1. Cups, dishes, etc. made out of china.
  2. Baked clay of a type first employed in China.
  3. Country in Eastern Asia, home to 1/5th of mankind.

and other province-level administrative regions
of the
People's Republic of China
organized by geographic region

  • There are four principal types of region:
    1. the Province ('Sheng' 省),
    2. the province-level municipality ('Shih' 市) ),
    3. the Autonomous Region (labeled "A.R.") ('Zizhiju' 自治区) which theoretically gives various ethnic minorities control over their own affairs.
    4. the Special Administrative Region (特别行政区)
  • Provinces do not nest neatly into geographic regions; in a few cases I have had to "pick" one.
  • The preferred romanization is the Pinyin system devised by the Chinese government.  My initial source for this writeup, a 1970 Times Atlas of China, used a mixture of the older Wade-Giles system and the even older Post Office System.  After using the atlas's W-G/Pinyin table and scanning a few websites I was able to find all of the current spellings, (as well as changes to the list made since 1970).  If the atlas used a different spelling for an area's name, it follows the Pinyin spelling in parentheses.

"Manchuria" North China Plain Yangtze River Basin Southern Coast Mountainous West Also: Gritchka had the effrontery to correct four mistakes I made, curse him. curses also to dharmaraja for another correction.

Many, many thanks to shro0m for the idea of labeling provinces with Chinese characters. These were found (for the most part) on http://cn.yahoo.com/regional/countries_and_regions/mainland_china/provinces__regions_and_municipalities/, then converted to entities using tongpoo's wonderful little javascript in Using Unicode on E2. Many thanks again to dharmaraja for proofreading them.

Now, give your accolades to dharmaraja's fabulous writeup, which follows this one. I am in awe.

Inspired by Gorgonzola's mammoth effort above, I present a list of the one character abbreviations in use for each of the provinces of the PRC, (plus some like Taiwan they'd like back). You'll see these used in the newspapers, especially headlines which are made short and snappy like in English, but the most common sightings will be on motor vehicle license plates. So now if you're the victim of a hit and run when visiting China, you'll at least be able to narrow the search for the culprit down to one province.

Anhuiwan Name of an ancient state of the Spring and Autumn period, centred on Qianshan County (潜山县) in what is now the north of this province.

Beijingjing The character means 'capital city'. China's capital has moved many times over the years. During the Nationalist era the capital was at Nanjing (moving a few times due to war). Beijing was then known as Beiping/Peiping (北平). It regained its status as the nation's capital with the founding of the People's Republic, when the name was again changed.

Chongqingyu Another name for the Jialing River (嘉陵江), which runs through Chongqing. Chongqing was formerly part of Sichuan Province. It was given its present status as a 直辖市 (zhixia shi - municipality with provincial status 'directly under the central Government') in 1997.

Fujianmin The name of a river in the province and also an ancient local tribe. One local dialect, shared with Taiwan, is called 闽南话 (minnanhua).

Gansugan The first character of the full province name 甘肃. Dull but true. However, the province contains Dunhuang, much of what was the Tibetan region of Kham and the world's biggest herd of white yak, so is not dull at all. The capital Lanzhou is a hole though.

Guangdongyue Originally the name of the local indigenous tribe. The current phrase 两粤 liang Yue ('the two Yue regions') refers to both Guangdong and Guangxi, their former home.

Guangxigui The cassia bark tree. The famous beauty spot Guilin 桂林 ('cassia grove') is in Guangxi, as its now more popular neighbour Yangshuo (阳朔).

Guizhouqian The name of an administrative division of the Qin Dynasty which included much of what is now Guizhou as well as parts of neighbouring Sichuan. There's a famous classical story about the man who brings the first donkey to Qian (in 柳宗元《三戒》), but that'll have to wait for another write up.

Hainanqiong Means 'fine jade'. This is thus a bit like Ireland being called 'the Emerald Isle' (Hainan is an island off the south coast). The local tourist board probably preferred it to 'ex malarial, pirate-infested swamp; now sex tourism capital of China', and any way, that'd take more than one character to say. But I digress.

Hebeiji A Warring States (475 BC - 221) BC era kingdom in the area.

Henanyu Can't find the origins of this yet I'm afraid, but I do know this is where you'll find the Shaolin Temple 少林寺. Not that that's really relevant. I'll update if I can find out more.

Heilongjianghei Another dull one. Heilongjiang (in Manchuria) has changed its borders at lot over the years. It took its present form in 1954 when the former provinces of Hinggan (兴安 Xing'an) and Nenjiang (嫩江) were incorporated into it, if you don't count a bit in the northwest which has been swapped back and forth with Inner Mongolia a couple of times.

Hubeie Another ancient kingdom, centred on what is now Qinyang County (沁阳县). Pronounced more like the English expression of disgust 'eurgh' than the raver drug MDMA, but this shouldn't be taken as any slight on the place.

Hunanxiang The name of a major river running through the province. One of my favourite Chinese authors 沈从文 (Shen Congwen) grew up here, and wrote marvellous short stories about the local river people and Miao tribesmen. Also the home province of Mao Zedong, a minor landlord's son from 韶山 (Shaoshan) who went on to achieve a certain notoriety.

Jilinji Again the first character of the name, meaning 'auspiscious' or 'lucky'. Not so lucky in 1931 when the Japanese Imperial Army invaded and established the puppet state of Manchukuo, with its capital at Changchun (长春).

Jiangsusu The second part of the province name, the character means 'to revive', but is used here because it is the first character in the city name Suzhou (苏州). Jiangsu took its present name back in 1667 when it was formed out of the old 江南 (Jiangnan) province, a combination of Jiangning (江宁 now Nanjing) and Suzhou, the two principle cities. Sometimes also known as 吴 (Wu) after the Three Kingdoms state centred here.

Jiangxigan A river in the province.

Liaoningliao The Liao Dynasty (907-1125) was founded by the Khitan, nomadic pastoralists from the Siramuren Valley in what is now this province. They used the Chinese name (which means 'broad expanse') for their grassland home when they captured the then capital Kaifeng in 907 and set up their own ruling dynasty, adopting the culture and institutions of their new subjects. Jacques Gernet in his shelf-bending 'A History of Chinese Civilization' blames their subsequent adoption of Buddhism for a decline in the martial vigour required for the job as cruel feudal overlords.

Inner Mongoliameng 蒙古 (menggu) means Mongolia, and is used for both the independent state, which the Chinese often refer to as 'Outer Mongolia' (外蒙 - for many years the Nationalist government in Taiwan still counted this as part of China, which was amusing since you'd think they'd start on getting the country back first before claiming former colonies), and the part lucky enough to benefit from the enlightened rule of the Chinese Communist Party. Read this webpage for one Mongol person's account of how marvellous this has been.

Ningxianing Now an 'Autonomous Region' this small province is home to many Hui, who although counted as a 'national minority' are mostly ethnically Han but are Muslims. They love being subjects of the PRC too. Their various uprisings were mostly conducted in a spirit of fun.

Qinghaiqing Mostly what was the Tibetan province of Amdo but including some bits of Kham for good measure too. The Dalai Lama was born here. The Chinese name (literally 'blue lake') refers to the famous Koko-Nor.

Shandonglu Another Warring States period kingdom, but with the rather significant claim to fame of being the home of Confucius.

Shanxijin A state in the Zhou dynasty (c.1066 BC to 221 BC) that included Southern Shanxi; later the name of a dynasty founded by Sima Yan 司马炎 265-420; also a name of one of the Five Dynasties 936-946.

Shaanxishan Just a place name I'm afraid. Don't confuse it with the identically pronounced 疝 which means a swelling of the scrotum.

Shanghaihu The name given to the lower reaches of the Song River (松江) as it flows through the Paris of the East.

Sichuanchuan Means river, part of the full province name meaning 'four rivers'. Also often called 蜀 (Shu), home of Three Kingdoms hero Liu Bei and his preternaturally wise adviser Zhuge Liang. Present day Sichuan, despite losing Chongqing (q.v.) is larger than before due to the incorporation of most of Xikang (西康 - the Kham region of Tibet) in 1955.

"Taiwan" 台 tai "There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is part of China. The Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government of China." See denial.

Tianjinjin Another one of those groovy 直辖市 (zhixia shi) like Chongqing. The former Treaty Port took its present administrative boundaries in 1973.

Tibetzang Also unquestionably an integral part of the Motherland, and don't let any of those Dalai clique splittists tell you otherwise. They insist on calling it U-Tsang ('central plain') or Bod (pronounced 'pö' in Lhasa dialect).

Xinjiangxin And the controversial colonies keep coming thick and fast. Otherwise known as East Turkestan, this far western province is home to the Uygur, some Kazakhs and assorted other non-Han ethnic groups. The Han are working to remedy this situation by immigrating here in droves.

Yunnandian The name of a lake in the province. Yunnan ('south of the clouds') is a fascinating and beautiful place, and the home of many different ethnic groups. The former Nanzhao Kingdom based around the town of Dali flourished here, expanding greatly after 750 until conquered by the Mongols in the thirteenth century. Dali has recently been conquered again, this time by smelly hippy backpackers and their banana pancakes. Those locals not running guesthouses are said to prefer the Golden Horde.

Zhejiangzhe Named after the Zhe River. Provincial capital is the beautiful (if a bit spoilt recently) 杭州 (Hangzhou).

(That's enough Chinese provinces - Ed.)

The People's Republic of China covers a huge area of Asia (approx 9.597,000 sq km/ 3,705,400 sq mi), stretching as far west as Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, south to India, Myanmar and Vietnam, east to the East China Sea and North Korea, and north to Mongolia and Russia.

It is well-known as being the most populous nation in the world. In 2003, its population is rapidly heading towards 1.3 billion.

China's history began in 5,000 BC with a simple agricultural society, and during the period c2800-221 BC, the Sage kings and Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties developed writing systems, bronze and iron use, money, and written laws. The Qin dynasty 221-206 BC began the Great Wall of China, and built roads and canals. Subsequent dynasties saw Chinese society develop further, and the Tang dynasty 618-907 saw trade relations being established with the Islamic world and the Byzantine Empire. The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms 907-960 saw the development of printing and paper money, and the start of porcelain exports to Islamic nations. The Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1279-1368) dynasties saw Mongol invasions and rule over China. Marco Polo visited the court of the Great Khan during this time, and served his successor, Kublai Khan.

The Ming dynasty 1368-1644 expelled the Mongols, and began naval exploration and expansion of the empire. Portuguese and other European explorers came to China, and porcelain was sent to Europe.

The Manchu or Ching dynasty (1644-1912) saw much trade with Europe, but growing European dominance led to the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 against Western influence.

1911 saw the first of a series of upheavals in China and a republic was formed in 1912. Civil war followed until nationalist control by the Guomindang was established in 1926, with help from their communist allies. The communists were chased to northwest China during the Long March of 1934-35, but fought with the nationalists against Japan 1937-45. Following the Japanese surrender, civil war again broke out, with communist victory resulting, and the nationalists fleeing to Taiwan. The People's Republic was formed in 1949.

The Communists under Mao Zedong experimented with communes during the Great Leap Forward of 1958, but their efforts to achieve "true communism" failed, with 20 million dying in floods and famines 1959-62. Mao saw attempts to help the country recover as being a return to capitalism, and launched the Cultural Revolution 1966-69.

He was assisted by the Gang of Four, and opponents like Deng Xiaoping were forced into hiding following Mao's death. Deng regained control over government by 1979, however, and introduced reforms such as "Special Economic Zones". The Gang of Four were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1981.

A prodemocracy movement arose in the country during the 1980s, but was fiercely crushed at Tiananmen Square in June, 1989, where over 2000 unarmed protesters were massacred by army troops.

The Hutchinson Encyclopedia, Helicon Publishing, 1996

The following lists are intended to highlight some of the nodes on China on E2. /msg me with any additions.

Current affairs:

  • A glimpse of the Chinese internet scene
  • American Born Chinese
  • China's Safe Haven: Net Cafes
  • Chinese nuclear capability
  • Chinese nuclear strategy
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Chinese triads
  • Chinese typewriters
  • Chinese view of Tibet
  • The development of consumerism in China
  • Getting around in China
  • Gun control in China
  • The imminent end of China's hukou system
  • Smoking in China
  • Study abroad in Chinese
  • Tall Chinese-American's Travels in China
  • UN reports on torture in China

  • Chinese food:

  • Californian Chinese food
  • Chinese bakery
  • chinese breakfast
  • Chinese concept of sweet vs. salty
  • Chinese Cooking: Cantonese
  • Chinese Cooking: Shanghai
  • Chinese Cooking: Sichuan
  • Chinese Cooking
  • Chinese Fast Food
  • Chinese Food Non-Standard Syndrome
  • Chinese food
  • Chinese Recipes
  • Chinese Restaurant Syndrome
  • Chinese restaurant
  • Chinese style dumplings
  • Chinese Take-out
  • Chinese words for rice
  • Mandarin Cooking
  • Michigan Chinese Food
  • There are more Chinese restaurants in Toronto than in Shanghai
  • Traditional foods for Chinese holidays and celebrations
  • Universal Chinese Fortune Cookie Prefix/Suffix.

  • Chinese Geography:

  • Beijing
  • China
  • East China Sea
  • Hong Kong
  • North China Plain
  • Peking
  • Shanghai
  • South China Sea
  • Yangshuo

  • Chinese History:

  • A history of Chinese Immigration to Oregon
  • American and Japanese policy towards China, 1942-1943
  • Ancient Chinese Toilets
  • The Bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade
  • Boxer Rebellion
  • Chinese Dynasties
  • Chinese History
  • Chinese Painting
  • Chinese People's Revolution
  • Chinese water torture
  • Mao's Cultural Revolution
  • Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
  • Confucianism, Legalism, and the Records of the Historian
  • Deng Xiaoping
  • Elian Gonzalez vs. Chinese Boat Refugees
  • Gang of Four
  • Great Leap Forward
  • The Great Wall of China
  • The History of Film in China
  • Kublai Khan
  • Kuomintang
  • Long March
  • MacArthur and dropping the bomb on China
  • Manchu
  • Mao Zedong
  • Marco Polo
  • Ming dynasty
  • Mongol
  • Nixon in China
  • People's Republic of China
  • Qin dynasty
  • Red China
  • Republic of China
  • Roman Legionaries in China
  • Shang dynasty
  • Song dynasty
  • Tang dynasty
  • Terracotta Warriors of China
  • Tiananmen Square
  • Xia dynasty
  • Yuan dynasty

  • China and international affairs:

  • Clinton's Visit to China: Press Conference
  • Letter from U.S. to China, 4/11/2001
  • normalizing trade relations with China
  • Statement by the President on American Plane and Crew in China, 4/2/01
  • United States Foreign Relations with China

  • Chinese Language:

  • Ancient Chinese
  • Beijing Language and Culture University
  • Chinese Calligraphy
  • Chinese character tattoos
  • Chinese characters
  • Chinese counterfactuals
  • Chinese courtesy name
  • Chinese dialects
  • Chinese grammar in China
  • Chinese honorifics
  • Chinese names
  • Chinese Poetry
  • Chinese tone numbers
  • Chinese Translations
  • Chinese words for 'yes' and 'no'
  • Chinese
  • dialect-specific Chinese characters
  • final h in Chinese
  • Name evolution: from Chinese to Hebrew
  • Old Chinese
  • Pinyin
  • Simplified Chinese vs. Complicated Chinese
  • Systems for Romanizing Chinese
  • The Chinese word for crisis
  • The Three Forms of Questions in Chinese
  • Using Chinese on E2

  • Chinese Philosophy and Religion:

  • Chinese Buddhism
  • Chinese Christianity
  • Chinese parables of the perfect horse
  • Chinese philosophers
  • Chinese Story of Creation
  • Human Nature in Chinese and Greek Philosophy: External or Internal?
  • Why the Chinese invented martial arts
  • Zen's Chinese Heritage

  • Chinese Government and politics:

  • 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
  • Chinese Communist party
  • Chinese government: theory and practice
  • Hu Jintao
  • Politburo Standing Committee

  • Miscellaneous:

  • 35 million cave people living in China
  • A Chinese Ghost Story - Sinnui Yauman
  • All the tea in China
  • Black Horse Chinese New Year
  • China Generation X
  • China Hands
  • China Marine
  • China Syndrome
  • China white
  • Chinese Army technique
  • Chinese auction
  • Chinese Calendar
  • Chinese cleaver
  • Chinese currency
  • Chinese desert cat
  • Chinese exercise balls
  • Chinese eye exercises
  • Chinese foot binding
  • Chinese fuseki
  • Chinese Lettered Goldfish
  • Chinese Lunar Calendar
  • Chinese Music
  • Chinese Mythology
  • Chinese National Anthem
  • Chinese New Year
  • Chinese numbers
  • Chinese okra
  • Chinese opera
  • Chinese Remainder Theorem
  • Chinese Strategy
  • Chinese street brawls
  • Chinese style executions
  • Chinese Tallow Tree
  • Chinese therapeutic massage
  • Chinese view of anger
  • Experience in a Chinese village
  • How to make a Chinese lantern for festivals
  • Little Old Chinese Ladies
  • Long, the Chinese dragon
  • On a Slow Boat to China
  • Once Upon a Time in China
  • preparing Chinese medicine
  • Searle's Chinese room
  • Shaolin Temple
  • Si ling
  • South China tiger
  • The China Virus
  • The Chinese Garden of Friendship
  • The four major Chinese inventions
  • The reason why the four is marked in red on Chinese dice
  • Wildman of China
  • Chi"na (?), n.


    A country in Eastern Asia.


    China ware, which is the modern popular term for porcelain. See Porcelain.

    China aster Bot., a well-known garden flower and plant. See Aster. -- China bean. See under Bean, 1. -- China clay See Kaolin. -- China grass, Same as Ramie. -- China ink. See India ink. -- China pink Bot., an anual or biennial species of Dianthus (D. Chiensis) having variously colored single or double flowers; Indian pink. -- China root Med., the rootstock of a species of Smilax (S. China, from the East Indies; -- formerly much esteemed for the purposes that sarsaparilla is now used for. Also the galanga root (from Alpinia Gallanga and Alpinia officinarum). -- China rose. Bot. (a) A popular name for several free-blooming varieties of rose derived from the Rosa Indica, and perhaps other species. (b) A flowering hothouse plant (Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis) of the Mallow family, common in the gardens of China and the east Indies. -- China shop, a shop or store for the sale of China ware or of crockery. -- China ware, porcelain; -- so called in the 17th century because brought from the far East, and differing from the pottery made in Europa at that time; also, loosely, crockery in general. -- Pride of China, China tree. Bot. See Azedarach.


    © Webster 1913.

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