In 1897 a railway was opened between Tientsin and Peking.
By the treaty of Tientsin (1860) Taichu was opened to European commerce, but the place was found quite unsuitable for a port of trade, and the harbour of Tam-sui was selected instead.
After having been vice-consul at Shanghai and acting consul in 1900 at Tientsin, he entered the Foreign Office in 1902 in a subordinate capacity and rose by 1910 to be director of the Political Section.
There are four rivers of some importance in the province: the Pei-ho, with the Hun-ho, which rises in the mountains in Mongolia and, flowing to the west of Peking, forms a junction with the Pei-ho at Tientsin; the Shang-si-ho, which rises in the mountains on the north of the province of Shan-si, and takes a south-easterly course as far as the neighbourhood of Ki Chow, from which point it trends north-east and eventually joines the Hun-ho some 15 m.
Above Tientsin; the Pu-to-ho, which rises in Shan-si, and after running a parallel course to Shang-si-ho on the south, empties itself in the same way into the Hun-ho; and the Lan-ho, which rises in Mongolia, enters the province on the north-east after passing to the west of Jehol, passes the city of Yung-Ong Fu in its course (which is south-easterly) through Chih-li, and from thence winds its way to the north-eastern boundary of the Gulf of Chih-li.