Sichuan – China
Executive summary by darmansjah
Sichuan (Chinese: About this sound Sìchuān, known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan) is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the southwest of the country. The capital is Chengdu, a key economic centre of Western China.
Sichuan was referred to in ancient Chinese sources as Ba-Shuby combining the names two independent states within the Sichuan Basin — the kingdoms of Ba and Shu. This and other discoveries in Sichuan contest the conventional historiography that the local culture and technology of Sichuan were undeveloped in comparison to the technologically and culturally "advanced" China Proper in the Yellow River valley.The region had its own distinct religious beliefs and worldview. Since the Yangtze River flows through the basin and is thus upstream of eastern and southern China, navies could easily sail downstream. Therefore Sichuan was the base for numerous amphibious military forces and also served as the ideal hiding frontier for political refugees of Chinese governments throughout history. Sichuan was subjected to the autonomous control of kings named by the imperial family of Han Dynasty. In 221, during the partition following the fall of the Eastern Han Dynasty, i.e. the era of the Three Kingdoms, Liu Bei founded the southwest kingdom of Shu-Han in the region with Chengdu as its capital.
Sichuan, within its present borders, consists of two very geographically distinct parts. The eastern part of the province is mostly within the fertile Sichuan basin (which is shared by Sichuan with the now-separate Chongqing Municipality). The western Sichuan consists of the numerous mountain ranges forming the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau, which are known generically as Hengduan Mountains. Lesser mountain ranges surround the Sichuan Basin from north, east, and south. Among them are the Daba Mountains, in the province's northeast.
Plate tectonics formed the Longmen Shan fault, which runs under the north-easterly mountain location of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
The Yangtze River and its tributaries flows through the mountains of western Sichuan and the Sichuan Basin; thus, the province is upstream of the great cities that stand along the Yangtze River further to the east, such as Chongqing, Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai. One of the major tributaries of the Yangtze within the province is the Min River of central Sichuan, which joins the Yangtze at Yibin.
Under the Köppen climate classification, the Sichuan Basin (including Chengdu) in the eastern half of the province experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa or Cfa), with long, hot, humid summers and short, mild to cool, dry and cloudy winters, and China's lowest sunshine totals. The southern part of the province, including Panzhihua and Xichang, has a sunny climate with short, very mild winters and very warm to hot summers.
Sichuan borders Qinghai to the northwest, Gansu to the north, Shaanxi to the northeast, Chongqing to the east, Guizhou to the southeast, Yunnan to the south, and the Tibet Autonomous Region to the west.
On 3 November 2007, the Sichuan Transportation Bureau announced that the Sui-Yu Expressway was completed after three years of construction. After completion of the Chongqing section of the road, the 36.64 km (22.77 mi) expressway connected Cheng-Nan Expressway and formed the shortest expressway from Chengdu to Chongqing. The total investment was 1.045 billion yuan.Major railways in Sichuan include the Baoji–Chengdu, Chengdu–Chongqing, Chengdu–Kunming, Neijiang–Kunming, Suining-Chongqing and Chengdu–Dazhou Railways. A high-speed rail line connects Chengdu and Dujiangyan.
The most prominent traits of Sichuanese cuisine are described by four words: spicy, hot, fresh and fragrant. Sichuan cuisine is popular in the whole nation of China, so are Sichuan chefs. Two famous Sichuan chefs are Chen Kenmin and his son Chen Kenichi, who was Iron Chef Chinese on the Japanese television series "Iron Chef".
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area
Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries
Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area
Mount Qincheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation SystemSichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries
In 263, the Jin Dynasty from north China conquered the Kingdom of Shu-Han as its first step on the path to unify China again, under their rule.
In the early 20th century, the newly founded Republic of China established Chuanbian Special Administrative District, which acknowledged the unique culture and economy of the region largely differing from that of mainstream northern China in the Yellow River region. The Special District later became the province of Xikang, incorporating the areas inhabited by Yi, Tibetan and Qiang ethnic minorities to its west, and eastern part of today's Tibet Autonomous Region.
The difficulty of accessing the region overland from the eastern part of China and the foggy climate hindering the accuracy of Japanese bombing of the Sichuan Basin, made the region the stronghold of Chiang Kai-Shek's Kuomintang government during 1938-45, and led to the Bombing of Chongqing.
The Second Sino-Japanese War was soon followed by the resumed Chinese Civil War, and the cities of East China fell to the Communists one after another, the Kuomintang government again tried to make Sichuan its stronghold on the mainland. In 1978, when Deng Xiaoping took power, Sichuan was one of the first provinces to undergo limited experimentation with market economic enterprise.
From 1955 until 1997 Sichuan had been China's most populous province, hitting 100 million mark shortly after the 1982 census figure of 99,730,000. This changed in 1997 when the city of Chongqing as well as the surrounding counties of Fuling and Wanxian were split off into the new Chongqing Municipality. Official figures recorded a death toll of nearly 70,000 people, and millions of people were left homeless