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Wuhan, China

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Wuhan is the capital of Hubei Province in the People’s Republic of China. It is the largest city in Hubei and the most populous city in Central China, with a population of over eleven million, the ninth-most populous Chinese city, and one of the nine National Central Cities of China.

The name “Wuhan” came from the city’s historical origin from the conglomeration of Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang, which are collectively known as the “Three Towns of Wuhan” (武汉三镇). Wuhan lies in the eastern Jianghan Plain, at the confluence of the Yangtze river and its largest tributary, the Han River, and is known as “Nine Provinces’ Thoroughfare” (九省通衢).

Wuhan has historically served as a busy city port for commerce and trading. Other historical events taking place in Wuhan include the Wuchang Uprising of 1911, which led to the end of 2,000 years of dynastic rule. Wuhan was briefly the capital of China in 1927 under the left-wing of the Kuomintang (KMT) government. The city later served as the wartime capital of China for ten months in 1937 during the WWII. Wuhan is considered the political, economic, financial, commercial, cultural, and educational center of Central China. 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 is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of China” by foreign sources. The “Golden Waterway” of the Yangtze River and the Han River traverse the urban area and divide Wuhan into the three districts of Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang. The Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge crosses the Yangtze in the city. The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity, is located nearby. Historically, Wuhan has suffered risks of flooding, prompting the government to alleviate the situation by introducing ecologically friendly absorption mechanisms.

While Wuhan has been a traditional manufacturing hub for decades, it is also one of the areas promoting modern industrial changes in China. Wuhan has three national development zones, four scientific and technological development parks, over 350 research institutes, 1,656 high-tech enterprises, numerous enterprise incubators, and investments from 230 Fortune Global 500 firms. It produced GDP (nominal) of US$274 billion in 2021. The Dongfeng Motor Corporation, an automobile manufacturer, is headquartered in Wuhan. The city is home to multiple notable institutes of higher education, including Wuhan University and the Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Wuhan is a major city in the world by scientific research outputs and it ranks 14th globally and 5th in China (after Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, and Guangzhou). In 2017, Wuhan was designated as a Creative City by UNESCO, in the field of design. Wuhan is classified as a Beta- (global second tier) city together with seven other cities in China, including Changsha, Dalian, Jinan, Shenyang, Xiamen, Xi’an, and Zhengzhou by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Wuhan is also one of the world’s top 100 financial centers, according to the Global Financial Centres Index.

In December 2019, SARS-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic, was first discovered in Wuhan and the city was the location of the first lockdown of the pandemic in January 2020. Wikipedia

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An image from Wuhan, China

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