Wuhan is the capital of the Hubei province and located on the Yangtze River. With an urban population of 6 million, Wuhan is the largest city in central China and it has the largest inland trading port because of its proximity to the Yangtze River. Its central location makes it the nexus of eastern and western China, and provides a connection to northern and southern provinces as well. Because of these characteristics, some have likened Wuhan to the Chicago of China and it has earned the nickname as “the thoroughfare of China”. The city is divided into three boroughs called Wuchang, Hankou and Hanyang.
One of the largest iron and steel manufacturers in the world is headquartered in Wuhan, Wuhan Iron and Steel Corporation, which employs over 80,000 people. A state owned enterprise, the firm opened its factory in 1955 and today produces more than 37 million tons per year. Some of its finished products include hot rolled plates, heavy sections, high speed wires and steel billets.
Wuhan is home to the Tian He or Sky River airport, serving more than 11 million passengers per year. China Eastern and China Southern airlines offer the most destinations at the airport. International destinations include Ho Chi Min, Bangkok, Paris, Taipei, Seoul and Singapore.
Wuhan University is a leading academic institution in China and has been ranked in the top ten of all universities in China by some publications. The University has an enrollment of 50,000+ students and its campus is regarded as one of the more beautiful college settings in all of China, with its annual cherry blossom festival drawing many visitors. In total, Wuhan has 35 academic institutions and the Huazhong University of Science and Technology helps to solidify the city’s reputation as a leader in innovation in the field of science and technology in China.
When visiting Wuhan there are some must see attractions that will further your understanding of the city. Wuhan Yellow Crane Tower gets its name because a Taoist priest drew a picture of a yellow crane on the wall of a pothouse. This yellow crane could dance and so many people visited the pothouse, making its owners wealthy. With the earnings from its pothouse, they built the Tower and nearby shrines. In addition to the Yellow Crane Tower, the East Lake offers breathe taking views and is the largest lake within a city in all of China; it has a total of 99 bays.
Wuhan is only the fifth Chinese city, along with Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou, to have its own metro built. Currently, only two lines of the metro system are operable; however, there are several other lines currently under construction. A Starbucks metro will be the first of its kind once installed in the subway system and the subway also has a female waiting area only to prevent sexual harassment.
Wuhan has a section of the city devoted to high tech investment; it is known as China’s Optics Valley, much as Arizona is known for similar type of research in the United States. Aside from opto-electrical work, biotech, renewables, environmental protection and consumer electronics are fields of research flourishing in Wuhan. Multinational companies with operations there include Nokia, Microsoft, Pfizer, Siemens and General Electric.