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Hefei (, Chinese: 合肥) is the capital and largest city of Anhui Province, People's Republic of China. A prefecture-level city, it is the political, economic, and cultural center of Anhui. Its population was 7,965,300 as of 2017 sampling and its built-up (or metro) area made up of 5 urban districts plus Feidong and Changfeng counties being urbanized, was home to 6,173,000 inhabitants. Located in the central portion of the province, it borders Huainan to the north, Chuzhou to the northeast, Wuhu to the southeast, Tongling to the south, Anqing to the southwest and Lu'an to the west. A natural hub of communications, Hefei is situated to the north of Chao Lake and stands on a low saddle crossing the northeastern extension of the Dabie Mountains, which forms the divide between the Huai and Yangtze rivers.The present-day city dates from the Song dynasty. Before World War II, Hefei remained essentially an administrative centre and the regional market for the fertile plain to the south. It has gone through a growth in infrastructure in recent years. Hefei is the location of Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak, an experimental superconducting tokamak magnetic fusion energy reactor.
Hefei is a major city for its scientific research, with its ranking placed at 20th globally and 6th in China (behind Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan and Guangzhou), as tracked by the nature index. The city is represented by several major universities in the prestigious Project 211, including the University of Science and Technology of China, Anhui University and Hefei University of Technology. Notably, the University of Science and Technology of China is one of the top 100th comprehensive public research universities in the world.