Wuxi is a city on the Yangtze River between Suzhou and Nanjing, which is located in the south of Jiangsu Province, half way between the cities of Shanghai and Nanjing, with Shanghai 128km to its east and Nanjing 183km to its west. In its south is Lake Taihu and to its north is Yangtze River. The city is under direct jurisdiction of the province and governs three cities and six districts. Wuxi administers 9 county-level divisions, including 7 districts and 2 county-level cities. Because of its recent development, Wuxi has been dubbed the "little Shanghai".
Wuxi is moist and temperate, belonging to that of the sub-tropical maritime with distinct seasons. The average annual temperature is 15.5ºC. Though it seldom sees snow. Because of its proximity to the East China Sea, it has a monsoon season and receives 100 cm of rain annually. With fertile soil and rich produce, it is the famous "land teeming with fish and rice" in China.
Belonging to one of the eight primitive cultural districts in China, Wuxi is a famous cultural city with a history of over 3,000 years. The establishment of the city can be traced back to the end of the Shang Dynasty. Taibo, the eldest son of emperor Zhouwu in the West Zhou Dynasty came here to introduce the inland culture to the south and created the Wu culture. The place used to be rich in tin deposit during the Zhou and Qin dynasties. As the tin was depleted by the end of the Qin Dynasty, the place was called Wuxi, meaning "a place without tin".
As an important city for "Wu" area, its culture bears distinctive "wu" characteristics, which can be identified in its dialect, architecture, waterway transportation and various art types. It was one of the arts and cultural center in "Jiangnan", 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. One of the handicraft specialties of Wuxi is the production of Huishan clay figurines. In modern times Wuxi has produced a number of cultural figures such as Hua Yanjun (1893-1950) also known as "Blind Abing", famous for his urheen and pipa music. Another famous musician is Liu Tianhua, who was the first to compile folk music using staff. As for cuisine, Wuxi is famous for its Wuxi-style spareribs, sweetened pork dumplings and fried gluten.
Wuxi is endowed with rich natural and human resources with a galaxy of gifted persons and developed economy. As one of the birthplaces of China's national industry and commerce, Wuxi is one of the fifteen economic centers in China. In 2008, the GDP of the city reached RMB 441.95 billion with an increase of 12.4% over that of the previous year and a per capita GDP of RMB 73,053. The proportion of tertiary industry accounts for 41% in the city's GDP with an increase of 0.9 percentage points on that of last year. The average disposable income per resident amounts to RMB 23,605, with an annual increase of 13%. The average net income for farmers is RMB 11,280, with an increase of 12.5% over the previous year.