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Wuhan (simplified Chinese: 武汉; traditional Chinese: 武漢; pinyin: Wǔhàn; [ù.xân] (About this sound listen)) is the capital of Hubei province, China,[8] and is the most populous city in Central China.[9] It lies in the eastern Jianghan Plain on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River at the intersection of the Yangtze and Han rivers. Arising out of the conglomeration of three cities, Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang, Wuhan is known as 'China's Thoroughfare' (九省通衢); it is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and expressways passing through the city and connecting to other major cities. Because of its key role in domestic transportation, Wuhan was sometimes referred to as "the Chicago of China" by foreign sources.[10][11][12]

Sub-provincial city
From top: Wuchang Skyline from the Yellow Crane Tower, Yellow Crane Tower, Wuhan Custom House, and Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge
From top: Wuchang Skyline from the Yellow Crane Tower, Yellow Crane Tower, Wuhan Custom House, and Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge
Nickname(s): 'China's Thoroughfare' (九省通衢), the Chicago of China, River City (江城)
Location of Wuhan City jurisdiction in Hubei
Location of Wuhan City jurisdiction in Hubei
Wuhan is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates: 30°35′N 114°17′E / 30.583°N 114.283°E / 30.583; 114.283Coordinates: 30°35′N 114°17′E / 30.583°N 114.283°E / 30.583; 114.283
Country  China
Province Hubei
Settled 1500 BC
Unified 1926

13 districts
143 subdistricts, 8 towns, 5 townships and 5 farming areas
 • Party Secretary Chen Yixin
 • Mayor Wan Yong (万勇)
 • Sub-provincial city 8,494.41 km2 (3,279.71 sq mi)
Elevation 37 m (121 ft)
Population (2015)
 • Sub-provincial city 10,607,700
 • Density 1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)
 • Metro[3] 19 million
Demonym(s) Wuhanese
 • Languages Wuhan dialect, Standard Chinese
Major ethnic groups
 • Major ethnic groups Han
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 430000–430400
Area code(s) 0027
GDP[4] 2016
 - Total CNY 1.19 trillion
USD 180 billion (8th)
 - Per capita CNY 119,000
USD 18,030(nominal) 33000(ppp) (11th)
 - Growth Increase 8.5%
License plate prefixes A
O (police and authorities)
City tree Metasequoia[5]
City flower Plum blossom[6]
Website 武汉政府门户网站 (Wuhan Government Web Portal) (in Simplified Chinese); English Wuhan (in English)
Wuhan (Chinese characters).svg
"Wuhan" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese 武汉
Traditional Chinese 武漢
Literal meaning "Wǔ[chāng] and Hàn[kǒu]"

Holding sub-provincial status,[13] Wuhan is recognized as the political, economic, financial, cultural, educational and transportation center of central China.[9] In 1927, Wuhan was briefly the capital of China under the leftist Kuomintang (KMT) government led by Wang Jingwei.[14] The city later served as the wartime capital of China in 1937.[15][16]

The Wuhan Gymnasium held the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship and will be one of the venues for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.[17]



In 1926, the Northern Expedition reached the Wuhan area and decided to merge Hankou, Wuchang and Hanyang into one city in order to make a new capital for Nationalist China. The new city was named 'Wuhan' (武漢).[18][19][20] The 'Wu' (武) in 'Wuhan' is derived from the 'Wu' in 'Wuchang' (武昌) (literally prospering from military, regarding its logistics role of the military bases established before the Battle of Red Cliffs). Wuchang was the name given to the area in AD 221 when warlord Sun Quan moved the capital of Eastern Wu to È county (in present-day Ezhou City), and renamed È to Wuchang. The 'han' (漢) in 'Wuhan' comes from the 'Han' in 'Hankou' (漢口), which literally means "Mouth of the Han", from its position at the confluence of the Han with the Yangtze River.


Early historyEdit

Bianzhong of Marquis Yi of Zeng, made in 433 B.C., now on display at the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan

With a 3,500-year-long history, Wuhan is one of the most ancient and civilized metropolitan cities in China. Panlongcheng, an archaeological site associated with the Erligang culture, is located in modern-day Huangpi District. During the Western Zhou, the E state controlled the present-day Wuchang area south of the Yangtze River. After the conquest of the E state, the present-day Wuhan area was controlled by the Chu state for the rest of the Western Zhou and Eastern Zhou periods.

Early Imperial ChinaEdit

During the Han dynasty, Hanyang became a fairly busy port. In the winter of 208/9, one of the most famous battles in Chinese history and a central event in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms—the Battle of Red Cliffs—took place in the vicinity of the cliffs near Wuhan.[21] Around that time, walls were built to protect Hanyang (AD 206) and Wuchang (AD 223). The latter event marks the foundation of Wuhan. In AD 223, the Yellow Crane Tower (黄鹤楼) was constructed on the Wuchang side of the Yangtze River by order of Sun Quan, leader of the Eastern Wu.

Due to tensions between the Eastern Wu and Cao Wei states, in the autumn of 228,[a] Cao Rui, grandson of Cao Cao and the second emperor of the state of Cao Wei, ordered the general Man Chong to lead troops to Xiakou (夏口; in present-day Wuhan). [23]

In fall 550, Hou Jing sent Ren Yue to attack both Xiao Daxin and Xiao Fan's son Xiao Si (蕭嗣). Ren killed Xiao Si in battle, and Xiao Daxin, unable to resist, surrendered, allowing Hou to take his domain under control. Meanwhile, Xiao Guan, who had by now settled at Jiangxia (江夏, in modern Wuhan), was planning to attack Hou, but this drew Xiao Yi's ire—believing that Xiao Guan was intending to contend for the throne—and he sent Wang to attack Xiao Guan. Xiao Guan, not willing to engage Wang, abandoned Jiangxia and fled to Ru'nan (汝南, in modern Jingmen, Hubei), where he entered into an alliance with Eastern Wei's successor state Northern Qi (with Gao Cheng's brother Gao Yang having seized the throne in summer 550) and was created the Prince of Liang as well. Meanwhile, Hou made Emperor Jianwen create him the Prince of Han.

In summer 567, Chen Xu commissioned Wu Mingche as the governor of Xiang Province and had him command a major part of the troops against Hua, along with Chunyu Liang (淳于量). The opposing sides met at Dunkou (沌口, in modern Wuhan). Wu and Chunyu were able to ram Hua's, Northern Zhou's, and Western Liang's fleets, causing them to collapse. Hua and the Northern Zhou general Yuwen Zhi (宇文直) were forced to flee to Western Liang's capital Jiangling. In light of the victory, Wu first captured Western Liang's Hedong Commandery (河東, part of modern Jingzhou), and then further put Jiangling under siege. Western Liang's Emperor Ming was forced to flee to the subsidiary fort of Ji'nan (紀南, near Jiangling).

Wuying Pagoda, a Buddhist pagoda rebuilt in Wuchang during the Southern Song dynasty.

The city has long been renowned as a center for the arts (especially poetry) and for intellectual studies.Cui Hao, a celebrated poet of the Tang dynasty, visited the building in the early 8th century; his poem made it the most celebrated building in southern China.[24]

In spring 877, Wang Xianzhi captured E Prefecture (鄂州, in modern Wuhan). He then returned north, joining forces with Huang again, and they surrounded Song Wei at Song Prefecture (宋州, in modern Shangqiu, Henan). Only after the imperial general Zhang Zimian (張自勉) came to Song Wei's aid did the agrarian rebels release their hold on Song Wei. Wang Xianzhi then headed south, successively capturing An Prefecture (安州, in modern Xiaogan, Hubei) and Sui Prefecture (隨州, in modern Suizhou, Hubei), before further raiding Fu (復州, in modern Tianmen, Hubei) and Ying (郢州, in modern Jingmen, Hubei).[25]

In winter 877, Huang Chao pillaged Qi and Huang (黃州, in modern Wuhan) Prefectures. The Tang general Zeng Yuanyu (曾元裕) defeated him, however, and he fled.[25] In 894, Wu Tao (吳討) the prefect of Huang Prefecture (黃州, modern Wuhan), who was under Du Hong the military governor of Wuchang Circuit (武昌, headquartered in modern Wuhan), offered to submit to Yang Xingmi. In response, Du put Huang Circuit under siege. Yang sent Zhu to aid Wu. When another subordinate of Du's, Feng Jingzhang (馮敬章) the prefect of Qi Prefecture (蘄州, in modern Huanggang, Hubei) tried to intercept Zhu, Zhu put Qi Prefecture under siege but was initially unable to capture it. However, it appeared that subsequently, after Wu evacuated Huang Prefecture, Yang's forces were nevertheless able to hold it.[26]

Before Kublai Khan arrived in 1259, word reached him that Möngke had died. Kublai decided to keep the death of his brother secret and continued the attack on Wuhan, near the Yangtze. While Kublai's force besieged Wuchang, Uryankhadai joined him.[citation needed] The present-day Wuying Pagoda was constructed at the end of the Song Dynasty between attacks by the Mongolian forces. Under the Mongol rulers (Yuan dynasty), Wuchang was promoted to the status of provincial capital.

Qing dynastyEdit

Opening Hankou as a trading portEdit

By the dawn of the 18th century, Hankou had become one of China's top four most important towns of trade. In the late 19th century, railroads were extended on a north–south axis through the city, making Wuhan an important transshipment point between rail and river traffic. Also during this period foreign powers extracted mercantile concessions, with the riverfront of Hankou being divided up into foreign-controlled merchant districts. These districts contained trading firm offices, warehouses, and docking facilities. The French had a concession in Hankou.[27]

During the Second Opium War (known in the West as the Arrow War, 1856–1860), the government of the Qing dynasty was defeated by the western powers and signed the Treaties of Tianjin and the Convention of Peking, which stipulated eleven cities or regions (including Hankou) as trading ports. In December 1858, James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, High Commissioner to China, led four warships up the Yangtze River in Wuhan to collect the information needed for opening the trading port in Wuhan. And in the spring of 1861, Counselor Harry Parkes and Admiral Herbert were sent to Wuhan to open a trading port. On the basis of the Convention of Peking, Harry Parkes concluded the Hankou Lend-Lease Treaty with Guan Wen, the governor-general of Hunan and Hubei. It brought an area of 30.53 square kilometres (11.79 sq mi) along the Yangtze River (from Jianghan Road to Hezuo Road today) to become a British Concession and permitted Britain to set up its consulate in the concession. Thus, Hankou became an open trading port.

Hubei under Zhang ZhidongEdit

Foreign concessions along the Hankow Bund c. 1900.

In 1889, Zhang Zhidong was transferred from Viceroy of Liangguang (Guangdong and Guangxi provinces) to Viceroy of Huguang (Hunan and Hubei provinces). He governed the province for 18 years, until 1907. During this period, he elucidated the theory of "Chinese learning as the basis, Western learning for application," known as the ti-yong ideal. He set up many heavy industries, founded Hanyang Steel Plant, Daye Iron Mine, Pingxiang Coal Mine and Hubei Arsenal and set up local textile industries, boosting the flourishing modern industry in Wuhan. Meanwhile, he initiated education reform, opened dozens of modern educational organizations successively, such as Lianghu (Hunan and Hubei) Academy of Classical Learning, Civil General Institute, Military General Institute, Foreign Languages Institute and Lianghu (Hunan and Hubei) General Normal School, and selected a great many students for study overseas, which well promoted the development of China’s modern education. Furthermore, he trained a modern military and organized a modern army including a zhen and a xie (both zhen and xie are military units in the Qing dynasty) in Hubei. All of these laid a solid foundation for the modernization of Wuhan.

Wuchang UprisingEdit

Wuchang Uprising Memorial, the original site of revolutionary government in 1911
Present-day Wuhan area in 1915

On October 10, 1911, Sun Yat-sen's followers launched the Wuchang Uprising,[28] which led to the collapse of the Qing dynasty,[29] as well as the establishment of the Republic of China.[30] Wuhan was the capital of a leftist Kuomintang government led by Wang Jingwei, in opposition to Chiang Kai-shek and the nationalist government during the 1920s.

The Wuchang Uprising of October 1911, which overthrew the Qing dynasty, originated in Wuhan.[28] Before the uprising, anti-Qing secret societies were active in Wuhan. In September 1911, the outbreak of the protests in Sichuan forced the Qing authorities to send part of the New Army garrisoned in Wuhan to suppress the rebellion.[31] On September 14 the Literary Society (文學社) and the Progressive Association (共進會), two local revolutionary organizations in Hubei,[31] set up joint headquarters in Wuchang and planned for an uprising. On the morning of October 9, a bomb at the office of the political arrangement exploded prematurely and alerted local authorities.[32] The proclamation for the uprising, beadroll and the revolutionaries’ official seal fell into the hands of Rui Cheng, the governor-general of Hunan and Hubei, who demolished the uprising headquarters the same day and set out to arrest the revolutionaries listed in the beadroll.[32] This forced the revolutionaries to launch the uprising earlier than planned.[28]

On the night of October 10, the revolutionaries fired shots to signal the uprising at the engineering barracks of Hubei New Army.[28] They then led the New Army of all barracks to join the revolution.[33] Under the guidance of Wu Zhaolin, Cai Jimin and others, this revolutionary army seized the official residence of the governor and government offices.[31] Rui Cheng fled in panic into the Chu-Yu Ship. Zhang Biao, the commander of Qing army, also fled the city. On the morning of the 11th, the revolutionary army took the whole city of Wuchang, but leaders such as Jiang Yiwu and Sun Wu disappeared.[28] Thus the leaderless revolutionary army recommended Li Yuanhong, the assistant governor of Qing army, as the commander-in-chief.[34] Li founded the Hubei Military Government, proclaimed the abolition of the Qing rule in Hubei, the founding of the Republic of China and published an open telegram calling for other provinces to join the revolution.[28][31] In the next two months, fourteen other provinces would declare their independence from the Qing government.[35]

As the revolution spread to other parts of the country, the Qing government concentrated loyalist military forces to suppress the uprising in Wuhan. From October 17 to December 1, the revolutionary army and local volunteers defended the city in the Battle of Yangxia against better armed and more numerous Qing forces commanded by Yuan Shikai. Huang Xing (黃興) would arrive in Wuhan in early November to take command of the revolutionary army.[31] After fierce fighting and heavy casualties, Qing forces seized Hankou and Hanyang. But Yuan agreed to halt the advance on Wuchang and participated in peace talks, which would eventually lead to the return of Sun Yat-sen from exile, founding of the Republic of China on January 1, 1912, the abdication of the Last Emperor on February 12, and the formation of a united provisional government in the spring of 1912.[30][36] Through the Wuchang Uprising, Wuhan is known as the birthplace of the Xinhai Revolution, named after the Xinhai year on the Chinese calendar.[37] The city has several museums and memorials to the revolution and the thousands of martyrs who died defending the revolution.

Republic of ChinaEdit


Reverend (later Bishop) Edward Galvin led the first band of the Missionary Society of St. Columban to open their mission in the Hanyang District. Galvin was named Apostolic Prefect of the Apostolic Prefecture of Hanyang by the Holy See in 1923 and later made the Apostolic Vicar of the promoted Apostolic Vicariate of Hanyang in 1927, with Galvin being consecrated as its titular bishop (it became a diocese under him in 1946, suffragan of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hankou).

National government moves its capital to WuhanEdit

A map of Wuhan painted by Japanese in 1930, with Hankou being the most prosperous sector

Li Zongren's first victories as a Nationalist general were in Hunan, where he defeated rival warlord Wu Peifu in two successive battles and captured the provincial capital, Wuhan, in 1926. With the northern extension of the Northern Expedition, the center of the Great Revolution shifted from the Pearl River basin to the Yangtze River basin. On November 26, the KMT Central Political Committee decided to [[Historical capitals of China|move the capital to from Guangzhou to Wuhan. In middle December, most of the KMT central executive commissioners and national government commissioners arrived in Wuhan, set up the temporary joint conference of central executive commissioners and National Government commissioners, performed the top functions of central party headquarters and National Government, declared they would work in Wuhan on January 1, 1927, and decided to combine the towns of Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang into Wuhan City, called "Capital District". The national government was in the Nanyang Building in Hankou, while the central party headquarters and other organizations chose their locations in Hankou or Wuchang.[14] In March 1927, Mao Zedong appeared at the Third Plenum of the KMT Central Executive Committee in Wuhan, which sought to strip General Chiang of his power by appointing Wang Jingwei leader. The first phase of the Northern Expedition was interrupted by the political split in the Kuomintang following the formation of the Nanjing faction in April 1927 against the existing faction in Wuhan.[38] Members of the Chinese Communist Party, who had survived the April 12 massacre, met at Wuhan and re-elected Chen Duxiu (Ch'en Tu-hsiu) as the Party's Secretary General.[39] The split was partially motivated by the purge of the Communists within the party, which marked the end of the First United Front, and Chiang Kai-shek briefly stepped down as the commander of the National Revolutionary Army.[40]

In June 1927, Stalin sent a telegram to the Communists in Wuhan, calling for mobilisation of an army of workers and peasants.[41] This alarmed Wang Jingwei, who decided to break with the Communists and come to terms with Chiang Kai-shek. Borodin returned to the Soviet Union by train in July 1927, accompanied by Sun Yat-sen’s widow Soong Ching-ling.[42] "The revolution extends to the Yangzi River," Borodin told a reporter as they began their journey, and "if a diver were sent down to the bottom of this yellow stream he would rise again with an armful of shattered hopes."[43] On July 27, 1927, Soviet emissary Mikhail Borodin and 30 people left Wuhan in five cars and five trucks to return to the USSR in a two-month overland trip, after General Feng Yuxiang was bribed to guarantee him safe passage—twelve days after Chinese Communists were expelled. Borodin had had a bounty of US$29,000 for his capture, and had hidden in the home of Nationalist official and future Chinese Premier T. V. Soong.[44] Borodin finally returned to Moscow on October 6.[45]

The Wuhan Nationalist Government was established in Wuhan on February 21, 1927 and ended by August 19, 1927. [46]

Flooding in the 1930'sEdit

In the 1931 China floods, the high-water mark was reached on 19 August at Hankou, with the water level exceeding 16 m (53 ft) above normal. Comparatively, this is an average of 1.7 m (5.6 ft) above the Shanghai Bund.[47][48] In 1936, when natural disaster struck Central China with widespread flooding affecting Hebei (Chinese: 河北), Hunan (Chinese: 湖南), Jiangxi (Chinese: 江西), Wuhan and Chongqing (Chinese: 重庆) caused by the Yangtze and Huai Rivers (Chinese: 杨子江和淮河) bursting their banks, Ong Seok Kim, as Chairman of the Sitiawan Fundraising and Disaster Relief Committee, raised money and materials in support of the victims.[49][50][51]

Battle of WuhanEdit

The gunboat Zhongshan

During the Second Sino-Japanese War and following the fall of Nanking in December 1937, Wuhan had become the provisional capital of China's Kuomintang government, and became another focal point of pitched air battles beginning in early 1938 between modern monoplane bomber and fighter aircraft of the Imperial Japanese forces and the Chinese Air Force, which included support from the Soviet Volunteer Group in both planes and personnel, as U.S. support in war materials waned.[52] As the battle raged on through 1938, Wuhan and the surrounding region had become the site of the Battle of Wuhan. After being taken by the Japanese in late 1938, Wuhan became a major Japanese logistics center for operations in southern China.

In early October 1938, Japanese troops moved east and north in the outskirts of Wuhan. As a result, numerous companies and enterprises and large numbers of people had to withdraw from Wuhan to the west of Hubei and Sichuan. The KMT navy undertook the responsibility of defending the Yangtze River on patrol and covering the withdrawal. On October 24, while overseeing the waters of the Yangtze River near the town of Jinkou (Jiangxia District in Wuhan) in Wuchang, the KMT gunboat Zhongshan came up against six Japanese aircraft. Though two were eventually shot down, the Zhongshan sank with 25 casualties. Raised from the bottom of the Yangtze River in 1997, and restored at a local shipyard, the Zhongshan has been moved to a purpose-built museum in Wuhan's suburban Jiangxia District, which opened on September 26, 2011.[53]

Bombing of WuhanEdit

As a key center on the Yangtze, Wuhan was an important base for Japanese operations in China and the Chinese leadership in Chongqing, namely Chiang Kai-shek, Chen Cheng and He Yingqin, approved the tactic of strategic firebombing of the major occupied city of Wuhan.[54] In December 1944, the city was largely destroyed by U.S. firebombing raids conducted by the Fourteenth Air Force. On 18 December 1944, Wuhan was bombed by 77 American bombers that set off a firestorm that destroyed much of the city.[55] For the next three days, Wuhan was bombed by the Americans, destroying all of the docks and warehouses of Wuhan, as well as the Japanese air bases in the city. The air raids killed thousands of Chinese civilians.[55] "According to casualty statistics compiled by Hankou city in 1946, more than 20,000 were killed or injured in the December bombings of 1944."[56]

Chinese Civil WarEdit

People's Liberation Army troops at Zhongshan Avenue, Hankou on May 16, 1949

People's Liberation Army troops entered Wuhan on May 16, 1949.[57]

People's Republic of ChinaEdit

1954 Yangtze River floodsEdit

In his poem "Swimming" (1956), engraved on the 1954 Flood Memorial in Wuhan, Mao Zedong envisions "walls of stone" to be erected upstream.[58]

The Changjiang Water Resources Commission was re-established in February 1950 with its headquarters seated in Wuhan.

From June to September 1954, the Yangtze River Floods were a series of catastrophic floodings that occurred mostly in Hubei Province. Due to unusually high volume of precipitation as well as an extraordinarily long rainy season in the middle stretch of the Yangtze River late in the spring of 1954, the river started to rise above its usual level in around late June. Despite efforts to open three important flood gates to alleviate the rising water by diverting it, the flood level continued to rise until it hit the historic high of 44.67 m in Jingzhou, Hubei and 29.73 m in Wuhan. The number of dead from this flood was estimated at around 33,000, including those who died of plague in the aftermath of the disaster.

In 1969, a large stone monument was erected in the riverside park in Hankou honoring the heroic deeds in fighting the 1954 Yangtze River floods.

Completion of the First Yangtze River BridgeEdit

Before construction of the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge, Hunslet Engine Company built two extra heavy 0-8-0 locomotives for loading the train ferries for crossing the Yangtze River in Wuhan.

The project of building the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge, also known as the First Yangtze River Bridge, was regarded as one of the key projects during the first five-year plan. The Engineering Bureau of the First Yangtze River Bridge, set up by the Ministry of Railway in April 1953, was responsible for the design and construction of the bridge. The document "Resolutions on Building the First Yangtze River Bridge" was passed in the 203rd conference of State Council on January 15, 1954. The technical conference on the routes of the bridge, held in Hankou on January 15, 1955, determined that the route from Tortoise Hill to Snake Hill was the best choice.

On October 25, 1955, construction began on the bridge proper. The same day in 1957, the whole project was completed and an opening-to-traffic ceremony was held on October 15. The bridge is 1,670 m (5,479.00 ft) long, of which the upper level is a highway with a width of 22.5 m (73.82 ft) and the lower level is a double-line railway with a width of 18 m (59.06 ft). The bridge proper is 1,156 m (3,792.65 ft) long with two pairs of eight piers and nine arches with a space of 128 m (419.95 ft) between each arch. The First Yangtze River Bridge united the Beijing–Hankou Railway with the Guangdong–Hankou Railway into the Beijing–Guangzhou Railway, making Wuhan a thoroughfare to nine provinces in name and in fact.

Beidaihe ConferenceEdit

After Chengdu Conference, Mao went to Chongqing and Wuhan in April to inspect the countryside and factories. In Wuhan, he called all the leaders of provinces and municipalities who had not attended Chengdu Conference to report their work. Tian Jiaying, the secretary of Mao, said that Wuhan Conference was a supplement to Chengdu Conference.[59]

Wuhan IncidentEdit

In July 1967, civil strife struck the city in the Wuhan Incident ("July 20th Incident"), an armed conflict between two hostile groups who were fighting for control over the city at the height of the Cultural Revolution.

2008 Summer Olympics BoycottsEdit

Chinese protesters organized boycotts of the French-owned retail chain Carrefour in major Chinese cities including Kunming, Hefei and Wuhan, accusing the French nation of pro-secessionist conspiracy and anti-Chinese racism.[60] The BBC reported that hundreds of people demonstrated in Beijing, Wuhan, Hefei, Kunming and Qingdao.[61][62]

Internet FirewallEdit

On May 19, 2011, Fang Binxing, the Principal of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (also known as "Father of China's Great Fire Wall"[63][64]) was hit on the chest by a shoe thrown at him by a Huazhong University of Science and Technology student who calls herself "hanunyi" (Chinese:寒君依, or 小湖北) while Fang was giving a lecture at Wuhan University. According to RFI, the student discussed the planned shoe attack on Twitter and, with the help of other bloggers, was able to locate the exact whereabouts and the time of Fang's lecture. After the shoeing, "Hanunyi" walked out while other students tried to obstruct school teachers who were going to detain her. "Hanunyi" became an instant internet hero of the Chinese blogosphere.[65][66][67][68][69][70] During an interview with CNN, "Hanunyi" said, "I'm not happy about what (Fang) does. His work made me spend unnecessary money to get access to the website that is supposed to be free... He makes my online surfing very inconvenient."[71]

Flooding in the 2010'sEdit

The Water Resources and Hydro Power Lab, Wuhan University (2005)

The city has been subject to devastating floods, which are now supposed to be controlled by the ambitious Three Gorges Dam, a project which was completed in 2008.[citation needed] The 2008 Chinese winter storms damaged water supply equipment in Wuhan: up to 100,000 people were out of running water when several water pipes burst, cutting the supply to local households.[72] The 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat wave hit Wuhan on July 3.[73] In the 2010 China floods, the Han River at Wuhan experienced its worst flooding in twenty years, as officials continued sandbagging efforts along the Han and Yangtze Rivers in the city and checked reservoirs.[74] In the 2011 China floods, Wuhan was flooded, with parts of the city losing power.[75]

In the 2016 China floods, Wuhan saw 570 mm (22 in) of rainfall during the first week of July, surpassing the record that fell on the city in 1991. A red alert for heavy rainfall was issued on 2 July, the same day that eight people died after a 15-metre (49 ft) section of a 2 m (6.6 ft) tall wall collapsed on top of them.[76] The city's subway system, the Wuhan Metro was partially submerged as was the main railway station.[77] At least 14 city residents were killed, one was missing, and more than 80,000 were relocated.[78]


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: CMA[79]
Looking west from the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuchang. The First Bridge over the Yangtze, and the Tortoise Hill in Hanyang, with its TV tower, are in the background.

Wuhan is in east-central Hubei, at latitude 29° 58'–31° 22' N and longitude 113° 41'–115° 05' E, east of the Jianghan Plain, and is at the confluence of the Hanshui and Yangtze Rivers along the middle reaches of the latter.

The metropolitan area comprises three parts—Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang—commonly called the "Three Towns of Wuhan" (hence the name "Wuhan", combining "Wu" from the first city and "Han" from the other two). The consolidation of these cities occurred in 1927 and Wuhan was thereby established. The parts face each other across the rivers and are linked by bridges, including one of the first modern bridges in China, known as the "First Bridge". It is simple in terrain—low and flat in the middle and hilly in the south, with the Yangtze and Han rivers winding through the city. The Sheshui River enters the Yangtze in Huangpi District. Wuhan occupies a land area of 8,494.41 square kilometres (3,279.71 sq mi), most of which is plain and decorated with hills and a great number of lakes and ponds, including East Lake and Tangxun Lake, which are the largest lakes entirely within a city in China.[80] Other well-known lakes include South Lake and Sand Lake. Liangzi Lake, the largest lake by surface area in Hubei province, is located in the southeast of Jiangxia District.


On a rare snow day in Wuhan

Wuhan's climate is humid subtropical (Köppen Cfa) with abundant rainfall and four distinctive seasons. Wuhan is known for its oppressively humid summers, when dewpoints can often reach 26 °C (79 °F) or more.[81] Along with Chongqing and Nanjing, Wuhan is traditionally referred to as one of the "Three Furnacelike Cities" along the Yangtze River for the perennially high temperatures in the summertime.[82] Because of its hot summer weather, Wuhan is commonly known as one of the Four Furnaces of China, along with Nanjing, Nanchang and Chongqing.[83] Spring and autumn are generally mild, while winter is cool with occasional snow. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 4.0 °C (39.2 °F) in January to 29.1 °C (84.4 °F) in July.[79] Annual precipitation totals 1,320 mm (52 in),[79] the majority of which falls from April to July; the annual mean temperature is 17.13 °C (62.8 °F),[79] the frost-free period lasts 211 to 272 days.[citation needed] With monthly possible sunshine percentage ranging from 31 percent in March to 59 percent in August, the city proper receives 1,865 hours of bright sunshine annually.[79] Extremes since 1951 have ranged from −18.1 °C (−1 °F) on 31 January 1977 to 39.7 °C (103 °F) on 27 July 2017 (unofficial record of 41.3 °C (106 °F) was set on 10 August 1934).[84][85]


Administrative divisionsEdit

The sub-provincial city of Wuhan has direct jurisdiction over 13 districts:

Map District Chinese Pinyin Population
(2010 census)[86][1]
Area (km²)[2] Density
Central Districts 6,434,373 888.42 7,242
Jiang'an 江岸区 Jiāng'àn Qū 895,635 64.24 13,942
Jianghan 江汉区 Jiānghàn Qū 683,492 33.43 20,445
Qiaokou 硚口区 Qiáokǒu Qū 828,644 46.39 17,863
Hanyang 汉阳区 Hànyáng Qū 792,183[87] 108.34 7,312
Wuchang 武昌区 Wǔchāng Qū 1,199,127 87.42 13,717
Qingshan 青山区 Qīngshān Qū 485,375 68.40 7,096
Hongshan 洪山区 Hóngshān Qū 1,549,917[88] 480.20 3,228
Suburban and Rural Districts 3,346,271 7,605.99 440
Dongxihu 东西湖区 Dōngxīhú Qū 451,880 439.19 1,029
Hannan 汉南区 Hànnán Qū 114,970 287.70 400
Caidian 蔡甸区 Càidiàn Qū 410,888 1,108.10 371
Jiangxia 江夏区 Jiāngxià Qū 644,835 2,010.00 321
Huangpi 黄陂区 Huángpí Qū 874,938 2,261.00 387
Xinzhou 新洲区 Xīnzhōu Qū 848,760 1,500.00 566
Water Region (水上地区) 4,748 - -
Total 9,785,392 8,494.41 1,152

Diplomatic missionsEdit

There are four countries that have consulates in Wuhan (Russia is planning on opening a new consulate in Wuhan):

The current U.S. Consul General, the Honorable Mrs. Jamie Fouss, was stationed in Wuhan in August 2017. The office of the U.S. Consulate General, Central China (located in Wuhan) celebrated its official opening on November 20, 2008 and is the first new American consulate in China in over 20 years.[93][94] The consulate is currently scheduled to offer visa and citizen services in the Fall of 2018.

Japan[95] and Russia[96] will be establishing consular offices in Wuhan.


An area of Wuhan during a construction boom in 2007

Wuhan is a sub-provincial city. In 2012, the city's GDP exceeded 800 billion CNY, growing at an annual rate of 11.4 percent. GDP is split almost evenly between the city's industrial and service sectors.[97] GDP per capita was approximately 64,000 CNY[98] as of 2009. In 2013, the city's annual average disposable income was 23,738.09 CNY, which is expected to increase by 14 percent over the next year.[97]

Wuhan and France are linked by strong economics partnerships. For example, some French companies (Renault, PSA Group...) are established in Wuhan. It is the city in China which receives the most French investment.[99]

Wuhan has attracted foreign investment from over 80 countries, with 5,973 foreign-invested enterprises established in the city with a total capital injection of $22.45 billion USD.[97] Among these, about 50 French companies have operations in the city, representing over one third of French investment in China, and the highest level of French investment in any Chinese city.[100] The municipal government offers various preferential policies to encourage foreign investment, including tax incentives, discounted loan interest rates and government subsidies.

Wuhan is an important center for economy, trade, finance, transportation, information technology, and education in China. Its major industries include optic-electronic, automobile manufacturing, iron and steel manufacturing, new pharmaceutical sector, biology engineering, new materials industry and environmental protection. Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Co. and Dongfeng-Citroen Automobile Co., Ltd headquartered in the city. Environmental sustainability is highlighted in Wuhan's list of emerging industries, which include energy efficiency technology and renewable energy.[97]

Wuhan is one of the most competitive forces for domestic trade in China, rivaling the first-tier cities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou in its volume of retail. It is also among the top list of China's metropolises. Wuhan Department Store, Zhongshang Company, Hanyang Department Store, and Central Department Store enjoy the highest reputation and are Wuhan's four major commercial enterprises and listed companies. Hanzhengjie Small Commodities Market has been prosperous for hundreds of years and enjoys a worldwide reputation.

There are 35 higher educational institutions which makes it a leading educational hub for China. Recognized institutions include the well-known Wuhan University, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology. 3 state-level development zones and many enterprise incubators are also significant aspects of Wuhan. Wuhan ranks third in China in overall strength of science and technology.[101]

Industrial zonesEdit

Headquarters of Wu Chuan (Wuhan Shipbuilding Company)

Major industrial zones in Wuhan include:

Wuhan Donghu New Technology Development Zone is a national level high-tech development zone. Optical-electronics, telecommunications, and equipment manufacturing are the core industries of Wuhan East Lake High-Tech Development Zone (ELHTZ) while software outsourcing and electronics are also encouraged. ELHTZ is China's largest production centre for optical-electronic products with key players like Yangtze Optical Fiber and Cable,[102] (the largest fiber-optical cable maker in China), and Fiberhome Telecommunications.[103] Wuhan Donghu New Technology Development Zone also represents the development centre for China's laser industry with key players such as HG Tech[104] and Chutian Laser being based in the zone.[105]

  • Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone

Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone is a national level industrial zone incorporated in 1993.[106] Its current zone size is about 10–25 square km and it plans to expand to 25–50 square km. Industries encouraged in Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone include Auto-mobile Production/Assembly, Biotechnology/Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals Production and Processing, Food/Beverage Processing, Heavy Industry, and Telecommunications Equipment.

  • Wuhan Export Processing Zone

Wuhan Export Processing Zone was established in 2000. It is located in Wuhan Economic and Technology Development Zone, planned to cover 2.7 square kilometres (1.0 square mile) of land. The first 0.7-square-kilometre (0.3-square-mile) area has been launched.[107]

  • Wuhan Optical Valley (Guanggu) Software Park

Wuhan Optical Valley (Guanggu) Software Park is located in Wuhan Donghu New Technology Development Zone. Wuhan Optics Valley Software Park is jointly developed by East Lake High-Tech Development Zone and Dalian Software Park Co., Ltd.[108] The planned area is 0.67 square kilometres (0.26 square miles) with total floor area of 6,000,000 square metres (65,000,000 square feet). The zone is 8.5 km (5.28 mi) away from the 316 National Highway and is 46.7 km (29.02 mi) away from the Wuhan Tianhe Airport.

Biolake is an industry base established in 2008 in the Optics Valley of China. Located in East Lake New Technology Development Zone of Wuhan, Biolake covers 15 km2 (5.8 sq mi), and has six parks including Bio-innovation Park, Bio-pharma Park, Bio-agriculture Park, Bio-manufacturing Park, Medical Device Park and Medical Health Park, to accommodate both research activities and living.[109][110][111][112][113]


Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1953 1,427,300 —    
1982 4,101,000 +3.71%
1990 6,901,911 +6.72%
2000 8,312,700 +1.88%
2007 7,243,000 −1.95%
2010 9,785,388 +10.55%
2014 10,338,000 +1.38%
2015 10,607,700 +2.61%
1953,[114][115] 1982,[116] 1990,[117] 2000 [86] 2007[118]

At the 2010 census, its built-up area made of 8 out of 10 urban districts (all but Xinzhou and Hannan not yet conurbated) was home to 8,821,658 inhabitants.[119] As of 2015, the city of Wuhan had an estimated population of 10,607,700 people.[120]

The encompassing metropolitan area was estimated by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to have, as of 2010, a population of 19 million.[121][3]


Religion in Wuhan (2017)[122]

  Chinese religion or not religious (including Taoists (0.93%)) (79.2%)
  Buddhism (14.69%)
  Protestantism (2.86%)
  Islam (1.64%)
  Catholicism (0.34%)
  Other (1.61%)

According to a survey published in 2017, 79.2% of the population of Wuhan are not religious or practise worship of gods and ancestors; among these, 0.93% are Taoists, a title traditionally denoting just the Taoist clergy. Among other religious doctrines, 14.69% of the population adheres to Buddhism, 2.86% to Protestantism, 0.34% to Catholicism and 1.64% to Islam, and 1.61% of the population adheres to unspecified other religions.[122]


The First Bridge at Wuhan. This view is upstream, toward the distant Three Gorges and Chongqing.


Wuhan has seven bridges and one tunnel across the Yangtze River. The Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge, also called the First Bridge, was built over the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) in 1957, carrying the railroad directly across the river between Snake Hill (on the left in the picture below) and Turtle Hill. Before this bridge was built it could take up to an entire day to barge railcars across. Including its approaches, it is 5,511 feet (1,680 m) long, and it accommodates both a double-track railway on a lower deck and a four-lane roadway above. It was built with the assistance of advisers from the Soviet Union.

The Second Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge, built of pre-stressed concrete, has a central span of 400 metres (1,300 feet); it is 4,678 metres (15,348 feet) in length (including 1,877 metres (6,158 feet) of the main bridge) and 26.5 to 33.5 metres (86.9 to 109.9 feet) in width. Its main bridgeheads are 90 metres (300 feet) high each, pulling 392 thick slanting cables together in the shape of double fans, so that the central span of the bridge is well poised on the piers and the bridge's stability and vibration resistance are ensured. With six lanes on the deck, the bridge is designed to handle 50,000 motor vehicles passing every day. The bridge was completed in 1995.

Second bridge

The Third Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge was completed in September 2000. Located 8.6 kilometres (5.3 miles) southwest of the First Bridge, construction of Baishazhou Bridge started in 1997. With an investment of over 1.4 billion yuan (about 170 million U.S. dollars), the bridge, which is 3,586 metres (11,765 feet) long and 26.5 metres (86.9 feet) wide, has six lanes and has a capacity of 50,000 vehicles a day. The bridge is expected to serve as a major passage for the future Wuhan Ring Road, enormously easing the city's traffic and aiding local economic development.

The Yangluo Bridge carries Wuhan's Ring Road across the Yangtze in the city's eastern suburbs (connecting the Hongshan District with the Xinzhou District). It was opened on December 26, 2007.

The Wuhan Tianxingzhou Yangtze River Bridge crosses the Yangtze in the northeastern part of the city, downstream of the Second bridge. Its name is due to the Tianxing Island (Tianxingzhou), above which it crosses the river. Built at the cost of 11 billion yuan, the 4,657-meter cable suspension bridge was opened on December 26, 2009,[123] in time for the opening of the Wuhan Railway Station. It is a combined road and rail bridge, and carries the Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway across the river.


The old Dazhimen railway Station (大智门火车站), the original Hankou terminus of the Beijing-Hankou Railway. Constructed in 1900–1903, it was closed in 1991, after the opening of the present Hankou Railway Station.

Presently, the city of Wuhan is served by three major railway stations: the Hankou Railway Station in Hankou, the Wuchang Railway Station in Wuchang, and the Wuhan Railway Station, located in a newly developed area east of the East Lake (Hongshan District). As the stations are many miles apart, it is important for passengers to be aware of the particular station(s) used by a particular train.

The (original) Hankou Station was the terminus for the Jinghan Railway from Beijing, while the Wuchang Station was the terminus for the Yuehan Railway to Guangzhou. Since the construction of the First Yangtze Bridge and the linking of the two lines into the Jingguang Railway, both Hankou and Wuchang stations have been served by trains going to all directions, which contrasts with the situation in such cities as New York or Moscow, where different stations serve different directions.

With the opening of the Hefei-Wuhan high-speed railway on April 1, 2009,[124] Wuhan became served by high-speed trains with Hefei, Nanjing, and Shanghai; several trains a day now connect the city with Shanghai, getting there in under 6 hours. As of early 2010, most of these express trains leave from the Hankou Railway Station.

Wuhan Railway Station, completed in 2009

In 2006, construction began on the new Wuhan Railway Station with 11 platforms, located on the northeastern outskirts of the city. In December 2009, the station was opened, as China unveiled its second high-speed train with scheduled runs from Guangzhou to Wuhan. Billed as the fastest train in the world, it can reach a speed of 394 km/h (244.82 mph). The travel time between the two cities has been reduced from ten and a half hours to just three. The rail service has been extended north to Beijing.[125]

As of 2011, the new Wuhan Railway Station is primarily used by the Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed trains, while most regular trains to other destinations continue to use the Hankou and Wuchang stations.

Construction work is carried out on several lines of the new Wuhan Metropolitan Area Intercity Railway, which will eventually connect Wuhan's three main rail terminals with several stations throughout the city's outer areas and farther suburbs, as well as with the nearby cities of Xianning, Huangshi, Huanggang, and Xiaogan. The first line of the system, the one to Xianning, opened for passenger operations at the end of 2013.

The main freight railway station and marshalling yard of the Wuhan metropolitan area is the gigantic Wuhan North Railway Station (武汉北站; 30°47′16.81″N 114°18′27.02″E / 30.7880028°N 114.3075056°E / 30.7880028; 114.3075056), with 112 tracks and over 650 switches. It is located in Hengdiang Subdistrict (横店街道) of Huangpi District, located 20 km (12 mi) north of the Wuhan Station and 23 km (14 mi) from Hankou Station.


When Wuhan Metro opened in September 2010, Wuhan became the fifth Chinese city with a metro system (after Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Guangzhou).[126] The first 10.2 kilometres (6.3 mi)-long line (10 stations) is an elevated rail (and therefore called 'light rail' in Chinese terminology). It runs from Huangpu to Zongguan in the downtown area of the Hankou District, and it is the first one in the country to use a communication-based train control system (a Moving Block signalling system, provided by Alcatel). The designed minimum interval is only 90 seconds between two trains and it features driverless operation.[126] Phase 2 of this line will extend the length to 28.8 km (17.90 mi) with 26 stations in total. It plans to start revenue service on July 28, 2010.[127]

Metro Line 2 opened on December 28, 2012, extending total system length to 56.85 km (35.32 mi). This is the first Metro line crossing the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang).

Line 4 opened on December 28, 2013, connecting Wuhan Railway Station and Wuchang Railway Station. Since that date, all three main railway stations of the city are connected by the metro lines. In December 2016, the extension of Metro's Line 2 was extended to Wuhan Tianhe Airport was opened as well.


Trams were brought to the streets of Wuhan on July 28, 2017 with the first line (Auto-city T1 Line) opened that day.[128] The trams under construction or planning in Wuhan are:

  • Auto-city trams, with Lines T1, T2, T6, and T8 in the Wuhan Economic Development Area, in the far western reaches on Hanyang. T1 Line is operational as of 2017.
  • Optics Valley trams, two lines (T1 and T2) south and east of Guanggu Circle (Guanggu Guangchang) in southeastern Wuchang. The system opened on January 18, 2018.[129]
  • The Old Hankou Streetcar, a loop line around Hankou city.

Maritime transportEdit

Wuhan is a major hub for maritime transport in central China. The Port of Wuhan provide services for the local population and shipping services.


View from ferry (2015)

As a city located at bank of Yangtze River, Wuhan has long history of ferry services. Modern ferry services were established in 1900 by steam boat. In 1937, train ferry was established to transport train cart from Hankou to Wuchang.[130] There are numbered stops that allow people get on and off the ferry around Wuhan and there is a tourist ferry in the night.

Currently, ferry services rea provided by Wuhan Ferry Company. In 2010, the company bought 10 new ships to replace the ones that had been in service for 29 years.[131]


Opened in April 1995, Wuhan Tianhe International Airport is one of the busiest airports in central China and it is located 26 kilometres (16 mi) north of Wuhan. It has also been selected as China's fourth international hub airport after Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai-Pudong and Guangzhou Baiyun. A second terminal was completed in March 2008, having been started in February 2005 with an investment of CNY 3.372 billion. International flights to neighboring Asian countries have also been enhanced, including direct flights to Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan. Terminal 3 has been available for service since early 2017.


Bicycle-sharing systemEdit

As of May 2011, the Wuhan and Hangzhou Public Bicycle bike-share systems in China were the largest in the world, with around 90,000 and 60,000 bicycles respectively.[132] In 2012 the Wuhan and Hangzhou Public Bicycle programs in China are the largest in the world, with around 90,000 and 60,000 bicycles respectively. China has seen a rise in private "dockless" bike shares with fleets that dwarf systems in size outside China.[133] Initially, a number of traditional (third generation) docked public bike systems operated by local municipal governments opened across China, with the largest ones being in Wuhan and Hangzhou. The first was introduced in Beijing in 2007. However, third generation bike sharing is not considered successful for the majority cities in China. Bike sharing in Beijing virtually stopped and it also has encountered difficulties in Shanghai and Wuhan.[134]


Replica instruments of ancient originals are played at the Hubei Provincial Museum. A replica set of bronze concert bells is in the background and a set of stone chimes is to the right.
Yellow Crane Tower
The pagoda on Moshan Hill at East Lake
Happy Valley Wuhan amusement park
  • Wuchang has the largest and second largest lakes within a city in China, the East Lake and Tangxun Lake, as well as the South Lake. The east lake in Wuhan is 6 times the size of the West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. The total area is more than 80 km2 (31 sq mi) of which the lake is covering an area of 33 km2 (13 sq mi). In the springtime, the shores of East Lake become a garden of flowers with the Mei blossoms as the king and the Cherry Blossom as the queen among the species. Another famous flower is the lotus. The lake has a long history and especially the Chu Kingdom is well represented around East Lake. At East Lake you find fascinating gardens like the Mei Blossom Garden, Forest of the Birds, Cherry Blossom Garden and monuments from ancient times, beautiful hills and green nature. Moreover, in the Moshan Botanic Garden there are many types of plum blossoms, as well as lotus flowers.
  • The Hubei Provincial Museum: With over 200,000 valued artifacts, this is one of the leading museums in China. Especially the artefacts from the tomb of Marquis Yi (Zenghouyi), who lived in the 5th century B.C., is a world unique treasure. The bell chime of Zeng Hou Yi is a bronze instrument performed 2430 years ago in ancient China (Warring States Period), and was discovered in the Zenghou Yi Tomb in Lei Gutun, a place near Suizhou, Hubei province in 1978. The whole chime weighs 5 tons, can perfectly play sound which was heard 2430 years ago, and was considered "The Eighth Wonder of the World".
  • The Yellow Crane Tower (Huanghelou) is presumed to have been first built in approximately 220 AD. The tower has been destroyed and reconstructed numerous times, and was burned last according to some sources in 1884. The tower underwent complete reconstruction in 1981. The reconstruction utilized modern materials and added an elevator while maintaining the traditional design in the tower's outward appearance.
  • The Rock and Bonsai Museum includes a mounted platybelodon skeleton, many unique stones, a quartz crystal the size of an automobile, and an outdoor garden with miniature trees in the penjing ("Chinese Bonsai") style.
  • Jiqing Street (吉庆街) holds many roadside restaurants and street performers during the evening and is the site of a Live Show with stories of events on this street by contemporary writer Chi Li.
  • The Lute Platform in Hanyang was where the legendary musician Yu Boya is said to have played. This is the birthplace of the renowned legend of seeking a soul mate through "high mountains and flowing water". According to the story of 知音 (zhi yin, "understanding music"), Yu Boya played for the last time over the grave of his friend Zhong Ziqi, then smashed his lute because the only person able to appreciate his music was dead.[135]
  • Some luxury riverboat tours begin here after a flight from Beijing or Shanghai, with several days of flatland cruising and then climbing through the Three Gorges with passage upstream past the Gezhouba and Three Gorges dams to the city of Chongqing. With the completion of the dam a number of cruises now start from the upstream side and continue west, with tourists traveling by motor coach from Wuhan.
  • Wuying Pagoda or the "Shadowless Pagoda" is the oldest standing architectural feature in Wuhan, dating from the closing days of the Southern Song Dynasty.
  • Happy Valley Wuhan amusement park, opened in 2012.
  • Chu River and Han Street, a popular shopping district located in Wuchang with many tourist attractions, including Han Show theater, Madame Tussauds, and Movie Culture Park, etc. This project was initiated as a water connecting channel between East Lake and Shahu Lake.
  • Wuhan, capital city of the Hubei Province, is a popular shopping and culinary tourist destination for both Chinese nationals and overseas visitors.


Schools and universitiesEdit

The old library of Wuhan University

By the end of 2013, in Wuhan there were 1024 kindergartens with 224.3 thousand children, 590 primary schools with 424 thousand students, 369 general high schools with 314 thousand students, 105 secondary vocational and technical schools with 98.6 students and 80 colleges and universities with 966.4 thousand undergraduates and junior college students, and 107.4 thousand postgraduate students.[136]

Wuhan University, located near East Lake, was founded in 1893 as Ziqiang Institute by Zhang Zhidong and named a national university in 1928. In 2000 three other first-rated universities were merged with the original university, forming a new university with 36 schools in 6 faculties. From the 1950s it has received international students from more than 109 countries.[137] Among its staff, 7 are Chinese Academy of Sciences fellows, and 8 are Chinese Academy of Engineering fellows.[138] Huazhong University of Science and Technology is another Project 985 university in Wuhan. Founded in 1953 as Huazhong Institute of Technology, it combined with three other universities (including former Tongji Medical University founded in 1907) in 2000 to form the new HUST, and has 42 schools and departments covering 12 comprehensive disciplines.[139][140]

Scientific researchEdit

Wuhan contains three national development zones and four scientific and technological development parks, as well as numerous enterprise incubators, over 350 research institutes, 1470 hi-tech enterprises, and over 400,000 experts and technicians.

Founded in 1958, the Wuhan Branch of Chinese Academy of Sciences is one of the twelve national branches of CAS. It is composed of 9 independent organizations, including the headquarters at Xiaohongshan, Wuchang. It has had a staff of 3900, among which 8 are CAS fellows, and one is a Chinese Academy of Engineering fellow. Up to 2013, the achievements gained by WHB have won 23 National Awards and 778 Provincial Awards.[141] Wuhan Research Institute of Post and Telecommunications (now known as FiberHome Technologies Group) is the national center for optical communication research in China, where the first optical fiber in the country was produced.[142]

Wuhan University of Technology is another major national University in the area. Founded in the year 2000, Wuhan University of Technology is merged from three major universities, Wuhan University of Technology (established in 1948), Wuhan Transportation University (established in 1946) and Wuhan Automotive Polytechnic University (established in 1958). Wuhan University of Technology is one of the leading Chinese universities accredited by the Ministry of Education and one of the universities constructed in priority by the "State Project 211" for Chinese higher education institutions. The University has three main campuses located in the Wuchang District.


The modern newspapers in Wuhan can be dated back to 1866, when Hankow Times, a newspaper in English, was founded. Before 1949, more than 50 newspapers and magazines were published by foreigners in Wuhan. Chao-wen Hsin-pao, founded by Ai Xiaomei in 1873, was the first Chinese newspaper appeared in Hankou. During the Northern Expedition era, journalism in Wuhan was pushed to a climax. More than 120 newspapers and periodicals, including national newspapers such as Central Daily News and Republican Daily News, were founded or published there.[143] Chutian Metropolis Daily and Wuhan Evening News are two major local commercial tabloid newspapers. Both of them have entered the list of 100 most widely circulated newspapers of the world.


Wuhan is one of the birthplaces of the brilliant ancient Chu Culture in China. Han opera, which is the local opera of Wuhan area, was one of China's oldest and most popular operas. During the late Qing dynasty, Han opera, blended with Hui opera, gave birth to Peking opera, the most popular opera in modern China. Therefore, Han opera is called "mother of Peking opera" in China.

Plum blossom is the emblem of the city, chosen because of the long history of plum local cultivation and use, and partly to recognize the current economic significance in term of cultivation and research. Local wild plums were used medicinally during the Qin and Han dynasties. Cultivation of the fruit began during the Song dynasty. Some traditional new year customs revolve around the planting of plums.[6]


Wuhan natives speak a variety of Southwestern Mandarin Chinese, Wuhan dialect (Chinese: 武汉方言), and it differs slightly between regions, such as Wuchang dialect, Hankou dialect, Hanyang dialect, Qingshan dialect.


"No need to be particular about the recipes, all food have their own uses. Rice wine and tangyuan are excellent midnight snacks, while fat bream and flowering Chinese cabbages are great delicacies." Hankou Zhuzhici (an ancient book recording stories about Wuhan) produced during the Daoguang Period of the Qing dynasty, reflects indirectly the eating habits and a wide variety of distinctive snacks with a long history in Wuhan, such as Qingshuizong (a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves) in the Period of the Warring States, Chunbinbian in Northern & Southern dynasties, mung bean jelly in the Sui dynasty, youguo (a deep-fried twisted dough stick) in the Song and Yuan dynasties, rice wine and mianwo in the Ming and Qing dynasties as well as three-delicacy stuffed skin of bean milk, tangbao (steamed dumpling filled with minced meat and gravy) and hot braised noodles in modern times.

Besides the snacks, Hubei cuisine ranks as one of China’s ten major styles of cooking with many representative dishes. With development of more than 2,000 years, Hubei cuisine, originating in Chu Cuisine in ancient times, has developed a lot of distinctive dishes with its own characteristics, such as steamed blunt-snout bream in clear soup, preserved ham with flowering Chinese cabbage, etc.

'Guozao' (过早) is a popular way to say 'having breakfast' in Wuhan. It is generally said that Guangzhou is the paradise for eating and Shanghai for dressing, while Wuhan is a combination of both. Sitting favorably at the heart of China, Wuhan has gathered and mixed together various habits and customs from neighboring cities and provinces in all directions, which gives rise to a saying of concentrating diverse customs from different places.

The famousest place to "Guozao" (have breakfirst) is the Hubu street (户部巷). This 150 meters long street is located in the most flourishing district of Wuhan, Simenkou (司门口)and is qualified as the "First street of Han breakfirst". We can find there nearly all the traditional food of Wuhan,such as:

Doupi on the left and Re-gan mian on the right
  • Hot and Dry Noodles, Re-gan mian (热干面) consists of long freshly boiled noodles mixed with sesame paste. The Chinese word re means hot and gan means dry. It is considered to be the most typical local food for breakfast.
  • Duck's neck or Ya Bozi (鸭脖子) is a local version of this popular Chinese dish, made of duck necks and spices.
  • Bean skin or Doupi (豆皮)is a popular local dish with a filling of egg, rice, beef, mushrooms and beans cooked between two large round soybean skins and cut into pieces, structurally like a stuffed pizza without enclosing edges.
  • Soup dumpling or Xiaolongtangbao(小笼汤包)is a kind of dumpling with thin skin made of flour, steamed with very juicy meat inside, so that is why it is called Tang (soup) Bao (bun), because every time one takes a bite from it the soup inside spills out.
  • A salty doughnut or Mianwo (面窝) is a kind of doughnut with a salty taste. It is much thinner than a common doughnut and is a typical Wuhan local food.


Wuhan has a professional football team Wuhan Zall F.C. that plays in China League One. Xinhua Road Sport Center, the home stadium of the team that has a capacity of 32,137, is located in the heart of the city next to Zhongshan Park. In 2013 season, Wuhan Zall was promoted to the top tier league of Chinese football--Chinese Super League and relocated its home to Wuhan Sports Center Stadium, a modern stadium located in suburban of the city that has 54,357 seats. However, the team did not play well in the season and was demoted back to China League One as 2013 season ended. Due to financial and transportation reasons, the team moved back to Xinhua Road Sport Center in 2014.

Wuhan Sports Center hosted FIFA Women's World Cup in 2007, including both group stage games and elimination phases. Wuhan is nicknamed the "fortune place" of Chinese football. Before the women's team lost the game to Brazil in 2007 Women's World Cup, Chinese national football teams, both men and women, had never lost any games in Wuhan.

The 13,000 seat Wuhan Gymnasium held 2011 FIBA Asia Championship and will be one of the venues for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.[144]

The city has been holding the women's tennis tournament Wuhan Open, one of the WTA Premier 5 tournaments, since 2014.


Wuhan Center

The tallest building in Wuhan and all of Central China is Wuhan Center. Wuhan Greenland Center[145] is a 636-metre (2,087 ft), a planned 126-floor mixed-use skyscraper currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2019. If completed as planned, it will be the world's second tallest structure after Dubai's Burj Khalifa, and the world's tallest building by occupiable floor height. The Phoenix Towers (Chinese: 凤凰塔; pinyin: Fènghuángtǎ) are proposed supertall skyscrapers planned for construction. At 1 kilometre (3,300 ft) high, the towers will be the second tallest structure in the world when completed. The towers are being designed by Chetwoods Architects. Completion was planned for 2018 at a cost of GB£1.2 billion. As of 2017, construction had not started.

Notable peopleEdit

Li Na, a professional tennis player, serving at Wimbledon 2008, 1st round against Anastasia Rodionova


  • Li Yuanhong – former President of the Republic of China.
  • Wu Xiuquan – former Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China
  • Wu Yi – former Vice-Premier and Minister of Health of the People's Republic of China[146]



  • Hao Junmin – professional football player, played for Schalke 04 in the German League.
  • Deng Zhuoxiang – professional football player, scored many impressive goals for Chinese national team in important games including 3:0 South Korea and 1:0 France in 2010.
  • Zeng Cheng – professional football player, has 6 Chinese Super League and 2 AFC Champions League champion titles.
  • Rong Hao – professional football player. has 6 Chinese Super Leagues and 2 AFC Champions League champion titles.
  • Xiao Hailiang – Olympic gold medalist (in 3-metre (9.8-foot) springboard synchronized diving, Sydney 2000) diver
  • Li Ting – female tennis player, Olympic gold medalist (in woman's doubles, Athens 2004)
  • Fu Mingxia – female diver, four-time Olympic gold Medalist (1 in Barcelona 1992, 2 in Atlanta 1996, 1 in Sydney 2000), the only diver that had won gold medals at 3 Olympiads as well as one of the very few divers in the world who are able to win world championship in both platform diving and springboard diving. diver
  • Zhou Jihong – woman diving athlete, Olympic gold medalist (Los Angeles 1984), the first Chinese who has won an Olympic gold medal in diving.
  • Qiao Hong – woman table tennis player, two-time Olympic gold medalist (in woman's doubles, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996)
  • Gao Ling – professional badminton player, two-time Olympic gold medalist (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004)
  • Li Na – female tennis player, Champion of the French Open 2011 and Australian Open 2014
  • Tang JieliAIBA Women's Boxing World Champion[147]

Other fieldsEdit

Sister citiesEdit

Wuhan is twinned with:

Country City Since
  Japan   Ōita 1979.09.07
  United States   Pittsburgh 1982.09.08
  Germany   Duisburg 1982.10.08
  France   Bordeaux[150] 1998
  United States   St. Louis 2004.09.27
  New Zealand   Christchurch[151] 2006.04.04
  Mexico   Tijuana[152] 2013
  United States   San Francisco[153] 2013.11.20
  Malaysia Kota Kinabalu[154] 2015
  Canada Markham[153] 2006.09.12
  United Kingdom Manchester[154] 1986[155]
  Greece Chalcis[156] 2015
  Russia Saratov[157] 2015.08.06
  Australia Sydney[156] 2015.08.06
  United States Houston[157] 2016.09.10
  United Kingdom Swansea[158] 2018.01.31
  Australia Gold Coast[159] 2015 (Letter of Intent)

Nature and wildlifeEdit

In Chinese mythology, the Baiji has many origin stories. In one legend, the Baiji was the daughter of a general who was deported from the city of Wuhan during a war. During his duty, the daughter ran away. Later, the general met a woman who told him how her father was a general, and when he realized that she was his daughter, he threw himself into the river out of shame. The daughter ran after him and also fell into the river. Before they were drowned, the daughter was transformed into a dolphin, and the general a porpoise.[160]

See alsoEdit


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Further readingEdit

  • Chi, Li (2000). Lao Wuhan (Old Wuhan): Yong Yuan De Lang Man... (part of the "Lao Cheng Shi" series). Nanjing: Jiangsu Meishu Chubanshe. 
  • Coe, John L. (1962). Huachung University (Huazhong Daxue). New York: United Board for Christian Higher Education. 
  • Danielson, Eric N. (2005). "The Three Wuhan Cities," pp.1–96 in The Three Gorges and the Upper Yangzi. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish/Times Editions. 
  • Latimer, James V. (1934). Wuhan Trips: A Book on Short Trips in and Around Hankow. Hankow: Navy YMCA. 
  • MacKinnon, Stephen R. (2000). "Wuhan's Search for Identity in the Republican Period," in Remaking the Chinese City, 1900–1950, ed. by Joseph W. Esherick. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 
  • Rowe, William T. (1984). Hankou: Commerce and Society, 1796–1889. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 
  • Rowe, William T. (1988). Hankou: Conflict and Community in a Chinese City, 1796–1895. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 
  • Song, Xiaodan & Zhu, Li (1999). Wuhan Jiu Ying (Old Photos of Wuhan). Beijing: Renmin Meishu Chubanshe (People's Fine Arts Publishing House). 
  • Walravens, Hartmut. "German Influence on the Press in China." - In: Newspapers in International Librarianship: Papers Presented by the Newspaper Section at IFLA General Conferences. Walter de Gruyter, January 1, 2003. ISBN 3110962799, 9783110962796.
    • Also available at (Archive) the website of the Queens Library - This version does not include the footnotes visible in the Walter de Gruyter version
    • Also available in Walravens, Hartmut and Edmund King. Newspapers in international librarianship: papers presented by the newspapers section at IFLA General Conferences. K.G. Saur, 2003. ISBN 3598218370, 9783598218378.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Capital of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by
(wartime) Capital of China
Succeeded by
Chongqing (wartime)

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