(By Dr Shahid Qureshi – City of Langfang – China): –
H.E. Mr. Wang Minister for information and external affairs city of Langfang specially came to see me at the hotel and spoke about his vision about the city of Langfang. He presented city souvenirs and introduced me to his senior staff.
He later took me to the city tour with his team. The great hall of the city with over 1200 capacity Opera House and small cinemas for special viewings was fantastic. To my surprise, I saw an Islamic Middle School on the other side of the great hall. I am told that about 40000 Muslims are also living in this city. I saw few Halal Muslim Restaurants before visiting one where lunch was arranged.
City of Langfang is situated in the eastern-central part of Hebei Province, Langfang City borders Beijing in the north, Tianjin in the east, Cangzhou in the south, and Baoding in the west. It is in the central area around Bohai Sea, and is regarded as a nexus linking Beijing and Tianjin.
This city is only a 20 or 30-minute ride from Beijing by high speed over 300 km per hour train and Tianjin respectively. There are buses and trains daily from this city to Beijing and Tianjin departing every 15 to 20 minutes. Many trains go to Beijing and Tianjin via the city, the trip taking about one hour.
Langfang New Century Walk Street is a good shopping destination which is located in the central downtown area. The European style architecture of the street truly provides a feast for the eye. In addition, the city has rich geothermal resources. It is a wonderful idea to have a spa in the Mingtang Hotspring in Bazhou City.
The terrain of the city is low and flat. Depressions and dunes can both be found in this area. Its northern part is mainly comprised of hills and mountain areas. But the central and southern part of the city is alluvial plain which is much lower in altitude.
Climatic Features: The city enjoys a temperate, continental monsoon climate with four clear seasons. The weather in spring is dry and windy, and it is hot and rainy in summer. Autumn is cool and comfortable, while winter is chilly. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 4.7C (40.5F) and July the hottest with an average temperature of 26.2C (79.2F).
Autumn is the best season in which to visit there. According to historical records, ancestors of the Langfang people inhabited this area as early as 6,000 thousand years ago. It was included in the territory of the Yan Kingdom during the Warring States Period (476BC-221BC), and as a national boundary of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and Liao Kingdom (an ethnic regime in north China). It was just a small and shallow village in the eighteenth Century and gradually became a town in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Foods: pear, walnut, golden thread small jujube
Handicrafts: willow knitting of Gu’an County, cloisonne
Attractions: Grand Epoch City
Located in Anping Town in Xianghe County, about 22 miles from Langfang City, Grand Epoch City is a large tourist resort that recreates the original scenery of old Beijing during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. It is a reproduction of an ancient architectural complex which conveys the essence of Chinese culture in both past and present times.
Grand Epoch City is composed of an outer city and an inner city. From the vast square in front of the inner city, you can see the moat and the Golden-River Bridge across it. Every morning, at nine o’clock, there is a grand ceremony recreating the traditional way of opening the city gate. Walk across the Golden-River Bridge and you come to the most unique place in Grand Epoch City. Here, the old Beijing City Wall has been reborn. There are ten city gates which have been built to replicate the originals. They are Yongding Gate, Zuoan Gate, Youan Gate, Guangan Gate, Guangqu Gate, Dongbian Gate and Xibian Gate as well as two turrets and one embrasure watchtower.
Pass through the huge Yongding Gate, and you enter the inner city where a replica of the Old Summer Palace (Yuanming Yuan) lies in the eastern quarter. Covering an area of 186,574 square yards, it was rebuilt to include eight scenic sights according to the original look of Yuanming Yuan. They are Zhengda Guangming (Open and Aboveboard Hall), Pinghu Qiuyue (Smooth Lake and Autumn Moon Hall), Jiuzhou Qingyan, Wanfang Anhe, Shangxia Tianguang, Dashuifa, Yuanyingguan and Wanhuazhen. Here, you can experience and admire the extravagant luxury of Yuanming Yuan in the past.
The western section of the Grand Epoch City is a high-tech amusement park which contains several entertainment attractions such as Donggan (Energetic) Cinema, Super Train and Animal World.
Located in the north western, outskirt of Langfang City, the Nature Park is the natural landscape famous for its rustic charm. Covering an area of 193 hectare, 90% of it is verdant woods where more than 40 varieties of wild birds established their homes. An artificial lake in the middle of the park sparkles brightly in the sunlight. To the west of the lake stands a newly built cultural forest of tablets. To the east, one finds eight life size white marble elephants. To the north is an animal sightseeing park. To the south, on the other hand, is the elegant and classic “Jingyun Fengqing” (The Appeal and Charm of Beijing) which resembles the courtyard layout of the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911). Moreover, many pieces of commemorative woodlands have been opened recently, such as Qingnian (Youth) Wood, Jinguo (Heroine) Wood, and Shimin (Citizen) Wood.
Covered by green wildwood, Langfang Nature Park appeals to those intending to return to nature and emphasize on living harmoniously with nature. It enjoys a resounding prestige over Hebei Province and north China.
The city of Langfang hosted the international seminar on One Belt One Road (Silk Road) on 20 – 24 July 2017, which I was attending as a key note speaker. The seminar was attended by large number of journalists, writers, academics and students.
Silk Road Gazette www.silkroadgazette.com news website which is part of The London Post & Media Group was also officially launched by Senior Chinese diplomat H.E. Ambassador. Yao Peisheng in the City of Langfang. “It is an historical moment” said: H.E. Ambassador. Yao Peisheng.
Dr Shahid Qureshi said: I am grateful to the organisers of the seminar and impressed with the great hospitality. Dr Qureshi said: “China is surrounded by friends on most sides from Central Asian Muslim States to Pakistan”. Dr Qureshi said: Prophet Mohmmad (PBUH) said: “To get education if you have to go as far as China, you must go”. “So, I am here to learn from you The Great China” said Dr Qureshi.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015 and 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He speaks at Cambridge University on international politics. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University).
Views expressed are not of SRG