Sichuan

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Province
Sichuan Province

四川省
Province
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese四川省 (Sìchuān Shěng)
 • AbbreviationSC / or (pinyin: Chuān or Shǔ
Sichuanese: Cuan1 or Su2
)
 • SichuaneseSi4cuan1 Sen3
Map showing the location of Sichuan Province
Coordinates: 30°08′N 102°56′E / 30.133°N 102.933°E / 30.133; 102.933Coordinates: 30°08′N 102°56′E / 30.133°N 102.933°E / 30.133; 102.933
Named forShort for 川峡四路 Chuānxiá sì-lù
literally "The Four Circuits
of the Plains and Gorges",
referring to the four circuits during the Song dynasty
Capital
(and largest city)
Chengdu
Divisions21 prefectures, 181 counties, 5011 townships
Government
 • SecretaryPeng Qinghua
 • GovernorYin Li
Area
[1]
 • Total485,000 km2 (187,000 sq mi)
Area rank5th
Highest elevation
7,556 m (24,790 ft)
Population
 (2013)[2]
 • Total81,100,000
 • Rank4th
 • Density170/km2 (430/sq mi)
 • Density rank22nd
Demographics
 • Ethnic compositionHan – 95%
Yi – 2.6%
Tibetan – 1.5%
Qiang – 0.4%
 • Languages and dialectsSouthwestern Mandarin (Sichuanese dialects), Khams Tibetan, Hakka Chinese
ISO 3166 codeCN-SC
GDP (2017)CNY 3.70 trillion
USD 547.71 billion (6th)
 • per capitaCNY 44,651
USD 6,613 (22nd)
HDI (2016)0.780[3] (high) (23rd)
Websitewww.sc.gov.cn
Sichuan
"Sichuan" in Chinese characters
Chinese name
Chinese四川
PostalSzechwan
Literal meaning"Four Rivers"[4]
Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinSìchuān
Bopomofoㄙˋ   ㄔㄨㄢ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhSyhchuan
Wade–GilesSsŭ4-chʻuan1
IPA[sɨ̂.ʈʂʰwán] (listen)
other Mandarin
Sichuanese PinyinSi4-cuan1
Wu
RomanizationSy3-tshoe1
Hakka
RomanizationSi-tshôn
Yue: Cantonese
Yale RomanizationSei-chyūn
IPA[sēi.tsʰýːn]
JyutpingSei3-cyun1
Southern Min
Hokkien POJSù-chhoan
Tâi-lôSì-tshuan
Tibetan name
Tibetanསི་ཁྲོན་
Transcriptions
Wyliesi khron
Yi name
Yiꌧꍧ
syp chuo
Former names
Ba and Shu
Chinese
Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinBāshǔ
Bopomofoㄅㄚ   ㄕㄨˇ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhBashuu
Wade–GilesPa1-shu3

Sichuan (四川; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province in Southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha River on the west, the Daba Mountains in the north, and the Yungui Plateau to the south. Sichuan's capital city is Chengdu. The population of Sichuan stands at 81 million.

In antiquity, Sichuan was the home of the ancient states of Ba and Shu. Their conquest by Qin strengthened it and paved the way for the Qin Shi Huang's unification of China under the Qin dynasty. During the Three Kingdoms era, Liu Bei's Shu was based in Sichuan. The area was devastated in the 17th century by Zhang Xianzhong's rebellion and the area's subsequent Manchu conquest, but recovered to become one of China's most productive areas by the 19th century. During World War II, Chongqing served as the temporary capital of the Republic of China, making it the focus of Japanese bombing. It was one of the last mainland areas to fall to the Communists during the Chinese Civil War and was divided into four parts from 1949 to 1952, with Chongqing restored two years later. It suffered gravely during the Great Chinese Famine of 1959–61 but remained China's most populous province until Chongqing Municipality was again separated from it in 1997.

The people of Sichuan speak a unique form of Mandarin, which took shape during the area's repopulation under the Ming. The family of dialects is now spoken by about 120 million people, which would make it the 10th most spoken language in the world if counted separately. The area's warm damp climate long caused Chinese medicine to advocate spicy dishes; the native Sichuan pepper was supplemented by Mexican chilis during the Columbian Exchange to form modern Sichuan cuisine, whose dishes—including Kung Pao chicken and Mapo tofu—have become staples of Chinese cuisine around the world.