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Sìchuān Shěng
Abbreviation : ( Pinyin : Chuān)
Capital Cheng you

 - Total
 - share in the

Rank 5 out of 33

485,000 km²


 - Total 2016
 - density

Rank 3 of 33

82,620,000 inhabitants
170 inhabitants / km²

Management type province
governor Yin Li
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About this picture
ISO-3166-2 code CN-SC
District level 18 cities, 3 autonomous districts
District level 112 counties, 51 city districts, 16 cities, 4 autonomous counties
Community level 2294 parishes, 1937 large parishes, 329 street districts, 98 nationality parishes

Sichuan ( Chinese  四川 , Pinyin Sìchuān ? / I , W.-G. Ssŭ-chʻuan  - "four rivers"; obsolete after Brecht Sezuan , Duden Szechuan , rarely Szetschuan , Lessing Othmer Sitschuan , Post Szechwan , Rod Ssetschuan , Yale Szchwan ) is a province of the People's Republic of China in the southwest of the country with Chengdu as its capital. Sichuan is also poetically known in China as the "land of plenty " ( 天府之國  /  天府之国 , Tiānfŭ zhī Guó ). The spelling " Sechuan " has no norm and is probably a misspelling of " Szechuan " according to Duden. Audio file / audio sample


Sichuan is east of the Tibetan plateau on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River .

The core of the province is the Red Basin , a fertile plain surrounded by mountains. The level has a north-south gradient of 700 m to 300 m. The west is dominated by high mountain ranges such as the Daxue Shan , which with the Gongga Shan (7556  m ) - Tibetan Minya Konka , Chinese  貢嘎 山  /  贡嘎 山 , Pinyin Gònggā Shān - has the highest elevation in the province. To the north, the basin is closed off by the Qinling Mountains , which go up to the 4000ers. To the south and southeast lies the Dalou Mountains with peaks around 2000 m.

Gongga Shan, 2006

Other significant mountains are Erlang Shan (3437 m) - 二郎山 , Emei Shan (3099 m) - 峨嵋山  /  峨眉山 and Siguniang Shan (6254 m) - 四姑娘山 .

The Yangtze River is the largest and richest river that crosses Sichuan. Its course forms most of the western and southern borders of the province, with the name Jinsha Jiang until Yibin . In Sichuan it receives four tributaries that give the province its name. These four rivers are the Min Jiang , Tuo Jiang , Jialing Jiang, and Wu Jiang . Before that he had already recorded the Yalong Jiang - 雅礱江  /  雅砻江 - at Panzhihua .

The province lies on the edge of the thrust zone of the Indian plate against the Eurasian plate . Through this panel shift the province is Sichuan earthquake zone (see 2008 Sichuan earthquake , earthquake-Stele Forest from Xichang ).

Neighboring administrative units at the provincial level are Tibet , Qinghai , Gansu , Shaanxi , Chongqing , Guizhou and Yunnan .


The Sichuan Basin , also known as the "Red Basin", has a subtropical climate despite its continental location . The sheltered location in the valley gives the plain 350 frost-free days a year and thus the possibility of farming all year round. An important border is marked by the Qinling Mountains to the north. In January the average temperature north of it is 0 ° C, in Sichuan to the south it is 8 ° C. The average summer temperatures are around 30 ° C. The amount of precipitation is 1000 mm and due to heavy cloud and fog formation, Sichuan only has 25-30 sunny days per year.

The climate in the mountainous regions that surround the Red Basin and rise to the west to the Tibetan high plateau, on the other hand, is significantly colder and drier.

Flora and fauna

Pandas in Wolong , 2003

The diverse geomorphology and the different climates have created favorable conditions for a rich flora. The province has 7.46 million hectares of forest.

One fifth of the so-called “ living fossils ” in China, such as the primeval sequoia and the pigeon tree, are endemic to Sichuan . The panda , one of the national symbols of China, is native to four mountains in Sichuan and is particularly cherished in protected areas. The most important nature reserve is the Wolong - Reserve .

Administrative structure

History of the administrative structure

The western part of Sichuan, with over a third of the area of ​​the province, belonged to the Xikang province until 1955 , which theoretically largely corresponded to the Tibetan cultural region of Kham . West Kham or Qamdo came under Chinese administration during the Empire. The province of Xikang was dissolved in 1955, West Kham went to Tibet, East Kham to Sichuan, which restored historical conditions.

The city of Chongqing and the associated administrative district was spun off from Sichuan Province on March 14, 1997 as a city under the government .

Today's administrative structure

Today, Sichuan is made up of 18 prefecture-level cities and three autonomous districts:

  • Chengdu City ( 成都市 ),
  • Zigong City ( 自貢 市  /  自贡 市 ),
  • Panzhihua City ( 攀枝花 市 ),
  • Luzhou City ( 瀘州 市  /  泸州 市 ),
  • City of Deyang ( 德陽 市  /  德阳 市 ),
  • Mianyang City ( 綿陽 市  /  绵阳 市 ),
  • Guangyuan City ( 廣元市  /  广元市 ),
  • City of Suining ( 遂寧 市  /  遂宁 市 ),
  • Neijiang City ( 內江 市  /  内江 市 ),
  • Leshan City ( 樂山 市  /  乐山 市 ),
  • Nanchong City ( 南充 市 ),
  • Meishan City ( 眉山 市 ),
  • City of Yibin ( 宜賓 市  /  宜宾 市 ),
  • Guang'an City ( 廣安 市  /  广安 市 ),
  • Dazhou City ( 達 州市  /  达 州市 ),
  • City of Ya'an ( 雅安 市 ),
  • Bazhong City ( 巴中市 ),
  • Ziyang City ( 資陽市  /  资阳市 ),
  • Ngawa Autonomous District of Tibetans and Qiang ( 阿壩 藏族 羌族 自治州  /  阿坝 藏族 羌族 自治州 , Ābà Zàngzú Qiāngzú Zìzhìzhōu ),
  • Garzê Autonomous District of Tibetans ( 甘孜 藏族 自治州 , Gānzī Zàngzú Zìzhìzhōu ),
  • Liangshan Autonomous District of the Yi ( 凉山 彝族 自治州 , Liángshān Yízú Zìzhìzhōu ), capital: Xichang ( 西昌 市 ).

At the county level, Sichuan is divided into 183 units, namely 112 counties, 51 city districts, 16 cities and 4 autonomous counties. At the municipal level there are 4648 administrative units, 2294 municipalities, 1937 large municipalities, 329 street districts, 98 nationality municipalities (as of 2015).

Biggest cities

The population figures are based on the 2010 census and refer to the actual urban settlement.

rank city Residents rank city Residents
1 Cheng you 6,316,922 6th Leshan 678.752
2 Mianyang 967.007 7th Zigong 666.204
3 Nanchong 890.402 8th Panzhihua 631.258
4th Shuangliu 795.123 9 Pixian 589,647
5 Luzhou 742.274 10 Neijiang 586,445


Settlements have existed in Sichuan since the Shang dynasty . The kingdoms of Shu and Ba developed until they were in 316 BC. Were annexed by the emerging Qin Empire. An archaeological site for the Shu Empire is in the village of Sanxingdui .

In the 3rd century BC With the establishment of the Dujiangyan irrigation system, an important foundation for the province's agricultural wealth was laid.

When the rule of a Chinese dynasty collapsed, the people of Sichuan were always among the first to use the turmoil to found their own kingdom. This was the case in year 24, when Gongsun Shu was proclaimed King of Shu during the Red Eyebrow Rising . His rule lasted until 36 when it was crushed by Han Guangwudi .

When the Yellow Turban Rebellion heralded the end of the Han Dynasty , Zhang Lu established a Daoist theocracy in Sichuan and southern Shaanxi from 186 to 216, based on the teachings of his grandfather Zhang Daoling .

During the collapse of the Han Empire, Liu Bei founded Shu-Han in 221 , one of the three kingdoms that gave its name to the following period.

By the early 1930s, the northern parts of Sichuan were already under communist control. In 1935 the Long March route passed through Sichuan; The storming of the Luding bridge was one of the most daring actions.

In 1936, Sichuan experienced an extreme drought with subsequent famine.

After the Japanese conquered Wuhan , the nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek moved their headquarters to Chongqing in 1938.

In 1949, after the proclamation of the PR China, the Southwest Office was set up under the leadership of a native of Sichuan, Deng Xiaoping , to consolidate the CCP's rule in the region. In December 1949, the Communists captured Chongqing, the KMT's last mainland base.

In 1955 the province of Xikang was dissolved and its eastern half was added to Sichuan.

In 1975, Zhao Ziyang became party secretary in Sichuan and initiated the first market economy reforms in agriculture.

In 1997, the area around the city of Chongqing in the east was separated from Sichuan and placed under the Chinese central government as a city directly under the government.


In addition to a majority of Han (95%), members of the minorities of the Yi (2.6%), Tibetans (1.5%), Qiang (0.4%) and Miao live in Sichuan . Most of the population lives in the plains and is dominated by the Han, while the mountainous areas are sparsely populated and strongly influenced by the minorities.

In 2013, the average life expectancy was 74.8 years.

Sichuan is an important starting region for internal migration , i. H. many migrant workers come from this province.

Population development

Population growth of the province since 1954. In 1997, Chongqing was split off from the province.

year population
1954 census 62,303,999
1964 census 67,956,490
1982 census 99.713.310
1990 census 107.218.173
2000 census 82,348,296
2010 census 80.417.528
Guess 2016 82,620,000


The majority of the dialects of the Chinese language spoken in Sichuan , including the dialect of the capital Chengdu , belong to the southwestern group of Chinese languages , also known as Huguang ( 湖廣  /  湖广 ) or Xinan ( 西南 ), and show a strong similarity to the dialects of the neighboring languages Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces and Chongqing City .

The fusion of the retroflexes / tʂ tʂʰ ʂ / and the alveolar / ts tsʰ s / , the fusion of / n / and / l / as well as / ɤŋ / or / iɤŋ / and / ən / or / in / are special features, the different dialects of the southwestern language group are common.

The autonomous districts of Garzê and Ngawa in the west and north of Sichuan are predominantly inhabited by Tibetans who speak the Tibetan dialects Kham and Amdo . The Qiang and related ethnic groups speak several of their own Tibetan-Burmese languages . The Yi , who are based in the Liangshan Autonomous District in southern Sichuan, also use their own Tibetan-Burmese language, which is officially written with a syllabary of 1164 characters.


The city of Kangding in Sichuan, 2004
Brick tea wik commens.JPG
Brick - 磚茶  /  砖茶 , 2007

The province of Sichuan is still predominantly characterized by agriculture. The government is striving to pursue an active economic policy and has set up special economic zones in Chengdu and Mianyang .

Sichuan is one of the wealthy inland provinces, but it cannot compete with coastal regions like Guangdong or Shanghai.

In 1999 the official unemployment rate was 3.7%.

In 2015, Sichuan's economy was the sixth largest in China with a GDP of 3.01 trillion yuan ($ 483 billion). The GDP per capita was 39,695 yuan (US $ 5,967 / PPP : US $ 11,430) per year (ranked 24th among Chinese provinces). The province's level of prosperity was 74% of the Chinese average.


Sichuan is primarily a rice-growing area, but is also an important producer of corn , sweet potatoes , wheat , rapeseed and soy . The cultivation of fruits and citrus fruits is also common. In terms of animal products, pork and silk cocoons are particularly important. In addition, tea of international standing is produced in Sichuan . This tea is intended for export only . The large- framed Jiulong yak is also bred in the mountainous regions of the province . A breeding station, which aims to further improve the performance level of this yak breed, has existed in Jiulong since 1980 .

The value of agricultural production increased by an average of 5.6% annually from 1994 to 1999 to 144.5 billion RMB .


Iron (near Panzhihua), titanium , vanadium and cobalt are mined in Sichuan .


In 1999, Sichuan's industrial production was worth 390 billion RMB. In addition to heavy industry (iron, steel , power generation), there is light industry with wood processing, silk weaving and food production.


Sichuan was integrated into the PRC rail network in the 1950s, and Chengdu has been the main hub in China's western region ever since. The connections with the other parts of the country run north via Baoji to Xi'an, east via Chongqing and south via Xichang to Kunming. In 1998 the total length of the routes was 2693 km.

Several well-developed roads lead to Tibet in the west, e.g. B. via Kangding, and since August 2006 the new Qinghai-Tibet Railway , which is also the highest railway line in the world. The motorway network is still being expanded. In 1998 it was 550 km long between Chongqing, Chengdu, Mianyang and Xinjin.

Chengdu has an international airport, Chengdu-Shuangliu Airport.


The dissident writer Liao Yiwu was born in Sichuan. As Sezuan , it is the setting for Bertolt Brecht's 1938 to 1940 play The Good Man of Sezuan , but the reference is symbolic and not concrete.

In Don Winslow's novel "China Girl" the main character Neal Carey ends up in Sichuan. Other locations are the Emei Shan and the Leshan Big Buddha.


The following are listed from Sichuan in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage and world natural heritage:

  • Jiuzhaigou - 九寨溝  /  九寨沟 : A nature reserve 440 km north of Chengdu, which has waterfalls and minority culture .
  • Huanglong - 黃龍  /  黄龙
  • Emei Shan - 峨嵋山  /  峨眉山 : The Emei Shan is located 165 km southwest of Chengdu. It is one of the four mountains sacred to Chinese Buddhism . According to legend, the Bodhisattva is said to have taught Samantabhadra on the Emei Shan. The mountain is dotted with temples and is a popular pilgrimage destination.
  • Leshan Big Buddha - 樂山 大佛  /  乐山 大佛 : The Leshan Buddha was carved out of a rocky cliff of the Min River between 719 and 803. With a height of 71 meters, it is the largest seated Buddha statue in the world.
  • Qingcheng Shan - 青城 山
  • Dujiangyan - 都江堰

See also

Web links

Commons : Sichuan  - collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. a b c 2016 年 四川省 行政 区划.行政 区划 网, December 2, 2016, accessed on August 20, 2018 (Chinese).
  2. a b 2014 年 四川省 行政 区划.行政 区划 网, December 2, 2016, accessed on August 20, 2018 (Chinese).
  3. (Szechuan)
  4. Sichuan (China): Province, Cities & Counties - Population Statistics, Maps, Graphics, Weather and Web Information. Retrieved December 11, 2017 .
  5. 中国 统计 年鉴 -2013. Retrieved May 6, 2018 .
  6. China: Provinces and Major Cities - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather, and Web Information. Retrieved May 7, 2018 .
  7. ^ National Data. Retrieved December 4, 2017 .

Coordinates: 30 ° 43 '  N , 103 ° 24'  E