Baoding (Chinese: 保定; pinyin: Bǎodìng) is a city in Hebei province, China, approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) southwest of the national capital, Beijing. At the 2010 census, Baoding City had 11,194,372 inhabitants out of which 2,176,857 lived in the built-up (or metro) area made of 3 urban districts and Qingyuan and Mancheng counties largely being conurbated, on 1,840 km2 (710 sq mi). Baoding is among 13 Chinese cities with a population of over 10 million, ranking seventh.
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. During the Boxer rebellion, Boxer rebels killed a Turk, two Swiss, and an Italian in Baoding.
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.
Baoding has a continental, monsoon-influenced humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa), 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.