|Administration Type||Prefecture-level city|
|City Seat|| Chong'an District|
- Urban center
- Urban center
- Per Capita
¥385.8 billion (2007)
|CPC Committee Secretary||Yang Weize (杨卫泽)|
|Mayor||Mao Xiaoping (毛小平)|
|Postal Code|| 214000|
|License Plate Prefix||苏B|
Wuxi itself is on an alluvial plain of deep sedimentary deposits cut between limestone foothills, making it one of the sources for "scholar's rocks", the intricately weathered stones which were used as devices for contemplation.
Wuxi ranges from a very hot summer to a chilly winter, having an average annual temperature of 18 °C, though it seldom sees snow. Because of its proximity to the East China Sea, it has a monsoon season and receives 100 cm of rain annually.
Wuxi was founded 3,000 years ago by two fugitive princes, Taibo and Zhongyong, of Zhou from northern China, who intended to give their brother "Jili" the throne. The two princes settled down in "meili", which is believed to be today's Meicun of Wuxi (albeit some historic records lead to somewhere in today's Suzhou). They helped developing local agriculture and waterways and soon this area flourished. After the death of Taibo, because Taibo has no son, the emperor of Zhou named a descendant of his family king of kingdom "Wu". The king called his kingdom itself "Gowu". Taibo's shrine was set up in today's Meicun and the original wood structure was destroyed during the wars over the history. It has been renovated several times and today's architecture is mostly from Qing dynasty. A stone carved with Confucius' comment can still be seen in today's Taibo Shine.
Wu became one of the strongest kingdoms during the spring and autumn period. Sunzi (Suntzu), who wrote the famous "the Art of War" came to Wu and helped the king in military. Wu was considered one of the five strongest kingdoms during Spring and Autumn Period (春秋五霸). Some of Sunzi's descendants are still living in Sunxiang in Wuxi near the Plum Garden. However, Wu was defeated by Yue (today's Zhejiang and Fujian) later on, which was also defeated by Chu later and Wu became part of Chu during the Warring States Period.
The culture and economy center of "Wu" area shifted to Suzhou after Yinzheng, the first emperor united China and Wuxi belongs to Suzhou back then. During the Han dynasty, Wuxi was set up as a county by the emperor Wudi. Historic records showed that Tin was discovered during the early ages of Han and conflicts arose in this area because of Tin. Soon it ran out of Tin and some people think this is the reason why it was called Wuxi (No tin), but some historians disagree with this opinion and think "Wu" is just the local dialect, which has rich auxiliary words with not much meaning just like Suzhou was called "Gusu" and Wu was called "Gowu" and the name was changed to Youxi (with Tin) during Wang Mang conflicts period just because Wang wanted to change to a different name.
Agriculture and silk industry flourished in Wuxi especially after the construction of the great canal. Although, Suzhou became a bigger center of Wu area, Wuxi is an important county of Wu.
Currently Wuxi is designated an investment grade city, and has two large industrial parks devoted to new industry. While current manufacturing centers on textiles, there is a project to move to electric motor manufacturing and MRP software development.
According to most recent figures (2002) from the local government, 24% of economic activity is textile trade, and another 25% is industrial based manufacturing, including motors, molds and casting, with another 8% being light industry.
The center of the city is filled with modern high rise buildings which may destroy the traditional atmosphere for one thousand years and the market is being redeveloped in a postmodern style.
Wuxi was originally a mining town, which, legend has it, exhausted its tin deposits, hence its name, which in Chinese literally means "tinless". Another opinion about the origin of the city's name is, because one old saying "Mining tin leads to war over China (because in bronze era all weapons need tin); Without tin (tinless) will lead to peace over China" ("有锡兵,天下争;无锡宁,天下清"), the word "tinless" became the name of the city. Whichever is correct, this city's old history is definitely related to the metal tin.
It subsequently became an arts and cultural center, with several famous Chinese authors claiming Wuxi as their home town. Among them, most recently, Qian Zhongshu, author of Fortress Besieged, a comedy of manners set in China in the 1930s.
One of the handicraft specialties of Wuxi is the production of Huishan clay figurines.
In modern times Wuxi has produced a number of cultural figures such as Hua Yanjun (1893-1950) also known as "Blind Abing" (瞎子阿炳), famous for his erhu and pipa music. Another famous musician is Liu Tianhua, who was the first to compile folk music using staff.
By rail, Wuxi is conveniently situated on the Nanjing-Shanghai Railway, linking it directly with the provincial capital of Nanjing (2 hour train-ride) and China's economic hub, Shanghai (1.5 hours train-ride) and the fifth biggest economic hub and top of china's tourist destinations, Suzhou. K-series trains all stop at Wuxi. Wuxi Airport, which opened in 2004, is situated 14 km from city centre, and has direct flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and other Chinese cities.
The wittiness of Wuxi natives is legendary. A popular joke is that "they can sell you meat that is really bones and they sell you dumplings that are just air inside", i.e. Wuxi pork ribs and Wuxi fried tofu dumplings, which are hollow. Some consider this trait untrustworthy.
Xi Shan, Huishan: Literally means "Mountain of Tin" and "Mountain of Kindheartedness". They are two small hills located at the western part of the city. The classic royal Ji-chang-yuan Gardens are located at the hill foot area as well as the very famous Tian-xia-di-er-quan Spring (lit. second best spring).NOTE: Please distinguish that Xi Shan is also a name for a more attractive tourist spot located in Suzhou. Because "Xi" has two meanings: one is "west", the other is the name for a metal material tin.
The Grand Canal: It passes the city. There are two canals: one is the old canal that has been there ever since it was excavated, the other is the new canal created after 1949.
Wuxi is famous for the many private gardens or parks built by learned scholars and rich people in the past. Among them, Li Yuan, Mei Yuan are good examples that have been well preserved. Xihui Gongyuan (Xihui Park), located at the foot of Xi Shan also houses historical relics, notably Jichang Garden.
Wuxi Professional College of Science and Technology