History of Yanqing Throughout the Ages

  • offcial website of Beijing Expo 2019 2016-06-01 10:33:50

Barrier for Capital & Hub for Eight Provinces

Yanqing, ringed on three sides by mountains and one side facing water, covers a total area of 1993.75 square kilometers, with an average elevation of 500 meters. Endowed with unique climate, it enjoys a reputation of “Summer Resort” in Beijing, regarded as an important ecological barrier for northwest capital. As a place endowed with the fine spirits of the universe and intoxicating scenery, it boasts not only the spectacular Badaling Great Wall, the charming Longqing Gorge, the vast Kangxi Grassland, but also the Songshan Primitive Forest Nature Reserve nearest to urban areas, the largest Yeyahu Wetland in North China, the Geological Park with silicified wood formed after 140 million years of evolution, as well as other famous scenic attractions. Taking full advantage of pure water, uncontaminated land and clean air, Yanqing built the Four Ecological Corridors, which are Guihe River Ecological Corridor, Longqingxia Forest Park, Beishan Tourism Belt and Ecological Belt along the Shore-land of Guanting Reservoir, surrounding and protecting Yanqing District, making the District worthy of the titles of the Backyard Garden of the Capital, and the Great Green Oxygen Bar.

Although Yanqing is situated in Yanhuai Basin, it has connected to Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, and Liaoning by thoroughfare since ancient times, with rich and profound cultural heritage as Imperial Path in Liao, Jin, and Yuan Dynasties. Due to the advantaged landscape surrounding the Capital with mountains and waters scattered as barriers, it served as the protective screen in Ming and Qing Dynasties. According to historical records, in Liao, Jin, Yuan Dynasties, the area of Yellow Dragon Pond and nearby places inside Yanqing was the Royal Garden and Royal Stopover. The pleasant climate and extraordinarily beautiful landscape have attracted not only feudal emperors and senior officials, but also literary celebrities to create over 1000 pieces of poems for the intoxicating scenery. There are still ancient landscape with original names such as “Shadow Goose Pool”, “Dream Realization Temple”, “Lotus Pond” of Empress Dowager Xiao in the Liao Dynasty, and “Xiangshui Garden”, “Liubei Pool”, “Chefang Official Garden” recorded in History of the Yuan Dynasty. Historical records prove that there were “Guichuan Eight Sights” in the history of the Ming Dynasty: Autumn Wind at the Crossroads, Afterglow in Yulin, Moon above Desolate Mountain, Rain Dance in Haituo, Smoky Tree in Ancient City, Guichuan Snow Cover, Flying Swan Goose in Faraway Frontier, and Riding for Hunt on Plains. In Qing Dynasty when prefectures and counties were combined, there were another “Guichuan Eight Sights”: Rain Dance in Haituo, Green Divine Peak, Afterglow on Lotus Pond, Guichuan Snow Cover, Smoky Tree in Ancient City, Moon above Desolate Mountain, Overlooking from Jinyang, and Jade Spring Spraying Pearl.

Located in the northwest of the Capital, as the barrier in protection of Capital in Liao, Jin, and Yuan Dynasties, Yanqing is a vital military hub in the eyes of military strategists in ancient China, with the Great Wall passing through from east to west. With an intermittent history of establishment and evolution, Yanqing County had experienced several rises and declines from the Western Han Dynasty to the Ming Dynasty. When the establishment was canceled due to wars, residents migrated to the south of the Great Wall on a large scale, and while the establishment was resumed, residents gathered from all directions of the country. Since Ming and Qing Dynasties when the establishment was relatively stable, residents were mainly composed of immigrants from Shanxi, soldiers defending the Great Wall, capitulants from Mongolian tartar tribes, together with some disgraced officials and some generations of the “Eight Banners” with enclosures at the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. After hundreds of years of integration, residents in Yanqing have developed the characters of honesty, industry, curiousness and inclusiveness, with unique customs and local accent different from those in both south and north of the Great Wall. Yanqing boasts hardworking residents and unsophisticated customs.

The development of Yanqing continues with the past and opens up the future. Socialist construction was a key period for Yanqing’s social and economic recovery and development, when the local people worked together in water conservancy, governance of mountains and rivers, through hard work and smooth coordination. The reform and opening up policy, like another gust of spring breeze to Guichuan, had made Yanqing’s economic and social development full of new vitality and vigor, and the people there continuously update concept and search for advantages to rejuvenate the country and enrich the people. Yanqing has stuck to scientific development, and set ecological civilization as the criterion of establishment. Since the 21st century, Yanqing has updated the development ideas, advancing with changes in the development of international and domestic situations, and has established the “Development Strategy of Ecological Civilization” after continuously perfecting the development ideas and innovating development modes. The beautiful garden scenery of “County inside and surrounded by Garden, Garden Views blended with Urban Life” makes Yanqing worthy of the praise of “Landscape City, Garden City”. Yanqing boasts rich urban landscape and good living environment. Based on ecological resources advantage, Yanqing has brought the ecological index into the urban construction and management system, to construct urban ecological landscape, shape a landscape garden city decorated with mountains and waters, and build a livable new city. Yanqing unswervingly implements the “Development Strategy of Ecological Civilization”, taking people as orientation, development as core and harmony of human and nature as pursuit, which is in accord with the requirement of the scientific outlook on development, with the functional orientation of ecological conservation development area, and with the regional characteristics and history of Yanqing. Therefore, the “Development Strategy of Ecological Civilization” can be regarded as the guideline to speed up the economic and social development in Yanqing during the New Age.

In this day and age, Yanqing furthers the implementation of the “Development Strategy of Ecological Civilization”, endeavoring to become the key area of ecological conservation for the Capital, a modern ecological livable city, and a well-known international tourism and recreation area. Due to bearing the function of capital ecological conservation development, the beautiful Guichuan is added with charm of Beijing Green Demonstration Area, fully showing the attraction of natural habitability, revealing the rich in-depth humanistic connotations, all of which move Yanqing towards the comprehensive development magnificently.

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