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Anhui

Anhui or Anhwei (both: änˈhwāˈ) [key], province (2010 pop. 59,500,510), c.55,000 sq mi (142,450 sq km), E central China. Hefei is the capital. Anhui may be divided into two climatic areas. The northern half, within the N China plain and watered by the Huai and its tributaries (flooding is a common problem), is cold and dry in the winter and hot and wet during the summer monsoon season. Much of the land produces two harvests annually, the chief crops being wheat, sorghum, corn, soybeans, and cotton. The southern half, through which the Chang River flows, is mountainous and has a relatively moist, warm climate. It is a major rice-producing region; two thirds of the cultivated area is double-cropped. Wheat, sweet potatoes, cotton, barley, and tobacco are also grown, and tea is produced in the southeast. Fish culture is important, and pigs and sheep are raised. High-quality iron ore is abundant throughout the province, in addition to large amounts of coal and copper. Four of China's leading industrial centers are in Anhui, which is part of the Shanghai special economic zone: Hefei, the capital, which has textile mills, iron- and steelworks, and machine-tool plants; Huainan, a large coal-mining center, with important chemical manufactures; Bengbu, which produces agricultural machinery and processed food; and Ma'anshan, a major port and industrial complex with huge steelworks. Railroads are important to the province, but its excellent waterways are the prime source of transportation—the Chang is open to ocean vessels in the summer, the Huai and its affluents are navigable by junk, and an intricate canal system connects the two rivers. Some single-line tracks have been built to link the industrial centers with Hefei, and there are rail connections with other provinces, generally radiating from Hefei. Road building has been accomplished at the local level, linking marketing and industrial centers. Anhui Univ. is in Hefei.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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