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THE RISE OF A GREAT CITY



The Jianghan customs clock tower, like that of the shanghai customs house. Echoes the melodies of Westminster abbey every day, reminding us of the many vicissitudes, she has witnessed over the years. Impressive as it may be the magnificent toll of the bell, cannot be heard in every corner of Grand Wuhan. The city of Wuhan consists of three towns which are divided by two rivers. It spread out across an area of 8,494 kilometers, confirming Sun Yat-sen’s prophecy concerning its development in his book The International Development of China, where it is written “We must adopt for its development a scale as large as that of New York or London”.
 
Of course, its large size alone is not what makes this city great. Fresh water, a resource globally considered to be exceptionally valuable now, in the 21st century, makes up 25% of the city. Wuhan boasts a number of stunning mountains and grand water sources of her 166 lakes. The east-lake is recognized as the largest urban lake in Asia. Daniel Klemms, a world famous racer from Luxemburg, once told local reporters excitedly, that the road running along the East Lake was “the most beautiful track” he had ever run. Wuhan, with a population of over ten million, is located in Central China at the heart of China, like the Tianyuan point on a Weiqi board, this city’s geopolitical significance makes it an important point, one definitely capable of changing the game and affecting the big picture.
 
Wuhan has long been a city dedicated to innovation and new ideas. 500 years ago, the divergence of the Han River gave birth to Hankou. Over the course of 350 years, Hankou has developed into China’s largest inland port for foreign trade. It could be said, that the docks and ships scattered about are the genes that make up the DNA of Wuhan. 100 years ago, the Viceroy of Hubei and Hunan Provinces Zhang Zhidong who is recognized for making Wuhan a cradle for modern Chinese industrialization, built from Hankou the Beijing-Hankou Railway, which linked China’s south and north, making Wuhan known as the “the thoroughfare to 9 provinces.” Zhang Zhidong also established Hanyang Arsena however, as an important official in late Qing Dynasty. Zhang Zhidong might never imagine those “Made in Hanyang” rifles, became weapons to topple the Qing Dynasty and bring its 300-year reign to an end. The first shot of the 1911 Revolution, set off a movement that removed the shadow of the dynasty era. The light of the new democratic republic was first seen in the town of Wuchang.

In 1927, a young man wrote “Blurred in the thick haze of the misty rain, the tortoise and snake hold the great river firm”, to express his concern for Wuhan. When he returned in 1956, he wrote a more cheerful line “A bridge will span the river from north to south, turning a deep chasm into a thoroughfare”. That man, Mao Zedong who had a unique love for Wuhan, used the verses of his poetry to make the tremendous changes that had taken place here.
 
During the more than 30 years following China’s reform and opening up, the speed at which this city changed dramatically increased. Now, dozens of bridges of various shapes stretch across the Yangtze River and Han River.The newly constructed Metro system will be expanded to many lines, which will make up a vast underground transportation network. The old saying “No matter how fast or how long he walks, there is no way for a man to leave Hankou in one day’s time” will cease to be a part of our lives.
 
Here, old sayings are steadily being replaced with new terms and titles, like “Automobile Capital of China”. Major automobile brands like Peugeot Citroen, Nissan, Honda, GM have gathered here regardless of their engines, all cars will soon run at Chinese speeds.
 
Optics Valley of China, located here in Wuhan represents the highest level of optoelectronics research and production in China. It ranks first globally for the scale of its optical fiber and cable production operations. The relationship between optics Valley and Silicon Valley, as well as the relationship between Wuhan and Chicago, are part of the large “Twin Valleys, Twin Cities Cooperation Plan”. Additionally the national strategy of constructing the Yangtze River Economic Belt, is pushing Wuhan on China’s Grand Chessboard for new development of global impact.

National strategy examines and identifies advantages of talents. Wuhan has more institutes of higher education and students than any other city in the world. With approximately 80 universities and 1.3 million students, there is truth to the statement “Only Hubei’s got talent”.

Wuhan, the right place, the right time, and the right people. As the Tianyuan Point, Wuhan is activating the growth of everything around it like yeast. Its high-speed rail network allows it to move people and goods across 1,000 kilometers, in any direction, in about 4 hours, this city’s reach extend to over 1 billion people and 90% of China’s overall GDP, making its possibilities and potential limitless. It’s no wonder that the famous American magazine “Foreign Policy”, had Wuhan ranked 11th on par with Tokyo and Los Angeles which were ranked 10th and 12th respectively, on a list of  “Most Dynamic Cities of 2025”.

The expression “Different Everyday” most adequately describes this city, as well as its spirit and energy. Although things are different every day, the Wuhan people remains calm and collected in the face of constant changes. The people are warm and nice, straight forward and open-minded, faithful and diligent, tenacious and persistent. The kind and friendly nature of the people of Wuhan, is one of the few things that remained unchanged. This aspect of the local people is demonstrated in the classic legends about Yu the Great, Yu Boya, and Mulan. Nowadays, new legends are emerging. The Yangtze River Disaster rescue Volunteer Team, who ask for nothing in return as they put their lives in danger, hold their banner high amid the wind and waves as role model of our time. “Faithful Brother” Mr. Sun Donglin, made sure that the workers employed by his brother, who died in a car accident, were paid the wages they deserved. His story confirms what ancient historian Sima Qian believed that people in this area value their commitments and keep their promises.

Li Na, a world famous tennis player honored her promise to national flag by winning at the French Open, when she shouts on the court, her strong sound echoes Wuhan City Spirit: To be pioneering, To be outstanding.

Wuhan is at the heart of the “Rise of Central China Strategy”. Its GDP exceeds 1 trillion Yuan now, turning it into the leading city for the rise of central China. This city which has a history of 3,500 years is sure to take off and amaze the world. The recording of an ancient Guqin song from Wuhan “Flowing Water” which indicates the Chinese view of friendship, is traveling with the U.S. No.1 Explorer spacecraft. It speaks to friends at home and abroad and maybe even those in outer space.

Wuhan, Different Every Day!





Resource: The text is from the Wuhan CIty Promotional Film "The Rise of a Great City" of Sep. 2014. http://www.wh.gov.cn/whszfwz/zjwh/201503/t20150312_25607.html
 

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