The city is bisected by the Yangtze River and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Excavated during the Sui Dynasty, the Grand Canal is an important water passage from north to south. The canal enabled Wuxi to become China's grain market, and a centre for silk and textiles. Wuxi is today a prosperous city with a strong manufacturing sector, a leading centre for industrial design and development, and also one of China's most popular tourism destinations.
Wuxi has a sub-tropical maritime climate with four distinct seasons. It is blessed with a mild climate, plentiful rainfall and ample sunshine. The annual mean temperature is 18 °C, with a January average of 2.8 °C and a July average of 28 °C. Rainfall occurs mainly in the summer with an average annual precipitation of 100 cm.