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Wuhan is a major industrial city in central China and the capital of Hubei province, with a population of 9.1 millions. Lying at the confluence of the Yangtse (Changjiang) and Han rivers, is is a triple city, comprising the formerly discrete cities of Hankou (Wade-Gile: Hankow), Hanyang and Wuchang.


Urban development began during the Han dynasty (roughly contemporary with the Roman Empire), and Hanyang and Wuchang were walled c. 206-223 AD. During the Taiping Rebellion fighting between Taiping and Imperial forces ebbed and flowed several times across the Wuhan region. The triple city achieved further strategic significance when the Belgian-financed Beihan (Beijing-Hankou) railway was opened as part of a trunk line linking Beijing to Guangzhou (Canton). In 1927 BNationalist ({Kuomintang) forces occupied Wuhan in the course of the Northern Expedition of 1926-28. Nationalist crowds thereupon overwhelmed barricades erected by Western forces and occupied the former foreign cioncessions in Hankou (and also at Jiujiang, downriver of Wuhan). This was the first occasion on which settlements had been recovered, and the fait accompli was later accepted by the powers. In the late summer and autumn of 1927 Wuhan was the centre of a short-lived Left-Kuomintang govenment headed by Wang Jingwei and Song Qingling (Madame Sun Yat-sen) following Chiang Kai-shek's {{Shanghia Coup]]in which he had turned on and massacred his erstwhile Communist allies. Wuhan briefly served as temporary capital of the Republic of China following the Japanese invasion in 1937 and occupation of Nanjing. Wuhan was in turn occupied by Japan and the Chinese capital removed further inland, to Chongqing (Chungking). In 1957 a 1.6 km long road and rail bridge was opened across the Yangtse at Wuhan. A second bridge was opened in 1995 and a third in 2000.

The modern economy of Wuhan was based on iron and steel production

Wuhan has numerous twin cities, including manchester and Pittsburgh