Hubei (; alternately
Hupeh) is a landlocked province
of the People's Republic of China
, and is part of the Central China
region. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Dongting Lake
. The provincial capital, Wuhan
, serves as a major transportation hub and the political, cultural, and economic hub of central China.
Hubei's name is officially abbreviated to "" (), an ancient name associated with the eastern part of the province since the State of E
of the Western Zhou dynasty
of –771 BCE; a popular name for Hubei is "" () (suggested by that of the powerful State of Chu
, which existed in the area during the Eastern Zhou dynasty
of 770 – 256 BCE). Hubei borders the provinces of Henan
to the north, Anhui
to the east, Jiangxi
to the southeast, Hunan
to the south, Chongqing
to the west, and Shaanxi
to the northwest. The high-profile Three Gorges Dam
is located at Yichang
, in the west of the province.
The Hubei region was home to sophisticated Neolithic cultures. By the Spring and Autumn period
(770–476 BC), the territory of today's Hubei was part of the powerful State of Chu
. Chu was nominally a tributary state of the Zhou dynasty
, and it was itself an extension of the Chinese civilization that had emerged some centuries before in the north; but it was also a culturally unique blend of northern and southern culture, and was a powerful state that held onto much of the middle and lower Yangtze River
, with power extending northwards into the North China Plain
tomb at Mashan, Jiangling County
During the Warring States period
(475–221 BC) Chu became the major adversary of the upstart State of Qin
to the northwest (in what is now Shaanxi
province), which began to assert itself by outward expansionism. As wars between Qin and Chu ensued, Chu lost more and more land: first its dominance over the Sichuan Basin
, then (in 278 BC) its heartland, which correspond to modern Hubei. In 223 BC Qin chased down the remnants of the Chu regime, which had fled eastwards, as part of Qin's bid for the conquest of all China.
Qin founded the Qin dynasty
in 221 BC, the first unified state in the region. Qin was succeeded by the Han dynasty
in 206 BC, which established the province (''zhou
'') of Jingzhou
in what is now Hubei and Hunan
. The Qin and Han played an active role in the agricultural colonization of Hubei, maintaining a system of river dikes to protect farmland from summer floods. Towards the end of the Han dynasty in the beginning of the 3rd century, Jingzhou was ruled by regional warlord Liu Biao
. After his death, Liu Biao's realm was surrendered by his successors to Cao Cao
, a powerful warlord who had conquered nearly all of north China; but in the Battle of Red Cliffs
, warlords Liu Bei
and Sun Quan
drove Cao Cao out of Jingzhou. Liu Bei then took control of Jingzhou; he went on to conquer Yizhou (the Sichuan Basin), but lost Jingzhou to Sun Quan; for the next few decades Jingzhou was controlled by the Wu Kingdom
, ruled by Sun Quan and his successors.
The incursion of northern nomadic peoples into the region at the beginning of the 4th century began nearly three centuries of division into a nomad-ruled (but increasingly Sinicized) north and a Han Chinese
-ruled south. Hubei, to the South, remained under southern rule for this entire period, until the unification of China by the Sui dynasty
in 589. In 617 the Tang dynasty
replaced Sui, and later on the Tang dynasty placed what is now Hubei under several circuits
: Jiangnanxi Circuit
in the south; Shannandong Circuit
in the west, and Huainan Circuit
in the east. After the Tang dynasty disintegrated in the 10th century, Hubei came under the control of several regional regimes: Jingnan
in the center, Wu
(later Southern Tang
) to the east, and the Five Dynasties
to the north.
The Song dynasty
reunified the region in 982 and placed most of Hubei into Jinghubei Circuit
, a longer version of Hubei's current name. Mongol
s conquered the region in 1279, and under their rule
the province of Huguang
was established, covering Hubei, Hunan, and parts of Guangdong
. During the Mongol rule, in 1331, Hubei was devastated by an outbreak of the Black Death
, striking England
, and Italy
by June 1348, which according to Chinese sources spread during the following three centuries to decimate populations throughout Eurasia.
The Ming dynasty
drove out the Mongols in 1368. Their version of Huguang province was smaller, and corresponded almost entirely to the modern provinces of Hubei and Hunan combined. While Hubei was geographically removed from the centers of the Ming power. During the last years of the Ming, today's Hubei was ravaged several times by the rebel armies of Zhang Xianzhong
and Li Zicheng
. The Manchu Qing dynasty
which had much of the region in 1644, soon split Huguang into the modern provinces of Hubei and Hunan. The Qing dynasty, however, continued to maintain a Viceroy of Huguang
, one of the most well-known being Zhang Zhidong
, whose modernizing reforms made Hubei (especially Wuhan
) into a prosperous center of commerce and industry. The Huangshi
area, south-east of Wuhan, became an important center of mining and metallurgy.
In 1911 the Wuchang Uprising
took place in modern-day Wuhan, overthrowing the Qing dynasty and establishing the Republic of China
. In 1927 Wuhan became the seat of a government established by left-wing elements of the Kuomintang
, led by Wang Jingwei
; this government was later merged into Chiang Kai-shek
's government in Nanjing
. During World War II
the eastern parts of Hubei were conquered and occupied by Japan
while the western parts remained under Chinese control.
During the Cultural Revolution
in the 1960s, Wuhan saw fighting between rival Red Guard
factions. 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
As the fears of a nuclear war increased during the time of Sino-Soviet border conflict
s in the late 1960s, the Xianning
prefecture of Hubei was chosen as the site of Project 131
, an underground military command headquarters.
The province—and Wuhan in particular—suffered severely from the 1954 Yangtze River Floods
. Large-scale dam construction followed, with the Gezhouba Dam
on the Yangtze River
started in 1970 and completed in 1988; the construction of the Three Gorges Dam
, further upstream, began in 1993. In the following years, authorities resettled millions of people from western Hubei to make way for the construction of the dam. A number of smaller dams have been constructed on the Yangtze's tributaries as well.
The Xianning Nuclear Power Plant
is planned in Dafanzhen, Tongshan County, Xianning to host at least four 1,250-megawatt (MW) AP1000 pressurized water reactors.
Work on the site began in 2010; the first reactor was planned to start construction in 2011 and go online in 2015.
However, construction of the first phase has yet to start as of 2018.
On 1 December 2019, the first case of COVID-19
in the COVID-19 pandemic
was identified in the city of Wuhan
. In January 2020, the SARS-CoV-2
virus was officially identified, forcing local and federal governments to implement massive quarantine
zones across Hubei province, especially the capital Wuhan
as the epicenter of outbreak. 15 cities were partially or fully locked down, affecting 57 million people directly. Following severe outbreaks in numerous other countries, including in different areas of the world, the outbreak was subsequently declared to be a pandemic in March 2020. However, after more than eight weeks, the lockdown on most cities in the province was lifted.
The Jianghan Plain
takes up most of central and southern Hubei, while the west and the peripheries are more mountain
ous, with ranges such as the Wudang Mountains
, the Jing Mountains
, the Daba Mountains
, and the Wu Mountains
(in rough north-to-south order). The Dabie Mountains
lie to the northeast of the Janghan Plain, on the border with Henan
; the Tongbai Mountains lie to the north on the border with Henan
; to the southeast, the Mufu Mountains
form the border with Jiangxi
. The highest peak in Hubei is Shennong Peak
, found in the Daba Mountains
of the forestry
area of Shennongjia
; it has an altitude of 3105 m.
The two major rivers of Hubei are the Yangtze River
and its left tributary, the Han River
; they lend their names to the Jianghan Plain
– Jiang representing the Yangtze and han representing the Han River. The Yangtze River enters Hubei from the west via the Three Gorges
; the eastern half of the Three Gorges
and part of Wu Gorge
) lie in western Hubei, while the western half is in neighbouring Chongqing
. The Han River enters the province from the northwest. After crossing most of the province, the two great rivers meet at the center of Wuhan, the provincial capital.
Among the notable tributaries of the Yangtze within the province are the Shen Nong Stream
(a small northern tributary, severely affected by the Three Gorges Dam project); the Qing
, a major waterway of southwestern Hubei; the Huangbo
; and the Fushui River
in the southeast.
Thousands of lakes dot the landscape of Hubei's Jianghan Plain, giving Hubei the name of "Province of Lakes"; the largest of these lakes are Liangzi Lake
and Hong Lake
. The numerous hydrodams have created a number of large reservoirs, the largest of which is the Danjiangkou Reservoir
on the Han River, on the border between Hubei and Henan
Hubei has a humid subtropical climate
(''Cfa'' or ''Cwa'' under the Köppen climate classification
), with four distinct seasons. Winters are cool to cold, with average temperatures of in January, while summers are hot and humid, with average temperatures of in July; punishing temperatures of or above are widely associated with Wuhan, the provincial capital. The mountainous districts of western Hubei, in particular Shennongjia
, with their cooler summers, attract numerous visitors from Wuhan and other lowland cities.
Besides the capital Wuhan
, other important cities are Jingmen
, a center of automotive industry and the gateway to the Wudang Mountains
, the main base for the gigantic hydroelectric projects of southwestern Hubei; and Shashi
Hubei is divided into thirteen prefecture-level divisions
(of which there are twelve prefecture-level cities
(including a sub-provincial city
) and one autonomous prefecture
), as well as three directly administered county-level cities
(all sub-prefecture-level cities
) and one directly administered county-level forestry area. At the end of 2017, the total population is 59.02 million.
The thirteen Prefecture
and four directly administered county-level divisions
of Hubei are subdivided into 103 county-level divisions
s, 24 county-level cities
, 37 counties
, 2 autonomous counties
, 1 forestry district; the directly administered county-level divisions are included here). Those are in turn divided into 1234 township-level divisions
s, 215 township
s, nine ethnic township
s, and 273 subdistrict
Government and politics
Secretaries of the CPC
Governors of Hubei:
Hubei is often called the "Land of Fish and Rice" (). Important agricultural products in Hubei include cotton
, and tea
, while industries include automobiles
, metallurgy, machinery, power generation, textiles, foodstuffs and high-tech commodities.
resources that can be found in Hubei in significant quantities include borax
, rock salt
. The province's recoverable reserves of coal
stand at 548 million tons, which is modest compared to other Chinese provinces. Hubei is well known for its mines of fine turquoise and green faustite.
Once completed, the Three Gorges Dam
in western Hubei will provide plentiful hydroelectricity
, with an estimated annual power production of 84,700 Gwh. Existing hydroelectric stations include Gezhouba
Hubei's economy ranks 7th in the country and its nominal GDP for 2018 was 3.9 trillion yuan (US$595 billion) and a per capita of 66,799 RMB (US$10,099) in 2018, tripled since 2010.
Economic and Technological Development Zones
* Hubei Jingzhou Chengnan Economic Development Zone was established in 1992 under the approval of Hubei Government. Three major industries include textile, petroleum and chemical processing, with a combined output accounts for 90% of its total output. The zone also enjoys a well-developed transportation network—only to the airport and to the railway station.
East Lake High-Tech 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 Changfei Fiber-optical Cables (the largest fiber-optical cable maker in China), Fenghuo Telecommunications and Wuhan Research Institute of Post and Telecommunications (the largest research institute in optical telecommunications in China). Wuhan ELHTZ represents the development centre for China's laser industry with key players such as HUST Technologies and Chutian Laser being based in the zone.
Economic and Technological Development Zone is a national level industrial zone incorporated in 1993.
Its 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 automobile production/assembly, biotechnology/pharmaceuticals, chemicals production and processing, food/beverage processing, heavy industry, and telecommunications equipment.
Export Processing Zone was established in 2000. It is located in Wuhan Economic & Technology Development Zone, planned to cover land of . The first area has been launched.
Optical Valley (Guanggu) Software Park is in Wuhan East Lake High-Tech Development Zone. Wuhan Optics Valley Software Park is jointly developed by East Lake High-Tech Development Zone and Dalian Software Park Co., Ltd.
The planned area is with total floor area of 600,000 square meters. The zone is from the 316 National Highway and is from the Wuhan Tianhe Airport.
New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
form the dominant ethnic group in Hubei. A considerable Miao
population live in the southwestern part of the province, especially in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture
On October 18, 2009, Chinese officials began to relocate 330,000 residents from the Hubei and Henan
provinces that will be affected by the Danjiangkou Reservoir on the Han river
. The reservoir is part of the larger South-North Water Transfer Project
The predominant religions in Hubei are Chinese folk religion
s, Taoist traditions
and Chinese Buddhism
. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 6.5% of the population believes and is involved in cults of ancestors
, while 0.58% of the population identifies as Christian, declining from 0.83% in 2004.
The reports did not give figures for other types of religion; 92.92% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in worship of nature deities
, Buddhism, Confucianism
, Taoism, folk religious sects
People in Hubei speak Mandarin
dialects; most of these dialects are classified as Southwestern Mandarin
dialects, a group that also encompasses the Mandarin dialects of most of southwestern China.
Perhaps the most celebrated element of Hubei cuisine
is the Wuchang bream
, a freshwater bream
that is commonly steamed.
Types of traditional Chinese opera
popular in Hubei include Hanju
() and Chuju
area is the alleged home of the ''Yeren
'', a wild undiscovered hominid
that lives in the forested hills.
The people of Hubei are given the uncomplimentary nickname "Nine-headed Bird
s" by other Chinese, from a mythological
creature said to be very aggressive and hard to kill. ''"In the sky live nine-headed birds. On the earth live Hubei people."'' ()
is one of the major culture centers in China.
Hubei is thought to be the province that originated the card game of Dou Di Zhu
The Huazhong University of Science and Technology
(HUST), Wuhan University
and many other institutions in Wuhan make it a hub of higher education and research in China. Wuhan is the city that has the largest college student population in the world (1.3 million) studying in its 89 universities.
* Huazhong University of Science and Technology
* Wuhan University
* Central China Normal University
(Huazhong Normal University)
* Wuhan University of Technology
* Huazhong Agricultural University
* Hubei University of Technology
* Zhongnan University of Economics and Law
* China University of Geosciences
* Jianghan University
* Hubei University
* Hubei University of Economics
* Hubei University of Education
* China Three Gorges University
* Wuhan Institute of Technology
* Wuhan University of Science and Technology
* Yangtze University
* South-Central University for Nationalities
* Hubei Institute of Fine Arts
* Wuhan Technology and Business University
* Wuhan Technical College of Communications
Prior to the construction of China's national railway network, the Yangtze River|Yangtze
Rivers had been the main transportation arteries of Hubei for many centuries, and still continue to play an important transport role.
Historically, Hubei's overland transport network was hampered by the lack of bridges across the Yangtze River
, which divides the province into northern and southern regions. The first bridge across the Yangtze in Hubei, the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge
was completed in 1957, followed by the Zhicheng Bridge in 1971. As of October 2014, Hubei had 23 bridges and tunnels
across the Yangtze River, including nine bridges and three tunnels in Wuhan.
The railway from Beijing
reached Wuhan in 1905, and was later extended to Guangzhou, becoming the first north-to-south railway mainline to cross China. A number of other lines crossed the province later on, including the Jiaozuo-Liuzhou Railway
and Beijing-Kowloon Railway
, respectively, in the western and eastern part of the province.
The first decade of the 21st century has seen a large amount of new railway construction in Hubei. The Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway
, roughly parallel to the original Wuhan-Guangzhou line, opened in late 2009, it was subsequently extended to the north, to Beijing becoming the Beijing–Guangzhou high-speed railway
. An east-west high-speed corridor connecting major cities along the Yangtze, the Shanghai–Wuhan–Chengdu passenger railway
was gradually opened between 2008 and 2012, the Wuhan–Yichang railway
section of it opening in 2012. The Wuhan–Xiaogan intercity railway
was opened in December 2016 and it was extended when the Wuhan–Shiyan high-speed railway
opened in November 2019.
Hubei's main airport is Wuhan Tianhe International Airport
. Yichang Sanxia Airport
serves the Three Gorges region. There are also passenger airports in Xiangyang
, and Jingzhou
, named after the city's Shashi District
The province's best-known natural attraction (shared with the adjacent Chongqing
municipality) is the scenic area of the Three Gorges
of the Yangtze. Located in the far west of the province, the gorges can be conveniently visited by one of the numerous tourist boats (or regular passenger boats) that travel up the Yangtze from Yichang
through the Three Gorges
and into the neighboring Chongqing
The mountains of western Hubei
, in particular in Shennongjia
District, offer a welcome respite from Wuhan's and Yichang's summer heat, as well as skiing opportunities in winter. The tourist facilities in that area concentrate around Muyu
in the southern part of Shennongjia
, the gateway to Shennongjia National Nature Reserve (). Closer to the provincial capital, Wuhan, is the Mount Jiugong
(''Jiugongshan'') national park, in Tongshan County
near the border with Jiangxi
A particular important site of both natural and cultural significance is Mount Wudang
(''Wudangshan'') in the northwest of the province. Originally created early in the Ming dynasty
, its building complex has been listed by UNESCO
since 1994 as a World Heritage Site
Other historic attractions in Hubei include:
*The old Jingzhou
Mausoleum, built by the Ming dynasty Jiajing Emperor
for his parents at their fief
*The Yellow Crane Tower
*The Hubei Provincial Museum
in Wuhan, with extensive archaeological and cultural exhibits and performance presentations of ancient music and dance. This is one of the best places to learn about the ancient state of Chu
, which flourished in the territory of present-day Hubei during the Eastern Zhou dynasty
and developed its own unique culture, quite distinct from that of the Shang
civilization of northern China.
The province also has historical sites connected with China's more recent history, such as the Wuchang Uprising
Memorial in Wuhan, Project 131
site (a Cultural-Revolution-era underground military command center) in Xianning
, and the National Mining Park () in Huangshi
."Mining for tourism in Hubei"
, By Li Jing (China Daily). Updated: 2008-09-22
University Stadium of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan
Professional sports teams in Hubei include:
* Wuhan Zall F.C. plays in Chinese Football Association Super League, the highest level football league in China.
In 2005, Hubei province signed a twinning agreement with Telemark county of Norway, and a "Norway-Hubei Week" was held in 2007.
* 1954 Yangtze River floods
* List of prisons in Hubei
* Major national historical and cultural sites in Hubei
Economic profile for Hubei
Hubei Government official website
Google Maps Hubei
Category:Provinces of the People's Republic of China