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Yichang skyline 5.jpg
Yichang skyline
Location of Yichang-Hubei.gif
Location of Yichang City jurisdiction in Hubei
China Hubei location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of the city centre in Hubei
Coordinates: 30°41′31″N111°17′13″E / 30.692°N 111.287°E / 30.692; 111.287 Coordinates: 30°41′31″N111°17′13″E / 30.692°N 111.287°E / 30.692; 111.287
Country People's Republic of China
Province Hubei
Municipal seat Xiling District
  CPC Party Secretary Huang Chuping
  MayorMa Xuming
   Prefecture-level city 21,338 km2 (8,239 sq mi)
4,232.4 km2 (1,634.1 sq mi)
4,192 km2 (1,619 sq mi)
58 m (191 ft)
Highest elevation
2,427 m (7,963 ft)
Lowest elevation
35 m (115 ft)
 (2010) [2] [1]
   Prefecture-level city 4,059,686
  Density190/km2 (490/sq mi)
  Urban density330/km2 (860/sq mi)
  Metro density320/km2 (830/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+8 (China Standard)
Postal codes
Area code(s) 0717
ISO 3166 code CN-HB-05
Licence plate prefixes 鄂E
Website en.yichang.gov.cn
YiChang name.svg
"Yichang", as written in Chinese
Chinese 宜昌
Postal Ichang

Yichang (Chinese : 宜昌 ) is a prefecture-level city located in western Hubei province, China. It is the second largest city in the province after the capital, Wuhan. The Three Gorges Dam is located within its administrative area, in Yiling District. [3] As of the 2010 census, its population was 4,059,686 inhabitants whom 1,350,150 lived in the built-up (or metro) area made of Yiling, Xiling, Wujiagang and Dianjun urban districts as Xiaoting District is not urbanized yet.

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the ethnic Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

Prefecture-level city Peoples Republic of China prefecture-level subdivision

A prefectural-level municipality, prefectural-level city or prefectural city; formerly known as province-administrated city from 1949 to 1983, is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China (PRC), ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative structure. Administrative chiefs (mayors) of prefectural level cities generally have the same rank as a division chief of a national ministry. Since the 1980s, most former prefectures have been renamed into prefectural level cities.

Hubei Province

Hubei is a landlocked province in Central China. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Dongting Lake. The provincial capital is Wuhan, a major transportation thoroughfare and the political, cultural, and economic hub of Central China.



In ancient times Yichang was known as Yiling. Historical records indicate that in the year 278 BC, during the Warring States period, the Qin general Bai Qi set fire to Yiling. In 222 AD Yichang was also the site of the Battle of Yiling, during the Three Kingdoms Period.

Warring States period Era in ancient Chinese history

The Warring States period was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation. It followed the Spring and Autumn period and concluded with the Qin wars of conquest that saw the annexation of all other contender states, which ultimately led to the Qin state's victory in 221 BC as the first unified Chinese empire, known as the Qin dynasty.

Qin (state) Chinese feudal state

Qin was an ancient Chinese state during the Zhou dynasty. Traditionally dated to 897 B.C., it took its origin in a reconquest of western lands previously lost to the Rong; its position at the western edge of Chinese civilization permitted expansion and development that was unavailable to its rivals in the North China Plain. Following extensive "Legalist" reform in the 3rd century BC, Qin emerged as one of the dominant powers of the Seven Warring States and unified China in 221 BC under Qin Shi Huang. The empire it established was short-lived but greatly influential on later Chinese history.

Bai Qi Qin Dynasty general

Bai Qi, also known as Gongsun Qi (公孙起), was a military general of the Qin state in the Warring States period of China. Born in Mei, Bai Qi served as the commander of the Qin army for more than 30 years, being responsible for the deaths of over one million, earning him the nickname Ren Tu. According to the Shiji, he seized more than 73 cities from the other six hostile states, and to date no record has been found to show that he suffered a single defeat throughout his military career. He was named by Chinese historians as one of the four greatest generals of the Warring States period, along with Li Mu, Wang Jian, and Lian Po.

Under the Qing Guangxu Emperor, Yichang was opened to foreign commerce as a trading port after the Qing and Great Britain agreed to the Chefoo Convention, which was signed by Sir Thomas Wade and Li Hongzhang in Chefoo on 21 August 1876. The imperial government set up a navigation company there and began building facilities. Since 1949, more than 50 wharves (with a total combined length of over 15 kilometres (9.3 mi)) have been constructed at the port.

Guangxu Emperor Chinese emperor

The Guangxu Emperor, personal name Zaitian, was the 11th Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the ninth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. His reign lasted from 1875 to 1908, but in practice he ruled, without Empress Dowager Cixi's influence, only from 1889 to 1898. He initiated the Hundred Days' Reform, but was abruptly stopped when the empress dowager launched a coup in 1898, after which he was put under house arrest until his death. His regnal name, "Guangxu", means "glorious succession".

Treaty ports Ports in East Asia opened to trade with Western countries

Treaty ports were the port cities in China and Japan that were opened to foreign trade mainly by the so-called "unequal treaties" with the Western powers, as well as cities in Korea opened up in similar fashion by the Japanese Empire.

Great Britain island in the North Atlantic off the north-west coast of continental Europe

Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Yichang was a primary supply depot for the defending Chinese army. In October 1938, as the Japanese moved up the Yangtze River towards the strategic city of Chongqing, it became clear that Yichang needed to be evacuated. In 40 days, under the direction of businessman Lu Zuofu, more than 100,000 tons of equipment and 30,000 personnel were transported upstream by steamship or by porters pulling smaller vessels through the Three Gorges rapids to Chongqing. [4] [5]

Second Sino-Japanese War military conflict between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from 1937 to 1945

The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937, to September 2, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle. Some sources in the modern People's Republic of China date the beginning of the war to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. It is known as the War of Resistance in China.

In 1940, the Battle of Zaoyang-Yichang took place in the area.

Administrative divisions

Administratively, it is a prefecture-level city; its municipal government has jurisdiction over five counties, five urban districts, and three satellite county-level cities (Yidu, Dangyang, Zhijiang). [1] [6] [7]

Dangyang County-level city in Hubei, Peoples Republic of China

Dangyang is a city in western Hubei province, People's Republic of China, lying 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of the Gezhouba Dam on the Yangtze River. During the Western Han Dynasty. Emperor Jing of Han established an administration in Dangyang on an area of 2,000 square kilometres (770 sq mi). In 1988 the State Council of the People's Republic of China elevated this from a county to a county-level city, and is currently under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Yichang.

Zhijiang, Hubei County-level city in Hubei, Peoples Republic of China

Zhijiang is a county-level city of Yichang City, in the west of Hubei province, People's Republic of China. Until the 1990s Zhijiang was a county. It is located on the left (northern) shore of the Yangtze River, downstream from Yichang center city.

Administrative map

The prefecture-level city of Yichang has direct jurisdiction over 14 divisions: 5  districts ( ; ), 3  county-level cities ( 县级市 ; xiànjí shì), 3  counties ( ; xiàn), and 3  autonomous counties ( 自治县 ; zìzhì xiàn).:

Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Population
(2010 census) [8]
(/km²) [9]
Xiling District 西陵 Xīlíng Qū512,07468.147,515.03
Wujiagang District 伍家岗 Wǔjiāgǎng Qū214,19484.032549.02
Dianjun District 点军 Diǎnjūn Qū103,696533.23194.47
Xiaoting District 猇亭 Xiāotíng 61,230130.40469.55
Yiling District 夷陵 Yílíng Qū520,1863,416.57152.25
County-level cities
Yidu 宜都 Yídū Shì384,5981,354.83283.87
Dangyang 当阳 Dāngyáng Shì468,2932,148.82217.93
Zhijiang 枝江 Zhījiāng Shì644,8352,010.00321
Yuan'an County 远安 Yuǎn'ān Xiàn184,5321,741.06105.99
Xingshan County 兴山 Xīngshān Xiàn2,315.36480.2073.69
Zigui County 秭归 Zǐguī Xiàn 367,1072,273.80161.45
Autonomous counties
Changyang Tujia
Autonomous County
长阳 土家族 自治县 Chángyáng Tǔjiāzú
Wufeng Tujia
Autonomous County
五峰 土家族 自治县 Wǔfēng Tǔjiāzú
A sand table in Yichang Planning Exhibition Hall. Yi Chang Gui Hua Zhan Lan Guan Sha Pan .jpg
A sand table in Yichang Planning Exhibition Hall.


Like most prefecture-level cities, Yichang includes both an urban area (what's labeled on less detailed maps as "Yichang") and the surrounding country area. It covers 21,084 square kilometres (8,141 sq mi) in Western Hubei Province, on both sides of the Yangtze River. The Xiling Gorge (西陵峡), the easternmost of the Three Gorges on the Yangtze, is located within the prefecture-level city.

Within the prefecture-level city of Yichang, the Yangtze is joined by a number of tributaries, including the Qing River (right), Xiang Xi and Huangbo Rivers (left).

The central urban area of Yichang is split between several districts. On the right (northeastern) bank of the Yangtze are located Xiling District (where the city center is located), Yiling District (neighborhoods north of the center) and Wujiagang District (southern area). The city area on the opposite (southeastern) bank of the river is included into Dianjun District. All these districts, with the exception of the central Xiling, also include a fair amount of suburban/rural area outside of the city urban core.


Yichang has a four-season, monsoon-influenced, humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa), with cool, damp and generally overcast winters, and hot, humid summers. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 4.9 °C (40.8 °F) in January to 27.7 °C (81.9 °F) in July, while the annual mean is 16.85 °C (62.3 °F). Close to 70% of the annual precipitation of 1,140 mm (45 in) occurs from May to September. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 24% in January to 49% in August, the city receives 1,568 hours of bright sunshine annually, and summer is the sunniest season.


By Plane

Yichang Sanxia Airport is located in the Xiaoting District of Yichang City, 26 km (16 mi) away from the city center and 55 km (34 mi) from the Three Gorges Dam site. The airport is conveniently located, which borders Yihuang Highway in the north, Long River Golden Waterway in the south and Jiaozhi Railway in the east.

Roads and bridges

Yiling Bridge Yiling Yangtze River Bridge.jpg
Yiling Bridge

Several provincial highways connect Yichang center city with most counties.

Several bridges span the Yangtze River within the prefecture-level city of Yichang, including (upstream to downstream):

There are several ferry crossings as well.


The Three Gorges Dam is located near Sandouping and Maoping within Yichang prefecture-level city (some 40 km (25 mi) from Yichang central city) 3 gorges dam at night.JPG
The Three Gorges Dam is located near Sandouping and Maoping within Yichang prefecture-level city (some 40 km (25 mi) from Yichang central city)

Yichang is an important river port on the Yangtze river. Maoping Town (the county seat of Zigui County), has an active passenger wharf as well.

The Qing River in the southern part of the prefecture, with its cascade of dams, is an important waterway as well.


Yichang is served by several railway lines.

Yichang Railway Station, located in downtown Yichang, opened in 1971, was the city's first railway station. In 2012 it closed for a renovation project. [11]

The Yichang East Railway Station, opened in the late 2010 in the eastern suburbs of Yichang, is presently the city's main train station. It is the junction point of two segments of the Shanghai-Wuhan-Chengdu Passenger Dedicated Line, one of China's new east–west rail mainlines. To the east, the Hanyi Railway [12] (opened June 29, 2012) provides frequent service to Wuhan, with some trains continuing to Nanjing and Shanghai. To the west, the Yiwan Railway (Yichang-Wanzhou; opened December 2010) serves as the gateway to Hubei's southwestern panhandle (Enshi), with some service continuing to Chongqing and Chengdu.

The Jiaozuo–Liuzhou Railway, a north–south line, crosses the eastern part of the prefecture-level city. It crosses the Yangtze at Zhicheng in Yidu County-level City.


Huangling Temple, Sandouping Sandouping-Huangling-Miao-4893.jpg
Huangling Temple, Sandouping

Yichang has a population of 4,150,000 with urban population of 1,338,000. [13] Yichang prefecture-level city, is home to many members of the Tujia ethnic group, who mostly live in several counties in the south-west of the prefecture.

Yichang also formed the border between the cultures of Ba in the west (an ancient state in the eastern part of what is now Sichuan Province) and the Chu State in the east (an ancient state in what is now Hubei Province and northern Hunan Province).


Since 2002, Yichang City has been home of the China Three Gorges University (the result of the merger of the University of Hydraulic & Electric Engineering, Yichang and of Hubei Sanxia University), the largest comprehensive university in Hubei Province outside Wuhan, with over 20,400 full-time students.

There are 170 secondary schools in Yichang enrolling 150,700 students. 53,900 of the citizens in Yichang hold a secondary school degree. There are 282 elementary schools being located in Yichang enrolling 156,900. 27,600 of the citizens hold secondary school degrees. 383 kindergartens located in Yichang with 78,500 children.


Yichang has long been a major transit port and distribution center of goods, and serves as the economic hub of western Hubei province and an intermediary between the major cities of Chongqing and Wuhan. Its primary industries are shipping and shipbuilding, taking advantage of its location on the Yangtze River.

Yichang prefecture is the site of many major hydroelectricity projects. The best known of them are the two huge dams on the Yangtze River: the Gezhouba Dam (located just upstream of Yichang central city) and Three Gorges Dam, which is 40 kilometres (25 mi) upstream. The Geheyan Dam and Gaobazhou Dam on the Qing River are important as well. Besides those, a huge number of medium-sized and small power plants operate on smaller rivers and streams within the prefecture.

Yichang skyline Yichang skyline.jpg
Yichang skyline
Night view of Yichang Night view of Yichang.jpg
Night view of Yichang

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 宜昌市历史沿革 [Yichang City Historical Development] (in Chinese). XZQH. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2018. 1996年,宜昌市面积21338平方千米,{...}2010年第六次人口普查,宜昌市常住总人口4059686人,其中:西陵区512074人,伍家岗区214194人,点军区103696人,猇亭区61230人,夷陵区520186人,远安县184532人,兴山县170630人,秭归县367107人,长阳土家族自治县388228人,五峰土家族自治县188923人,宜都市384598人,当阳市468293人,枝江市495995人。
  2. http://www.citypopulation.de/php/china-hubei-admin.php
  3. Yichang Information
  4. 'Yichang Evacuation Monument'; http://easternjourney.com/2009/10/yichang-evacuation-monument/ retvd 12 7 17
  5. 抗战中的宜昌大撤退:保留中国抗战工业命脉的壮举. 15 April 2015.
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  7. 吴月, ed. (21 May 2018). 宜昌概况 [Description of Yichang] (in Chinese). Yichang People's Government. Retrieved 5 October 2018. 【行政区划】2016年,宜昌市辖13个县市区,即远安县、兴山县、秭归县、长阳土家族自治县、五峰土家族自治县、宜都市、枝江市、当阳市、夷陵区、西陵区、伍家岗区、点军区、猇亭区,共设20个乡、67个镇、23个街道。2016年,全市行政区划及其名称未作调整。
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  11. 3个月后宜昌火车站可进出动车 低站台改造成高站台.
  12. Construction of Hanyi Railway to Kick off, Wuhan City Government web site, 2008-07-10
  13. "History of Yichang" (in Chinese). Official website of Yichang Government. 2007-09-19. Archived from the original on 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2008-06-06.

Further reading