Jiiangsu (shortened form"Su"), meaning trees and grass in luxuriance, and fish and shrimp in abundance, has always been one of the most rich and popular regions in China. It neighbors on rivers like the Yantze River, and seas like the Yellow sea. So it earns its name as "a land flowing with milk and honey". The name "Jiangsu" comes from the combination of the first Chinese character of "Jiang Ning" and "Su Zhou" (two prefectures in the Qing Dynasty).
Jiangsu is a coastal province located in East China. It is adjacent to the Yellow Sea in the east, to Anhui Province in the west, to Shandong Province in the north, to Zhejiang Province in the south, and to Shanghai in the east. It covers an area of 102,600 square kilometers, which takes up 1.06% of the total area in China. The provincial topography is characteristic of plains. About 69% of the total area in the province is plains that consist of the Plain of South Jiangsu, the Jianghuai Plain, the Huanghuai Plain, and the Coastal Plain in the east. Yuntai Mountain, situated in the suburbs of Lianyungang City, is the highest mountain in Jiangsu Province, as high as 625 meters above sea level. The coastline in the east of Jiangsu Province is about 1000 kilometers, Hills and plains strew at random within the province, and rivers and lakes form a complex network. The Yangtze River runs more than 400 kilometers from the east of Jiangsu to the west of it, whereas the Great Canal links up south and north with a length of 600 kilometers. There are the Qinhe River and the Huaihe River in the southwest, the North Jiangsu General Irrigation Canal, the Xinshu River, the Tongyang Canal, and so on in the north. In addition, there are over 290 large and small lakes in the province. Among the five largest freshwater lakes, two are in Jiangsu Province, namely Lake Tai and Hongze Lake. The two lakes are like two large bright mirror inlaid into south of the lower reaches of the Changjiang River and the Plain of North Jiangsu respectively.
Jiangsu Province produces abundant aquatic products. There are as much as 154000 square kilometers of fishery in the coastal area of the east, among which are the well known fisheries like Lvsi and Haizhou Bay that are teemed with yellow-fin tuna, hairtail, pomfret, species of shrimp and crab, as well as shellfish and algae. In addition, Jiangsu is the main producing area of river crab and eel in China. Jiangsu Province has a great variety of mineral resources. So far 133 species of mineral resources have been found. The main energy minerals are coal, oil and gas.
By the end of 2003, the population of Jiangsu is about 74,058,000. It takes up 5.8% of the whole population in China. The population density is about 725 people per square kilometer, which comes out first among all the provinces and regions in China. Most people in Jiangsu Province are of Han Nationality, accounting for about 99.64% of the whole population in this province. Over ten thousand people are of Hui Nationality, Man Nationality, Mongolia Nationality, Tujia Natioanality, Miao Nationality, Korean Nationality, and so on.
Language, Dialect and Opera
Broadly speaking, there are two main dialects in the province, one is Jianghuai (the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River) dialect zone, belonging to the northern dialect and covering areas to the north of the Yangtze River and to the west of Zhenjiang City, and the other one is Wu dialect spoken in areas to the south of the Yangtze River and to the east of Zhenjiang City (not including the downtown area of Zhenjiang) as well as certain parts of Nantong City and Taizhou City. Suzhou dialect is the most typical of Wu dialect. However, there are great differences within the same dialect, and the dialect in each area is different from that of another area. The folk music in each area is varied, and has gradually developed into local opera with its own characteristics. There are more than 20 types of opera, the most famous of which from south to north are Kunqu Opera, Suzhou Opera, Wuxi Opera, Yangzhou Opera, Huaihe Opera, Huaihai Opera, and so on. Kunqu Opera is one of the oldest operas in China, and has exerted comparatively great influence on the development of Beijing Opera and operas in many other areas.
Jiangsu is one of the most developed provinces in China. Its gross output value of industry and agriculture account for 14.5% of that in China. The industry is well developed, and its production value is the second highest in the whole country, second only to Shanghai.
Jiangsu-It has been famous for its abundant natural resources, brilliant people and culture, and convenient traffic. It is the converging place of the cultures in northern and southern China. Thus, it has earned its famed name as "a land flowing with milk and honey", and occupies an important place in China.
Jiangsu-It is one of the largest commodity distributing centers in the country. Jiangsu ranks the fourth in the comprehensive economic strength evaluation of all the provinces.
Jiangsu-It is the cradle and center of enterprises in villages and towns in China. The development and quality of private and individual owned enterprises has always been in the forefront among all the provinces in the country. And the living standard of citizens in both cities and countryside has been far ahead throughout the whole country. It is one of the richest regions in China.
Jiangsu Province has been trying to set favorable environment for investment in recent years. Lianyun Port, Nantong Port, Zhangjia Port, Nanjing Port, Zhenjiang Port, Jiangyin Port, Yangzhou Port, Taicang Port, Changshu Port and Gaogang Port have all been open to the outside world with annual water transport volume amounting to 0.12 billion tons. Airports in Wuxi, Changzhou, Nantong, Liangyungang, Yancheng, Xuzhou, and so on have scheduled flights to the major cities in the country. Nanjing Airport has been opened to 98 domestic airlines, and has direct scheduled flights to Hongkong. Lukou International Airport which was open to air traffic early this year (the year 2006) is going to have scheduled flights to various major cities in the world, thus making it more convenient for Jiangsu to be connected with the outside world. Jianghu Railway and Longhai Railway run through the whole province. Longhai Railway links to Rusia in the west, and all the way through Amsterdam in Holand, and thus is termed "Bridge between the European and Asian Continent". Lianyungang in North Jiangsu is the starting point of the eastern end of the railway passing through the European continent and the Asian continent, and has a famed name "The Bridgehead in the East". Jiangsu is now entering into the economic development era because of the continental bridge. In terms of road construction, Jiangsu Province has set up a complex highway network. It takes only three hours from Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu, to Shanghai through Huning Freeway. For the present, several freeways and a great highway bridge across the Yangtze River are under construction.