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Sichuan Province

Location: located in the Upper Yangtze Valley in the southwest part of the country.

Area: 485000 square kilo meters

Climate: In the eastern basin area and the lower western valleys that are sheltered from cold polar air masses by the surrounding mountains, there are 350 frost-free days in the east, and the growing season lasts nearly all year round. In the west, the sheltering effect of the mountains is evident from the contrast between the perennially snow-capped peaks and the mild weather prevailing in the valleys beneath them.

Provincial capital: Chengdu

Population: 83.29 millions (March 2001)

Ethnic groups: Dai, Qiang,Miao, Man,Yi,Lishu, Tibetan, Mongol,Zhuang,Naxi,Buyi Fourteen other ethnic groups.

Agriculture: The crops range from those of sub-tropical climates to those of the cool temperate zone. Sichuan, generally classified as a rice region, is also a major producer of such crops as corn, sweet potatoes, wheat, rapeseed, sorghum, barley, soybeans and millet. Tropical fruits-such as litchi and citrus -- grow together with apples and pears of cool temperate climates.

Industry: The most important industries include iron and copper smelting, machinery, power, coal mining, petroleum refining, chemicals, textiles, and food processing. Sichuan is also known for its cottage industries. These include the hand weaving of cloth, production of silk products, silver smith and copper smith, and embroidery.

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