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, province (2010 pop. 94,023,567), c.65,000 sq mi (168,350 sq km), NE China. The capital is Zhengzhou. It is sparsely settled in the mountainous western region but densely populated and cultivated in the east.
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a province in China, in the basin of the middle and lower courses of the Huang Ho and Huai Ho. Area, 160,000 sq km. Population, 50.3 million (1975). The capital is the city of Chengchou. The eastern part of the province lies on the North China Plain, and spurs of the Tsinling Shan and T’aihang Shan extend into the western part of the province. Honan has a dense network of rivers.
Economy. Honan is an important farming region. Most of the cultivated land lies on plains between the Huang Ho and Huai Ho. The principal food crops are wheat (of which Honan is China’s leading producer), maize, kaoliang, legumes, rice, and sweet potatoes. South of the Huai Ho rice is the main crop; wheat and kaoliang predominate north of the river. Three harvests of field crops are gathered every two years. The provinces of Honan and Hopeh are China’s chief cotton-growing regions. Honan is a leading producer of peanuts, tobacco, and sesame. Tea is cultivated on the mountain slopes, and fruit growing is highly developed.
Honan’s most developed industries are light industry, particularly the cotton industry, and the food-processing industry, which produces mainly flour and vegetable oil. The coal industry— Honan’s major branch of heavy industry—is represented by coal mines at Chiaotso and in the regions of T’anyin, Kuanin’tang, and Loyang. Other industries include metallurgy and machine building; for example, tractors and ball bearings are produced at Loyang, and machine tools at Chengchou. There are chemical, cement, and paper industries. Handicrafts are produced in the province.
Honan is crossed by the Peking-Hank’ou and Lunghai railroads. Junks navigate the rivers. The province’s chief industrial centers are Chengchou, Loyang, K’aifeng, P’ingtingshan, Hsinghsiang, Anyang, Nanyang, and Hsinyang.
K. N. CHERNOZHUKOV
Historical survey. Honan is one of the oldest centers of Chinese civilization. Evidence of a Neolithic culture has been found, and near the village of Hsiaot’un, in Anyang District, archaeologists have uncovered the remains of the capital of the first Chinese state, the Shang (Yin) state (16th—11th centuries B.C.). In 209 and 208 B.C., Honan was the center of the peasant uprising led by Ch’en Sheng and Wu Kuang. From the seventh to ninth centuries Honan was part of the Huainan and Honan regions; it became a separate province in the 13th century.
The Lunghai and Peking-Hank’ou railroads were built across Honan in the early 20th century, and industrial enterprises were constructed along their routes. On Feb. 7, 1923, workers on strike against the Peking-Hank’ou Railroad were executed in the city of Chengchou. From 1937 to 1945, during the Chinese people’s war against the Japanese aggressors, the front line passed through Honan. In 1942 and 1943, 2 million people in the province died as a result of famine and drought. In May 1949, Honan was completely liberated from Kuomintang rule by the People’s Liberation Army of China.
V. P. ILIUSHCHECHKIN