Zhangjiakou

Zhangjiakou

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Zhangjiakou, also known also by several other names, is a prefecture-level city
Prefecture-level city
A prefectural level city , prefectural city or prefectural level municipality is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China, ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative...

 in northwestern Hebei
Hebei
' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

 province of North China
North China
thumb|250px|Northern [[People's Republic of China]] region.Northern China or North China is a geographical region of China. The heartland of North China is the North China Plain....

, adjacent to Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 to the southeast. Its administrative area has a population of 4.35 million, and covers 36947 square kilometres (14,265.3 sq mi). The urban area of Zhangjiakou is divided into Qiaoxi
Qiaoxi District, Zhangjiakou
Qiaoxi District is a district of the city of Zhangjiakou, Hebei, People's Republic of China.-Administrative Divisions:Subdistricts:*South Mingde Avenue Subdistrict , Dahuanmen Subdistrict , North Mingde Avenue Subdistrict , Xinhua Avenue Subdistrict , Baozili Subdistrict , Nanyingfang Subdistrict...

 and Qiaodong District
Qiaodong District, Zhangjiakou
-Administrative Divisions:Subdistricts:*Hongqilou Subdistrict , North Shengli Road Subdistrict , Wuyi Road Subdistrict , Huayuan Avenue Subdistrict , Zuanshi Road Subdistrict , Nanzhan Subdistrict , Maludong Subdistrict Towns:*Laoyazhuang , Yaojiazhuang -External Links:...

s which have 473,193 inhabitants in 2010, but the prefecture-level city is much larger, spanning around 36800 square kilometres (14,208.6 sq mi).

Names


Zhangjiakou is written 张家口 in simplified Chinese and 張家口 in traditional Chinese. It is Zhāngjiākǒu in pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

 and the name means "Zhang family
Zhang
Zhang may refer to:* Zhang , common Chinese surname* Zhang County , of Dingxi, Gansu* Zhang River , a river flowing mainly in Henan* Zhang, Beijing , town in Shunyi District, Beijing...

 gate." Older names for the town in Chinese include Zhāngyuán (張垣), used in the Republican
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 era, and Zhāngjiābǎo (張家堡).

Zhangjiakou was historically known to the Europeans as Kalgan until the mid 20th century. This name derives from the Mongolian
Mongolian language
The Mongolian language is the official language of Mongolia and the best-known member of the Mongolic language family. The number of speakers across all its dialects may be 5.2 million, including the vast majority of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner...

 name of the city, , "Chuulalt haalga" or shorter, , "haalga" which means "gate" (in the Great Wall
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups...

). In Manchu
Manchu language
Manchu is a Tungusic endangered language spoken in Northeast China; it used to be the language of the Manchu, though now most Manchus speak Mandarin Chinese and there are fewer than 70 native speakers of Manchu out of a total of nearly 10 million ethnic Manchus...

, the city is known as (Imiyangga jase).

Because of its strategic position above and northwest of Beijing, Zhangjiakou has been nicknamed "Beijing's Northern Door".

History


The water-scarce city was historically the chief northern gate in the Great Wall to China for Europeans travelling along the Tea Road
Tea Road
The Tea Road may refer to:*The Ancient tea route starting in Yunnan province, China, and leading in to Burma and Tibet*The Siberian Route over which large quantities of tea were transported from China to Europe...

 (such as Ivan Petlin
Ivan Petlin
Ivan Petlin Petlin), a Siberian Cossack, was the first Russian to have reached China on an official mission . His expedition may have been the second European expedition to reach China from the west by an overland route since the fall of the Yuan Dynasty...

 (1619) or Nicolae Milescu
Nicolae Milescu
Nicolae Milescu was a Moldavian writer, traveler, geographer, and diplomat. Milescu spoke 9 languages: Romanian, Latin, Greek, Modern Greek, French, German, Turkish, Swedish and Russian...

).

In August 1211, there raised the Badger's Mount Campaign, Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 90,000 strong force destroyed the 450,000 strong Jin Dynasty army.

In the 19th century, the town was the seat of a very extensive transit trade. In early autumn long lines of camels would come in from all quarters for the conveyance of the tea chests from Zhangjiakou, the Kalgan, to Kyakhta
Kyakhta
Kyakhta is a town in the Republic of Buryatia, Russia, located on the Kyakhta River near the Russian-Mongolian border. Population: The town stands directly opposite the Mongolian border town of Altanbulag.-History:...

; and each caravan usually made three journeys in the winter. Some Russian merchants had permanent residences and warehouses just outside the gate.

In October 1909, Kalgan was connected by railway with Peking. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica noted that, in Kalgan, "the ordinary houses have an unusual appearance, from the fact that they are mostly roofed with earth and become covered with green-sward" and that "on the way to Peking the road passes over a beautiful bridge of seven arches, ornamented with marble figures of animals".

In 1937 the Japanese occupied the region and made Kalgan the capital of the autonomous Cha-nan (South Chahar) Province. The Federated Mengjiang Commission was set up to supervise the economic affairs, banking, communications, and industry of Japanese-occupied Inner Mongolia (Mengjiang
Mengjiang
Mengjiang , also known in English as Mongol Border Land, was an autonomous area in Inner Mongolia, operating under nominal Chinese sovereignty and Japanese control. It consisted of the then-Chinese provinces of Chahar and Suiyuan, corresponding to the central part of modern Inner Mongolia...

).

In the early 1960s at the height of Sino-Soviet tensions, Zhangjiakou was considered one of the most important cities in China for military strategy
Military strategy
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops...

 reasons. Zhangjiakou was aptly nicknamed, "Beijing's Northern Door", because whoever controlled Zhangjiakou was in a good position to either attack (in the case of the Soviets) or defend (in the case of the Chinese) Beijing.

Economy


The vicinity of Zhangjiakou is rich in coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 and iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 ore, making it an ideal location for developing iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 and steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 industry. Apart from metallurgy, the city is home to one of China's most important grape wine industries, with the Great Wall Wine Company
Great Wall Wine
China Great Wall Wine Co., Ltd. is a producer of grape wine based in Hebei province, China. By production volume, Great Wall is China's largest wine enterprise, producing 50,000 tons in 2010.-Overview:...

 being located in Shacheng
Shacheng
Shacheng is a town located in Huailai County, in the northwest of Hebei province in Northern China. It is located southeast of Zhangjiakou and more than from the urban area of Beijing. It is known particularly for its production of Chinese grape wine. The China Great Wall Wine Company, Ltd...

 (沙城镇), Huailai County
Huailai County
Huailai is a county in the Hebei province of northern China, under the administration of Zhangjiakou prefecture-level city.Huailai County is a center for grape wine production, with the China Great Wall Wine Company, Ltd. headquartered in the town of Shacheng. Huailai Tianyuan Special Type Glass...

. http://www.winechina.com/EN/brands/gw02.asp

Transportation

  • The city lies in the northwestern corner of the province and is linked from Datong
    Datong
    Datong is a prefecture-level city in northern Shanxi Province of North China, located a few hundred kilometres west by rail from Beijing with an elevation of...

     in Shanxi
    Shanxi
    ' is a province in Northern China. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋" , after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn Period....

     by the Xuanda Expressway
    Xuanda Expressway
    The Xuanda Expressway , is an expressway in China which links Xuanhua in Hebei province with Datong in Shanxi province....

     and from Beijing by means of the Jingzhang Expressway
    Jingzhang Expressway
    The Jingzhang Expressway is an expressway in China which links Beijing to Zhangjiakou. It forms part of the Jingda Expressway from central Beijing through to Datong in Shanxi province....

    .
  • Zhangjiakou is further linked by a freeway to Inner Mongolia
    Inner Mongolia
    Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

     which opened on September 7, 2005.
  • China National Highway 207
    China National Highway 207
    China National Highway 207 runs from Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia to Hai'an, Guangdong Province. It is 3,738 kilometres in length and runs south from Xilinhot towards Hebei Province, Shanxi Province, Henan Province, Hubei Province, Guangxi Province, and ends in Guangdong Province.-Route and...

  • A heavy-haul railway is under construction, to transport coal from Zhangjiakou to Tangshan
    Tangshan
    "唐山"redirects here. For an alternative name of China, see Names of China#TangTangshan is a largely industrial prefecture-level city in Hebei province, People's Republic of China. It has become known for the 1976 Tangshan earthquake which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and killed at least...

    . Construction is expected to finish in 2015; the railway is planned to carry 200 million tons of coal per year. Another heavy-haul railway, Junggar-Zhangjiakou, is expected to connect to it.

Military


Zhangjiakou is headquarters of the 65th Group Army
65th Army (People's Republic of China)
The 65th Group Army is a military formation of China's People's Liberation Army and one of three active group armies belonging to the Beijing Military Region. It is based in Zhangjiakou, Hebei and is composed of the 193rd Division, an artillery division, an armored brigade, two motorized infantry...

 of the People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

, one of the three group armies that comprise the Beijing Military Region responsible for defending China's capital.

Education


Zhangjiakou is home to Hebei North University
Hebei North University
Hebei North University is a multi-faculty university in Zhangjiakou, Hebei, China under the provincial government....

. The university has been improving its international network and many foreign students are now studying there.

Geography and climate


Zhangjiakou is located in the northwest part of Hebei province, and is defined by mostly rough terrain created by the Yin Mountains
Yin Mountains
The Yin Mountains are mountains in the steppe forming the southern border of the eastern Gobi Desert of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, as well as the northern part of Hebei province....

, with elevations increasing from southeast to northwest. The east of the prefecture marks the Yan Mountains
Yan Mountains
The Yanshan or Yan Mountains are a major mountain range north of the North China Plain, in northern Hebei Province.The range rises between the Chaobai River on the west and the famous Shanhai Pass on the east. It is made up mostly of limestone, granite and basalt. Its altitude ranges from 400 to...

 The bordering prefectures in the province are Chengde
Chengde
Chengde , previously known as Jehol or Re He , is a prefecture-level city in Hebei province, People's Republic of China, situated northeast of Beijing. It is best known as the site of the Mountain Resort, a vast imperial garden and palace formerly used by the Qing emperors as summer residence...

 to the northeast and Baoding
Baoding
-Administrative divisions:Baoding prefecture-level city consists of 3 municipal districts, 4 county-level cities, 18 counties:-Demographics:The Baoding urban area has a population of around 1,006,000 . The population of the Baoding administrative area is 10,890,000. The considerable majority are...

 to the south. It also borders Shanxi
Shanxi
' is a province in Northern China. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋" , after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn Period....

 to the west and southwest and Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

 to the northwest. The prefecture's latitude ranges from 39° 30' to 42° 10' N, or 289.2 kilometres (179.7 mi), while its longitude spans 113° 50' to 116° 30' E, or 216.2 kilometres (134.3 mi).

Zhangjiakou City is divided into three topographical regions: plateau, mountains, and basin. The former has elevations generally above 1400 metres (4,593.2 ft), and consists of all of Guyuan and Kangbao Counties as well as part of Shangyi and Zhangbei Counties. This area is part of the southern end of the Inner Mongolia Plateau (内蒙古高原) and accounts for one-third of the prefecture's area. The basin area has elevations of 500 to 1000 m (1,640.4 to 3,280.8 ft) and supports a few rivers.

Zhangjiakou has a monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

-influenced, continental semi-arid climate (Köppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 BSk), with long, cold, dry, and windy winters due to the Siberian anticyclone, and hot, humid summers driven by the East Asian monsoon
East Asian monsoon
The East Asian monsoon is a monsoonal flow that carries moist air from the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean to East Asia. It affects approximately one-third of the global population, influencing the climate of Japan , the Koreas, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and much of mainland China...

; in between spring and autumn are dry and brief. Conditions are much cooler than in Beijing due in part to the elevation. Winters last from mid-November to late March and at their height in January, temperatures typically remain below freezing all day. In summer, temperatures often reach or surpass 30 °C (86 °F).

Administrative divisions

Map
# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Population (2004 est.) Area (km²) Density (/km²)
County-level divisions
1 Qiaoxi District
Qiaoxi District, Zhangjiakou
Qiaoxi District is a district of the city of Zhangjiakou, Hebei, People's Republic of China.-Administrative Divisions:Subdistricts:*South Mingde Avenue Subdistrict , Dahuanmen Subdistrict , North Mingde Avenue Subdistrict , Xinhua Avenue Subdistrict , Baozili Subdistrict , Nanyingfang Subdistrict...

桥西区 Qiáoxī Qū 230,000 141 1,631
2 Qiaodong District
Qiaodong District, Zhangjiakou
-Administrative Divisions:Subdistricts:*Hongqilou Subdistrict , North Shengli Road Subdistrict , Wuyi Road Subdistrict , Huayuan Avenue Subdistrict , Zuanshi Road Subdistrict , Nanzhan Subdistrict , Maludong Subdistrict Towns:*Laoyazhuang , Yaojiazhuang -External Links:...

桥东区 Qiáodōng Qū 260,000 113 2,301
3 Xuanhua District
Xuanhua District
Xuanhua is a district in Zhangjiakou prefecture-level city in Hebei Province, China.Xuanhua is 180 km North-West of Beijing. It has a population of 274,000 people. Xuanhua is a very old city with a rich military and agricultural history...

宣化区 Xuānhuà Qū 290,000 276 1,051
4 Xiahuayuan District
Xiahuayuan District
-Administrative Divisions:Subdistricts:*Chengzhen Subdistrict , Meikuang Subdistrict Townships:*Huayuan Township , Xinzhuangzi Township , Dingfangshui Township , Duanjiabao Township -External Links:...

下花园区 Xiàhuāyuán Qū 70,000 315 222
5 Xuanhua County
Xuanhua County
Xuanhua County is a county of Hebei, China. It is under the administration of the Zhangjiakou city.-Administrative Divisions:Towns:*Yanghenan , Shenjing , Guocun , Shalingzi , Yaojiafang , Dacangshan , Jiajiaying , Gujiaying , Zhaochuan Townships:*Wangjiawan Township , Ta'ercun Township ,...

宣化县 Xuānhuà Xiàn 300,000 2,095 143
6 Zhangbei County
Zhangbei County
Zhangbei County , Hebei, China is a county formerly in the Chahar province. Its name, which literally means "North of Zhang[jiakou]", derives from the fact that it is north-northeast of Zhangjiakou...

张北县 Zhāngběi Xiàn 370,000 4,232 87
7 Kangbao County
Kangbao County
Kangbao County is a county of Hebei, China. It is under the administration of Zhangjiakou City.-Administrative Divisions:Towns:*Kangbao Town, Zhangji , Tuchengzi , Dengyoufang , Lijiadi , Zhaoyanghe , Tunken Townships:...

康保县 Kāngbǎo Xiàn 280,000 3,365 83
8 Guyuan County 沽源县 Gūyuán Xiàn 230,000 3,601 64
9 Shangyi County
Shangyi County
Shangyi County is a county of Hebei, China. It is under the administration of Zhangjiakou City, and is near the border with Inner Mongolia.-Administrative Divisions:Towns:...

尚义县 Shàngyì Xiàn 190,000 2,621 72
10 Yu County
Yu County, Hebei
Yu County is a district of Zhangjiakou, Hebei, China.Yuzhouzhen Yu County is a district of Zhangjiakou, Hebei, China.Yuzhouzhen Yu County is a district of Zhangjiakou, Hebei, China.Yuzhouzhen (蔚州镇) refers to the city that serves as the county seat of Yuxian, or Yu County. The Old City (the...

蔚县 Yù Xiàn 460,000 3,216 143
11 Yangyuan County
Yangyuan County
Yangyuan County lies in the municipal region of Zhangjiakou, Hebei province in North China.-Geography:Yangyuan is bounded by Huaian County to the north, Xuanhua County to the east, Yu County to the south, and by Datong municipality in Shanxi priovince to the north and west.-Administration:Yangyuan...

阳原县 Yángyuán Xiàn 280,000 1,834 153
12 Huai'an County
Huai'an County, Hebei
Huai'an County is a county of Hebei, China. It is under the administration of Zhangjiakou City.-Administrative Divisions:Towns:*Chaigoubao , Zuowei , Toubaihu , Huai'ancheng Townships:...

怀安县 Huái'ān Xiàn 250,000 1,706 147
13 Wanquan County
Wanquan County
Wanquan County is a county of Hebei, China. It is under the administration of Zhangjiakou City. It was the site of the Battle of the Badger's Mouth Pass, one of the major campaigns in the Mongol-Jin War-Administrative Divisions:Towns:...

万全县 Wànquán Xiàn 220,000 1,158 190
14 Huailai County
Huailai County
Huailai is a county in the Hebei province of northern China, under the administration of Zhangjiakou prefecture-level city.Huailai County is a center for grape wine production, with the China Great Wall Wine Company, Ltd. headquartered in the town of Shacheng. Huailai Tianyuan Special Type Glass...

怀来县 Huáilái Xiàn 340,000 1,793 190
15 Zhuolu County
Zhuolu County
Zhuolu County is a county of Hebei, China. It is under the administration of the Zhangjiakou city. It has eight towns , nine townships , and 373 village-level units , in Zhangjiakou Prefecture, Hebei Province. It is located near the confluence of the Sanggan He and Yang He tributaries to the...

涿鹿县 Zhuōlù Xiàn 330,000 2,799 118
16 Chicheng County 赤城县 Chìchéng Xiàn 280,000 5,238 53
17 Chongli County
Chongli County
Chongli County is a county of Hebei, China. It is under the administration of the Zhangjiakou city.-Administrative Divisions:Towns:*Xiwanzi , Gaojiaying Townships:...

崇礼县 Chónglǐ Xiàn 120,000 2,326 52

Zhangjiakou in fiction

  • In the novel The Legend of the Condor Heroes
    The Legend of the Condor Heroes
    The Legend of Condor Heroes is a wuxia novel by Jin Yong, and the first part of the Condor Trilogy. It was first serialized between January 1, 1957 and May 19, 1959 in Hong Kong Commercial Daily...

    , the two main characters, Guo Jing
    Guo Jing
    Guo Jing is the fictional protagonist of The Legend of the Condor Heroes, a wuxia novel by Jin Yong. He plays a supporting role in the sequel novel The Return of the Condor Heroes as well...

     and Huang Rong
    Huang Rong
    Huang Rong is a fictional character in the wuxia novel The Legend of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong. She plays a supporting role in the sequel The Return of the Condor Heroes.-Character description:...

     first met in this city.
  • Zhangjiakou was the setting for Zhang Yimou
    Zhang Yimou
    Zhang Yimou is a Chinese film director, producer, writer and actor, and former cinematographer. He is counted amongst the Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers, having made his directorial debut in 1987 with Red Sorghum....

    's film Not One Less
    Not One Less
    Not One Less is a 1999 drama film by Chinese director Zhang Yimou, adapted from Shi Xiangsheng's 1997 story "A Sun in the Sky" . It was produced by Guangxi Film Studio and released by China Film Group Corporation in mainland China, and distributed by Sony Pictures Classics and Columbia Tristar...

    (1999).