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Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

The Zhuang people are China's largest ethnic minority. With a population of about 18,000,000, Zhuang ethnic group is the largest minority group in China with a long history and glorious culture. Over 90 percent of the population live in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which is nearly the size of New Zealand.

Located in south China, Guangxi [Kwangsi] Zhuang Autonomous Region is a coastal province. It occupies a land of 236,700 sq km, accounting for 2.5% of the nation's total and ranking ninth among all the provinces and autonomous regions. The picturesque scenic spots in Guangxi are famous worldwide, symbolized by Guilin, a natural beauty produced by unique karst geography. At present, the province has established several tourist attractions including three state-level natural scenic spots, 11 state-level forest parks, 30 regional natural scenic spots, 15 state-level cultural and historical relics, 221 regional cultural and historical relics and one state-level tourist resort in Beihai City.

The Dog Meat Festival begins on June 21st. More than 10,000 dogs are reported to be captured, transported in cages under horrific conditions, and slaughtered every year for this Dog Meat festival, for human consumption, which poses a risk to human health by exposing people to a multitude of diseases, including rabies and cholera. In addition, more than 10 million dogs are killed annually in China for the dog meat trade. This festival epitomizes the cruelty of the industry. Many of these dogs are stolen from their owners and are still wearing their collars when they reach the slaughterhouses. Many die during transport to the slaughterhouses after days or weeks without food or water, and others suffer illness and injury during transport, such as broken bones.

The festival takes place in residential areas and public marketplaces, imposing scenes of extreme animal cruelty on local residents, including young children who may, as a result, suffer psychological trauma and desensitization. It is a spectacle of extreme animal cruelty for commercial purposes. Tens of millions of people around the world have called upon the Government of China, the Governor of the Guangxi Autonomous Region, and the Mayor of Yulin to officially end the Dog Meat Festival and stop the mass slaughter of dogs all year round in Yulin. In addition, it is often wrongly assumed to be a Chinese tradition, however, the majority of people in China do not consume dog meat and dog meat is not a part of mainstream Chinese culinary practice.

"Zhuang" was one of the names the ancestors of the ethnic group gave themselves. The term was first recorded some 1,000 years ago, in the Song Dynasty. The Zhuangs used to call themselves by at least a dozen other names, too. The Zhuang areas first came under the administration of China's central authority 2,000 years ago. In 221 BC, the First Emperor of Qin, China's first feudal emperor to unify the country, conquered the area and established three prefectures there. The emperor had the Lingqu Canal built to facilitate irrigation. He also started a project to move people from other places to the area, strengthening its political, economic and cultural ties with the central-south part of the country.

In the centuries that followed, a number of powerful clans emerged in this area, who owned vast tracts of land and numerous slaves and servants. Still later, during the Tang and Song dynasties, social and economic development was such that irrigated rice paddies, farm cattle, iron, copper and spinning and weaving spread far and wide. However, the Zhuang area still lagged behind central China economically. Quite a number of places retained the primitive mode of production, including slash-and-burn cultivation and hunting. The dominant social system was feudal serfdom and people were classified into three strata: hereditary landowners, tenant farmers and house slaves. The system was eliminated during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the last feudal monarchy in China.

Administratively, most of the Zhuang area was governed by the headmen system all through the over 1,000 years from the Tang to Qing dynasties. Backed by the central authorities, the local headmen oppressed and exploited the Zhuangs, forcing them into hundreds of uprisings. In 1851, the Taiping Revolution, the biggest of peasant uprisings in Chinese history, broke out in this area. Thousands of Zhuangs joined the Taiping Army, forming its spine in its march to the north. Many of them became important leaders of the army and the Heavenly Kingdom of Taiping.

Inhabiting China's southern frontier areas, the Zhuangs have played an important role in defending the country's territory. In the 1070s, they repulsed the Annamese aggressors; in the middle 16th century, they beat back the invading Japanese pirates. Towards the end of the 19th century, French troops that had occupied south Vietnam pushed northward and invaded China. People of Zhuang and Han nationalities in Guangxi formed the Black Banner Army and trounced the French invaders near Hanoi in 1873. They again routed the French at Hanoi in 1882.

When the French invaders made new incursions into China in 1885, the local Zhuang and Han people helped the Chinese army win a crucial victory at Zhennanguan, a pass on the Sino-Vietnamese border. The Zhuangs also made great contributions to the Revolution of 1911, China's first democratic revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Many Zhuangs became key members of the Tong Meng Hui, an organization Dr. Sun formed to advance his revolutionary cause.

Starting from 1952, the policy of regional ethnic autonomy was implemented in the area. At first, a Zhuang autonomous region was set up in the western part of Guangxi, which was enlarged to cover the whole of Guangxi and renamed the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in 1958. Shortly afterwards, the Wenshan Zhuang-Miao Autonomous Prefecture was established in Yunnan Province and the Lianshan Zhuang-Yao Autonomous County in Guangdong Province.

The Zhuangs are polytheists, worshipping among other things giant rocks, old trees, high mountains, land, dragons, snakes, birds and ancestors. Taoism has also had a deep influence on the Zhuangs since the Tang Dynasty. In the old days, there were semi-professional Taoist priests in the countryside, and religious rites cost a lot of money. Foreign missionaries came to the area in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but their influence was limited to cities and towns.

Situated in a region at low latitudes, Guangxi borders on the tropic sea in the south, and has mountain ranges in its northern part. Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau extends into western part of Guangxi. Under the joint action of the sun radiation and atmospheric circulation, the climate here is characterized by having a short winter and long summer with the annual temperature averaging between 16C and 23C.

The annual rainfalls in Guangxi are between 1,000-2,800 mm, growing gradually southward from the north. The rainfalls from April through September make up 75% of the annual rainfalls. The rainy season just coincide with the hot season. Affected by abnormal advances and retreats of monsoon, Guangxi often sees changes in precipitation and temperature. Drought, floods, typhoon and hailstorms may frequently hit the area.

Thickly crossed by rivers, Guangxi is rich in water resources. The water resources amounted to 174.13 billion cubic meters in 2005, with per capita share of this resource being 3,536 cubic meters. The average annual rainfall stood at 1,444.3 mm during the year. Because of the abundant water resources, Guangxi is estimated to have energy potential with a power generating ability coming to 78.8 billion kw/h annually.

Guangxi is known for having various mineral deposits, and it serves as one of the 10 important production bases of nonferrous metals in China. The number of proven mineral resources comes to 96, including 53 of which the deposits ranks 10th or above among provinces. The region has especially abundant reserves of manganese and tin, which amount for one third of the national total. In addition, Guangxi takes a leading role in having the reserves of vanadium, tungsten, antimony, silver, aluminum, talcum and so forth. What makes the province a favorite place for mineral development and production is that the mineral resources are found relatively concentrated lying beneath the earth.

The southern section of Guangxi is ringed by seacoast. The Beibu Bay, a natural semi-enclosed bay in the northwest of the South China Sea, covers an area of 129,300 square km, with the depth of water averaging 38 meters, the deepest point at 100 meters down. Located in the tropic zone, the Beibu Bay provides a favorable environment for the breeding and growth of various fish species. It is home to over 500 types of fish and shellfish. Among them over 50 are of economic value. They include red snapper, grouper, Spanish mackerel, butterfish and red coat. The total fish resources amount to 750,000 tons. The Beibu Bay Fish Farm covers an area of some 40,000 square sea miles.

In recent years, with the demarcation of national and provincial ecological function districts and counties, local governments have continuously introduced ecological function district and county construction policies to lead the development of ecological function districts and counties. Our district should speed up the improvement of policies in ecological protection zones, counties in terms of ecological protection, industrial development, investment and financing, and talents, accelerate the formation of policies and territorial effects, and promote the leap-forward development of ecological function districts and counties. In-depth implementation of the main list of negative functional inventory management methods, effectively limit the development of high-pollution, high-emission enterprises, and promote the development of ecological industries.

Since 2017, in the face of the complicated and ever-changing domestic and international economic situation and the continued downward pressure, Guangxi has thoroughly implemented the important speeches of General Secretary Jin Ping, especially inspecting the spirit of the important speech of Guangxi, and conscientiously implementing the decision-making and deployment of the Party Central Committee and the State Council. And the autonomous regional party committee government deployment requirements, adhere to the general tone of steady progress, to improve the quality and efficiency of development as the center, the supply-side structural reform as the main line, and go all out to do a steady growth of all work. In the first three quarters, the economic operation of the whole region was generally stable.

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Page last modified: 13-11-2018 16:54:31 ZULU