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    Economy

    A corner in downtown Zhangjiakou.The vicinity of Zhangjiakou is rich in coal and iron ore, making it an ideal location for developing iron and steel industry. Apart from metallurgy, the city is home to one of China's most important grape wine industries, with the Great Wall Wine Company being located in Shacheng, Huailai County.

    History

    View of Zhangjiakou (Kalgan) in 1698.In August 1211, during the Battle of Yehuling, Genghis Khan's 90,000 strong force destroyed the 450,000 strong Jin dynasty army.The water-scarce city was historically the chief northern gate in the Great Wall to China for Europeans travelling along the Northern Tea Road (such as Ivan Petlin (1619) or Nicolae Milescu), often through the Juyong Pass.From at least 1571 it was an important horse market for Mongolian mounts imported into China. From 1727 it was an important station for the Kyakhta trade between Russia and China. In early autumn long lines of camels would come in from all quarters for the conveyance of the tea chests from "Kalgan" (Zhangjiakou) to Kyakhta across the Gobi Desert. Each caravan usually made three journeys in the winter. In the 19th century some Russian merchants had permanent residences and warehouses just outside the gate.In October 1909, Kalgan was connected by railway with Peking. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica noted that, in Kalgan, "the ordinary houses have an unusual appearance, from the fact that they are mostly roofed with earth and become covered with green-sward" and that "on the way to Peking the road passes over a beautiful bridge of seven arches, ornamented with marble figures of animals".In 1937 the Japanese occupied the region and made Kalgan the capital of the autonomous Cha-nan (South Chahar) Province. The Federated Mengjiang Commission was set up to supervise the economic affairs, banking, communications, and industry of Japanese-occupied Inner Mongolia (Mengjiang).In the early 1960s at the height of Sino-Soviet tensions, Zhangjiakou was considered one of the most important cities in China for military strategy reasons. Zhangjiakou was aptly nicknamed, "Beijing's Northern Door", because whoever controlled Zhangjiakou was in a good position to either attack (in the case of the Soviets) or defend (in the case of the Chinese) Beijing.Zhangjiakou will host some of the events in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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