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Encyclopedia > Anhui Province
Ānhuī Shěng
Abbreviation: 皖 (pinyin: Wăn)
Origin of Name 安 ān _ Anqing
徽 huī - Huizhou (now Huangshan city)
Administration Type Province
Capital and
Largest City
CPC Anhui Committee Secretary Guo Jinlong
Governor Wang Jinshan
Area 139,400 km (22nd)
Population (2002)
 - Density
63,380,000 (GDP (2002)
 _ per capita
356.9 billion (14th)
5631 (25th)
Major Nationalities (2000) Han - 99%
Hui - 0.6%
Prefecture-level divisions 17
County-level divisions 105
Township-level divisions 1936
ISO 3166-2 CN-34

Anhui (Chinese: 安徽; pinyin: Ānhuī; Wade-Giles: An-hui; Postal System Pinyin: Ngan-hui, Anhwei or An-hwei) is a province of the People's Republic of China. It is located in east China, across the basins of the Chang Jiang (Yangtze River) and the Huaihe River. It borders Jiangsu to the east, Zhejiang to the southeast, Jiangxi to the south, Hubei to the southwest, Henan to the northwest, and Shandong for a tiny section in the north.

The name "Anhui" derives from the names of two cities in south Anhui, Anqing and Huizhou (now Huangshan City). The abbreviation for Anhui is "Wan", because there were historically a State of Wan, a Mount Wan, and a Wan river in the province.



The province of Anhui was formed in the 17th century. Before then, there was no coherent concept of "Anhui". Northern Anhui was firmly a part of the North China Plain in terms of culture, together with modern_day Henan province. Central Anhui constituted most of the fertile and densely_populated Huai He River watershed. Southern Anhui, along the Chang Jiang (Yangtze), was closer to Hubei and southern Jiangsu provinces in culture. Finally, the hills of southeastern Anhui formed a unique and distinct cultural sphere of its own. The creation of the province of Anhui has not eroded these distinctions.

During the Shang Dynasty (16th century BC _ 11th century BC) most of Anhui was populated by non-Chinese peoples known collectively as the Dongyi. King Tang of Shang, the legendary founder of the Shang Dynasty, was said to have put his capital at Bo (亳), in the vicinities of Bozhou in modern northern Anhui.

During the Warring States Period, Shouchun (modern Shou County) in central Anhui became a refugee capital for the state of Chu after its heartlands in modern Hubei province was overrun by the powerful state of Qin in the west, in 278 BC. Qin nevertheless managed to conquer all of China in 221 BC, creating the Qin Dynasty.

Anhui was administered under several different commanderies during the Qin Dynasty and the Han Dynasty. Near the end of the Han Dynasty Shouchun became the base for the warlord Yuan Shu, who declared himself emperor at one point, but soon succumbed to illness, allowing his small realm to come under the powerful warlord Cao Cao, founder of the Wei Kingdom, one of the Three Kingdoms.

The 4th century saw the influx of nomadic tribes from Central Asia into North China. This began several centuries of political division of northern and southern China. Being at the juncture of north and south, the lands conprising modern Anhui changed hands frequently and was usually bisected through the middle politically. The Battle of Feishui, between the Former Qin of the north and the Eastern Jin Dynasty of the south, took place in 383 AD in modern Anhui.

The Sui Dynasty (581-618) and the Tang Dynasty (618-907) oversaw several centuries of relative peace and unity in China. During this period Anhui was once again ruled under several different jurisdictions.

During the division of China between the Jin Dynasty in the north and the Southern Song Dynasty in the south, Anhui was once again bisected, this time along the Huai He River. This lasted until Mongol reunification of China in 1279.

The Ming Dynasty drove out the Mongols in 1368. Due to a short stint as the capital of China by the city of Nanjing in nearby Jiangsu province, the entirety of Jiangsu and Anhui kept their special status as territory-governed directly by the central government, and were called Nanzhili (南直隸 "Southern directly-governed").

The Manchu Qing Dynasty, which conquered China in 1644, changed this situation by establishing Nanzhili as Jiangnan province; in 1666 Jiangsu and Anhui were split apart as separate provinces. This was the beginning of the contemporary Anhui province, which has since kept almost the same borders as today. The one significant change that occurred was the move of the provincial capital from Anqing to Hefei in 1946.

When the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, Anhui was briefly split into two separate administrative regions: Wanbei (North Anhui) and Wannan (South Anhui). They were merged into a province in 1952.


Anhui is quite diverse topographically. The north of the province is part of the North China Plain while the north_central areas are part of the Huai He River watershed. Both of these regions are very flat and densely populated. The land becomes more uneven further south, with the Dabie Mountains occupying much of southwestern Anhui and a series of hills and ranges cutting through southeastern Anhui. The Chang Jiang (Yangtze River) finds its way through south Anhui in between these two mountainous regions. The highest peak in Anhui is Lotus Peak, part of the Huangshan Mountains in southeastern Anhui. It has an altitude of 1873 m.

Major rivers include the Huai He in the north and the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) in the south. The largest lake is Lake Chaohu in the center of the province, with an area of about 800 km. The southeastern part of the province near the Yangtze River has many lakes as well.

As with topography, the province differs in climate from north to south. The north is more temperate and has more clearcut seasons. January temperatures average at around -1 to 2 C north of the Huai He, and 0 to 3 C south of the Huai He; in July temperatures average at 27 C or above. Plum rains occur in June and July and may cause flooding.

Major cities:

Administrative divisions

A street in Yaodu, a small town and county seat of Dongzhi County, Chizhou prefecture-level city, southern Anhui Province

Anhui is divided into 17 prefecture_level divisions, all of them prefecture_level cities:

  • Hefei (Simplified Chinese: 合肥市, Hanyu Pinyin: Hfi Sh)
  • Suzhou (宿州市 Szhōu Sh)
  • Huaibei (淮北市 Huiběi Sh)
  • Fuyang (阜阳市 Fǔyng Sh)
  • Bozhou (亳州市 Bzhōu Sh)
  • Bengbu (蚌埠市 Bngb Sh)
  • Huainan (淮南市 Huinn Sh)
  • Chuzhou (滁州市 Chzhōu Sh)
  • Ma'anshan (马鞍山市 Mǎ'ānshān Sh)
  • Wuhu (芜湖市 Wh Sh)
  • Tongling (铜陵市 Tnglng Sh)
  • Anqing (安庆市 Ānqng Sh)
  • Huangshan (黄山市 Hungshān Sh)
  • Lu'an (六安市 L'ān Sh) not Li'ān
  • Chaohu (巢湖市 Choh Sh)
  • Chizhou (池州市 Chzhōu Sh)
  • Xuancheng (宣城市 Xuānchng Sh)

The 17 prefecture-level divisions of Anhui are subdivided into 105 county_level divisions (44 districts, 5 county-level cities, and 56 counties). Those are in turn divided into 1936 township-level divisions (997 towns, 710 townships, 9 ethnic townships, and 220 subdistricts).

See List of administrative divisions of Anhui for a complete list of county-level divisions.


Agriculture in Anhui varies according to the climate zones that the province crosses. North of the Huai He river wheat and sweet potatoes are grown, while south of the Huai He it is rice and wheat instead.

Natural resources of Anhui include iron in Ma'anshan, coal in Huainan, and copper in Tongling. There are industries related to these natural resources (e.g. steel industry at Ma'anshan).

Compared to its more successful neighbours to the east, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, Anhui has lagged markedly behind in economic development, with a GDP per capita around one third the level of those two provinces. There is great regional disparity as well, and most of the wealth is concentrated in industrial regions close to the Yangtze River, such as Hefei, Wuhu, and Ma'anshan.


Han Chinese make up the vast majority of the population. The She and Hui nationalities are the two largest minorities.


Anhui spans many geographical and cultural regions. The northern, flatter parts of the province, along the river Huai He and further north, are most akin to neighbouring provinces like Henan and Shandong. In contrast, the southern, hilly parts of the province are more similar in culture and dialect to other southern, hilly provinces, like Zhejiang and Jiangxi.

Mandarin dialects are spoken over the northern and central parts of the province. Dialects to the north (e.g. Bengbu dialect) are classified as Zhongyuan Mandarin, together with dialects in provinces such as Henan and Shandong; dialects in the central parts (e.g. Hefei dialect) are classfied as Jianghuai Mandarin, together with dialects in the central parts of neighbouring Jiangsu province. Non-Mandarin dialects are spoken in the south: dialects of Wu are spoken in Xuancheng prefecture-level city, though these are rapidly being replaced by Jianghuai Mandarin; dialects of Gan are spoken in a few counties in the southwest bordering Jiangxi province; and the Hui dialects are spoken in about ten counties in the far south, a small but highly diverse and unique group of Chinese dialects.

Huangmeixi, which originated in the environs of Anqing in southwestern Anhui, is a form of traditional Chinese opera popular across China. Huiju, a form of traditional opera originating in the Hui-speaking areas of southern Anhui, is one of the major precursors of Beijing Opera; in the 1950s Huiju (which had disappeared) was revived. Luju is a type of traditional opera found across central Anhui, from east to west.

Anhui cuisine is one of the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine. Combining elements of cooking from northern Anhui, south-central Anhui, and the Hui_speaking areas of southern Anhui, Anhui cuisine is known for its use of wild game and herbs, both land and sea, and comparatively unelaborate methods of preparation.

Anhui has a high concentration of traditional products related to calligraphy: Xuanzhou (today Xuancheng) and Huizhou (today Huangshan City) are revered for producing Xuan Paper and Hui Ink, respectively, which are traditionally considered the best types of paper and ink for Chinese calligraphy. She County is famous for the She Inkstone, one of the most preferred types of inkstones (a required tool in traditional calligraphy).


Miscellaneous topics

Colleges and universities

External links

  • China Internet Information Center (http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/43472.htm)
  • Anhui Province (http://www.asinah.net/chinaprovinces_amhui.html)
  • Anhui huangshan Scape (http://www.0559u.com/Scape/)
  • huangshan Hotel (http://www.0559u.com/Hotel/)
  • huangshan Transportation (http://www.0559u.com/Tickets/)

People's Republic of China
Provinces: Anhui | Fujian | Gansu | Guangdong | Guizhou | Hainan | Hebei | Heilongjiang | Henan | Hubei | Hunan | Jiangsu | Jiangxi | Jilin | Liaoning | Qinghai | Shaanxi | Shandong | Shanxi | Sichuan | Yunnan | Zhejiang
Autonomous Regions: Guangxi | Inner Mongolia | Ningxia | Tibet | Xinjiang
Municipalities: Beijing | Chongqing | Shanghai | Hong Kong | Macau
See also: Political status of Taiwan

  Results from FactBites:
Anhui (1994 words)
Geography: Anhui Province lies in the central area of South-East China, and the downstream of area the Yangtse River, between east longitude 114° 51'- 119° 37' and north latitude 29° 41' - 34° 38'.
Anhui's sex ratio is somewhat high: 106.89 in 1990, 105.44 in 1995 and 106.61 in 2000.
Anhui is one of the most populous provinces in China; it has a huge population base, high density and rapid growth.
Article about "Anhui" in the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004 (269 words)
Anhui (安徽, Hanyu Pinyin: Ānhūi, also spelled in the past as Ngan-hui, Anhwei or An-hwei) is a province located in the northwest of east People's Republic of China, across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River.
Anhui was first officially established as a province in 1667, during the Qing Dynasty.
Anhui is located in the east China, across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River.
  More results at FactBites »



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