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Shijiazhuang still shining

 Shijiazhuang still shining

Today's shrine at Xibaipo marking momentous days in contemporary Chinese history.

Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, has a glorious name closely connected with the birth of New China.

Xibaipo about 90 km from urban Shijiazhuang was before a little-known village, but it has become a revolutionary shrine, the site where headquarters of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was established after it moved from northwest Shaanxi province in 1948.

The village was home to the CPC's top leaders, though for less than one year and witnessed momentous days in contemporary Chinese history.

After the People's Liberation Army swept across China, a historic Party conference was held at Xibaipo before founders of the New China set off for Beijing.

Shijiazhuang was also the site of other firsts in New China.

Shijiazhuang still shining

The city hosted the inception of modern China's financial system as the birthplace of the currency renminbi. The People's Bank of China, the nation's central bank, was also begun there.

Instead of resting on its historic laurels, Shijiazhuang has made marked progress in economic growth and city construction in recent years.

Its gross domestic product (GDP) hit 239.3 billion yuan in 2007 for a per capita GDP standing of 25,144 yuan. Foreign trade volume reached $5.1 billion last year.

The booming economy has fueled the city's construction.

Local authorities have strengthened infrastructure construction and expanded green coverage, seeking to create a friendly environment.

Situated on the rim of the Bohai Bay and neighboring Beijing and Tianjin, the capital of Hebei province has a location of strategic significance and is growing into a key transportation center.

It has a widespread road network, air service to more than 20 domestic cities and 10 international cargo routes and one of China's three biggest cargo railway stations.

To further enhance its appeal to visitors and improve the living environment for locals, the city government has mounted a series of projects to improve its appearance and ecology.

After years of effort, it has new green areas and a recently restored 57-km section of river with 22 parks.

A number of landmarks, public facilities and residential communities developed in recent years have also contributed to rejuvenating the city.

Shijiazhuang still shining

The efforts won the city an award presented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development last year.

Another asset is the city's pool of human resources. It is home to 67 research institutes and 34 universities and colleges, including seven experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In addition to intellectual support, Shijiazhuang is also proud of its role in contribution to elevating the performance of Chinese national table tennis team.

As a national ping-pong training center, the city has hosted intense training and international competitions.

National teams from Germany, Japan, France, Italy and Australia are among those training at the site

Shijiazhuang has now forged relationships with more than 20 foreign cities and exchanged cooperation in economics, technology and culture with 192 countries and regions.

Thirteen Fortune 500 companies have made investments in the city.



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