Guangxi is an autonomous region of southern China along its border with Vietnam. Formerly a province, Guangxi became an autonomous region in 1958.
Guangxi's location, in mountainous terrain in the far south of China, has placed it on the frontier of Chinese civilization throughout much of China's history. The current name "Guang" means "expanse" and has been associated with the region since the creation of Guang Prefecture in AD 226. It was given provincial level status during the Yuan Dynasty, but even into the 20th century it was considered an open, wild territory.
The abbreviation of the province is "桂" (Pinyin: Guì; Zhuang: Gvei), which comes from the city of Guilin, the former capital, center of much of Guangxi's culture, politics, and history, and currently a major city in the autonomous region.
Located in the southern part of the country, Guangxi is bordered by Yunnan to the west, Guizhou to the north, Hunan to the northeast, and Guangdong to the east and southeast. It is also bounded by Vietnam in the southwest and the Gulf of Tonkin in the south.
Guangxi is a mountainous region. The Nanling Mountains form the northeast border, with the Yuecheng and Haiyang Mountains branching from them. Also in the north are the Duyao and Fenghuang Mountains. Near the center of the region are the Da Yao and Da Ming Mountains. On the southeastern border are the Yunkai Mountains.
The highest point is Kitten Mountain, in the Yuecheng Mountains, at 2,141 metres (7,024 ft).