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Hebei (About this sound河北; alternately Hopeh) is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The modern province was established in 1911 as Chihli Province (Zhili Province). Its capital and largest city is Shijiazhuang. Its one-character abbreviation is "" (), named after Ji Province, a Han dynasty province (zhou) that included what is now southern Hebei. The name Hebei literally means "north of the river",[5] referring to its location entirely to the north of the Yellow River.[6]

The modern province "Chili Province" was formed in 1911, when the central government dissolved the central governed area of "Chihli", which means "Directly Ruled[7] (by the Imperial Court)" until it was renamed as "Hebei" in 1928. An alternate name for Hebei is Yānzhào (燕趙), after the state of Yan and state of Zhao that existed here during the Warring States period of early Chinese history.

Beijing and Tianjin Municipalities, which border each other, were carved out of Hebei. The province borders Liaoning to the northeast, Inner Mongolia to the north, Shanxi to the west, Henan to the south, and Shandong to the southeast. Bohai Bay of the Bohai Sea is to the east. A small part of Hebei, Sanhe Exclave, consisting of Sanhe, Dachang Hui Autonomous County, and Xianghe County, an exclave disjointed from the rest of the province, is wedged between the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin.

With a population of over 74 million people, Hebei is China's sixth most populous province. The Han majority comprise 96% of the population, followed by a minority of Manchu, Hui and Mongol peoples.

The Liaodi Pagoda, built in 1055 during the Song dynasty

Quyang County, in central Hebei, is noted for its Dingzhou porcelain, which includes various vessels such as bowls, plates, vases, and cups, as well as figurines. Dingzhou porcelain is usually creamy white, though it is also made in other colours.

Hebei cuisine is typically based on wheat, mutton and beans.

Notable individuals

Well-known people born in Hebei Province include:

Media

Hebei is served by the province-wide Hebei Television, abbreviated HEBTV. It also covers parts of Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, Henan, Shanxi, and Inner Mongolia. Shijiazhuang Radio & Television is a regional TV network that covers the provincial capital. Hebei is also served by three main newspapers, Hebei Daily, Yanzhao Metropolis Daily, and Yanzhao Evening News, all published by the Hebei Daily Newspaper Group.

Transportation

Because Hebei surrounds Beijing and Tianjin, all the numerous important railway lines radiating out of these two cities pass through Hebei. The Beijing–Guangzhou Railway is one of the most important: it passes through many major cities such as Baoding, Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Handan on its way south to Henan. Other important railways include the Beijing–Kowloon Railway, Beijing–Shanghai Railway, Traditional forms of Chinese opera in Hebei include Pingju, Hebei Bangzi (also known as Hebei Clapper Opera), and Cangzhou Kuaiban Dagu. Pingju is especially popular: it tends to be colloquial in language and hence easy to understand for audiences. Originating from northeastern Hebei, Pingju has been influenced by other forms of Chinese opera like Beijing opera. Traditionally Pingju makes use of just a xiaosheng (young male lead), a xiaodan (young female lead), and a xiaohualian (young comic character), though it has since diversified with the use of other roles as well.

Quyang County, in central Hebei, is noted for its Dingzhou porcelain, which includes various vessels such as bowls, plates, vases, and cups, as well as figurines. Dingzhou porcelain is usually creamy white, though it is also made in other colours.

Hebei cuisine is typically based on wheat, mutton and beans.

Notable individuals

Well-known people born in Hebei Province include: