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location in China

Shanxi (山西) is a province of the People's Republic China. It is in northern China. The Yellow River flows through it.[1] The name Shanxi means "mountain's west" or "west of the mountains", as it is west of the Taihang Mountains.[2]

Its major cities are its capital Taiyuan, Datong, Changzhi, and Yangquan.

The abbreviation of Shanxi is Jin (晋), since there is another province, Shandong (山东), that has the word "Shan" (山) in it, meaning "mountain" in Chinese.

Although in pinyin, the name of the neighboring province to the west, "Shaanxi", is spelled exactly the same as "Shanxi", the only difference in how the two words are pronounced is that the first syllable in "Shanxi" is said using the first tone in Mandarin, while the first syllable in "Shaanxi" is said with the third tone. Since tone markers are not usually used to show how to pronounce the two different names, the first word in "Shaanxi" is spelled using the Gwoyeu Romatzyh method instead, which indicates tones by adding extra letters to a syllable.

Notable residents

Mi Fu, poet


  1. An Introduction to Chinese Provinces,, accessed November 2009
  2. (in Chinese) Origin of the Names of China's Provinces, People's Daily Online.