Baoding (Chinese Postal Map Romanisation: Paoting; Chinese: 保定; pinyin: Bǎodìng) is a city of Hebei province, bordering the national capital Beijing, which lies 140 kilometres (87 mi) to the northeast. The population of Baoding City, which has an area of 22,185 square kilometres (8,566 sq mi), is 11,194,379, out of which 1,028,000 reside in the urban districts (2010 census) which comprise an area of 365 km2 (141 sq mi).
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. After Zhili province was abolished in 1928 Baoding became the capital of the newly formed Hebei province. During World War II, the city was the site of a headquarters for Japanese occupation forces. In 1958, the role of provincial capital was assumed by Tianjin, which had lost its status as a provincial 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.
Baoding is located in the west-central portion of Hebei province and lies on the North China Plain, with the Taihang Mountains to the west. Bordering prefecture-level cities in the province are Zhangjiakou to the north, Langfang and Cangzhou to the east, and Shijiazhuang and Hengshui to the south. Baoding also borders Beijing to the northeast and Shanxi to the west.
Elevations in Baoding's administrative area decrease from northwest to southeast. The western parts are dominated by mountains and hills that are generally more than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) tall; this area includes parts of Laishui, Yi, Mancheng, Shunping, Tang and Fuping Counties as well as the entirety of Laiyuan County, occupying 30.6% of the prefecture's area. The highest peak is Mount Waitou (歪头山), with an elevation of 2,286 metres (7,500 ft). Moving southeast from this area, one encounters low-lying mountains and hills, taking up 18.9% of the prefecture's area. Further to the east lies generally flat terrain of 30 to 100 metres (98 to 330 ft) elevation. Here the primary rivers are the Juma, Yishui (易水), Cao (漕河), Longquan (龙泉河), Tang (唐河), and Sha Rivers. Baiyangdian Lake, the largest natural lake in northern China, can be found nearby.
Baoding has a continental, monsoon-influenced semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk), characterised by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and generally cold, windy, very dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Spring can bear witness to sandstorms blowing in from the Mongolian steppe, accompanied by rapidly warming, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn is similar to spring in temperature and lack of rainfall. The annual rainfall, about 60% of which falls in July and August alone, is highly variable and not reliable. In the city itself, this amount has averaged to a meagre 513 millimetres (20.2 in) per annum. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −3.2 °C (26.2 °F) in January to 26.8 °C (80.2 °F) in July, and the annual mean is 12.9 °C (55.2 °F). There are 2,500 to 2,900 hours of bright sunshine annually, and the frost-free period lasts 165−210 days.
|Climate data for Baoding (1971−2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.5
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.7
|Precipitation mm (inches)||2.0
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||1.6||2.0||3.1||4.2||5.7||7.7||11.7||11.3||6.9||4.9||3.3||1.6||64.0|
|Source: Weather China|
Administrative divisions 
|#||ISO 3166-2||English name||Simp. Chinese||Trad. Chinese||Pinyin||Area in km2||Seat||Postal code||Divisions|
|Subdistricts||Towns||Townships||Ethnic townships||Residential communities (居委会)||Villages (村委会)|
|N/A||130600||Baoding||保定市||保定市||Bǎodìng Shì||22185||Xinshi District||071000||28||142||170||3||389||6209|
|1||130602||Xinshi District||新市区||新市區||Xīnshì Qū||190||Xianfeng Subdistrict (先锋街道)||071000||5||6||80||79|
|2||130603||Beishi District||北市区||北市區||Běishì Qū||75||Wusi Road Subdistrict (五四路街道)||071000||5||3||49||60|
|3||130604||Nanshi District||南市区||南市區||Nánshì Qū||100||Lianmeng Subdistrict (联盟街道)||071000||5||4||42||61|
|4||130682||Dingzhou City||定州市||定州市||Dìngzhōu Shì||1274||Nanchengqu Subdistrict (南城区街道)||073000||3||17||5||1||31||486|
|5||130681||Zhuozhou City||涿州市||涿州市||Zhuōzhōu Shì||742||Shuangta Subdistrict (双塔街道)||072700||3||6||5||39||404|
|6||130683||Anguo City||安国市||安國市||Ānguó Shì||486||Qizhouyaoshi Subdistrict (祁州药市街道)||071200||1||6||4||6||198|
|7||130684||Gaobeidian City||高碑店市||高碑店市||Gāobēidiàn Shì||682||Xinghua Road Subdistrict (兴华路街道)||074000||5||6||4||19||442|
|8||130621||Mancheng County||满城县||滿城縣||Mǎnchéng Xiàn||629||Huiyang Subdistrict (惠阳街道)||072100||1||5||7||6||204|
|9||130622||Qingyuan County||清苑县||清苑縣||Qīngyuán Xiàn||867||Qingyuan (清苑镇)||071100||8||10||6||266|
|10||130633||Yi County||易县||易縣||Yì Xiàn||2534||Yizhou (易州镇)||074200||9||18||1||7||469|
|11||130625||Xushui County||徐水县||徐水縣||Xúshuǐ Xiàn||723||Ansu (安肃镇)||072500||7||7||15||304|
|12||130630||Laiyuan County||涞源县||淶源縣||Láiyuán Xiàn||2448||Laiyuan (涞源镇)||074300||7||10||8||285|
|13||130626||Dingxing County||定兴县||定興縣||Dìngxīng Xiàn||714||Dingxing (定兴镇)||072600||5||11||8||274|
|14||130636||Shunping County||顺平县||順平縣||Shùnpíng Xiàn||708||Puyang (蒲阳镇)||072200||5||5||4||237|
|15||130627||Tang County||唐县||唐縣||Táng Xiàn||1417||Renhou (仁厚镇)||072300||7||13||8||345|
|16||130631||Wangdu County||望都县||望都縣||Wàngdū Xiàn||320||Wangdu (望都镇)||072400||2||6||7||143|
|17||130623||Laishui County||涞水县||淶水縣||Láishuǐ Xiàn||1658||Laishui (涞水镇)||074100||7||8||1||6||284|
|18||130628||Gaoyang County||高阳县||高陽縣||Gāoyáng Xiàn||496||Gaoyang (高阳镇)||071500||4||5||11||170|
|19||130632||Anxin County||安新县||安新縣||Ānxīn Xiàn||724||Anxin (安新镇)||071600||9||3||5||207|
|20||130638||Xiong County||雄县||雄縣||Xióng Xiàn||524||Xiongzhou (雄州镇)||071800||6||3||7||223|
|21||130629||Rongcheng County||容城县||容城縣||Róngchéng Xiàn||314||Rongcheng (容城镇)||071700||5||3||4||127|
|22||130634||Quyang County||曲阳县||曲陽縣||Qūyáng Xiàn||1084||Hengzhou (恒州镇)||073100||5||13||6||367|
|23||130624||Fuping County||阜平县||阜平縣||Fùpíng Xiàn||2495||Fuping (阜平镇)||073200||5||8||5||209|
|24||130637||Boye County||博野县||博野縣||Bóyě Xiàn||331||Boye (博野镇)||071300||3||4||4||133|
|25||130635||Li County||蠡县||蠡縣||Lǐ Xiàn||652||Liwu (蠡吾镇)||071400||8||5||6||232|
|Note: Baoding New High Technology Product Development Zone (保定高新技术产业开发区) includes Damafang Township (大马坊乡) of Xinshi District and Jiantai Township (贤台乡) of Mancheng County; the Baigou New City (白沟新城) includes Baigou Town (白沟镇) of Gaobeidian City.|
|Residence population (November 2010)||Hukou population
(end of 2010)
|Total||Ratio (%)||Population density (persons/km2)|
|Note: The 58,709 people residing in Baoding High Technology Product Development Zone and the 124,274 in the Baigou New City are not listed separately.|
According to the 2010 Census, the residence population stood at 11,194,379, an increase of 605,100 (5.71%) from 2000. The male-female ratio was 101.94:100. Children aged up to 14 numbered 1,915,800 (17.11% of the population), citizens 15 to 64 numbered 8,370,600 (74.78%), and 65+ numbered 908,000 (8.11%). The urban area of Baoding has a population of around 1,006,000 (2009). The overwhelming majority of the population is 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 the Beijing dialect — rather, it is more closely related to Tianjin dialect.
Baoding is located in the centre of the Bohai Rim economic area which includes Beijing, Tianjin and Shijiazhuang. One of the largest employers in Baoding is China Lucky Film, the largest photosensitive materials and magnetic recording media manufacturer in China. And, Yingli group, 2010 World Cup sponsor, is located its headquarter in Baoding, who is the Global Top 10 solar panel manufacturer. More renown companies include ZhongHang HuiTeng Windpower Equipment Co., Ltd (Wind Turbine), Baoding Tianwei Group Co., Ltd (Transformer) and Great Wall Motor.
- Baoding High-tech Industrial Development Zone 
Renewable energy 
Baoding city has one of China's biggest plants which manufacture blades used in wind turbine generators, catering mainly to the domestic market. Tianwei Wind Power Technology is one of the three main plants in Baoding that produces wind turbine generators. It wheeled out its first 20 turbines in 2008 and it will produce 150 units in 2009 and another 500 in 2010.
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, which is one out of two nearest ports (Huanghua is the other one). The Jingguang Railway provides frequent services to Beijing West Railway Station. On 30 December 2012, a new railway station was opened in Baoding, old train station was closed for passengers.
Baoding is headquarters of the 38th Mechanized Group Army of the People's Liberation Army, one of the three group armies that comprise the Beijing Military Region responsible for defending the PRC capital.
Perhaps the best known item to supposedly originate in Baoding are Baoding Balls, which can be used to relax your keyboard hand and strengthen your wrist. The most famous local specialty food is the Donkey Burger (驴肉火烧).
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.
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 Chaoyang Avenue. There is a ring road around the city.
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 16 designated state-level cultural relics:
- Yan State Capital Relics (475BC-221BC, Yixian County)
- Great Wall at Zijinguan Pass (1368–1644, Yixian County and Laiyuan County)
- Lao Morality Classic Tablet (618-907, Yixian County)
- Western Qing Tombs (1730–1915, Yixian County)
- Geyuan Temple (916-1125, Laiyuan County)
- Ciyun Pavillion (1306, Dingxing County)
- Yicihui Stone Pillar (550-577, Dingxing County)
- Kaiyuan Temple (960-1127, Dingzhou County)
- Kaishan Temple (618-907, Gaobeidian County)
- Dingzhou Porcelain Kiln Relic (960-1127, Quyang County)
- Beiyue Temple (386-543, Quyang County)
- Jin-cha-ji Border Region Headquarter Ruins (1938, Fuping County)
- Ranzhuang Underground Tunnel (1937–1945, Qingyuan County)
- Mancheng Han Tombs (154BC-113BC, Mancheng County)
- Zhili Provincial Governor Office (1730–1911, Baoding)
- Historical Site of the Baoding Military Academy (1902–1923)
Notable people 
- Fan Ye - gymnast, 2003 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships Balance Beam Gold Medalist
- Guo Jingjing - diver and Olympic gold medalist in 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.
- Qian Hong - swimmer and Olympic gold medalist in 1992 Summer Olympics.
- Fan Hongbin - gymnast, Olympic silver medalist in 1996 Summer Olympics.
International relations 
Twin towns — sister cities 
Baoding is twinned with:
- Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
- Yonago, Tottori, Japan
- Saijo, Ehime, Japan
- Sønderborg Municipality, Denmark
Temple in the centre of old Baoding
Part of Yuhua Road, the main street of old Baoding
Arch on Yuhua Road, old Baoding
An intersection in Yuhua Road's shopping district
A civic monument
A public park
A public park
Baoding West Railway Station
Baoding city buses
Baoding in the evening
Old Baoding Railway station
Old Baoding Railway Station
See also 
- "概况" (in Simplified Chinese). Baoding People's Government. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
- Peel, M. C. and Finlayson, B. L. and McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification". Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 11: 1633-1644. ISSN 1027-5606.
- "Baoding new railway station" (in Russian). Retrieved 2013-01-03.