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General Introduction

The southernmost province, Guangdong is bounded by the South China Sea and is the southern gateway of China. Apart from its mainland area, it includes Hainan Island and the numerous islands and reefs on the South China Sea. It has an area of more than 210,000 square kilometers and a population of 57.8 million, of which 50.47 million, or 87.3 per cent of the total, live in the rural areas.

Guangdong is one of the home provinces of overseas Chinese. The Zhujiang Delta in this densely populated province-is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Guangdong has very convenient ties with other countries in the world. Under a decision made by the Party Central Committee and the State Council in 1979, it has been given more independence in the sense that it may adopt special policies and flexible measures in its foreign economic activities. Parts of the areas in the three cities of Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou have been set aside as special economic zones.

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