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He Nan

 

 

Henan (Chinese: 河南; pinyin: Hénán; Wade–Giles: Ho-nan) is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "豫" (yù), named after Yuzhou (豫州 Yùzhōu), a Han Dynasty state (zhou) that included parts of Henan. Although the name of the province (河南) means "south of the river", approximately a quarter of the province lies north of the Yellow River, also known as the "Huang He".

 

Henan is often referred to as Zhongyuan or Zhongzhou (中州) which literally means "central plains" or "midland", although the name is also applied to the entirety of China proper. Henan is the birthplace of Chinese civilization with over 5,000 years of history, and remained China's cultural, economical, and political center until approximately 1,000 years ago. Numerous heritages have been left behind including the ruins of Shang Dynasty capital city Yin and the Shaolin Temple. Four of the Eight Great Ancient Capitals of China, Luoyang, Anyang, Kaifeng, and Zhengzhou are located in Henan.

 

With an area of 167,000 square kilometres (64,000 sq mi), Henan covers a large part of the fertile and densely populated North China Plain. Its neighbouring provinces are Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, Shandong, Anhui, and Hubei. Henan is China's third most populous province with a population of over 94 million. If it were a country by itself, Henan would be the 12th most populous country in the world, behind Mexico and ahead of the Philippines.

 

Henan is the 5th largest provincial economy of China and the largest among inland provinces. However, per capita GDP is low compared to other eastern and central provinces, and Henan is considered to be one of the more less developed areas in China. The economy continues to depend on its dwindling aluminum and coal reserves, as well as agriculture, heavy industry, tourism, and retail. High-tech industry and service sector is underdeveloped and is concentrated around Zhengzhou and Luoyang.

 

 

Geography

 

Longmen Grottoes (Mt. Longmen), Luoyang, Henan

 

Henan has a diverse landscape with floodplains in the east and mountains in the west. Much of the province forms part the densely populated North China Plain, an area known as the "breadbasket of China". The Taihang Mountains intrude partially into Henan's northwestern borders from Shanxi, forming the eastern edge of Loess Plateau. To the west the Xionger and Funiu Mountains form an extensive network of mountain ranges and plateaus, supporting one of the few remaining temperate deciduous forests which once covered all of Henan. The famous Mount Song and its Shaolin Temple is located in the far east of the region, near the capital city Zhengzhou. To the far south, the Dabie Mountains divides Hubei from Henan. The Nanyang Basin, separated from North China Plain by these mountains, is another important agricultural and population center, with culture and history distinct from the rest of Henan and closer to that of Hubei's. Unlike the rest of northern China, desertification is not a problem in Henan, though sandstorms are common in cities near the Yellow River due to the large amount of sand present in the river.

 

The Yellow River passes through central Henan. It enters from the northwest, via the Sanmenxia Reservoir. After it passes Luoyang, the mountains gave way to plains. Excessive amount of sediments are formed due to the silt it picks up from the Loess Plateau, raising the riverbed and causing frequent floods which shaped the habitat of the region. More recently however, construction of dams and levees, as well as the depletion of water resources have ended the floods. The Huai River in southern Henan is another important river, and has been recognized as part of the boundary dividing northern and southern Chinese climate and culture.

 

Henan shares borders with six other provinces. It is bordered to the west by Shaanxi, to the south by Hubei, and to the north by Shanxi (northwest) and Hebei (northeast). To the east lie Shandong (northeast) and Anhui (southeast), whose borders meet at a narrow strip of land which separates Henan from Jiangsu to the east.

 

 

Climate

 

Henan has a temperate climate that is humid subtropical (Köppen Cwa or Cfa) to the south of the Yellow River and bordering on humid continental (Köppen Dwa) to the north. It has a distinct seasonal climate characterised by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and generally cool to cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Temperatures average around the freezing mark in January and 27 to 28 °C in July. A great majority of the annual rainfall occurs during the summer.

 

 

Tourism

 

Henan is located in the Yellow River valley where ancient people lived. Earlier in the New Stone Age, the light of civilization had appeared and the delicate potteries in the Peiligang Culture and Yangshao Culture, and the character signs and musical instruments 8,000 years ago have filled the present world and the ancient times with wonders. Three of the Seven Ancient Capitals of China are in Henan:LuoyangKaifeng and Anyang. Henan is one of the few provinces which has many historical relics in the country. There are 16 key national units of protecting historical relics and 267 provincial units of protecting historical relics. The over-ground historical relics are the second in China in number. Historical relics in museums take up one-eighth of those in China, and the underground historical relics are the first in China in number. In Henan Museum there are 120,000 historical relics, including over 40,000 rare ones.