The province is high in the north and low in the south. Mountains make up 31.7 percent of the total area, hilly areas 28.5 percent, terraced farmland 16.1 percent and plains 23.7 percent. It has 3.12 million hectares of farmland, 10.25 million hectares devoted to forestry and 570,000 hectares of underdeveloped grasslands.
Most areas enjoy a subtropical monsoon climate with adequate rainfall, long summers and warm winters. Annual precipitation averages 1,336 mm while annual evaporation averages 1,100 mm so Guangdong
is moist. Its average annual temperature is 22 ??C and it averages 1,828 hours of sunshine a year. Guangdong
is a green place where plants grow vigorously all the year round.Natural resources:Guangdong
boasts rich mineral resources. So far, a total of 116 different mineral ores have been discovered and 89 have been surveyed. Its coal deposits are put at 547 million tons, iron ore at 553 million tons and pyrite at 445 million tons. It has 34 minerals ranking in the top five deposits nationwide. Its deposits of peat, vein quartz, kaolin clay, trachyte, germanium and tellurium all rank first in the country.
Forests cover 57 percent of the province with standing timber reserves of 300 million cubic meters. Species include pine, Chinese catalpa, fir and eucalyptus.
The province has extensive access to the sea together with a network of interconnected waterways with many reservoirs and fish ponds. It is rich in aquatic products. Its marine breeding areas cover 780,000 hectares and it has a further 430,000 hectares of freshwater breeding areas. The main crops are rice, vegetables and fruit. Zhanjiang is the main center for sisal hemp while fruit production is predominately based around Maoming. Among the 200 varieties of fruit grown in Guangdong
are pineapples, bananas and litchi, together with longans and oranges.
The province has a theoretical reserved hydropower capacity of 10.73 million KW and a practical capacity of 6.66 million KW, of which 60 percent has been harnessed.
There are 40 forest parks and 30 nature reserves designated at provincial level. Guangdong
is now seeing more and more of its cities designated as ?°Excellent Tourist Cities?± for the list now includes Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Zhaoqing, Zhongshan, Foshan, Jiangmen, Shantou, Huizhou and Hainan
. In particular Zhongshan and Hainan
rank first and second among the cities at prefecture and county levels to have been awarded this honor.
Development of the tourism triangle based on Guangdong
, Hong Kong
has now taken off. The State Council has approved the introduction of a 144-hour visa endorsement service in 10 cities in the Zhujiang River Delta and Shantou City.
Eleven of the province?ˉs scenic spots and scenic areas are now graded 4-A designating them as top quality tourist areas:
1. Baiyun Hill in Guangzhou
2. Xiangjiang Wildlife Park in Guangzhou
3. Overseas Chinese Town in Shenzhen
4. Guanlan Golf Course in Shenzhen
5. Yuanming New Park in Zhuhai
6. Dr. Sun Yat-sen?ˉs birthplace in Zhongshan
7. Star Lake in Zhaoqing
8. Mount Sijiao in Foshan
9. Mount Danxia in Shaoguan
10. Qingxin Hot Springs in Qingyuan
11. Hailing Island?ˉs Dajiao Bay in Yangjiang
Environment and current issues:
In 2003 water quality was generally fine in the major rivers throughout the province?ˉs four main river systems. However rivers running through cities and slow flowing rivers remain severely polluted. Of 106 provincially-controlled sections, 62 satisfied the water quality standard for Grades I to III.
Nineteen of 21 regional level cities in the province achieved state standard, second-grade air quality. However in some parts, air quality has been deteriorating to a certain extent.
Some 245 million yuan aimed at bringing environmental pollution under control was expended in the year with 1,697 projects completed on schedule. A total of 386 polluting enterprises were closed down, suspended, merged with other enterprises, asked to amend their product lines or relocated.
The province now has 174 smog-control zones covering 2,913 sq. km and there are 228 zones meeting environmental noise standards covering 1,675 sq. km. While the urban acoustic environment in the province remained generally stable, some 76 percent of urban traffic is now considered to be particularly good in terms of noise levels.
There are 209 nature reserves across the province. They cover a total area of 3.055 million hectares of which 808,000 are land-based representing 4.5 percent of the land area of Guangdong
There are 117 ecological demonstration zones with a total area of 3,056,000 hectares. 99.8 percent of construction projects included an environmental audit in 2003.
In 2001, the total Population
of the province was 77.8341 million, ranking third in China.
There are 53 ethnical groups living in the province, and the Population
of the minority ethnical groups accounts for 0.7 percent of the province?ˉs total. The main minority ethnical groups are Zhuang, Yao, She, Hui and Manchu.
According to statistics of 2001, there are 62 higher learning institutions, with 139,000 freshmen and a total enrollment of 381,900 students, increasing 15.12 percent and 27.53 percent respectively as compared with that of the preceding year. There are 40 colleges for continuous education, with 97,100 students newly enrolled in the year and a total enrollment of 233,000 students, increasing 13.37 percent and 15.7 percent respectively on the preceding year. There are 26 schools and academies for graduate programs, enrolling 7,400 graduate students in the year, with a total enrollment of 17,900 students, increasing 30.29 percent, and 37.59 percent respectively on the preceding year. The province?ˉs high schools enrolled 609,600 students in the year, with a total enrollment of 1.6299 million students, an increase of 9.61 percent and 6.84 percent respectively on the preceding year. The schooling rate of children of primary school age in the province is 99.62 percent; the total enrollment of primary schools is 9.5298 million. Of the primary school graduates, 96.35 percent enter junior high schools.
There are four railway companies in the province. Major rail lines running through Guangdong
to Kowlong, Beijing
to Guangzhou, Guangzhou to Meixian, and Shantou and Sanshui to Maoming.Highways:
A total of 1,689 km of highways at fourth-grade or above were constructed in 2003, of which new express highways accounted for 562 km and upgraded highways 333 km.
The province has more than 100 ports, including Huangpu, Zhanjiang, Shekou and Chiwan. Five quays were either built or extended in 2003, a year in which the volume of freight handled reached some 2.4 million tons.
The province has eight civil airports. Its Baiyun Airport is one of the top three international airports in China in terms of passenger handling capacity. By the end of 2003 it had 23 domestic and five international routes.