Province on the coast of east China, bounded to the north by Shandong, to the east by the Yellow Sea, to the southeast by Shanghai, to the south by Zhejiang, and to the west by Anhui; area 102,200 sq km/39,450 sq mi; population (2013 est) 79,394,900, the most densely populated province in China. The capital is Nanjing, which is the province's major centre of industry, manufacturing iron and steel, petrochemicals, machine tools, motor vehicles, textiles, cement, and fertilizers.
History Jiangsu was successively part of the ancient kingdoms of Wu, Yue, and Zhou before being taken by the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC). Wu is still a traditional local name for the province. Later it became the heartland of the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279). In 1667 it became a separate province. Nanjing was the capital of China under the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and the Nationalist republic (1928–37 and 1945–49). Jiangsu's capture by Japan in 1937 was an important step in Japan's attempts to conquer China.
Topography Jiangsu is essentially an alluvial plain built up by rivers; its coast is constantly being extended seaward as the rivers produce further silting. There are hills only in the northwest and southwest parts of the province. The plain is crossed by thousands of small waterways and irrigation ditches. In the past Jiangsu was subject to frequent floods, and the extensive engineering works undertaken by the government since 1949 have not completely solved the problem. In May, June, and July 1991 torrrential rain brought more water to Taihu Lake than the drainage system could handle. The resulting floods covered much of the area south of the Chang Jiang, including Suzhou and Wuxi.
The southeast of the province contains the large delta of the Chang Jiang River. Other important waterways in Jiangsu are the Huai He River and the Grand Canal, which runs the length of the province from north to south.
Climate The province has mild winters, with January average temperatures around 3°C/37°F; and hot summers, with July temperatures averaging around 26°C/79°F. Temperatures are less extreme than in inland provinces because of Jiangsu's coastal location. The average annual rainfall is around 1,000 mm/40 in, with about half the precipitation occurring in the summer. Nanjing's exceptionally high summer temperatures, averaging 30°C/86°F in July, have earned it the reputation as one of the ‘furnaces of China’.
Economy Historically Jiangsu's southern region was one of the most economically advanced and prosperous areas in China, known as the ‘land of fish and rice’ because of its abundant produce. Rice, wheat, and rapeseed are major crops, as is cotton. Vegetable-growing and dairy production are important near the towns. In the northern part of the province, more winter wheat than rice is grown for climatic reasons. Tea is important in southern Jiangsu, and mulberry trees are grown extensively as part of a thriving rural silk industry.
Although poorly endowed with natural resources other than its fertile soils, Jiangsu is an important industrial region. Chief industries are the manufacture of chemicals and textiles, and other important products are electronics, televisions, and telecommunications equipment. Light industries developed rapidly after the designation of the Yangtze Delta Open Economic Area in the 1980s, with many villages around its cities becoming industrial towns as factories and housing encroached on former farmland.
Other towns and cities include Suzhou, Wuxi, Lianyungang (a port designated an open city to encourage foreign trade and investment), and Zhenjiang. Industries of these places include ceramics, machinery and machine tools, textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, computer components, agricultural and transport equipment, and cement, as well as the mining of coal, iron ore, copper, and salt. The Chang Jiang River delta is located in the province. From 1984 Jiangsu has been included in the enlarged special economic zone of Shanghai. Agricultural products include rice, winter wheat, tea, cotton, soybeans, rapeseed, fish, and silk. Famous people from the province include Zhou Enlai, premier of China from 1949 to 1976.
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