1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cheh-kiang

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CHEH-KIANG, an eastern province of China, bounded N. by the province of Kiang-su, E. by the sea, S. by the province of Fu-kien, and W. by the provinces of Kiang-si and Ngan-hui. It occupies an area of about 36,000 sq. m., and contains a population of 11,800,000. With the exception of a small portion of the great delta plain, which extends across the frontier from the province of Kiang-su, and in which are situated the famous cities of Hu Chow, Ka-hing, Hang-chow, Shao-Sing and Ning-po, the province forms a portion of the Nan-shan of south-eastern China, and is hilly throughout. The Nan-shan ranges run through the centre of the province from south-west to north-east, and divide it into a northern portion, the greater part of which is drained by the Tsien-t’ang-kiang, and a southern portion which is chiefly occupied by the Ta-chi basin. The valleys enclosed between the mountain ranges are numerous, fertile, and for the most part of exquisite beauty. The hilly portion of the province furnishes large supplies of tea, and in the plain which extends along the coast, north of Ning-po, a great quantity of silk is produced. In minerals the province is poor. Coal and iron are occasionally met with, and traces of copper ore are to be found in places, but none of these minerals exists in sufficiently large deposits to make mining remunerative. The province, however, produces cotton, rice, ground-nuts, wheat, indigo, tallow and beans in abundance. The principal cities are Hang-chow, which is famed for the beauty of its surroundings, Ning-po, which has been frequented by foreign ships ever since the Portuguese visited it in the 16th century, and Wênchow. Opposite Ning-po, at a distance of about 50 m., lies the island of Chusan, the largest of a group bearing that general name. This island is 21 m. long, and about 50 m. in circumference. It is very mountainous, and is surrounded by numerous islands and islets. On its south side stands the walled town of Ting-hai, in front of which is the principal harbour. The population is returned as 50,000.