Jiangxi (jyängˈsēˈ) [key] or Kiangsi kyăngˈsēˈ, jyängˈ–, province (2010 pop. 44,567,475), c.66,000 sq mi (170,940 sq km), SE China. Nanchang is the capital. The largely hilly and mountainous surface is drained by many rivers; the longest is the navigable Gan, which flows NE to Poyang lake. In Jiangxi's fertile soil and mild climate agriculture flourishes; the growing season is 9 to 11 months long, and more than one third of the area is cultivated. Jiangxi is one of China's leading rice producers; other food crops include wheat, sweet potatoes, barley, and corn. Commerical crops are cotton, oil-bearing plants (rapeseed, sesame, soybeans, and peanuts), ramie, tea, sugarcane, tobacco, and oranges. Ten percent of the province is forested, and a lumbering industry has developed. Tung and mulberry trees are grown; a large, integrated silk complex is at Nanchang. Livestock raising and fish culture are important. Jiangxi is an important source of tungsten; it also has high-grade coking coal (near Pingxiang) and kaolin, which supplies the ancient porcelain industry of Jingdezhen. Manganese, tin, lead, zinc, iron, and antimony are also found. The province has a variety of heavy and light industries that produce petrochemicals, textiles, processed food, and printed materials. Cities, such as Nanchang, Jiujiang, Ganzhou, and Linchuan, are generally situated along the Gan River or on the province's two main railroads. The population in the north consists of largely Chinese who speak the Gan (Jiangxi) variety of Mandarin, while in the south, adjoining Guangdong, there is a large Hakka minority. Jiangxi, linked with Guangdong by the Meiling Pass, has been for centuries China's main north-south corridor for migration and communication. Traditionally known as Gan, Jiangxi was ruled by the Chou dynasty (722–481 B.C.); it received its present name only under the Southern Sung dynasty (A.D. 1127–1280). The province, whose present boundaries date from the Ming dynasty, passed under Manchu rule in 1650. The Chinese Communist movement began (1927) in Jiangxi; the province was a stronghold for the Communists until they were dislodged in 1934. The famous long march began from Jiangxi. Following World War II, during which Jiangxi was largely free of Japanese forces, the province passed (1949) to the Communists.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.