Wuhan in central China has earned the distinction of being called Optics Valley, thanks to its flourishing optoelectronic industry. Besides its signature industry, Wuhan has other key industries including steel, automobiles, chemicals, textiles and medicines.
It is a city of comprehensive development. A research and education base, Wuhan has the largest number of colleges and universities in China after Beijing. The annual number of postgraduates and graduates the city produces is among the highest in the world, contributing to the national talent pool.
Transportation is another advantage. Located along the Yangtze River, the city thrives on strong water transportation. Historically, besides the ancient Silk Road and Tea Horse Road, another major route for trade and exchanges between China and foreign countries, called the Tea Road, started from Hankou Port in Wuhan, giving the city the reputation of being an Oriental tea port.
Today, although Wuhan no longer serves as a tea port, its water transport is still busy. In addition, the China-Europe Railway Express, a precious fruit of the Belt and Road Initiative, makes this city an important link in the cargo rail network that connects China with Europe through Central Asia.
One of the first batch of cities along the Yangtze to open up to the outside world, Wuhan is also a key destination for foreign investment in central China. Currently, nearly 100 of the world's top 500 companies operate from Wuhan, including Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev and U.S. Verizon Communications, which have their China headquarters in Wuhan. The city also gets a huge volume of investment from France, accounting for one third of all French investment in China.
In 2016, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China issued a development plan for the Yangtze River Economic Belt, a flourishing economic region comprising nine provinces and Shanghai and Chongqing municipalities and generating more than 40 percent of China's national GDP. Wuhan, part of the belt, is being developed as a core city, supporting national economic development, scientific innovation, trade and logistics, and international exchanges.
From a historical city, it is on its way to becoming an innovative metropolis with impressive progress in 5G, the Internet and the Internet of Things. All this, coupled with efforts to protect the environment and the ecosystem, as evidenced by the transformation of the once heavily polluted East Lake into a tourist paradise, exemplifies China's vision for high-quality development.