Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (gwäng´shē´ jwäng´), province (2010 pop. 46,026,629), c.85,000 sq mi (220,150 sq km), S China, bordering on Vietnam. The capital is Nanning. Guangxi is drained by the navigable Xi River and its many tributaries. It is in the double-crop agricultural belt, but because of the hilly and mountainous terrain only about 10% to 15% of the land is cultivated. Rice is an important crop, and Guangxi is a major sugarcane-producing area. Wheat, corn, sweet potatoes, peanuts, tropical and subtropical fruit, sesame, rapeseed, jute, and tobacco are also grown, chiefly in the Xi River plain. Forestry is centered around Liuzhou; timber and tung oil are valuable commodities. Fishing is an important industry; the nearby Gulf of Tonkin has fishing grounds rich in croaker, herring, squid, perch, and mackerel. Guangxi is a major producer of manganese ore, coal, iron, tin, and fluorspar. Crude oil has been discovered in the Gulf of Tonkin. Guangxi has a mix of light and heavy industries, such as oil refineries, fertilizer and cement plants, iron, steel, and textile mills, and factories that produce paper, leather, pharmaceuticals, and handicrafts. In the late 1970s and early 80s many light industrial businesses where given managerial autonomy, which resulted in increased productivity. Tourism is a growing industry. The region has an extensive network of waterways, in addition to several roads and railroads; a railway runs to Vietnam. The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which has a large non-Chinese minority, was created in 1958 from Guangxi prov. The Zhuang are the second largest ethnic group in China after the Han, and are by far the largest minority in the region. Other tribes include the Yao and Miao. Many Chinese Muslims also live in Guangxi. The name sometimes appears as Kwangsi Chuang.

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