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( ; Postal map spelling: Hupeh) is a central province of the People's Republic of Chinamarker. 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 Dongtingmarker. The capital of Hubei is Wuhanmarker.

Hubei borders Henanmarker to the north, Anhuimarker to the east, Jiangximarker to the southeast, Hunanmarker to the south, Chongqingmarker to the west, and Shaanximarker to the northwest. The high-profile Three Gorges Dammarker is located in Yichangmarker, in western Hubei.

A popular unofficial name for Hubei is Chu ( ), 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 Rivermarker, with power extending northwards into the North China Plain.

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 Shaanximarker 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 Basinmarker, 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 Hunanmarker. 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 Cliffsmarker, 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 Basinmarker), 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.

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, Hunanmarker, and parts of Guangdongmarker 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 Dynastymarker 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. The Manchu Qing Dynastymarker which had conquered China in 1644 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 Wuhanmarker) into a prosperous center of commerce and industry. The Huangshimarker/Daye area, south-east of Wuhan, became an important center of mining and metallurgy.

In 1911 the Wuchang Uprising took place in modern-day Wuhanmarker, overthrowing the Qing Dynastymarker and establishing the Republic of Chinamarker. 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 Nanjingmarker. During World War II the eastern parts of Hubei were conquered and occupied by Japanmarker 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 Xianningmarker prefecture of Hubei was chosen as the site of Project 131marker, 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 Dammarker on the Yangtze Rivermarker near Yichangmarker started in 1970 and completed in 1988; the construction of the Three Gorges Dammarker, 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 Mountainsmarker, the Jingshan Mountains, the Daba Mountains, and the Wushan Mountains (in rough north-to-south order). The Dabie Mountainsmarker lie to the northeast, on the border with Henanmarker and Anhuimarker; the Tongbai Mountains lie to the north on the border with Henanmarker; to the southeast the Mufu Mountains form the border with Jiangximarker. The eastern half of the Three Gorgesmarker (Xiling Gorge and part of Wu Gorge) lies in western Hubei; the other half is in neighbouring Chongqingmarker. 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.

Boats on the Yangtze River, upstream from the Three Gorges
The Yangtze Rivermarker enters Hubei from the west via the Three Gorgesmarker; the Hanshuimarker and Shen Nong Stream enter from the north. Shen Nong Stream is a tributary of the Yangtze River which has also been degraded by the Three Gorges Dam project. The Yangtze and Hanshui rivers meet at Wuhan, the provincial capital. Thousands of lakes dot the landscape, giving Hubei the name of: "Province of Lakes"; the largest of these lakes are Lake Liangzi and Lake Honghumarker. The Danjiangkou Reservoir lies on the border between Hubei and Henanmarker.

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 Wuhanmarker, the provincial capital.

Important cities are Wuhanmarker, Jingmenmarker, Shiyan 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 Type
1 Wuhanmarker 武汉市 Wǔhàn Shì Prefecture-level city
2 Ezhoumarker 鄂州市 Èzhōu Shì Prefecture-level city
3 Huanggangmarker 黄冈市 Huánggāng Shì Prefecture-level city
4 Huangshimarker 黄石市 Huángshí Shì Prefecture-level city
5 Jingmenmarker 荆门市 Jīngmén Shì Prefecture-level city
6 Jingzhoumarker 荆州市 Jīngzhōu Shì Prefecture-level city
7 Shiyan 十堰市 Suízhōu Shì Prefecture-level city
8 Suizhou 随州市 Suízhōu Shì Prefecture-level city
9 Xiangfanmarker 襄樊市 Xiāngfán Shì Prefecture-level city
10 Xianningmarker 咸宁市 Xiánníng Shì Prefecture-level city
11 Xiaoganmarker 孝感市 Xiàogǎn Shì Prefecture-level city
12 Yichangmarker 宜昌市 Yíchāng Shì Prefecture-level city
13 Enshi marker 恩施土家族苗族自治州 Ēnshī Tǔjiāzú Miáozú Zìzhìzhōu Autonomous prefecture

The three directly administered county-level cities are more accurately described as sub-prefecture-level cities:

The county-level forestry area:

The thirteen prefecture-level divisions and four directly administered county-level divisions of Hubei are subdivided into 102 county-level divisions (38 district, 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 town, 215 township, 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)


Hubei is often called the "Land of Fish and Rice" ( ). 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.

Once completed, the Three Gorges Dammarker in western Hubei will provide plentiful hydroelectricity, with an estimated annual power production of 84,700 Gwh. Existing hydroelectric stations include Gezhouba, Danjiangkoumarker, 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

  • Wuhanmarker East Lake New & Hi-Tech Park
  • Wuhanmarker Economic & Technological Development Zone
  • Wuhanmarker Export Processing Area
  • Xiangfanmarker 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 Prefecturemarker.

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


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 wise Hubei people." (天上九头鸟,地上湖北佬)

Wuhanmarker is one of the major culture centers in China.


The premier Wuhan Universitymarker (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


Hubei plays an important role in China's transportation industry. Situated on the Yangtzemarker and Hanshuimarker Rivers, which are important waterways, Hubei also enjoys the convenience of railways linking Beijing to Guangzhoumarker, Beijing to Kowloonmarker, Shanghai to Wuhan, Wuhan to Chengdumarker, and Zhicheng to Liuzhoumarker, 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 UNESCOmarker 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 131marker site (a Cultural-Revolution-era underground military command center) in Xianningmarker, and the National Mining Park (国家矿山公园) in Huangshimarker.

Numerous tourist boats (as well as regular passenger boats) travel up the Yangtze from Yichangmarker through the Three Gorgesmarker area and into the neighboring Chongqingmarker 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 Muyumarker 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 Telemarkmarker county of Norway. A "Norway-Hubei Week" was held in 2007.

See also


External links

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