It was formerly known as Zhili (Chihli, meaning 'direct rule'), and was directly controlled by the Central Government, but was renamed after the fall in 1911 of the Qing dynasty. Following the Communist takeover of China in 1949, the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, which lie within the outer boundaries of Hebei, were removed from its jurisdiction and designated separate metropolitan areas. Therefore, the capital of Hebei is the undistinguished railway town of Shijiazhuang. Other urban centres include Tangshan, which was very badly damaged by an earthquake in 1976, and the resort area of Qinhuangdao/Shahaiguan.
Hebei has a population of 68 million and a land area of 187,700 square kilometres.
- HeBei Province only fame is that it completely surrounds 2 of China’s powerful Municipalities - BeiJing and TianJin – with a little bit of HeBei Province wedged “floating” between them both.