Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province, is on a tributary of the Wu River in the very center of the province. Standing at an elevation of 3,000 feet, the capital is dominated by the mist-shrouded hills surrounding the Wujiang valley. The climate is mild throughout the year, But the town is very wet during the monsoonal months of April through October.
The original settlement was established under the Han about 2,000 years ago. Walls were constructed around the town under the Ming (1368-1644), and under the Qing (1644-1911) the town became provincial capital. After the revolution, industry was developed in the town, so that there is now a steel mill, as well as factories producing diesel engines, roiling stock, mining machinery, electrical equipment and chemical fertilizer. There is also an aluminum refinery in operation. The town is also the hub of the rail network which radiates to the four surrounding provinces.
The provide itself, Guizhou, comprises a vast plateau of hills, there being almost no level ground in the entire region. Not surprisingly, there are many water-course, streams, and rivers indeed, because the rock structure of the province s largely limestone, there are mall underground rivers and even vast underground lakes. The elevation and rocky nature of the province have made it inaccessible. For many centuries it has been the home of a group of ethnic minorities (Miao, Puyi, Yi, and Dong) who came under the domination of the Han Chinese relatively late in history (eighteenth century), although they paid tribute to the Chinese a long time before that. In general the minority groups inhabit the uplands of the southern eastern, and western border are of the province, the Han Chinese occupying the lowlands and river valley area.
The high rainfall and fertile land bring in abundant crops, even though most of the terrain requires extensive terracing. Rice and wheat are grown in the lowlands, while corn and rapeseed are produced in the uplands. Livestock raising is traditional throughout the entire region; logging is undertaken in the forest areas. The province is rich in mineral resources: deposits of coal, silver, copper, manganese bauxite, mercury, tungsten, and molybdenum are being mined.