Sichuan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the southwest of the country. The name of the province is an abbreviation of Sì Chuānlù or "Four circuits of rivers", which is itself abbreviated from Chuānxiá Sìlù or "Four circuits of rivers and gorges", named after the division of the existing circuit into four during the Northern Song Dynasty. The capital is Chengdu, a key economic centre of Western China.
Sichuan, within its present borders, consists of two very geographically distinct parts. The eastern part of the province is mostly within the fertile Sichuan basin (which is shared by Sichuan with Chongqing Municipality). The western Sichuan consists of the numerous mountain ranges forming the easternmost part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which are known generically as Hengduan Mountains. One of these ranges, Daxue Mountains, contains the highest point of the province Gongga Shan, at 7,556 metres (24,790 ft) tall.
Lesser mountain ranges surround the Sichuan Basin from north, east, and south. Among them are the Daba Mountains, in the province's northeast.