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, province (2010 pop. 34,746,468), c.66,000 sq mi (170,940 sq km), SW China. Guiyang is the capital and chief city; Zunyi and Duyun are important towns.
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a province in southern China. Area, 174,000 sq km. Population, 17 million (1967). The dominant ethnic group is Chinese, but national minorities (Miao, Pui, T’ung-chia, Chuang, I, Shui, Huei, Yao, and others) make up about one-fourth of the population. These peoples live primarily in the mountains. The administrative center of the province is the city of Kueiyang.
Natural features. Kweichow is situated on the Yunnan-Kweichow plateau, which is composed of limestone and shale and is deeply furrowed by river gorges. The plateau rises from an altitude of 700 m in the east to 2,872 m in the west. There are many karst formations. The climate is humid and subtropical. Annual precipitation ranges from 800 to 1,300 mm, occasionally ranging as high as 2,000 mm. Forty-five percent of the rain falls in the summer, and the winters are generally drier. The average temperature in January is 4° to 8°C, and in July and August 22° to 26°C. The water flow in the rivers follows a pattern based on the monsoon. The chief soils of the region are laterites and red and yellow soils. On the upper sections of the mountain slopes there are forests of valuable trees, and the lower slopes are terraced and under cultivation.
Economy. Agriculture is the dominant branch of the economy. More than 11 percent of the land is under cultivation, and about half of it is irrigated. The coefficient of return on sown seed ranges from 130 to 170 percent. The basic crops are rice (representing 40 percent of the area under cultivation for food crops), corn, wheat, rape (Kweichow is second to Szechwan in national production), and tobacco. Fruit growing is also well developed. Livestock breeding plays a supplementary role, with cattle and swine predominant. In the forests tung oil, camphor oil, lacquer, and medicinal herbs are produced.
The leading branch of industry in the province is mining. Kweichow is first in the mining of mercury (at T’ungjen) and leads in the extraction of copper (Weining), manganese ore (Tsuni), stibnite (Tushan and Santu), and aluminum ore (Kueiyang and other cities). Coal and iron ore are also mined. Other important industries include food processing (for example, vegetable oil extraction), tobacco, textiles, and chemicals, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, machine building (for mining, transport, chemical, electrical, and agricultural equipment), and the production of building materials. The paper and woodworking industries are less important.
V. F. TERENT’EVA
Historical survey. The territory of Kweichow, inhabited in ancient times by non-Chinese peoples, was conquered and settled by the Han Chinese in the third century B.C. In the second half of the 17th century the province of Kweichow was organized on the basis of the Kweichow administration, which had included several territories from the 15th to 17th century. In 1735 a massive revolt of the Miao people against the Manchu and Chinese authorities broke out and lasted throughout 1736. Between 1855 and 1872 the area was again the scene of revolts by the Miao and the Chinese working population, inspired by secret religious sects against the Manchu Ch’ing dynasty and the local feudal aristocracy. From October 1934 to April 1935 it was the arena of action for the Red Army of China, which was carrying out its northwestern campaign. During the war against Japan (1937–45) many industrial enterprises were evacuated here from the central regions; this development was significant for the economic growth of the province.
V. P. ILIUSHECHKIN