|Name||江西 (jiāng xī) ['river' 'west'] Old Name Kiangsi WG|
|Population||45.322 million (3.30 %) [13th] comparison table|
|Area||167,000 km2 [64,479 mile2] (1.74 %) [17th]|
|GDP||34,660 (6.28 %) [27th]|
Jiangxi is an inland province in southern China. The river basin of the Gan Jiang 赣江 that flows north to the Yangzi defines its borders; the province's shortened name is ‘Gan’ after the river.
From the 8th century onwards there is a long history of silver mining and tea production in the province. When China opened up to foreign trade at Guangzhou, Jiangxi was on the overland route to Guangdong. This was particularly important for the transport of vast amounts of porcelain (china) produced at Jingdezhen for export to Europe. This trade dwindled in the late Qing when foreign countries set up steamer transport ships on the Yangzi.
Later on, in 1927 during the Republican period Zhou Enlai led an abortive communist uprising in Nanchang. In the last thirty or so years the northern part of Jiangxi province has now become heavily industrialized. The southern part is more mountainous and continues to suffer from poor transport links.
One of the best known and oldest pavilions (Tang dynasty) in southern China is the Tengwang Pavilion ➚ near Nanchang. To the north, Jiujiang set on the Yangzi, was an important port for transport right out to sea (including tea; rice and porcelain) and it is now a modern city on a busy railway route.
Lushan is a particularly picturesque mountain and is a draw for Chinese and foreign tourists. The mountain's buildings include some European architecture that dates back to colonial days when the coolness and beauty of this mountain was appreciated by foreigners. Often shrouded in mists, Lushan, is located to the west of Poyang Lake and soars to 4,836 feet [1,474 meters]. It offers a respite from summer heat, even on its lower slopes. Dragon's Head Cliff ➚ is its most famous viewpoint. The Tang poet Li Bai wrote eloquently about the waterfalls ➚ on the mountain. The poet Bai Juyi wrote of the ‘peach blossom path’ to the summit. Closer to modern times Chiang Kaishek had a house here; and in 1959, a pivotal meeting in the early days of the Peoples Republic took place when Liu Shaoqi took over as Chairman from Mao Zedong. In 1970 another important political meeting ended the career of Lin Biao.
Jingdezhen is world famous for the huge amount of porcelain ➚ that it has produced since the Southern Song dynasty. The potteries use local kaolin (china clay) to fire fine translucent white porcelain. There is now an interactive museum in an old Ming building to explain the whole production process. Other places to visit include: Mount Longhu ➚ (龙虎山) is a scenic spot venerated by Daoists. Sanqing shan ➚ near Shangrao is a UNESCO protected mountain range. Poyang Hu in the north is the largest freshwater lake in China and is linked to the Yangzi. It acts as a buffer to be filled with the summer surge of water that would otherwise flood the lands further downstream.
Jiangxi is well known for its role in the Communist Party history. Mao Zedong and other leaders became hemmed in on Jiangxi's Jinggang Mountains ➚. Threatened by yet another Nationalist extermination campaign, the Red Army broke out on 16th October 1934 and started the Long March (长征) through hazardous mountains all the way to Yan'an in Shaanxi (a distance of 6,000 miles [9,656 kms]) of the roughly 60,000 who started the march, only 7,000 reached their destination. Ciping is a good center for exploring the majestic scenery and China's revolutionary past.
As part of southern China, Jiangxi has hot, wet summers and short cool winters, making Jiangxi ideal for rice cultivation. Tea is produced in great quantities too; Yunwu tea is produced at Lushan; Black tea at Ningzhou and Green tea at Wuyuan. Bamboo is another important crop.
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