Changsha (chängˈshäˈ) [key], city (1994 est. pop. 1,198,100), capital of Hunan prov., S China, on the Xiang River. The name, which means "long sandbank," is derived from an island in the river. Changsha is an agricultural distribution and market center, an important stop on the Beijing-Guangzhou RR, and a river port. The city's manufactures include metalwork, machinery, transport equipment, electric equipment and appliances, electronics, textiles, chemicals, plastics, and metal smelting. It also has lumber mills. Changsha was founded in the early 3d cent. B.C. and has long been noted as a literary and educational center. As Tanzhou it was the capital of the Chu kingdom (10th cent.). It became a treaty port in the early 1900s. Mao Zedong was educated in Changsha, and in 1927 he led a Communist uprising there. The city is the birthplace of many notable Chinese literary figures and statesmen, including Chia Yi, a Han dynasty essayist, and Tseng Kuo-fan, a 19th-century diplomat and general. Changsha is the seat of several institutions of higher learning, notably Hunan Univ. and a medical college. An important Chinese air force base is there.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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