Hubei is a landlocked province of the People’s Republic of China and is part of the Central China region. The province’s name means “north of the lake”, referring to its position north of Dongting Lake. The provincial capital, Wuhan, serves as a major transportation hub and the political, cultural, and economic hub of central China.
Hubei’s name is officially abbreviated to “鄂” (È), an ancient name associated with the eastern part of the province since the State of E of the Western Zhou dynasty of c. 1045–771 BCE; a popular name for Hubei is “楚” (Chǔ) (suggested by that of the powerful State of Chu, which existed in the area during the Eastern Zhou dynasty of 770 – 256 BCE). It borders the provinces of Henan to the north, Anhui to the east, Jiangxi to the southeast, Hunan to the south, Chongqing to the west, and Shaanxi to the northwest. The high-profile Three Gorges Dam is located at Yichang, in the west of the province.