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Anhui Province
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 安徽省 (Ānhuī Shěng)
 • Abbreviation (pinyin: Wǎn)
Map showing the location of Anhui Province
Map showing the location of Anhui Province
Named for ān - Anqing
huī - Huizhou (now Huangshan City)
(and largest city)
Divisions 16 prefectures, 105 counties, 1845 townships
 • Secretary Wang Xuejun
 • Governor Li Jinbin
 • Total 139,600 km2 (53,900 sq mi)
Area rank 22nd
Population (2013)[2]
 • Total 60,300,000
 • Rank 8th
 • Density 430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
 • Density rank 9th
 • Ethnic composition Han - 99%
Hui - 0.6%
 • Languages and dialects Jianghuai Mandarin, Gan, Wu, Huizhou
ISO 3166 code CN-34
GDP (2014) CNY 2.085 trillion
US$ 339.38 billion (14th)
 • per capita CNY 34,575
US$ 5,628 (26th)
HDI (2010) 0.660[3] (medium) (25th)
Website (simplified Chinese)
Chinese 安徽
Postal Anhwei
Literal meaning "An[qing] and Hui[zhou cities]"

Anhui (Chinese: ; ) is a province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the East China region. Located across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huai 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 provincial capital is Hefei.

The name "Anhui" derives from the names of two cities in southern Anhui, Anqing and Huizhou (now Huangshan City).[4] The abbreviation for Anhui is "" (Wǎn), because there were historically a State of Wan, a Mount Wan, and a Wan river in the province.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Administrative divisions 3
  • Politics 4
  • Economy 5
    • Major Economic and Technological Development Zones 5.1
      • Hefei Economic and Technological Development Zone 5.1.1
      • Hefei Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone 5.1.2
      • Wuhu Economic and Technological Development Zone 5.1.3
      • Wuhu Export Processing Zone 5.1.4
  • Transportation 6
    • Rail 6.1
  • Demographics 7
  • Culture 8
  • Religion 9
  • Tourism 10
    • Development 10.1
  • Notable people 11
  • Colleges and universities 12
  • See also 13
  • Notes 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


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 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.

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.

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 comprising 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.

During the division of China between the Jin/Jurchen 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 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.

In the 2007 book China Road, author Rob Gifford stated that the Chinese refer to Anhui as a "big agricultural province" (农业大省). According to Gifford, this is a euphemism for a "very poor" area and that people have referred to Anhui as the "Appalachia of China."[5]


The Yangtze River bisects the province diagonally. Pictured: The Anqing Yangtze River Bridge
A street in Zhide (至德), a town, historically known as Yaodu (尧度), in Dongzhi County

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 Yangtze River finds its way through south Anhui in between these two mountainous regions. The highest peak in Anhui is Lotus Peak, part of Huangshan in southeastern Anhui. It has an altitude of 1873 m.

Major rivers include the Huai He in the north and the Yangtze in the south. The largest lake is Lake Chaohu in the center of the province, with an area of about 800 km2 (310 sq mi). 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 27 °C or above. Plum rains occur in June and July and may cause flooding.

Major cities:

Administrative divisions

Anhui is divided into sixteen prefecture-level divisions: all prefecture-level cities:
Map # Name Administrative
Hanyu Pinyin
Prefecture-level city
1 Hefei
(Provincial seat)
Shushan 合肥市
Héféi Shì
7,457,000 11,429.68
2 Anqing Daguan 安庆市
Ānqìng Shì
4,472,667 13,538.00
3 Bengbu Bengshan 蚌埠市
Bèngbù Shì
3,164,000 5,952.13
4 Bozhou Qiaocheng 亳州市
Bózhōu Shì
4,851,000 8,522.58
5 Xuancheng Xuanzhou 宣城市
Xuānchéng Shì
2,533,000 12,323.43
6 Chizhou Guichi 池州市
Chízhōu Shì
1,403,000 8,391.73
7 Chuzhou Langya 滁州市
Chúzhōu Shì
3,938,000 13,523.22
8 Fuyang Yingzhou 阜阳市
Fùyáng Shì
7,600,000 10,122.77
9 Huaibei Xiangshan 淮北市
Huáiběi Shì
2,114,000 2,740.91
10 Huainan Tianjia'an 淮南市
Huáinán Shì
2,334,000 2,583.96
11 Huangshan Tunxi 黄山市
Huángshān Shì
1,359,000 9,678.84
12 Lu'an Jin'an 六安市
Lù'ān Shì
5,612,000 15,447.45
13 Ma'anshan Yushan 马鞍山市
Mǎ'ānshān Shì
2,304,000 4,049.13
14 Suzhou Yongqiao 宿州市
Sùzhōu Shì
5,353,000 9,939.80
15 Tongling Tongguan 铜陵市
Tónglíng Shì
1,562,670 2,924.00
16 Wuhu Jiujiang 芜湖市
Wúhú Shì
3,443,000 6,026.05

The sixteen prefecture-level divisions of Anhui are subdivided into 105 county-level divisions (43 districts, 6 county-level cities, and 56 counties). Those are in turn divided into 1845 township-level divisions (972 towns, 634 townships, nine ethnic townships, and 230 subdistricts).


The Politics of Anhui Province is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in mainland China.

The Governor of Anhui (安徽省省长) is the highest-ranking official in the People's Government of Anhui. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor has less power than the Anhui Communist Party of China Provincial Committee Secretary (安徽省委书记), colloquially termed the "Anhui Party Chief".


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). One of the famous Anhui-based corporations is the automobile company Chery, which is based in Wuhu.

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.

Anhui's nominal GDP for 2011 was approximately 1.51 trillion yuan (US$239.8 billion), up 12.9% from 2008 and a per capita of 16,391 yuan (US$2,400). It is considered a mid-size economy in terms of economic output. Anhui's GDP is largely driven by fixed-asset investment, and the province's GDP to FAI ratio as of 2009 was 0.89, the highest in China.[6]

Anhui's largest companies include Anhui Conch Cement Company, a producer and distributor of cement, Guoyang Securities Co (SHE: 000728), a financial services provider, and Ma’anshan Iron & Steel, a producer of steel and iron.[7]

Major Economic and Technological Development Zones

Hefei Economic and Technological Development Zone

Hefei Economic and Technological Development Zone is located in the southwest of Hefei. The zone is divided into two functional areas. The east part is allocated for manufacturing purpose and it also has two parks; the west part is where the business center, Hefei university town, and the international community center are located. It is established in 1993, and it is located close to Hefei Luogang International Airport.[8]

Hefei Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone

Hefei Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone was founded in October 1990 and approved by the State Council as a state-level Development Zone in March 1991. In 1997, the Development Zone was ratified as an APEC Science and Technology Industrial Park, with special open policies to APEC and EU members. Hefei High Tech Park was also approved as a National High Tech Export Base in 2000 and obtained the award of an Advanced High Tech Zone under the Torch Program in 2003. So far, more than 100 hi-tech enterprises have entered the zone. Industries encouraged in the zone include Chemicals Production and Processing, Electronics Assembly & Manufacturing, Heavy Industry, Instruments & Industrial Equipment Production, Medical Equipment and Supplies, Research and Development, Telecommunications Equipment.[9]

Wuhu Economic and Technological Development Zone

Established in 1993, Wuhu Economic & Technological Development Zone is the first state-level development zone approved by central government in Anhui Province. As the hub in the west of the Yangtze Delta, it is an ideal place for business in Central China and East China such as manufacturing place or logistic center due to great transportation advantage. Wuhu port is the last fine deepwater port here going against the Yangtse River. It is the main foreign trade base and overseas transportation center. It takes 1 hour from Wuhu to Nanjing Lukou International Airport and to Hefei Luogang Airport.[10]

Wuhu Export Processing Zone

Wuhu Export Processing Zone was approved to be a national level export processing zone by State Council. Wuhu Export Processing Zone is located in the Wuhu EDZ, with a total planned area of 2.95 km2 with the first-stage are being 1.1 km2. It is located close to Wuhu Airport and Wuhu Port. Industries encouraged in the zone include Electronics Assembly & Manufacturing, Heavy Industry, Instruments & Industrial Equipment Production, Shipping/Warehousing/Logistics, Trading and Distribution.[11]


Historically, Anhui's transport network was hampered by the lack of bridges across the Yangtze River, which divides the province into northern and southern regions. The first bridge across the Yangtze in Anhui, the Tongling Yangtze River Bridge was completed in 1995. As of October 2014, Anhui had four bridges across the Yangtze, at Ma'anshan, Wuhu, Tongling, and Anqing.


Electric locomotive at Bengbu in northern Anhui

Conventional railways in Anhui include the Beijing–Shanghai Railway, Beijing–Kowloon Railway, and Nanjing–Xi'an Railway that traverse the province north of the Yangtze River and the Nanjing−Tongling Railway, Anhui–Jiangxi Railway and Xuancheng–Hangzhou Railway that run south of the river.

High-speed lines include Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, Hefei–Wuhan Passenger Railway and Hefei–Nanjing Passenger Railway.


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

Anhui has a highly unbalanced gender ratio. According to a 2009 study published in the British Medical Journal, in the 1-4 age group, there are 138 boys for every 100 girls, making it among the most unbalanced of provinces in China.[12]


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, north of the Yangzi river. 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 classified as Jianghuai Mandarin, together with dialects in the central parts of neighbouring Jiangsu province. Non-Mandarin dialects are spoken to the south of the Yangzi: 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;[13] and the Huizhou 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 Huizhou-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 Huizhou-speaking areas of southern Anhui, Anhui cuisine is known for its use of wild game and herbs, both land and sea, and comparatively simple 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).


Religion in Anhui[14][note 1]

  Christianity (5.30%)
  Other religions or not religious people[note 2] (90.06%)

The predominant religions in Anhui are Chinese folk religions, Taoist traditions and Chinese Buddhism. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 4.64% of the population believes and is involved in cults of ancestors, while 5.30% of the population identifies as Christian.[14]

The reports didn't give figures for other types of religion; 90.06% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in worship of nature deities, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, folk religious sects, and small minorities of Muslims.

Avalokitesvara of One Thousand Arms at the Guanyin Nunnery.
Langya Buddhist Temple in Chuzhou.
Courtyard of a Buddhist temple in Qingyang County, Chizhou.


Anhui's principal tourism sites include the following:


In 2008, France helped the Anhui Provincial Tourism Bureau develop a rural tourism demonstration project.[15]

Notable people

Colleges and universities

See also


  1. ^ The data was collected by the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) of 2009 and by the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey (CSLS) of 2007, reported and assembled by Xiuhua Wang (2015)[14] in order to confront the proportion of people identifying with two similar social structures: ① Christian churches, and ② the traditional Chinese religion of the lineage (i. e. people believing and worshipping ancestral deities often organised into lineage "churches" and ancestral shrines). Data for other religions with a significant presence in China (deity cults, Buddhism, Taoism, folk religious sects, Islam, et. al.) was not reported by Wang.
  2. ^ This may include:


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ (Chinese) Origin of the Names of China's Provinces, People's Daily Online.
  5. ^ Gifford, Rob. "A Single Spark Can Light a Prairie Fire." China Road. 53.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ | Wuhu Economic & Technological Development Zone
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c China General Social Survey 2009, Chinese Spiritual Life Survey (CSLS) 2007. Report by: Xiuhua Wang (2015, p. 15)
  15. ^ Anhui Cooperates With France To Build Rural Tourism Area Archived September 8, 2008 at the Wayback Machine

External links

  • Anhui Government website
  • Anhui Provincial Tourism Administration Official Site
  • Economic profile for Anhui Province at HKTDC
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