1902 Encyclopedia > China > Chinese Provinces (5) - Keang-soo [Jiangsu]

(Part 11)


Province 5: Keang-soo [Jiangsu]

The province of Keang-soo is bounded on the N. by Shan-tung, on the S. by Ch_-keang, on the W. by Ganhwuy, and on the E. by the sea. It occupies an area of 45,000 square miles, and the population, which is larger than that of any other province of China, is estimated at 37,843,501. Keang-soo forms part of the great plain of Northern China. There are no mountains within its limits, and but few hills. It is watered as no other province in China is watered. The Grand Canal runs through it from south to north; the Yang-tsze Keang crosses its southern portion from west to east; it possesses several lakes, of which the Tai-hoo is the most nothworthy, and numberless streams connect the canal with the sea. Its coast is studded with low islands and sand-banks, the results of the deposits brought down by the yellow Rover during the different periods in which in the course of its history it has flowed into the Yellow Sea. Keang-soo is rich in places of interest. Nanking, "the Southern Capital," was the seat of the Chinese court until the commencement of the 15th century, and in modern times it has been famous as having been the headquarters of the tai-ping rebels from the year 1853, when they took the city by assault, to 1864, when its garrison yielded to Col. Gordon’s "ever victorious army" (see NANKING), and Hang-chow Foo and Soo-chow Foo on the Tai-hoo, are reckoned to be the most beautiful cities in China. "Above there is Paradise, below are Soo and hang," says the Chinese proverb. Of late years also Shang-hai has earned for itself a place among the notabilities of the province. Tea and silk are the principal articles of commerce produced in Keang-soo, and next in importance are cotton, sugar, and medicines. The silk manufactured in the looms of Soo-chow is famous all over the empire, as a proof of which it may be mentioned that, on the occasion of the marriage of the late emperor Tung-che, large orders were received by the manufacturers in that city for silken goods to be bestowed as imperial presents and to be converted into wedding garments. In the mountains near Nanking, coal, plumbago, iron ore, and marble are found. Shang-hai on the Woo-sung river, and Chin-keang on the Yang-tsze Keang, are the two Treaty Ports in the province. According to the trade reports for 1874, the value of the goods exported from Shanghai in that year amounted to 27,541,834 taels, and that of those imported to 89,636,343 taels. From Chin-keang during the same period, £317,277 worth of merchandize was exported, while the value of the imports amounted to £3,527,066. In explanation of this latter figure the British vice-consul writes, "with the exception of opium, the sale of which has steadily advanced since the opening of the port (in 1861), all the principal articles of import exhibit a decline."

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