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Rise of the Great City: Wuhan
Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, China, and is the national historical cultural city and the important industrial base, science and education base, and comprehensive transport hub in China. It lies in the eastern Jianghan Plain at the intersection of the middle reaches of the Yangtze and Han rivers. Holding sub-provincial status, Wuhan is recognized as the political, economic, financial, cultural, educational and transportation center of central China.
Arising out of the conglomeration of three cities, Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang, Wuhan is known as "Jiusheng Tongqu (the nine provinces' leading thoroughfare)"; it is an important inland river port of middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River as well as a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and expressways passing through the city and connecting to major cities in Mainland China. Because of its key role in domestic transportation, Wuhan was sometimes referred to as the "Chicago of China" by foreign sources.
There are many rivers, lakes and ports in Wuhan. The whole water area covers 2217.6 square kilometers and is one quarter of the total Wuhan area. Therefore, Wuhan is commonly known as “River City”.By the end of 2015, Wuhan city covers 8594 square kilometers, consists of 13 municipal districts and 3 national development zone and has a resident population of 10,607,700 people and household registered population of 8,292,700 people. The urbanization rate is 79.3%, and the natural population growth rate is 7.04%.
Based on the preliminary calculation, Wuhan’s GDP was 1090.56 billion yuan, the total retail sales of consumer goods was 510.224 billion yuan and the total volume of foreign trade imports and exports was 28.072 billion dollars in the year of 2015.
In 2015, equivalent volume of passenger and freight transport was 384.248 billion ton-kilometers. The civil air route reached 322 lines including the newly opened 51 lines. The international route reached 37 lines including the newly opened 6 lines, and the domestic route reached 285 lines including the newly opened 45 lines. The civil air routes could reach 57 domestic cities and regions as well as 21 foreign countries and territories.
The Eastern Bridgehead: Yangluo
Yangluo Economic Development Zone lies in the east of Wuhan city within 20 kilometers from the urban center of Wuhan City and is one of the key provincial economic development zones. Yangluo is strategic waterway passage between Wuhan and the coast areas as well as the east water-entrance in Central China for developing communication and business. Yangluo is an integral part of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, it plays an important role in strategic position and undertake significant responsibility to lead and promote the ecomomic development of the northeast region of Wuhan.
Yangluo port is the core port of Wuhan New Port and the only natural deep-water harbor along from Yichang to Hukou in the area more than 2000 kilometres of middle and lower reaches of Yangze River. Yangluo port is known as the largest river port in China.
Currently, Yangluo has achived rail-water intermodal transport and opened international shipping routes to Korea, Japan, ASEAN (Thailand, Kampuchea, Vietnam, Laos) and Taiwan. The departure station of “Wuhan-Xinjiang-Europe” international railway freight line which is one of the important railway transits of Silk Road economic belt, brings the goods to the global regions with highly efficient and convenient transportation.
According to the overall consideration of provincial and municipal government, Wuhan is actively applying for National Yangtze River New District (Guanggu + Yangluo). In the near future, Yangluo will be an important window for Wuhan even Central China to develop external trade business and commercial activities, rapidly promote urbanization and integration between the port and city, further boost econmic cooperation between urban group in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and important international city, become the new economic growth pole of Wuhan and take the lead of the gateway for Central China opening to the markets overseas.