For other uses, see Guizhou (disambiguation).
Guizhou Province
Name transcription(s)
  Chinese 贵州省 (Guìzhōu Shěng)
  Abbreviation or (pinyin: Qián or Guì)
Map showing the location of Guizhou Province
Map showing the location of Guizhou Province
Coordinates: 26°50′N 106°50′E / 26.833°N 106.833°E / 26.833; 106.833Coordinates: 26°50′N 106°50′E / 26.833°N 106.833°E / 26.833; 106.833
Named for Gui - Gui Mountains
zhou (prefecture)
Capital Guiyang
Largest city Bijie
Divisions 9 prefectures, 88 counties, 1539 townships
  Secretary Chen Min'er
  Governor Sun Zhigang
  Total 176,167 km2 (68,018 sq mi)
Area rank 16th
Population (2010)[2]
  Total 34,746,468
  Rank 19th
  Density 200/km2 (510/sq mi)
  Density rank 18th
  Ethnic composition Han - 62%
Miao - 12%
Buyei - 8%
Dong - 5%
Tujia - 4%
Yi - 2%
Undistinguished - 2%
Gelao - 2%
Sui - 1%
  Languages and dialects Southwestern Mandarin
ISO 3166 code CN-52
GDP (2014) CNY 925,10 billion
US$ 150.599 billion (26th)
 • per capita CNY 26,393
US$ 4,297 (31st)
HDI (2010) 0.598[3] (medium) (30th)
(Simplified Chinese)
Simplified Chinese 贵州
Traditional Chinese 貴州
Postal Kweichow

Guizhou, formerly romanized as Kweichow, is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the southwestern part of the country. Its capital city is Guiyang.


The area was first organized as an administrative region of a Chinese empire under the Tang, when it was named Juzhou (矩州), pronounced Kjú-jyuw in the Middle Chinese of the period.[4] During the Mongolian Yuan dynasty, the character (ju, "carpenter's square") was changed to the more refined (gui, "precious or expensive").[4] The region formally became a province in 1413, with an eponymous capital then also called "Guizhou" but now known as Guiyang.[4]


Guizhou in 1655.

From around 1046 BCE to the emergence of the Qin Dynasty, northwest Guizhou was part of the State of Shu.[5] During the Warring States period, the Chinese state of Chu conquered the area, and control later passed to the Dian Kingdom. During the Chinese Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), to which the Dian was tributary, Guizhou was home to the Yelang collection of tribes, which largely governed themselves before the Han consolidated control in the southwest and established the Lingnan province.[5] During the Three Kingdoms period, parts of Guizhou were governed by the Shu Han state based in Sichuan, followed by Cao Wei (220–265) and the Jin Dynasty (265–420).[5]

During the 8th and 9th centuries in the Tang Dynasty, Chinese soldiers moved into Guizhou (Kweichow) and married native women. Their descendants are known as Lǎohànrén (老汉人), in contrast to new Chinese who populated Guizhou at later times. They still speak an archaic dialect.[6] Many immigrants to Guizhou were descended from these soldiers in garrisons who married these pre-Chinese women.[7]

Kublai Khan and Möngke Khan conquered the Chinese southwest in the process of defeating the Song during the Mongol invasion of China, and the newly established Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368) saw the importation of Chinese Muslim administrators and settlers from Bukhara in Central Asia.[5]

It was during the following Ming Dynasty, which was once again led by Han Chinese, that Guizhou was formally made a province in 1413. The Ming established many garrisons in Guizhou from which to pacify the Yao and Miao minorities during the Miao Rebellions.[5] Chinese-style agriculture flourished with the expertise of farmers from Sichuan, Hunan and its surrounding provinces into Guizhou. Wu Sangui was responsible for the ousting the Ming in Guizhou and Yunnan during the Manchu conquest of China. During the governorship-general of the Qing Dynasty's nobleman Ortai, the tusi system of indirect governance of the southwest was abolished, prompting rebellions from disenfranchised chieftains and the further centralization of government. After the Second Opium War, criminal triads set up shop in Guangxi and Guizhou to sell British opium. For a time, Taiping Rebels took control of Guizhou, but they were ultimately suppressed by the Qing.[5] Concurrently, Han Chinese soldiers moved into the Taijiang region of Guizhou, married Miao women, and their children were brought up as Miao.[8][9]

More unsuccessful Miao rebellions occurred during the Qing, in 1735, from 1795–1806[10] and from 1854–1873.[11] After the overthrow of the Qing in 1911 and following Chinese Civil War, the Communists took refuge in Guizhou during the Long March (1934–1935).[5] While the province was formally ruled by the Guomindang warlord Wang Jialie, the Zunyi Conference in Guizhou established Mao Zedong as the leader of the Communist Party. As the Second Sino-Japanese War pushed China's Nationalist Government to its southwest base of Chongqing, transportation infrastructure improved as Guizhou was linked with the Burma Road.[12] After the end of the War, a 1949 Revolution swept Mao into power, who promoted the relocation of heavy industry into inland provinces such as Guizhou, to better protect them from Soviet and American attacks. After the Chinese economic reform began in 1978, geographical factors led Guizhou to become the poorest province in China, with a GDP growth average of 9 percent from 1978–1993.[12]


Bouyei minority Shitou village, west Guizhou (near Longgong caves), China.

Guizhou is a mountainous province, although its higher altitudes are in the west and centre. It lies at the eastern end of the Yungui Plateau.[13]

Guizhou has a subtropical humid climate. There are few seasonal changes. Its annual average temperature is roughly 10 to 20 °C, with January temperatures ranging from 1 to 10 °C and July temperatures ranging from 17 to 28 °C.

Like in China's other southwest provinces, rural areas of Guizhou suffered severe drought during spring 2010. One of China's poorest provinces, Guizhou is experiencing serious environmental problems, such as desertification and persistent water shortages. On 3–5 April 2010, China's Premier Wen Jiabao went on a three days inspection tour in the southwest drought-affected province of Guizhou, where he met villagers and called on agricultural scientists to develop drought-resistant technologies for the area.[14]


The border mountains of Guizhou, Guangxi, and Hunan have been identified as one of the eight plant diversity hotspots in China. The main ecosystem types include evergreen broad-leaved forest, coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, and montane elfin forest. Plant species endemic to this region include Abies ziyuanensis, Cathaya argyrophylla, and Keteleeria pubescens.[15] In broad terms, the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau is one of the vertebrate diversity hotspots of China. At the level of counties, Xingyi is one of nine Chinese vertebrate diversity (excluding birds) hotspots.[16] Animals only known from Guizhou include Leishan moustache toad, Kuankuoshui salamander, Shuicheng salamander, Guizhou salamander, and Zhijin warty newt.

Caohai Lake with its surroundings is a wetland that is an important overwintering site for many birds. It is a National Nature Reserve and an Important Bird Area identified by BirdLife International.[17]


Administrative divisions

townships map guizhou
Main articles: List of administrative divisions of Guizhou and List of township-level divisions of Guizhou

Guizhou is divided into nine prefecture-level divisions: six prefecture-level cities and three autonomous prefectures:

Administrative divisions of Guizhou
Division code[18] English name Chinese Pinyin Area in km2[19] Population 2010[20] Seat Divisions[21]
Districts* Counties Aut. counties CL cities
  520000 Guizhou 贵州省 Guìzhōu Shěng 176167.00 34,746,468 Guiyang 15 55 11 7
6 520100 Guiyang 贵阳市 Guìyáng Shì 9,253.06 4,324,561 Guanshanhu District 6 3 1
4 520200 Liupanshui 六盘水市 Liùpánshuǐ Shì 9,965.37 2,851,180 Zhongshan District 2 2
2 520300 Zunyi 遵义市 Zūnyì Shì 30,780.73 6,127,009 Huichuan District 2 8 2 2
5 520400 Anshun 安顺市 Ānshùn Shì 9,253.06 2,297,339 Xixiu District 2 1 3
1 520500 Bijie 毕节市 Bìjié Shì 26,844.45 6,536,370 Qixingguan District 1 6 1
3 520600 Tongren 铜仁市 Tóngrén Shì 18,006.41 3,092,365 Bijiang District 2 4 4
7 522300 Qianxinan Buyei and Miao
Autonomous Prefecture
黔西南布依族苗族自治州 Qiánxīnán Bùyīzú Miáozú Zìzhìzhōu 16,785.93 2,805,857 Xingyi 7 1
9 522600 Qiandongnan Miao and Dong
Autonomous Prefecture
黔东南苗族侗族自治州 Qiándōngnán Miáozú Dòngzú Zìzhìzhōu 30,278.06 3,480,626 Kaili 15 1
8 522700 Qiannan Buyei and Miao
Autonomous Prefecture
黔南布依族苗族自治州 Qiánnán Bùyīzú Miáozú Zìzhìzhōu 26,191.78 3,231,161 Duyun 9 1 2
* - including Special district

The nine prefecture-level divisions of Guizhou are subdivided into 88 county-level divisions (14 districts, 7 county-level cities, 55 counties, and 11 autonomous counties,1 special district).


Xijiang, a Miao settlement in Eastern Guizhou
Bapa Dong, a Dong village in Eastern Guizhou
Zhenyuan, a county in Eastern Guizhou

As of the mid-19th century, Guizhou exported mercury, gold, iron, lead, tobacco, incense and drugs.[22]

Guizhou is a relatively poor and economically undeveloped province, but rich in natural, cultural and environmental resources. Its nominal GDP for 2012 was 680.22 billion yuan (107.758 billion USD). Its per capita GDP of RMB 19,566 (3,100 USD) is the lowest in China.

Its natural industry includes timber and forestry.[23] Guizhou is also the third largest producer of tobacco in China, and home to the well-known brand Guizhou Tobacco.[24] Other important industries in the province include energy (electricity generation) - a large portion of which is exported to Guangdong and other provinces[24] - and mining, especially in coal, limestone, arsenic, gypsum, and oil shale.[23] Guizhou's total output of coal was 118 million tons in 2008, a 7% growth from the previous year.[25] Guizhou's export of power to Guangdong equaled 12% of Guangdong's total power consumption. Over the next 5 years Guizhou hopes to increase this by as much as 50%.[26]

Economic and Technological Development Zones



Guizhou's rail network consists primarily of a cross formed by the Sichuan–Guizhou, Guangxi–Guizhou and Shanghai–Kunming Railways, which intersect at the provincial capital, Guiyang, near the center of the province. The Liupanshui–Baiguo, Pan County West and Weishe–Hongguo Railways form a rail corridor along Guizhou's western border with Yunnan. This corridor connects the Neijiang–Kunming Railway, which dips into northwestern Guizhou at Weining, with the Nanning–Kunming Railway, which skirts the southwestern corner of Guizhou at Xingyi.

As of 2013, the Guiyang–Guangzhou and Chongqing–Guizhou High-Speed Railways are under construction.


Historical population
1912[28] 9,665,000    
1928[29] 14,746,000+52.6%
1936-37[30] 9,919,000−32.7%
1947[31] 10,174,000+2.6%
1954[32] 15,037,310+47.8%
1964[33] 17,140,521+14.0%
1982[34] 28,552,997+66.6%
1990[35] 32,391,066+13.4%
2000[36] 35,247,695+8.8%
2010[37] 34,746,468−1.4%

In 1832, the population was estimated at five million.[22]

Guizhou is demographically one of China's most diverse provinces. Minority groups account for more than 37% of the population and they include Miao (including Gha-Mu and A-Hmao), Yao, Yi, Qiang, Dong, Zhuang, Bouyei, Bai, Tujia, Gelao and Sui. 55.5% of the province area is designated as autonomous regions for ethnic minorities. Guizhou is the province with the highest fertility rate in China, standing at 2.19. (Urban-1.31, Rural-2.42)[38]

Major Autonomous areas within Guizhou, excluding Hui.
The long-horn tribe, one of the small branches of Miao living in the twelve villages near Zhijing (织金) County, Guizhou Province. The wooden horns remain daily attire for most women.


Religion in Guizhou[39][note 1] (67.83%)

The predominant religions in Guizhou are Chinese folk religions, Taoist traditions and Chinese Buddhism. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 31.18% of the population believes and is involved in ancestor veneration, while 0.99% of the population identifies as Christian, decreasing from 1.13% in 2004.[39]

Wumiao (Temple of the God of War) dedicated to Guandi in Anshun.

The reports did not give figures for other types of religion; 67.83% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in worship of nature deities, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, folk religious sects, and small minorities of Muslims. There are significant ethnic minority populations (the Miao and the Buyei) who traditionally follow their autochthonous religions.


Main article: Guizhou cuisine

Guizhou is the home of the well-known Chinese liquor Moutai.[40]


Huangguoshu Waterfall, the largest in China.
The Dong village of Zhaoxing, southern Guizhou

The province has many covered bridges, called Wind and Rain Bridges. These were built by the Dong people.

The southeastern corner of the province is known for its unique Dong minority culture. Towns such as Rongjiang, Liping, Diping and Zhaoxing are scattered amongst the hills along the border with Guangxi.

Heritage-based tourism

The World Bank "Strategic Environmental Assessment Study: Tourism Development in the Province of Guizhou, China" (May 25, 2007)[41] points to three different forms of tourism that should be fostered and developed in Guizhou, China: Nature-based, Heritage-based and Rural Tourism. Heritage-based tourism provides ethnic minority groups with an opportunity to preserve their unique heritage while still making a living.

Colleges and universities


See also


  1. The data was collected by the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) of 2009 and by the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey (CSLS) of 2007, reported and assembled by Xiuhua Wang (2015)[39] in order to confront the proportion of people identifying with two similar social structures: ① Christian churches, and ② the traditional Chinese religion of the lineage (i. e. people believing and worshipping ancestral deities often organised into lineage "churches" and ancestral shrines). Data for other religions with a significant presence in China (Buddhism, Confucianism, deity worships, Taoism, folk religious sects, Islam, religions practiced by ethnic minorities, et. al.) was not reported by Wang.</ref>
      Christianity (0.99%)
      Other religions or not religious people<ref group='note'>This may include:



  1. "Doing Business in China - Survey". Ministry Of Commerce - People's Republic Of China. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  2. "Communiqué of the National Bureau of Statistics of People's Republic of China on Major Figures of the 2010 Population Census [1] (No. 2)". National Bureau of Statistics of China. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  3. 《2013中国人类发展报告》 (PDF) (in Chinese). United Nations Development Programme China. 2013. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
  4. 1 2 3 Wilkinson (2012), p. 233.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Maygew, Bradley; Miller, Korina; English, Alex (2002). "Facts about South-West China - History". South-West China (2 ed.). Lonely Planet. pp. 16–20, 24.
  6. Scottish Geographical Society (1929). Scottish geographical magazine, Volumes 45-46. Royal Scottish Geographical Society. p. 70. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  7. Margaret Portia Mickey (1947). The Cowrie Shell Miao of Kweichow, Volume 32, Issue 1. The Museum. p. 6. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  8. Contributions to Southeast Asian ethnography, Issue 7. Board of Editors, Contributions to Southeast Asian Ethnography. 1988. p. 99. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  9. Dan Jin; Xueliang Ma; Mark Bender (2006). Butterfly mother: Miao (Hmong) creation epics from Guizhou, China. Hackett Publishing. p. xvii. ISBN 0-87220-849-4. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  10. Elleman, Bruce A. (2001). "The Miao Revolt (1795–1806)". Modern Chinese Warfare, 1795-1989. London: Routledge. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0-415-21474-2.
  11. Robert . Jenks (1994). Insurgency and Social Disorder in Guizhou: The "Miao" Rebellion, 1854-1873. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-1589-0.
  12. 1 2 Hutchings, Graham (2003). "Guizhou Province". Modern China: A Guide to a Century of Change. Harvard University Press. pp. 176–177.
  13. "Guizhou Province". Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  14. "China's premier concerned about drought in SW China". Xinhua. 2010-04-05. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  15. Zhang, Y. B.; Ma, K. P. (2008). "Geographic distribution patterns and status assessment of threatened plants in China". Biodiversity and Conservation. 17 (7): 1783–1798. doi:10.1007/s10531-008-9384-6.
  16. Chen, Yang; An-Ping Chen; Jing-Yun Fang (2002). "Geographical distribution patterns of endangered fishes, amphibians, reptiles and mammals and their hotspots in China: a study based on "China Red Data Book of Endangered Animals"". Biodiversity Science. 10 (4): 359–368.
  17. BirdLife International (2013). "Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cao Hai Nature Reserve". Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  18. "中华人民共和国县以上行政区划代码". 中华人民共和国民政部.
  19. 深圳市统计局. 《深圳统计年鉴2014》. 深圳统计网. 中国统计出版社. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  20. shi, Guo wu yuan ren kou pu cha ban gong; council, Guo jia tong ji ju ren kou he jiu ye tong ji si bian = Tabulation on the 2010 population census of the people's republic of China by township / compiled by Population census office under the state; population, Department of; statistics, employment statistics national bureau of (2012). Zhongguo 2010 nian ren kou pu cha fen xiang, zhen, jie dao zi liao (Di 1 ban. ed.). Beijing Shi: Zhongguo tong ji chu ban she. ISBN 978-7-5037-6660-2.
  21. 中华人民共和国民政部 (2014.08). 《中国民政统计年鉴2014》. 中国统计出版社. ISBN 978-7-5037-7130-9. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  22. 1 2 Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 123.
  23. 1 2 "Market Profiles on Chinese Cities and Provinces : Guizhou Province". Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTD)/Guizhou Statistical Yearbook 2008. January 2009. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  24. 1 2
  25. "Coal output in SW China province tops 100 mln tons". People's Daily Online. 2005-12-24. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
  26. The China Perspective | Guizhou Economic Facts and Data
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  38. Heather Kathleen Mary Terrell (May 2005). "Fertility in China in 2000 : A County Level Analysis (thesis, 140 p.)" (PDF). Texas A & M University. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  39. 1 2 3 China General Social Survey 2009, Chinese Spiritual Life Survey (CSLS) 2007. Report by: Xiuhua Wang (2015, p. 15)
  40. "Maotai Remains Short in Supply in 2008". 8 January 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  41. "Strategic Environmental Assessment Study: Tourism Development in the Province of Guizhou, China" (PDF). World Bank. May 25, 2007. (needs a direct cite)


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