- enghunan.gov.cn, China.org.cn, April 21, 2015
Hunan Province is located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River in central China, neighboring the provinces of Jiangxi, Chongqing, Guizhou, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hubei. The distance of Hunan from east to west is 667 kilometers, while it spans 774 kilometers from north to south and the total area is 211,800 square kilometers. Because most of the province is located south of Dongting Lake, it is named "Hunan," and because of the Xiangjiang River, the longest in the province, it is called “Xiang” for short.
Hunan has a humid continental and subtropical monsoon climate with four distinctive seasons, sufficient sunshine, a long frost-free period and abundant rainfall. It has an average of 1,300-1,800 hours of sunshine a year, an annual average temperature of 16°C-18°C, and a mean annual precipitation of 1,200-1,700 mm. It is suitable for people to live in and to grow crops and green plants.
Hunan has a huge river system with Dongting Lake, the second largest freshwater lake in China, in the north. The Xiangjiang River, Zijiang River, Yuanshui River and the Lishui River flow into Dongting Lake from the southwest to the northeast, joining the Yangtze River. The total quantity of natural water resources in Hunan is highest of nine provinces in south China.
Hunan is famous for being "home to nonferrous metals and nonmetal minerals." Of the more than 160 mineral categories discovered in the world, Hunan has 141, among which the remaining deposits of 41 minerals, such as Stibium, Tungsten and Manganese are among the top five in China.
Hunan has a rich variety of animals and plants, with a wide coverage. Five rare surviving "living fossils" in the world, namely, Cathaya Aargyrophylla, Met sequoia Glyptostroboides, Glyptostrobus Pensilis, Gingko and Davidia Involucrate, were found in Hunan.