Guangdong is located on the Southern side of the People’s Republic China. It has taken over the provinces of Sichuan and Henan and Guangdong Province is now the most settled province in the People’s Republic of China.
Guangzhou is Guangdong’s capital but Shenzhen is the industrial gateway to Southern China as it is just an hour away from Hong Kong.
In the 16th Century, Guangdong had a very wide commercial exchange relationship with the rest of the world. The Portuguese and the British traded with Guangdong Province and they mainly used Guangzhou as the trading point.
Guangdong (广东; Gwóngdūng in Cantonese; Guǎngdōng in Mandarin) is a province in South China on the border with Hong Kong. It is China’s most populous province, and one of the richest.
If Guangdong were a country, then as of 2012 its population of 104 million would make it 12th in the world (after Mexico, ahead of the Philippines) and its GDP of $850 billion would be 16th (after South Korea, ahead of Indonesia). Both population and GDP are still growing.
In the era of tea clippers, both Guangdong and its capital Guangzhou were often referred to on maps and in spoken English as Canton. This usage continues today but to a much lesser extent with the transliterated Chinese name being used instead. Other versions no longer used include Kwangtung. The food and language of the area are still known as Cantonese.
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The History of Guangdong Province
The Opium wars were started due to the merchandize of Opium in Guangzhou and also Guangdong became the most important port for manual laborers who finally settled in British Malaya, Canada, America, Dutch Indies (now known as Indonesia), Siam (now known as Thailand) and the British Crown Colony of Singapore.
Geography of Guangdong Province
The Province of Guangdong has a total of 4300 km coast.
At the southwest of the province is the Lei Zhou Peninsula which has until today still a few inactive volcanoes. The Pearl River delta is made up of hundred’s of little islands.
To the northeast of Guangdong Province is the Province of Fujian, to the west is Guangxi Province, to the south is the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and Macau, and to the north is the province of Jiangxi and Hunan and across the Lei Zhou Peninsula is the Island of Hainan.
The main cities in Guangdong Province are Shantou, Shenzhen, Guangzhou which is also the capital city of Guangdong Province and Huizhou. Most of Guangdong’s cities are allocated around the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong Province.
The Climate of Guangdong Province
In the summer months, Guangdong Province has a very hot and humid climate but the good news is that winters are very short.
The Local Economy of Guangdong Province
Guangdong’s manufacturing output was worth 1.3 millions Yuan in the year of 2007. It contributed to almost 12.5% of the total national economic yield. The Per Capita GDP has reached 32713 Yuan for Guangdong and the cities of Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou are the three most important economics zone of Guangdong Province.
During the year of 2007, the foreign trade was boosted up by 20% as compared to the year of 2006. Guangdong’s export was for nearly 29% of China’s US$2.17 trillion export revenues.
Touristic attraction in Guangdong Province
Guangdong Province has so many places to visitors and any visitor to Guangdong Province should visit the Star Lake and the Seven Star Crags and as well the Danxia and Dinghu Mountain.
Guangdong borders the South China Sea and surrounds Hong Kong and Macau, both of which were administered as part of the province before being colonised. Though far from Beijing and sometimes seen as a provincial backwater, Guangdong has always been an active center of industry and trade; it was a major terminus of the Silk Road and also important in the era of tea clippers. It has also always been different from Northern China in some ways; there is a Guangdong saying that “The mountains are high and the Emperor is far away.”
The province’s economy improved dramatically after Deng Xiaoping initiated economic reforms in 1978. Home to three of the country’s Special Economic Zones (marked “SEZ” below, see List of Chinese provinces and regions for an explanation) and to a burgeoning manufacturing industry, Guangdong is now one of the richest provinces in China and does about a third of all China’s exports
The major cities in Guangdong have been magnets for migrant workers from poor inland provinces since the 1980s. In many cities this has led to problems with petty crime and homelessness. It also means that Mandarin is increasingly widely spoken and many taxi drivers or service staff are more conversant in Mandarin than Cantonese.
Many overseas Chinese, particularly those who emigrated before 1949, trace their roots to Guangdong, although many are from other coastal provinces such as Fujian or the area around Shanghai. The Chinese food most familiar to Westerners is basically Cantonese cooking, albeit sometimes adapted for the customers’ tastes.
Guangdong has a subtropical climate. Annual rainfall averages 1500-2000 millimeters and temperature averages 19C – 26C. Summers are hot and wet and there may be typhoons. The best time to visit Guangdong is in the Spring or Autumn.
The coastal area east of the Pearl River Delta including the prefectures of Shanwei, Jieyang, Shantou and Chaozhou
The inland part of Guangdong including the prefectures of Yunfu, Zhaoqing, Qingyuan, Shaoguan, Heyuan and Meizhou
|Pearl River Delta
“The world’s workshop”, a major manufacturing area. Guangdong produces a third of China’s total exports and most of those are from the Delta region. The area from Shenzhen to Guangzhou is essentially one massive factory city. The region includes the prefectures of Jiangmen, Foshan, Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Shenzhen and Huizhou
The coastal area west of the Pearl River Delta, including the prefectures of Zhanjiang, Maoming and Yangjiang
- Guangzhou – the capital of the province, largest city, economic and cultural center
- Dongguan – center for the garment trade, light manufacturing, and electronics, between Guangzhou and Shenzhen
- Qingyuan – popular among local travelers for its white-water rafting and hot springs.
- Shantou – on the coast North of Hong Kong, SEZ
- Shaoguan – located in northern Guangdong
- Shenzhen – boom town on border with Hong Kong, SEZ
- Zhongshan – Hometown of the revolutionary father of modern China, Sun Yatsen, and now a major industrial city southwest of Guangzhou
- Zhanjiang – in the West, near Hainan
- Zhuhai – fast growing town on border with Macau, SEZ
Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou are Special Economic Zones (SEZs) where various government programs encourage investment.