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Archdiocese of Anqing
Archdiocese of Anqing

Anhui Diocese covers 17 prefecture-level divisions: Hefei, Anqing, Bengbu, Bozhou, Chizhou, Chuzhou, Fuyang, Huaibei, Huainan, Huangshan, Lu'an, Ma'anshan, Suzhou, Tongling, Wuhu and Xuancheng. The 17 prefecture-level divisions of Anhui are further subdivided into 105 county-level divisions (44 districts, five county-level cities, and 56 counties).

Population

There were around 59 million people in the diocesan territory, in 2010.

Language

Mandarin and local dialects are used in the diocesan territory.

History

Wuhe county was the first place in Anhui where Catholic faith was introduced. Father Johann Adam Schall vonBell came to Anhui to preach, in the year 1649. During the late period of Qing dynasty, Wuhe was once again seen as a base of French Jesuits to preach the Catholic faith in the northern part of Anhui.

The Apostolic Vicariate of Anhui was split from the Apostolic Vicariate of Kiang-nan (Jiangnan) in 1921 and was renamed in 1924 as the Apostolic Vicariate of Wuhu. Five years later, Bengbu and Anqing (Anking) were separated from Wuhu and became apostolic vicariates.

In 1946, the three apostolic vicariates were elevated to the status of a diocese, with Anqing being designated a metropolitan archdiocese. They were served by Jesuits from Spain and Italy. Soon after the establishment of the Peoples' Republic of China in the early 1950’s, foreign missioners were expelled and all religious activities were suspended in the time of the Cultural Revolution.

In 2001, due to an acute shortage of the clergy, the dioceses of Wuhu, Bengbu, Anqing and the Apostolic Vicariate of Tunxi were merged to form the Diocese of Anhui. However, the Holy See does not recognize the changes.

Transportation

Conventional railways in Anhui include the Beijing-Shanghai Railway, Beijing-Kowloon Railway, and Nanjing-Xi'an Railway that traverse the province north of the Yangtze River, and the Nanjing-Tongling Railway, Anhui-Jiangxi Railway and Xuancheng-Hangzhou Railway that run south of the river. High-speed lines include Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, Hefei-Wuhan Passenger Railway and Hefei-Nanjing Passenger Railway.

Climate

As with a diverse topography, Anhui province differs in climate, from north to south. The north of Anhui is more temperate and has more clear-cut seasons. In January, temperatures average at around -1 to 2 degree Celsius north of the Huai He, and 0 to 3 degrees Celsius south of the Huai He; in July, temperatures average at 27 degrees Celsius or above. Plum rains occur in June and July and it may cause flooding.

Economy

Anhui's primary industry accounts for 15 percent of the GDP, a 50 percent higher than the national average of 10 percent. Major crops include rice, wheat and sweet potato. Anhui has a variety of natural resources including large iron deposits in Ma'anshan, coal mines in Huainan, and copper mines in Tongling.

Compared to the neighboring provinces on China's east coast, Anhui has not experienced the same rapid economic growth. As a result, Anhui's GDP per capita is around one-third of its neighbors, Zhejiang and Jiangsu. Hefei, Wuhu, and Ma'anshan have benefitted from their close location to Yangtze River, and as a result, they are significantly wealthier than the rest of the province, taking into account their industrial and manufacturing industries.

Topography

Anhui is an inland province located in eastern China, with Hefei as its capital. It is situated across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huai River. Anhui borders Jiangsu province to the east, Zhejiang to the southeast, Jiangxi to the south, Hubei to the southwest, Henan to the northwest, and Shandong for small area in the north.

The name "Anhui" is derived from the names of two cities towards the south of Anhui, Anqing and Huizhou (now Huangshan City).

Education

There are 12 universities in the province.

Culture

Huangmeixi or Huangmei tone that originated in the vicinage of Anqing in southwestern area of Anhui, is a form of traditional Chinese opera, popular in China. Huiju is a form of traditional opera that has had its beginnings in the Huizhou-speaking areas of southern Anhui, and is one of the major precursors of Beijing Opera. Luju is another form of traditional opera found across central Anhui, from east to west.

Anhui cuisine is one of the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine. It combines the elements of cooking from northern Anhui, south-central Anhui, and the Huizhou-speaking areas of southern Anhui. Anhui cuisine is popular, as it uses wild herbs, taken from the land and the sea, and it uses relatively simpler methods of preparation.

The Province is also home to traditional calligraphic products: Xuanzhou (now Xuancheng) and Huizhou (now Huangshan City) are famed for the production Xuan Paper and Hui Ink. Those are traditionally considered the best types of paper and ink for Chinese calligraphy.

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