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Baoding
Date: 2016-1-22 17:47:34

Baoding City Overview

Baoding is a city in Hebei province, China, approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) southwest of the national capital, Beijing. At the 2010 census, Baoding City had 11,194,372 inhabitants out of which 2,176,857 lived in the built-up (or metro) area made of 3 urban districts and Qingyuan and Mancheng counties largely being conurbated, on 1,840 km2 (710 sq mi). Baoding is among 13 Chinese cities with a population of over 10 million, ranking seventh.

 

Baoding history

Baoding is a city with a history dating back to the Western Han Dynasty. It was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th century, but after the Mongols established the Yuan Dynasty, it was rebuilt. It acquired the name "Baoding" during the Yuan dynasty — the name is roughly interpreted as "protecting the capital", referring to the city's proximity to Beijing. Baoding served for many years as the capital of Zhili, and was a significant centre of culture in the Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty. During the Boxer rebellion, Boxer rebels killed a Turk, two Swiss, and an Italian in Baoding. After Zhili province was abolished in 1928 Baoding became the capital of the newly formed Hebei province. During World War II, the city was the site of a headquarters for Japanese occupation forces. In 1958, the role of provincial capital was assumed by Tianjin, which had lost its status as a provincial level municipality, but when Tianjin was elevated again in 1966, Baoding regained its position. In 1970, however, the rapidly growing city of Shijiazhuang became the provincial capital instead.

 

Baoding geography

Baoding is located in the west-central portion of Hebei province and lies on the North China Plain, with the Taihang Mountains to the west. Bordering prefecture-level cities in the province are Zhangjiakou to the north, Langfang and Cangzhou to the east, and Shijiazhuang and Hengshui to the south. Baoding also borders Beijing to the northeast and Shanxi to the west.

 

Elevations in Baoding's administrative area decrease from northwest to southeast. The western parts are dominated by mountains and hills that are generally more than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) tall; this area includes parts of Laishui, Yi, Mancheng, Shunping, Tang and Fuping Counties as well as the entirety of Laiyuan County, occupying 30.6% of the prefecture's area. The highest peak is Mount Waitou , with an elevation of 2,286 metres (7,500 ft). Further to the east lies generally flat terrain of 30 to 100 metres (98 to 330 ft) elevation. Here the primary rivers are the Juma, Yishui, Longquan, Tang, and Sha Rivers. Baiyangdian Lake, the largest natural lake in northern China, can be found nearby.

 

Boding climate

Baoding has a continental, monsoon-influenced semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk), characterized by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and generally cold, windy, very dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Spring can bear witness to sandstorms blowing in from the Mongolian steppe, accompanied by rapidly warming, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn is similar to spring in temperature and lack of rainfall. The annual rainfall, about 60% of which falls in July and August alone, is highly variable and not reliable. In the city itself, this amount has averaged to a meager 513 millimeters (20.2 in) per annum. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −3.2 °C (26.2 °F) in January to 26.8 °C (80.2 °F) in July, and the annual mean is 12.9 °C (55.2 °F). There are 2,500 to 2,900 hours of bright sunshine annually, and the frost-free period lasts 165−210 days.

 

Baoding cultural highlights

The most renowned product that has originated from Baoding are Baoding Balls (also known as Chinese exercise balls). They are thought to have been created during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Baoding balls are used for physical therapy while recovering from injuries, and as an exercise tool for improving manual dexterity and strength. They consist of two or more balls which are rotated in one’s hand.

 

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