Beijing

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Encyclopedia
Beijing also known as Peking ( or peɪˈkɪŋ), is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's largest state-owned companies. The metropolis, located in northern China
North China
thumb|250px|Northern [[People's Republic of China]] region.Northern China or North China is a geographical region of China. The heartland of North China is the North China Plain....

, borders Hebei Province
Hebei
' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

 to the north, west, south, and a small section to the east, and Tianjin Municipality
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

 to the southeast.

Governed as a municipality under the direct administration of the national government
Government of the People's Republic of China
All power within the government of the People's Republic of China is divided among three bodies: the People's Republic of China, State Council, and the People's Liberation Army . This article is concerned with the formal structure of the state, its departments and their responsibilities...

, Beijing is divided into 14 urban and suburban districts and two rural counties. It is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and motorways passing through the city, and the destination of many international flights to China.

Few cities in the world have served as long as the political and cultural centre of an area as immense. Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China
Historical capitals of China
The Chinese phrase Four Great Ancient Capitals of China traditionally refers to Beijing , Nanjing, Luoyang, and Chang'an ....

. It has been the heart of China’s history for centuries, and there is scarcely a major building of any age in Beijing that does not have at least some national historical significance. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates. Its art treasures and universities have long made it a centre of culture and art in China.

Etymology and names


"Beijing" means "northern capital", following the common East Asian tradition of explicitly naming capitals as such. Similarly named cities include Nanjing
Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

 (南京), China, meaning "southern capital"; Tokyo, Japan, and Đông Kinh, now Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

, Vietnam, both meaning "eastern capital" (東京); as well as Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

 (京都), Japan, and Gyeongseong ' onMouseout='HidePop("38190")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Seoul">Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

), Korea, both meaning "capital city".

Peking is the name of the city according to Chinese Postal Map Romanisation, and the traditional customary name for Beijing in English. It, together with its variants, is still used in many languages. The name originated with missionaries four hundred years ago and corresponds to an older pronunciation predating a sound change
Sound change
Sound change includes any processes of language change that affect pronunciation or sound system structures...

 in Mandarin from [kʲ] to [tɕ]. ([tɕ] is represented in pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

 as j, as in Beijing. The latter is best approximated in English as "bay-DJING", rather than the hyperforeign pronunciation "bay-ZHING".) The pronunciation "Peking" is also closer to the Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

ese dialect of Amoy or Min Nan
Min Nan
The Southern Min languages, or Min Nan , are a family of Chinese languages spoken in southern Fujian, eastern Guangdong, Hainan, Taiwan, and southern Zhejiang provinces of China, and by descendants of emigrants from these areas in diaspora....

 spoken in the city of Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

, a port where European (Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

) traders first landed in the 16th century, while "Beijing" more closely approximates the Mandarin pronunciation of the city's name.

The city has been renamed
Geographical renaming
Geographical renaming is the changing of the name of a geographical feature or area. This can range from the uncontroversial change of a street name to a highly disputed change to the name of a country. Some names are changed locally but the new names are not recognised by other countries,...

 several times. During the Jin Dynasty, it was known as Zhongdu , then later, under the Mongol Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

, as Dadu
Khanbaliq
Khanbaliq or Dadu refers to a city which is now Beijing, the current capital of the People's Republic of China...

to the Chinese and Daidu to Mongols (also recorded as Cambuluc by Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

). Twice in the city's history, the name was changed from Beijing (Peking) to Beiping (Peiping) ' onMouseout='HidePop("53450")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Wade-Giles">Wade-Giles
Wade-Giles
Wade–Giles , sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a romanization system for the Mandarin Chinese language. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Wade during the mid-19th century , and was given completed form with Herbert Giles' Chinese–English dictionary of 1892.Wade–Giles was the most...

: Pei-p'ing), literally "northern peace", first under the Hongwu Emperor
Hongwu Emperor
The Hongwu Emperor , known variably by his given name Zhu Yuanzhang and by his temple name Taizu of Ming , was the founder and first emperor of the Ming Dynasty of China...

 of the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

, and again in 1928 by the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT) government of the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

. On each occasion, the character meaning "capital" (京) was deleted to reflect the fact the national capital had moved to Nanjing, in Jiangsu
Jiangsu
' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located along the east coast of the country. The name comes from jiang, short for the city of Jiangning , and su, for the city of Suzhou. The abbreviation for this province is "苏" , the second character of its name...

 Province. Each renaming was reverted, the first under the Yongle Emperor
Yongle Emperor
The Yongle Emperor , born Zhu Di , was the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty of China from 1402 to 1424. His Chinese era name Yongle means "Perpetual Happiness".He was the Prince of Yan , possessing a heavy military base in Beiping...

 of the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

, who moved the capital from Nanjing back to Beijing, and again in 1949, when the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 restored Beijing as its capital after the founding of the People's Republic of China. The abbreviation of the municipality is its second character (京) and is used on licence plates, among other things.

Yanjing is and has been another popular informal name for Beijing, a reference to the ancient State of Yan that existed here during the Zhou Dynasty
Zhou Dynasty
The Zhou Dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty. Although the Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history, the actual political and military control of China by the Ji family lasted only until 771 BC, a period known as...

. This name is reflected in the locally brewed Yanjing Beer
Yanjing Beer
Beijing Yanjing Brewery is a brewing company founded in 1980 in Beijing, China. The brewery covers an area of 2.22 km² . At this size, the company is one the largest breweries in Asia. The company has approximately 20,000 employees, and is one of the largest beer manufacturers in China. They...

 as well as Yenching University
Yenching University
Yenching University was a university in Beijing, China. It integrated three Christian colleges in the city in 1919. Yenching is an alternative name of Beijing - derived from its status as capital of Yan state, one of the seven Warring States from 5th century BC to 3rd century BC.The university...

, an institution of higher learning that was merged into Peking University
Peking University
Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

.

Early history


The earliest traces of human habitation in the Beijing municipality were found in the caves of Dragon Bone Hill near the village of Zhoukoudian
Zhoukoudian
Zhoukoudian or Choukoutien is a cave system in Beijing, China. It has yielded many archaeological discoveries, including one of the first specimens of Homo erectus, dubbed Peking Man, and a fine assemblage of bones of the gigantic hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostris...

 in Fangshan District
Fangshan District
Fangshan District is situated in the southwest of Beijing, 38 km away from the downtown Beijing. It has an area of 2,019 square kilometers and a population of 814,367...

, where Peking Man
Peking Man
Peking Man , Homo erectus pekinensis, is an example of Homo erectus. A group of fossil specimens was discovered in 1923-27 during excavations at Zhoukoudian near Beijing , China...

 lived. Homo erectus
Homo erectus
Homo erectus is an extinct species of hominid that lived from the end of the Pliocene epoch to the later Pleistocene, about . The species originated in Africa and spread as far as India, China and Java. There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H...

fossils from the caves date to 230,000 to 250,000 years ago. Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 homo sapiens also lived there more recently, about 27,000 years ago. There were cities in the vicinity of the site of present-day Beijing by the 1st millennium BC, and Ji (薊/蓟), the capital of the state of Yan
Yan (state)
Yān was a state during the Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods of Chinese history. Its capital was Ji...

, one of the powers of the Warring States Period
Warring States Period
The Warring States Period , also known as the Era of Warring States, or the Warring Kingdoms period, covers the Iron Age period from about 475 BC to the reunification of China under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC...

 (473–221 BC), was established there.

After the fall of the Yan, the following Qin
Qin Dynasty
The Qin Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 207 BC. The Qin state derived its name from its heartland of Qin, in modern-day Shaanxi. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the 4th century BC, during the Warring...

, Han
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

, and Jin
Jìn Dynasty (265-420)
The Jìn Dynasty , was a dynasty in Chinese history, lasting between the years 265 and 420 AD. There are two main divisions in the history of the Dynasty, the first being Western Jin and the second Eastern Jin...

 dynasties set up local prefectures in the area. During the fall of the Han, it was the seat of the warlord Gongsun Zan
Gongsun Zan
Gongsun Zan , style name Bogui , a native of Liaoxi , was a warlord during the late Han Dynasty era of Chinese history.-Biography:...

. During the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

, it became the headquarters for Fanyang jiedushi
Jiedushi
The Jiedushi were regional military governors in China during the Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. Originally set up to counter external threats, the jiedushi were given enormous power, including the ability to maintain their own armies, collect taxes, and pass their...

, the virtual military governor of what is now the northern Hebei
Hebei
' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

 region. The An Shi Rebellion
An Shi Rebellion
The An Lushan Rebellion took place in China during the Tang Dynasty from CE December 16, 755 to CE February 17, 763, beginning when general An Lushan declared himself emperor, establishing the rival Yan Dynasty in Northern China...

 began here in AD 755.

Medieval period


In 936, the Later Jin Dynasty
Later Jin Dynasty (Five Dynasties)
Note that there are four periods of Chinese history using the name "Jin" The Later Jìn was one of the Five Dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China. It was founded by Shi Jingtang, posthumously known as Gaozu of Later Jin...

 (936–947) of northern China ceded a large part of its northern frontier, including the site of modern Beijing, to the Khitan
Khitan people
thumb|250px|Khitans [[Eagle hunting|using eagles to hunt]], painted during the Chinese [[Song Dynasty]].The Khitan people , or Khitai, Kitan, or Kidan, were a nomadic Mongolic people, originally located at Mongolia and Manchuria from the 4th century...

 Liao Dynasty
Liao Dynasty
The Liao Dynasty , also known as the Khitan Empire was an empire in East Asia that ruled over the regions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and parts of northern China proper between 9071125...

. In 938, the Liao Dynasty
Liao Dynasty
The Liao Dynasty , also known as the Khitan Empire was an empire in East Asia that ruled over the regions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and parts of northern China proper between 9071125...

 set up a secondary capital on modern Beijing's location, and called it Nanjing (the "southern capital"). In 1125, the Jurchen Jin Dynasty conquered Liao, and moved its capital to Liao's Nanjing in 1153, calling it Zhongdu (中都), the "central capital". Zhongdu was situated in what is now the area centered around Tianningsi, slightly to the southwest of central Beijing. Some of the oldest surviving relics in Beijing, such as the Tianning Temple
Pagoda of Tianning Temple (Beijing)
The Tianning Temple is located in the Guang'anmen district of Beijing, China. The temple contains the 12th-century Pagoda of Tianning Temple. The pagoda is a Liao Dynasty pagoda built from around 1100 to 1119 or 1120 CE, shortly before the Liao Dynasty was conquered by Song and Jin...

, date to the Liao period.

Mongol
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 forces burned Zhongdu to the ground in 1215 in what is now known as the Battle of Beijing
Battle of Beijing
The Battle of Beijing was a battle in 1215 between the Mongols and the Jurchen Jin Dynasty, which controlled northern China. It saw the Mongols win and allowed them to continue their conquest of China....

. In 1264, in preparation for the conquest of all of China to establish the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

, Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan , born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China...

 decided to rebuild it slightly north to the center of the Jin capital, and in 1272, he made this city his capital, renamed Dadu (大都, Chinese
Chinese written language
Written Chinese comprises Chinese characters used to represent the Chinese language, and the rules about how they are arranged and punctuated. Chinese characters do not constitute an alphabet or a compact syllabary...

 for "great capital"), or Daidu to the Mongols, spelled Cambaluc or Cambuluc in Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

's accounts. Construction of Dadu was completed in 1293. Kublai Khan's decision greatly enhanced the status of a city on the northern fringe of China proper
China proper
China proper or Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Qing Dynasty to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of China. There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many administrative, cultural, and linguistic shifts have occurred in Chinese history...

. Dadu was centered slightly north of modern central Beijing, on what is now the northern stretch of the 2nd Ring Road, and stretched northwards to between the 3rd and 4th Ring Roads. Remnants of the Yuan-era wall still stand, and are known as the Tucheng (土城, literally the "earth wall").

Ming and Qing period


In 1368, Zhu Yuanzhang, soon after declaring himself the first emperor
Hongwu Emperor
The Hongwu Emperor , known variably by his given name Zhu Yuanzhang and by his temple name Taizu of Ming , was the founder and first emperor of the Ming Dynasty of China...

 of the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

, sent an army toward Dadu, still held by the Yuan. The last Yuan emperor fled north to Shangdu, and Zhu razed the Yuan palaces in Dadu to the ground. The city was renamed Beiping (北平) in the same year, and Shuntian (順天) prefecture was established in the area around the city. In 1403, the new (and third) Ming emperor – the Yongle Emperor
Yongle Emperor
The Yongle Emperor , born Zhu Di , was the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty of China from 1402 to 1424. His Chinese era name Yongle means "Perpetual Happiness".He was the Prince of Yan , possessing a heavy military base in Beiping...

 – renamed this city Beijing, and designated it the co-capital, alongside the (then) current capital of Nanjing. Beijing was the site of a major construction project for a new Imperial residence, the Forbidden City
Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum...

 that lasted nearly 15 years, from 1406 to 1420. When the palace was finished, the Yongle Emperor ceremoniously took up residence. From 1421 onwards, Beijing, also known as Jingshi (京师), was the "official" capital of the Ming Dynasty, while Nanjing was demoted to the status of "secondary" capital. This system of dual capitals (with Beijing being vastly more important) continued for the duration of the Ming Dynasty. Thirteen of the sixteen Ming Emperors are buried in elaborate tombs
Ming Dynasty Tombs
The Ming Dynasty Tombs are located some 51.35 kilometers due north of central Beijing, within the suburban Changping District of Beijing municipality...

 near Beijing.
By the 15th century, Beijing had essentially taken its current shape. The Ming-era city wall served as the Beijing city wall until modern times, when it was pulled down and the 2nd Ring Road was built in its place. It is believed that Beijing was the largest city in the world from 1425 to 1650 and from 1710 to 1825. Another notable building constructed during the Ming period was the Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest...

 (built by 1420). Tiananmen
Tiananmen
The Tiananmen, Tian'anmen or Gate of Heavenly Peace is a famous monument in Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is widely used as a national symbol. First built during the Ming Dynasty in 1420, Tian'anmen is often referred to as the front entrance to the Forbidden City...

, now a state symbol of the People's Republic of China and featured on its emblem, was first built in 1420, and rebuilt several times later. Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world...

 was built in 1651 and enlarged in 1958. Jesuits finished building the first Beijing-area Roman Catholic church in 1652 at the Xuanwu Gate, where Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci
Matteo Ricci
Matteo Ricci, SJ was an Italian Jesuit priest, and one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China Mission, as it existed in the 17th-18th centuries. His current title is Servant of God....

 (1552–1610) had lived; the modern Nantang
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Beijing
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Beijing , also known as Nantang to the locals, is a historic Roman Catholic Church located in Beijing, China...

 (南堂, Southern Cathedral) has been built over the original cathedral.

The end of the Ming came in 1644, when Li Zicheng's peasant army captured and held Beijing for 40 days, and overthrew the government. When the powerful Manchu army arrived at the outskirts, Li and his followers abandoned the city, allowing the Manchus, under Prince Dorgon
Dorgon
Dorgon , also known as Hošoi Mergen Cin Wang, the Prince Rui , was one of the most influential Manchu princes in the early Qing Dynasty. He laid the groundwork for the Manchu rule of China.-Early life:Dorgon was born in Yenden, Manchuria , China...

, to capture Beijing without a fight.

When Dorgon established the Qing Dynasty as the direct successor of the Ming, Beijing remained China's capital. The Qing emperors made some modifications to the Imperial residence, but in large part, the Ming buildings and the general layout remained unchanged. Beijing at this time was also known as Jingshi. The classic Chinese novel
Four Great Classical Novels
The Four Great Classical Novels, or the Four Major Classical Novels of Chinese literature, are the four novels commonly regarded by scholars to be the greatest and most influential of pre-modern Chinese fiction. Dating from the Ming and Qing dynasties, they are well known to most Chinese readers...

 Dream of the Red Chamber
Dream of the Red Chamber
Dream of the Red Chamber , composed by Cao Xueqin, is one of China's Four Great Classical Novels. It was composed in the middle of the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty. It is considered to be a masterpiece of Chinese vernacular literature and is generally acknowledged to be a pinnacle of...

is set in Beijing during the early years of Qing rule at the end of the 17th century.
During the Second Opium War
Second Opium War
The Second Opium War, the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China, was a war pitting the British Empire and the Second French Empire against the Qing Dynasty of China, lasting from 1856 to 1860...

, Anglo-French forces captured the city, and looted and burned the Summer Palace
Summer Palace
The Summer Palace is a palace in Beijing, China. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water....

 and the Old Summer Palace
Old Summer Palace
The Old Summer Palace, known in China as Yuan Ming Yuan , and originally called the Imperial Gardens, was a complex of palaces and gardens in Beijing...

 in 1860. Under the Convention of Peking
Convention of Peking
The Convention of Peking or the First Convention of Peking is the name used for three different unequal treaties, which were concluded between Qing China and the United Kingdom, France, and Russia.-Background:...

 that ended the war, Western powers secured the right to establish permanent diplomatic presences in the Beijing Legation Quarter
Beijing Legation Quarter
The Peking Legation Quarter was the area in Peking where a number of foreign legations were located between 1861 and 1959. In Chinese, the area is known as Dōng jiāomín xiàng , which is the name of the hutong running through the area...

. In 1900, Beijing was again invaded by foreign powers
Eight-Nation Alliance
The Eight-Nation Alliance was an alliance of Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States whose military forces intervened in China to suppress the anti-foreign Boxers and relieve the siege of the diplomatic legations in Beijing .- Events :The...

, this time to quell the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

. Some important Imperial structures in the city were destroyed during the fighting, including the Hanlin Academy
Hanlin Academy
The Hanlin Academy was an academic and administrative institution founded in the eighth century Tang dynasty China by Emperor Xuanzong.Membership in the academy was confined to an elite group of scholars, who performed secretarial and literary tasks for the court. One of its main duties was to...

 and the Summer Palace.

Republican era


The fomenters of the Xinhai Revolution
Xinhai Revolution
The Xinhai Revolution or Hsinhai Revolution, also known as Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing , and established the Republic of China...

 of 1911 sought to replace Qing rule with a republic, and originally intended to establish the capital at Nanjing. After high-ranking Qing official Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai was an important Chinese general and politician famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor of China, his autocratic rule as the second President of the Republic of China , and his short-lived...

 forced the abdication of the Qing emperor in Beijing and ensured the success of the revolution, the revolutionaries in Nanjing accepted Yuan as the president of the new Republic of China
Republic of China (1912–1949)
In 1911, after over two thousand years of imperial rule, a republic was established in China and the monarchy overthrown by a group of revolutionaries. The Qing Dynasty, having just experienced a century of instability, suffered from both internal rebellion and foreign imperialism...

, and the capital remained at Beijing. Yuan gradually consolidated power and became by 1915 the new emperor of China, but died less than a year into his reign.

China then fell under the control of regional warlords. The most powerful factions fought frequent wars (the Zhili-Anhui War
Zhili-Anhui War
The Zhili–Anhui War was a 1920 conflict in the Republic of China's Warlord Era between the Zhili clique and Anhui cliques for control of the Beiyang government.-Prelude:...

, the First Zhili-Fengtian War
First Zhili-Fengtian War
The First Zhili–Fengtian War was a 1922 conflict in the Republic of China's Warlord Era between the Zhili and Fengtian cliques for control of Beijing. The war led to the defeat of the Fengtian clique and the fall of its leader, Zhang Zuolin, from the coalition Zhili-Fengtian government in Beijing...

, and the Second Zhili-Fengtian War
Second Zhili-Fengtian War
The Second Zhili–Fengtian War of 1924 was a conflict between the Japanese-backed Fengtian clique based in Manchuria, and the more liberal Zhili clique controlling Beijing and backed by Anglo-American business interests...

) to take control of the capital. Following the success of the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT)'s Northern Expedition, which pacified the warlords of the north, Nanjing was officially made the capital of the Republic of China in 1928, and on 28 June of that year, Beijing was renamed Beiping (Peip'ing) (北平), meaning "northern peace" or "north pacified".

During the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

, Beiping fell to Japan on 29 July 1937, and was made the seat of the Provisional Government of the Republic of China, a puppet state
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

 that ruled the ethnic Chinese portions of Japanese-occupied northern China
North China
thumb|250px|Northern [[People's Republic of China]] region.Northern China or North China is a geographical region of China. The heartland of North China is the North China Plain....

; the government was later merged into the larger Wang Jingwei government based in Nanjing.

People's Republic


On 31 January 1949, during the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

, Communist forces entered Beijing without opposition. On 1 October of the same year, the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

, under the leadership of Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

, announced in Tiananmen
Tiananmen
The Tiananmen, Tian'anmen or Gate of Heavenly Peace is a famous monument in Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is widely used as a national symbol. First built during the Ming Dynasty in 1420, Tian'anmen is often referred to as the front entrance to the Forbidden City...

 the creation of the People's Republic of China and renamed the city back to Beijing. Just a few days earlier, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference [], shortened as 人民政协, Rénmín Zhèngxié, i.e. "People's PCC"; or just 政协, Zhèngxié, i.e. "The PCC"), abbreviated CPPCC, is a political advisory body in the People's Republic of China...

 had decided that Beijing would be the capital of the new government.

At the time of the founding of the People's Republic, Beijing Municipality consisted of just its urban area and its immediate suburbs. The urban area was divided into many small districts inside what is now the 2nd Ring Road. The Beijing city wall was torn down to make way for the construction of the 2nd Ring Road, which was finished by 1981 in accordance with the 1982 city plan. That road was the first of a series of new ring roads intended for motor vehicles rather than bicycles.

Following the economic reforms
Chinese economic reform
The Chinese economic reform refers to the program of economic reforms called "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" in the People's Republic of China that were started in December 1978 by reformists within the Communist Party of China led by Deng Xiaoping.China had one of the world's largest...

 of Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

, the urban area of Beijing has expanded greatly. Formerly within the confines of the 2nd and 3rd Ring Roads, the urban area of Beijing is now pushing at the limits of the recently constructed 5th and 6th Ring Roads, with many areas that were formerly farmland now developed residential or commercial districts. According to a 2005 newspaper report, the size of the newly developed Beijing was one and a half times larger than that of old Beijing within the 2nd Ring Road. Wangfujing
Wangfujing
Wángfǔjǐng , located in Dongcheng District, Beijing, is one of the Chinese capital's most famous shopping streets. Much of the road is off-limits to cars and other motor vehicles, and it is not rare to see the entire street full of people. Since the middle of the Ming Dynasty there have been...

 and Xidan
Xidan
Xidan is a major traditional commercial area in Beijing, China. It is located in the Xicheng District.The Xidan commercial district incorporates the Xidan Culture Square, North Xidan Street, as well as many supermarkets and department stores...

 have developed into flourishing shopping districts, while Zhongguancun
Zhongguancun
Zhongguancun , or Zhong Guan Cun, is a technology hub in Haidian District, Beijing, China.It is geographically situated in the northwestern part of Beijing city, in a band between the northwestern Third Ring Road and the northwestern Fourth Ring Road...

 has become a major centre of electronics in China. In recent years, the expansion of Beijing has also brought to the forefront some problems of urbanization, such as heavy traffic, poor air quality, the loss of historic neighbourhoods, and a significant influx of migrants from various regions of the country, especially rural areas.

Beijing was the location of the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese , were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the People's Republic of China beginning on 15 April 1989...

.

On 13 July 2001, the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 selected Beijing as the host for the 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

.

Geography


Beijing is situated at the northern tip of the roughly triangular North China Plain
North China Plain
The North China Plain is based on the deposits of the Yellow River and is the largest alluvial plain of eastern Asia. The plain is bordered on the north by the Yanshan Mountains and on the west by the Taihang Mountains edge of the Shanxi plateau. To the south, it merges into the Yangtze Plain...

, which opens to the south and east of the city. Mountains to the north, northwest and west shield the city and northern China's agricultural heartland from the encroaching desert steppes. The northwestern part of the municipality, especially Yanqing County
Yanqing County
Yanqing County is a subdivision of the municipality of Beijing located northwest of the city proper of Beijing...

 and Huairou District, are dominated by the Jundu Mountains, while the western part is framed by the Xishan Mountains. The Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups...

, which stretches across the northern part of Beijing Municipality, made use of this rugged topography to defend against nomadic incursions from the steppes. Mount Dongling in the Xishan ranges and on the border with Hebei
Hebei
' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

 is the municipality's highest point, with an altitude of 2303 m.

Major rivers flowing through the municipality include the Yongding River and the Chaobai River, part of the Hai River
Hai River
The Hai River , previously called Bai He , is a river in the People's Republic of China which flows through Beijing and Tianjin before emptying into the Yellow Sea at the Bohai Gulf.The Hai River at Tianjin is formed by the confluence of five rivers, the Southern Canal, Ziya...

 system, and flow in a southerly direction. Beijing is also the northern terminus of the Grand Canal of China
Grand Canal of China
The Grand Canal in China, also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is the longest canal or artificial river in the world. Starting at Beijing, it passes through Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the city of Hangzhou...

, which was built across the North China Plain to Hangzhou
Hangzhou
Hangzhou , formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Governed as a sub-provincial city, and as of 2010, its entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people...

. Miyun Reservoir, built on the upper reaches of the Chaobai River, is Beijing's largest reservoir, and crucial to its water supply.

The urban area of Beijing is in the south-central part of the municipality and occupies a small but expanding portion of the municipality's area. It spreads out in bands of concentric ring roads
Ring Roads of Beijing
Beijing is one of the very few cities to possess multiple ring roads .-1st Ring Road:The 1st Ring Road no longer exists under that name. In the 1920s, around half a dozen routes were established in Beijing for the first tram lines of the city...

, of which the fifth and outermost, the Sixth Ring Road (the numbering starts at two), passes through several satellite towns. Tian'anmen (the Gate of Heavenly Peace) and Tian'anmen Square are at the centre of Beijing, directly to the south of the Forbidden City
Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum...

, the former residence of the emperors of China. To the west of Tian'anmen is Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai is an area in central Beijing, China adjacent to the Forbidden City which serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China and the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The term Zhongnanhai is closely linked with the central government and senior Communist...

, home to the paramount leaders of the People's Republic of China. Running through central Beijing from east to west is Chang'an Avenue
Chang'an Avenue
Chang'an Avenue , literally "Eternal Peace Street", is a major thoroughfare in Beijing, China.Chang'an is the old name for Xi'an which was the capital of China during the Tang Dynasty and other periods....

, one of the city's main thoroughfares.

Climate


The city has a rather dry, monsoon-influenced humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Dwa), characterised by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

, and generally cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Spring can bear witness to sandstorms blowing in from the Mongolian steppe, accompanied by rapidly warming, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn, like spring, sees little rain, but is crisp and short. The monthly daily average temperature in January is −3.7 °C, while in July it is 26.2 °C (79.2 °F). Precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 averages around 570 mm (22.4 in) annually, with the great majority of it falling in the summer months. Extremes have ranged from −27.4 °C.

Air quality


Joint research between American and Chinese researchers in 2006 concluded that much of the city's pollution comes from surrounding cities and provinces. On average 35–60% of the ozone
Ozone
Ozone , or trioxygen, is a triatomic molecule, consisting of three oxygen atoms. It is an allotrope of oxygen that is much less stable than the diatomic allotrope...

 can be traced to sources outside the city. Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

 Province and Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

 Municipality have a "significant influence on Beijing's air quality", partly due to the prevailing south/southeasterly flow during the summer and the mountains to the north and northwest.

In preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

 and to fulfill promises to clean up the city's air, nearly US$17 billion was spent. Beijing also implemented a number of air improvement schemes for the duration of the Games, including stopping work on all construction sites, closing many factories in and around Beijing, closing some gas stations, and cutting motor traffic by half by limiting drivers to odd or even days (based on their license plate numbers)
Two new subway lines were opened and thousands of old taxis and buses were replaced to encourage residents to use public transport. The Beijing government encouraged a discussion to keep the odd-even scheme in place after the Olympics, and although the scheme was eventually lifted on 21 September 2008, it was replaced by new restrictions on government vehicles and a new restriction that does not allow the use of a car once a week. In addition, staggered office hours and retail opening times have been encouraged to avoid the rush hour, and parking fees were increased.

Beijing became the first city in China to require the Chinese equivalent to the Euro 4 emission standard
Emission standard
Emission standards are requirements that set specific limits to the amount of pollutants that can be released into the environment. Many emissions standards focus on regulating pollutants released by automobiles and other powered vehicles but they can also regulate emissions from industry, power...

. Some 357,000 "yellow label" vehicles – those that have too high emission levels – have been banned from Beijing altogether.

The government regularly uses cloud-seeding measures to increase the likelihood of rain showers in the region to clear the air prior to large events as well as to combat drought conditions in the area.

According to the United Nations Environmental Program
United Nations Environment Programme
The United Nations Environment Programme coordinates United Nations environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices. It was founded as a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in June 1972 and has its...

 (UNEP), China has spent $17 billion over the last three years on a large-scale green drive. Beijing has added 3,800 natural gas buses, one of the largest fleets in the world. Twenty percent of the Olympic venues' electricity comes from renewable energy sources. The city has also planted hundreds of thousands of trees and increased green space in an effort to make the city more livable.

One year after the 2008 Olympics, Beijing's officials reported that the city was enjoying the best air quality this decade because of the measures taken during the Games. Nonetheless, Beijing still faces air pollution problems. The US embassy recorded levels of pollution beyond measurable levels on 21 February 2011, and advised people to stay indoors as a thick smog was covering the city.

Daily pollution readings at 27 monitoring stations around the city are reported on the website of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau (BJEPB). The United States Embassy in Beijing also reports hourly fine particulate (PM2.5) and ozone levels on twitter. Although the BJEPB and US Embassy measure different pollutants according to different criteria the media has noted that pollution levels and the impact to human health reported by the BJEPB are often far lower than reported by the US Embassy.

Dust storms


Dust from the erosion of deserts in northern and northwestern China results in seasonal dust storm
Dust storm
A dust / sand storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil to move from one place and deposition...

s that plague the city; the Beijing Weather Modification Office
Beijing Weather Modification Office
The Beijing Weather Modification Office is a unit of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau tasked with weather control in Beijing and its surrounding areas, including parts of Hebei and Inner Mongolia...

 sometimes artificially induces rainfall to fight such storms and mitigate their effects. In the first four months of 2006 alone, there were no fewer than eight such storms. In April 2002, one dust storm alone dumped nearly 50,000 tons of dust onto the city before moving on to Japan and Korea.

Politics and government


Municipal government is regulated by the local Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 (CPC), led by the Beijing CPC Secretary (北京市委书记). The local CPC issues administrative orders, collects taxes, manages the economy, and directs a standing committee of the Municipal People's Congress in making policy decisions and overseeing the local government.

Government officials include the mayor and vice-mayor. Numerous bureaus focus on law, public security, and other affairs. Additionally, as the capital of China, Beijing houses all of the important national governmental and political institutions, including the National People's Congress
National People's Congress
The National People's Congress , abbreviated NPC , is the highest state body and the only legislative house in the People's Republic of China. The National People's Congress is held in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, capital of the People's Republic of China; with 2,987 members, it is the...

.

Administrative divisions




Subdivisions



Beijing Municipality comprises 16 administrative county-level subdivisions governed directly by the municipality (second-level divisions). Of these, 14 are districts and two are counties. On 1 July 2010, Congwen
Chongwen District
Chongwen is a former district of the Municipality of Beijing, located relatively southeast to the city center , and was situated between Yongdingmen and Qianmen. It spanned an area of 16.46 square kilometers. It bordered Dongcheng District to the north, Fengtai District to the south, Chaoyang to...

  and Xuanwu Districts were merged into Dongcheng and Xicheng Districts respectively. The urban and suburban areas of the city are divided into six districts:
  • Dongcheng District
    Dongcheng District, Beijing
    Dongcheng District is an urban district in Beijing covering the eastern half of Beijing's urban core. It is 24.7 square kilometres in area and has a population of 535,558 . Dongcheng District covers several important parts of Beijing...

     
  • Xicheng District
    Xicheng District
    Xicheng District is a district in Beijing, China. Xicheng District spans 32 square kilometres, making it the largest portion of the old city , and has 706,691 inhabitants . Its postal code is 100032. Xicheng is subdivided into 15 subdistricts of the city proper of Beijing...

     
  • Chaoyang District
    Chaoyang District, Beijing
    Chaoyang District is a district of Beijing, China.Chaoyang is home to the majority of Beijing's many foreign embassies, the well-known Sanlitun bar street, as well as Beijing's growing CBD. The Olympic Park, built for the 2008 Summer Olympics, is also in Chaoyang...

     
  • Haidian District 
  • Fengtai District
    Fengtai District
    Fengtai District is a suburban district of the municipality of Beijing. It lies to the southwest of the urban core of the city.-History:In Qing Dynasty times, Fengtai was where the Imperial Manchu Army had its camps, trained, and held parades on festive occasions.It is 304.2 square kilometers in...

     
  • Shijingshan District
    Shijingshan District
    Shijingshan District is an urban district of the municipality of Beijing. It lies to the west of the urban core of Beijing, and is part of the Western Hills area...

     


The following six districts encompass the more distant suburbs and satellite towns of the metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

:
  • Mentougou District
    Mentougou District
    Mentougou District is in west Beijing.Spanning 1,321 square kilometres, with 266,591 inhabitants , it is subdivided into 4 subdistricts of the city proper of Beijing and 9 towns ....

     
  • Fangshan District
    Fangshan District
    Fangshan District is situated in the southwest of Beijing, 38 km away from the downtown Beijing. It has an area of 2,019 square kilometers and a population of 814,367...

     
  • Tongzhou District 
  • Shunyi District
    Shunyi District
    Shunyi District is an administrative district of Beijing, located outside of the city proper.-Overview:...

     
  • Changping District
    Changping District
    Changping District , formerly Changping County , is situated in the suburbs of northwest Beijing.Changping District, covering an area of 1,430 square kilometers, has 2 subdistricts of the city of Changping and 15 towns with total population of 614,821...

     
  • Daxing District
    Daxing District
    Daxing District is a suburb of Beijing, situated to the south of the city.-Overview:...

     
  • Huairou District
    Huairou District
    Huairou District is situated at northern Beijing. Huairou District, covering an area of 2,557.3 square kilometers, is divided into 2 subdistricts of the city of Huairou, 12 towns and 2 ethnic rural townships with a population of 296,002...

     
  • Pinggu District
    Pinggu District
    Pinggu District , formerly Pinggu County , lies at the extreme eastern end of Beijing municipality, and borders Tianjin municipality near Ji County. It has an area of 950 square kilometers and a population of 396,701...

     


The remaining two districts and the two counties located further out govern semi-rural and rural areas:
  • Miyun County
    Miyun County
    Miyun County is situated at northeast Beijing. It has an area of 2,227 square kilometers and a population of 420,019...

     
  • Yanqing County
    Yanqing County
    Yanqing County is a subdivision of the municipality of Beijing located northwest of the city proper of Beijing...

     

Towns


Towns within Beijing Municipality but outside the urban area include (but are not limited to):
  • Changping
    Changping District
    Changping District , formerly Changping County , is situated in the suburbs of northwest Beijing.Changping District, covering an area of 1,430 square kilometers, has 2 subdistricts of the city of Changping and 15 towns with total population of 614,821...

     
  • Huairou 
  • Miyun 
  • Liangxiang
    Liangxiang
    Liangxiang is a township-level division situated in Anqing, Anhui, China....

     
  • Liulimiao 
  • Tongzhou 
  • Yizhuang
    Yizhuang, Beijing
    Yizhuang is a town of Daxing District, in the southeast suburbs of Beijing, located just outside of the 5th Ring Road. Beijing Economic and Technical Development Area , the biggest economic and technical area is located here. There are a lot of high-tech research centers and joint ventures...

     
  • Tiantongyuan
    Tiantongyuan
    Tiantongyuan is an apartment complex and neighborhood in northern Beijing's Changping District. As of April 2008 it was reported to have over 400,000 residents, and is one of the largest such complexes in Beijing...

     
  • Beiyuan 
  • Xiaotangshan
    Xiaotangshan
    Xiaotangshan is a small town in the Changping District of Beijing in the People's Republic of China. It is the location of the Xiaotangshan Modern Agricultural Science Demonstration Park- the largest modern agricultural park in China...

     


Several place names in Beijing end with mén , meaning "gate", as they were the locations of gates in the former Beijing city wall. Other place names end in cūn , meaning "village", as they were originally villages outside the city wall.

Beijing's 18 districts and counties are further subdivided into 273 lower third-level administrative units at the township level: 119 towns, 24 townships
Townships of the People's Republic of China
Townships formally township level divisions is the basic level of political divisions in China. They are similar to municipalities and communes in other countries and in turn may contain village committees and villages...

, 5 ethnic townships and 125 subdistricts
Subdistricts of China
The subdistrict , is one of the smallest political divisions of China. It is a form of township-level division which is typically part of a larger urban area, as opposed to a discrete town surrounded by rural areas, or a rural townships known as a xiang .In general, urban areas are divided into...

.

Neighbourhoods


Neighbourhoods may extend across multiple districts. Major neighbourhoods in urban Beijing include:

  • Qianmen
    Qianmen
    Qianmen is the colloquial name for Zhengyangmen , a gate in Beijing's historic city wall. The gate is situated to the south of Tiananmen Square and once guarded the southern entry into the Inner City. Although much of Beijing's city walls were demolished, Qianmen remains an important...

     
  • Tian'anmen 
  • Di'anmen 
  • Chongwenmen
    Chongwenmen
    Chongwenmen is the name of a gate that was once part of Beijing's city wall. The gate stood in the southeastern part of Beijing's inner city, immediately south of the old Beijing Legation Quarter. In the 1960s, the gate was torn down to make room for Beijing's second ring road. It has given its...

     
  • Xuanwumen 
  • Fuchengmen
    Fuchengmen
    Fuchengmen is the name of a gate on the western side of Beijing's city wall. The gate was torn down in the 1960s, and has been replaced by the Fuchengmen overpass on the 2nd Ring Road. Fuchengmen Station is now known as a transportation node, where a number of public buses and Line 2 of the...

     
  • Xizhimen
    Xizhimen
    Xizhimen was formerly a gate in the Beijing city wall and is now the name of a transportation node in Beijing. The gate formerly was the entrance of drinking water for the Emperor, coming from the Jade Spring Hills to the west of Beijing...

     
  • Deshengmen
    Deshengmen
    Deshengmen is the name of a city gate that was once part of Beijing's northern city wall. It is one of Beijing's few preserved city gates and now stands as a landmark on the northern 2nd Ring Road....

     
  • Andingmen
    Andingmen
    Andingmen is the name of a gate in the former city wall of Beijing. It is currently a transportation node in northern urban Beijing and the old gate has been replaced by Andingmen Bridge, an overpass taking the form of a suspended roundabout...

     
  • Sanlitun
    Sanlitun
    Sanlitun is an area of the Chaoyang District, Beijing containing many popular bar streets and international stores.The area has been under almost constant regeneration since the late 20th century as part of a city-wide project of economic regrowth...

     
  • Dongzhimen
    Dongzhimen
    Dongzhimen is the name of one of the gates in the old city walls of Beijing, it is now a transportation node in Beijing.The 2nd Ring Road currently links, albeit somewhat indirectly, with two roads which eventually become the Airport Expressway and China National Highway 101...

     
  • Chaoyangmen
    Chaoyangmen
    Chaoyangmen is the name of a gate in the former city wall of Beijing. It is now a transportation node and a district border in Beijing. It is located in the Dongcheng District of northeastern central Beijing....

     
  • Yongdingmen
    Yongdingmen
    Yongdingmen was the former front gate of the outer section of Beijing's old city wall. Originally built in 1553, it was torn down in the 1950s to make way for the new road system in Beijing. In 2005, the Yongdingmen was reconstructed at the site of the old city gate...

     
  • Zuo'anmen 
  • You'anmen 
  • Guangqumen 
  • Guang'anmen 
  • Dongbianmen 
  • Xibianmen 
  • Hepingmen
    Hepingmen
    Hepingmen , literally meaning the Gate of Peace, was a gate in Beijing's former city wall. In the 1960s, the gate was torn down to make room for Beijing's second ring road. Today, Hepingmen is a transport node in Beijing as well as the location of Hepingmen Station on Beijing's subway system....

     
  • Fuxingmen
    Fuxingmen
    Fuxingmen is a road situated in central Beijing and on the northwestern stretch of the 2nd Ring Road.Fuxingmen means "Gate of Revival". An overpass over the ring road exists with the same name....

     
  • Jianguomen
    Jianguomen
    Jianguomen is a major transportation hub in Beijing.Flanked by Jianguomen Inner Street to the west, Jianguomen Outer Street to the east, the Eastern 2nd Ring Road runs through it in a north-south direction....

     
  • Gongzhufen
    Gongzhufen
    Gongzhufen is a major traffic and public transportation hub in the Haidian District of western Beijing, China. The name literally means "Tomb of the Princess"....

     
  • Fangzhuang
    Fangzhuang
    Fangzhuang is a vast residential area in southern Beijing. It is located in northern Fengtai District and is bounded to the north and south by the 2nd and 3rd Ring Roads and to the west and east by Tiantan Dong Lu and Fangzhuang Dong Lu. Fangzhuang was developed in 1985, and was the first...

     
  • Guomao 
  • Hepingli
    Hepingli
    Hepingli is a residential neighborhood in Dongcheng District, Beijing, China. It is situated in the northeastern part of the city between the northern 2nd Ring Road and the northern 3rd Ring Road. The neighborhood is bordered by Andingmen Waidajie to the west and Hepingli Dongjie to the east. ...

     
  • Ping'anli 
  • Beixinqiao 
  • Jiaodaokou 
  • Kuanjie 
  • Wangjing
    Wangjing, Beijing
    Wangjing is a major residential area and subdistrict of Chaoyang District, in the northeast of Beijing, China. The name "Wangjing" means "view of Beijing".- Koreatown :...

     
  • Wangfujing
    Wangfujing
    Wángfǔjǐng , located in Dongcheng District, Beijing, is one of the Chinese capital's most famous shopping streets. Much of the road is off-limits to cars and other motor vehicles, and it is not rare to see the entire street full of people. Since the middle of the Ming Dynasty there have been...

     
  • Dengshikou 
  • Wudaokou
    Wudaokou
    Wudaokou , literally in Chinese the fifth level crossing of the Jingbao Railway, is a neighborhood in the Haidian District of North West Beijing. It is around 10 km from the center of Beijing, between the fourth and fifth ring roads, and has good public transport links including a station on...

     
  • Xidan
    Xidan
    Xidan is a major traditional commercial area in Beijing, China. It is located in the Xicheng District.The Xidan commercial district incorporates the Xidan Culture Square, North Xidan Street, as well as many supermarkets and department stores...

     
  • Dongdan 
  • Zhongguancun
    Zhongguancun
    Zhongguancun , or Zhong Guan Cun, is a technology hub in Haidian District, Beijing, China.It is geographically situated in the northwestern part of Beijing city, in a band between the northwestern Third Ring Road and the northwestern Fourth Ring Road...

     
  • Panjiayuan
    Panjiayuan
    Panjiayuan is a subdistrict of Chaoyang District, Beijing, China. Panjiayuan is famous for its flea markets.It administers 12 community districts:...

     
  • Beijing CBD
    Beijing CBD
    The Beijing Central Business District, or Beijing CBD , is the primary area of finance, media, and business services in Beijing, China. Beijing CBD occupies 3.99 km2 of the Chaoyang District on the east side of the city...

     
  • Yayuncun
    Yayuncun
    Yayuncun is the site of the 1990 Asian Games and a major residential area in the Chaoyang District of Beijing.The 4th Ring Road crosses the southern proportion of the area....

     


Economy


Beijing is amongst the most developed cities in China, with tertiary industry accounting for 73.2% of its gross domestic product (GDP); it was the first post industrial
Post-industrial society
If a nation becomes "post-industrial" it passes through, or dodges, a phase of society predominated by a manufacturing-based economy and moves on to a structure of society based on the provision of information, innovation, finance, and services.-Characteristics:...

 city in mainland China. Beijing is home to 26 Fortune Global 500
Fortune Global 500
The Fortune Global 500 is a ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue. The list is compiled and published annually by Fortune magazine....

 companies, the third most in the world behind Tokyo and Paris, and over 100 of the largest companies in China.

Finance is one of the most important industries. By the end of 2007, there were 751 financial organizations in Beijing generating revenue of 128.6 billion RMB
Renminbi
The Renminbi is the official currency of the People's Republic of China . Renminbi is legal tender in mainland China, but not in Hong Kong or Macau. It is issued by the People's Bank of China, the monetary authority of the PRC...

, 11.6% of the total financial industry revenue of the entire country. That also accounts for 13.8% of Beijing's GDP, the highest percentage of any Chinese city.

In 2010, Beijing's nominal GDP reached 1.37 trillion RMB. Its per capita GDP was 78,194 RMB. In 2009, Beijing's nominal GDP was 1.19 trillion RMB (US$174 billion), a growth of 10.1% over the previous year. Its GDP per capita was 68,788 RMB (US$10,070), an increase of 6.2% over 2008. In 2009, Beijing's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 11.83 billion RMB, 274.31 billion RMB, and 900.45 billion RMB respectively. Urban disposable income
Disposable income
Disposable income is total personal income minus personal current taxes. In national accounts definitions, personal income, minus personal current taxes equals disposable personal income...

 per capita was 26,738 yuan, a real increase of 8.1% from the previous year. Per capita pure income of rural residents was 11,986 RMB, a real increase of 11.5%. The Engel's coefficient of Beijing's urban residents reached 31.8% in 2005, while that of the rural residents was 32.8%, declining 4.5 and 3.9 percentage points respectively compared to 2000.

Beijing's real estate and automobile sectors have continued to boom in recent years. In 2005, a total of 28032000 sqm of housing real estate was sold, for a total of 175.88 billion RMB. The total number of cars registered in Beijing in 2004 was 2,146,000, of which 1,540,000 were privately owned (a yearly increase of 18.7%).

The Beijing central business district (CBD), centred on the Guomao area, has been identified as the city's new central business district, and is home to a variety of corporate regional headquarters, shopping precincts, and high-end housing. Beijing Financial Street
Beijing Financial Street
Beijing Financial Street, or BFS , is a 35 block area which offers a collaborative environment for foreign and domestic financial institutions and Chinese regulatory agencies. It is part of the city's strategic plan to position Beijing as a domestic center for business and finance...

, in the Fuxingmen
Fuxingmen
Fuxingmen is a road situated in central Beijing and on the northwestern stretch of the 2nd Ring Road.Fuxingmen means "Gate of Revival". An overpass over the ring road exists with the same name....

 and Fuchengmen
Fuchengmen
Fuchengmen is the name of a gate on the western side of Beijing's city wall. The gate was torn down in the 1960s, and has been replaced by the Fuchengmen overpass on the 2nd Ring Road. Fuchengmen Station is now known as a transportation node, where a number of public buses and Line 2 of the...

 area, is a traditional financial centre. The Wangfujing
Wangfujing
Wángfǔjǐng , located in Dongcheng District, Beijing, is one of the Chinese capital's most famous shopping streets. Much of the road is off-limits to cars and other motor vehicles, and it is not rare to see the entire street full of people. Since the middle of the Ming Dynasty there have been...

 and Xidan
Xidan
Xidan is a major traditional commercial area in Beijing, China. It is located in the Xicheng District.The Xidan commercial district incorporates the Xidan Culture Square, North Xidan Street, as well as many supermarkets and department stores...

 areas are major shopping districts. Zhongguancun
Zhongguancun
Zhongguancun , or Zhong Guan Cun, is a technology hub in Haidian District, Beijing, China.It is geographically situated in the northwestern part of Beijing city, in a band between the northwestern Third Ring Road and the northwestern Fourth Ring Road...

, dubbed "China's Silicon Valley", continues to be a major centre in electronics
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 and computer-related industries, as well as pharmaceuticals-related research. Meanwhile, Yizhuang
Yizhuang, Beijing
Yizhuang is a town of Daxing District, in the southeast suburbs of Beijing, located just outside of the 5th Ring Road. Beijing Economic and Technical Development Area , the biggest economic and technical area is located here. There are a lot of high-tech research centers and joint ventures...

, located to the southeast of the urban area, is becoming a new centre in pharmaceuticals, information technology, and materials engineering. Shijingshan, on the western outskirts of the city, is among the major industrial areas. Specially designated industrial parks include Zhongguancun Science Park
Zhongguancun
Zhongguancun , or Zhong Guan Cun, is a technology hub in Haidian District, Beijing, China.It is geographically situated in the northwestern part of Beijing city, in a band between the northwestern Third Ring Road and the northwestern Fourth Ring Road...

, Yongle Economic Development Zone, Beijing Economic-technological Development Area, and Tianzhu Airport Industrial Zone.

Agriculture is carried on outside the urban area, with wheat and maize (corn) being the main crops. Vegetables are also grown closer to the urban area in order to supply the city.

Beijing is increasingly becoming known for its innovative entrepreneurs and high-growth startup companies
Startup company
A startup company or startup is a company with a limited operating history. These companies, generally newly created, are in a phase of development and research for markets...

. This culture is backed by a large community of both Chinese and foreign venture capital
Venture capital
Venture capital is financial capital provided to early-stage, high-potential, high risk, growth startup companies. The venture capital fund makes money by owning equity in the companies it invests in, which usually have a novel technology or business model in high technology industries, such as...

 firms, such as Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital is a Californian venture capital firm located on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California. The Wall Street Journal has called Sequoia Capital "one of the highest-caliber venture firms", and noted that it is "one of Silicon Valley's most influential venture-capital firms"...

, whose head office in China is in Chaoyang, Beijing. Though Shanghai is seen as the economic centre of China, this is typically based on the numerous large corporations based there, rather than for being a centre for entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur, which can be defined as "one who undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods". This may result in new organizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response...

.

Less legitimate enterprises also exist. Urban Beijing is known for being a centre of pirated
Copyright infringement
Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.- "Piracy" :...

 goods; anything from the latest designer clothing to DVDs can be found in markets all over the city, often marketed to expatriates and international visitors.

The development of Beijing continues at a rapid pace, and the vast expansion has created a multitude of problems for the city. Beijing is known for its smog as well as the frequent "power-saving" programmes instituted by the government. To reduce air pollution, a number of major industries have been ordered to reduce emissions or leave the city. Beijing Capital Steel
Shougang
Shougang is one of the Chinese largest steel company. Based in Beijing municipality, its operations are being moved out of the city prior to the Olympics due to major pollution concerns....

, once one of the city's largest employers and its single biggest polluter, has been relocating most of its operations to Tangshan
Tangshan
"唐山"redirects here. For an alternative name of China, see Names of China#TangTangshan is a largely industrial prefecture-level city in Hebei province, People's Republic of China. It has become known for the 1976 Tangshan earthquake which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and killed at least...

, in nearby Hebei
Hebei
' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

 Province. Residents and tourists alike frequently complain about the water quality
Water quality
Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water. It is a measure of the condition of water relative to the requirements of one or more biotic species and or to any human need or purpose. It is most frequently used by reference to a set of standards against which...

 and the cost of the basic services such as electricity and natural gas.

Demographics


The registered population of Beijing Municipality consists of people holding either Beijing permanent residence hukou permits or temporary residence permits. The 2010 census revealed that the total population in Beijing had reached 19.6 million. In 2006, the population of the urban core was 13.33 million, 84.3 percent of the total municipal population, which officially stood at 15.81 million. Urban sprawl
Urban sprawl
Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...

 continues at a rapid pace.

After Chongqing
Chongqing
Chongqing is a major city in Southwest China and one of the five national central cities of China. Administratively, it is one of the PRC's four direct-controlled municipalities , and the only such municipality in inland China.The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the...

 and Shanghai, Beijing is the third largest of the four directly controlled municipalities of the People's Republic of China. In the PRC, a directly controlled municipality (直辖市 in pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

: zhíxiáshì) is a city with status equal to a province
Province (China)
A province, in the context of Chinese government, is a translation of sheng formally provincial level divisions, which is an administrative division. Provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions, and the special administrative regions, make up the four types of province of administrative division...

.

According to the statistical yearbook issued in 2005 by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, out of a total population in 2004 of 14.213 million in Beijing, 1.415 million (9.96%) were 0–14 years old, 11.217 million (78.92%) were 15–64 and 1.581 million (11.12%) 65 and over.

Most of Beijing's residents belong to the Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 majority. Ethnic minorities include the Manchu
Manchu
The Manchu people or Man are an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria . During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels , they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which...

, Hui
Hui people
The Hui people are an ethnic group in China, defined as Chinese speaking people descended from foreign Muslims. They are typically distinguished by their practice of Islam, however some also practice other religions, and many are direct descendants of Silk Road travelers.In modern People's...

, and Mongol. A Tibetan-language high school exists for youth of Tibetan ancestry, nearly all of whom have come to Beijing from Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 expressly for their studies. A sizable international community resides in Beijing, many attracted by the highly growing foreign business and trade sector, others by the traditional and modern culture of the city. Many of these foreigners live in the areas around the Beijing CBD, Sanlitun
Sanlitun
Sanlitun is an area of the Chaoyang District, Beijing containing many popular bar streets and international stores.The area has been under almost constant regeneration since the late 20th century as part of a city-wide project of economic regrowth...

, and Wudaokou
Wudaokou
Wudaokou , literally in Chinese the fifth level crossing of the Jingbao Railway, is a neighborhood in the Haidian District of North West Beijing. It is around 10 km from the center of Beijing, between the fourth and fifth ring roads, and has good public transport links including a station on...

. In recent years, there has been an influx of South Koreans, an estimated 200,000 in 2009, predominantly for business and study. Many of them live in the Wangjing
Wangjing, Beijing
Wangjing is a major residential area and subdistrict of Chaoyang District, in the northeast of Beijing, China. The name "Wangjing" means "view of Beijing".- Koreatown :...

 and Wudaokou
Wudaokou
Wudaokou , literally in Chinese the fifth level crossing of the Jingbao Railway, is a neighborhood in the Haidian District of North West Beijing. It is around 10 km from the center of Beijing, between the fourth and fifth ring roads, and has good public transport links including a station on...

 areas.
Ethnic groups in Beijing, 2000 census
(excluding members of the People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 in active service)
Ethnicity  Population Percentage
Han
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 
12,983,696 95.69%
Manchu
Manchu
The Manchu people or Man are an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria . During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels , they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which...

 
250,286 1.84%
Hui
Hui people
The Hui people are an ethnic group in China, defined as Chinese speaking people descended from foreign Muslims. They are typically distinguished by their practice of Islam, however some also practice other religions, and many are direct descendants of Silk Road travelers.In modern People's...

 
235,837 1.74%
Mongols
Ethnic Mongols in China
Mongols in China are citizens of the People's Republic of China who are ethnic Mongols. They form one of the 55 ethnic minorities officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. There are approximately 5.8 million ethnic Mongols living in China. Most of them live in Inner Mongolia,...

 
37,464 0.28%
Koreans  20,369 0.15%
Tujia  8372 0.062%
Zhuang  7322 0.054%
Miao
Miao people
The Miao or ม้ง ; ) is an ethnic group recognized by the government of the People's Republic of China as one of the 55 official minority groups. Miao is a Chinese term and does not reflect the self-designations of the component nations of people, which include Hmong, Hmu, A Hmao, and Kho Xiong...

 
5291 0.039%
Uyghur
Uyghur people
The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China...

 
3129 0.023%
Tibetan
Tibetan people
The Tibetan people are an ethnic group that is native to Tibet, which is mostly in the People's Republic of China. They number 5.4 million and are the 10th largest ethnic group in the country. Significant Tibetan minorities also live in India, Nepal, and Bhutan...

 
2920 0.022%

Culture





People native to urban Beijing speak the Beijing dialect
Beijing dialect
Beijing dialect, or Pekingese , is the dialect of Mandarin spoken in the urban area of Beijing, China. It is the phonological basis of Standard Chinese, which is used by the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China , and Singapore....

, which belongs to the Mandarin subdivision of spoken Chinese. This speech is the basis for putonghua, the standard spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Rural areas of Beijing Municipality have their own dialects akin to those of Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing Municipality.

Beijing or Peking opera (Jīngjù, 京剧), is a traditional form of Chinese theatre well known throughout the nation. Commonly lauded as one of the highest achievements of Chinese culture, Beijing opera is performed through a combination of song, spoken dialogue, and codified action sequences involving gestures, movement, fighting and acrobatics. Much of Beijing opera is carried out in an archaic stage dialect quite different from Modern Standard Chinese and from the modern Beijing dialect.

Beijing cuisine
Beijing cuisine
Beijing cuisine is a cooking style in Beijing, China. It is also known as Mandarin cuisine.-Background:Since Beijing has been the Chinese capital city for centuries, its cuisine has been influenced by culinary traditions from all over China, but the cuisine that has exerted the greatest influence...

 is the local style of cooking. Peking Roast Duck is perhaps the best known dish. Fuling Jiabing
Fuling Jiabing
Fuling jiabing , also known Fu Ling Bing or Tuckahoe Pie,is a traditional snack food of Beijing and is an integral part of the city's culture. It is a pancake-like snack made from flour, sugar, and fuling , rolled around nuts, honey, and other ingredients...

, a traditional Beijing snack food, is a pancake (bing) resembling a flat disk with a filling made from fu ling, a fungus used in traditional Chinese medicine. Teahouses are common in Beijing.

The cloisonné
Cloisonné
Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials. The resulting objects can also be called cloisonné...

 (or Jingtailan, literally "Blue of Jingtai
Jingtai Emperor
The Jingtai Emperor was Emperor of China from 1449 to 1457. The second son of the Xuande Emperor, he was selected in 1449 to succeed his older brother, the Zhengtong Emperor, when the latter was captured by Mongols following the Tumu Crisis...

") metalworking technique and tradition is a Beijing art specialty, and is one of the most revered traditional crafts in China. Cloisonné making requires elaborate and complicated processes which include base-hammering, copper-strip inlay, soldering, enamel-filling, enamel-firing, surface polishing and gilding. Beijing's lacquerware
Lacquerware
Lacquerware are objects decoratively covered with lacquer. The lacquer is sometimes inlaid or carved. Lacquerware includes boxes, tableware, buttons and even coffins painted with lacquer in cultures mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere.-History:...

 is also well known for its sophisticated and intrinsic patterns and images carved into its surface, and the various decoration techniques of lacquer include "carved lacquer" and "engraved gold".

Younger residents of Beijing have become more attracted to the nightlife, which has flourished in recent decades, breaking prior cultural traditions that had practically restricted it to the upper class.

Places of interest


At the historical heart of Beijing lies the Forbidden City
Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum...

, the enormous palace compound that was the home of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties; the Forbidden City hosts the Palace Museum, which contains imperial collections of Chinese art. Surrounding the Forbidden City are several former imperial gardens, parks and scenic areas, notably Beihai
Beihai Park
Beihai Park is an imperial garden to the northwest of the Forbidden City in Beijing. First built in the 10th century, it is amongst the largest of Chinese gardens, and contains numerous historically important structures, palaces and temples. Since 1925, the place has been open to the public as a...

, Shichahai
Shichahai
Shichahai is an historic scenic area consisting of three lakes in the north of central Beijing in China. They are located to the north-west of the Forbidden City and north-west of the Beihai Lake. Shichahai consists of the following three lakes: Qianhai , Xihai and Houhai...

, Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai is an area in central Beijing, China adjacent to the Forbidden City which serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China and the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The term Zhongnanhai is closely linked with the central government and senior Communist...

, Jingshan
Jingshan Park
Jingshan is an artificial hill in Beijing, China. Covering an area of more than 230,000 m², Jingshan is immediately north of the Forbidden City on the central axis of Beijing. As a result, it is administratively part of both the Xicheng District and the Dongcheng District...

 and Zhongshan
Zhongshan Park (Beijing)
The Zhongshan Park , is a former imperial garden and now a public park that lies just southwest of the Forbidden City in the Dongcheng District of central Beijing....

. These places, particularly Beihai Park, are described as masterpieces of Chinese garden
Chinese garden
The Chinese garden, also known as a Chinese classical garden, is a style of landscape garden which has evolved for more than three thousand years, and which is inspired by Chinese literature, Chinese painting and Chinese philosophy...

ing art, and are popular tourist destinations with tremendous historical importance; in the modern era, Zhongnanhai has also been the political heart of various Chinese governments and regimes and is now the headquarters of the Communist Party of China. From Tiananmen Square, right across from the Forbidden City, there are several notable sites, such as the Tiananmen, Qianmen
Qianmen
Qianmen is the colloquial name for Zhengyangmen , a gate in Beijing's historic city wall. The gate is situated to the south of Tiananmen Square and once guarded the southern entry into the Inner City. Although much of Beijing's city walls were demolished, Qianmen remains an important...

, the Great Hall of the People
Great Hall of the People
The Great Hall of the People is located at the western edge of Tiananmen Square, Beijing, People's Republic of China, and is used for legislative and ceremonial activities by the People's Republic of China and the Communist Party of China. It functions as the People's Republic of China's...

, the National Museum of China
National Museum of China
The National Museum of China flanks the eastern side of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The mission of the museum is to educate about the arts and history of China...

, the Monument to the People's Heroes
Monument to the People's Heroes
The Monument to the People's Heroes is a ten-story obelisk that was erected as a national monument of the People's Republic of China.The Monument was built in memory of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the revolutionary struggles of the Chinese people during the 19th and 20th centuries...

, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong
Mausoleum of Mao Zedong
The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall , commonly known as the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, or the Mao Mausoleum, is the final resting place of Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China from 1943 and the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China from 1945...

. The Summer Palace
Summer Palace
The Summer Palace is a palace in Beijing, China. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water....

 and the Old Summer Palace
Old Summer Palace
The Old Summer Palace, known in China as Yuan Ming Yuan , and originally called the Imperial Gardens, was a complex of palaces and gardens in Beijing...

 both lie at the western part of the city; the former, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains a comprehensive collection of imperial gardens and palaces that served as the summer retreat for the Qing emperors.
Among the best known religious sites in the city is the Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest...

 (Tiantan), located in southeastern Beijing, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties made visits for annual ceremonies of prayers to Heaven for good harvest. In the north of the city is the Temple of Earth
Temple of Earth
The Temple of the Earth in Beijing, China, is located in the northern part of central Beijing, around the Andingmen area and just outside of Beijing's second ring road. It is also located just a few hundred yards north of Yonghe Temple...

 (Ditan), while the Temple of the Sun (Ritan) and the Temple of the Moon
Temple of the Moon (China)
The Temple of the Moon is an altar located in Fuchengmen, Xicheng District, in western Beijing, China. The altar was built in 1530 during the Ming Dynasty for use in ritual sacrifice to the Moon by the Emperor of China....

 (Yuetan) lie in the eastern and western urban areas respectively. Other well-known temple sites include the Dongyue Temple
Beijing Dongyue Temple
The Beijing Dongyue Temple is aDaoist temple in the Chaowai area, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China. The temple is dedicated to the God of Mount Tai . "Dongyue" is a synonym for Mount Tai, the easternmost and holiest of the five sacred mountains of Taoism...

, Tanzhe Temple
Tanzhe Temple
The Tanzhe Temple is a Buddhist temple situated in the Western Hills, a mountainous area in western Beijing. It is one of the most well-known temples in Beijing. At one time, it was one of the most important temples in the nation...

, Miaoying Temple
Miaoying Temple
The Miaoying Temple , also known as the "White Stupa Temple" , is a Chinese Buddhist temple on the north side of Fuchengmennei Street in Xicheng District of Beijing....

, White Cloud Temple
White Cloud Temple
The White Cloud Temple or the Monastery of the White Clouds is a Daoist temple located in Beijing, China. It is one of "The Three Great Ancestral Courts" of the Complete Perfection School of Taoism, and is titled "The First Temple under Heaven"....

, Yonghe Temple
Yonghe Temple
The Yonghe Temple , also known as the "Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple", the "Yonghe Lamasery", or - popularly - the "Lama Temple" is a temple and monastery of the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism located in the northeastern part of Beijing, China. It is one of the largest and most...

, Fayuan Temple
Fayuan Temple
The Fayuan Temple , situated in the southwest quarter of central Beijing, is one of the city's most renowned Buddhist temples.- History :The temple was first built in 645 during the Tang Dynasty by Emperor Li Shimin, and later rebuilt in the Zhengtong Period of the Ming Dynasty. The temple...

, Wanshou Temple
Wanshou Temple
The Wanshou Temple is a temple located at the Suzhou Jie in Beijing. In addition to being a Buddhist temple, the Wanshou Temple also houses the Beijing Art Museum....

 and Big Bell Temple
Big Bell Temple
The Big Bell Temple, or Da Zhong Temple , originally known as Jue Sheng Temple , is a Buddhist temple located on Beisanhuan Road in Beijing, China....

. The city also has its own Confucius Temple
Beijing Temple of Confucius
The Temple of Confucius at Beijing is the second largest Confucian Temple in China, after the one in Confucius' hometown of Qufu.The temple was built in 1302, and officials used it to pay their respects to Confucius until 1911. The compound was enlarged twice, during the Ming and Qing dynasties...

, and a Guozijian
Guozijian (Beijing)
The Beijing Guozijian , located at the Guozijian Street or Chengxian Street in Beijing, China, was the imperial college during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties and it was the last Guozijian of China and is an important national cultural heritage...

 or Imperial Academy. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Beijing
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Beijing , also known as Nantang to the locals, is a historic Roman Catholic Church located in Beijing, China...

, built in 1605, is the oldest Catholic church in Beijing. The Niujie Mosque is the oldest mosque in Beijing, with a history stretching back over a thousand years.

Beijing contains several well-preserved pagodas and stone pagodas, such as the towering Pagoda of Tianning Temple
Pagoda of Tianning Temple (Beijing)
The Tianning Temple is located in the Guang'anmen district of Beijing, China. The temple contains the 12th-century Pagoda of Tianning Temple. The pagoda is a Liao Dynasty pagoda built from around 1100 to 1119 or 1120 CE, shortly before the Liao Dynasty was conquered by Song and Jin...

, which was built during the Liao Dynasty from 1100–1120, and the Pagoda of Cishou Temple
Pagoda of Cishou Temple
The Pagoda of Cishou Temple , originally known as Yong'anwanshou Pagoda , is a 16th century stone and brick Chinese pagoda located in the Buddhist Cishou Temple of Balizhuang, a suburb of Beijing, China. This octagonal-shaped pagoda is roughly 50 m tall, with elaborate ornamental carvings,...

, which was built in 1576 during the Ming Dynasty. Historically noteworthy stone bridges include the 12th century Lugou Bridge
Lugou Bridge
The Lugou Bridge , also known as the Marco Polo Bridge in English, is a famous stone bridge located 15 km southwest of the Beijing city center across the Yongding River—a main tributary of Hai River The Lugou Bridge (Simplified: 卢沟桥; Traditional: 盧溝橋; Pinyin: Lúgōu Qiáo), also known as...

, the 17th century Baliqiao bridge
Baliqiao
Baliqiao , literally meaning Eight Mile Bridge, is a historic bridge in Beijing, China. It is located in the Baliqiao suburb, named for the bridge.-The Bridge:...

, and the 18th century Jade Belt Bridge
Jade Belt Bridge
The Jade Belt Bridge , also known as the Camel's Back Bridge, is an 18th century pedestrian Moon bridge located on the grounds of the Summer Palace in Beijing, China. It is famous for its distinctive tall thin single arch....

. The Beijing Ancient Observatory
Beijing Ancient Observatory
The Beijing Ancient Observatory is a pretelescopic observatory located in Beijing, China. The revolutionary tools used within this ancient observatory were built in 1442 during the Ming Dynasty, and later amended during the Qing....

 displays pre-telescopic spheres dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Fragrant Hills
Fragrant Hills
Fragrant Hills Park is a public park at the foot of the Western Mountains in the Haidian District, in the northwestern part of Beijing, China. It covers 1.6 km² and consists of a natural pine-cypress forest, hills with maple trees, smoke trees and persimmon trees, as well as landscaped areas with...

 (Xiangshan) is a popular scenic public park that consists of natural landscaped areas as well as traditional and cultural relics. The Beijing Botanical Garden
Beijing Botanical Garden
The Beijing Botanical Garden is a botanical garden situated in the northwestern outskirts of Beijing, China between Xiangshan Park and Jade Spring Mountain in the Western Hills.-History:...

 exhibits over 6,000 species of plants, including a variety of trees, bushes and flowers, and an extensive peony
Peony
Peony or paeony is a name for plants in the genus Paeonia, the only genus in the flowering plant family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, southern Europe and western North America...

 garden. The Taoranting
Taoranting Park
Taoranting Park is a city park located to the north of Beijing's Southern Railway Station in Xuanwu District, the southern part of the city. A former location for literati to get together, while most of Beijing's gardens were reserved only for imperial families during the Qing Dynasty, it gained...

, Longtan
Longtan Park
The Longtan Park -Location:Located at the center of the park is a large lake called the "Dragon Lake" which features many moon bridges, rock gardens, dragon boats, tea houses and restaurants.-External links:*...

, Chaoyang, Haidian
Haidian Park
Haidian Park is a city park located in the northwestern Haidian District of Beijing, China. It is 40 hectares in area, and is located at the northwest corner of the Wanquanhe Intersection of the Northwest Fourth Ring Road....

, Milu Yuan
Milu Yuan
Milu Park, or Milu Yuan , is a large public park located in southern Beijing, China.It is a public park and an ecological research center that serves as a natural park for animals in Beijing. Among the attractions are the milu deer, a deer creature that became almost extinct in China toward the end...

 and Zizhu Yuan
Purple Bamboo Park
Purple Bamboo Park is one of the seven largest parks in Beijing, China. It is located in the Haidian District of northwestern Beijing....

 parks are some of the notable recreational parks in the city. The Beijing Zoo
Beijing Zoo
The Beijing Zoo is a zoological park in Beijing, China. Located in the Xicheng District, the zoo occupies an area of 89 hectares , including 5.6 hectares of lakes and ponds . It is one of the oldest zoos in China and has one of the largest animal collections in the country...

 is a center of zoological research that also contains rare animals from various continents, including the Chinese giant panda
Giant Panda
The giant panda, or panda is a bear native to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo...

.

There are over one hundred museums in Beijing. In addition to the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City and the National Museum of China, other major museums include the National Art Museum of China
National Art Museum of China
The National Art Museum of China, or NAMOC is located at 1 Wusi Ave, Dongcheng District of Beijing, People's Republic of China. It is one of the largest art museums in China. The construction of the museum started in 1958, and concluded in 1962. It has a total land area of 30,000 square meters...

, the Capital Museum
Capital Museum
The Capital Museum located at 16 Fuxingmenwai Dajie, Xicheng District is an art museum in Beijing, China. It opened in 1981 while the present building was built in the late 1990s and it houses a variety of items from Imperial China as well as other Asian cultures...

, the Beijing Art Museum
Wanshou Temple
The Wanshou Temple is a temple located at the Suzhou Jie in Beijing. In addition to being a Buddhist temple, the Wanshou Temple also houses the Beijing Art Museum....

, the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution
Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution
The Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution, or China People's Revolution Military Museum is a museum located in Beijing, China immediately west of central Beijing in Haidian District...

, the Geological Museum of China
Geological Museum of China
The Geological Museum of China , built in 1916, is a geological museum, boasting 200 thousand specimens.This museum is located in the Xisi area of Beijing and opened on October 1, 1959. It is the earliest geological scientific museum of China....

, the Beijing Museum of Natural History
Beijing Museum of Natural History
The Beijing Museum of Natural History is located at 126, Tian Qiao Nan Street, Chong Wen District, Beijing, 100050, and is the most popular natural history museum in China. It was originally founded in 1951 as the National Central Museum of Natural History, and its name changed to the Beijing...

 and the Paleozoological Museum of China
Paleozoological Museum of China
The Paleozoological Museum of China is located in Beijing. The same building also houses the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology...

.

Located at the outskirts of urban Beijing, but within its municipality are the Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty Tombs
The Ming Dynasty Tombs are located some 51.35 kilometers due north of central Beijing, within the suburban Changping District of Beijing municipality...

, the lavish and elaborate burial sites of thirteen Ming emperors, which have been designated as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties is the designation under which the UNESCO has included several tombs and burial complexes into the list of World Heritage Sites. These tombs date from the Ming and Qing dynasties of China....

. The archaeological Peking Man
Peking Man
Peking Man , Homo erectus pekinensis, is an example of Homo erectus. A group of fossil specimens was discovered in 1923-27 during excavations at Zhoukoudian near Beijing , China...

 site at Zhoukoudian
Zhoukoudian
Zhoukoudian or Choukoutien is a cave system in Beijing, China. It has yielded many archaeological discoveries, including one of the first specimens of Homo erectus, dubbed Peking Man, and a fine assemblage of bones of the gigantic hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostris...

 is another World Heritage Site within the municipality, containing a wealth of discoveries, among them one of the first specimens of Homo erectus
Homo erectus
Homo erectus is an extinct species of hominid that lived from the end of the Pliocene epoch to the later Pleistocene, about . The species originated in Africa and spread as far as India, China and Java. There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H...

and an assemblage of bones of the gigantic hyena
Hyena
Hyenas or Hyaenas are the animals of the family Hyaenidae of suborder feliforms of the Carnivora. It is the fourth smallest biological family in the Carnivora , and one of the smallest in the mammalia...

 Pachycrocuta
Pachycrocuta
Pachycrocuta was a genus of prehistoric hyenas. The largest and most well-researched species was the giant hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostris, which stood about at the shoulder and may have weighed — the size of a lioness. This would make it the largest hyena to have ever lived. It lived between the...

 brevirostris
. There are several sections of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups...

, most notably Badaling
Badaling
Badaling is the site of the most visited section of the Great Wall of China, approximately northwest of urban Beijing city in Yanqing County, which is within the Beijing municipality. The portion of the wall running through the site was built during the Ming Dynasty, along with a military...

, Jinshanling
Jinshanling
Jinshanling , a section of the Great Wall of China located in the mountainous area in Luanping County, 125 km northeast of Beijing. This section of the wall is connected with the Simatai section to the east. Some distance to the west lies the Mutianyu section...

, Simatai
Simatai
Simatai , a section of the Great Wall of China located in the north of Miyun County, 120 km northeast of Beijing, holds the access to Gubeikou, a strategic pass in the eastern part of the Great Wall. It was closed in June of 2010...

 and Mutianyu
Mutianyu
Mutianyu is a section of the Great Wall of China located in Huairou County 70km northeast of Beijing. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is connected with Jiankou in the west and Lianhuachi in the east...

.

Architecture


Three styles of architecture predominate in urban Beijing. First, there is the traditional architecture of imperial China, perhaps best exemplified by the massive Tian'anmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace), which remains the People's Republic of China's trademark edifice, the Forbidden City
Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum...

, the Imperial Ancestral Temple and the Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest...

. Next, there is what is sometimes referred to as the "Sino-Sov" style, with structures tending to be boxy and sometimes poorly constructed, which were built between the 1950s and the 1970s. Finally, there are much more modern architectural forms, most noticeably in the area of the Beijing CBD
Beijing CBD
The Beijing Central Business District, or Beijing CBD , is the primary area of finance, media, and business services in Beijing, China. Beijing CBD occupies 3.99 km2 of the Chaoyang District on the east side of the city...

 and Beijing Financial Street
Beijing Financial Street
Beijing Financial Street, or BFS , is a 35 block area which offers a collaborative environment for foreign and domestic financial institutions and Chinese regulatory agencies. It is part of the city's strategic plan to position Beijing as a domestic center for business and finance...

.

In the early 21st century, Beijing has witnessed tremendous growth of new building constructions, exhibiting various modern styles from international designers. A mixture of both old and new styles of architecture can be seen at the 798 Art Zone, which mixes 1950s design with the new.

Beijing is famous for its siheyuan
Siheyuan
A siheyuan is a historical type of residence that was commonly found throughout China, most famously in Beijing. In English, siheyuan are sometimes referred to as Chinese quadrangles. The name literally means a courtyard surrounded by four buildings...

s
, a type of residence where a common courtyard is shared by the surrounding buildings. Among the more grand examples are the Prince Gong Mansion
Prince Gong Mansion
The Prince Gong's Mansion or Gong Wang Fu Museum is located in the western part of central Beijing, China, north of the Shichahai Lake...

 and Residence of Soong Ching-ling
Former Residence of Soong Ching-ling
The Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling is a museum in the Shichahai area of Beijing and once was the last residence of Soong Ching-ling, the wife of Sun Yat-sen and later the Honorary Chairman of the People’s Republic of China...

. These courtyards are usually connected by alleys called hutong
Hutong
Hutongs are a type of narrow streets or alleys, most commonly associated with Beijing, China.In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. Many neighbourhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one...

s
. The hutongs are generally straight and run east to west so that doorways face north and south for good Feng Shui
Feng shui
Feng shui ' is a Chinese system of geomancy believed to use the laws of both Heaven and Earth to help one improve life by receiving positive qi. The original designation for the discipline is Kan Yu ....

. They vary in width; some are so narrow only a few pedestrians can pass through at a time. Once ubiquitous in Beijing, siheyuans and hutongs are rapidly disappearing, as entire city blocks of hutongs are replaced by high-rise buildings. Residents of the hutongs are entitled to live in the new buildings in apartments of at least the same size as their former residences. Many complain, however, that the traditional sense of community and street life of the hutongs cannot be replaced, and these properties are often government owned.

Television and radio



Beijing Television broadcasts on channels 1 through 10. Three radio stations feature programmes in English: Hit FM on FM 88.7, Easy FM by China Radio International
China Radio International
China Radio International , the former Radio Beijing and originally Radio Peking, founded on December 3 of 1941, is one of the three state-owned media in China along with China National Radio and China Central Television in the People's Republic of China .As the PRC's external radio station, CRI...

 on FM 91.5, and the newly launched Radio 774 on AM 774. Beijing Radio Stations is the family of radio stations serving the city.

Press


The well-known Beijing Evening News
Beijing Evening News
Beijing Evening News is a Chinese language newspaper in the People's Republic of China from Beijing. It was founded on March 15, 1958. Mao Zedong wrote the title for it in 1964....

(Beijing Wanbao, 北京晚报), covering news about Beijing in Chinese, is distributed every afternoon. Other newspapers include The Beijing News (Xin Jing Bao, 新京报), the Beijing Star Daily, the Beijing Morning News, and the Beijing Youth Daily
Beijing Youth Daily
The Beijing Youth Daily is the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League committee in Beijing. It was established in 1949, and is now published by the Beijing Youth Daily Publishing Company. It is one of Beijing's most widely-circulated newspapers....

(Beijing Qingnian Bao), as well as English-language weeklies Beijing Weekend and Beijing Today (the English-language edition of Youth Daily). The People's Daily
People's Daily
The People's Daily is a daily newspaper in the People's Republic of China. The paper is an organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China , published worldwide with a circulation of 3 to 4 million. In addition to its main Chinese-language edition, it has editions in English,...

and the China Daily
China Daily
The China Daily is an English language daily newspaper published in the People's Republic of China.- Overview :China Daily was established in June 1981 and has the widest print circulation of any English-language newspaper in the country...

(English) are published in Beijing as well.

Publications primarily aimed at international visitors and the expatriate community include the English-language periodicals Time Out Beijing, City Weekend
City Weekend
City Weekend is a free, bi-weekly entertainment event and venue listing magazine based out of China.. Its on-line edition is both autonomous and complimentary to the print magazine - City Weekend is "reader-powered" and sources most of its information directly from the expat community.City Weekend...

, Beijing This Month
Beijing This Month
Beijing This Month is a free monthly English language magazine, published in Beijing by the Beijing Foreign Cultural Exchanges Centre in association with the Beijing City Government.-Circulation:...

, Beijing Talk, That's Beijing
That's Beijing
that's Beijing is a free monthly English magazine that covers art, cinema, music, nightlife, dining, and health in Beijing. Formerly produced by True Run Media, it was taken over by China Intercontinental Press in 2008 and is now very much a "state-owned" product in quality and editorial direction...

.

Sports


Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

 and the 2008 Summer Paralympics
2008 Summer Paralympics
The 2008 Summer Paralympic Games, the thirteenth Paralympics, took place in Beijing, China from September 6 to September 17, 2008. As with the 2008 Summer Olympics, equestrian events were held in Hong Kong and sailing events in Qingdao....

. City officials relocated 350,000 people for the construction of the Beijing National Stadium
Beijing National Stadium
Beijing National Stadium, also known officially as the National Stadium, or colloquially as the Bird's Nest , is a stadium in Beijing, China. The stadium was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.-History:...

, which was completed on 28 June 2008.
Professional sports teams based in Beijing include:
  • Chinese Super League
    Chinese Super League
    The Chinese Football Association Super League , commonly known as Chinese Super League or CSL, currently known as the Pirelli Chinese Football Association Super League for sponsorship reasons, is the highest tier of professional association football in China, operating under the auspices of the...

    • Beijing Guoan
      Beijing Guoan
      Beijing Guoan Football Club Beijing Guoan Football Club Beijing Guoan Football Club (Simplified Chinese: 北京国安 is part of CITIC Group (China International Trust and Investment Corporation). Their current home stadium is Workers Stadium and the Fengtai stadium for less popular games. The current head...

  • Chinese Football Association Jia League
    Chinese Football Association Jia League
    The China League One is the second tier professional league for Chinese football clubs. The league is under the auspices of the Chinese Football Association. Above the League One is Chinese Super League....

    • Beijing Baxy
    • Beijing Institute of Technology FC
      Beijing Institute of Technology FC
      Beijing Institute of Technology Football Club is a Chinese football club based in Haidian, Beijing. The Club was found in 2000 and currently owned by the Beijing Institute of Technology . All the players, including few foreign students, are full-time students at the BIT...

  • Chinese Basketball Association
    Chinese Basketball Association
    The Chinese Basketball Association , often abbreviated to the CBA, is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in China.The league is commonly known as the CBA, and this acronym is often used even in Chinese...

    • Beijing Ducks
      Beijing Ducks
      Beijing Jinyu Ducks or Beijing Ducks or Beijing Jinyu is a basketball team in the North Division of the Chinese Basketball Association, based in Beijing. They were formerly known as the Beijing Shougang Ducks or Beijing Shougang; the name change was likely due to a change of corporate sponsorship...

  • Women's Chinese Basketball Association
    Women's Chinese Basketball Association
    The Women's Chinese Basketball Association is a women's basketball league in the People's Republic of China. It is commonly known as the WCBA, and this name is often used even in Chinese.The WCBA was established in 2002...

    • Beijing Shougang
  • Asia League Ice Hockey
    Asia League Ice Hockey
    Asia League Ice Hockey is an association which operates a professional ice hockey league based in East Asia, with seven teams from Japan, China, and South Korea. The league is headquartered in Japan...

    • China Sharks
      China Sharks
      The China Dragon are a professional ice hockey team based in Shanghai, China, and a member of Asia League Ice Hockey. The team was formed in 1954 as two different clubs, Harbin and Qiqihar, as part of the China League...

  • China Baseball League
    China Baseball League
    The China Baseball League or Chinese Baseball League or CBL is a professional baseball league under the administration of Chinese Baseball Association, founded in 2002.-Teams:...

    • Beijing Tigers
      Beijing Tigers
      The Beijing Tigers is one of the four charter teams in the China Baseball League. The Tigers played at the Beijing Fengtai Baseball Field until 2006, when the stadium was destroyed and rebuilt as the Fengtai Softball Field...



The Beijing Olympians
Beijing Olympians
Beijing Aoshen Olympians or Beijing Olympians or Beijing Aoshen are a professional basketball team that formerly played in the Chinese Basketball Association and now play in the West Coast Pro Basketball League. They have also played in the American Basketball Association. Some sources refer to...

 of the American Basketball Association
American Basketball Association (21st century)
The American Basketball Association, often abbreviated as ABA, is a semi-professional men's basketball league that was founded in 1999. The current ABA has no affiliation with the original American Basketball Association that merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976...

, formerly a Chinese Basketball Association
Chinese Basketball Association
The Chinese Basketball Association , often abbreviated to the CBA, is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in China.The league is commonly known as the CBA, and this acronym is often used even in Chinese...

 team, kept their name and maintained a roster of primarily Chinese players after moving to Maywood, California
Maywood, California
Maywood is a small city in southeast Los Angeles County, California. At , Maywood is the third-smallest incorporated city in Los Angeles County....

 in 2005.

Transportation


With the growth of the city in the wake of economic reforms, Beijing has evolved as the most important transport hub in the People's Republic of China, and within the larger East Asian region. Encircling the city are five ring roads, nine expressways and city express routes, eleven China National Highways, several railway routes, and an international airport.

Rail & High-speed rail


Beijing is one of the largest hubs in China's railway network
Rail transport in the People's Republic of China
Rail transport is the most commonly used mode of long-distance transportation in the People's Republic of China. Almost all rail operations are handled by the Ministry of Railways, which is part of the State Council of the People's Republic of China...

. Eight conventional rail lines radiate from Beijing to Shanghai (Jinghu Line), Guangzhou (Jingguang Line), Kowloon (Jingjiu Line), Harbin (Jingha Line), Baotou (Jingbao Line), Qinhuangdao (Jingqin Line), Chengde (Jingcheng Line) and Yuanping, Shanxi (Jingyuan Line). In addition, Beijing has two high-speed rail
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

 lines: the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, which opened in 2011, and the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway, which opened in 2008.

The city's main railway stations are the Beijing Railway Station
Beijing railway station
Beijing Railway Station is one of Beijing's railway stations, opened in the 1950s, as can be seen from its architecture . It is located in the city's central location, just next to Jianguomen, and is within the confines of the city's 2nd Ring Road...

, which opened in 1959; the Beijing West Railway Station
Beijing west railway station
Beijing West Railway Station, also known as Beijing West or West Passenger Station is located in western Beijing's Fengtai District. Opened in early 1996 after three years of construction, it was the largest railway station in Asia with 510,000m². The station serves in average 150,000–180,000...

, which opened in 1996; and the Beijing South Railway Station
Beijing south railway station
The current Beijing South Railway Station is a large railway station on the south side of Beijing that opened on August 1, 2008. The new station replaced the old Beijing South Station, first known as the Majiapu Railway Station and later known as the Yongdingmen Railway Station before 1988, which...

, which was rebuilt into the city's high-speed railway station in 2008. As of 1 July 2010, Beijing Railway Station had 173 trains arriving daily, Beijing West had 232 trains and Beijing South had 163. The Beijing North Railway Station
Beijing North Railway Station
Beijing North Railway Station , formerly known as Xizhimen Railway Station , is a railway station in Beijing, China. It was built in 1905 as one of the original stations on the Jingzhang Railway, now part of the old Beijing-Baotou Line....

, first built in 1909 and expanded in 2009, had 22 trains.

Smaller stations in the city including Beijing East Railway Station
Beijing east railway station
Beijing East Railway Station is a railway station in Beijing. The station is located near Sihui.- Schedules :There are 7 passenger trains stop at the station every day:Note: Updated in May 2006, the train schedule will change on April 18, 2007....

 and Qinghuayuan Railway Station
Qinghuayuan railway station
Qinghuayuan railway station is a railway station in Beijing.-History:The construction work of the station was completed in 1910. The station was located near the east gate of Tsinghua University. In early 1950s, the old station moved to its new location, about 0.5 kilometers south to the former...

 which handle mainly commuter passenger traffic. The Fengtai Railway Station has been closed for renovation. In outlying suburbs and counties of Beijing, there are over 40 railway stations.

From Beijing, direct Direct passenger train service is available to most large cities in China. International train service is available to Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, Russia, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 and North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

. Passenger trains in China are numbered according to their direction in relation to Beijing.

Roads and expressways

See Expressways of Beijing
Expressways of Beijing
Beijing was first linked to outside areas by the Jingshi Expressway in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now, nine expressways link Beijing, and more are to come.-History:...

 and China National Highways of Beijing
China National Highways of Beijing
The China National Highways of Beijing article focuses on Beijing, as a transportation hub of China, is the starting point for eleven of the twelve series-100 China National Highways...

 for more related information.


Beijing is connected by road links to all parts of China as part of the National Trunk Road Network. Nine expressways of China
Expressways of China
The Expressway Network of the People's Republic of China is one of the longest in the world. The network is also known as National Trunk Highway System . The total length of China's expressways was at the end of 2010, the world's second longest only after the United States and slightly longer...

 serve Beijing, as do eleven China National Highways. Beijing's urban transport is dependent upon the five "ring roads
Ring Roads of Beijing
Beijing is one of the very few cities to possess multiple ring roads .-1st Ring Road:The 1st Ring Road no longer exists under that name. In the 1920s, around half a dozen routes were established in Beijing for the first tram lines of the city...

" that concentrically surround the city, with the Forbidden City
Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum...

 area marked as the geographical center for the ring roads. The ring roads appear more rectangular than ring-shaped. There is no official "1st Ring Road". The 2nd Ring Road is located in the inner city. Ring roads tend to resemble expressways
Controlled-access highway
A controlled-access highway is a highway designed exclusively for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow and ingress/egress regulated...

 progressively as they extend outwards, with the 5th and 6th Ring Roads being full-standard national expressways, linked to other roads only by interchanges. Expressways to other regions of China are generally accessible from the 3rd Ring Road outward.

Within the urban core, city streets generally follow the checkerboard pattern of the ancient capital. Many of Beijing's boulevards and streets with "inner" and "outer" are still named in relation to gates in the city wall, though most gates no longer stand. Traffic jams are a major concern. Even outside of rush hour, several roads still remain clogged with traffic.

Exacerbating Beijing's traffic problems is its relatively underdeveloped mass transit system. Beijing's urban design layout further exacerbates transportation problems. The authorities have introduced several bus lanes, which only public buses can use during rush hour. In the beginning of 2010, Beijing had 4 million registered automobiles. By the end of 2010, the government forecast 5 million. In 2010, new car registrations in Beijing averaged 15,500 per week.

Towards the end of 2010, the city government announced a series of drastic measures to tackle traffic jams, including limiting the number of new license plates issued to passenger cars to 20,000 a month and barring cars with non-Beijing plates from entering areas within the Fifth Ring Road during rush hour.

Air


Beijing's primary airport is the Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport, is the main international airport serving Beijing, China. It is located northeast of Beijing's city center in an enclave of Chaoyang District that is surrounded by rural Shunyi District. The airport is owned and operated by the Beijing Capital...

 (IATA: PEK; near Shunyi
Shunyi District
Shunyi District is an administrative district of Beijing, located outside of the city proper.-Overview:...

), which is about 20 kilometres (12.4 mi) northeast of the city centre. It is currently the second busiest airport in the world
World's busiest airports by passenger traffic
The world's busiest airports by passenger traffic are measured by number of total passengers . One passenger is described as someone who arrives in, departs from, or transfers through the airport on a given day...

 (after Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport , known locally as Atlanta Airport, Hartsfield Airport, and Hartsfield–Jackson, is located seven miles south of the central business district of Atlanta, Georgia, United States...

) and the busiest in Asia. After renovations for the 2008 Olympics, the airport now boasts three terminals, with Terminal 3 being one of the largest in the world. Most domestic and nearly all international flights arrive at and depart from Capital Airport. it is the main hub for Air China
Air China
Air China is the flag carrier and one of the major airlines of the People's Republic of China. Based in Beijing Capital International Airport, Air China is the world's 10th largest airline by fleet size. The airline ranked behind its main competitors China Southern Airlines and China Eastern...

 and a hub for China Southern and Hainan Airlines
Hainan Airlines
Hainan Airlines Company Limited is an airline headquartered in the HNA Development Building in Haikou, Hainan, People's Republic of China. It is the largest privately-owned air transport company and the fourth-largest airline in terms of fleet size in the People's Republic of China...

. The airport links Beijing with almost every other Chinese city with regular air passenger service.

The Airport Expressway
Airport Expressway (Beijing)
The Airport Expressway is an expressway in Beijing, China, which links central Beijing to the Beijing Capital International Airport...

 links the airport to central Beijing; it is a roughly 40-minute drive from the city centre during good traffic conditions. Prior to the 2008 Olympics, the 2nd Airport Expressway
2nd Airport Expressway
The 2nd Airport Expressway is a toll expressway that connects eastern Beijing with the new Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport. It opened on February 29, 2008, in time for the Summer Olympics. It runs for 11.5 km from Yaojiayuan road in Chaoyang district to the terminal...

 was built to the airport, as well as a light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 system, which now connects to the Beijing Subway
Beijing Subway
The Beijing Subway is a rapid transit rail network that serves the urban and suburban districts of Beijing municipality. It is owned by the city of Beijing and has two operators, the wholly state owned Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp., which operates 12 lines, and the Beijing MTR...

.

Other airports in the city include Liangxiang, Nanyuan
Beijing Nanyuan Airport
Beijing Nanyuan Airport is an airport in Beijing, People's Republic of China . Located in the southern portion of the city, in Fengtai District, and 3 kilometres south of the Fourth Ring Road and 13 kilometres from Tiananmen Square, Nanyuan Airport was first opened in 1910, making it the oldest...

, Xijiao, Shahe and Badaling. These airports are primarily for military use and less well-known to the public. Nanyuan serves as the hub for only one passenger airline. A second international airport, to be called Beijing Daxing International Airport
Beijing Daxing International Airport
Beijing Daxing International Airport is a planned new airport serving Beijing, People's Republic of China.The airport is to be built in Daxing, a rural area about 50km south west of Beijing city centre....

, is currently being built in Daxing District
Daxing District
Daxing District is a suburb of Beijing, situated to the south of the city.-Overview:...

, and is expected to be open by 2017.

Public transit


The Beijing Subway
Beijing Subway
The Beijing Subway is a rapid transit rail network that serves the urban and suburban districts of Beijing municipality. It is owned by the city of Beijing and has two operators, the wholly state owned Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp., which operates 12 lines, and the Beijing MTR...

 opened in 1971, and had only two lines until Line 13 began operating in 2002. Since then, the subway has expanded to fourteen lines. Line 1 and the Batong Line, its eastern extension, cross almost all of urban Beijing from east to west. Lines 4
Line 4, Beijing Subway
Line 4 of the Beijing Subway is the 9th subway line in Beijing's mass transit network. It entered into operation on September 28, 2009, and runs from north to south, parallel and to the west of Line 5, through Haidian, Xicheng, Xuanwu and Fengtai Districts in the western half of the city. It is...

 and 5 serve as two north-south lines. The fare is a flat 2 yuan, with unlimited transfers except for the Airport Express line, which costs 25 yuan per trip. There are nearly 700 bus and trolleybus
Trolleybus
A trolleybus is an electric bus that draws its electricity from overhead wires using spring-loaded trolley poles. Two wires and poles are required to complete the electrical circuit...

 routes, including three bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems using buses to provide faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling...

 routes. All public transport can be accessed with the Yikatong card, which uses radio frequencies scanned at subway stations and on public transit buses.

In May 2010, Beijing's municipal government announced plans to add 21 subway lines by 2020. The plan calls for 30 subway lines and 450 stations in Beijing, reaching 1050 kilometres (652.4 mi) in length. When implemented, residents within the region encompassed by the Fourth Ring Road will be able walk to a station in 10 to 15 minutes. The suburbs will be connected by new radial lines.

Registered taxis
Taxicab
A taxicab, also taxi or cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice...

 can be found throughout Beijing, as well as a large number of unregistered ones. As of 30 June 2008, all fares on legal taxis start at 10 Renminbi
Renminbi
The Renminbi is the official currency of the People's Republic of China . Renminbi is legal tender in mainland China, but not in Hong Kong or Macau. It is issued by the People's Bank of China, the monetary authority of the PRC...

 for the first 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) and 2.00 Renminbi
Renminbi
The Renminbi is the official currency of the People's Republic of China . Renminbi is legal tender in mainland China, but not in Hong Kong or Macau. It is issued by the People's Bank of China, the monetary authority of the PRC...

 per additional kilometer (0.6 mile), not counting idling fees. Most taxis are Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Elantra
Launched in 1990 , the Elantra received a mid-term facelift in 1993.The Elantra was powered by a Mitsubishi-designed 1.6 L straight-4 This DOHC 16-valve 1.6 L unit produced 113 hp at 6000 rpm and could push the Elantra to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds...

s, Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai Sonata
The Hyundai Sonata is a mid-size car/full-size car manufactured and marketed globally by Hyundai Motor Company. From the sixth generation onwards, it is known as the i45 in the Australian, Singaporean and New Zealand markets...

s, Peugeot
Peugeot
Peugeot is a major French car brand, part of PSA Peugeot Citroën, the second largest carmaker based in Europe.The family business that precedes the current Peugeot company was founded in 1810, and manufactured coffee mills and bicycles. On 20 November 1858, Emile Peugeot applied for the lion...

s, Citroën
Citroën
Citroën is a major French automobile manufacturer, part of the PSA Peugeot Citroën group.Founded in 1919 by French industrialist André-Gustave Citroën , Citroën was the first mass-production car company outside the USA and pioneered the modern concept of creating a sales and services network that...

s and Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen Jetta
Although the Golf had reached considerable success, in the North American markets, Volkswagen observed that the hatchback body style lacked some of the appeal to those who preferred the traditional three-box configuration...

s. After 15 kilometres (9.3 mi), the base fare increases by 50% (but is only applied to the portion over that distance). Between 11 pm and 5 am, there is also a 20% fee increase, starting at 11 RMB and increasing at a rate of 2.4 RMB per km. Rides over 15 km and between 11 pm and 6 am incur both charges, for a total increase of 80%.

Bicycles


Beijing has long been well known for the number of bicycles on its streets. Although the rise of motor traffic has created a great deal of congestion and bicycle use has declined, bicycles are still an important form of local transportation. Large numbers of cyclists can be seen on most roads in the city, and most of the main roads have dedicated bicycle lanes. Beijing is relatively flat, which makes cycling convenient. The rise of electric bicycles and electric scooters, which have similar speeds and use the same cycle lanes, may have brought about a revival in bicycle-speed two-wheeled transport. It is possible to cycle to most parts of the city. Because of the growing traffic congestion, the authorities have indicated more than once that they wish to encourage cycling, but it is not clear whether there is sufficient will to translate that into action on a significant scale.

Education



Beijing is home to a great number of colleges and universities, including several well-regarded universities of international stature, including Peking University
Peking University
Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

 and Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University , colloquially known in Chinese as Qinghua, is a university in Beijing, China. The school is one of the nine universities of the C9 League. It was established in 1911 under the name "Tsinghua Xuetang" or "Tsinghua College" and was renamed the "Tsinghua School" one year later...

 (two of the National Key Universities). Owing to Beijing's status as the political and cultural capital of China, a larger proportion of tertiary-level
Tertiary education
Tertiary education, also referred to as third stage, third level, and post-secondary education, is the educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education, such as a high school, secondary school, university-preparatory school...

 institutions are concentrated here than in any other city in China (at least 70). Many international students from Japan, Korea, North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere come to Beijing to study every year, some through third party study abroad providers
Study abroad organization
Study abroad organizations, also referred to as study abroad providers, and third-party study abroad providers are independent organizations that facilitate or administer study abroad programs...

 such as IES Abroad
Institute for the International Education of Students
The Institute for the International Education of Students, or IES Abroad, is a non-profit study abroad organization that administers study abroad programs for U.S. college-aged students. Founded in 1950 as the Institute for European Studies, the organization has since been renamed to reflect...

 and others as part of an exchange program with their home universities. The schools are administered by China's Ministry of Education
Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China
The Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China , formerly Ministry of Education, Central People's Government from 1949 to 1954, State Education Commission from 1985 to 1998, is headquartered in Beijing. It is the agency of the State Council which regulates all aspects of the...

.

Twin towns and sister cities


Beijing has numerous twin towns and sister cities around the world, many of them the capitals of their respective countries:
Tokyo, Japan (1979) Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, Serbia (1980) New York, United States (1980) Lima
Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

, Peru (1983) Washington D.C., United States (1984) Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, Spain (1985) Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Brazil (1986) Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

, France (1987) Köln
KOLN
KOLN, digital channel 10, is the CBS affiliate in Lincoln, Nebraska. It operates a satellite station, KGIN, on digital channel 11 in Grand Island. KGIN repeats all KOLN programming, but airs separate commercials...

, Germany (1987) Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, Algeria (1989) Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

, Jordan (1990) Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, Turkey (1990) Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Egypt (1990) Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

, Indonesia (1992) Riga
Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

, Latvia São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

, Brazil
Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, Pakistan (1993) Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

, Thailand (1993) Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

, Argentina (1993) Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, Ukraine (1993) Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

, South Korea (1993) Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, Netherlands (1994) Berlin, Germany (1994) Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, Belgium (1994) Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

, Vietnam (1994) Moscow, Russia (1995) Gauteng
Gauteng
Gauteng is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. It was formed from part of the old Transvaal Province after South Africa's first all-race elections on 27 April 1994...

 (Johannesburg and Pretoria), South Africa (1998) Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

, Canada (1999) Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

, Australia (2000) Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece (2005) Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, Romania (2005)
Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, Hungary (2005) Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, Cuba (2005) Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, Philippines (2005) Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

, Ethiopia (2006) Astana
Astana
Astana , formerly known as Akmola , Tselinograd and Akmolinsk , is the capital and second largest city of Kazakhstan, with an officially estimated population of 708,794 as of 1 August 2010...

, Kazakhstan (2006) Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, Finland (2006) London, United Kingdom (2006) Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

, Israel (2006) Wellington
Wellington
Wellington is the capital city and third most populous urban area of New Zealand, although it is likely to have surpassed Christchurch due to the exodus following the Canterbury Earthquake. It is at the southwestern tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range...

, New Zealand (2006) Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Portugal (2007) Tirana
Tirana
Tirana is the capital and the largest city of Albania. Modern Tirana was founded as an Ottoman town in 1614 by Sulejman Bargjini, a local ruler from Mullet, although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. Tirana became Albania's capital city in 1920 and has a population of over...

, Albania (2007) Doha
Doha
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar...

, Qatar (2008) Santiago, Chile (2008) San José, Costa Rica
San José, Costa Rica
San José is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. Located in the Central Valley, San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation.Founded in 1738 by order of Cabildo de León, San...

 (2009) Caracas
Caracas
Caracas , officially Santiago de León de Caracas, is the capital and largest city of Venezuela; natives or residents are known as Caraquenians in English . It is located in the northern part of the country, following the contours of the narrow Caracas Valley on the Venezuelan coastal mountain range...

, Venezuela (2010) Dublin, Ireland (2011)

Partner cities


Beijing has two partner cities, both in Europe:
Paris, France (1997) Rome, Italy (1998)

See also

  • Large Cities Climate Leadership Group
    Large Cities Climate Leadership Group
    The Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, now officially known as the C40 is a group of cities working to reduce urban carbon emissions and to adapt to climate change. It believes it has an important role to play as cities contain around 50% of the world population, consume 75% of the world's...

  • List of hospitals in Beijing
  • List of mayors of Beijing
  • Tourist attractions of Beijing
    Tourist attractions of Beijing
    There are many landmarks in Beijing. The best-known ones include the Badaling stretch of the Great Wall of China, the Temple of Heaven, the Tian'anmen and the Forbidden City, a number of temples, hutongs and parks, relics of ages gone by....

  • 2045 Peking
    2045 Peking
    2045 Peking is a main-belt asteroid discovered on October 8, 1964 by Purple Mountain Observatory at Nanking. It is named after Peking, the capital city of the People's Republic of China.- External links :*...

     – the name of an asteroid

Further reading


  • Cammelli, Stefano Storia di Pechino e di come divenne capitale della Cina, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2004. ISBN 9788815099105
  • Harper, Damian, Beijing: City Guide, 7th Edition, Oakland, California: Lonely Planet Publications, 2007.
  • Harper, Damian, Beijing: City Guide, 6th Edition, Oakland, California : Lonely Planet Publications, 2005. ISBN 1740597826.


External links


  • Beijing Government website and
  • Economic profile for Beijing at HKTDC
    Hong Kong Trade Development Council
    The Hong Kong Trade Development Council is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based manufacturers, traders and service providers. Established in 1966, it has more than 40 offices around the world, including 11 in the Chinese mainland, promoting Hong Kong as a platform for doing business...