Sichuan is a landlocked province in Southwest China, occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha River on the west, the Daba Mountains to the north, and the Yungui Plateau to the south. The population of Sichuan stands at 81 million.
During World War II, Chongqing served as the Republic of China’s temporary capital, making it the focus of Japanese bombing. It was one of the last mainland areas captured by the People’s Liberation Army during the Chinese Civil War and was divided into four parts from 1949 to 1952, with Chongqing restored two years later. It suffered gravely during the Great Chinese Famine of 1959–61 but remained China’s most populous province until Chongqing Municipality was again separated from it in 1997.
The area’s warm damp climate long caused Chinese medicine to advocate spicy dishes; the native pepper helped form modern Sichuan cuisine, whose dishes—including Kung Pao Chicken and Mapo Tofu become staples of Chinese cuisine around the world.
In 1950, the province of Xikang was dissolved, and its territory was later split between the newly established Tibet Autonomous Region and the Province of Sichuan.