to reduce local interracial tension between Han and non-Han minorities. Ming dynasty rulers (13681644), seeking to tighten their control over the province, used military units to promote the migration of the Chinese people from the Yangtze Valley to Yunnan. The province was governed through a system of hereditary t'u-ssu; that is, local leaders serving as agents of the Chinese magistrates. This policy of indirect rule was continued under the Ch'ing dynasty (16441911/12) and the republic (191149), when efforts to bring the province more thoroughly under the control of the central government were undertaken, with varying degrees of success. Regional separatism coupled with ethnic and religious differences made Yunnan a frequent scene of strife. In 167478, Wu San-kuei, originally sent by the Ch'ing government to crush opposition in Yunnan, used the province as a base for rebellion against the Ch'ing government. In 185573 Muslims, led by Tu Wen-hsiu (alias Sultan Sulayman), who obtained arms from the British authorities in Burma, staged the Panthay Rebellion, which was crushed with great cruelty by the Chinese Imperial troops, aided by arms from the French authorities in Tonkin. In 1915 Ts'ai Ao, onetime governor of the province, launched his drive in Yunnan to defeat the monarchist movement of Yan Shih-k'ai, the president of the republic, who attempted to make himself emperor of China. Then, spanning the decades between World Wars I and II, the warlords T'ang Chi-yao and Lung Yn ruled the province as a satrapy, keeping it beyond the control of the central government, fostering cultivation of the opium poppy, and inflicting great suffering on the people by the collection of high taxes. During the 19th century Yunnan fell victim to British and French imperialism. Already established in Vietnam, France regarded Yunnan as its sphere of influence and built the HanoiK'un-ming railway at the turn of the century to exploit the resources of the province. In 1910 the British, then established in Burma, induced the t'u-ssu of P'ien-ma (Hpimau) to defect from the central Chinese government and occupied his territory in northwestern Yunnan. Britain also forced China to give up a tract of territory in what is now the Kachin State of Burma (192627), as well as the territory in the Wa states (1940). The war against Japan (193745) brought progress and modernization to Yunnan, as the Nationalist government developed the province into a war base against the Japanese. Factories, universities, and government agencies were transplanted there from the coastal regions, and fresh manpower, capital, and ideas poured into the province. Industries were established, and efforts were made by the government to develop the resources of the region. The Burma Road made Yunnan the corridor through which supplies flowed to Allied war bases in all parts of China, and K'un-ming became a major U.S. Air Force base. A major advance by the Japanese Army along the upper Salween River in 1944 was halted at the city of T'eng-ch'ung, indicating the vital role that Yunnan played in the nation's defense. A decade of war forced Yunnan out of its stagnation, while its strategic location made it possible to instill the ideal of national unification in place of separatism; and the process of modernization was accelerated after the establishment of the People's Republic in 1949. Ping-chia Kuo Robert Lee Suettinger The Editors of the Encyclopdia Britannica

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