Infobox PRC province
ChineseName = 湖北省
Pinyin = Húběi Shěng
EnglishName = Hubei Province
Name = Hubei
Abbreviation = 鄂
AbbrevPinyin = È
ISOAbbrev = 42

MapSize = 275px
OriginOfName = 湖 hú - lake
北 běi - north
"north of Lake Dongting"
AdministrationType = Province
Capital = Wuhan
LargestCity = Wuhan
Secretary = Luo Qingquan
Governor = Li Hongzhong
Area_km2 = 185900
AreaRank = 14th
PopYear = 2004
Pop = 60,160,000
PopRank = 9th
PopDensity_km2 = 324
PopDensityRank = 12th
GDPYear = 2007
GDP = 915 billion
GDPRank = 12th
GDPperCapita = 14,733
GDPperCapitaRank = 17th
HDIYear = 2005
HDI = 0.755
HDIRank = 15th
HDICat = medium
Nationalities = Han - 95.6%
Tujia - 3.7%
Miao - 0.4%
Prefectures = 13
Counties = 102
Townships = 1235
Website =
(Simplified Chinese)

Audio|zh-Hubei.ogg|Hubei (zh-cpw |c=湖北 |p=Húběi |w=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 Dongting Lake. [zh [ Origin of the Names of China's Provinces] , People's Daily Online.] 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" (zh-cp |c=楚 |p=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.

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.

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. The Manchu Qing Dynasty 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 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.

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, 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 eastern half of the Three Gorges (Xiling Gorge and part of Wu Gorge) lies in western Hubei; the other half is in neighbouring Chongqing. 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 Yangtze River enters Hubei from the west via the Three Gorges; the Hanshui 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 Honghu. The Danjiangkou Reservoir lies 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.

Important cities are Wuhan, Jingmen, 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.

The sub-province-level city:
* Wuhan (zh-sp|s=武汉市|p=Wǔhàn Shì)

The prefecture-level cities:
* Ezhou ( _zh. 鄂州市 Èzhōu Shì)
* Huanggang ( _zh. 黄冈市 Huánggāng Shì)
* Huangshi ( _zh. 黄石市 Huángshí Shì)
* Jingmen ( _zh. 荆门市 Jīngmén Shì)
* Jingzhou ( _zh. 荆州市 Jīngzhōu Shì)
* Shiyan ( _zh. 十堰市 Shíyàn Shì)
* Suizhou ( _zh. 随州市 Suízhōu Shì)
* Xiangfan ( _zh. 襄樊市 Xiāngfán Shì)
* Xianning ( _zh. 咸宁市 Xiánníng Shì)
* Xiaogan ( _zh. 孝感市 Xiàogǎn Shì)
* Yichang ( _zh. 宜昌市 Yíchāng Shì)

The autonomous prefecture:
* Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture ( _zh. 恩施土家族苗族自治州 Ēnshī Tǔjiāzú Miáozú Zìzhìzhōu)

The three directly administered county-level cities are more accurately described as sub-prefecture-level cities:
* Tianmen ( _zh. 天门市 Tiānmén Shì)
* Qianjiang ( _zh. 潜江市 Qiánjiāng Shì)
* Xiantao ( _zh. 仙桃市 Xiāntáo Shì)

The county-level forestry area:
* Shennongjia ( _zh. 神农架林区 Shénnóngjià Línqū)

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.


Secretaries of the CPC Hubei Committee:
#Li Xiannian (李先念): 1949-1954
#Wang Renzhong (王任重): 1954-1966
#Zhang Tixue (张体学): 1966-1967
#Zeng Siyu (曾思玉): 1970-1973
#Zhao Xinchu (赵辛初): 1973-1978
#Chen Pixian (陈丕显): 1978-1982
#Guan Guangfu (关广富): 1983-1994
#Jia Zhijie (贾志杰): 1994-2001
#Jiang Zhusheng (蒋祝平): 2001
#Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声): 2001-2007
#Luo Qingquan (罗清泉): 2007

Governors of Hubei:
#Li Xiannian (李先念): 1949-1954
#Liu Zihou (刘子厚): 1954-1956
#Zhang Tixue (张体学): 1956-1967
#Zeng Siyu (曾思玉): 1968-1973
#Zhao Xinchu (赵辛初): 1973-1978
#Chen Pixian (陈丕显): 1978-1980
#Han Ningfu (韩宁夫): 1980-1982
#Huang Zhizhen (黄知真): 1982-1986
#Guo Zhenqian (郭振乾): 1986-1990
#Guo Shuyan (郭树言): 1990-1993
#Jia Zhijie (贾志杰): 1993-1995
#Jia Zhuping (蒋祝平): 1995-2001
#Zhang Guoguang (张国光): 2001-2002
#Luo Qingquan (罗清泉): 2002-2007
#Li Hongzhong (李鸿忠): 2007-incumbent (acting)


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

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 12th in the country and its nominal GDP for 2007 was 915 billion yuan (120 billion USD) and a per capita of 14,733 RMB (1,938 USD).


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.


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."

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
* Wuhan Technical University of Surveying & Mapping
* Central China Normal University
* Tongji Medical University
* Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electric Engineering
* Hubei University
* Wuhan Technical University of Survey & Mapping
* Zhongnan University of Finance and Economics
* Hubei College of Education
* Wuhan Institute of Medical Sciences
* Wuhan University
* China University of Geosciences
* University of Hydraulic Electric Engineering(yichang)
*Wuhan Institute of Chemical Technology
* Jingzhou Teacher's College


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:
*Jingzhou City
*Mount Jiugong
*Mount Wudang
*Three Gorges
*Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan
* The Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan, with extensive archeological and cultural exhibits and performance presentations of ancient music and dance.

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


Professional sports teams in Hubei include:
* Chinese Football Association Super League
** Wuhan Huanghelou


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

ee also

*1954 Yangtze River Floods


External links

* [ Hubei Government website]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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