The Chinese province of Hunan is located in the south-central part of the country along the middle course of the Yangtze River. Hunan has an area of around 210,000 square km that makes it the country’s 10 largest provinces by area. With a population of around 67 million, it is the 7th most populous Chinese province. The highest elevation in the province is 2,115.2 m.
Capital of Hunan
Changsha is the capital city of Hunan. It encompasses an area of around 11,819 square km in northeast Hunan. Changsha is based on the plain land of the Xiang River valley in the lower course of the Xiang River. Mountains border the city to the east, west, and south. Dongting Lake is located to its north. Changsha experiences a monsoonal humid subtropical climate. The Xiang River runs from north to south of this city dividing Changsha into eastern and western parts.
Demographics of Changsha
Changsha is home to a population of around 7,431,800 individuals and has a population density of 630 persons per square km. Han Chinese is the largest ethnic community in the city. Several ethnic minority groups also reside in the city. The Miao, Tujia, and Hui peoples are the three largest minority ethnic groups in the city.
Economy of Changsha
Changsha has a fast-growing economy and is regarded as one of the top 20 economically advanced Chinese cities. It is a major port city handling the trade of agricultural produce including cotton, rice, and livestock. It has thriving textile, oil-extraction, tobacco and tea production industries, and meat-processing plants. Agricultural supplements, machinery, and implements are also produced in Changsha. Many other industries including aluminum, papermaking, rubber, ceramic, cement, etc., are also active in the city. Coal mines exist in the areas around Changsa. Several types of traditional handicrafts are also produced and sold in the city. The service sector of Changsha generates 49% of its GDP. Foreign investment in the city is also substantial.
History of Changsha
Like most other Chinese cities, Changsha also has a long history of over 3,000 years. It played an important role in ancient China when it served as the capital of the Changsha State and then later the Chu State. The settlement was known for its rich tradition of handicrafts including silk texts and lacquerware. Foreign trade in the city since 1904 led to the immigration of many traders from other parts of the world, especially Europe and America. Some of the major battles of the Sino-Japanese War were also fought here following which the Japanese held control of the city from 1931 to 1945. Mao Zedong’s political career is also associated with this city. After the formation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Changsha was included as part of its territory and made the capital of the Hunan province. Today, it is not just the political but also the commercial, transportation, and manufacturing hub of the province.