Infobox PRC province
ChineseName = 河南省
Pinyin = Hénán Shěng
EnglishName = Henan Province
Name = Henan
Abbreviation = 豫
AbbrevPinyin = Yù
ISOAbbrev = 41

MapSize = 275px
OriginOfName = 河 hé - (Yellow) River
南 nán - south
"south of the Yellow River"
AdministrationType = Province
Capital = Zhengzhou
LargestCity = Zhengzhou
Official_languages = Standard Mandarin
Regional_languages/dialects = Zhongyuan Mandarin, Jin
Secretary = Xu Guangchun 徐光春
Governor = Guo Gengmao 郭庚茂
Area_km2 = 167000
AreaRank = 17th
PopYear = 2007
Pop = 98,690,000
PopRank = 1st
PopDensity_km2 = 591
PopDensityRank = 6th
GDPYear = 2007
GDP = 1.51 trillion
GDPRank = 5th
GDPperCapita = 16,060
GDPperCapitaRank = 16th
HDIYear = 2005
HDI = 0.741
HDIRank = 19th
HDICat = medium
Nationalities = Han - 98.8%
Hui - 1%
Prefectures = 17
Counties = 159
Townsh ips = 2455
Website = [http://www.henan.gov.cn www.henan.gov.cn] (Simplified Chinese)

Henan (zh-cpw |c=河南 |p=Hénán |w=Ho-nan), is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is 豫 (pinyin: yù), named after Yuzhou Province (豫州 Yù Zhōu), a Han Dynasty province ("zhou") that included parts of Henan. The name "Henan" means "south of the (Yellow) River" (Huang He). [zh [http://www.people.com.cn/GB/shenghuo/1090/2435218.html Origin of the Names of China's Provinces] , People's Daily Online.]

With nearly 100 million people, Henan is the most populous province of China "by residency". It borders Hebei to the north, Shandong to the northeast, Anhui to the southeast, Hubei to the south, Shaanxi to the west, and Shanxi to the northwest.

Henan is often called Zhongyuan (中原 zhōngyuán) or Zhongzhou (中州 zhōngzhōu), literally "central plains" or "midland"; this name is also broadly applied to the entire North China Plain. Henan is traditionally regarded as the cradle of Chinese civilization.


Northern Henan, along the Yellow River, was the core area of ancient China for at least the first half of Chinese history. The two cities of Luoyang and Kaifeng each served as the capital city of a long list of dynasties.

Archaeological sites reveal that prehistoric cultures such as the Yangshao Culture and Longshan Culture were active in what is now northern Henan. The Erlitou culture, which has been controversially identified with the Xia Dynasty, the first Chinese dynasty as described in Chinese records, was also centered in Henan.

The first literate dynasty of China, the Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century BC), was centered in Henan. Their last capital, Yin, was located at the modern city of Anyang, Henan.

In the 11th century BC, the Zhou Dynasty arrived from the west and destroyed the Shang Dynasty. Their capital was located initially in Hao (near present day Xi'an in Shaanxi province). In 722 BC, it was moved to Luoyang, Henan. This began the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, a period of warfare and rivalry. What is now Henan was divided into a variety of small states, including Hua (destroyed by Qin in 627BC), Chen, Cai, Cao, Zheng, Wei (衛), and powerful Jin from Shanxi to the north. Later on these were replaced with Han and Wei (魏). Throughout this period the state of Chu also held much of what is now southern Henan.

In 221 BC, the state of Qin from what is now Shaanxi completed the unification of China, establishing the first unified Chinese state, the Qin Dynasty. They were followed by the Han Dynasty in 206 BC, which initially put its capital in Chang'an (now Xi'an, Shaanxi). The second half of this dynasty (the Eastern Han Dynasty) moved its capital to Luoyang.

The late Eastern Han Dynasty saw war and rivalry between regional warlords. Henan was the power base of Cao Cao, who was based in Xuchang and eventually succeeded in unifying all of northern China under the Kingdom of Wei. Wei then put its capital in Luoyang. The Western Jin Dynasty that followed also put its capital at Luoyang.

In the 4th century, nomadic peoples from the north invaded northern China. Henan then came under the rule of many successive regimes, including the Later Zhao, the Former Yan, the Former Qin, the Later Yan, and the Later Qin. The Northern Wei Dynasty, which unified North China in 439, moved its capital to Luoyang in 493.

Northern Wei splintered in 534 and would not be restored until 589, when the Sui Dynasty reunified China. Sui Emperor Yang's costly attempt to relocate the capital from Chang'an to Luoyang contributed to the downfall of Sui. The Tang Dynasty that followed kept its capital in Chang'an (modern Xi'an, Shaanxi). The Tang lasted for three centuries, but eventually succumbed to internal strife.

In the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms that followed, Kaifeng was the capital of four dynasties: Later Liang Dynasty, Later Jin Dynasty, Later Han Dynasty, and Later Zhou Dynasty. The Song Dynasty that reunified China in 982 also had its capital at Kaifeng. Under Song rule, China entered a golden age of culture and prosperity, and Kaifeng was the largest city in the world [http://geography.about.com/library/weekly/aa011201a.htm] . In 1127, however, the Song Dynasty succumbed to Jurchen (Jin Dynasty) invaders from the north, and in 1142 had to cede away all of northern China, including Henan. By this point, cultural and economic development in the Yangtze River delta "Jiangnan" region (modern southern Jiangsu, northern Zhejiang, and Shanghai) had made that area into the new economic and cultural center of China, instead of Henan. Henan would forever lose this pre-eminent position.

Kaifeng served as the Jurchen's "southern capital" from 1157 (other sources say 1161) and was reconstructed during this time. [http://www.san.beck.org/AB3-China.html#9] [http://www.upkorea.net/news/photo/7345-2-7037.pdf] But they kept their main capital further north, until 1214, when they were forced to move the imperial court southwards to Kaifeng in order to flee the Mongol onslaught. In 1234 they succumbed to combined Mongol and Song Dynasty forces. Mongols took control, and in 1279 they conquered all of China.

Mongol rule over China ended in 1368. The Ming Dynasty that followed set up the equivalent of modern Henan province, with borders extremely similar to modern ones. The capital was, however, at Kaifeng instead of modern Zhengzhou. The Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) did not make any significant changes to this arrangement; nor did the Republic of China in their rule over Mainland China (1911–1949).

The completion of the Pinghan Railway (Beijing-Hankou) made Zhengzhou, a previously unnoted county town, into a major transportation hub. In 1954, the new People's Republic of China government moved the capital of Henan from Kaifeng to Zhengzhou. The PRC also established a short-lived Pingyuan Province consisting of what is now northern Henan and western Shandong, with capital Xinxiang. This province was abolished in 1952.

In 1958, Yashan in Suiping County, Henan became the first people's commune of China, heralding the beginning of the "Great Leap Forward". In the subsequent famines of the early 1960s popularly attributed to the Great Leap Forward, Henan suffered terribly, with several million lives lost. [http://www.boxun.com/hero/dangshi/21_1.shtml]

In 1975, the collapse of the Banqiao Dam and other dams in southern Henan, following a typhoon that caused extraordinarily high levels of rainfall, is estimated to have killed 230,000 people across several counties. This was the most deadly dam-related catastrophe in human history.

In recent years the prevalence of "blood selling" (blood donation with pay) among poor villagers has put Henan in the spotlight of the nation. It was exposed that AIDS villages, where most of the population is HIV positive, have resulted because of poor sterilization techniques. The initial cover up of the crisis by local officials, followed by the national exposure, has put Henan in a somewhat negative light.

In November 2004, martial law was declared in Zhongmou county, Henan, to quell deadly ethnic clashes between Han Chinese and the Muslim Hui Chinese. [http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/article/0,13673,501041115-750858,00.html] The reported number of deaths ranged between 7 and 148.


Henan is flat in the east and mountainous in the west and extreme south. The eastern and central parts of the province form part of the North China Plain. To the northwest the Taihang Mountains intrude partially into Henan's borders; to the west the Qinling Mountains enter Henan from the west and end about halfway across Henan, with branches (such as the Funiu Mountains) extending northwards and southwards. To the far south, the Dabie Mountains separate Henan from neighbouring Hubei province.

The Yellow River passes through northern Henan. It enters from the northwest, via the Sanmenxia Reservoir. After it passes Luoyang, the Yellow River is raised via natural sedimentation and artificial construction onto a levee, higher than the surrounding land. From here onwards, the Yellow River divides the Hai He watershed to the north and the Huai He watershed to the south. The Huai He itself originates in southern Henan. The southwestern corner of Henan, around Nanyang, is part of the drainage basin of the Han Shui River across the border in Hubei.

There are many reservoirs in Henan. Major ones include the Danjiangkou Reservoir on the border with Hubei, the Sanmenxia Reservoir, the Suyahu Reservoir, the Baiguishan Reservoir, the Nanwan Reservoir, and the Banqiao Reservoir.

Henan has a temperate continental climate, with most rainfall in summer. Temperatures average about 0°C in January, and 27 to 28°C in July.

Zhengzhou is the province's capital and most populous city. Other major cities include Kaifeng, Luoyang, Xinxiang, Anyang, Luohe, and Xuchang.

Administrative divisions

Henan is divided into seventeen prefecture-level divisions – all prefecture-level cities – and one directly administered county-level city.The prefecture-level cities are:

*Anyang (安阳市 Ānyáng Shì)
*Hebi (鹤壁市 Hèbì Shì)
*Jiaozuo (焦作市 Jiāozuò Shì)
*Luohe (漯河市 Luòhé Shì)
*Luoyang (洛阳市 Luòyáng Shì)
*Kaifeng (开封市 Kāifēng Shì)
*Nanyang (南阳市 Nányáng Shì)
*Pingdingshan (平顶山市 Píngdǐngshān Shì)
*Puyang (濮阳市 Púyáng Shì)
*Sanmenxia (三门峡市 Sānménxiá Shì)
*Shangqiu (商丘市 Shāngqiū Shì)
*Xinxiang (新乡市 Xīnxiāng Shì)
*Xinyang (信阳市 Xìnyáng Shì)
*Xuchang (许昌市 Xǔchāng Shì)
*Zhengzhou (Simplified Chinese: 郑州市; Hanyu pinyin: Zhèngzhōu Shì)
*Zhoukou (周口市 Zhōukǒu Shì)
*Zhumadian (驻马店市 Zhùmǎdiàn Shì)

The directly administered county-level city (more accurately described as a sub-prefecture-level city) is:
*Jiyuan (济源市 Jǐyuán Shì)

The seventeen prefecture-level divisions and one directly administered county-level city of Henan are subdivided into 159 county-level divisions (50 districts, twenty-one county-level cities, and 88 counties; Jiyuan is counted as a county-level city here). Those are in turn divided into 2440 township-level divisions (866 towns, 1234 townships, twelve ethnic townships, and 328 subdistricts).


Henan is the most populous province of China, with a population of 97,170,000 in 2004. If it were its own country, it would be the twelfth most populous, just behind Mexico. However, Sichuan used to be more populous before Chongqing city was carved out of it. Also, when considering migrants, Guangdong has the highest population in China, despite Hainan being splintered off of it.

Just under 99% of Henan's population is Han Chinese, while Hui account for virtually all the remaining 1%. It is the third most populous sub-national division in the world, after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra of India.


The Government of Henan is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in mainland China.

The Governor of Henan is the highest ranking official in the People's Government of Henan. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor has less power than the Henan Communist Party of China Provincial Committee Secretary, colloquially termed the "Henan CPC Party Chief".


Henan is a relatively poor province and given its large population of almost 100 million people, its GDP per capita is only US$2,112. Since undergoing reforms, however, the speed of economic development has increased by an average of about 10% each year for the past twenty years. In 2007, Henan's nominal GDP was 1.506 trillion RMB (US$198 billion), a year-on-year rise of 14.4%. In 2007, Henan's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 236.6 billion RMB (US$31 billion), 828 billion RMB (US$108.9 billion), and 441.2 billion RMB (US$58 billion), respectively. Its per capita GDP reached 16,060 RMB (US$2,112)in 2007 [http://english.people.com.cn/200601/31/eng20060131_239539.html] . An industrial system of light textiles, food, metallurgy, petrol, building materials, chemical industry, machinery and electronics has been formed. Nearly one hundred products, such as coal, industrial cord fabrics, fridges, aluminium, color glass cases, gold, meat products, tires, chemical fibers, glass, cement, generated energy, and others are an important part of the national market. Industrial sales reached 1.9 trillion RMB in 2007. [http://www.stats.gov.cn/was40/gjtjj_detail.jsp?channelid=4362&record=19]

Henan is actively trying to build an open economy. In 2007, the total trade volume (import and export) was US$12.8 billion, including US$8.4 billion for export. Since 2002, 7,111 foreign enterprises have been approved, and foreign funds (FDI) of US$10.64 billion have been used in contracts with a realized FDI of US$5.3 billion. Foreign exchanges are increasing continuously. Friendly provincial relationships have been established with 16 states (districts) in the United States, Japan, Russia, France, Germany, and others. Some cities of Henan have established friendly relationships (sister city) with thirty-two foreign cities.

Henan is an agricultural province, leading the provinces of China in wheat and sesame production, and is third place overall in terms of total grain output. Cotton, rice, and maize are also important crops in Henan.

There are several important centers of coal production in Henan, including Pingdingshan, Yima, and Jiaozuo. Luanchuan County in western Henan is an important center of molybdenum extraction. Electricity generation is another important industry of Henan.


Most of Henan speaks dialects of the Mandarin group of dialects spoken in northern and southwestern China. Linguists put these dialects into the category of "Zhongyuan Mandarin". The northwestern corner of Henan is an exception, where people speak Jin dialects instead. The dialects of Henan are collectively called "the Henan dialect" in popular usage, with easily identifiable stereotypical features.

Henan opera "(Yuju)" is the local form of Chinese opera; it is also famous and popular across the rest of China. Henan Quju and Henan Yuediao are also important local opera forms.

Henan cuisine is the local cuisine, with traditions such as the Luoyang Shuixi (Luoyang "Water Table", consisting entirely of various soups, etc.); Xinyang Duncai (Xinyang brewed vegetables), and the traditional cuisine of Kaifeng.

Important traditional art and craft products include: Junci, a type of porcelain originating in Yuzhou noted for its unpredictable colour patterns; the jade carvings of Zhenping; and Luoyang's Tangsancai ("Tang Three Colours"), which are earthenware figurines made in the traditional style of the Tang Dynasty.

Notable people

*Sun Tiantian, (b. October 12, 1981), tennis player
*Zhao Ziyang, (October 17, 1919 – January 17, 2005), former Premier and CCP Secretary
*Deng Yaping (b. February 5, 1973), four-time Olympic gold medalist.
*Du Wei (b. February 9, 1982), professional football player
*Ge Xin'ai, ping pong player
*Chen Zhong, Olympic gold medalist in Taekwondo
*Liu Guoliang, member of the Chinese ping pong team
*Su Zhibo, the first Chinese gold medalist in the Asian Games
*Shang Tang, the first ruling king of the Shang dynasty
*Hui Shi (380 BC–?), philosopher
*Xu Shen (c.58–c.147), editor of the Shuowen Jiezi
*Ruan Ji (210–263), poet
*Du Fu (712–770), considered one of the greatest of Chinese poets
*Han Yu (768–824), one of China's most famous prose writers and poets
*Li Shangyin (813–858), poet
*Cheng Hao (1032–1085) and brother Cheng Yi (1033–1107), Neo-Confucian philosophers
*Li Tang (c.1080–c.1130), painter
*Yuan Shikai (1859–1916), second President of the Republic of China
*Feng Youlan (1895–1990), philosopher
*Lao Zi (Lao Tzu: dates uncertain), founder of Daoism
*Gao Yaojie, medical doctor
*Mo Zi, founder of Mohism
*Lie Yukou (c.4th century BC), Daoist philosopher
*Su Qin
*Han Fei (c.280–233 BC), Legalist philosopher
*Chen Sheng (known in some sources as Chen She) and Wu Guang (both d. 209 BC or 208 BC), leaders of the first rebellion against Qin Dynasty
*Zhang Shizhi, a government official well known for his incorruptibility
*Jia Yi, a Chinese poet and statesman of the Han Dynasty
*Zhang Heng, an astronomer, mathematician, inventor, geographer, artist, poet, statesman, and literary scholar of the Eastern Han Dynasty
*Feng Yi, a general of the Eastern Han Dynasty
*Zhang Ji (style-named Zhang Zhongjing) (150–219), an Eastern Han physician, the author of the Shanghan Zabing Lun
*Xu Shu, one of Liu Bei's advisors during the Three Kingdoms period of China.
*Sima Yi (179–251), a general, military strategist, and politician of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period
*Xun Yu (styled-named Wenruo), an advisor to Cao Cao during the Three Kingdoms period
*Xun You, an advisor to Cao Cao during the Three Kingdoms Period period
*Deng Ai (?–264), an officer of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period
*Fan Zhen (circa 450–515), a Chinese philosopher of the Southern Dynasty, remembered today for the treatise "Shen Mie Lun" ("On the Annihilation of the Soul")


Two important railway arteries, the Jingguang Railway (Beijing-Guangzhou) and the Longhai Railway (Lianyungang-Lanzhou), pass through Henan and cross at Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. The Jingjiu Railway (Beijing-Kowloon) also passes through Henan.

With the recent completion of the Zhengzhou-Xinxiang expressway, there is an expressway that now crosses Henan from north to south, as part of a longer line linking Beijing with Shenzhen. Another expressway crosses Henan from east to west, and more are being built.

Xinzheng Airport is the province's main airport.


Henan is located in the Yellow River valley where ancient people lived. Earlier in the New Stone Age, the light of civilization had appeared and the delicate potteries in the Peiligang Culture and Yangshao Culture, and the character signs and musical instruments 8,000 years ago have filled the present world and the ancient times with wonders. Three of the Seven Ancient Capitals of China are in Henan: Luoyang, Kaifeng and Anyang. Henan is one of the provinces that has the most historical relics in the country. There are 16 key national units of protecting historical relics and 267 provincial units of protecting historical relics. The over-ground historical relics are the second in China in number. Historical relics in museums take up one-eighth of those in China, and the underground historical relics are the first in China in number. In Henan Museum there are 120,000 historical relics, including over 40,000 rare ones.

*Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory, the oldest astronomical observatory in China.
*Annual Peony Show in Luoyang.
*Mount Jigong, on the southern border.
*Mount Song, near Dengfeng, one of the Five Sacred Mountains of China.
*Shaolin Temple, on Mount Song.
*The Longmen Grottoes, near Luoyang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.
*Songyue Pagoda
*Yinxu in Anyang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
*Youguo Temple with the Iron Pagoda
*White Horse Temple in Luoyang
*Baligou (Eight-mile valley, 八里沟) in Xinxiang
*Bigan Temple (比干庙) in Xinxiang
*Luwang Mausoleum (潞王陵) in Xinxiang
*Guan Mountain (关山) in Xinxiang

Colleges and universities

Public (a partial list)

*Zhengzhou University (郑州大学) [http://www.zzu.edu.cn]
*Henan University (河南大学) [http://www.henu.edu.cn/]
*Henan Normal University(河南师范大学) [http://www.henannu.edu.cn]
*Henan University of Technology (河南工业大学) [http://www.haut.edu.cn/]
*Henan Agricultural University (河南农业大学) (founded 1913)
*Henan Medical University
*Henan College of Traditional Chinese Medicine(河南中医学院)
*Henan University of Science and Technology (河南科技大学)
*Kaifeng University (开封大学) [http://www.kfu.edu.cn/]
*Xinxiang University (新乡学院) [www.xxu.edu.cn]
*Huanghe Science and Technology University (黄河科技学院)
*Nanyang Institute of Technology
*North China Institute of Water Conservancy and Hydroelectric Power (华北水利水电学院)
*Shangqiu Normal University(商丘师范学院)
*Zhengzhou Institute of Aeronautical Industry Management (郑州航空工业管理学院)
*Zhengzhou University of Light Industry (郑州轻工业学院)
*Zhongyuan Institute of Technology (中原工学院)
*Henan Polytechnic (河南职业技术学院) [http://www.hnzj.ha.cn]
*Jiaozuo Institute of Technology
*Anyang Teacher's College
*Zhengzhou Grain University
*Zhengzhou University of Technology
*Zhengzhou Textile Institute
*Zhengzhou College of Animal Husbandry Engineering
*Luo Yang Institute of Technology
*Pingdingshan Normal College
*Xinyang Teachers College
*Henan Vocational Technical Teacher's College

Miscellaneous topics

Professional sports teams in Henan include:
*Chinese Basketball Association
**Henan Dragons
*Chinese Football Association Jia League
**Henan Jianye


External links

* [http://www.henan.gov.cn/ Henan Government website]

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  • HENAN — [HO NAN] La province du Henan est située au cœur de la Chine du Nord, où elle s’étend sur 167 000 kilomètres carrés. Avec 87 630 000 habitants selon les estimations de 1992, c’est la deuxième province la plus peuplée de Chine. La configuration de …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Henan — (chino: 河南, pinyin: Hénán, forma tradicional: Honan) es una provincia de la República Popular China situada en el centro este del país. Su nombre significa Sur del Huang He (río amarillo). * * * (Ho nan) ► Prov. de China, en la región Centro Sur …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Henan — Henan,   Honan, Provinz im mittleren China, 167 000 km2, (1999) 93,15 Mio. Einwohner; Hauptstadt und wichtiger Eisenbahnknotenpunkt ist Zhengzhou. Im Norden vom Hwangho durchflossen, ist Henan sehr fruchtbar (weiträumige, mächtige… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Henan — [hu′nän′] province of EC China: 64,479 sq mi (167,000 sq km); pop. 86,140,000; cap. Zhengzhou …   English World dictionary

  • Henan — /hue nahn /, n. Pinyin. 1. a province in E China. 50,320,000; 64,479 sq. mi. (167,000 sq. km). Cap.: Zhengzhou. 2. former name of Luoyang. Also, Honan. * * * or Ho nan conventional Honan Province (pop., 2000 est.: 92,560,000), east central China …   Universalium

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