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, province (2010 pop. 71,854.202), 78,900 sq mi (204,404 sq km), NE China, on the Bohai, an arm of the Yellow Sea. The capital is Shijiazhuang. The province contains two autonomous municipalities administered directly by the central government: Beijing,
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a provoince in North China. Hopeh is washed by two gulfs of the Yellow Sea: the Gulf of Liaotung and the Pohai Wan (Gulf of Chihli). Area, 190,000 sq km. Population, 42 million (1975). The capital is the city of Shihchiachuang. Most of Hopeh lies on the North China Plain. In the rest of the province, mountains predominate: the T’aihang Shan in the west and the Yen Shan and the Liao Hsi (Jeho) in the north and northwest; elevations reach 1,500–2,000 m. The dense network of rivers includes the Luan Ho and the Hai Ho.
Economy. Hopeh is an industrial region, accounting for approximately 14 percent of all industry in North China. Its coal, metallurgical, machine-building, textile, and porcelain and faïence industries manufacture products for the entire country. The province accounts for approximately 12 percent of the nation’s coal output; 45 million tons were mined in 1975. Coal is extracted primarily in the K’ailuan and Fengfeng coalfields, with major mining operations at K’aip’ing, Luan Hsi, Ment’oukou, Chinghsin, and Fengfeng. Iron ore is mined at Chinghsin, Chienp’ing, and Wuan. Petroleum is extracted in the Takang oil fields, south of Tientsin; exploitation of the fields began in 1967, and approximately 4 million tons were produced in 1975. Copper ore is mined in the Ch’engte region, and salt is extracted on the coast of the Pohai Wan. Gold is also mined in Hopeh.
The province’s electric power plants have a total capacity of approximately 800 megawatts (1975), most of which is produced by steam power plants, with a capacity of up to 100 megawatts; there are several hydroelectric power stations, with a capacity of up to 50 megawatts. The principal centers of the electric power industry are the cities of T’angshan, Shihchiachuang, Hantan, Ch’engte, and Paoting.
Ferrous metallurgy is represented by plants in T’angshan and Hantan, and nonferrous metallurgy, by the T’angshan Aluminum Plant. The province has a diversified machine-building industry, whose plants manufacture agricultural machinery and equipment for the power, mining, transportation, metallurgical, and petroleum industries. The principal centers of the machine-building industry are the cities of Shihchiachuang, T’angshan, Kalgan, Hantan, and Hsint’ai.
The building-materials industry includes cement plants in Hantan, T’angshan, and Shihchiachuang and a glass factory in Ch’inhunagtao. The textile industry is represented by a large combine in Hantan and plants in Shihchiachuang; the porcelain and faïence industry is represented by the T’angshan Ceramic Plant. The most highly industrialized areas are the central and eastern parts of the province, which, together with the cities of Peking and Tientsin, form a single industrial region; these cities do not belong to the province and are administered by the central government. Besides Peking and Tientsin, the principal industrial cities of this region are Shihchiachuang, Kalgan, and T’angshan, and Ch’inhuangtao. The main industrial centers of the southern and northeastern parts of the province are Hantan and Ch’engte, respectively.
An important agricultural region, Hopeh produces more than one-tenth of China’s grain, one-fifth of its cotton, and a considerable percentage of its industrial crops and such food products as vegetable oil. Approximately one-half of the province is under cultivation; approximately one-fifth of this area is irrigated. The Kuant’ing Reservoir, on the Yungting Ho, plays an important role in irrigation. The greater part of the land under cultivation is planted to food crops, including wheat, maize, kaoliang, millet, and rice. Also grown are, for example, soybeans, peanuts, sesame, kenaf, cotton, fruits, and tobacco. Cattle, donkeys, sheep, swine, and poultry are raised, and commercial fishing is carried on in the coastal areas.
Hopeh has 1,830 km of rail lines. Ch’inghuangtao is a major seaport, and the Grand Canal is used for some navigation.
I. M. FEDOROV
Historical survey. A habitation site and remains of the oldest type of human, Sinanthropus (Peking man), were uncovered in Hopeh, near the village of Chouk’outien. In antiquity the province was called the Land of Yen and Yu. From the eighth to fourth centuries B.C. it was part of various states, including the Yen, Wei, Ch’i, and Chao. Hopeh was part of the Northern Wei Kingdom from the fourth to sixth centuries A.D., of the Khitan Liao Empire from the ninth to 11th centuries, and of the Jurchen state of the Chin in the 12th and 13th centuries.
In 1643 and 1644 the insurgent peasant army of Li Tzu-ch’eng was active in Hopeh. In the mid-17th century, after China was conquered by the Manchus, Chihli Province (literally, “directly ruled province”) was established in the region. In 1900, Chihli served as the main base of the Boxer (I-ho T’uan) movement. The anti-imperialist May Fourth Movement began in Peking and Tientsin in 1919, and one of China’s first Communist groups, led by Li Ta-chao, was established in Peking in 1920. The province received its present name in 1928.
During the Chinese People’s National Liberation War Against the Japanese Invaders of 1937–45 (Sino-Japanese War), Hopeh was occupied by the Japanese. In early 1949 the province was liberated from the Kuomintang by the People’s Liberation Army of China.