Hunan abbreviated as "Xiang", lies at 108°47' to 114°45' east longitude, and 24°39' to 30°28' north latitude; it is 667 km wide and 774 km long. As an inland province adjacent to the coastal areas, Hunan has an area of 211,800 sq km, 2.2% of the national total, ranking 11th largest in China.
- 1 Geography and history
- 2 Population and ethnic groups
- 3 Economy and development
- 4 Social Progress
- 5 Life
- 6 Travel and sightseeing
- 7 Hunan and the world
Geography and history
Hunan Province is located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River in central China, with its neighboring provinces Jiangxi, Chongqing, Guizhou, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hubei. The distance of Hunan from east to west is 667 kilometers, while 774 kilometers from north to south and the total area is 211,800 square kilometers. Because most of the province is located south of the Dongting Lake, it is named "Hunan;" and because of the Xiangjiang River, the longest in the province, its shortened name is called“Xiang”.
Hunan has a humid continental and subtropical monsoon climate with distinctive four seasons, sufficient sunshine, long frost-free period and abundant rainfall. It has an average annual sunshine of 1,300-1,800 hours, annual average temperature of 16°C-18°C, and a mean annual precipitation of 1,200-1,700 mm. It is suitable for human living and growth of crops and green plants.
Hunan has a huge river system with the Dongting Lake, the No.2 freshwater lake in China, in the north. The Xiangjiang River, the Zijiang River, the Yuanshui River, and the Lishui River flow into the Dongting Lake from the southwest to northeast, connecting with the Yangtze River. The total quantity of natural water resources in Hunan is on the top of nine provinces in South China.
Hunan is famous for its "home to nonferrous metal and nonmetal mineral." Out of the more than 160 plus mineral categories discovered in the world, Hunan has 141, among which the remaining deposits of 41 minerals, such as Stibium, Tungsten and Manganese stand among the top five of China.
Hunan has rich resources of animals and plants with a wide coverage. Five rare surviving "living fossil" in the world are founded in Hunan, namely: Cathaya Aargyrophylla, Met sequoia Glyptostroboides, Glyptostrobus Pensilis, Gingko and Davidia Involucrate.
Hunan has a long history as one of the cradles of the Agricultural Cultivation Culture of the Chinese people. More than 10,000 years ago, there were human being living and multiplying in Hunan. Hunan had belonged to Chu Kingdom in ancient times and was set up as Changsha Shire after Emperor Qinshihuang unified China in 211 B.C. Then Tang Dynasty set Hunan Inspector Office, after which it was Hunan Route in Song Dynasty, Huguang Province in Ming Dynasty, and Hunan Province in Qing Dynasty. During the Republic of China and since the establishment of the People's Republic of China, it has been Hunan Province.
Hunan has abundant cultural relics, including more than 30 Paleolithic ruins and more than 900 Neolithic ruins. The earliest primitive rice from more than 12,000 years ago was discovered here, and the cemetery of ancestors of the Chinese people, Yan Di Emperor and Shun Di Emperor, are also in Hunan. In addition, Hunan’s deep cultural background is also indicated by the massive Shang Dynasty bronzeware unearthed in Ningxiang, the Western Han Dynasty ancient grave unearthed in Changsha Mawangdui, the inscribed bamboo tablets of Kingdom in the time of Three Kingdoms unearthed in Zoumalou, the inscribed bamboo tablets of Qin unearthed in Long Shan Liye, the ancient South Great Wall discovered in Fenghuang County, as well as the Yuelu Academy of Classical Learning.
Hunan has long had the fine reputation as “the Kingdom of Chu, the unique home of many talents; the Academy of Yuelu, the very cradle of them." It has never been short of talents in history. A.D. 105 years witnessed Cai Lun from Hunan Leiyang, who made the first paper in the world with plant tissues, which is one of the Four Great Inventions of Ancient China. Zhou Dunyi, founder of Theoretical Study in Song and Ming Dynasties was from Yongzhou, Hunan, and 17th century outstanding thinker Wang Fuzhi was from Hunan Hengyang. During the seventy-nine years from the Opium War to "May Fourth Movement ," lots of outstanding persons came out from Hunan, such as Wei Yuan, ZengGuofan, He Shaoji, ZuoZongtang, TanSitong, ChenTianhua, Huang Xing, Cai e and so on. During the establishment and construction of the People's Republic of China, Hunan also contributed a lot of leaders of our party, government and army, including MaoZedong, RenBishi, Liu Shaoqi, PengDehuai, HeLong, LuoRonghuan and so on. They take the change and reform of the world as the own duty and rewrote China's history and affected the world pattern. At the same time, innumerable outstanding talents in literature, art, science, education and so on have also emerged from Hunan.
Population and ethnic groups
Hunan is one of the provinces with a big population, ranking No. 7 in China with average population density of 311 per square kilometer, which is more than double of national average density. At the end of 2008, the total population of Hunan is 68.4520 million, 395,000 more than last year, among which the urban population is 28.8525 million and the rural population is 39.5995 million. Hunan also is a province of ethnic groups, among which Han population accounts for 89.9% of the total population, while population of other ethnic groups accounts for 10.1%. Among the population of other ethnic groups , Tujia has a population of more than 2.6 million, Miao, a population of more than 1.90 million, Dong, a population of more than 800, 000, and Yao, a population of more than 700,000.
Economy and development
2008 is undoubtedly a very unusual year. Hunan people united together and implemented important decisions and measures of the Central Party Committee under the strong leadership of Hunan Provincial government. Strong-minded Hunan people carried out the strategy of “standardization, fundamental system, fundamental materials and skills”, grasped the opportunity to bring in new varieties and finally won the upbeat situation featured as increased economy and optimum structure. The fiscal revenue of Hunan in 2008 reached 130.855 billion RMB, increase by 16.5%over last year. Its GDP hit multi- billion RMB for the first time and ranked top ten in China. A prosperous, stable and harmonious of new Hunan is taking a lead in rising.
Under the strong leadership of Hunan provincial government, Hunan industry has been resolutely implemented the important strategic decision featured by rapid economic development with the leading and the impetus of the new road of industrialization. the province has made great efforts to cultivate the industrial group with competitive advantages, making the leading enterprises and major even bigger and stronger and actively pushing forward the informationization and industrialization, and a new development tide in industry is emerging with the economic results steadily improved and the overall strength quickly enhanced. At present, high tech industry groups with Hunan characteristic are emerging in IT, biological medicine, new material, Optical-Mechanical-Electric Integration and so on, among which some larger leading enterprises with powerful influence in China are brought up, such as Valin Iron & Steel Group Co., Ltd, CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Works, Baling Petrochemical, Changling Refinery and so on. The output value of three industries such as food-processing, Petrochemicals and nonferrous metal has been over RMB 100 billion Yuan last year. In 2008, the total value added of industry is RMB 357.085 billion Yuan, 18.4% higher than last year.
Hunan industry has recorded many firsts in china: the first maglev test vehicle, the first walking robot with two feet, the first "queen bee" flight vehicle, the first Intelligent Tool Machine, the first USB flash memory disk, the first "Milky Way" I, II giant ultra-high-speed computer, the first domestically produced airplane brake pad, and so on. Today, Hunan industry is expected to make bigger breakthrough.
At present, Hunan high tech industry has formed more than ten superiority industries, such as new material, advanced manufacture, biology and medicine, electron and information, and seven high-tech areas represented by Chang-Zhu-Tan triangle area. The high-tech industry has become the important driving force to the fast growth of Hunan economy. In 2008, the value added of Hunan high-tech industry is RMB 109.884 billion Yuan, 30.7% higher than last year. We have approached or achieved the international advanced level in many areas.
Hunan manufacturing industry has strong strength, boasting of some domestic leading companies such as Zoom lion Heavy Industry Science & Technology, Sany Heavy Industry, Broad Air Conditioning, and Changfeng Motor. At present, Hunan advanced manufacturing industry has formed modern engineering mechanical industry group around Changsha, modern electric locomotive and light rail & subway industry group around Zhuzhou and Xiangtan, digital instrument industry group based in Changsha, and high pressure & ultrahigh voltage power transformer equipment manufacture industry group based in Hengyang. Driven by a batch of core technologies and patent products with independent intellectual property rights, Hunan manufacturing industry is rising rapidly, and it has clearly set the grand goal of building a city of world Machinery Industry.
Hunan covers a vast area, and is a famous “land of fish and rice” with bountiful products and developed agriculture. Along with the development from a big agricultural province to a strong agricultural province, Hunan always takes agriculture as its top priority, solidifies the fundamental position of agriculture, does its best to advance modern agriculture, continuees to boost the countryside construction, increasingly raises the farmers income. As a consequence, Hunan's agriculture makes increasing contributions to the whole country. At present, the Human outputs of main agricultural and subsidiary products, such as grain, cotton, oil plants, ramie, roasted tobacco, pork, beef and mutton, occupy front row of whole nation. Among that, the output of ramie is the first in rank, the live pig the second, the roasted tobacco the fourth, and the rice output holding the top place for many years. In 2008, Hunan agricultural production grew steadily with all production indexes increased， realized the balance between land occupation and compensation in nine consecutive years and the grain output set a record with 59.4 billion grams.
Hunan has diversified special local products of agriculture and forestry, mainly including Hunan Lotus Seedpod, Hunan tea, oil-tea, hot pepper, ramie, mandarine,Dongjiang Fish, Linwu Duck, Ningxiang pork, Lotus powder and so on, among which the Hunan Lotus Seedpod is a famous special product with history of more than 3,000 years and its output always on the top. Hunan is also one of top four tea producing provinces. Hunan vigorously develops the agricultural product processing industry, making great efforts to cultivate and expand characteristic pillar industry. 50 agro-standardization experimental area were newly built last year and 220 key enterprises made revenue of RMB 83.0 billion Yuan last year.
Hunan solidly carries out the reconstruction of new rural area, strengthens rural infrastructure development, intensifies the utilization process of surface rainfall sources and improves the rural electricity grid and the integrated ability to fortify against disasters. RMB 65.435 billion Yuan was invested last year to comprehensively start the Demonstration Village project, which aims at helping to solve the problem of fresh water and fuel gas supply, and construct village road and telephone connections in order to greatly improve the countryside outlook of the entire province.
Transportation, post and telecommunications
Hunan transportation industry develops rapidly. In 2008, the freight turnover volume increased by 4.9%; the passenger turnover volume grew by 8.6%.
Road: At the end of 2008, Hunan had 182,005 kilometers road include village roads and among that, 2,001 kilometers are highway which ranked among the top 10 in China. The provincial capital city Changsha has been connected with 13 cities and counties in Hunan province through highway and all ferries on the Provincial roads in Dongting Lake district have been altered into bridges. These highways and roads radiate from Changsha, Yueyang, Changde, Xiangtan and Hengyang, forming a road network and covering 99% of Hunan territory.
Railway Hunan has a developed railway system. Six main railway lines including Jiangguang, Xiangqian, Zhegan, Xianggui, Shichang and Zhiliu pass through the entire Hunan province. The Hunan sects of Luoshen and Yuhuai lines have also been open to traffic.
Hunan section of Wuhan to Guangzhou High-speed passenger rail routes is being constructed now and 6 new railway projects have been newly opened such as Hunan to Guizhou Complex line etc. Railway transportation in Hunan will be more smoothly at that time.
Port Hunan’s water resource is abundant, having a inland river system of 11,968 kilometers, which is approximately one tenth of the total length of the inland river navigation in China. Hunan has altogether 63 whose handling capacities surpass 10,000 tons, in which Yueyang, Changsha, Xiangtan, Zhuzhou, Hengyang, Changde and Yiyang could handle over one million tons annually.
Aviation At present, Hunan has two international airports in Changsha and Zhangjiajie, and 3 domestic airports in Changde, Vinhchau and Zhijiang. As a main gateway to foreign countries and important hinge in domestic civil aviation, the Changsha Huanghua International Airport already launched 80 airlines and four chartered flight airlines going to 56 major or medium domestic cities including Taiwan and Hongkong and to overseas countries such as Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam. Last year, passengers from Changsha Huanghua International Airport exceed 8.46 million and the increase ranked the first in China. It means more and more people come to Hunan for investing and traveling.
Post and communications Post and communications grew fast in 2008. The total output volume in 2008 reached RMB 75.214 billion Yuan, a 21.4% year-on-year increase; the number of telephone subscribers rose up to 22.6064 million, increasing 3.69 million than last year; the number of broadband Internet user increased to 2.223 million, 420,000 more than last year.
In the year of 2008, total social fixed asset investment of Hunan reached RMB 564.997 billion Yuan, up by 31.6% over the previous year. Infrastructure facilities and basic industries construction have been further strengthened. 18 highways have been constructing since 2008 and the newly started projects such as changing ferries into bridges, Changsha and Zhangjiajie airport expansion and 6 railways have been developed smoothly; A batch of key projects such as the Stretch of the Oil Refinery Project with the capacity of 10 million tons at Yueyang, 5 meters Wide and Heavy Plate project of Xiangtan Iron And Steel Company have begun to construct; Tao Huajiang Nuclear power plant will begin to built upon the approval of Government; The newly installed power generating capacity reached 2.31 million kilowatt; and Energy Conservation &Emission Reduction will be completed completely.
“Two Type Society”Pilot Zone in Changsha, Zhuzhou and Xiangtan
After CZX urban agglomeration was approved as National resource-conserving and environmental friendly comprehensive reform pilot areas, Hunan actively promoted the urban agglomeration construction. CZX Pilot area construction has made substantial progress: such as top level design has been completed; general reform planning has begun its implementation under the approval of State Council at the end of last year; Pilot work has progressed steadily; Infrastructure co-construction has made significant development; Communication with the same fee is realized among three cities; Environment Co- Management has been promoted; Industry supporting ability has been improved and CZX was approved as National comprehensive new &high-tech industrial base.
Hunan has been actively promoting the construction of the harmonious society, doing its best to improve and expand employment, perfecting the social insurance system covering its residents in the urban and rural areas and unremittingly improving the people’s livelihood. As a result, the social causes have progressed in all aspects. 29 goals for serving the people have been totally completed in 2008.
"Everyone in Hunan is good at study", says a much-told story coming down from ancient times. Hunan is a province attaching great importance to education. At present a modern education system suitable for its social and economic development with considerable scale, reasonable structure and complete categories has been established for the citizens in Hunan. Free compulsory education has covered the rural and the urban areas and social security level of rural educational expenditure has been further increased.
More than 30,000 various colleges, middle schools and elementary schools are scattered all over the cities and countryside, and people at different ages could all basically access good education.
T he overall level of technology in Hunan is in the front row in six central China provinces. Last year, Hunan obtained 990 technical achievements, including 19 items with national award. The patent applications and approved applications were 14,016 and 6,133 respectively, topping in the first Central China. Hunan has some world class scientists, such as Yuan Longping, "father of the hybrid rice” geneticist Lu GuangXiu who tests the first tube baby in China, Huang Boyun, "the new material expert" and so on. Meanwhile, there are over one million researchers including 45 members of the Chinese Academy of Engineering or the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Literature and arts
In literature creation domain, "Hunan writer group" has been growing vigorously over a long period of time in Chinese literature. Many well-known writers such as Shen Congwen, Ding Ling, ZhouLibo, GuHua, MoYingfeng, TanTan, TangHaoming and so on, indicate the prominent status of "Hunan writers in literature" in Chinese literature history.
Hunan has 19 existing dramas and nearly 100 artistic performance troops, among which the most influential is the Hunan Huagu. In addition, arts like music, dance, fine arts, calligraphy and photography have also obtained plentiful and substantial achievements, emerging a lot of famous singers including HeJiguang, LiGuyi, SongZuying, ZhangYe and soon.
The cultural industry gets exceptionally breakthrough, featuring optimized structure, stable operation, bright prospect and healthy development. Hunan cultural brand has a great influence nationwide. The proportion of the added output value produced by the cultural industry in the GDP has ranked first for three consecutive years in central China. In 2008, Hunan’s cartoon animation industry produced 26,500 minutes of original animation programs, the topping first in China. Changsha has become the national capital of animation. Changsha's singing hall culture also suits both refined and popular tastes, being unique in China.
Medical and health care
The steady development of the public health enterprise helps to gradually and problems of ‘seeing doctors with difficulty’ are being effectively solved. By the end of 2008, there were 4,325 medical and health organizations at all levels with 210,790 health technical personnel. The cooperative health and medical treatment system pilot program in the countryside gets new progress with 409 counties involved and 45.01 million residents in rural area participating in the rural cooperative medical service.
Hunan strengthens the construction of stadiums, pushing forward the mass sport events. At the end of 2008, there were more than 21,302 sports grounds and 26.80 million people frequently participated in various kinds of sports. Hunan's competitive sports have gradually found a success road with Hunan characteristic. In 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, 7 athletes from Hunan won seven gold medals, which ranked first among all the provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under the central government. In 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, famous gymnast, Li Xiaopeng, won two gold medals for the second time and young weightlifter, Long Qingquan became the youngest weightlifting Olympic Champion.
- Resident's income
Hunan resident’s income grows quickly and individual property continues to increase. In 2008, the average disposable income of the urban resident reached RMB 13,821.2 Yuan, actually increased 12.4% and ranked the first among six provinces in central China. The average net income of the rural resident is RMB 4,512.5 Yuan, actually increased 15.6%.
- Resident’s consumption
With the continuous increase of income level, residents' consumption demand become stronger and market consumption invigorates than before. Last year, the total retail sales of consumer goods in Hunan hit RMB 12.64 billion Yuan which is 22.7 % increase from the year before. Average nonproductive expenditure of urban and rural residents hit RMB 9,945.50 Yuan, increased by 10.6% than last year. Average consumption expenditure of rural resident reached 3,850 Yuan, increased 12.7% and the growth rate set a new record since the reform and opening up policy. The growth of consumption expenditure in Changsha, provincial capital city, ranked top in the whole country.
- Social security
In 2008, 8.828 million employees and 1.85 million retired people had the basic pension insurance, 3.90 million people had unemployment insurance and 6.819 million people had medical insurance in cities and towns. The government distributed unemployment insurance money to 190,000 people, built and expanded 272 township nursing homes, offered RMB 2.168 billion Yuan to urban residents as the minimum living allowance and both urban and rural household entitled to basic living allowances are already receiving it.
- Living environment
Hunan has clear water and green hills with comfortable weather in all four seasons. The ecological environment has been further improved. The forest coverage rate of the entire province reaches 55.86%, a leading status in China. The provincial capital Changsha is the second forest city in China. The environment quality is kept stable, and the air quality of nine cities out of 14 in Hunan reaches the second-grade level. Along with the consummating of infrastructure construction, the urban water supply, power supply and gas utilization rate of Hunan are all in the front rows among 6 provinces in central China. A large quantity of culture fields and open parks become the popular place for people’s entertainment. With its relaxed, hot and warm atmosphere, and abundant leisure modes such as drinking, singing and massage, Changsha makes many visitors to it call the city "the most amusing place in China."
Travel and sightseeing
Hunan is a province with strong travel industry in China, having advantageous and unique travel resources, and the Hunan Travel Festival held in recent years has become one of the famous brands in China tourism industry. There are ten big travel scenic areas and more than 100 scenic sites, with landscape and historical sites spreading all over the Hunan territory. Last year, Hunan travel industry reached the best level in history, attracting 127 million domestic tourists with revenue of RMB 80.884 billion Yuan, respectively increased by 18 % and 18.7%; attracting 1.1102 million foreign tourists with foreign exchange earning of 617 million US Dollars, ranking first in 6 provinces in central China, total tourism revenue reaches RMB 85.175billionYuan, equals to eight percent of the total output value of whole province. Looking forward into the future, Hunan clearly proposes the objective of further promoting the travel industry and making Hunan a world-class travel destination.
Hunan and the world
Hunan now is more open than any time before. In the year of 2008, upon the stipulation of the first local Administrative Procedure, Hunan has promoted responsible and lawful government construction to better serve for the people and has prepared to make Hunan advance toward the world with a brand-new look.
Hunan pays a lot attention to the friendly global exchange. At present, cities such as Changsha, Zhuzhou, Xiangtan, Hengyang, Yueyang and Shaoyang have established Sister City relations with 52 cities of 22 countries. Hunan Province also established Sister Province relations with seven Provinces (states, areas, counties) of the United States, France, Japan, etc.
Hunan has established the economic and foreign trade cooperation with more than 170 countries and regions. Last year Hunan foreign trade continued to expand. The total amount of imports and exports was 12.576 billion US Dollars, increased by 29.7%, in which exports reached 8.410 billion US Dollars, increased by 29.1%. The total amount of private enterprises imports and exports reached 5.241 billion US Dollars, increased by 45.5%.
Inviting Merchants and investment
Hunan comprehensively opens investment domains, granting foreign investors the Chinese national treatment. The government further transforms the function, making every effort to fall in line with the international practices. Hunan has become the well-loved place for foreign investment. In 2008, Hunan approved 517 new foreign investment enterprise projects, introducing contracted foreign direct investment of 4.586 billion US Dollars. Up to the end of 2008, 43 out of the global fortune 500 have established enterprises in Hunan (see attached name list). The annual introduction of domestic capital reached RMB 123.01 billion Yuan, increased by 16.9%. Hunan is the leader in inviting merchants and investment in the six provinces in central China.
Foreign economic cooperation
Along with the continual adjustment of industrial structure, a lot of Hunan enterprises go abroad to invest in other countries in recent years, carrying through processing trade and jointly developing resource, making foreign economic cooperation grow sharply. In 2008, Hunan got 2.475 billion US Dollars from foreign contracted projects, labor service cooperation and design consultation contracts, 40.3% higher than last year; completed turnover was 105.5 million US Dollars, increased by 12.3%; overseas assignment service sent 25,300 people abroad, increased by 36.6%. Last year, Sany Heavy Industry invested 100 million Euros to build factories in Europe and was highly valued in the international society.
Hunan is in the central part of China, having obvious advantage in geographic location and transportation. It is a good place to invest with developed agriculture, abundant industry foundation, advanced education and technology, prosperous cultural industry and cheap business cost. The governments at all levels have reformed the examination and approval procedures to simplify management and enhance the efficiency. There are more than 30 provincial management organizations to provide services for investors and practically protect investors’ legal rights and interests. Hunan strictly executes relevant preferential policies for foreign investment in its middle and west areas, and has formulated a series of local policies and regulations, creating a good investment environment for investors. Every investor coming to Hunan could enjoy preferential benefit and convenience in land usage, tax policy, manpower and resources usage, foreign exchange control, Entry and Exit control and so on. The development of “the Two Type (resources saving type and environment friendly type) Society Pilot Zone in Changsha, Zhuzhou and Xiangtan”will offer foreign businessmen more opportunities to invest in Hunan.
- Agricultural new technology, comprehensive agriculture development and energy, transportation, important raw materials industries;
- High-tech and advanced application technology to improve the product performance or produce new equipment and new materials which domestic production ability could not provide sufficiently;
- Meeting the market demand, enhancing the product level, developing emerging market or increasing international competitive power;
- New technology and new equipment to save energy and raw materials or comprehensively utilize resources and regenerated resources, as well as prevent environmental pollution;
- Industries that can make full use of manpower and resources advantage of Hunan Province, and comply with the industrial policy;
- Infrastructure construction and resources development in western Hunan, such as farming and forestry, water conservation, ecology, transportation, environmental protection, minerals, and so on.