Hebei is a northern province of the People's Republic of China. Its one-character abbreviation is "¼½" , named after Ji Province ,a Han Dynasty province (zhou) that included southern Hebei. The name Hebei means "north of the (Yellow) River".
In 1928, Hebei was formed after the central government dissolved the province of Zhili, which means "Directly Ruled (by the Imperial Court)".
Hebei completely surrounds Beijing and Tianjin municipalities (which also border each other). It 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, an exclave disjointed from the rest of the province, is wedged between the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin.
A common alternate name for Hebei is Y¨¡nzh¨¤o ,after the state of Yan and state of Zhao that existed here during the Warring States Period of early Chinese history.
Hebei has a continental monsoon climate, with temperatures of -16 to -3 ¡ãC in January and 20 - 27 ¡ãC in July, and with annual precipitation of 400 to 800 mm, occurring mostly in summer.
Hebei cuisine is typically based on wheat, mutton and beans.
The east end of the Ming Great Wall is located on the coast at Shanhaiguan (Shanhai Pass), near Qinhuangdao. Informally known as the "First Pass of The World", 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 wellknown as a former meeting place for top governmental officials.
The Ming Great Wall crosses the northern part of Hebei.
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 consisting 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.
The Zhaozhou Anji Bridge, built by Li Chun during the Sui Dynasty, is the oldest stone arch bridge in China, and one of the most significant examples of pre-modern Chinese civil engineering.
Baoding, the old provincial capital, contains the historical Zhili Governor's Residence.
Xibaipo, a village about 90 km from Shijiazhuang, 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.