Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, People's Republic of China, and is the most populous city in Central China. It lies at the east of the Jianghan Plain, and the intersection of the middle reaches of the Yangtze and Han rivers. Arising out of the conglomeration of three cities, Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang, Wuhan is known as "the nine provinces' leading thoroughfare"; it is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and expressways passing through the city. Because of its key role in domestic transportation, Wuhan was sometimes referred to as the "Chicago of China.” It is recognized as the political, economic, financial, cultural, educational and transportation center of central China.
Wuhan is one of the three scientific and educational centers of China, along with Beijing and Shanghai. The city of Wuhan has 82 higher educational institutions, among them 7 are national universities. Wuhan ranks 3rd in China in scientific and educational strength: it contains three national development zones and four scientific and technologic development parks, as well as numerous enterprise incubators, over 350 research institutes, 1470 hi-tech enterprises, and over 400,000 experts and technicians.
Wuhan is one of the birthplaces of the brilliant ancient Chu Culture in China. Han opera, which is the local opera of Wuhan area, was one of China's oldest and most popular operas. During the late Qing dynasty, Han opera, blended with Hui opera, gave birth to Peking opera, the most popular opera in modern China. Therefore Han opera is called "mother of Peking opera" in China.