Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/255

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By the Editor.

The province of Kansu derives its name from the first characters of two of its leading cities, Kanchow Fu and Suchow. It is situated at the extreme north-west of China proper, if Sinkiang be excepted, and is bounded on the north by Mongolia, on the west by The Sinkiang and Tibet, on the south by Szechwan, and on the east by Shensi. Its area is 125,450 square miles, which is slightly larger than Norway, while its population is estimated at 10,385,376, or twice as many as Sweden. As this gives only 82 persons to the square mile, it is the most sparsely populated of any province in China, with the exception of Kwangsi, which has 67 to the square mile, Yunnan coming next with 84.

In former times the province of Kansu was included in the province of Shensi, though the latter province was even then known by the two names of I-si, the western portion (now Kansu), and I-tong, the eastern portion (now Shensi). At that time the Viceroy of modern Kansu, Shensi, and Szechwan resided at Sian Fu, while Lanchow Fu, the present capital of Kansu, was only a second-rank city and dependent upon Kingyang Fu. Now Lanchow Fu is the seat of the Viceroy of both Kansu and Shensi.

More recently the unwieldy north-west portion of Kansu was for administrative purposes divided from that province and made into the new province of Sinkiang, or