Changsha (tsã13 sɔ33 sɿ21; simplified Chinese: 长沙; traditional Chinese: 長沙; pinyin: Chángshā; literally: "Long sandbar") is the capital of Hunan province, south central China. It covers 11,819 km2 (4,563 sq mi) and is bordered by Yueyang and Yiyang to the north, Loudi to the west, Xiangtan and Zhuzhou to the south, Yichun and Pingxiang of Jiangxi province to the east. According to 2010 Census, Changsha has 7,044,118 residents, constituting 10.72% of the province's population.
Changsha is located in the Xiang River valley plain, bordering on Luoxiao Mountains on the east, Wuling Mountains on the west, edging in Dongting Lake on the north and bounded on the south by Hengshan Mountains. It has a moist monsoon climate of the subtropical zone. The average annual air temperature is 16.8–17.3 °C and the rainfall 1,358.6–1,552.5 mm.
Changsha is a famous historical and cultural city with a history of over 3,000 years. Changsha is famous for being the capital of Changsha State in the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), and the capital of Chu State (907–951) in Ten Kingdoms period. The lacquerware and Silk Texts recovered from Mawangdui (2nd century BC) there are an indication of the richness of local craft traditions. In 1904, Changsha was opened to foreign trade, and large numbers of Europeans and Americans settled there. Changsha was the site of Mao Zedong's conversion to communism. It was also the scene of major battles in the Sino-Japanese War (1931–1945) and was briefly occupied by the Japanese. Nowadays, Changsha is an important commercial, manufacturing and transportation center in China.
Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China, began his political career in Changsha. He was a student at the Hunan Number 1 Teachers' Training School from 1913 to 1918. He later returned as a teacher and principal from 1920 to 1922. The school was destroyed during the Chinese Civil War but has since been restored. The former office of the Hunan Communist Party Central Committee where Mao Zedong once lived is now a museum that includes Mao's living quarters, photographs and other historical items from the 1920s.
Until May 1927, communist support remained strong in Changsha before the massacre carried out by the right-wing faction of the KMT troops. The faction owed its allegiance to Chiang Kai-shek during its offensive against the KMT's left-wing faction under Wang Jingwei, who was then allied closely with the Communists. The purge of communists and suspected communists was part of Chiang's plans for consolidating his hold over the KMT, weakening Wang's control, and thereby over the entire China. In a period of twenty days, Chiang's forces killed more than ten thousand people in Changsha and its outskirts.
1938 Changsha Fire
During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), the strategic location of Changsha made it the focus of four campaigns by the Japanese to capture it from the hands of the Chinese Nationalists: these campaigns were the 1st Changsha, the 2nd Changsha, the 3rd Changsha, and the 4th Changsha. The city was able to repulse the first three attacks, thanks to Xue Yue's leadership, but ultimately fell into Japanese hands in 1944 for a year until the Japanese were defeated in a counterattack and forced to surrender. Before these Japanese campaigns, the city was already virtually destroyed by the 1938 Changsha Fire, which was a deliberate fire ordered by Kuomintang commanders who mistakenly feared the city was about to fall to the Japanese; Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had suggested that the city should be burned so that the Japanese force would gain nothing after entering it.
The city later became the territory of then-expanding Communist China when it was finally completed in 1949 after the Kuomintang were driven to Taiwan.
Changsha is located in the south-central part of China, south of the Yangtze River, north-east of Hunan Province. Is located in the southern end of the Dongting Plain to the hinterland of Hunan transition zone, and Yueyang, Yiyang, Loudi, Zhuzhou, Xiangtan and Jiangxi Pingxiang borders. The total area of 11,819 square kilometers, of which the urban area of 1,939 square kilometers, urban built-up area of 306.39 square kilometers (2011 data, including Wangcheng ). Located in Liuyang territory of the Dawei Mountain Qixingling 1607.9 meters above sea level, the highest point for the area; in the town of the town of Heimi peak 590.5 meters above sea level for the city to the highest point; Qiao town in Zhanhu elevation of 23.5 meters for the city's lowest point. Xiangjiang River is the most important river in Changsha, from south to north throughout the territory, the length of about 75 km. The Xiangjiang River divides the city into two major parts, Hedong and Hexi. The east part of the city is mainly commercial and the Hexi is mainly cultural and educational. On 10 October 2001, the city government resident moved from Hedong Fanzheng Street to the Hexi View of Sandy Ridge, the force in the development of Hexi economy to balance the two sides of Changsha.
Changsha's neighboring areas include: cities and counties and a district of Hunan including Tonggu County, Pingjiang County, Miluo City, Xiangyin County of Yueyang, Taojiang County, Heshan District, Anhua County of Yiyang, Lianyuan City of Loudi, Zhuzhou County, Liling City of Zhuzhou, Xiangtan County, Xiangxiang City of Xiangtan; and cities and counties of Jiangxi including Wanzai County, Yichun City, and Pingxiang City.
Changsha experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with annual average temperature being at 17.03 °C (62.7 °F), with a mean of 4.6 °C (40.3 °F) in January and 29.0 °C (84.2 °F) in July. Average annual precipitation is 1,331 millimetres (52.4 in), with a 275-day frost-free period. With a monthly possible-sunshine percentage ranging from 19% in March to 57% in August, the city receives 1,545 hours of bright sunshine annually. The four seasons are distinct. The summers are long and very hot, with heavy rainfall, and autumn is comfortable and is the driest season. Winter is chilly and overcast with lighter rainfall more likely than downpours; cold snaps occur with temperatures occasionally dropping below freezing. Spring is especially rainy and humid with the sun shining less than 30% of the time. The minimum temperature ever recorded since 1951 at the current Wangchengpo Weather Observing Station was −12.0 °C (10.4 °F), recorded on 9 February 1972. The maximum was 40.6 °C (105.1 °F) on 13 August 1953 and 2 August 2003 [the unofficial record of 43.0 °C (109.4 °F) was set on 10 August 1934].