Ganzhou alternately romanized as Kanchow, is a prefecture-level city in southern Jiangxi, China, bordering Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, and Hunan to the west. Its administrative seat is at Zhanggong District. Its population was 8,361,447 at the 2010 census whom 1,977,253 in the built-up (or "metro") area made of Zhanggong and Nankang, and Ganxian largely being urbanized.
In 201, Emperor Gaozu of Han established a county in the territory of modern Ganzhou. In those early years, Han Chinese settlement and authority in the area was minimal and largely restricted to the Gan River basin. The river, a tributary of the Yangtze via Poyang Lake, provided a route of communication from the north as well as irrigation for rice farming.
During the Sui dynasty, the county administration was promoted to prefecture status and the area called Qianzhou. During the Song, immigration from the north bolstered the local population and drove local aboriginal tribes further into the hills. After the fall of the capital to the Jin in 1126 in the Jingkang Incident, immigration increased dramatically.
The province's name was officially changed to Ganzhou during the Southern Song (1127–1279).
During the late 1800s Ganzhou was opened as one of the southern treaty ports and became a minor base for foreign companies. Between 1929 and 1934, Ganzhou formed a part of the Jiangxi–Fujian Soviet, one of the bases of the Communist Party of China. Due to its proximity to the Red capital Ruijin, Ganzhou was subject to a number of Kuomintang encirclement campaigns.
Between 1939 and 1945, Chiang Ching-kuo was appointed by the Government of the Republic of China as commissioner of Ganzhou Prefecture (mountain South), then the name of the surrounding regions of Ganzhou. There he banned smoking, gambling and prostitution, studied governmental management, allowed for economic expansion and a change in social outlook. His efforts were hailed as a miracle in the political war in China, then coined as the "Gannan New Deal". During his time in Gannan, from 1940 he implemented a "public information desk" where ordinary people could visit him if they had problems, and according to records, Chiang Ching-kuo received a total of 1,023 people during such sessions in 1942. In regards to the ban on prostitution and closing of brothels, Chiang implemented a policy where former prostitutes became employed in factories. Due to the large number of refugees in Ganzhou as a result from the ongoing war, thousands of orphans lived on the street; in June 1942, Chiang Ching-kuo formally established the Chinese Children's Village in the outskirts of Ganzhou, with facilities such as a nursery, kindergarten, primary school, hospital and gymnasium.
Ganzhou is a large city covering the southern third of Jiangxi, with an area of 39,400 square kilometres (15,200 sq mi). More than 70% of its administrative area is forested, and over 83% is also mountainous. Several of the major tributaries of the Gan River, Ganzhou's namesake, join at a confluence in the center of the city.