Hebei (河北; formerly romanised as Hopeh) is a province of China in the North China region. The modern province was established in 1911 as Zhili Province or Chihli Province. Its one-character abbreviation is "冀" (Jì), named after Ji Province, a Han dynasty province (zhou) that included what is now southern Hebei. The name Hebei literally means "north of the river", referring to its location entirely to the north of the Yellow River.
The modern province "Chili Province" was formed in 1911 after the central government dissolved the central governed area of "Chihli", which means "Directly Ruled (by the Imperial Court)" until it was renamed as "Hebei" in 1928.
Beijing and Tianjin Municipalities, which border each other, were carved out of Hebei. The province borders Liaoning to the northeast, Inner Mongolia to the north, Shanxi to the west, Henan to the south, and Shandong to the southeast. Bohai Bay of the Yellow Sea is to the east. A small part of Hebei, Sanhe Exclave, consisting of Sanhe, Dachang Hui Autonomous County, and Xianghe County, an exclave disjointed from the rest of the province, is wedged between the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin.
|• Chinese||河北省 (Héběi Shěng)|
|• Abbreviation||HE / HEB / 冀 (pinyin: Jì)|
Map showing the location of Hebei Province
|Named for||河 hé—"(Yellow) River" |
"north of the Yellow River"
|Capital||Baoding (1928-58, 1966)
Tianjin (1911-28, 1958-65)Shijiazhuang (1967-present)
|Divisions||12 prefectures, 172 counties, 2207 townships|
|• Secretary||Wang Dongfeng|
|• Governor||Xu Qin|
|• Total||188,800 km2 (72,900 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation (Mount Xiaowutai)||2,882 m (9,455 ft)|
|• Density||400/km2 (1,000/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||11th|
|• Ethnic composition||Han: 96%|
|• Languages and dialects||Jilu Mandarin, Beijing Mandarin, Jin|
|ISO 3166 code||CN-HE|
|GDP (2017 )||CNY 3.60 trillion|
USD 532.66 billion (8th)
|• per capita||CNY 47,985 |
USD 7,107 (18th)
|HDI (2010)||0.691 (medium) (16th)|
"Hebei" in Chinese characters
|Literal meaning||"North of the (Yellow) River"|
|Literal meaning||[an ancient province in modern southern Hebei]|
Plains in Hebei were the home of Peking man, a group of Homo erectus that lived in the area around 200,000 to 700,000 years ago. Neolithic findings at the prehistoric Beifudi site date back to 7000 and 8000 BC.
During the Spring and Autumn period (722 BC – 476 BC), Hebei was under the rule of the states of Yan in the north and Jin in the south. Also during this period, a nomadic people known as Dí invaded the plains of northern China and established Zhongshan in central Hebei. During the Warring States period (403 BC–221 BC), Jin was partitioned, and much of its territory within Hebei went to Zhao.
The Qin dynasty unified China in 221 BC. The Han dynasty (206 BC – AD 220) ruled the area under two provinces (zhou), You Prefecture in the north and Ji Province in the south. At the end of the Han dynasty, most of Hebei came under the control of warlords Gongsun Zan in the north and Yuan Shao further south; Yuan Shao emerged victorious of the two, but he was soon defeated by rival Cao Cao (based further south, in modern-day Henan) in the Battle of Guandu in 200. Hebei then came under the rule of the Kingdom of Wei (one of the Three Kingdoms), established by the descendants of Cao Cao.
After the invasions of northern nomadic peoples at the end of the Western Jin dynasty, the chaos of the Sixteen Kingdoms and the Northern and Southern dynasties ensued. Hebei, firmly in North China and right at the northern frontier, changed hands many times, being controlled at various points in history by the Later Zhao, Former Yan, Former Qin, and Later Yan. The Northern Wei reunified northern China in 440, but split in half in 534, with Hebei coming under the eastern half (first the Eastern Wei; then the Northern Qi), which had its capital at Ye (鄴), near modern Linzhang, Hebei. The Sui dynasty again unified China in 589.
During the Tang dynasty (618–907), the area was formally designated "Hebei" (north of the Yellow River) for the first time. During the earlier part of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, Hebei was fragmented among several regimes, though it was eventually unified by Li Cunxu, who established the Later Tang (923–936). The next dynasty, the Later Jin under Shi Jingtang, posthumously known as Emperor Gaozu of Later Jin, ceded much of modern-day northern Hebei to the Khitan Liao dynasty in the north; this territory, called the Sixteen Prefectures of Yanyun, became a major weakness in the Chinese defense against the Khitans for the next century, since it lay within the Great Wall.
During the Northern Song dynasty (960–1127), the sixteen ceded prefectures continued to be an area of hot contention between Song China and the Liao dynasty. The Southern Song dynasty that came after abandoned all of North China, including Hebei, to the Jurchen Jin dynasty after the Jingkang Incident in 1127 of the Jin–Song wars.
The Mongol Yuan dynasty divided China into provinces but did not establish Hebei as a province. Rather, the area was directly administrated by the Secretariat (中書省) at capital Dadu. The Ming dynasty ruled Hebei as "Beizhili" (simplified Chinese: 北直隶; traditional Chinese: 北直隸; pinyin: Běizhílì), meaning "Northern Directly Ruled", because the area contained and was directly ruled by the imperial capital, Beijing; the "Northern" designation was used because there was a southern counterpart covering present-day Jiangsu and Anhui. When the Manchu Qing dynasty came to power in 1644, they abolished the southern counterpart, and Hebei became known as "Zhili", or simply "Directly Ruled". During the Qing dynasty, the northern borders of Zhili extended deep into what is now Inner Mongolia, and overlapped in jurisdiction with the leagues of Inner Mongolia.
The Qing dynasty collapsed in 1912 and was replaced by the Republic of China. Within a few years, China descended into civil war, with regional warlords vying for power. Since Zhili was so close to Peking (Beijing), the capital, it was the site of frequent wars, including the Zhiwan War, the First Zhifeng War and the Second Zhifeng War. With the success of the Northern Expedition, a successful campaign by the Kuomintang to end the rule of the warlords, the capital was moved from Peking (Beijing) to Nanking (Nanjing). As a result, the name of Zhili was changed to Hebei to reflect the fact that it had a standard provincial administration, and that the capital had been relocated elsewhere.
During the Second World War, Hebei was under the control of the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of Japan, a puppet state of Imperial Japan.
The founding of the People's Republic of China saw several changes: the region around Chengde, previously part of Rehe Province (historically part of Manchuria), and the region around Zhangjiakou, previously part of Chahar Province (historically part of Inner Mongolia), were merged into Hebei, extending its borders northwards beyond the Great Wall. The capital was also moved from Baoding to the upstart city of Shijiazhuang, and, for a short period, to Tianjin.
On July 28, 1976, Tangshan was struck by a powerful earthquake, the Tangshan earthquake, the deadliest of the 20th century with over 240,000 killed. A series of smaller earthquakes struck the city in the following decade.
In 2005, Chinese archaeologists unearthed what is being called the Chinese equivalent of Italy's Pompeii. The find in question, located near Liumengchun Village (柳孟春村) in Cang County in east-central Hebei, is a buried settlement destroyed nearly 700 years ago by a major earthquake. Another possible explanation may be the four successive floods which hit the area around the time when the settlement met its sudden end. The settlement appears to have been a booming commercial center during the Song dynasty.
Most of central and southern Hebei lies within the North China Plain. The western part of Hebei rises into the Taihang Mountains (Taihang Shan), while the Yan Mountains (Yan Shan) run through northern Hebei, beyond which lie the grasslands of Inner Mongolia. The Great Wall of China cuts through northern Hebei from east to west as well, briefly entering the border of Beijing Municipality, and terminates at the seacoast of Shanhaiguan in northeastern Hebei. The highest peak is Mount Xiaowutai (小五台山) in Yu County in the northwest of the province, with an altitude of 2,882 m (9,455 ft).
Hebei borders Bohai Sea on the east. The Hai He watershed covers most of the province's central and southern parts, and the Luan He watershed covers the northeast. Not counting the numerous reservoirs to be found in Hebei's hills and mountains, the largest lake in Hebei is Baiyangdian, located mostly in Anxin County.
Hebei has a continental monsoon climate, with cold, dry winters, and hot, humid summers. Temperatures average −16 to −3 °C (3 to 27 °F) in January and 20 to 27 °C (68 to 81 °F) in July; the annual precipitation ranges from 400 to 800 mm (16 to 31 in), concentrated heavily in summer.
|City||July (°C)||July (°F)||January (°C)||January (°F)|
|Administrative divisions of Hebei|
|№||Division code||Division||Area in km2||Population 2010||Seat||Divisions|
|Districts||Counties||Aut. counties||CL cities|
|130000||Hebei Province||187700.00||71,854,202||Shijiazhuang city||47||94||6||21|
|1||130100||Shijiazhuang city||14052.56||9,547,869||Chang'an District||8||11||3|
|9||130200||Tangshan city||14334.59||7,577,284||Lunan District||7||4||3|
|8||130300||Qinhuangdao city||7791.57||2,987,605||Haigang District||4||2||1|
|5||130400||Handan city||12066.00||9,174,679||Congtai District||6||11||1|
|10||130500||Xingtai city||12433.00||7,104,114||Qiaodong District||2||15||2|
|2||130600||Baoding city||22185.00||10,029,197||Jingxiu District||5||15||4|
|11||130700||Zhangjiakou city||36861.55||4,345,491||Qiaoxi District||6||10|
|4||130800||Chengde city||39512.98||3,473,197||Shuangqiao District||3||4||3||1|
|3||130900||Cangzhou city||14305.28||7,134,053||Yunhe District||2||9||1||4|
|7||131000||Langfang city||6417.29||4,358,839||Anci District||2||5||1||2|
|6||131100||Hengshui city||8836.90||4,340,773||Taocheng District||2||8||1|
|Administrative divisions in Chinese and varieties of romanizations|
|Hebei Province||河北省||Héběi Shěng|
|Shijiazhuang city||石家庄市||Shíjiāzhuāng Shì|
|Tangshan city||唐山市||Tángshān Shì|
|Qinhuangdao city||秦皇岛市||Qínhuángdǎo Shì|
|Handan city||邯郸市||Hándān Shì|
|Xingtai city||邢台市||Xíngtái Shì|
|Baoding city||保定市||Bǎodìng Shì|
|Zhangjiakou city||张家口市||Zhāngjiākǒu Shì|
|Chengde city||承德市||Chéngdé Shì|
|Cangzhou city||沧州市||Cāngzhōu Shì|
|Langfang city||廊坊市||Lángfáng Shì|
|Hengshui city||衡水市||Héngshuǐ Shì|
These eleven prefecture-level divisions are subdivided into 170 county-level divisions (47 districts, 20 county-level cities, 95 counties and 6 autonomous counties). Those are, in turn, divided into 2207 township-level divisions (1 district public office, 937 towns, 979 townships, 55 ethnic townships, and 235 subdistricts).
|Population by urban areas of prefecture & county cities|
|#||City||Urban area||District area||City proper||Census date|
|(1)||Shijiazhuang (new districts)[a]||461,738||1,208,046||see Shijiazhuang||2010-11-01|
|(2)||Tangshan (new district)[b]||109,126||184,931||see Tangshan||2010-11-01|
|(3)||Handan (new districts)[c]||627,869||1,757,637||see Handan||2010-11-01|
|(4)||Baoding (new districts)[d]||459,153||1,377,399||see Baoding||2010-11-01|
|(4)||Baoding Xiong'an[e]||405,661||1,055,063||see Baoding||2010-11-01|
|(5)||Qinhuangdao (new district)[f]||120,710||517,073||see Qinhuangdao||2010-11-01|
|(6)||Zhangjiakou (new districts)[g]||209,414||591,334||see Zhangjiakou||2010-11-01|
|(13)||Hengshui (new district)[h]||165,363||362,013||see Hengshui||2010-11-01|
The politics of Hebei is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in mainland China.
The Governor of Hebei is the highest-ranking official in the People's Government of Hebei. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor has less power than the Hebei Communist Party of China Provincial Committee Secretary (CPC Party Chief).
In 2014, Hebei's GDP was 2.942 trillion yuan (US$479 billion), ranked 6th in the PRC. GDP per capita reached 40,124 Renminbi. As of 2011, the primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors of industry contributed 203.46 billion, 877.74 billion, and 537.66 billion RMB respectively. The registered urban unemployment rate was 3.96%.
40% of Hebei's labor force works in the agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry sectors, with the majority of production from these industries going to Beijing and Tianjin Hebei's main agricultural products are cereal crops including wheat, maize, millet, and sorghum. Cash crops like cotton, peanut, soybeans and sesame are also produced.
Kailuan, with a history of over 100 years, is one of China's first modern coal mines, and remains a major mine with an annual production of over 20 million metric tonnes. Much of the North China Oilfield is found in Hebei, and there are also major iron mines at Handan and Qian'an. Iron, as well as steel, manufacturing are the largest industries in Hebei, and are likely to remain so as these industries consolidate and Hebei continues to grow as a manufacturing and transportation center for the region.
|Hebei Province was known as Zhili Province until 1928.|
Beijing was part of Hebei Province until 1928.
Tainjin was part of Hebei Province until 1928 and 1954 to 1967.
Rehe Province dissolved in 1955 and parts were incorporated into Hebei Province.
Qahar Province dissolved in 1952 and parts were incorporated into Hebei Province.
The population is mostly Han Chinese. 55 ethnic minorities are present in Hebei, representing 4.27% of the total population. The largest are Manchu (2.1 million people), Hui people (600000 people) and Mongol (180000 people).
|Ethnic groups in Hebei, 2000 census|
Excludes members of the People's Liberation Army in active service.
Source: Department of Population, Social, Science and Technology Statistics of the National Bureau of Statistics of China and Department of Economic Development of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission of China, eds. Tabulation on Nationalities of 2000 Population Census of China. 2 vols. Beijing: Nationalities Publishing House (民族出版社), 2003. (ISBN 7-105-05425-5)
The predominant religions in Hebei are Chinese folk religions, Taoist traditions and Chinese Buddhism. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 5.52% of the population believes and is involved in ancestor veneration, while 3.05% of the population identifies as Christian, mostly of the Catholic Church. Local worship of deities in the region began to organise into "benevolent churches" as a reaction to Catholicism in the Qing dynasty.
The reports didn't give figures for other types of religion; 90.61% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in worship of nature deities, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and folk religious sects. Zailiism is a folk religious sect that originated in Hebei. There is a presence of Tibetan Buddhist schools in the province.
Hebei has the largest Catholic population in China, with 1 million members according to the local government. and 1.5 million Catholics according to the Catholic Church. The province is considered as the center of Catholicism in China. The town of Donglu, where an apparition of the Virgin Mary was reported to have occurred in 1900, is reportedly "one of the strongholds of the unofficial Catholic Church in China".
A large number of Catholics in Hebei remain loyal to the Pope and reject the authority of the Catholic Patriotic Church. Four of Hebei's underground bishops have been imprisoned in recent years: Bishop Francis An Shuxin of Donglu since 1996; Bishop James Su Zhimin since October 1997; and Bishops Han Dingxiang of Yongnian who died in prison in 2007 and Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding since late 1999. In 2003 there were 350.000 Protestants and 580.000 Muslims according to government statistics. According to a survey, as of 2010 Muslims constitute 0.82% of the population of Hebei.
Dialects of Mandarin are spoken over most of the province, and most Mandarin dialects in Hebei are in turn classified as part of the Ji Lu Mandarin subdivision. Regions along the western border with Shanxi, however, have dialects that are distinct enough for linguists to consider them as part of Jin, another subdivision of Chinese, rather than Mandarin. In general, the dialects of Hebei are quite similar to and readily intelligible with the Beijing dialect, which forms the basis for Standard Chinese, the official language of the nation. However, there are also some distinct differences, such as differences in the pronunciation of certain words that derive from entering tone syllables (syllables ending on a plosive) in Middle Chinese.
Traditional forms of Chinese opera in Hebei include Pingju, Hebei Bangzi (also known as Hebei Clapper Opera), and Cangzhou Kuaiban Dagu. Pingju is especially popular: it tends to be colloquial in language and hence easy to understand for audiences. Originating from northeastern Hebei, Pingju has been influenced by other forms of Chinese opera like Beijing opera. Traditionally Pingju makes use of just a xiaosheng (young male lead), a xiaodan (young female lead), and a xiaohualian (young comic character), though it has since diversified with the use of other roles as well.
Quyang County, in central Hebei, is noted for its Dingzhou porcelain, which includes various vessels such as bowls, plates, vases, and cups, as well as figurines. Dingzhou porcelain is usually creamy white, though it is also made in other colours.
Hebei cuisine is typically based on wheat, mutton and beans.
Well-known people born in Hebei Province include:
Hebei is served by Hebei Television.
Because Hebei surrounds Beijing and Tianjin, all the numerous important railway lines radiating out of these two cities pass through Hebei. The Beijing–Guangzhou Railway is one of the most important: it passes through many major cities such as Baoding, Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Handan on its way south to Henan. Other important railways include the Beijing–Kowloon Railway, Beijing–Shanghai Railway, Beijing-Harbin Railway, Beijing–Chengde Railway, Beijing–Tongliao Railway, Beijing-Baotou Railway and Fengtai–Shacheng Railway. High-speed rail lines crossing the province include the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, Beijing-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway and Shijiazhuang–Taiyuan High-Speed Railway. Future high-speed rail lines from Beijing and Tianjin to Northeast China and Northwest China will traverse northern Hebei.
During the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, Beijing and Hebei were collaborating on a new passenger railway. The RMB 82.6 billion network will add 844 kilometers to the system. Current railway systems for Hebei trains are also being upgraded and will soon be able to travel at speeds of between 160 and 200 kilometers per hour.
As of the early 2013, railway schedule systems listed 160 passenger train stations within the province.
The recent expressway boom in China has not left Hebei behind. There are expressways to every prefecture-level city of Hebei, totalling to approximately 2,000 kilometers. The total length of highways within Hebei is around 40,000 kilometers.
There are a number of ports along the Bohai Sea, including Qinhuangdao (the second busiest in China with a capacity of over 100 million tons), Huanghua, and Jingtang. Shijiazhuang's Zhengding Airport is the province's center of air transportation, with domestic and international flights. Parts of Hebei will also be served by the new Beijing Daxing International Airport in Beijing, which is currently under construction and expected to be completed by 2017.
The Ming Great Wall crosses the northern part of Hebei and the eastern end is located on the coast at Shanhaiguan (Shanhai Pass), near Qinhuangdao. Informally known as the "First Pass of The World" (天下第一關), Shanhaiguan was the place where Ming general Wu Sangui opened the gates to Manchu forces in 1644, beginning nearly 300 years of Manchu rule; Shanhai Pass also marks the psychological entrance / exit of Manchuria, so that for centuries Manchuria was known as "outside the Pass" or "east of the Pass". Beidaihe, located near Shanhaiguan, is a popular beach resort well known as a former meeting place for top governmental officials.
The Chengde Mountain Resort and its outlying temples are a World Heritage Site. Also known as the Rehe Palace, this was the summer resort of the Manchu Qing dynasty emperors. The Chengde Resort was built between 1703 and 1792, and consists of a palace complex, a large park area composed of lakes, pavilions, causeways, bridges, etc., and a number of Tibetan Buddhist and Han Chinese temples in the surrounding area.
There are Qing dynasty imperial tombs at Zunhua (Eastern Qing Tombs) and Yixian (West Qing Tombs). The Eastern Qing Tombs are the resting place of 161 Qing emperors, empresses, and other members of the Qing imperial family, while the West Qing Tombs have 76. These are also part of a World Heritage Site.
Baoding, the old provincial capital, contains the historical Zhili Governor's Residence.
Xibaipo, a village about 90 km (56 mi) from Shijiazhuang, in Pingshan County was the location of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army during the decisive stages of the Chinese Civil War between May 26, 1948 and March 23, 1949, at which point they were moved to Beijing. Today, the area houses a memorial site.
The 2018 Women's Bandy World Championship was held in Hebei.
Sports teams based in Hebei include:
National Basketball League (China)
Hebei Springs Benma
Under the national Ministry of Education:
Under other national agencies:
Under the provincial government: