HOME >> Six Provinces in Central China

Henan Province

Source: hubei.gov.cn 06/03/2016 05:06:59

Located on the Central Plains in the mid-east of China, Henan, literally “to the south of the River” in Chinese, got its name by having most of her area to the south of the Yellow River. It is also named “Central Plains” or “Central China”, with the short form of “Yu”.

It borders Anhui province and Shandong province to the east, Hebei province and Shanxi province to the north, Shaanxi province to the west and Hubei province to the south. The Yellow River sees Taihang Mountains lying to its north, from north-east to south-west, as well as the east stretch of Qinling Mountain range lying to its south. As a channel connecting the east and the west, the Yellow River basin, through which the famous Silk Road extends westward along with the second Eurasia Continental railway system consisting of Longhai railway and Lanxin railway, connects with the Central Shaanxi Plain and reaches out directly into the Great Northwest of China, and then to west Asia.

The south-to-north thoroughfares, represented by the famous Nanxiang Channel of the ancient times and the present-day Jingguang (Beijing-Guangzhou) railway and the Jingshen (Beijing-Shenzheng) highway, were built in the joining areas of the mountainous regions and plains. From an administrative and communication view, Henan lies in the center of China. Starting from Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan, a circle with a radius of roughly 600-800 kilometers can be drawn, encompassing Beijing, Tianjin and the Tanggu region to the north, Wuhan in the south, the Central Shaanxi Plain to the west and Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou to the east. Henan, with its advantageous location, wins herself an important role in the social and economic activities in China. Historically, Henan was a transportation hub, and many great historic events took place in this land. Hence the old saying, “Those who gained the central plains would obtain China”. Nowadays, with the network of railways and expressways which reach all over the country and with convenient air transportation, Henan’s position as the transportation hub has been strengthened. Furthermore, the national key projects taking place in Henan such as the pipeline of transporting natural gas from west to east and the pipeline of diverting water from south to north are now under construction. Henan plays a major role in the national economic and social development.

The west part of Henan is higher than the east, geographically. In the west tower the Taihang Mountains and the Yuxi Mountains, the latter being the eastern extension of the Qinling range which fans out eastward. The Funiu Mountain, 1,000-2,000 meters above sea level, is recognized as the roof of Henan. In the southern part of the province lie the Tongbai Mountains and the Dabie Mountains with an average height of less than 1,000 meters. They serve as the watershed of the Huaihe River and the Yangtze River. Along the Yellow River between the Taihang Mountains and the Yuxi Mountains disperse hilly loess lands. In the center of Henan stands the towering Songshan Mountain. In the east part of the province stretches the vast Huanghuai Plain.

The four major rivers, namely the Yellow River, the Huaihe River, the Haihe River and the Yangtze River, stretch over Henan. There are over 1,500 rivers crisscrossing, 493 of which cover a drainage area of more than 100 square kilometers for each. The Yellow River flows across the middle of the province with a trunk stream of 711 kilometers long and a drainage area of 36,200 square kilometers, which accounts for approximately one fifth of the coverage of the whole province. The Huaihe River, which winds through the mid-southern part of Henan with numerous branches and abundant water yield, has a trunk stream of 340 kilometers long and a drainage area of about 88,300 square kilometers, which accounts for almost one half of the whole coverage of the province. The Weihe River and the Zhanghe River in the northern part flow into the Haihe River. The Danjiang River, the Tuanhe River and the Tangbai River in the southwest part flow into the Hanshui River. The gross water volume of the province is about 41.3 billion cubic meters, ranking it the 19th in China.