also spelled  Chiayi,  

      shih (municipality) and seat of Chia-i hsien (county), on the western coastal plain of Taiwan. It lies at the foot of the A-li Mountains, on Taiwan's main north–south rail and highway routes. Narrow-gauge branch railways built by the Japanese (who occupied Taiwan from 1895 to 1945) run from Chia-i to the sugar-producing plains to the west and into the A-li Mountains for the transport of lumber. Because of its excellent position as a communication centre, Chia-i has developed into a rice market and a centre of trade.

      Chia-i's importance was increased between 1920 and 1930 by the completion of the Chia-nan irrigation system, which waters a large area in the plain between Chia-i, the administrative centre of the system, and T'ai-nan to the south. Lumbering is practiced in the region, and in consequence Chia-i has become a papermaking and plywood-manufacturing centre. It also has wineries and plants producing tires, cement, and alcohol. Junior colleges offer vocational training in agriculture, education, commerce, and technology. Pop. (1987 est.) 254,875.

also spelled  Chiayi, 

      hsien (county), west-central Taiwan, with an area of 734 square miles (1,902 square km). It is bounded by the hsien of Yün-lin and Nan-t'ou (north), Kao-hsiung (east), and T'ai-nan (south) and by the Taiwan Strait (west). The A-li Mountains dominate the eastern region, and there are coastal plains in the west. Paddy rice, sugarcane, peanuts (groundnuts), corn (maize), jute, bananas, pineapples, and citrus fruits are grown.

      Chia-i is Taiwan's leading woodworking region, producing railroad ties and thin wood sheets for packing. Machinery, food canning, sugar and rice milling, and petroleum industries are also important. Asbestos and coal are mined in the hsien, and marble is quarried. In the 17th century the region came under Chinese (Ming) control during the rule of Cheng Ch'eng-kung (Koxinga) in Taiwan (1624–62). The county has many places of interest, including the A-li Mountains (a forested vacation area), the Tropic of Cancer Monument, Wu-feng Temple, and Mei-shan Park. Each leap year, a festival “temple meeting” is held at Chia-i, the administrative seat. Chia-i is connected by air to Taipei city in the north and P'eng-hu Island in the west. Pu-tai and Tung-shih are the hsien's two main ports. Pop. (1989 est.) 552,946.

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Universalium. 2010.

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