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, province (2010 pop. 57,237,740), c.72,000 sq mi (186,480 sq km), central China. The capital is Wuhan (formerly it was Wuchang, which is now part of Wuhan).
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a province in China, immediately north of Tungt’ing Hu and transversed by the middle course of the Yangtze River. Area, 180,000 sq km. Population, 34.9 million (1975). The capital is Wuhan. The terrain is mainly flat or gently undulating, and there are many lakes. The climate is subtropical and monsoonal.
The economy of Hupeh is based on agriculture, especially the raising of crops. Approximately 30 percent of the land is under cultivation; on the Ch’angchiang Plain the figure reaches 80 percent. More than half of the cultivated land is irrigated. There are generally two harvests per year. The most important grain crops are rice (which accounts for 70 percent of the gross yield of grain), wheat, barley, maize, and millet. The major industrial crops are cotton, ramie, sesame, peanuts, rape, tea, tobacco, and sugarcane. Citrus fruits, apples, and pears are grown. Draft animals, swine, and domestic fowl are raised. Forest products include tung oil, timber, and cork. There is freshwater fishing and fish-farming.
The large-scale mining of iron ore at Tayeh led to the development of ferrous metallurgy and metalworking in Hupeh. Wuhan, which is one of the major metallurgical centers of the country, has a large metallurgical complex. Machine building includes the manufacture of heavy machinery, electrical and power equipment, textile and agricultural machinery, railroad cars, and river boats. Traditional industries include food processing and cotton textiles.
The major cities of Hupeh are Wuhan, Huangshih, Ich’ang, Shashih, Hsiangfan, Kuanghua, and Enshih. There is navigation on the Yangtze River and its tributaries.
K. N. CHERNOZHUKOV
In ancient times Hupeh was inhabited by Man and Yi tribes. Settlement by the Chinese began in the ninth and eighth centuries B.C. From the seventh to fourth centuries the region was part of the Ch’u kingdom, and later it was incorporated into various administrative divisions of the Chinese Empire.
In the first century A.D., Hupeh was caught up in the peasant uprising known as the Red Eyebrow Rebellion. In the second century the Rebellion of the Yellow Turbans spread to the area. The army of insurgent peasants led by Huang Ch’ao operated in the region in the ninth century. The area that now forms Hupeh was included in the regions of Hupeh and Hsinghsi from the tenth to 12th centuries and in Hukuang Province from the 13th to 17th centuries. The present boundaries of Hupeh Province were established in 1668.
From 1852 to 1856 part of Hupeh was occupied by Taiping rebels. Foreign capital began flowing into the area in 1861; the main foreign concessions were in Hank’ou. The Hsinhai Revolution began in October 1911 in Wuch’ang, which was then the capital of Hupeh. One of the first Communist circles in China arose in 1920 in Hank’ou. During the revolution of 1925–27, from late 1926 to July 1927 the Wuhan government of China was located in Hank’ou. From 1928 to 1935 there were several revolutionary strongholds (soviet regions) in Hupeh.
During the Chinese national liberation war against the Japanese aggressors (1937–45), most of Hupeh was occupied by Japanese forces. Hupeh was freed from the Kuomintang in May and June of 1949 by the People’s Liberation Army of China.
V. P. ILIUSHECHKIN