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, province (2010 pop. 104,303,132), c.76,000 sq mi (196,891 sq km), S China. The capital is Guangzhou. On coastal islands and adjacent mainland territories are Hong Kong and Macau.
..... Click the link for more information. , China.
a province in southern China, on the coast of the South China Sea. Area, 231,400 sq km, including Hainan Island and a group of islands in the South China Sea (Hsi-sha [Paracels], Tungsha, Nansha). Population, 40 million (1968), mostly Chinese (Han); national minorities (1.5 percent of the population) live on Hainan Island (Li, Miao) and in the northern mountainous areas (Yao). The administrative center is the city of Canton (Kuangchou).
Natural features. The relief is an alternation of mountains up to 1,922 m high with low-lying plains. Kwangtung is the warmest region in China. In the lowlands the average January temperature is 8° to 16° C, and the average July temperature is 26° to 28° C. Precipitation averages 1,200-2,000 mm a year. There is a dense network of deep rivers (such as the Hsi River with the tributary Pei). About two-fifths of the territory is covered by evergreen forests (China fir, camphor trees, tea trees, and pine). There are deposits of coal (Wushui) and iron ore (Hainan).
Economy. The economy is dominated by agriculture. Kwangtung is China’s most important region of tropical plant-growing. The principal crop is rice (72 percent of all grain crops sown); also widespread are sweet potato, sugarcane, oil-producing plants (peanuts, soybeans, sesame, camellia, tung, tropical essential-oil plants), fruit crops (citrus fruits, bananas, pineapples, litchis, mangoes), jute, ramie, and sisal. Two or three harvests are collected each year. Kwangtung is one of the country’s leaders in silkworm breeding (the regions of Canton and Swatow), fishing (in seas and rivers), artificial fish breeding (the Hsi River delta). Animal husbandry is dominated by cattle, which are used chiefly as draft animals; there is also hog breeding and poultry farming.
The leading industries are the food industry (sugar and fruit-canning industries are in the deltas of the Hsi and Han rivers and in the region of Chanchiang) and the textile industry (fabrics and articles from jute, ramie, cotton, sisal, and silk). Salt is mined on the seacoast. There is lumbering (in the area of Liennan and on Hainan) and collection of rosin, tung oil, and camellia oil.
Kwangtung is an important region for the extraction and processing of bituminous shale (Maoming), ores of tungsten (for example, Shihhsing, Wengyüan, Yangchiang, and Wuhua), manganese (Ch’inchou, Fangch’eng), and antimony (Shaokuan). On the basis of local coal (northern Kwangtung) and iron ores (for example, Ch’angchiang), ferrous metallurgy has been developed (Canton, Shaokuan). Machine building is concentrated in Canton, Chanchiang, and Swatow; chemical industry (on the basis of phosphorites and salt) is concentrated in Canton and Chanchiang and (on the basis of shale) in Maoming. The production of paper and pulp is well-developed.
There is navigation along the rivers of the Hsi River system. Among the seaports are Canton (the principal port of southern China), Chanchiang, Swatow, and Haik’ou.
K. N. CHERNOZHUKOV
Historical survey. The territory of Kwangtung, populated by the Yuo tribes, was conquered by China from the third century B.C. to the third century A.D.; at the same time it began to be settled and developed by Chinese (Han). The province of Kwangtung was created in the second half of the 17th century. Until 1842 all of China’s trade with the countries of Western Europe passed through Kwangtung. During the Anglo-Chinese War of 1840–42 (First Opium War) the coastal regions of Kwangtung suffered from English attacks. Under the Treaty of Nanking of 1842, Great Britain compelled the Chinese government to declare Canton, the main city of Kwangtung, an open port and wrested from China the island of Hsiang Kang (Hong Kong), which is situated near Canton. During the Anglo-French-Chinese War of 1856–60 (Second Opium War) the coastal regions of Kwangtung again became an arena of hostilities. As a result of the war, Great Britain wrested away the southern extremity of the Chiulung (Kowloon) Peninsula in Kwangtung. In 1898, Great Britain, under the guise of a lease, seized another part of Chiulung Peninsula, and France seized the harbor Kuangchouwan.
Kwangtung played an important role in the history of the revolutionary movement in China. At the very end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century Sun Yat-sen and his followers organized a number of armed revolts in Kwangtung to overthrow the Manchu (Ch’ing) Dynasty. In the years 1924–26, Kwangtung was the most important base of China’s revolutionary forces; the revolutionary government and the National Revolutionary Army were located on its territory. It was from there that the Northern Expedition of 1926–27 began in July 1926. In November 1927, in the districts of Haifeng and Lufeng, Soviet power was proclaimed for the first time in China, and it lasted until February 1928. In December 1927, in Canton, there was a revolt of troops and workers led by communists. From 1938 to 1945, during the anti-Japanese war, the territory of Kwangtung was occupied by Japanese troops. The population launched a partisan struggle in the occupiers’ rear and created the Tung River Liberated Region under the leadership of the Communist Party. The continental part of Kwangtung was cleared of Kuomintang troops by the People’s Liberation Army in the fall of 1949; in April 1950, Hainan Island was liberated.
V. P. ILIUSHECHKIN