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Archdiocese of Hankow/Hankou (Wuhan)

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Archdiocese of Hankow/Hankou (Wuhan)
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Hankow has a land area of approximately 8,494 sq. kilometres. The diocesan territory covers Wuhan city, the capital of Hubei Province in central China. The city's administrative area comprises of 13 districts.


As the most populous city in central China, Wuhan has a population of more than 11 million according to the 2018 census.


Mandarin Chinese and Wuhan dialect are in use in the diocesan territory.


Wuhan diocese, formerly known as Hankou archdiocese, was erected first as the Apostolic Vicariate of Eastern Hupeh (Hubei) in 1870 and was later renamed to Hankou in 1923. Its boundaries shrunk after losing territories to newly-erected apostolic vicariates in the province, over the years. In 1946, it was elevated to an archdiocese when the Chinese Church hierarchy was established.

In 1958, the first-ever illicit episcopal ordinations (without papal approval) in the history of the Chinese Church took place at St. Joseph's Cathedral of Hankou. Father Bernardine Dong Guangqing and Father Yuan Wenhua were ordained as the first two "self-elected and self-ordained" bishops of Hankou and the neighboring Wuchang diocese. The Vatican denounced such illegal acts, but decades later it gave recognition to Bishop Dong in 1984. Bishop Yuan died in the year 1973, during the Cultural Revolution.

In 2000, the government-sanctioned "open" Church authority merged Hankou, Hanyang, and Wuchang dioceses into Wuhan.


The city is the most important transportation hub in the central region that connects the east with the west, channels the north to the south, and links rivers with the sea by way its developed transportation network. One of the most important inland river harbours in Chinese history also belongs to Wuhan. When Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge was built in 1957, the city was made the transportation hub of central China. Today, China's north-south and east-west traffic arteries (such as 4 trunk railway lines and 6 national expressways) meet in Wuhan. Furthermore, downtown Wuhan is about 30 kilometres from the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport.


Wuhan has a humid subtropical climate with humid summers and abundant rainfall. It has mild spring and autumn seasons, with cool winters and occasional snow. Dew points often reach up to 26 degrees Celsius or more during the summers, which are oppressively humid. Wuhan, Nanjing, and Chongqing are known collectively, as the Three Furnaces of China, due to its hot summer weather. The annual average rainfall is recorded at 1269 mm, from June to August, while the annual average temperature is recorded between 15.8-17.5 degrees Celsius. The annual sunlight duration ranges between 1810 to 2100 hours, whereas the annual frost-free period lasts from 211-272 days. Wuhan has extreme temperatures ranging from -18.1 - 42.0 degrees Celsius.


Wuhan is the largest economy in Hubei Province. In 2010, the GDP of Wuhan was RMB 551.58 billion with an increase of 14.7 percent. Value-added output from primary industry hit RMB 17 billion in 2010, rising 4.5 percent from a year ago. Secondary industry and tertiary industry generated value-added output of RMB 253.28 billion and RMB 281.29 billion, up 17.8 percent and 12.5 percent compared with the previous year, respectively. Primary industry, secondary industry and tertiary industry comprised 3.1 percent, 45.9 percent and 51 percent of the city's GDP, respectively.

Wuhan had 10 pillar industries: auto and auto parts, equipment manufacturing, electronics, iron and steel, cigarette and food processing, energy, petrochemicals, home appliances, construction materials and biopharmaceuticals. The combined industrial output of these pillar industries reached RMB 627.1 billion, accounting for 97.6 percent of the city's total.


Wuhan is one of the 15 sub-provincial cities in China. The Yangtze River and Han River divide Wuhan into three districts; Wuchang, Hankou and Hanyang, which are commonly known as the "Three Towns of Wuhan." Traditionally, Wuchang has served as its educational center, Hankou, as its commercial region, and Hanyang, as its industrial area.


Wuhan is the scientific and educational center of central China, with 52 higher educational institutions such as Wuhan University and Huazhong University of Science and Technology.


Wuhan's history dates back to 3500 years. It was formerly named Panlong Town. Panlong Town is the oldest city ever discovered in the Yangtze River Basin. Due to its well-developed transport network and abundant local products, this area has always been a crucial military stronghold. In recent times, it has also transformed into a political and commercial center.

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