Guiyang is the capital of Guizhou province of Southwest China. It is located in the center of the province, situated on the east of the Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau, and on the north bank of the Nanming River, a branch of the Wu River. The city has an elevation of about 1,100 meters (3,600 ft). It has an area of 8,034 square kilometers (3,102 sq mi).During the 2010 census, its population was 4,324,561, out of whom 3,037,159 lived in the 7 urban districts.
Guiyang was a 7th-century military outpost under the Sui and Tang, when the area around it was known as Juzhou (矩州). It grew into a city named Shunyuan (順元) under the Mongolian Yuan dynasty sometime between their 1279 southwestern campaigns and 1283. By the time Guizhou became a full province in 1413, its capital at Guiyang was also known as Guizhou. It became a prefectural seat under the Ming and Qing. Guiyang grew rapidly during the development of the southwest that occurred after the Japanese invasion of China during World War II. It has also grown rapidly since Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms reached it in the 1990s.
The city's heart is around the Dashizi (大十字), a "big cross", and Penshuichi (喷水池, literally "Fountain Pool"), a traffic intersection, in the center of which there was a large fountain until early 2010, when it was paved over for better traffic.
Guiyang has a four-season, monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cwa), tempered by its low latitude and high elevation. It has cool winters and moderate-temperature summers; the majority of the year's 1,118 millimetres (44.0 in) of precipitation occurs from May to July. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 5.1 °C (41.2 °F) in January to 23.9 °C (75.0 °F) in July, while the annual mean is 15.35 °C (59.6 °F). Rain is common throughout the year, with occasional flurries in winter. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 12 percent in January to 41 percent in August, the city receives only 1150 hours of sunshine, making it one of China's least sunny major cities. Average monthly relative humidity is consistently above 75% throughout the year. The moderate temperature together with other factors including air quality, wind speed, etc. made Guiyang to be ranked No.2 in the "Top 10 Summer Capitals of China".