Guangxi is situated in the southern part of China. It neighbors on Beibu Gulf Rim in the South and faces Hainan Province across the sea. It borders Guangdong Province in the east, connects with Hunan Province in the northeast, neighbours on Guizhou and Yunnan Province respectively in the west and northwest, and adjoins Viet Nam in the southwest. Guangxi accounts a land area of 236.7 thousand square kilometers, 2.5% of that of whole China. With the marine area of 129.3 square kilometers, the Beibu Gulf Rim boasts a coastline of over 1500-kilometer-long and 697 islands. Weizhou Island, which is 28 square kilometers wide, is the largest island along the coast.
Located in southwest Yungui Plateau, Guangxi is hugged by a lot of mountains and hills. The landform of Guangxi, which is characterized by a geographic incline from northwest to southeast, takes the form of a basin with many gaps on its verge and much flat in its Middle and South.
With a long summer and warm winter time, most parts of Guangxi are suitable for continuous cropping of many kinds of tropical and subtropical crops. There are also temperate crops in mountainous areas. Rice covers the whole autonomous region with all kinds of varieties adaptable to different natural conditions. It is one of the major rice growing regions in our country. Guangxi abounds in minerals, such as bauxite, petroleum, manganese, crystal, tin,tungsten, of which the deposit of manganese heads first in our country. Limestone is widely distributed with good quality. There are also sea salt along the coast. Guangxi is also rich in Shatian shaddocks, lychee, longans, pineapples, fructus momordicae, etc. Its specialties are cassia bark, aniseed, fennel oil, ginseng, gecko, willow, colophony, and “south pearls”, etc. There are still many traditional handicraft industry and artwork production of national characteristics. Famous products include Zhuang brocade of Jiangxi, Xincheng and Binyang as well as porcelain, bamboo paper and grass cloth of Binyang.
Population, Nationality and Language
By the end of the year 2003, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region has a total population of 48,570,000, which ranks the tenth among all the provinces in China. Of the total population, the number of people living in cities and towns is 14,110,000, accounting for 29.1% with the rest population living in rural areas. Guangxi is one of the five autonomous regions in our country. There are 12 indigenous nationalities, mainly including Zhuang nationality, Han nationality, Yao nationality, Miao nationality, Dong nationality, Mulam nationality, Maonan nationality, Hui nationality, Jing nationality, Yi nationality, Shui nationality and Gelo nationality. There are also other 25 minority groups. The population of Han nationality is about 30,000,000, which accounts for 61.6% of the total population of the whole region. The population of ethnic minorities is more than 18,000,000, accounting for 38.4%. Zhuang nationality has a population of more than 15,000,000, 85.7% of the population of ethnic minorities in the autonomous region. Most population in Guangxi speak Han dialects, such as Cantonese, Xi-Nan Guan Hua (the official language of old Southwest region), Hakka dialect, Pinghua dialect, Xiang dialect, and Min dialect, etc. It is one of the provinces that is endowed with the most categories of Han dialects in our country. The language of Zhuang nationality is the most popular one among ethnic minorities.
Guangxi is rich in tourist resource with many interesting sights scattering around the region. The world known tourist city-Guilin is located in the north of Guangxi. Recently, tourism development has quicked and tourism services has been greatly improved. Highways have been built and an explosion of tourism activities unleashed.
It is divided into 14 cities at the prefecture-level, which are subdivided into 109 counties (cities, districts), of which there are seven cities at the county-level, 57 counties of city level, 12 ethnic autonomous counties, and 33 districts under the jurisdiction of the city.