Guizhou province, also called "Qian" or "Gui", administrates six county-level cities, three autonomous regions, 88 counties (or cities, districts and special zones), covering a land area of 176,000 square kilometers. According to the sixth national population census, there are 34.75 million permanent residents in the province, among which 36.1 percent are different ethnic groups.
There are four major mountains in the province: Wumeng Mountain, Dalou Mountain, Miaoling Mountain and Wuling Mountain. The mountainous areas and hills account for 92.5 percent of the province's total. Among them, the 109,000 square kilometers of karst landscape account for 61.9 percent of the total land area in the province. For this reason it is known as a "natural encyclopedia" of the karst landform.
The province belongs to the subtropical monsoon climate, which in most regions is mild and wet. Climates vary based on altitude in the province. As a local puts it,"One can experience all four seasons climbing a mountain, and all different kinds of weather exist within 10 miles." Due to its special geographical environment, the province has distinct seasons. Spring is warm and windy. Summer does not suffer from searing heat, and winters are relatively mild. Guizhou has ample rainfall as most regions have a precipitation of about 1,100 to 1,300 millimeters. Average hours of sunshine total between 1,200 and 1,600 with an annual temperature of 14 to 18 C.
Guizhou is a province with abundant resources. Its power relies mainly on water and coal mines. There are 984 rivers that are longer than 10 kilometers or with a drainage area larger than 20 square kilometers. The province's coal reserves are over 50 billion tons. It is a key province for the nation's "west-east electricity transmission" project. Coal mine resources in Guizhou are comparatively concentrated. There are 128 kinds of minerals and subclass minerals, 76 of which have measured reservation volumes. All resources in the province enjoy convenient exploration conditions.
The province boasts more than 3,800 species of wild flora and about 1,000 species of wild fauna. It is an important center for flora and fauna in the nation and one of the nation's four production regions of Chinese herbal medicine.
Guizhou is also a "natural park" with picturesque natural scenery, ethnic cultures, waterfalls, valleys, karst caves and landscapes. There are 17 aboriginal ethnic groups inhabiting the province, including the Miao, Bouyi, Dong, Shui, Gelao, Yi and Tujia. Francesco Frangialli, former secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization, said,"Guizhou is a province of culture, eco-environment, folk songs and dances, and wine."