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city, southern Henan sheng (province), east-central China. It is situated in the far south of the Henan plain, in the basin between the Dabie Mountains (south) and the Huai River (north). It has traditionally been on a cultural divide between the plain and the hilly districts to the south. It was also a natural route centre on the Shi River, a tributary of the Huai. The Shi has become partially passable for relatively large craft since the construction of the Nanwan Dam, which provides a constant flow of water. To the south the Mingwei Pass (now Pingjing Pass) leads over the Dabie Mountains, while two further passes-the Wusheng and the Jiuli-lead into Hubei province and the Han River valley.