Beijing is the capital city of the People's Republic of China. The city used to be known as Peking. It is in the northern and eastern parts of the country. It is one of the most populous capital cities in the world. The city has been an integral part of China’s history over the past eight centuries, and nearly every major building of any age in Beijing has at least some national historical significance. People in Beijing commute by subway, bus, automobile, or bicycle and on hot summer evenings sit outside their apartment blocks to catch cooling breezes and to chat. Beijing is famous for the ancient Chinese architecture, the roast duck, the cloisonné, the Hutongs, the Peking opera, and the 2008 summer Olympic Games.
Data and facts
- Bei means northern, and jing means capital. Beijing literally means the north capital.Beijing is the center of the nation’s politics and international exchanges, and it is also China’s second largest city after Shanghai.
- The current population of Beijing according to the 2010 census, as reported by the official Chinese Government statistics agency, was 19,612,368. Although this last ten years have seen the most rapid growth in the city's modern history, the city has been consistently growing at a fast pace - the average growth rate since the 1960s has been around 20% per decade. Even today, the city continues to grow.
- Forbidden City, also known as Gu Gong in Chinese, lies at the city center of Beijing. It is the world’s largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. It is surrounded by a 52-meter-wide moat and a 10-meter-high wall and contains more than 8,700 rooms. It was forbidden to enter without special permission of the emperor. Hence its name ‘The Forbidden City’.
- The Great Wall at Badaling, although 80 km from the city center, is technically in the Beijing Municipality. Therefore, Beijing is home to the world’s largest and longest wall.
- Beijing was the capital to 6 notable dynasties spanning over 21 centuries.
- Beijing is a city of extremes when it comes to its climate. The highest temperature in Beijing is 42 °C (109 °F) while the lowest temperature is -27 °C (-17 °F). This means the best time of the year to go is right before summer, or just after. April, May, September and October are the most beautiful and comfortable months.
- Public transport infrastructure is extremely impressive, with 14 lines currently running on the subway and 21 more lines to be added by 2020. Beijing’s train stations are also built to carry the heavy burden of its huge population: 4 main stations, including one high-speed train station, service 590 trains every day, taking passengers throughout the entire country. On overage 9 million people ride the subway every day.
Beijing is one of the four centrally administered (i.e., province-level) shi (municipalities) in China (the others being Chongqing, Shanghai, and Tianjin), and there is no governmental tier between it and the central government. The municipality is divided administratively into four urban and six suburban chu (districts) and eight xian (counties) in the peripheral areas. Beijing’s municipal government is part of the hierarchical structure of the Chinese government that extends from the national organization, through the provincial apparatus, to the municipal and, ultimately, neighbourhood levels. Executive authority is formally assigned to the Beijing People’s Government, the officers of which are elected by the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress, the governmental decision-making body. The local government consists of a mayor, vice mayors, and numerous bureaus in charge of public security, the judicial system, and other civil, economic, social, and cultural affairs.
Since the Communist revolution of 1949, Beijing has become one of the nation's industrial centers. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Chinese government funded major development of heavy industry in the city, led by the modernization of the Shih-ching-shan Iron and Steel Works, which is now one of the country's major steel-producing facilities. Today Beijing ranks second only to Shanghai in industrialization, with highly developed machinery, textile, and petrochemical sectors. Agriculture also plays a significant role in Beijing's economy, with a large farming belt on the city's periphery serving to reduce its dependence on food supplies shipped in from the Yangtze Valley.
Beijing's economy ranks among the most developed and prosperous in China. In 2013, the municipality's nominal gross domestic product (GDP) was CN￥1.95 trillion (US$314 billion). It was about 3.43% of the country's total output, and ranked 13th among province-level administrative units. Per capita GDP, at CN￥93,213 (US$15,051) in nominal terms and Int$21,948 at purchasing power parity, was 2.2 times the national average and ranked second among province-level administrative units. The city has a post-industrial economy that is dominated by the tertiary sector (services), which generated 76.9% of output, followed by the secondary sector (manufacturing, construction) at 22.2% and the primary sector (agriculture, mining) at 0.8%. The economy, which tripled in size from 2004 to 2012, grew at an annual rate of 7.7% in 2013. Owing to the concentration of state owned enterprises in the national capital, Beijing in 2013 had more Fortune Global 500 Company headquarters than any other city in the world. The city also ranked No. 4 in the number of billionaire residents after Moscow, New York and Hong Kong. In 2012, PricewaterhouseCoopers rated Beijing's overall economic influence as No. 1 in China.
As the capital city of China, Beijing is not only the nation’s political, cultural, scientific and educational center, but also one of the leading growth machines in the country. The city has experienced double-digit growth in its gross domestic product (GDP) for at least the last decade, and government revenues have increased at rates between 18 and 30 percent in recent years. Real estate has been one of the most important sectors of economic growth since the mid-1990s, with public and private investment leading to improved urban infrastructure, intense demands for housing and increased land consumption. This rapid growth has fundamentally changed the physical pattern of the city, both in the existing built-up central areas and throughout the municipal region. At this time of transformation from a planned economy to a market economy, Chinese urban planners are reviewing the existing planning methodology and urban systems.
Zhongguancun in Haidian District, Beijing, is often referred to as China’s equivalent to Silicon Valley, thanks to its heritage as an innovation hub, encompassing the country’s top two universities and a number of incubation centers for startups. Established 30 years ago, the area is the birthplace for some of the country’s well-known technology firms and home to many international players’ China headquarters. Today, Zhongguancun has about 9,000 hi-tech companies, including Chinese search engine and artificial intelligence champion Baidu, social media giant Sina Corp, as well as regional headquarters for global giants like Microsoft and Google. Nearly half of the country’s 70 unicorns are located in the area.The Chinese government is taking further steps to remove foreign technology from state agencies and other organizations, a clear sign of determination for more independence amid escalating tensions with the U.S. Beijing will likely replace as many as 20 million computers at government agencies with domestic products over the next three years, according to research from China Securities. More than 100 trial projects for domestic products were completed in July, the brokerage firm said. The Financial Times newspaper said the Communist Party’s Central Office earlier this year ordered state offices and public institutions to shift away from foreign hardware and software.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
Education in the People's Republic of China is a state-run system of public education run by the Ministry of Education. Beijing has a well-established system of education from early age to university. The government provides primary education for six years, starting at age six or seven, followed by six years of secondary education for ages 12 to 18. There are three years of middle school and three years of high school. Many parents choose to enroll their child in nurseries or kindergarten as well. The Ministry of Education reported a 99 percent attendance rate for primary school and an 80 percent rate for both primary and middle schools. There is a law regulating Nine-Year Compulsory Education. In terms of access to education, China's system represents a pyramid. Because of the scarcity of resources, fewer students have access to higher education and student numbers decrease sharply at the higher levels.
Healthcare in China consists of both public and private medical institutions and insurance programs. About 95% of the population has at least basic health insurance coverage. Despite this, public health insurance generally only covers about half of medical costs, with the proportion lower for serious or chronic illnesses. Under the "Healthy China 2020" initiative, China is currently undertaking an effort to cut healthcare costs, and the government requires that insurance will cover 70% of costs by the end of 2018. The Chinese government is working on providing affordable basic healthcare to all residents by 2020. China has also become a major market for health-related multinational companies. Companies such as AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, and Merck entered the Chinese market and have experienced explosive growth. China has also become a growing hub for healthcare research and development. According to Sam Radwan of ENHANCE International, China’s projected healthcare spending in 2050 may exceed Germany’s entire 2020 gross domestic product.
As one of the six ancient cities in China, Beijing has been the heart and soul of politics throughout its long history and consequently there is an unparalleled wealth of discovery to delight and intrigue travelers as they explore the city's ancient past and exciting modern development. Now it has become one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, with about 140 million Chinese tourists and 4.4 million international visitors in a year.
289 towns and villages
京G (outside urban area)
京O, D (police and authorities)