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Hubei Province
Chinese : 湖北省
Húběi Shěng
Abbreviations:   (pinyin: È)
Hubei is highlighted on this map
Origin of name 湖 hú - lake
北 běi - north
"north of Lake Dongting"
Administration type Province
(and largest city)
CPC Ctte Secretary Luo Qingquan
Governor Li Hongzhong
Area 185,900 km2 (71,800 sq mi) (14th)
Population (2004)
 - Density
60,160,000 (9th)
324 /km2 (840 /sq mi) (12th)
GDP (2008)
 - per capita
CNY 1.13 trillion (10th)
CNY 19,884 (16th)
HDI (2006) 0.767 (medium) (16th)
Ethnic composition Han - 95.6%
Tujia - 3.7%
Miao - 0.4%
Prefecture-level 13 divisions
County-level 102 divisions
Township-level* 1235 divisions
ISO 3166-2 CN-42
Official website
(Simplified Chinese)
Source for population and GDP data:
《中国统计年鉴—2005》 China Statistical Yearbook 2005
ISBN 7503747382
Source for nationalities data:
《2000年人口普查中国民族人口资料》 Tabulation on nationalities of 2000 population census of China
ISBN 7105054255
*As at December 31, 2004
Template ■ Discussion ■ WikiProject China

About this sound Hubei (Chinese: 湖北pinyin: HúběiWade-Giles: Hu-pei; Postal map spelling: Hupeh) is a central province of the People's Republic of China. Its abbreviation is 鄂 (pinyin: È), an ancient name associated with the eastern part of the province since the Qin Dynasty. The name Hubei means "north of the lake", referring to Hubei's position north of Lake Dongting.[1] The capital of Hubei is Wuhan.

Hubei borders 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 in Yichang, in western Hubei.

A popular unofficial name for Hubei is Chu (Chinese: pinyin: Chǔ), after the powerful state of Chu that existed here during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty.



By the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 476 BC), Hubei was home to 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 culturally unique, 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.

Detail of an embroidered silk gauze ritual garment from a 4th century BC, Zhou era tomb at Mashan, Hubei province, China.

During the Warring States Period (475 BC - 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 China. Qin was succeeded by the Han Dynasty in 206 BC, which established the province (zhou) of Jingzhou in what is now Hubei and Hunan. Near 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 northern China at the beginning of the 4th century began nearly three centuries of the division of China into a nomad-ruled (but increasingly Sinicized) north and a Han Chinese-ruled south. Hubei, which is in southern China, remained under southern rule for this entire period, until the reunification 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 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.

A family's ancestral hall, Yangxin County

The Song Dynasty reunified China in 982 and placed most of Hubei into Jinghubei Circuit, a longer version of Hubei's current name. Mongols conquered China fully in 1279, and under their rule the province of Huguang was established, covering Hubei, Hunan, and parts of Guangdong and Guangxi. During the Mongol rule, in 1334, Hubei was devastated by the world's first recorded outbreak of the Black Death, which spread during the following three centuries to decimate populations throughout Eurasia. (Citation needed, as most authorities say Central Asia, some say India, and at least one says Africa).

The Ming Dynasty drove out the Mongols in 1368, and 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 several times ravaged by the rebel armies of Zhang Xianzhong and Li Zicheng. The Manchu Qing Dynasty which had conquered China in 1644, soon split Huguang into the modern provinces of Hubei and Hunan in 1664. The Qing Dynasty continued to maintain a viceroy of Huguang, however; one of the most famous was Zhang Zhidong, whose modernizing reforms made Hubei (especially Wuhan) into a prosperous center of commerce and industry. The Huangshi/Daye area, south-east of Wuhan, became an important center of mining and metallurgy.

A monument with Mao's dedication to the people of Wuhan overcoming the Flood of 1954

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.

As the fears of a nuclear war increased during the time of Sino-Soviet border conflicts in the late 1969s, 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 near Yichang 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 Jianghan Plain takes up most of central and eastern Hubei, while the west and the peripheries are more mountainous, with ranges such as the Wudang Mountains, the Jingshan Mountains, the Daba Mountains, and the Wushan Mountains (in rough north-to-south order). The Dabie Mountains lie to the northeast of the Janghan Plain, on the border with Henan and Anhui; 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 and in the forestry area of Shennongjia; it has an altitude of 3105 m.

The two major river of Hubei are the Yangtze and its left tributary Hanshui; they give their name to the Jianghan Plain. The Yangtze River enters Hubei from the west via the Three Gorges; the eastern half of the Three Gorges (Xiling Gorge and part of Wu Gorge) lies in western Hubei, while the western half is in neighbouring Chongqing. The Hanshui enters the province from the northwest. After crossing most of the province, the two great rivers meet at Wuhan, the provincial capital.

Boats on the Yangtze River, upstream from the Three Gorges

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 Qingjiang, a major waterway of southwestern Hubei; the Huangbo near Yichang; and the Fushui 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 Lake Liangzi and Lake Honghu. The numerous hydro dams created a number of large reservoirs, the largest of which is the Danjiangkou Reservoir on the Hanshui, on the border between Hubei and Henan.

Hubei has a subtropical climate with distinct seasons. Hubei has average temperatures of 1 - 6 °C in winter and of 24 - 30 °C in summer; punishing temperatures of 40 °C or above are famously 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; Shiyan, the center of automotive industry and the gateway to Wudangshan; Yichang, the main base for the gigantic hydroelectric projects of southwestern Hubei; and Shashi.

Administrative divisions

Hubei is divided into thirteen prefecture-level divisions (of which there are twelve prefecture-level cities and one autonomous prefecture), as well as three directly administered county-level cities and one directly administered county-level forestry area.

Map # Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Administrative Seat Type
Hubei prfc map.png
1 Wuhan 武汉市 Wǔhàn Shì Jiang'an District Prefecture-level city
2 Ezhou 鄂州市 Èzhōu Shì Echeng District Prefecture-level city
3 Huanggang 黄冈市 Huánggāng Shì Huangzhou District Prefecture-level city
4 Huangshi 黄石市 Huángshí Shì Huangshigang District Prefecture-level city
5 Jingmen 荆门市 Jīngmén Shì Dongbao District Prefecture-level city
6 Jingzhou 荆州市 Jīngzhōu Shì Shashi District Prefecture-level city
7 Shiyan 十堰市 Shíyàn Shì Zhangwan District Prefecture-level city
8 Suizhou 随州市 Suízhōu Shì Zengdu District Prefecture-level city
9 Xiangfan 襄樊市 Xiāngfán Shì Xiangcheng District Prefecture-level city
10 Xianning 咸宁市 Xiánníng Shì Xian'an District Prefecture-level city
11 Xiaogan 孝感市 Xiàogǎn Shì Xiaonan District Prefecture-level city
12 Yichang 宜昌市 Yíchāng Shì Xiling District Prefecture-level city
13 Enshi (Tujia & Miao) 恩施土家族苗族自治州 Ēnshī Tǔjiāzú Miáozú Zìzhìzhōu Enshi City Autonomous prefecture
14 Tianmen 天门市 Tiānmén Shì Tianmen Sub-prefecture-level city
15 Qianjiang 潜江市 Qiánjiāng Shì Qianjiang Sub-prefecture-level city
16 Xiantao 仙桃市 Xiāntáo Shì Xiantao Sub-prefecture-level city
17 Shennongjia 神农架林区 Shénnóngjià Línqū Shennongjia Forestry district
Fishermen on the Fushui River, Yangxin County
Farmers ploughing a field in Xian'an District, Xianning

The thirteen prefecture-level divisions and four directly administered county-level divisions of Hubei are subdivided into 102 county-level divisions (38 districts, 24 county-level cities, 37 counties, two autonomous counties, one forestry area; the directly administered county-level divisions are included here). Those are in turn divided into 1234 township-level divisions (737 towns, 215 townships, nine ethnic townships, and 273 subdistricts).

See List of administrative divisions of Hubei for a complete list of county-level divisions.


Hubei Provincial offices of the Ministry of State Security and Ministry of Public Security

Secretaries of the CPC Hubei Committee:

  1. Li Xiannian (李先念): 1949-1954
  2. Wang Renzhong (王任重): 1954-1966
  3. Zhang Tixue (张体学): 1966-1967
  4. Zeng Siyu (曾思玉): 1970-1973
  5. Zhao Xinchu (赵辛初): 1973-1978
  6. Chen Pixian (陈丕显): 1978-1982
  7. Guan Guangfu (关广富): 1983-1994
  8. Jia Zhijie (贾志杰): 1994-2001
  9. Jiang Zhusheng (蒋祝平): 2001
  10. Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声): 2001-2007
  11. Luo Qingquan (罗清泉): 2007

Governors of Hubei:

  1. Li Xiannian (李先念): 1949-1954
  2. Liu Zihou (刘子厚): 1954-1956
  3. Zhang Tixue (张体学): 1956-1967
  4. Zeng Siyu (曾思玉): 1968-1973
  5. Zhao Xinchu (赵辛初): 1973-1978
  6. Chen Pixian (陈丕显): 1978-1980
  7. Han Ningfu (韩宁夫): 1980-1982
  8. Huang Zhizhen (黄知真): 1982-1986
  9. Guo Zhenqian (郭振乾): 1986-1990
  10. Guo Shuyan (郭树言): 1990-1993
  11. Jia Zhijie (贾志杰): 1993-1995
  12. Jia Zhuping (蒋祝平): 1995-2001
  13. Zhang Guoguang (张国光): 2001-2002
  14. Luo Qingquan (罗清泉): 2002-2007
  15. Li Hongzhong (李鸿忠): 2007-incumbent (acting)


Rice fields in Tongshan County

Hubei is often called the "Land of Fish and Rice" (鱼米之乡). Important agricultural products in Hubei include cotton, rice, wheat, and tea, while industries include automobiles, metallurgy, machinery, power generation, textiles, foodstuffs and high-tech commodities.

Mineral resources that can be found in Hubei in significant quantities include borax, hongshiite, wollastonite, garnet, marlstone, iron, phosphorus, copper, gypsum, rutile, rock salt, gold amalgam, manganese and vanadium. The province's recoverable reserves of coal stand at 548 million tons, which is modest compared to other Chinese provinces. Hubei is also well known for its mines of fine turquoise and green faustite.

A quarry in Yiling District west of Yichang. Rocks are lined up on the roadside to attract customers

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, Danjiangkou, Geheyan, Hanjiang, Duhe, Huanglongtan, Bailianhe, Lushui and Fushui.

Hubei's economy ranks 10th in the country and its nominal GDP for 2008 was 1.13 trillion yuan (163 billion USD) and a per capita of 19,884 RMB (2,863 USD).


Economic and Technological Development Zones

  • Wuhan East Lake New & Hi-Tech Park
  • Wuhan Economic & Technological Development Zone
  • Wuhan Export Processing Area
  • Xiangfan New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone


Han Chinese form the dominant ethnic group in Hubei. A considerable Miao and Tujia population live in the southwestern part of the province, especially in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture.

On October 18th, 2009, Chinese officials began to relocate 330,000 residents from the Hubei and Henan provinces that will be effected by the Danjiangkou Reservoir on the Han river. The reservoir is part of the larger South-North Water Transfer Project.[2]


Hubei Museum of Art

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 fish, a freshwater bream that is commonly steamed.

Types of traditional Chinese opera popular in Hubei include Hanju and Chuju.

The Shennongjia 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 Birds" 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." (天上九头鸟,地上湖北佬)

Wuhan is one of the major culture centers in China.


The premier Wuhan University (founded in 1893) and many other institutions in Wuhan makes it a hub of higher education and research in China.


Huazhong University of Science and Technology


Boats on the Yangtze River in Wuhan

Hubei plays an important role in China's transportation industry. Situated on the Yangtze and Hanshui Rivers, which are important waterways, Hubei also enjoys the convenience of railways linking Beijing to Guangzhou, Beijing to Kowloon, Shanghai to Wuhan, Wuhan to Chengdu, and Zhicheng to Liuzhou, and of the airports in Wuhan, Yichang, Sanxia, Xiangfan and Shashi. National and provincial highways also contribute to Hubei's economic development.


Hubei is home to the ancient state of Chu, a local state during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty that developed its own unique culture. Chu culture mixed with other influences, ancient and modern, endows Hubei richly with tourist resources. Famous attractions include:

In 1994, the ancient building complex of the Wudang Mountains was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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 (国家矿山公园) in Huangshi.[3]

Numerous tourist boats (as well as regular passenger boats) travel up the Yangtze from Yichang through the Three Gorges area and into the neighboring Chongqing municipality.

The mountains of western Hubei, in particular in Shennongjia District, offer a welcome respite from Wuhan's and Yichang's summer heat. The tourist facilities in that area concentrate around Muyu in the southern part of Shennongjia, the gateway to Shennongjia National Nature Reserve (神农架国家自然保护区).


A university stadium in Wuhan

Professional sports teams in Hubei include:


In 2005, Hubei province signed a twinning agreement with Telemark county of Norway. A "Norway-Hubei Week" was held in 2007.[4]

See also


External links

Coordinates: 30°58′04″N 112°13′53″E / 30.96778°N 112.23139°E / 30.96778; 112.23139


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