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Jiangsu

Jiangsu Province makes the most of its productive locale in the Yangtze River Delta. The province is the birthplace of many of China's important national industries. Six sectors - petrochemicals, electronics, machinery, textiles,building materials and food processing - are the province's pillar industries.

Nanjing was the capital of several Chinese dynasties and contains a variety of historic sites, such as the Purple Mountain, Purple Mountain Observatory, the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, Ming Dynasty city wall and gates, Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum (The mausoleum of the first Ming Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang), Lake Xuanwu, Jiming Temple, the Nanjing Massacre Memorial, Nanjing Confucius Temple, Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, and the Nanjing Zoo, with circus.
 
Suzhou is renowned for its classical gardens (designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), as well as Hanshan Temple, and Huqiu Tower. Nearby is the water-town of Zhouzhuang, an international tourist destination where Venice alike waterways, bridges and dwellings have been preserved over centuries. Yangzhou is known for Thin West Lake. Wuxi is known for being the home of the world's tallest buddha statue. In the north, Xuzhou is designated as one of China's 'eminent historical cities'.

Map of Jiangsu

Site of Interest
Lingering Garden
Humble Adiministrator's Garden
Master of the Nets Garden
Hanshan Temple
Grand Canal
Tiger Hill
Surging Wave Pavilion

Lion Grove
Suzhou Ouyuan Garden
Luzhi Old Town
Suzhou No. 1 Silk Factory
Tongli Old Town
Panmen Gate
Maple Bridge
Suzhou Silk Museum
Embroidery Research Institute
Zhou Zhuang Water Town
Garden of Pleasance (Yi Yuan)
Garden for Ease of Mind
Garden of Retreat and Reflection (Tuisi Garden)
Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty(Huanxiu Shanzhuang)

History
During the earliest Chinese dynasties, the area in what is now Jiangsu was far removed from the center of Chinese civilization, which was in the northwest Henan; it was home of the Huai Yi, an ancient ethnic group. During the Zhou Dynasty more contact was made, and eventually the state of Wu (centered at Gusu, now Suzhou) appeared as a vassal to the Zhou Dynasty in south Jiangsu, one of the many hundreds of states that existed across northern and central China at that time. Near the end of the Spring and Autumn Period, Wu became a great power under King Helu of Wu, and was able to defeat in 484 BC the state of Qi, a major power in the north in modern-day Shandong province, and contest for the position of overlord over all states of China. The state of Wu was subjugated in 473 BC by the state of Yue, another state that had emerged to the south in modern-day Zhejiang province. Yue was in turn subjugated by the powerful state of Chu from the west in 333 BC. Eventually the state of Qin swept away all the other states, and established China as a unified nation in 221 BC.

Under the reign of the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD), which brought China to its first golden age, Jiangsu was a relative backwater, far removed from the centers of civilization in the North China Plain.

Under the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907) China once more went through a golden age, though Jiangsu at this point was still rather unremarkable among the different parts of China. It was during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), which saw the development of a wealthy mercantile class and emergent market economy in China, that south Jiangsu emerged as a center of trade. From then onwards, south Jiangsu, especially major cities like Suzhou or Yangzhou, would be synonymous with opulence and luxury in China. Today south Jiangsu remains one of the richest parts of China, and Shanghai, arguably the wealthiest and most cosmopolitan of mainland China cities, is a direct extension of south Jiangsu culture. Jiangsu continued to be an important and flourishing textiles industry center of trade in several dynasties of China

Around Second World War, Nanjing was once again the capital of the Republic of China, though now the Chinese Civil War had broken out between the Kuomintang government and Communist forces, based further north, mostly in Manchuria. The decisive Huaihai Campaign was fought in northern Jiangsu; it resulted in Kuomintang defeat, and the communists were soon able to cross the Yangtze River and take Nanjing. The Kuomintang fled southwards, and eventually ended up in Taipei, from which the Republic of China government continues to administer Taiwan and its neighbouring islands, though it also continues to claim (technically, at least) Nanjing as its rightful capital.

After communist takeover, Beijing was made capital of China and Nanjing was demoted to be the provincial capital of Jiangsu. The economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping initially focused on the south coast of China, in Guangdong province, which soon left Jiangsu behind; starting from the 1990s they were applied more evenly to the rest of China. Suzhou and Wuxi, two southern cities of Jiangsu in close proximity to neighbouring Shanghai Municipality, have since become particularly prosperous, being among the top 10 cities in China in gross domestic product and outstripping the provincial capital of Nanjing. The income disparity between north Jiangsu and south Jiangsu however remains large.

Culture
The province of Jiangsu was formed in the seventeenth century from the splitting of the defunct and erroneously named Jiangnan Province ("south of the river") into Jiangsu and Anhui. Before then, the northern and southern parts of Jiangsu had less connection than that later. Traditionally, South Jiangsu is referred to as the three more prosperous southern cities including Suzhou, Wuxi and Changzhou. Their culture (the "Jiangnan" culture shared with Shanghai and Zhejiang) is more southern than the rest and is oftened referred to as the Wu. All the other parts of the province is dominated by the so-called "Jianghuai Culture", which means the culture in the area between the Yangtse River (Jiang) and Huaihe River (Huai), though not all of them lie within the district defined by the term. In history, the term North Jiangsu refers to the cities to the north of the Yangtze River. For cities of Nanjing and Zhenjiang, neither the two terms (North Jiangsu and South Jiangsu) refers to them, because though they are to the south of the River, culturally they are still of the Jianghuai Region. Since about 1998, there is a new classification used frequently by the government and defined by economic means. It groups all the cities to the south of the Yangtse River as South Jiangsu, the cities of Yangzhou, Nantong and Taizhou as Middle Jiangsu, and all the rest as North Jiangsu.

Though the terms of classification are very complex, by cultural means only the very north cities of Xuzhou and Huaian are culturally north Chinese. All the rest areas of the province are culturally south, though the three South Jiangsu cities are more purely southern while the culture in other cities is more a transitional mixture dominated by the southern.

The Humble Administrator's Garden, one of the classical gardens of Suzhou.Two main subdivisions of the Chinese language, Mandarin (not Putonghua, the national standard speech based on the Beijing dialect, also commonly called Mandarin) and Wu, are spoken in different parts of Jiangsu. Dialects of Mandarin are spoken over the traditional North Jiangsu, Nanjing and Zhenjiang, while Dialect of Wu is used in South Jiangsu. Mandarin and Wu are not mutually intelligible and the dividing line is sharp and well-defined. (See also Nanjing dialect, Xuzhou dialect, Yangzhou dialect, Suzhou dialect, Wuxi dialect, Changzhou dialect). In addition, Standard Chinese (Putonghua/Mandarin) is also spoken by most people.

Jiangsu is rich in cultural traditions. Kunqu, originating in Kunshan, is one of the most renowned and prestigious forms of Chinese opera. Pingtan, a form of storytelling accompanied by music, is also popular: it can be subdivided into types by origin: Suzhou Pingtan (of Suzhou), Yangzhou Pingtan (of Yangzhou), and Nanjing Pingtan (of Nanjing). Xiju, a form of traditional Chinese opera, is popular in Wuxi, while Huaiju is popular further north, around Yancheng. Jiangsu cuisine is one of the eight great traditions of the cuisine of China.

Suzhou is also famous for its silk, embroidery art, jasmine tea, stone bridges, pagodas, and its classical gardens. Nearby Yixing is famous for its teaware, and Yangzhou is famous for its lacquerware and jadeware. Nanjing's yunjin is a famous form of woven silk, while Wuxi is famous for its peaches.

Since ancient times, south Jiangsu has been famed for its prosperity and opulence, and simply inserting south Jiangsu place names (Suzhou, Yangzhou, etc.) into poetry gave an effect of dreaminess, as was indeed done by many famous poets. In particular, the fame of Suzhou (as well as Hangzhou in neighbouring Zhejiang province) has led to the popular saying: above there is heaven; below there is Suzhou and Hangzhou, a saying that continues to be a source of pride for the people of these two still prosperous cities. Similarly, the prosperity of Yangzhou has led poets to dream of: with a hundred thousand strings of coins wrapped around the waist, riding a crane down to Yangzhou.


 

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