Updated: 2013-05-16 07:57

(China Daily)

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At the center of China and covering 167,000 square kilometers, Henan was one of the cradles of Chinese civilization with a history dating back more than 5,000 years. It was China's cultural, economical and political center for more than 3,000 years.

While it abounds in cultural relics, the province is also rich in important mineral resources, such as coal, petroleum and natural gas.

Henan has the largest population among all provinces in China - 105.43 million at the end of 2012, offering rich labor resources and creating a huge consumer market.

The province is at a pivotal position in the national transportation network of railways and highways.

China's two most important railways - the Beijing-Guangzhou and Lianyungang-Lanzhou lines - converge in the capital city Zhengzhou. It also connects to the rest of the country by seven other national railroads and a number of expressways and highways.

Henan is also one of the leading agricultural provinces in China. It produces a large amount of cooking oil, grains, meats, cottons and processed food products to supply its own market as well as the entire nation.

It has maintained double-digit GDP growth in recent years, with the figure hitting 2.98 trillion yuan ($486 billion) in 2012, ranking the fifth in the nation.

(China Daily 05/16/2013 page10)