1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wuchow

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WUCHOW, a treaty port in the province of Kwang-si, China, opened to foreign trade in 1897, and situated on the left bank of the Si-kiang (West river) at its junction with the Fu or Kwei-Kiang (Cassia) river. It is 220 m. above Canton, with which it is in navigable connexion for vessels drawing up to 8 ft of water. In 1908 the value of the trade passing through the maritime customs amounted to £1,566,000, representing, however, only a portion of the trade. Of this total, two-thirds were for imports, consisting principally of cotton and cotton goods, kerosene oil, woollens, &c. Sugar, various oils, hides and aniseed were the chief exports. The native population is estimated at 65,000. At Shuihing the river flows for 5 m. through a deep gorge bordered by limestone cliffs 2000 ft. in height. Farther up the river threads its way through a series of rocky defiles, forming at intervals what seems an inland lake with no apparent outlet. During summer floods the water thus pent up by the gorges rises at Wuchow 50 or 60 ft. In consequence of the variation of river level, the principal offices and shops are built upon pontoons which are moored alongside the river-bank. The situation of Wuchow makes it the natural distributing centre between Kwei-chow, Kwang-si and Canton. Great things were therefore expected of it as a treaty port, but disorders in Kwangsi delayed the fulfilment of the hopes. Trade, however, has improved, and a large native passenger traffic has sprung up between it and Canton. It is connected with Hong Kong and Shanghai by telegraph.