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The names of the provinces in China (updated)
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The names of the provinces in China (updated).
(1) Anhui 安徽 Province
An means calm. Hui means beautiful
There were two ancient provincial governments in this province.
One was called An Qing 安慶 and the other Hui Zhou 徽州.
The name of this province was derived from the first word
of the names of those two ancient provinces of An Qhing and Hui Zhou.
In Qian Shan Xian (潛山縣), west of this province there is a mountain called Wan Gong Shan (皖公山). The single word name of this province is Wan named after
Anhui means calm and beautiful.
(2) Fujian 福建 Province
Fu means lucky. Jian means established.
There were two ancient provincial governments in this province.
One was called Fu Zhou 福州 and the other Jian Ning 建寧.
The name of this province was derived from the first word of the names of
those two ancient provincial governments of Fu Zhou and Jian Ning.
During the Qin Dynasty ( 秦朝 221BC to 207BC) this territory was called Min Zhong Jun (閩中郡). In Han Dynasty ( 漢朝 206BC to 220AD) it was called Min and later renamed it to State of Yue (越國). During the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (五代十國 907
AD to 960AD) it was called the land of the State of Min
(閩國). The single word name for Fujian province is Min.
Fujian means luckily established.
(3) Gansu 甘肅 Province
Gan means sweet. Su means respectful.
There were two ancient provincial governments in this province.
One was called Gan Zhou 甘州 and the other Su Zhou 肅州. The name of this province was derived from the first word of those two ancient provincial governments Gan Zhou and Su Zhou.
Gansu province is situated in the west of a mountain called Long Shan (隴山), which is actually in the north west of Shaanxi province (陜西). The single word name of Gansu province is Long (隴) named after this mountain.
Gansu means sweet and respectful.
(4) Guangdong 廣東 Province
Guang means vast. Dong means east.
This province is the southern-most of the Chinese provinces from the capital Beijing (北京). It is situated in the territory east of the large river Yue Jiang (粵江). It was called Bai Yue (百粵) during the Period of Chun Qiu ( 春秋時代722BC to 481BC).
During the Ming Dynasty ( 明朝 1368AD to 1644AD) an administration called Bu Zheng Shi Si (布政使司) was established in this territory. The Qing Dynasty ( 清朝 1644AD to 1911AD) established a provincial government there called Guangdong. Since then it had
been called Guangdong province. The single word name of Guangdong is Yue (粵) named after this large river Yue Jiang.
Guangdong means vast land east of the Yue river.
(5) Guangxi 廣西 Province
Guang means vast. Xi means west.
The Qin Dynasty (秦朝 221BC to 207BC) established the Gui Lin Jun (桂林郡
or cinamon or cassia forest Prefecture) there. Ever since then this province was known only by its single name Gui or cassia. However, it was renamed to Guang Nan West Road (廣南西路) during the Song Dynasty ( 宋朝 960AD to 1279AD). A provincial governmen
t called Guangxi was established there during the Ming Dynasty (明朝 1368AD to 1644AD). It had been called Guangxi since then, but its single word name remains as Gui(桂).
Guangxi means vast land west of the capital Beijing (北京).
(6) Guizhou 貴州 Province
Gui means precious. Zhou means state.
This province is situated in the east of the plateau Yun Gui (雲貴).
It takes its name from the second word of the Yun Gui Plateau and by adding
Zhou (州) or state after Gui. A Prefecture called Qian Zhong (黔中) was established there by Ying Zheng (嬴政) the first Emperor of China during the Qin Dynasty
(秦朝 221BC to 207BC). Ever since then this province had always been known by its single word name Qian (黔).
Guizhou means precious province.
(7) Hebei 河北 Province
He means river. Bei means north.
Since this province is situated north of Huang He (黃河) or Yellow River
it is called Hebei or north of the river.
In 2205BC when Si Wen Ming (姒文命), who was also known as Yu Di (禹帝), was elected as the leader of the united tribes he divided his domain into nine States or Jiu Zhou (九州) which is the name sometimes we call China. One of the nine States was called
Ji Zhou (冀州 present day flat plains of Hebei province and the highland of Shanxi province). Since then it was known by its single word name Ji (冀) until it was during the Chun Qiu Period (春秋時代 722BC to 481BC) that a State called the State of Yan
(燕) was established there. Then this territory was known as Yan Guo (燕國). The single word name for Yan Guo was Yan and at that time people called this territory Yan. After the Zhou Dynasty (1134BC to 256BC) the historians stopped referring this territo
ry as Yan but the ancient name Ji.
Hebei province means north of Huang He (黃河).
(8) Heilongjiang 黑龍江 Province
Hei means black. Long means dragon. Jiang means river.
The river of Heilongjiang is the major river furthest north from the centre of
Chinese civilization. It forms the boundary between China and Russia.
The name of this province was derived from the name of the river which means black dragon river. The single word name of this province is Hei (黑).
(9) Henan 河南 Province
He means river. Nan means south.
As this province is situated south of Huang He ( 黃河) or Yellow River
it is called Henan or south of Huang He. During the Xia Dynasty ( 夏朝 2205BC
to 1766BC) this territory was called Yu Zhou (豫州 present day name for Zhong Yuan 中原 or the central plains of China) from which its single word name Yu (豫)
Henan means south of Huang He.
(10) Hubei 湖北 Province
Hu means lake. Bei means north.
This province is situated north of Dong Ting Hu ( 洞庭湖) a lake in the region.
It was the territory of the State of Chu (楚) during the Zhou Dynasty (1134BC to 256BC). In about 894BC Mi Xiong Qu (羋熊渠), the ruler of the State of Chu, gave authrity to his younger brother Mi Zhi Hong (羋摯紅) to rule a place called E
(鄂 present day Wu Chang 武昌 city in Hubei province). Mi Zhi Hong was known as E Wang (鄂王) and his domain was called E. The single word name of Hubei province E (鄂) which was named after E Wang.
Hubei means north of Dong Ting Hu.
(11) Hunan 湖南 Province
Hu means lake. Nan means south.
This province is situated south of Dong Ting Hu (洞庭湖), a lake in the region.
There is a big river called Xiang Jiang (湘江), flows through the province.
Its single word name Xiang (湘) is named after Xiang Jiang.
Hunan means south of Dong Ting Hu.
(12) Jiangsu 江蘇 Province
Jiang means large river. Su means revive from unconciousness.
In the ancient time two provincial governments were established in this territory.
One was called Jiang Ning (江寧) and the other was Su Zhou (蘇州). The name of
this province was derived from the first word of the names of those two ancient provincial governments of Jiang Ning and Su Zhou.
During the Spring and Autumn Period (722BC to 481BC) this region was called the State of Wu (吳國). The single word of this province is Su (蘇).
(13) Jiangxi 江西 Province
Jiang means large river. Xi means west
This province was called Jiang Nan West Road (江南西路) during the Tang
Dynasty (618AD to 907AD). Jiang Nan (江南) means south of Chang Jiang
(長江) or Yangtze River (Son of the Ocean). This name was later changed
to Jiang Xi Administration (江西布政使司) during the Ming Dynasty (1368AD to 1644AD). There is a large river called Gan Jiang (贛江) flows through the province. Its single word name Gan (贛) derived from the name of this river.
Jiangxi means west of Chang Jiang.
(14) Jilin 吉林 Province
Ji means lucky. Lin means forest.
Manchu words Jilin Wula (吉林烏拉) means along the river or Yan Jiang (沿江).
The Jiang here refers to Song Hua Jiang (松花江). The Manchu people called this
province Jilin or Yan Jiang and left off the word Wula (along). The single word name of this province is Ji (吉) the first word of Jilin.
Jilin means lucky forest.
(15) Liaoning 遼寧 Province
Liao means distant. Ning means tranquil, peaceful.
The name of this province was derived from the river, Liao (遼),
which flows through this province in North East China.
The single name of this province is Liao , the name of the river.
Liaoning means distant tranquility.
(16) Nei Monggol 內蒙古 province
Nei means inner. Monggol means the name of the minority group in China.
This province is situated in the north eastern part of China.
Monggol people established the Yuan Dynasty (1271AD to 1368AD) in China.
The territory of the Monggol people was geographically divided
into two parts. One part is called Outer Monggol which is the
independentnRepublic of Mongolia . The other part is called Inner Monggol
which is part of China. The shortened name for this province is Nei Meng (內蒙)
Neimonggol means inner Mongolia.
(17) Ningxia 寧夏 Province
Ning means tranquil; peaceful. Xia means summer.
This province is called Ningxia because there was an ancient
non-Han State called Xia (夏) in that region, and it was a warring
State. The ancient Chinese dynasties had a hard time controlling
this State from invading the Central Plains or Zhong Yuan (中原).
Finally, when the State of Xia was exterminated, the Chinese named
this territory Ningxia. The single word single of this province is Ning.
Ningxia means to bring tranquility to the State of Xia.
(18) Qinghai 青海 Province
Qing means green. Hai means sea.
There is a big lake called Qin Hai (青海) or Green Sea in the province.
This province was named after the lake.
The single word for this province is Qing.
Qinghai means green sea.
(19) Shaanxi 陜西 Province
Shan means narrow. Xi means west.
This province was called Shaanxi Road (陜西路) during the Song Dynasty
( 宋朝 960AD to 1279AD). It had been called Shaanxi without the word
Road ever since. The territory of this province was the land of the State of
Qin (秦) during the Zhou Dynasty ( 周朝1134BC to 256BC).
The ancient single name of this province was Qin named after the
State of Qin, but nowadays it is called Shan.
Shan Xi means narrow strip of land in the west.
(NOTE: the name of these two provinces Shanxi (山西) and Shaanxi (陜西))
(20) Shangdong 山東 Province
Shan means mountain. Dong means east.
As this province is situated east of Tai Hang Shan (太行山)
it is called Shandong or east of Tai Hang Shan. During the Zhou Dynasty (周朝1134BC to 256BC) this was the territory of the State of Lu (魯國). The single word
name of this province is called Lu (魯) named after the State of Lu.
Shandong means east of Tai Hang Shan.
(21) Shanxi 山西 Province
Shan means mountain. Xi means west.
As this province is situated west of Tai Hang Shan (太行山)
it is called Shanxi or west of Tai Hang Shan.
This territory was called the State of Jin (晉國) during the Zhou Dynasty
(周朝1134BC to 256BC). The single word name of Shanxi is Jin (晉)
named after the State of Jin.
Province Shanxi means west of Tai Hang Shan.
(22) Sichuan 四川 Province
Si means four. Chuan means river.
Sichuan is sometimes referred to as the region of Four Streams or Rivers.
The four rivers that form the headwaters of Chang Jiang (長江) or Yangtze River
(Son of the Ocean) give Sichuan Province its name. The four rivers are:
the Min Jiang (岷江), the Jia Ling Jiang (嘉陵江), the Tuo Jiang (沱江) and the
Wu Jiang (烏江). The single word of thie province is Chuan (川) means river.
Sichuan means the region of four rivers.
(23) Taiwan 台灣 Province
Tai means a flat raised surface. Wan means a bay.
This province is an island in the China Sea and south-east of the China
coast. The name of the province is derived from the huge bay stretching 60
nautical miles from Gao Xiong (高雄) to Mao Bi Tou (貓鼻頭) or Cat Nose
Head where a large aboriginal settlement existed there before the arrival of the Portuguese. After the arrival of westerners, it was known by the romantic name Formosa, the beautiful island.
Taiwan means a big flat land bounded by a huge bay.
(24) Yunnan 雲南 Province
Yun means clouds. Nan means south.
As this province is situated south of Yun Ling (雲嶺) or the ridge of Yun
it is called Yun Nan or south of the ridge of Yun. In ancien time this was the territory of the State of Dian (滇國). During the Han Dynasty (206BC to 220AD) it was called the Dian Chi Xian (滇池縣). The single word name of this province is Dian named aft
er the State of Dian.
Yunnan means the land of south of the clouds.
(25) Xinjiang 新疆 Province
Xin means new. Jiang means frontier.
This province is in the western region of China.
In 1638AD a provincial government called Xinjiang was established
there by the decree of the Ming Emperor Yi Zong (毅宗) to manage the
affairs of this region. Ever since it had been called by that name.
The single word of this province is Xin (新).
Xinjiang means new frontier land.
(26) Xizang 西藏 Province
Xi means west. Zang means the name of a minority race in China.
This province is situated in the western part of China. The province was
named after the Zang (藏) people with an adjective Xi (west) added before
the word Zang. The single word of this province is Zang.
Xizang means the Zang people living in the west of China.
(27) Zhejiang 浙江 Province
Zhe means the name of a river called Zhe. Jiang means a large river.
The largest river that flows through this province is called Qian Tang Jiang
(錢塘江) which was called Zhejiang (浙江) during the ancient time.
The name of this province is named after the ancient name of the river,
Zhejiang. The single word name of this province is Zhe (浙).
Zhejiang means the name of a river called Zhejiang.
Anhui 安徽 Hefei 合肥
Fujian 福建 Fuzhou 福州
Gansu 甘肅 Lanzhou 蘭州
Guangdong 廣東 Guangzhou 廣州
Guangxi 廣西 Nanning 南寧
Guizhou 貴州 Guiyang 貴陽
Hebei 河北 Shijiazhuang 石家莊
Heilongjiang 黑龍江 Harbin 哈爾濱
Henan 河南 Zhengzhou 鄭州
Hubei 湖北 Wuhan 武漢
Hunan 湖南 Changsha 長沙
Jiangsu 江蘇 Nanjing 南京
Jiangxi 江西 Nanchang 南昌
Jilin 吉林 Changchun 長春
Liaoning 遼寧 Shenyang 沈陽
Nei Monggol 內蒙古 Huhebot 呼和浩特
Ningxia 寧夏 Yinchuan 銀川
Qinghai 青海 Xining 西寧
Shaanxi 陜西 Xian 西安
Shandong 山東 Jinan 濟南
Shanxi 山西 Taiyuan 太原
Sichuan 四川 Chengdu 成都
Taiwan 台灣 Taibei 台北
Xingjing 新疆 Wulumuqi 烏魯木齊
Xizang 西藏 Lasa 拉薩
Yunnan 雲南 Kunming 昆明
Zhejiang 浙江 Hangzhou 杭州
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