City and major international port within, though independent of, Hebei province, 80 mi SE of Beijing, on the Hai River at its confluence with the Grand Canal, NE China. Strategically located on the overland route to Manchuria, it has frequently been amilitary target since becoming important in the late 18th century. In 1860 it became a treaty port and developed rapidly. The massacre of French by an angry Chinese mob on June 21, 1870, nearly precipitated war and the end of the cooperative policy between the Chinese and the treaty powers. Following the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 the city was placed under international control until 1907. It was returned to China in 1946 and is today the country's third-largest city.
It was heavily damaged by the Tangshan earthquake of 1976, but has seen rapid development in the 1990s and early 2000s.