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a province in eastern China in the lower reaches of the Ch’ang Chiang (Yangtze River). It has an area of 139,900 sq km and a population of 33,560,000 as of 1957. The province of Anhwei was formed in the second half of the 17th century, after the conquest of China by the Manchurians, by merging the districts of An-ch’ing and Hweichow. It derives its name from the first syllables of the names of these districts. The administrative center is Ho-fei. The northern part of Anhwei, on the left bank of the Ch’ang Chiang, lies within the boundaries of the North China Plain. Its relief is that of a flat alluvial depression with a large number of rivers (basins of the Ch’ang Chiang and Huai Ho) and lakes (Ch’ao Hu, Pai Hu, and others). In the western and southern parts are heavily fractured mountains of medium height with a maximum height of more than 1,800 meters, with many short ridges (Ta-pei Shan, Huang Shan, Yü-ling Shan), and T’ien-mu Shan) and intra-mountain hollows and valleys. The climate is subtropical and monsoonal. The average temperature in January ranges from 0° to 4°C and in July from 24° to 28°C. Precipitation ranges from 600 to 1,500 mm annually, with most of it falling in the summer.
The forests of Anhwei are pine and broad-leaved; they have mostly been cut down. The deforested, fertile plain of chiefly carbonated alluvial soils, almost completely cultivated, is subject to flooding by the Huai Ho. In the years of the people’s rule, the task of curbing the Huai Ho has been fundamentally achieved by the building of reservoirs: Fo-tzu-ling Shui-K’u on the P’i Ho, Mei-shan on the Shih Ho, and others. Anhwei is a region of mixed farming. The crops cultivated are rice (more than half the total food crop), wheat, corn, millet, and others. In the irrigated areas between the Huai Ho and the Ch’ang Chiang, rice and wheat alternate in a rotation of crops. The industrial crops are rape, ramie, tobacco, soybeans, cotton, and, in the hills, tea shrubs. Anhwei is third among the country’s provinces in the harvesting of tea, tobacco, and rice. Hog breeding is well developed, and work animals are mostly donkeys. Fish are bred in lakes and ponds. Forestry is also practiced. Anhwei is a substantial supplier of cork. The Huai-nan coal basin is in Anhwei, and there is mining of iron ore (in T’ang-T’u), copper (in T’ung-Ling), alum, sulfur, and phosphorite. Close to the city of T’ang-T’u is the Ma-an Shan steel plant. There is a shipyard at Wu-hu, and the cities of Ho-fei and Pang-fou have agricultural machinery and other metalworking plants. Flour mills, factories for rice processing, vegetable oil, tobacco, and tea, and paper and cotton mills are found throughout the province. There are large cotton mills in Ho-fei. The chief ports are Wu-hu and Yü-ch’i-K’ou (which ships coal) on the Ch’ang Chiang, and Pang-fou on the Huai Ho.