As Hebei surrounds tile nation's
capital, Beijing, it is a geographically important province.
North of the lower Huanghe River valley, it has a 500-kilometre-long
coastline along the Bohai Sea in the east and has an area
of more than 180,000 square kilometers. Of its population
of 51.68 million, 10.5 per cent live in the cities and
89.5 per cent in the rural areas.
-- Mountain Resort
Handan -- City of Developing Industries
Qinhuangdao -- Natural Harbor
Shijiazhuang -- Capital of
mountains in the west and the sea in the east, Hebei is
high in the northwest and low in the southeast. Of its
total area, mountains make up 35 per cent; highlands 12
per cent; and plains, hills and basins 50 per cent. The
province is divided into, four topographical zones. 1)
Tile Zhangbei Plateau, the southeastern extension of the
Inner Mongolia Plateau, is a fine natural pastureland.
2) The Northern Hebei Mountain Area consists mainly of
the Yanshan Mountains which stretch from west to east,
and of peaks mostly 1,000 meters or more above sea level.
Of the many strategic passes in the mountains, the best-known
are Xifengkou, Gubeikou and Shanhaiguan. The world-renowned
Great Wall starts at Shanhaiguan, popularly known as "the
First Pass Under Heaven". 3) The Western Hebei Mountain
Area, 1,000 meters or more above sea level, includes the
mountains of the Taihang range that borders on Shanxi
Province. The Lesser Wutai Mountain on the northern rim,
which rises 2,870 meters above sea level, is the highest
peak in Hebei. 4) The Hebei Plain in the southeast, formed
of the silt deposits of the Huanghe, Haihe and Luanhe
rivers, is generally 50 meters above sea level. It is
an extension of the North China Plain and the major grain
and cotton grower of the province.
catchment area and flow of the Haihe River, the largest
of Hebei's river systems, account for more than two-thirds
of the province's total area. Because most of the precipitation
occurs in summer, the Haihe River is deep in summer and
shallow in winter.
Province has a temperate continental climate, with dry
and windy springs, hot and rainy summers and dry-cold
winters. Its maximum temperature is 40ºC and minimum
temperature -18ºC. The mean annual temperature differs
greatly between north and south, increasing from 1ºC
gradually to 1ºC from north to south. The province
has a frost-free period of 120-220 days and an annual
mean precipitation of 400-800 mm.
leads the provinces south of the Great Wail in railway
mileage, The railways open to traffic in Hebei total 2,013
kilometers, including the Beijing-Guangzhou, Beijing-Shenyang,
Beijing-Chengde, Beijing-Baotou, Beijing-Shanghai, Shijiazhuang-Taiyuan
and Dezhou-Shijiazhuang railways. There are also 569 kilometers
of locally run small railways. Highways total 41,298 kilometers.
The Haihe and its tributaries are the trunk navigation
lines. The 17-berth Qinhuangdao Harbor is an excellent,
ice-free natural harbor in north China.