China (Traditional Chinese: 中國; Simplified Chinese: 中国; Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōngguó (help·info); Tongyong Pinyin: Jhongguó; Gwoyeu Romatzyh: Jonggwo) is a cultural region and ancient civilization in East Asia. As a result of the 1949 Chinese Civil War, China today is administratively divided into two states: the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC). The PRC administers and governs the majority of China (mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau), while the ROC administers the island groups of Taiwan, the Pescadores, Kinmen, Matsu, and the disputed islands of Pratas, and Taiping in the South China Sea. However, the People's Republic of China considers Taiwan a "renegade province" and does not recognize the Republic of China (Taiwan). In contrast, the Republic of China (Taiwan) administers themselves as an independent sovereign state and does not recognize the Beijing-based People's Republic of China.
Guangdong (formerly spelt "Kwangtung") is a province on the south coast of the People's Republic of China. Sometimes, "Canton Province" (based on a French-derived transliteration of "Guangdong") is used to mean Guangdong. This is as opposed to "Canton (City)", which refers to the city of Guangzhou, the provincial capital.
The province is now one of the richest in the nation, with the highest total GDP among all provinces, and has managed to attract 30 million migrants. Its nominal GDP for 2003 was $165 billion, increased to $265 billion in 2005 (about the same size as Denmark) and is expected to reach $329.67 billion by the end of 2006. Guangdong contributes approximately 12% of national economic output. Guangzhou and Shenzhen are among the most important cities in China.
"Guang" itself means "expanse" or "vast", and has been associated with the region from the Western Jin Dynasty onwards. "Guangdong" and neighbouring Guangxi literally mean "expanse east" and "expanse west". Together, Guangdong and Guangxi are called the "Dual-Guangs" (兩廣 liăng guăng).
The modern abbreviation 粵/粤 (Yue) is related to the Hundred Yue (百越), a collective name for various peoples that lived in Guangdong and other areas in ancient times.