Zhang Zhidong's efforts shape modern Wuhan
Date：2018-11-19 11:25:09 Source：Changjiang Weekly
The Zhang Zhidong and Wuhan Museum
Zhang Zhidong was one of the most famous officials of the late Qing dynasty. He served as the Viceroy of Huguang, today's Hubei and Hunan provinces between 1889 and 1907. For his contributions to the development of the city, he is recognized as the father of modern Wuhan.
Zhang, whose ancestral roots were in Nanpi, Hebei Province, was a regional representative of the Self-strengthening Movement that aimed at institutional reforms. During his term as the Viceroy of Hugang, he effectively trained and equipped modern units of sappers, engineers, cavalrymen, police officers, artillerymen, and infantry in Wuchang.
In 1890, Zhang founded Hanyang Ironworks, the predecessor of Hanyang Steelworks. The factory was later integrated into the Hanyehping Iron and Coal Mining and Smelting Company (HYP), the biggest steel complex in Asia in the 1910s.
Zhang founded the Hanyang Arsenal in 1891, one of the largest and oldest modern arsenals in Chinese history. The arsenal produced Hanyang 88, a standard Chinese rifle that was used by the Chinese army throughout the early 1940s.
In terms of education, Zhang established several modern schools. Among them was the Ziqiang Institute founded in 1893. The school is the predecessor of Wuhan University.
With Zhang's efforts, Wuhan began to take shape as an international city, on par with Tianjin and just behind Shanghai, thus being nicknamed the "Chicago of the East."
On March 27, 2018, at the former site of Hanyang Steelworks, the Zhang Zhidong and Wuhan Museum opened.