Jiangsu (江苏) province is located along the east coast of East China (华东). It borders Shandong to the north, Anhui to the west, and Shanghai and Zhejiang to the south; to the east is the East China Sea (or Yellow Sea). Jiangsu takes its name from its two main cities, Jiang from Jiangning (now Nanjing), and su from Suzhou.
During the earliest Chinese dynasties, the area in what is now Jiangsu was far removed from the center of Chinese civilization, which was in the northwest Henan; it was home of the Huai Yi (淮夷), an ancient ethnic group. During the Zhou Dynasty more contact was made, and eventually the state of Wu (centered at Gusu, now Suzhou) appeared as a vassal to the Zhou Dynasty in south Jiangsu, one of the many hundreds of states that existed across northern and central China at that time. Near the end of the Spring and Autumn Period, Wu became a great power under King Helu of Wu, and was able to defeat in 484 BC the state of Qi, a major power in the north in modern-day Shandong province, and contest for the position of overlord over all states of China. The state of Wu was subjugated in 473 BC by the state of Yue, another state that had emerged to the south in modern-day Zhejiang province. Yue was in turn subjugated by the powerful state of Chu from the west in 333 BC. Eventually the state of Qin swept away all the other states, and established China as a unified nation in 221 BC.
Under the reign of the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD), which brought China to its first golden age, Jiangsu was a relative backwater, far removed from the centers of civilization in the North China Plain. Jiangsu was at that time administered under two zhou (provinces): Xuzhou Province in the north, and Yangzhou Province in the south. Although south Jiangsu was eventually the base for the kingdom of Wu (one of the Three Kingdoms from 222 to 280), it did not become significant role until the invasion of northern nomads during the Western Jin Dynasty, starting from the fourth century. As northern nomadic groups established kingdoms across the north, ethnic Han Chinese aristocracy fled southwards and set up a refugee Eastern Jin Dynasty in 317, in Jiankang (modern day Nanjing). From then until 581 (a period known as the Southern and Northern Dynasties), Nanjing in south Jiangsu was the base of four more ethnic Han Chinese dynasties facing off with northern barbarian (but increasingly sinicized) dynasties. In the meantime, north Jiangsu was a buffer of sorts between north and south; it initially started as a part of southern dynasties, but as northern dynasties gained more ground, it became part of northern dynasties.
In 581 unity was reestablished again, and under the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907) China once more went through a golden age, though Jiangsu at this point was still rather unremarkable among the different parts of China. It was during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), which saw the development of a wealthy mercantile class and emergent market economy in China, that south Jiangsu emerged as a center of trade. From then onwards, south Jiangsu, especially major cities like Suzhou or Yangzhou, would be synonymous with opulence and luxury in China. Today south Jiangsu remains one of the richest parts of China, and Shanghai, arguably the wealthiest and most cosmopolitan of mainland China cities, is a direct extension of south Jiangsu culture.
The Jurchen Jin Dynasty gained control of North China in 1127, and the river Huai He, which used to cut through north Jiangsu to reach the Yellow Sea, was the border between the north, under the Jin, and the south, under the Southern Song Dynasty. The Mongols took control of China in the thirteenth century. The Ming Dynasty, which was established in 1368 after driving out the Mongols who had occupied China, initially put its capital in Nanjing. Following a coup by Zhu Di (later Yongle Emperor), however, the capital was moved to Beijing, far to the north. (The naming of the two cities continue to reflect this: "Nanjing" literally means "southern capital", "Beijing" literally means "northern capital.) The entirety of modern day Jiangsu as well as neighbouring Anhui province kept their special status, however, as territory-governed directly by the central government, and were called Nanzhili (南直隸 "Southern directly-governed"). Meanwhile, South Jiangsu continued to be an important center of trade in China; some historians see in the flourishing textiles industry at the time incipient industrialization and capitalism, a trend that was however aborted, several centuries before similar trends took hold in the West.
The Qing Dynasty changed this situation by establishing Nanzhili as Jiangnan province; in 1666 Jiangsu and Anhui were split apart as separate provinces, and Jiangsu was given borders approximately the same as today. With the start of the Western incursion into China in the 1840s, the rich and mercantile south Jiangsu was increasingly exposed to Western influence; Shanghai, originally an unremarkable little town of Jiangsu, quickly developed into a metropolis of trade, banking, and cosmopolitanism, and was split out later as an independent municipality. South Jiangsu also figures strongly in the Taiping Rebellion (1851 – 1864), a massive and deadly rebellion that attempted to set up a Christian theocracy in China; it started far to the south in Guangdong province, swept through much of South China, and by 1853 had established Nanjing as its capital, renamed as Tianjing (天京 "Heavenly Capital").
The Republic of China was established in 1912, and China was soon torn apart by warlords. Jiangsu changed hands several times, but in April 1927 Chiang Kai-Shek established a government at Nanjing; he was soon able to bring most of China under his control. This was however interrupted by the second Sino-Japanese War, which began full-scale in 1937; on December 13, 1937, Nanjing fell, and the combined atrocities of the occupying Japanese for the next 3 months would come to be known as the Nanjing Massacre. Nanjing was the seat of the collaborationist government of East China under Wang Jingwei, and Jiangsu remained under occupation until the end of the war in 1945.
After the war, Nanjing was once again the capital of the Republic of China, though now the Chinese Civil War had broken out between the Kuomintang government and Communist forces, based further north, mostly in Manchuria. The decisive Huaihai Campaign was fought in northern Jiangsu; it resulted in Kuomintang defeat, and the communists were soon able to cross the Yangtze River and take Nanjing. The Kuomintang fled southwards, and eventually ended up in Taipei, from which the Republic of China government continues to administer Taiwan and its neighbouring islands, though it also continues to claim (technically, at least) Nanjing as its rightful capital.
After communist takeover, Beijing was made capital of China and Nanjing was demoted to be the provincial capital of Jiangsu. The economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping initially focused on the south coast of China, in Guangdong province, which soon left Jiangsu behind; starting from the 1990s they were applied more evenly to the rest of China. Suzhou and Wuxi, two southern cities of Jiangsu in close proximity to neighbouring Shanghai Municipality, have since become particularly prosperous, being among the top 10 cities in China in gross domestic product and outstripping the provincial capital of Nanjing. The income disparity between north Jiangsu and south Jiangsu however remains large.
Jiangsu is very flat and low-lying, with plains covering 68 percent of its total area (water covers another 18 percent), and most of the province not more than fifty meters above sea level. Jiangsu is also laced with a well-developed irrigation system, which earned it (especially the southern half) the moniker of 水乡 (shuǐxiāng "land of water"); the southern city of Suzhou is so crisscrossed with canals that it has been dubbed "Venice of the East". The Grand Canal of China cuts through Jiangsu from north to south, traversing all the east-west river systems. Jiangsu also borders the Yellow Sea. The Yangtze River, the longest river of China, cuts through the province in the south and reaches the East China Sea. Mount Yuntai near the city of Lianyungang is the highest point in this province, with an altitude of 625 meters. Large lakes in Jiangsu include Lake Taihu (the largest), Lake Hongze, Lake Gaoyou, Lake Luoma, and Lake Yangcheng.
Historically, the river Huai He, a major river in central China and the traditional border between North China and South China, cut through north Jiangsu to reach the Yellow Sea. However, starting from 1194 AD, the Yellow River further to the north changed its course several times, running into the Huai He in north Jiangsu each time instead of its other usual path northwards into Bohai Bay. The silting caused by the Yellow River was so heavy that after its last episode of "hijacking" the Huai He ended in 1855, the Huai He was no longer able to go through its usual path into the sea. Instead it flooded, pooled up (thereby forming and enlarging Lake Hongze and Lake Gaoyou), and flowed southwards through the Grand Canal into the Yangtze. The old path of the Huai He is now marked by a series of irrigation channels, the most significant of which is the North Jiangsu Irrigation Main Channel (苏北灌溉总渠), which channels a small amount of the water of the Huai He alongside south of its old path into the sea.
Jiangsu Province spans the warm-temperate/humid and subtropical/humid climate zones, and has clear-cut seasonal changes, with temperatures at an average of -2 to 4°C in January and 26 to 30°C in July. There are frequent rains between spring and summer (meiyu), typhoons with rainstorms in late summer and early autumn. The annual average rainfall is 800 to 1200 mm, concentrated mostly in summer when the southeast monsoon carries rainwater into the province.
 Other Places
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Nanjing was the capital of several Chinese dynasties and contains a variety of historic sites, such as the Purple Mountain, Purple Mountain Observatory, the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, Ming Dynasty city wall and gates, Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum (The mausoleum of the first Ming Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang), Lake Xuanwu, Jiming Temple, the Nanjing Massacre Memorial, Nanjing Confucius Temple, Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, and the Nanjing Zoo, with circus. Suzhou is renowned for its classical gardens (designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), as well as Hanshan Temple, and Huqiu Tower. Nearby is the water-town of Zhouzhuang, an international tourist destination where Venice alike waterways, bridges and dwellings have been preserved over centuries. Yangzhou is known for Thin West Lake. Wuxi is known for being the home of the world's tallest buddha statue. In the north, Xuzhou is designated as one of China's "eminent historical cities".
- Lion Garden in Suzhou
- Grand Buddha at Ling Shan, Wuxi
- Chaotian Palace
- Gulin Park
- Jiangxin Island
- Night markets
- Qixia Temple in Qixia Mountains
- Swallow Rock in Yanziji
- Tianning Temple Pagoda
- Tombs of Southern Tang Emperor
- Plum and Cherry Blossoms
- Lantern Festival
- Hanshan Temple New Year Bell Ringing Event
- Fuzi Miao Culture Festival
- Fuzi Food Festival
- Dragon boat race
- Xuzhou Meal Festival
- Zhou Zhuang river town traditional arts festival
Jiangsu can be broadly divided into two linguistic regions. The southern part of the province is Wu speaking while the northern part is Mandarin speaking. The Suzhou (not Shanghai) dialect of Wu is traditionally considered to be the prestige dialect, so learners Wu will find it spoken in the "purest" form there. The Nanjing dialect of Mandarin differs significanly in pronunciation from standard Mandarin, but nevertheless is still mutually intelligible.
Huaiyang is considered one of the four, sometimes eight, main cuisines in China. Normally, it`s cooking techniques consist of stewing, braising, roasting, and simmering creating light, fresh and mellow flavors. Much of it`s character is owed to the region`s vinegar.
Jiangsu is rich in cultural traditions. Kunqu, originating in Kunshan, is one of the most renowned and prestigious forms of Chinese opera. Pingtan, a form of storytelling accompanied by music, is also popular: it can be subdivided into types by origin: Suzhou Pingtan (of Suzhou), Yangzhou Pingtan (of Yangzhou), and Nanjing Pingtan (of Nanjing). Xiju, a form of traditional Chinese opera, is popular in Wuxi, while Huaiju is popular further north, around Yancheng. Jiangsu cuisine is one of the eight great traditions of the cuisine of China.
 Ethnic Groups
The majority of Jiangsu residents are ethnic Han Chinese. Other minorities include the Hui and the Manchus.
 Colleges and Universities
- Nanjing University (南京大学)
- Southeast University (东南大学)
- Hohai University (河海大学)
- Nanjing Aeronautics and Astronautics University (南京航空航天大学)
- Nanjing University of Finance & Economics (南京财经大学)
- Nanjing Agricultural University (南京农业大学)
- Nanjing Forestry University (南京林业大学)
- Nanjing Medical University (南京医科大学)
- Nanjing Normal University (南京师范大学)
- Nanjing University of Science and Technology (南京理工大学)
- Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (南京信息工程大学)
- Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications (南京邮电大学)
- Nanjing University of Technology (南京工业大学)
- Nanjing Institute of Technology (南京工程学院)
- Jiangsu University of Social Science (江苏社科进修大学)
- China University of Mining and Technology (中国矿业大学)
- Xuzhou Normal University (徐州师范大学)
- Xuzhou Medical College (徐州医学院)
- Yangzhou University (扬州大学)
- Jiangnan University (江南大学)
 Area and Postal Codes
|City||Area Code||Postal Code||City||Area Code||Postal Code|
|Changshu (常熟)||520||215500||Changzhou (常州)||519||213000|
|Huai'an (淮安)||517||223001||Jiangyin (江阴)||510||214400|
|Kunshan (昆山)||520||215300||Lianyungang (连云港)||518||222000|
|Liyang (溧阳)||519||213300||Nanjing (南京)||25||210000|
|Nantong (南通)||513||226000||Suqian (宿迁)||527||223800|
|Suzhou (苏州)||512||215000||Taicang (太仓)||520||215400|
|Taizhou (太仓)||523||225300||Wujiang (吴江)||512||215200|
|Wuxi (无锡)||510||214000||Xuzhou (徐州)||516||221000|
|Yancheng (盐城)||515||224000||Yangzhou (扬州)||514||225000|
|Yixing (宜兴)||510||214200||Yizheng (仪征)||514||211400|
|Zhangjiagang (张家港)||520||215600||Zhenjiang (镇江)||511||212000|
 Tips & Practical Info
 See also
Taste Jiangsu the Official Travel and Tourism Website of Jiangsu Tourism Bureau, in english and spanish