Liangguang (Liangkwang; simplified Chinese: 两广; traditional Chinese: 兩廣; pinyin: Liǎngguǎng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: lióng-kńg; literally: "Two Guangs"/"Two Kwangs", also spelled Liang-guang) is a term referring to the province of Guangdong and autonomous region (formerly province) of Guangxi on the southern coast of China. Before 1988, Guangdong province also included what is now the province of Hainan.
The names of the two entities form a pair, as they literally mean "Guang-East" and "Guang-West". "Guang" itself means "expanse" or "vast", and has been associated with the region since the creation of Guang Prefecture (Guangzhou) in AD 226. During the Qing Dynasty, the office of the Governor-General of Liangguang existed from 1735 to 1911 to oversee both provinces.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the areas of Guangxi province dominated by Zhuang people greatly aided the Communist Party of China in the Chinese Civil War. Soon after the Communist victory in 1949, in 1952 the People's Republic of China created a Zhuang autonomous prefecture in the western half of Guangxi province. In 1958, the entire province was redesignated an autonomous region for the Zhuang. However, most Western scholars of the Zhuang do not believe that this decision came out of genuine grassroots demands from that ethnic group, who made up only 33% of the province's population and were thoroughly assimilated with the Han Chinese, which is contradictory to reality of facts from Chinese scholars that the Zhuang people clearly maintain their distinct culture and lifestyle (i.e. language, religion, etc.). Scholars like George Moseley and Diana Lary instead argue that the conversion of Guangxi to a Zhuang autonomous region was designed to foil local Han Chinese sentiment against the Communist Party, as well as to smash pan-Lingnan sentiment from the Cantonese people. Shortly afterward many Cantonese in the Guangxi government were replaced by Zhuangs, and in 1952 Guangxi annexed the Nanlu region of Guangdong, giving the formerly landlocked region access to the sea.
In 1988, the island of Hainan was separated from Guangdong province and established as a separate province.
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