On Jan. 19, a series of pen-and-ink drawings about Wuhan gained popularity online. These drawings by painter Wang Anping serve as illustrations to the documentary, "The Rise of a Great City." Below is part of the commentary of the documentary with these pictures.

 

The Hankou Customs Clock Tower, like that of the Shanghai Customs House, echoes the melodies of Westminster Abbey every day, reminding us of the many vicissitudes she has witnessed over the years. Impressive as it may be, the magnificent tool of the bell cannot be heard in every corner of Grand Wuhan.

The city of Wuhan consists of three towns which are divided by rivers. It spreads out across an area of 8,494 square kilometers, confirming Sun Yat-sen's prophecy concerning its development in his book "The International Development of China" where it is written, "We must adopt for its development a scale as large as that of New York and London."

Of course, its large size alone is not what makes this city great. Freshwater, a resource globally considered to be exceptionally valuable now, in the 21st century makes up 25% of the city.

Wuhan boasts a number of stunning mountains and grand water sources. Of her 166 lakes, the East Lake is recognized as the largest urban lake in Asia. Daniel Klemms, a world-famous racer from Luxemburg, once told local reporters excitedly that the road running along the East Lake was "the most beautiful track" he had ever run.

500 years ago, the divergence of the Han River gave birth to Hankou. Over the course of 350 years, Hankou developed into China's largest inland port for foreign trade.

It could be said that the docks and ships scattered about are the genes that make up the DNA of Wuhan.

100 years ago, theViceroy of Hubei and Hunan Provinces Zhang Zhidong, who is recognized for making Wuhan a cradle for modern Chinese industrialization, built from Hankou, the Beijing-Hankou Railway which linked China's south and north, making Wuhan known as "the thoroughfare to 9 provinces." Zhang Zhidong also established Hanyang Arsenal. However, as an important official in late Qing Dynasty, Zhang Zhidong might never imagine those "Made in Hanyang" rifles became weapons to topple the Qing Dynasty and bring its 300-year reign to an end.

In 1927, a young man wrote: "Blurred in the thick haze of the misty rain, the tortoise and snake hold the great river firm." When he returned in 1956, he wrote a more cheerful line, "A bridge will span the river from north to south, turning a deep chasm into a thoroughfare." That man, Mao Zedong, who had a unique love for Wuhan used the verses of his poetry to mark the tremendous changes that had taken place here.

During the more than 30 years following China's reform and opening up, the speed at which this city changed dramatically increased. Now, dozens of bridges of various shapes stretch across the Yangtze River and Han River.

Optics Valley of China, located here in Wuhan, represents the highest level of optoelectronics research and production in China. It ranks first globally for the scale of its optical fiber and cable production operations.

The expression "different every day" most adequately described this city as well as its spirit and energy.