Henan

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For the county in Qinghai, see Henan Mongol Autonomous County.
河南省
Hénán Shěng
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Abbreviation(s): 豫 (pinyin: Yù)
Image:China-Henan.png
Origin of name 河 hé - (Yellow) River
南 nán - south
"south of the Yellow River"
Administration type Province
Capital and
Largest City
Zhengzhou
CPC Henan Committee Secretary Xu Guangchun 徐光春
Governor Li Chengyu 李成玉
Area 167,000 km² (17th)
Population (2004)
 - Density
97,170,000 (1st)
582/km² (6th)
GDP (2004)
 - per capita
CNY 881.5 billion (5th)
CNY 9070 (18th)
HDI (2005) 0.741 (19th) — medium
Major nationalities (2000) Han - 98.8%
Hui - 1%
Prefecture-level divisions 17
County-level divisions 159
Township-level divisions
(December 31, 2004)
2455
ISO 3166-2 CN-41
Official website:
www.henan.gov.cn (Simplified Chinese)
Source for population and GDP data:
《中国统计年鉴—2005》/ China Statistical Yearbook 2005 ISBN 7503747382

Source for nationalities data:
《2000年人口普查中国民族人口资料》/ Tabulation on nationalities of 2000 population census of China ISBN 7105054255

Henan (Chinese: 河南; pinyin: Hénán; Wade-Giles: Ho-nan), is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is 豫 (pinyin: yù), named after Yuzhou Province (豫州 Yù Zhōu), a Han Dynasty province (zhou) that included parts of Henan. The name Henan means "south of the (Yellow) River" (Huang He).

With nearly 100 million people, Henan is the most populous province of China. It borders Hebei to the north, Shandong to the northeast, Anhui to the southeast, Hubei to the south, Shaanxi to the west, and Shanxi to the northwest.

Henan is often called Zhongyuan (中原 zhōngyuán) or Zhongzhou (中州 zhōngzhōu), literally "central plains" or "midland"; this name is also broadly applied to the entire North China Plain. Henan is traditionally regarded as the cradle of Chinese civilization.

Contents

[edit] History

Northern Henan, along the Yellow River, was the core area of ancient China for at least the first half of Chinese history. The two cities of Luoyang and Kaifeng each served as the capital city of a long list of dynasties.

Archaeological sites reveal that prehistoric cultures such as the Yangshao Culture and Longshan Culture were active in what is now northern Henan. The Erlitou culture, which has been controversially identified with the Xia Dynasty, the first Chinese dynasty as described in Chinese records, was also centered in Henan.

The first literate dynasty of China, the Shang Dynasty (16th century BC - 11th century BC), was centered in Henan. Their last capital, Yin, was located at the modern city of Anyang, Henan.

In the 11th century BC the Zhou Dynasty arrived from the west and destroyed the Shang Dynasty. Their capital was located initially in Hao (near present day Xi'an in Shaanxi province). In 722 BC it was moved to Luoyang, Henan. This began the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, a period of warfare and rivalry. What is now Henan was divided into a variety of small states, including Hua (state) (destroyed by Qin in 627BC), Chen, Cai, Cao, Zheng, Wei (衛), and powerful Jin from Shanxi to the north. Later on these were replaced with Han and Wei (魏). Throughout this period the state of Chu also held much of what is now southern Henan.

In 221 BC the state of Qin from what is now Shaanxi completed the unification of China, establishing the first unified Chinese state, the Qin Dynasty. They were followed by the Han Dynasty in 206 BC, which initially put its capital in Chang'an (now Xi'an, Shaanxi). The second half of this dynasty (the Eastern Han Dynasty) moved its capital to Luoyang (now Luoyang, Henan).

The late Eastern Han Dynasty saw war and rivalry between regional warlords. Henan was the power base of Cao Cao, who was based in Xuchang and eventually succeeded in unifying all of northern China under the Kingdom of Wei. Wei then put its capital in Luoyang. The Western Jin Dynasty that followed also put its capital at Luoyang.

In the 4th century nomadic peoples from the north invaded northern China. Henan then came under the rule of many successive regimes, including the Later Zhao, the Former Yan, the Former Qin, the Later Yan, and the Later Qin. The Northern Wei Dynasty, which unified North China in 439, moved its capital to Luoyang in 493.

Image:Chinese Boddhisattva statue.jpg
This limestone statue of a Boddhisattva was probably created in the Henan province around 570, in the Northern Qi Dynasty.

Northern Wei splintered in 534 and would not be restored until 589, when the Sui Dynasty reunified China. Sui Emperor Yang's costly attempt to relocate the capital from Chang'an to Luoyang contributed to the downfall of Sui. The Tang Dynasty that followed kept its capital in Chang'an (modern Xi'an, Shaanxi). The Tang lasted for three centuries, but eventually succumbed to internal strife.

In the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms that followed, Kaifeng was the capital of four dynasties: Later Liang Dynasty, Later Jin Dynasty, Later Han Dynasty, and Later Zhou Dynasty. The Song Dynasty that reunified China in 982 also had its capital at Kaifeng. Under Song rule, China entered a golden age of culture and prosperity, and Kaifeng was the largest city in the world [1]. In 1127, however, the Song Dynasty succumbed to Jurchen (Jin Dynasty) invaders from the north, and in 1142 had to cede away all of northern China, including Henan. By this point, cultural and economic development in the Yangtze River delta Jiangnan region (modern southern Jiangsu, northern Zhejiang, and Shanghai) had made that area into the new economic and cultural center of China, instead of Henan. Henan would forever lose this pre-eminent position.

The Jurchens kept their capital further north, at least until 1214, when they were forced to move the imperial court southwards to Kaifeng in order to flee the Mongol onslaught. In 1234 they succumbed to combined Mongol and Song Dynasty forces. Mongols took control, and in 1279 they conquered all of China.

Mongol rule over China ended in 1368. The Ming Dynasty that followed set up the equivalent of modern Henan province, with borders extremely similar to modern ones. The capital was, however, at Kaifeng instead of modern Zhengzhou. The Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) did not make any significant changes to this arrangement; nor did the Republic of China in their rule over Mainland China (1911-1949).

The completion of the Pinghan Railway (Beiping (Beijing) - Hankou) made Zhengzhou, a previously unnoted county town, into a major transportation hub. In 1954 the new People's Republic of China government moved the capital of Henan from Kaifeng to Zhengzhou. The PRC also established a short-lived Pingyuan Province consisting of what is now northern Henan and western Shandong, with capital Xinxiang. This province was abolished in 1952.

In 1958, Yashan in Suiping County, Henan became the first people's commune of China, heralding the beginning of the Great Leap Forward. In the subsequent famines of the early 1960s popularly attributed to the Great Leap Forward, Henan suffered terribly, with up to several million dead. [2]

The collapse of the Banqiao Dam and other dams in 1975 in southern Henan, following extraordinarily high levels of rainfall caused by a typhoon, is estimated to have killed 230,000 people across several counties. This was the most deadly dam-related catastrophe in human history.

In recent years the prevalence of "blood selling" (blood donation with pay) among poor villagers has put Henan in the spotlight of the nation, after it was exposed that AIDS villages, where most of the population is HIV positive, have resulted because of poor sterilization techniques. The initial coverup of the crisis by local officials, followed by national exposure, has put Henan in a somewhat negative light.

[edit] Geography

Henan is flat in the east and mountainous in the west and extreme south. The eastern and central parts of the province form part of the North China Plain. To the northwest the Taihang Mountains intrude partially into Henan's borders; to the west the Qinling Mountains enter Henan from the west and end about halfway across Henan, with branches (such as the Funiu Mountains) extending northwards and southwards. To the far south, the Dabie Mountains separate Henan from neighbouring Hubei province.

The Yellow River passes through northern Henan. It enters from the northwest, via the Sanmenxia Reservoir. After it passes Luoyang, the Yellow River is raised via natural sedimentation and artificial construction onto a levee, higher than the surrounding land. From here onwards, the Yellow River divides the Hai He watershed to the north and the Huai He watershed to the south. The Huai He itself originates in southern Henan. The southwestern corner of Henan, around Nanyang, is part of the drainage basin of the Han Shui River across the border in Hubei.

There are many reservoirs in Henan. Major ones include the Danjiangkou Reservoir on the border with Hubei, the Sanmenxia Reservoir, the Suyahu Reservoir, the Baiguishan Reservoir, the Nanwan Reservoir, and the Banqiao Reservoir.

Henan has a temperate continental climate, with most rainfall in summer. Temperatures average about 0 °C in January, and 27 - 28 °C in July.

Zhengzhou is the province's capital and most populous city. Other major cities include Kaifeng, Luoyang, Xinxiang, Anyang, Luohe, and Xuchang.

[edit] Administrative divisions

See List of administrative divisions of Henan for a complete list of county-level divisions

Henan is divided into 17 prefecture-level divisions, all of them prefecture-level cities, as well as 1 directly administered county-level city.

The prefecture-level cities:

The directly administered county-level city is more accurately described as a sub-prefecture-level city:

  • Jiyuan (济源市 Jǐyuán Shì)

The 17 prefecture-level divisions and 1 directly administered county-level city of Henan are subdivided into 159 county-level divisions (50 districts, 21 county-level cities, and 88 counties; Jiyuan is counted as a county-level city here). Those are in turn divided into 2440 township-level divisions (866 towns, 1234 townships, 12 ethnic townships, and 328 subdistricts).

[edit] Demographics

Henan is the most populous province of China. If it were a nation in itself, it would be the 12th most populous country, just behind Mexico. Just under 99% of Henan's population is Han Chinese, while Hui take up about 1%.

[edit] Economy

Henan is a relatively poor province, though the speed of economic development has increased by an average of about 10% each year for the past twenty years -- since its reform and opening to the outside. In 2005, Henan's nominal GDP was 1.05 trillion RMB (US$131.68 billion), a year-on-year rise of 14.1%. Henan's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries are worth 184.3 billion RMB (US$23 billion), 553.93 billion RMB, and 315.28 billion RMB, respectively. Its per capita GDP topped 10,000 RMB (US$1,250) [3]. An industrial system with light textile, food, metallurgy, petrol, building materials, chemical industry, machinery and electronics as the main body has been formed. Nearly 100 products, such as coal, industrial cord fabrics, fridges, aluminium, color glass cases, gold, meat products, tyres, chemical fibres, glass, cement, generated energy, and others take are an important part of the national market. Industrial sales reached 1 trillion RMB in 2005, 3.1 times the figure for 2000. [4]

Henan is actively trying to build an open economy. In 2002, the total trade volume (import and export) was US$3.2 billion, including US$2.1 billion for export. 7,111 foreign enterprises have been approved, and foreign funds (FDI) of US$10.64 billion have been used in contracts with a realized FDI of US$5.3 billion. Foreign exchanges are increasing continuously. Friendly provincial relationships have been established with 16 states (districts) in the United States, Japan, Russia, France, Germany, and others. Some cities of Henan have established friendly relationships (sister city) with thirty-two foreign cities.

Henan is an agricultural province, leading the provinces of China in wheat and sesame production, and is third place overall in terms of total grain output. Cotton, rice, and maize are also important crops in Henan.

There are several important centers of coal production in Henan, including Pingdingshan, Yima, and Jiaozuo. Luanchuan County in western Henan is an important center of molybdenum extraction. Electricity generation is another important industry of Henan.

[edit] Culture

Most of Henan speaks dialects of the Mandarin group of dialects spoken in northern and southwestern China. Linguists put these dialects into the category of "Zhongyuan Mandarin". The northwestern corner of Henan is an exception, where people speak Jin dialects instead. The dialects of Henan are collectively called "the Henan dialect" in popular usage, with easily identifiable stereotypical features.

Henan opera (Yuju) is the local form of Chinese opera; it is also famous and popular across the rest of China. Henan Quju and Henan Yuediao are also important local opera forms.

Henan cuisine is the local cuisine, with traditions such as the Luoyang Shuixi (Luoyang "Water Table", consisting entirely of various soups, etc.); Xinyang Duncai (Xinyang brewed vegetables), and the traditional cuisine of Kaifeng.

Important traditional art and craft products include: Junci, a type of porcelain originating in Yuzhou noted for its unpredictable colour patterns; the jade carvings of Zhenping; and Luoyang's Tangsancai ("Tang Three Colours"), which are earthenware figurines made in the traditional style of the Tang Dynasty.

Famous people from Henan include:

  • Hui Shi (380 BC - ?), philosopher.
  • Xu Shen (ca. 58-ca. 147), editor of the Shuowen Jiezi.
  • Yuan Ji (210-263), poet.
  • Du Fu (712-770), considered one of the greatest of Chinese poets.
  • Han Yu (768-824), one of China's most famous prose writers and poets.
  • Li Shangyin (813-858), poet.
  • Cheng Hao (1032-1085) and brother Cheng Yi (1033-1107), Neo-Confucian philosophers.
  • Li Tang (c.1080-c.1130), painter.
  • Feng Youlan (1895-1990), philosopher.
  • Lao Zi (Lao Tzu: dates uncertain),philosopher,he was born in Ku County of the State of Chu, which today is Luyi County of Henan province. He is well-known as the author of the Daode Jing (Tao Te Ching), the most beloved and widely translated Chinese philosophical text.

[edit] Transportation

Two important railway arteries, the Jingguang Railway (Beijing - Guangzhou) and the Longhai Railway (Lianyungang - Lanzhou), pass through Henan and cross at Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. The Jingjiu Railway (Beijing - Kowloon) also passes through Henan.

With the recent completion of the Zhengzhou - Xinxiang expressway, a continuous expressway now crosses Henan from north to south, as part of a longer line linking Beijing with Shenzhen. Another expressway crosses Henan from east to west, and more are being built.

Important airports include: Xinzheng Airport, of Xinzheng.

[edit] Tourism

Henan is located in the Yellow River valley and in a place where people of ancient times grew and developed. Earlier in the New Stone Age, the light of civilization had appeared and the delicate potteries in the Peiligang Culture and Yangshao Culture, and the character signs and musical instruments 8,000 years ago have filled the present world and the ancient times with wonders. There are seven ancient capitals in China, three of which are located in Henan: Luoyang, Kaifeng and Anyang. Henan is one of the provinces which have the most historical relics in the country. There are 16 key national units of protecting historical relics and 267 provincial units of protecting historical relics. The over-ground historical relics are the second in China. Historical relics in museums takes up one eighth of those in China. And the underground historical relics are the first in China. In Henan Museum there are 120,000 historical relics, including over 40,000 rare ones. Henan is a perfect place for tourists to yearn for the past.

Image:Master Zhou's Astronomical Observatory.jpg
Master Zhou's Astronomical Observatory

[edit] Miscellaneous topics

Professional sports teams in Henan include:

Major sites: Shaolin Temple

[edit] Colleges and universities

Public (a partial list)

[edit] External links

Province-level divisions administered by the People's Republic of China Image:Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
Provinces: Anhui | Fujian | Gansu | Guangdong | Guizhou | Hainan | Hebei | Heilongjiang | Henan | Hubei | Hunan | Jiangsu | Jiangxi | Jilin | Liaoning | Qinghai | Shaanxi | Shandong | Shanxi | Sichuan | Taiwan (claimed) | Yunnan | Zhejiang
Autonomous Regions: Guangxi | Inner Mongolia | Ningxia | Tibet | Xinjiang
Municipalities: Beijing | Chongqing | Shanghai | Tianjin
Special administrative regions: Hong Kong | Macau
See also: Political status of Taiwan and Taiwan Province (People's Republic of China)
ar:خنان

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Henan

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