Wuxi (无锡/無錫, lit. "without tin", pinyin: wú xī) is an old industrial city in China's Jiangsu province, located along the edge of lake Taihu, 128km Northwest of Shanghai. Population (2000): 1 million, with over 4.3 million in its metropolitan area. Area: 517.7 square kilometres.
The city plan, as is typical of many older Chinese cities, is of a central city with a roughly circular plan, crisscrossed with older canals, the main canal still seeing heavy barge traffic.
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 is has a monsoon season and receives 100 cm of rain annually.
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 GDP per capita was ¥37959 (ca. US$4990) in 2003, ranked no. 11 among 659 Chinese cities.
Wuxi was originally a mining town, which, legend has it, exhausted its tin deposits, hence its name . 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.
Graphic artist Wassle Ting, who emigrated from China in 1952 was also born in Wuxi, he is best known for his erotic drawings in a pop art style.
Currently resident in Wuxi is puzzle artist Ruan Genquan.
Wuxi is famous for the Wuxi-style spareribs.
Wuxi is a tourist spot in the Lower Yangtse Delta. It has both natural and man-made places of interest.
Lake Tai: the city was built on its shore. Naturally the lake becomes a rich tourism resource. Famous spots include Yuantou Zhu (the Islet of Turtlehead), Taihu Xiandao (Islands of the Deities).
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 Great Canal: it passes the city. There are two canals: one is the old canal that has been there ever since it was dug, the other is the new canal dug after the year 1949.
Parks: 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.
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