Archdiocese of Hankow
Archdiocese of Hankow

In a land area of approximately 8,494 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers Wuhan city, capital of Hubei province in central China. The city's administrative area comprises of 13 districts.


Wuhan is the most populous city in central China. It has a population of 9,785,392 people according to the 2010 census, with about 6,177,000 residents in its urban area.


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


Wuhan diocese was formerly called Hankou archdiocese. It was firstly erected as Apostolic Vicariate of Eastern Hupeh (Hubei) in 1870 and renamed to Hankou in 1923. Its boundaries became smaller and smaller 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 history of the Church in China took place at St. Joseph's Cathedral of Hankou. Fathers Bernardine Dong Guangqing and Yuan Wenhua were ordained the first two "self-elected and self-ordained" bishops of Hankou and the neighboring Wuchang diocese. The Vatican denounced such illegal act, but decades later it gave recognition to Bishop Dong in 1984. Bishop Yuan died in 1973 during the Cultural Revolution.

In 2000, the government-sanctioned "open" Church authority merged Hankou, Hanyang and Wuchang dioceses into one and renamed Wuhan, in accordance with the name of the city.


Wuhan is the most important transportation hub in the central region, which connects the east with the west, channels the north to the south, and links rivers with the sea through its developed transportation network. It is also one of the most important inland river harbors in Chinese history. When Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge was built in 1957, Wuhan also became 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 kilometers from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport.


Wuhan's climate is humid subtropical with abundant rainfall and four distinctive seasons. Wuhan is known for its oppressively humid summers, when dew points can often reach 26 degrees Celsius or more. Because of its hot summer weather, Wuhan is commonly known as one of the Three Furnaces of China, along with Nanjing and Chongqing. Spring and autumn are generally mild, while winter is cool with occasional snow. In recent thirty years, the average annual rainfall is 1269 mm, mainly from June to August; annual temperature is 15.8-17.5 degrees Celsius, annual frost free period lasts 211 to 272 days and annual sunlight duration is 1810 to 2100 hours. Extreme temperatures have ranged from ?18.1 degrees Celsius to 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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