Jiangxi (; Postal System Pinyin: Kiangsi) is a southern province of the People's Republic of China, spanning from the banks of the [[[Yangtze River]] in the north into hillier areas in the south.
"Jiangxi" means "west of the Yangtze". The name originated, however, as a contraction of "Jiangnanxi" (江南西), which literally means "the west of the south of the Yangtze". The name was coined by the Tang Dynasty when it split "Jiangnan" ("south of the Yangtze") circuit into western and eastern halves.
Jiangxi borders Anhui to the north, Zhejiang to the northeast, Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, Hunan to the west, and Hubei to the northwest.
Jiangxi is centred on the Gan River valley, which provides the main north-south transport route of China. Its encirclement by mountains has allowed the lands of Jiangxi to develop as a separate geographic entity. They provide one of the communication routes from the North China Plain and the Yangtze River valley to the territory of modern Guangdong province. As a result Jiangxi has been strategically important throughout much of its history.
Zhejiang was outside the sphere of influence of early Chinese civilization during the Shang Dynasty (16th century BC - 11th century BC). Information about Jiangxi in this era is scarce, but it is likely that peoples collectively known as the Yue inhabited the region. During the Spring and Autumn Period, the northern part of modern Jiangxi formed the western frontier of the state of Wu. Two settlements are known of at this time: Ai (艾), and Po (番, later 潘). After Wu was conquered by the state of Yue (a power based in modern northern Zhejiang) in 473 BC, the state of Chu (based in modern Hubei) took over northern Jiangxi and there may have been some Yue influence in the south. Chu subjugated Yue in 333 BC, and was in turn subjugated by the state of Qin in 221 BC. Qin established the Qin Dynasty in that same year, the first unified Chinese state.
The unification of China by the Qin Dynasty saw the incorporation of Jiangxi into the Qin empire. The Qin Dynasty established a two-tier administration system in China, with commanderies on top and counties below. Seven counties were established in what is now Jiangxi, all of them administered from Jiujiang commandery , located north of the Yangzi in modern Anhui, not the modern city of Jiujiang in Jiangxi. All of the county seats were located along the Gan River system. Most were no more than a day or two separated and protected one of the Qin routes to the newly incorporated territories further south in Nanhai commandery (modern Guangdong). Military settlements were known to have existed at at least two of the counties. Qin colonisation formed the earliest settlement structure in Jiangxi and which for the most part, has survived to the present day.
Yuzhang commandery (豫章) was established in northern Jiangxi at the beginning of the Han Dynasty, possibly before the death of Xiang Yu in 202 BC. (Xiang Yu was the main opponent to Liu Bang, founder of the Han Dynasty) It was named after the Yuzhang River (豫章江), the original name of Gan River (贛江). "Gan" has become the abbreviation of the province. In 201, eight counties were added to the original seven of Qin, and three more were established in later years. Throughout most of the Han Dynasty the commandery's eighteen counties covered most of the modern province of Jiangxi. The county seats of Nanchang, Gan, Yudu, Luling among others were located at the sites of modern major cities. Other counties, however, have been moved or abolished in later centuries.
Han Dynasty counties of Yuzhang commandery
||northeast of Yugan county
||southwest of modern Jiujiang
||east of Nancheng county
||northeast of Yudu county
||west of Xiushui county
||southeast of Anfu county
||east of Dean county
||west of Duchang county
||southwest of Nankang county
Under the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, Yuzhang Commandery was assigned to Yangzhou Province , as part of a trend to establish provinces (zhou) all across China. In 291 AD during the Western Jin Dynasty, Jiangxi became its own zhou, called Jiangzhou (江州). During the Northern and Southern Dynasties Jiangxi was under the control of the southern dynasties, and the number of zhou slowly grew.
During the Sui Dynasty, there were 7 commanderies and 24 counties in Jiangxi. During the Tang Dynasty, one additional commandery and 14 additional counties were added. At the same time, commanderies were abolished, and all commanderies became zhou (henceforth translated as "prefectures" rather than "provinces").
Circuits were established during the Tang Dynasty as a new top-level administrative division. At first Jiangxi was part of the Jiangnan Circuit (lit. "Circuit south of the Yangtze"). In 733 this circuit was divided into western and eastern halves. Jiangxi was found in the western half, which was called Jiangnanxi Circuit (lit. "Western circuits south of the Yangtze"). This is the source of the modern name "Jiangxi".
As a circuit, Jiangnanxi had eight prefectures (zhou) under it:
- Hong (洪 hong2)
- Rao (饒 rao2)
- Qian (虔 qian2)
- Ji (吉 ji2)
- Jiang (江 jiang1)
- Yuan (袁 yuan2)
- Fu (撫 fu3)
- Xin (信 xin4)
Six prefectures and four military prefectures (軍 jun) replaced the previous prefectures (with 55 counties).
The Tang Dynasty collapsed in 907, heralding the division of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Jiangxi first belonged to Wu (吳), then to Southern Tang (南唐). Both states were based in modern-day Nanjing, further down the Yangtze River.
During the Song Dynasty, Jiangnanxi Circuit was reestablished with nine prefectures and four army districts (with 68 districts).
During the Yuan Dynasty, the circuit was divided into 13 different circuits, and Jiangxi Province was established for the first time. This province also included the majority of modern Guangdong. Jiangxi acquired (more or less) its modern borders during the Ming Dynasty after Guangdong was separated out. There has been little change to the borders of Jiangxi since.
The Nanchang Uprising took place in Jiangxi on August 1, 1927, during the Chinese Civil War.
The Chinese Soviet Republic's government was located in Ruijin (瑞金), which is sometimes called the "Former Red Capital" (红色故都), or just the "Red Capital".
Mountains surround Jiangxi on three sides, with the Mufu Mountains , Jiuling Mountains , and Luoxiao Mountains on the west; Huaiyu Mountains and Wuyi Mountains on the east; and the Jiulian Mountains and Dayu Mountains in the south. The southern half of the province is hilly with ranges and valleys interspersed; while the northern half is flatter and lower in altitude. The highest point in Jiangxi is Mount Huanggang in the Wuyi Mountains , on the border with Fujian. It has an altitude of 2157 m.
The River Gan Jiang dominates the province, flowing through the entire length of the province from south to north. It enters Lake Poyang in the north, the largest freshwater lake of China; that lake in turn empties into the Yangtze River, which forms part of the northern border of Jiangxi. Important reservoirs include the Xiushui Tuolin Reservoir in the northwest of the province, and the Wan'an Reservoir in the upper section of the Gan Jiang .
Jiangxi's climate is subtropical. Average temperatures are about 3 - 9 °C in January and 27 - 31 °C in July. Annual precipitation is 1200 - 1900 mm.
Jiangxi is divided into 11 prefecture-level divisions, all of them prefecture-level cities:
The 11 prefecture-level divisions of Jiangxi are subdivided into 99 county-level divisions (19 districts, 10 county-level cities, 70 counties, and 1 autonomous county). Those are in turn divided into 1548 township-level divisions (770 towns, 651 townships, 7 ethnic townships , and 120 subdistricts).
See List of administrative divisions of Jiangxi for a complete list of county-level divisions.
Rice is the dominant crop in Jiangxi. Cash crops commonly grown include cotton and rapeseed.
Jiangxi is rich in mineral resources, leading the provinces of China in deposits of copper, tungsten, gold, silver, uranium, thorium, tantalum, niobium, among others. Noted centers of mining include Dexing (copper) and Dayu County (tungsten).
Jiangxi is rather poor among the provinces of China. It is located in extreme proximity to some of the richest provinces of China (Guangdong, Zhejiang, Fujian), which are sometimes blamed for taking away talent and capital from Jiangxi.
Jiangxi is over 99% Han Chinese. Minorities include Hui and Zhuang. The Hakka, a Han Chinese people with their own distinctive identity, inhabit the southern parts of the province.
Jiangxi is the main area of concentration of the Gan varieties of Chinese, spoken over most of the northern two-thirds of the province. Examples include the Nanchang dialect , Yichun dialect and Ji'an dialect . The southern one-third of the province speaks Hakka. There are also Mandarin, Hui, and Wu dialects spoken along the northern border.
Ganju (Jiangxi opera) is the type of Chinese opera performed in Jiangxi.
Although little known outside of the province, Jiangxi cuisine is rich and distinctive. Flavors are some of the strongest in China, with heavy use of chile peppers and especially pickled and fermented products.
Jingdezhen is widely regarded as the producer of the best porcelain in China.
The 947-km Zhejiang-Jiangxi Railway (浙赣铁路) connects Hangzhou and Zhuzhou (株洲), Hunan.
Near the northern port city of Jiujiang (九江) is the resort area of Mount Lushan (卢山). A wellknown destination in China, this resort area has stunning scenery and also some historical interest. Sadly it is all too aware of its tourism suitability and, as a result, is a very expensive place to visit. Also near the city are Donglin (East Wood) Temple (东林寺) and Tiefo (Iron Buddha) Temple (铁佛寺), two important Buddhist temples.
Near the small city of Yingtan (鹰潭) is the resort area Longhushan (龙虎山) which purports to be the birthplace of Taoism (道教) and hence has great symbolic value to Taoists. The region has many interesting temples, cave complexes, mountains and villages. It is considered by many to be the best-kept secret of Jiangxi tourism.
The Lushan National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
Colleges and universities
Last updated: 08-26-2005 11:33:28