A view of China's Wuhan city. Photograph:( Others )
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is flying to China today for an 'informal meeting' with President Xi Jinping, which has piqued the interest of media as well as international affairs experts across the globe.
PM Modi and President Xi will be meeting in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province and a commercial centre divided by the Yangtze and Han rivers. As per Encyclopaedia Britannica, the government of newly-formed People's Republic of China merged three cities namely Hankou, Hanyang and Wuchang into one single entity of Wuhan.
Wuhan is a strategically located city and its geographical centrality - it is almost equidistant from capital Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chongqing - gives it commercial significance.
The continuous recording of settlement in Wuhan and neighbouring areas dates back to thousands of years. The three cities - which were merged into one to carve out Wuhan - had served as capital cities of many dynasties in imperial Chinese, including the Ming dynasty.
The region has also served as the base for major revolutions in 20th century China, like the Chinese revolution in 1911 and workers' strike in 1923, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. Mao Zedong also used to run a Peasant Movement Institute in Wuchang.
Hanyag was the site of China's first modern-day steel plant, and Wuhan later became second most important metallurgical centre of China. The iron and steel base has attracted other industries Wuhan is the largest centre of heavy machine tools manufacturing in China.
Wuhan is at the centre of a wide network of river, rail and road transportation from almost every direction which makes it a key collecting and distribution point for different products.