The Zhao State established Handan as its capital, also the present city Handan
of Hebei Province. Zhao neighbored the Wei State on the west, the Yellow River
and Zhanghe River on the south, the Qi State on the east separated by the Qinghe
River, and the Yan State on the north separated by the Yi'shui River. It also
bordered minority nationalities of Hun, Loufan and Linhu on the northwest.
Because troopers of the minorities harassed Zhao frequently, threatening the
safety of Zhao so as to have affected its living, Zhao's courageous and insightful
King Zhaoyong, also King Zhao Wulin, in the year 366 B.C. led his army personally,
and finished the state of Zhongshan. He soon vanquished another two enemies
of Hulin and Loufan and forced them to the far north.
By 302 B.C., Zhao's territory had expanded to incorporate the present Tuoketuo
and Wulateqianqi of Inner Mongolia, and the Great Bend area of the Yellow River,
where immigrants afterward developed the agriculture.
To consolidate its north-border defense, Zhao began building a wall on its
north in 300 B.C. The wall started from a point northeast to present Wei County
of Hebei Province, ran west and passed through the north of Shanxi, turned off
to the northwest and entered Inner Mongolia, hiked along the range of the Yinshan
Mountains and went down to the west along the southern foot till present Langshan
County of Inner Mongolia.
To defend against the Wei State, Zhao built another wall on the south. As wars
between the two states mainly took place on the banks of the Zhangshui River,
Zhao extended the north embankment of the River and constructed it into a wall.
It is recorded in Shi Ji that "King Zhao Wuling called in State Secretary Louhuan
and consulted, 'the previous King saw wars and turns of the sates and thought
the best way to resist attacks from the Zhangshui and Fushui Rivers was to develop
our south border area. That's why he afterward built a wall along this boundary.'"
The "previous King" in the quotation was King Zhao Wuling's father Suhou. Also
recorded in Shi Ji is that "Suhou began to build the wall in his 17th year of
reign. " So we can infer that this wall was built within Suhou's ruling time.
The site of the wall is near now Lizhang and Cixian County of Heibei Province,
where the two rivers are still flowing.
Besides the two walls above, Zhao constructed another wall, which started from
the point south to present Daixian County of Shanxi, ran southwest to Shanxi,
headed on along the north feet of Hengshan and Luya Mountains till meeting the
first branch of the Yellow River. This wall was probably the earliest wall Zhao
built on its north.