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Shandong Province
Shandong is located in the Lower Reaches of the Yellow River and the eastern part of the North China Plains. On the northwest of the peninsula is the Bohai Sea; on the northeast and south is the Yellow Sea. In the ancient China, the area east of Taihang Mountain was Shandong. Shandong Province was set up in the Ming Dynasty. As part of the area in history was the Lu State, it is called Lu for short. The provincial area is 150,000 square kilometers and it had a population of 81,800,000 in 1989. Most of the people are of Han Nationality and some are of Hui Nationality. The provincial capital is Jinan.

65% of the provincial area is of plain and low-lying land and the remaining part is of mountainous land and hills. The highest mountain peak is the Jade Emperor Peak, the main peak of Mount Tai, 1524 meters above sea level. The highest peak in the hilly area of Jiaodong Peninsula is Laoshan Hill, 1133 meters above sea level. Most parts of the plain are below 50 meters above sea level. The delta formed by the alluvion of the Yellow River in modern times is among Lijin, the mouth of the Xiaoqing River and the mouth of the Tuhai River, and continues to extend into the Bohai Sea. In the Jiaolai area on the denuded accumulation plain remain a few isolated remnant hills, while salt marshes and saline-alkali soil are distributed on the plain along the coast.

The province is located in the temperate zone with a semi-humid monsoon climate, much rain in the summer, fine weather in the winter, and low air humidity. The average annual temperature is 11íŠ--14.5íŠ, the lowest average temperature is -5íŠ-- -1íŠ in January, and the highest average temperature is 24íŠ--28íŠ in July. Generally speaking, the temperature in the east is relatively low, while the temperature in the southwest is relatively high. The annual and daily difference of temperature in eastern areas along the coast is smaller than that in inland areas. The lowest extreme temperature is -27íŠ (in Dezhou on Jan. 1958; -27.5íŠ on Mount Tai), while the highest extreme temperature is 43.4íŠ (in Dezhou on July 23, 1955). The annual average precipitation is 560--1170 millimeters. The frost-free period lasts about 180--220 days. 60%--70% of the yearly precipitation is concentrated on the summer, often in the form of torrential rain. Rain areas are mainly distributed in Rizhao, Linyi and Zaozhuang.

The provincial rivers respectively belong to the basins of the Yellow River, the Haihe River and Huaihe River, and a few of them enter the sea. The major rivers are the Yellow River and the Great Canal. The Yellow River flows from west to northeast and enters the Bohai sea in Dongying City, usually with ice run in early spring. The Great Canal runs from north to south through the western plain, intersecting the Yellow River near Dongping Lake. In addition, the Xiaoqing River flows from west to east and its water mainly comes from springs in Jinan, with a flow distance of 233 kilometers and a constant discharge. Lakes are mainly found between the West Shandong Plain and the Central Shandong Hills, and divided into five northern lakes and four southern lakes. Four of the five northern lakes have become seasonal watery low-lying land. Yihu Lake, i.e. Dongping Lake, has been built into a reservoir. The four southern lakes are interconnected with one another, with a total area of 1,375 square kilometers. The area of the largest lake, Weishan Lake, comes to 660 square kilometers.

Agriculture takes an important position in the provincial economy. Through many yearsí« efforts. half of the saline-alkali soil has been transformed. Since 1970, Shandong Province is self-sufficient in grain. The provincial reclaiming index is 60%. Wheat is the main food crop and its yield comes out first in China. Commodity grain bases are mainly Yantai and Weifang areas. With the gradual development of the networks of water conservancy and irrigation, the planting area for rice has been expanding. Other generally planted food crops are corn, sorghum, millet, sweet potato, soybean, etc. Main cash crops are cotton, peanut, tobacco and flax, among which cotton is Shandongí«s major cash crop and mainly produced on the West Shandong and North Shandong Plains. The main exported cash crop in Shandong Province is peanut, whose total yield account for two-thirds of that in China. Tobacco planting has a long history in this province, which is one of the important tobacco production areas of the state, with Qingzhou City and Linqu City as the major production districts. Shandong is one of the four major provinces producing tussah silk, with the hilly land in Jiaodong as the chief production area. The province, rich in varieties of fruits, is an important production area of vegetables and fruits in the temperate zone. As far as animal husbandry is concerned, mainly pigs are raised. Sideline focuses on the collection of traditional Chinese medicinal materials and weaving and knitting.

The important minerals of the province are coal, petroleum, iron, aluminum, gold, etc. Coal field is found in the west Shandong area. Important coal mines are those of Zibo, Zaozhuang, Yanzhou, Xinwen, Linyi, etc. Petroleum is distributed on the Yellow River Delta and along the Bohai coast; iron is produced mainly in Jinling Town and Laiwu and aluminum in Zibo and Zaozjhuang areas; gold mines are located in Zhaoyun and Laizhou. Besides, Fushan, Laixi and Taian respectively produce copper, graphite, gypsum and other minerals, while Qingdao, Rizhao and other coastal places produce salt. At present the province has the following industrial productive centers: Jinan, Qingdao, Zibo, Weifang, Yantai, Zaozhuang, etc., and major industrial sectors are textile, food, mining, iron and steel, machine building, electric power, rubber, petrochemistry, cement, ceramics, etc. The provincial output of chemical fertilizer comes out first in China. Among the national industries, the following industries in Shandong are well-known: cotton textile industry in Qingdao and Jinan, automobile-making industry and the motorcycle group in Jinan, locomotive-making industry in Qingdao and the Shengli Oil Field.

Jinan is the center of the communications network. Because of its geographical location, Jinan is a place where two railways meet: Beijing-Shanghai Railway that runs through the province from north to south and Jiaozhou-Jinan Railway that runs across the central part. In addition a railway connects Qingdao Harbor and Yantai Harbor. As there are many mines, mine railways are well developed. Shandong Province has a very good highway system with great density and excellent road conditions. The highway communications center is usually the place where the administrative office of a prefecture is located. Now highway reaches every township and bus service is available in every county. The main inland water course is the Xiaoqing River. The whole section of the Yellow River in Shandong Province is navigable. Luokou is the most important water and land transfer port in the Lower Reaches of the Yellow River. Important harbors are Qingdao Harbor, Yantai Harbor, Weihai Harbor, Longkou Harbor, Shijiu Harbor, Rizhao Harbor, etc. With the provincial capital Jinan as the central airport, air line extends to Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Hefei, Shenyang and other places. Moreover, the Shandong-Nanjing Petroleum Pipeline has been built and put to use.

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