Xingtai (simplified Chinese: 邢台; traditional Chinese: 邢臺 or 邢台; pinyin: Xíngtái; Wade–Giles: Hsing2-tai2) is a prefecture-level city in southern Hebei province, People's Republic of China. It has a total area of 12,486 square kilometres (4,821 sq mi) and administers 2 districts, 2 county-level cities and 15 counties. In 2004 it had an urban population of 561,400 and a total population of 6.73 million. It borders Shijiazhuang and Hengshui in the north, Handan in the south, and the provinces of shandong and Shanxi in the east and west respectively.
Xingtai is the oldest city in North China. The history of Xingtai can be traced back 3500 years ago. During the Shang Dynasty, Xingtai functioned as a capital city. During the Zhou Dynasty, the State of Xing – from which the present name derives – was founded in the city. During the Warring States period, the state of Zhao made Xingtai its provisional capital. The city was known as Xindu for most of the Qin Dynasty, but after the 207 BC Battle of Julu (within modern Xingtai), it became known as Xiangguo. During the Sixteen Kingdoms Period, when the Later Zhao was founded by Shi Le of the Jie, the capital was again at Xiangguo. During the Sui and Tang dynasties, the city was known as Xingzhou. During the Yuan Dynasty, Ming, and Qing dynasties, Xingtai was called Shunteh (Shundefu) and functioned as a prefecture in China.
Xingtai is the most important base for natural resources in North China, producing 20 million metric tonnes of coal annually. It also features the largest power plant in the southern part of this region of China, with an output of 2.06 MW.
A major earthquake, known as the Xingtai Earthquake, with magnitude 6.8 on the Richter scale and epicenter in Longyao County occurred in the early morning of March 8, 1966. It was followed by 5 earthquakes above magnitude 6 on the Richter scale that lasted until March 29, 1966. The strongest of these quakes had a magnitude of 7.2 and took place in the southeastern part of Ningjin County on March 22. The earthquake damage included 8,064 dead, 38,000 injured and more than 5 million destroyed houses.
|• Prefecture-level city||12,486 km2 (4,821 sq mi)|
|• Prefecture-level city||7,104,114|
|Time zone||China Standard (UTC+8)|
|Licence plate prefixes||冀E|