Jiangxi ▶ (Chinese: 江西; pinyin: Jiāngxī; Wade-Giles: Chiang-hsi; Postal map spelling: Kiangsi) is a southern province of the People's Republic of China, spanning from the banks of the Yangtze River in the north to the hillier areas of the south. The province borders Anhui to the north, Zhejiang to the northeast, Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, Hunan to the west, and Hubei to the northwest. The name of the province does not mean "west of the Yangtze" as a literal reading would imply, but instead originated as a contraction of "Jiangnan Xi" (江南西; "West Jiangnan," or more literally "the west of the south of the Yangtze." The name was coined when Jiangnan ("south of the Yangtze") Circuit was split into western and eastern halves during the Tang Dynasty.
Jiangxi had served as a main trade route in ancient and Medieval China, drawing wealth and power to the region. Sitting one province removed from the China Gold Coast, the province lost its economic preeminence and power during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The province has natural strengthens that bode well for its growth in the twenty-first century. Blessed with an abundance of water, Jiangxi is the rice producing leader of China, and enjoys approximately 25 percent of the fresh water fish in its lakes, rivers, and streams. The provinces greatest resources may be its natural beauty and ecology, as well as spiritual heritage in Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
Mountains surround Jiangxi on three sides, with the Mufu Mountains, Jiuling Mountains, and Luoxiao Mountains lying to the west, the Huaiyu Mountains and Wuyi Mountains to the east, and the Jiulian Mountains and Dayu Mountains in the south. The southern half of the province is hilly with ranges and valleys interspersed throughout its territory, while the northern half is flatter and lower in altitude. The highest point in Jiangxi is Mount Huanggang in the Wuyi Mountains on the border with Fujian. It has an altitude of 2157 m.
The Gan River dominates the province, flowing through its entire length from south to north. It enters Lake Poyang in the north, which is the largest freshwater lake in all of China. That lake in turn empties into the Yangtze River, which forms part of the northern border of Jiangxi. Important reservoirs include the Xiushui Tuolin Reservoir in the northwest of the province on the Xiushui River, and the Wan'an Reservoir in the upper section of the Gan River.
Jiangxi's climate is subtropical and characterized by its warmth and humidity. Average temperatures are about 3 to 9°C in January and 27 to 31°C in July, but the provincial capital city of Nanchang is well known as one of the hottest cities in all of China. Annual precipitation in the province as a whole is 1,200 to 1,900 mm.
Jiangxi is one of China's largest grain producers, with a well developed farming industry. Rice is the dominant crop, accounting for almost 80 percent of the total land dedicated to grain crop growth. Other cash crops commonly grown include cotton, sugarcane, tea, fruit, and rapeseed. Jiangxi also takes advantage of its significant geographic features, including its vast forests, which make up about 59 percent of the provincial territory and contribute to Jiangxi's substantial lumber industry. The province's timber reserve amount to roughly 250 million cubic meters, in addition to 1 billion plants of bamboo, both of which are figures that occupy leading positions in the entire country.
Jiangxi is rich in mineral resources, leading all of the provinces of China in deposits of copper, gold, tungsten silver, uranium, thorium, tantalum, niobium, and several others. Some of the notable centers of mining in the province include Dexing for copper and Dayu County for tungsten.
Despite its richness in terms of mineral resources, Jiangxi is rather poor among the provinces of China. It is located in extreme proximity to some of the richest provinces of China such as Guangdong, Zhejiang, and Fujian, which are sometimes blamed for taking away the talent and capital from Jiangxi.
Jiangxi's nominal GDP for 2006 was about 461.9 billion yuan (60.6 billion USD) and a per capita of 10,679 RMB (1,380 USD).