Wuxi or Wusih (both: wō-shē) [key], city (1994 est. pop. 863,100), S Jiangsu prov., China, on the Grand Canal and the north bank of Tai lake. It is a silk-producing center. Foods (especially grains) are processed, and machine tools, paper products, fertilizer, and motor vehicles are also made. Wuxi has long been famous for its little figurines of opera and drama characters, still being produced today. A small walled city in the early 19th cent., Wuxi rapidly replaced Suzhou as the economic center of the Tai lake basin. It is on a railroad connecting Shanghai with much of N China. The city's name, which is translated as "without tin," refers to the tin mines in the area that were exhausted during the Han dynasty. The name sometimes appears as Wu-hsi.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Chinese and Mongolian Political Geography