Definitions

Shijiazhuang

Shijiazhuang

[shœ-jyah-jwahng]
Shijiazhuang or Shih-chia-chuang, city (1994 est. pop. 1,159,400), capital of Hebei prov., China, near the Shanxi province border. A small village until the turn of the century, when it became a railroad junction, it is now at the intersection of north-south and east-west highways and railroads. It has textile, fertilizer, pharmaceutical, automotive, and paper industries.
or Shih-chia-chuang

City (pop., 2003 est.: 1,971,000), capital of Hebei province, northeastern China. Located on the edge of the North China Plain at the foot of the Taihang Mountains, the site dates to pre-Han times (circa 206 BC). After it came under the Tang dynasty (7th–10th century AD), it was only a local market town. Its growth into one of China's major cities began in 1905, when the railway reached the area, stimulating trade and agriculture. Other rail connections and an extensive road network established it as a communications centre. It developed into an industrial city with administrative functions at the end of World War II. It is now one of China's major industrial, cultural, and economic centres.

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Shijiazhuang (literally, "The Stones' Village") is a prefecture-level city and the capital of Hebei province, China. It is about 320 km south of Beijing.

Geography

Shijiazhuang stands on the edge of the North China Plain at the foot of the Taihang Mountains, which lie to the west. The city stands south of the Hutuo River.

History

In pre-Han times (i.e., before 206 BC) it was the site of the city of Shihi in the state of Zhao, and, from Han (206 BC–AD 220) to Sui (581–618) times, it was the site of a county town with the same name. With the reorganization of local government in the early period of the Tang dynasty (618–907), the county was abolished. Shijiazhuang then became little more than a local market town, subordinated to the flourishing city of Zhengding (modern Zhengding) a few miles to the north.

The growth of Shijiazhuang into one of China's major cities began in 1905, when the BeijingWuhan (Hankou) railway reached the area, stimulating much new trade and encouraging local farmers to grow cash crops. Two years later the town became the junction for the new Shitai line, running from Shijiazhuang to Taiyuan in central Shanxi province. This connection immediately transformed the town from a local collecting center and market into a communications center of national importance on the main route from Beijing and Tianjin to Shanxi and — later, when the railway from Taiyuan was extended to the southwest — to Shaanxi province as well. The city also became the center of an extensive road network.

During the pre-World War II period, Shijiazhuang was a large railway town as well as a commercial and collecting center for Shanxi and the regions farther west and for the agricultural produce of the North China Plain, particularly for grain, tobacco, and cotton. By 1935 it had far outstripped Zhengding as an economic center. At the end of World War II the character of the city changed once again. Not only did it assume an administrative role as the preeminent city in western Hebei but it also developed into an industrial city. Some industry, such as match manufacturing, tobacco processing, and glassmaking, had already been established before the war.

Only after 1949, however, did the planned industrialization of the city gather momentum. Its population more than trebled in the decade 1948–58. In the 1950s the city experienced a major expansion in the textile industry, with large-scale cotton spinning, weaving, printing, and dyeing works. In addition, there are various plants processing local farm produce. In the 1960s it was also the site of a new chemical industry, with plants producing fertilizer and caustic soda. Shijiazhuang also became an engineering base, with a tractor-accessory plant. There are important coal deposits at Jingxing and Huailu, now named Luquan, a few miles to the west in the foothills of the Taihang Mountains, which provide fuel for a thermal-generating plant supplying power to local industries. The city's role as a transport center has been supplemented by the construction of an airport handling regular domestic flights.

Administration

Shijiazhuang has direct jurisdiction over:

Economy

Shijiazhuang is an important industrial city and is considered the economic center of Hebei. Main industries include textile-, pharmaceutical- and chemical-related industries. North China Pharmaceutical Group Corp (NCPC) located in Shijiazhuang is a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in China. In 2002, NCPC achieved domestic sales revenue USD 700 million and export sales USD 100 million.

Industrial zones

The main industrial zones include, Shijiazhuang High-tech Industrial Development Zone.

Dairy centre

The city is an important centre for the dairy trade, being the headquarters of the Sanlu Group. Both were rocked by the 2008 Chinese milk scandal. Chairman and General Manager of Sanlu, and several party officials, including vice mayor in charge of food and agriculture, Zhang Fawang, were reportedly removed from office. Mayor Ji Chuntang reportedly resigned on 17 September;

Since Sanlu, the region's largest purchaser of milk, was ordered to halt production, farmers in Hebei are suffering hardship because of the lack of purchasers for their milk. Many are said to be contemplating selling their cows into a buyerless market.

Transportation

Shijiazhuang is a transportation hub: it is at the intersection point of the Beijing-Guangzhou, Taiyuan-Dezhou, and Shuozhou-Huanghua railroads and many expressways, including the Beijing-Shenzhen and Taiyuan-Cangzhou Expressways. The Shijiazhuang Daguocun International Airport has flight connections to major cities in China.

Culture

As a young industrial city, Shijiazhuang city proper is generally considered to have relatively few sights of historical or cultural interest. Exceptions are:

However, several sites of historical and cultural significance are located in the surrounding area, including:

Universities and colleges

Sister cities

External links

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