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KIAKHTA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 783 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KIAKHTA, a town of Siberia, one of the chief centres of trade between Russia and China, on the Kiakhta, an affluent of the Selenga, and on an elevated plain surrounded by mountains, in the Russian government of Transbaikalia, 320 M. S.W. of Chita, the capital, and close to the Chinese frontier, in 50° 20' N., zoo° 40' E. Besides the lower town or Kiakhta proper, the municipal jurisdiction comprises the fortified upper town of Troitskosaysk, about 2 m. N., and the settlement of Ust-Kiakhta, zo m. farther distant. The lower town stands directly opposite to the Chinese emporium of Maimachin, is surrounded by walls, and consists principally of one broad street and a large exchange courtyard. From 1689 to 1727 the trade of Kiakhta was a government monopoly, but in the latter year it was thrown open to private merchants, and continued to improve until 186o, when the right of commercial intercourse was extended along the whole Russian-Chinese frontier. The annual December fairs for which Kiakhta was formerly famous, and also the regular traffic passing through the town, have considerably fallen off. since that date. The Russians exchange here leather, sheepskins, furs, horns, woollen cloths, coarse linens and cattle for teas (in value 95% of the entire imports), porcelain, rhubarb, manufactured silks, nankeens and other Chinese produce. The population, including Ust-Kiakhta (5000) and Troitskosaysk (9213 in 1897), is nearly 20,000. KIANG-SI, an eastern province of China, bounded N. by Hu-peh and Ngan-hui, S. by Kwang-tung, E. by Fu-kien, and W. by Hu-nan. It has an area of 72,176 sq. m., and a population returned at 22,000,000. It is divided into fourteen prefectures. The provincial capital is Nan-ch'ang Fu, on the Kan Kiang, about 35 M. from the Po-yang Lake. The whole province is traversed in a south-westerly and north-easterly direction by the Nan-shan ranges. The largest river is the Kan Kiang, which rises in the mountains in the south of the province and flows north-east to the Po-yang Lake. It was over the Meiling Pass and down this river that, in old days, embassies landing at Canton proceeded to Peking. During the summer time it has water of sufficient depth for steamers of light draft as far as Nan-ch'ang, and it is navigable by native craft for a considerable distance beyond that city. Another river of note is the Chang Kiang, which has its source in the province of Ngan-hui and flows into the Po-yang Lake, connecting in its course the Wuyuen district, whence come the celebrated " Moyune " green teas, and the city of King-te-then, celebrated for its pottery, with Jao-chow Fu on the lake. The black " Kaisow " teas are brought from the Ho-kow district, where they are grown, down the river Kin to Juy-hung on the lake, and the Siu-ho connects by a navigable stream I-ning Chow, in the neighbourhood of which city the best black teas of this part of China are produced, with Wu-thing, the principal mart of trade on the lake. The principal products of the province are tea, China ware, grass-cloth, hemp, paper, tobacco and tallow. Kiu-kiang, the treaty port of the province, opened to foreign trade in 1861, is on the Yangtsze-kiang, a short distance above the junction of the Po-yang Lake with that river. KIANG-SU, a maritime province of China, bounded N. by Shan-tung, S. by Cheh-kiang, W. by Ngan-hui, and E. by the sea. It has an area of 45,000 sq. m., and a population estimated at 21,000,000. Kiang-su forms part of the great plain of northern China. There are no mountains within its limits, and few hills. It is watered as no other province in China is watered. The Grand Canal runs through it from south to north; the Yangtszekiang crosses its southern portion from west to east; it possesses several lakes, of which the T'ai-hu is the most noteworthy, and numberless streams connect the canal with the sea. Its coast is studded with low islands and sandbanks, the results of the deposits brought down by the Hwang-ho. Kiang-su is rich in places of interest. Nanking, " the Southern Capital," was the seat of the Chinese court until the beginning of the 15th century, and it was the headquarters of the T'ai-p'ing rebels from 1853, when they took the city by assault, to 1864, when its garrison yielded to Colonel Gordon's army. Hang-chow Fu and Su-chow. Fu, situated on the T'ai-hu, are reckoned the most beautiful cities in China. " Above there is Paradise, below are Su and Hang," says a Chinese proverb. Shang-hai is the chief port in the province. In 1909 it was connected by railway (270 M. long) via Su-Chow and Chin-kiang with Nanking. Tea and silk are the principal articles of commerce produced in Kiang-su, and next in importance are cotton, sugar and medicines. The silk manufactured in the looms of Su-chow is famous all over the empire. In the mountains near Nanking, coal, plumbago, iron ore and marble are found. Shang-hai, Chin-kiang, Nanking and Su-chow are the treaty ports of the province.
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