Baoding or Paoting, city (1994 est. pop. 519,200), central Hebei prov., China. It is a port on the Fu River and an agricultural distribution center, with food-processing and variety of other light industries. Baoding was the capital of Hebei prov. until 1958. A medical college and an agricultural institute are in the city. Baoding was formerly called Qingyuan.

Baoding is a prefecture-level city in Hebei province, China.

People and culture

The Baoding urban area has a population of around 635,000 (2002). The population of the Baoding administrative area is larger. The considerable majority are Han Chinese. The language of Baoding is Mandarin Chinese — specifically, the Baoding dialect of Ji-Lu Mandarin. Despite Baoding's proximity to Beijing, the Chinese spoken in Baoding is not particularly close to Beijing dialect — rather, it is more closely related to Tianjin dialect.

Hebei province, in which Baoding is located, is home to a high proportion of Chinese Catholics; Baoding likewise reflects this demographic trend. Several Catholic leaders from Baoding have faced arrest since the 1990s.

Perhaps the best known item to supposedly originate in Baoding are Baoding Balls.

Anxin County is home to the Quantou Village Music Association (圈头村音乐会), a well known traditional music group performing on guan (oboes), sheng (mouth organs), and percussion. The village of Quantou is located on an island in Lake Baiyangdian.


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. It continued to serve as provincial capital when Zhili was renamed Hebei. During World War II, the city was the site of a headquarters for Japanese occupation forces. In 1958, the role of provincial capital was assuemed by Tianjin, which had lost its status as a province-level municipality, but when Tianjin was elevated again in 1966, Baoding regained its position. In 1970, however, the rapidly growing city of Shijiazhuang became capital instead.


On of the largest employers in Baoding is China Lucky Film, the largest photosensitive materials and magnetic recording media manufacturer in China.


Baoding is located around 140 kilometres south of Beijing. It is nearly halfway between Beijing and Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province.

Baoding is situated on flat plains, to the east of the Taihang Mountains. It is surrounded by farmland. The city is roughly rectangular in shape, and is divided by the north-south Jingguang Railway. Baoding Railway Station marks the geographic centre of the city. The older part of Baoding is on the east side of the railway, and is administratively divided into the North City and South City. On the west side of the railway is the New City, an area of more recent development.

The city's streets follow a rough grid pattern, although this is less obvious in the older part of the city. The traditional main street of old Baoding is Yuhua Road, running from the city's centre to its eastern edge — most of Baoding's historic buildings are located in this area, along with some of its larger shopping centres. Other major streets include Dongfeng Road and Changyang Avenue. There is a ring road around the city.

Baoding is home to Hebei University, among others.

Historic Sites

Baoding contains a number of notable historic sites. In the city proper, there can be found a historic provincial governor's mansion and an ancient lotus garden. In the hills to the northwest of the city, near the suburb of Mancheng, there are the Mancheng Han Tombs, where prince Liu Sheng and his wife Dou Wan were buried.

The greater Baoding administrative area has 15 designated state-level cultural relics:

  1. Yan State Capital Relics (475BC-221BC, Yixian County)
  2. Great Wall at Zijinguan Pass (1368-1644, Yixian County and Laiyuan County)
  3. Lao Morality Classic Tablet (618-907, Yixian County)
  4. Western Qing Tombs (1730-1915, Yixian County)
  5. Geyuan Temple (916-1125, Laiyuan County)
  6. Ciyun Temple (1306, Dingxing County)
  7. Yicihui Stone Pillar (550-577, Dingxing County)
  8. Kaiyuan Temple (960-1127, Dingzhou County)
  9. Kaishansi Temple (618-907, Gaobeidian County)
  10. Dingzhou Porcelain Kiln Relic (960-1127, Quyang County)
  11. Northern Mount Temple (386-543, Quyang County)
  12. Jin-cha-ji Border Region Headquarter Ruins (1938, Fuping County)
  13. Ranzhuang Underground Tunnel (1937-1945, Qingyuan County)
  14. Mancheng Han Tombs (154BC-113BC, Mancheng County)
  15. Zhili Provincial Governor Office (1730-1911, Baoding)


Baoding has good connections to other cities, being located on one of the main routes in and out of Beijing. The Jingshi Expressway connects the two cities, and Baoding is also the western terminus of the Baojin Expressway linking Baoding with Tianjin. The Jingguang Railway provides frequent services to Beijing West Railway Station.

Baoding's internal public transport system consists of buses (costing one yuan for any trip within the urban area). Taxis are also common.


Baoding is located in the middle of Hebei Province, east of Mount Taihang. During the Monsoon season, the yearly average precipitation is 570 millimeters, the yearly average temperature is around 12.0 °C.


Baoding prefecture-level city consists of 4 municipal districts, 4 county-level cities, 18 counties:

Twin Cities

Town twinning of Baoding:


External links

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