Natural Regions, Subtropical East Central China
Sichuan Basin, Guangxi Zhuang, Guizhou, hilly area, Jiangxi
Subtropical East Central China is the country’s largest and most populous natural region. It encompasses about a quarter of China’s area and includes three traditional divisions: Central China, South China, and Southwest China. Subtropical China embraces the economically rich Yangtze Valley and stretches west from the Yellow Sea to the southeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The Qin Ling mountains mark the region’s northern border. Administratively, the region includes Shanghai and Chongqing municipalities; Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Sichuan, and Guizhou provinces; Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; the majority of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; the southern parts of Jiangsu, Anhui, and Henan provinces; and the northern sections of Fujian, Guangdong, and Yunnan provinces.
The Yangtze Valley consists of a series of basins with fertile alluvial soils. These lowlands are crisscrossed with natural and artificial waterways, and dotted with lakes. To the west is the Sichuan Basin, a relatively isolated area of hilly terrain enclosed by several mountain ranges. The Sichuan Basin is noteworthy for its intensive terraced farming. Further west is the deeply eroded Yunnan Plateau, which is bordered by a series of mountain ranges separated by deep, steep-walled gorges. One of the world’s most scenic landscapes is found in Guizhou and Guangxi Zhuang, where the surface limestone rock has weathered into towering domes, pillarlike peaks, and other unusual shapes. To the east are the largely deforested and severely eroded Nan Ling hills. Along China’s southeastern coast are rugged highlands, where bays with numerous offshore islands provide good natural harbors. Lying south of the Nan Ling hills is the Xi Jiang Basin, a predominantly hilly area with infertile soils. However, fertile, flat-floored alluvial valleys border the numerous rivers of this region. One of the most important is the broad delta plain of the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River), which is sometimes called the Canton delta.
Article key phrases: