The topography of Hebei
Province is composed of three major geomorphic features, of which the average height of the Bashang highland is 1,200-1,500 meters above sea level, making up 8.5 percent of the total area; meanwhile, Mt. Yanshan and Mt. Taihangshan, including hilly land and basins, mostly lie within an elevation below 2,000 meters, accounting for 48.1 percent of the total area. The Hebei
Plain is part of the North China Plain, with an elevation mostly below 50 meters, accounting for 43.4 percent of the total provincial area.
The topography of the province declines from the northwest to the southeast. The northwestern part is composed of mountains, hilly lands and highlands, among which there are also basins and valleys, while the central and southeast parts are broad plains.
The province lies in the temperate zone, with a continental monsoon climate. In most areas, the change of season is distinct, with yearly sunshine averaging 2,500¨C3,100 hours. The annual frost-free period lasts about 120 to 200 days; annual rainfall averages 300 to 800 mm. The monthly mean temperatures is 3 degrees C or below. The mean temperatures in July are 18 to 27 degrees C, with a clear-cut change of seasons.
The province has a coastline extending 487.3 km, covering a total area of 1 million hectares. With this natural condition, the province can develop such industries as offshore petroleum oil drilling, marine chemical, marine transportation, and marine tourism. Qinhuangdao is a well-known ice-free port in north China. The Yellow River, Haihe River, and Luanhe River run across the province, where an offshore aquatic breeding industry can readily be developed.
So far, a total of 116 varieties of mineral ores have been discovered, which the deposits of 74 have been surveyed. There are 45 mines whose reserves are among the national top 10.
In the province, there are more than 3,000 species of plants, of which more than 140 are fiber plants, more than 1,000 are medicinal herbs and plants, and more than 100 are timbers. There are 300 or more kinds of forage grass, 140 kinds of oily plants, and more than 450 varieties of cultivated plants. Of them, the output of cotton makes up one-seventh of the nation?ˉs total and that of maize and fruits makes one-tenth of the nation?ˉs total respectively. There are 215 varieties of farming products in 12 major categories that can be listed as brand name and best products, or native or rare products. There are more than 20 varieties of medicinal herbs and materials for export.
The province is the only one in the country that boasts highlands, mountainous and hilly areas, plains, lakes and a coastline. Across the province, there are 304 ancient ruins and groups of ancient buildings including 58 key relics under state protection. The number of historical and cultural relics in the province ranks first in the country along with Shaanxi
Province. The total number of natural and human cultural scenic sites ranks second nationally. They include the Chengde Summer Resort, Shanhaiguan Pass at the head of the Great Wall, Beidaihe holiday resort, the Eastern and Western Tombs of the emperors of the Qing Dynasty.
It boasts two large coalmines at Kailuan and Fengfeng in addition to the North China oil field.
Environment and current issues:
For the time being, the provincial government has been carrying out its environmental protective and pollution-controlling program called the ?°restoration program of blue water, azure sky and verdant landscape.?± The ecological and living environments of the people in the province have both improved, and are beginning to assume a course of economic development in harmony with nature.
At the end of 2000, there were 9,145 people engaged in the work of environmental protection, with 78 environmental monitoring stations at various levels. There are 12 nature reserves covering a total area of 121,500 hectares. The area of grassland in the urban and rural areas has steadily increased. The rate of attaining the goal of complete control of pollution in key enterprises and of the complete harnessing of industrial pollution is 92 percent and 90 percent or more respectively.
growth rate: 4.98??.
Life expectancy (average): 71 years (1990).
In the province, apart from Han, there are Manchu, Hui, Mongolian, Zhuang, Korean, Miao, and Tujia, totaling 53 minority ethnic groups in all. The Population
of these ethnic groups accounts for 4 percent of the provincial total. Now, there are six autonomous counties of minority ethnic groups.
In 2000, the coverage rate of the nine-year compulsory education program reached 98.9 percent. There were various schools with a total enrolment of 13.99 million students at different grades. The province has built up a comparatively complete educational system involving fundamental education, vocational and technical education, general higher education, and higher learning courses for adults and secondary education as its principal constituents in addition to kindergartens.
Fifteen trunk lines run through the province. The volume of goods carried by rail ranks first in the country.Highways:
There are 17 national artery highways and the volume of goods carried by road ranks second in the country. The expressway network is now 1,009 km long, second in China.
Transport by sea of the province is very convenient. From north to south, there are Qinhuangdao Port, Jingtang Port, Tianjin
Port and Huanghua Port which is now under construction. The handling capacity of Qinhuangdao Port is almost 100 million tons a year, the second largest in China. The available handling capacity of Jingtang Port is 6.51 million tons a year.
The Shijiazhuang civil airfield is an international airport approved by the State. So far, 25 air routes have been opened to public service, flying to 32 large and medium-sized cities across the country. Flight services are also available from Shijiazhuang to Hong Kong
and to Russia and other states of the CIS. The Qinhuangdao Shanhaiguan airfield now has opened 21 air routes leading to 17 cities across the nation. The capital airport in Beijing
and the international airport in Tianjin
can be used by the province.