Beijing (/beɪˈdʒɪŋ/; Mandarin:
[pèi.tɕíŋ] ( listen)), formerly romanized as
Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the
world's second most populous city proper, and most populous capital
city. The city, located in northern China, is governed as a
direct-controlled municipality under the national government with 16
urban, suburban, and rural districts.
Beijing Municipality is
Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin
Municipality to the southeast; together the three divisions form the
Jingjinji metropolitan region and the national capital region of
As a city combining both modern and traditional architecture, Beijing
is a megacity rich in history, exemplified in its global influence in
politics, economy, education, history, culture, and technology.
Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after
Shanghai and is the nation's political, cultural, and educational
center. It is home to the headquarters of most of China's largest
state-owned companies and is a major hub for the national highway,
expressway, railway, and high-speed rail networks. The
International Airport has been the second busiest in the world by
passenger traffic since 2010, and, as of 2016[update], the city's
subway network is the busiest and second longest in the world, after
Shanghai's subway system.
The city's history dates back three millennia. As the last of the Four
Great Ancient Capitals of China,
Beijing has been the political center
of the country for much of the past eight centuries. With
mountains surrounding the inland city on three sides, in addition to
the old inner and outer city walls,
Beijing was strategically poised
and developed to be the residence of the emperor and thus was the
perfect location for the imperial capital.
Beijing was the largest
city in the world by population for much of the second millennium
A.D. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks,
gardens, tombs, walls and gates. Its art treasures and
universities have made it center of culture and art in China.
Encyclopædia Britannica notes that "few cities in the world have
served for so long as the political headquarters and cultural centre
of an area as immense as China."
Beijing has seven
Heritage Sites – the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer
Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, as well as parts of the Great Wall
and the Grand Canal, all popular locations for tourism. Siheyuans,
the city's traditional housing style, and hutongs, the narrow alleys
between siheyuans, are major tourist attractions and are common in
urban Beijing. The city hosted the
2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics and was chosen
to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, making it the first city to ever
host both Winter and Summer Olympics.
Many of Beijing's 91 universities consistently rank among the best
in China, of which
Peking University and
Tsinghua University are
ranked in the top 60 universities of the world. In 2015, 52
companies of the
Fortune Global 500 company headquarters were located
in Beijing, more than any other city in the world, including
state-owned enterprises State Grid,
China National Petroleum, and
Sinopec Group, ranked 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, respectively.
is quickly becoming the center for Beijing's economic expansion, rapid
modernization, and radically changing skyline, with the ongoing or
recently completed construction of multiple skyscrapers. Beijing's
Zhongguancun area is also known as China's
Silicon Valley and China's
center of innovation and technology entrepreneurship. According to
the 2016 InterNations Expat Insider Survey,
Beijing ranked first in
Asia in the subcategory "Personal Finance Index," a measure of expats'
salaries versus cost of living in the city. Expats live primarily
in urban districts such as Dongcheng and Chaoyang in the east, or in
suburban districts such as Shunyi.
2.1 Early history
2.2 Early Imperial China
2.3 Ming dynasty
2.4 Qing dynasty
2.5 Republic of China
2.6 People's Republic of China
3.4 Environmental problems
3.4.1 Air quality
3.4.2 Dust storms
4 Politics and government
4.1 Administrative divisions
4.2 Judiciary and procuracy
4.3 Diplomatic missions
5.1 Sector composition
5.2 Economic zones
6.1 Metropolitan area
7.1 Places of interest
Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion and Taoism
9.1 Television and radio
11.1 Rail and high-speed rail
11.2 Roads and expressways
11.4 Public transit
12 Defense and aerospace
13 Nature and wildlife
14 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
See also: Names of Beijing
Over the past 3,000 years, the city of
Beijing has had numerous other
names. The name Beijing, which means "Northern Capital" (from the
Chinese characters 北 for north and 京 for capital), was applied to
the city in 1403 during the
Ming dynasty to distinguish the city from
Nanjing (the "Southern Capital"). The English spelling is based on
the pinyin romanization of the two characters as they are pronounced
in Standard Mandarin. An older English spelling, Peking, is the postal
romanization of the same two characters as they are pronounced in
Chinese dialects spoken in the southern port towns first visited by
European traders and missionaries. Those dialects preserve the
Middle Chinese pronunciation of 京 as kjaeng, prior to a phonetic
shift in the northern dialects to the modern pronunciation.
Although Peking is no longer the common name for the city, some of the
city's older locations and facilities, such as
International Airport, with
IATA Code PEK, and Peking University,
still use the former romanization.
The single Chinese character abbreviation for
Beijing is 京, which
appears on automobile license plates in the city. The official Latin
alphabet abbreviation for
Beijing is "BJ".
Main article: History of Beijing
The earliest traces of human habitation in the
were found in the caves of
Dragon Bone Hill
Dragon Bone Hill near the village of
Zhoukoudian in Fangshan District, where
Peking Man lived. Homo erectus
fossils from the caves date to 230,000 to 250,000 years ago.
Homo sapiens also lived there more recently, about 27,000
years ago. Archaeologists have found neolithic settlements
throughout the municipality, including in Wangfujing, located in
The first walled city in
Beijing was Jicheng, the capital city of the
state of Ji and was built in 1045 BC. Within modern Beijing, Jicheng
was located around the present
Guang'anmen area in the south of
Xicheng District. This settlement was later conquered by the state
of Yan and made its capital.
Early Imperial China
The Tianning Pagoda, built around 1120 during the Liao dynasty.
After the First Emperor unified China, Jicheng became a prefectural
capital for the region. During the Three Kingdoms period, it was
Gongsun Zan and
Yuan Shao before falling to Cao Cao's Wei
Kingdom. The AD 3rd-century Western Jin demoted the town, placing the
prefectural seat in neighboring Zhuozhou.
Sixteen Kingdoms period when northern
China was conquered
and divided by the Wu Hu, Jicheng was briefly the capital of the
Former Yan Kingdom.
China was reunified during the Sui dynasty, Jicheng, also known
as Zhuojun, became the northern terminus of the Grand Canal. Under the
Tang dynasty, Jicheng as Youzhou, served as a military frontier
command center. During the
An-Shi Rebellion and again amidst the
turmoil of the late Tang, local military commanders founded their own
short-lived Yan dynasties and called the city Yanjing, or the "Yan
Capital." Also in the Tang dynasty, the city's name Jicheng was
Youzhou or Yanjing. In 938, after the fall of the Tang,
the Later Jin ceded the entire northern frontier to the Khitan Liao
dynasty, which treated the city as Nanjing, or the "Southern Capital",
one of four secondary capitals to complement its "Supreme Capital",
Baarin Left Banner
Baarin Left Banner in Inner Mongolia). Some of the
oldest surviving structures in
Beijing date to the Liao period,
including the Tianning Pagoda.
Miaoying Temple and its White Stupa in Dadu which was built by Kublai
The Liao fell to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1122, which gave the city
Song dynasty and then retook it in 1125 during its conquest of
northern China. In 1153, the Jurchen Jin made
Beijing their "Central
Capital", or Zhongdu. The city was besieged by Genghis Khan's
invading Mongolian army in 1213 and razed to the ground two years
later. Two generations later,
Kublai Khan ordered the construction
of Dadu (or Daidu to the Mongols, commonly known as Khanbaliq), a new
capital for his
Yuan dynasty to the northeast of the Zhongdu ruins.
The construction took from 1264 to 1293, but greatly
enhanced the status of a city on the northern fringe of
The city was centered on the Drum Tower slightly to the north of
Beijing and stretched from the present-day
Chang'an Avenue to
the northern part of Line 10 subway. Remnants of the Yuan rammed earth
wall still stand and are known as the Tucheng.
One of the corner towers of the Forbidden City, which was built by
Emperor Yongle in Ming dynasty.
In 1368, soon after declaring the new Hongwu era of the Ming dynasty,
the rebel leader
Zhu Yuanzhang sent an army to
Khanbaliq and conquered
it. Since the Yuan continued to occupy Shangdu and Mongolia,
however, Dadu was renamed to
Beiping as used to supply the military
garrisons in the area. And under the Hongwu Emperor's feudal
policies it was given to Zhu Di, one of his sons, who was created
"Prince of Yan".
The early death of Zhu Yuanzhang's heir led to a succession struggle
on his death, one that ended with the victory of
Zhu Di and the
declaration of the new Yongle era. Since his harsh treatment of the
Ming capital Yingtian (modern Nanjing) alienated many there, he
established his fief as a new co-capital. The city of
Beijing (northern capital) or Shuntian in 1403. The
construction of the new imperial residence, the Forbidden City, took
from 1406 to 1420; this period was also responsible for several
other of the modern city's major attractions, such as the Temple of
Heaven and Tian'anmen. On 28 October 1420, the city was officially
designated the capital of the
Ming dynasty in the same year that the
Forbidden City was completed.
Beijing became the empire's primary
capital and Yingtian, also called
Nanjing (southern capital), became
the co-capital. (A 1425 order by Zhu Di's son, the Hongxi Emperor, to
return the primary capital to
Nanjing was never carried out: he died,
probably of a heart attack, the next month. He was buried, like almost
every Ming emperor to follow him, in an elaborate necropolis to
By the 15th century,
Beijing had essentially taken its current shape.
The Ming city wall continued to serve until modern times, when it was
pulled down and the
2nd Ring Road
2nd Ring Road was built in its place. It is
generally believed that
Beijing was the largest city in the world for
most of the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The first known
church was constructed by Catholics in 1652 at the former site of
Matteo Ricci's chapel; the modern Nantang Cathedral was later built
upon the same site.
The capture of
Beijing by Li Zicheng's peasant army in 1644 ended the
dynasty, but he and his Shun court abandoned the city without a fight
when the Manchu army of Prince
Dorgon arrived 40 days later.
Summer Palace is one of the several palatial gardens built by Qing
emperors in the northwest suburb area
Chongwenmen, a gate to the inner walled city, c. 1906
Dorgon established the
Qing dynasty as a direct successor of the Ming
Li Zicheng and his followers) and
China's sole capital. The Qing emperors made some modifications to
the Imperial residence but, in large part, the Ming buildings and the
general layout remained unchanged. Facilities for Manchu worship were
introduced, but the Qing also continued the traditional state rituals.
Signage was bilingual or Chinese. This early Qing
Beijing later formed
the setting for the Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. Northwest
of the city, Qing emperors built several large palatial gardens
including the Old
Summer Palace and the Summer Palace.
During the Second Opium War, Anglo-French forces captured the city,
looting and burning the Old
Summer Palace in 1860. Under the
Convention of Peking
Convention of Peking ending that war, Western powers for the first
time secured the right to establish permanent diplomatic presences
within the city. In 1900, the attempt by the "Boxers" to eradicate
this presence, as well as Chinese Christian converts, led to Beijing's
reoccupation by foreign powers. During the fighting, several
important structures were destroyed, including the
Hanlin Academy and
the (new) Summer Palace.
Republic of China
A large portrait of
Chiang Kai-shek was displayed above
The fomenters of the
Xinhai Revolution of 1911 sought to replace Qing
rule with a republic and leaders like
Sun Yat-sen originally intended
to return the capital to Nanjing. After the Qing general Yuan Shikai
forced the abdication of the last Qing emperor and ensured the success
of the revolution, the revolutionaries accepted him as president of
the new Republic of China. Yuan maintained his capital at
quickly consolidated power, declaring himself emperor in 1915. His
death less than a year later left
China under the control of the
warlords commanding the regional armies. Following the success of the
Kuomintang's Northern Expedition, the capital was formally removed to
Nanjing in 1928. On 28 June the same year, Beijing's name was returned
Beiping (written at the time as "Peiping").
On July 7, 1937, the 29th Army and the Japanese army in China
exchanged fire at the
Marco Polo Bridge
Marco Polo Bridge near the Wanping Fortress
southwest of the city. The
Marco Polo Bridge
Marco Polo Bridge Incident triggered the
Second Sino-Japanese War,
World War II
World War II as it is known in China. During
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 that ruled the ethnic-Chinese portions of
Japanese-occupied northern China. This government was later merged
into the larger Wang Jingwei government based in Nanjing.
People's Republic of China
Mao Zedong proclaiming the establishment of the People's Republic of
China in 1949
In the final phases of the Chinese Civil War, the People's Liberation
Army seized control of the city peacefully on 31 January 1949 in the
course of the Pingjin Campaign. On 1 October that year, Mao Zedong
announced the creation of the People's Republic of
China from atop
Tian'anmen. He restored the name of the city, as the new capital, to
Beijing, a decision that had been reached by the Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference just a few days earlier.
In the 1950s, the city began to expand beyond the old walled city and
its surrounding neighborhoods, with heavy industries in the west and
residential neighborhoods in the north. Many areas of the
wall were torn down in the 1960s to make way for the construction of
Beijing Subway and the 2nd Ring Road.
A scene from the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, the Red Guard
movement began in
Beijing and the city's government fell victim to one
of the first purges. By the fall of 1966, all city schools were shut
down and over a million Red Guards from across the country gathered in
Beijing for eight rallies in
Tian'anmen Square with Mao. In April
1976, a large public gathering of
Beijing residents against the Gang
of Four and the
Cultural Revolution in
Tiananmen Square was forcefully
suppressed. In October 1976, the Gang was arrested in
Cultural Revolution came to an end. In December 1978, the Third
Plenum of the 11th Party Congress in
Beijing under the leadership of
Deng Xiaoping reversed the verdicts against victims of the Cultural
Revolution and instituted the "policy of reform and opening up."
Since the early 1980s, the urban area of
Beijing has expanded greatly
with the completion of the
2nd Ring Road
2nd Ring Road in 1981 and the subsequent
addition of the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Ring Roads. According to
one 2005 newspaper report, the size of newly developed
one-and-a-half times larger than before.
developed into flourishing shopping districts, while Zhongguancun
has become a major center 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 neighborhoods, and a significant influx of migrant
workers from less-developed rural areas of the country. Beijing
has also been the location of many significant events in recent
Chinese history, principally the
Tiananmen Square protests of
1989. The city has also hosted major international events,
2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics and the 2015 World Championships in
Main article: Geography of Beijing
Landsat 7 Satellite image of
Beijing Municipality with the surrounding
mountains in dark brown
Jingshan, the highest point in the old walled city of Beijing.
Remnants of the
Great Wall of
China in the mountains north of the
Beijing is situated at the northern tip of the roughly triangular
China 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
Huairou District, are dominated by the Jundu Mountains,
while the western part is framed by Xishan or the Western Hills. The
Great Wall of
China across the northern part of
was built on the rugged topography to defend against nomadic
incursions from the steppes. Mount Dongling, in the
Western Hills and
on the border with Hebei, is the municipality's highest point, with an
altitude of 2,303 metres (7,556 ft).
Major rivers flowing through the municipality, including the Chaobai,
Yongding, Juma, are all tributaries in the
Hai River system, and flow
in a southeasterly direction. The
Miyun Reservoir, on the upper
reaches of the Chaobai River, is the largest reservoir within the
Beijing is also the northern terminus of the Grand Canal
to Hangzhou, which was built over 1,400 years ago as a transportation
route, and the South–North Water Transfer Project, constructed in
the past decade to bring water from the
Yangtze River basin.
The urban area of Beijing, on the plains in the south-central of the
municipality with elevation of 40 to 60 metres (130–200 feet),
occupies a relatively small but expanding portion of the
municipality's area. The city spreads out in concentric ring roads.
The Second Ring Road traces the old city walls and the Sixth Ring Road
connects satellite towns in the surrounding suburbs.
Tian'anmen Square are at the center of Beijing, directly to the south
of the Forbidden City, the former residence of the emperors of China.
To the west of
Tian'anmen is Zhongnanhai, the residence of China's
current leaders. Chang'an Avenue, which cuts between
Tiananmen and the
Square, forms the city's main east-west axis.
The skyline of the Imperial Palace, viewed from the Jingshan Hill
See also: List of tallest buildings in Beijing
Three styles of architecture are predominant 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, the
Imperial Ancestral Temple
Imperial Ancestral Temple and the Temple of
Heaven. 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 in east
Beijing such as the
new CCTV Headquarters, in addition to buildings in other locations
around the city such as the
Beijing National Stadium
Beijing National Stadium and National
Center for the Performing Arts.
Since 2007, buildings in
Beijing have received the CTBUH Skyscraper
Award for best overall tall building twice, for the Linked Hybrid
building in 2009 and the
CCTV Headquarters in 2013. The CTBUH
Skyscraper award for best tall overall building is given to only one
building around the world every year.
In the early 21st century,
Beijing has witnessed tremendous growth of
new building constructions, exhibiting various modern styles from
international designers, most pronounced in the CBD region. A mixture
of both 1950s design and neofuturistic style of architecture can be
seen at the 798 Art Zone, which mixes the old with the new. Beijing's
current completed tallest building is the 330-meter
China World Trade
Center Tower III, but will be surpassed by the 528-meter
China Zun in
2018 when it is completed. Both buildings are in the
Beijing is famous for its siheyuans, 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 and Residence of Soong
Ching-ling. These courtyards are usually connected by alleys called
hutongs. The hutongs are generally straight and run east to west so
that doorways face north and south for good Feng Shui. 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.
Beijing has a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate (Köppen
climate classification Dwa), characterized by higher humidity in the
summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and colder, windier, drier
winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian
anticyclone. Spring can bear witness to sandstorms blowing in from
Gobi Desert across the Mongolian steppe, accompanied by rapidly
warming, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn, like Spring, is a
season of transition and minimal precipitation. The monthly daily
average temperature in January is −3.7 °C (25.3 °F),
while in July it is 26.2 °C (79.2 °F). Precipitation
averages around 570 mm (22 in) annually, with close to
three-fourths of that total falling from June to August. With monthly
percent possible sunshine ranging from 47% in July to 65% in January
and February, the city receives 2,671 hours of bright sunshine
annually. Extremes since 1951 have ranged from −27.4 °C
(−17.3 °F) on 22 February 1966 to 41.9 °C
(107.4 °F) on 24 July 1999 (unofficial record of 42.6 °C
(108.7 °F) was set on 15 June 1942).
Climate data for
Beijing (normals 1971–2000, extremes
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Percent possible sunshine
China Meteorological Administration ,
Data Sharing Service System, all-time record high, May record
Beijing has a long history of environmental problems. Between 2000
and 2009 Beijing's urban extent quadrupled, which not only strongly
increased the extent of anthropogenic emissions, but also changed the
meteorological situation fundamentally, even if emissions of human
society are not included. For example, surface albedo, wind speed and
humidity near the surface were decreased, whereas ground and
near-surface air temperatures, vertical air dilution and ozone levels
were increased. Because of the combined factors of urbanization
and pollution caused by burning of fossil fuel,
Beijing is often
affected by serious environmental problems, which lead to health
issues of many inhabitants. In 2013 heavy smog struck
Beijing and most
parts of northern China, in total 600 million people. After this
"pollution shock" air pollution became an important economic and
social concern in China. After that the government of Beijing
announced measures to reduce air pollution, for example by lowering
the share of coal from 24% in 2012 to 10% in 2017, while the national
government ordered heavily polluting vehicles to be removed from 2015
to 2017 and increased its efforts to transition the energy system to
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 can be traced
to sources outside the city.
Shandong Province and Tianjin
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.
Heavy air pollution has resulted in widespread smog. These
photographs, taken in August 2005, show the variations in Beijing's
In preparation for the
2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics and to fulfill promises to
clean up the city's air, nearly 17 billion USD was spent.
Beijing implemented a number of air improvement schemes for the
duration of the Games, including halting work at all construction
sites, closing many factories in
Beijing permanently, temporarily
shutting industry in neighboring regions, closing some gas
stations, and cutting motor traffic by half by limiting drivers to
odd or even days (based on their license plate numbers), reducing
bus and subway fares, opening new subway lines, and banning
high-emission vehicles. The city further assembled 3,800
natural gas-powered buses, one of the largest fleets in the world.
Beijing became the first city in
China to require the Chinese
equivalent to the Euro 4 emission standard.
Coal burning accounts for about 40% of the PM 2.5 in
Beijing and is
also the chief source of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide. Since 2012,
the city has been converting coal-fired power stations to burn natural
gas and aims to cap annual coal consumption at 20 million tons. In
2011, the city burned 26.3 million tons of coal, 73% of which for
heating and power generation and the remainder for industry. Much
of the city's air pollutants are emitted by neighboring regions.
Coal consumption in neighboring
Tianjin is expected to increase from
48 to 63 million tons from 2011 to 2015.
Hebei Province burned
over 300 million tons of coal in 2011, more than all of Germany, of
which only 30% were used for power generation and a considerable
portion for steel and cement making. Power plants in the
coal-mining regions of Shanxi,
Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi, where coal
consumption has tripled since 2000, and
Shandong also contribute to
air pollution in Beijing. Shandong, Shanxi,
Hebei and Inner
Mongolia, respectively rank from first to fourth, among Chinese
provinces by coal consumption. There were four major coal-fired
power plants in the city to provide electricity as well as heating
during the winter. The first one (Gaojing Thermal Power Plant) was
shut down in 2014. Another two were shut in March 2015. The
last one (Huaneng Thermal Power Plant) would be shut in 2016.
Between 2013 and 2017, the city planned to reduce 13 million tons of
coal consumption and cap coal consumption to 15 million tons in
The government sometimes uses cloud-seeding measures to increase the
likelihood of rain showers in the region to clear the air prior to
large events, such as prior to the 60th anniversary parade in 2009
as well as to combat drought conditions in the area. More recently,
however, the government has increased its usage of such measures as
closing factories temporarily and implementing greater restrictions
for cars on the road, as in the case of "APEC blue" and "parade blue,"
short periods during and immediately preceding the APEC
China 2014 and
China Victory Day Parade, respectively. During and prior
to these events, Beijing's air quality improved dramatically, only to
fall back to unhealthy levels shortly after.
Beijing air quality is often poor, especially in winter. In
mid-January 2013, Beijing's air quality was measured on top of the
city's US embassy at a PM2.5 density of 755 micrograms per cubic
meter, which went off the US Environmental Protection Agency's air
quality index. It was widely reported, originally through a Twitter
account, that the category was "crazy bad". This was later changed to
On 8 and 9 December 2015
Beijing had its first smog alert which shut
down a majority of the industry and other commercial businesses in the
city. Later in the month another smog "red alert" was issued.
According to Beijing's environmental protection bureau's announcement
in November 2016, starting from 2017 highly polluting old cars wil be
banned from being driven whenever
Smog "red alerts" are issued in the
city or neighboring regions.
Due to Beijing's high-level of air pollution, there are various
readings by different sources on the subject. Daily pollution readings
at 27 monitoring stations around the city are reported on the website
Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau (BJEPB). The
American Embassy of
Beijing also reports hourly fine particulate
(PM2.5) and ozone levels on Twitter. Since the BJEPB and US
Embassy measure different pollutants according to different criteria,
the pollution levels and the impact to human health reported by the
BJEPB are often lower than that reported by the US Embassy.
Air pollution in
Beijing in 2016, measured by Air Quality Index
Dust from the erosion of deserts in northern and northwestern China
results in seasonal dust storms that plague the city; the Beijing
Weather Modification Office 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
Main article: Politics of Beijing
Municipal government is regulated by the local Communist Party of
China (CPC), led by the
CPC Secretary (Chinese:
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 (Chinese: 市长) 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.
List of administrative divisions of Beijing
List of administrative divisions of Beijing and List of
township-level divisions of Beijing
Beijing Municipality currently comprises 16 administrative
county-level subdivisions including 16 urban, suburban, and rural
districts. On 1 July 2010, Chongwen and Xuanwu were merged into
Dongcheng and Xicheng, respectively. On 13 November 2015
Yanqing were upgraded to districts.
Administrative divisions of Beijing
Inner city inside the
2nd Ring Road
2nd Ring Road (former
Urban area between the 2nd and 5th Ring Road
Inner suburbs linked by the 6th Ring Road
Outer suburbs areas within city limits.
Area in km2
Dongcheng / Tongzhou
Jinrong Street Subdistrict
Divisions in Chinese and varieties of romanizations
^ Including "area" (地区).
^ Including other township related subdivisions.
Shichahai, in the Xicheng District, is traditionally considered one of
Beijing's most beautiful and charming scenic areas.
Main article: List of township-level divisions of Beijing
Beijing's 16 county-level divisions (districts) are further subdivided
into 273 lower third-level administrative units at the township level:
119 towns, 24 townships, 5 ethnic townships and 125 subdistricts.
Beijing Municipality but outside the urban area include
(but are not limited to):
Several place names in
Beijing end with mén (门), meaning "gate", as
they were the locations of gates in the former
Beijing city wall.
Other place names end in cūn (村), meaning "village", as they were
originally villages outside the city wall.
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Niujie Mosque is an important historical attraction
Main article: Neighborhoods in Beijing
Neighborhoods may extend across multiple districts. Major
neighborhoods in urban
Beijing CBD 北京商务中心区
Judiciary and procuracy
The judicial system in
Beijing consists of the Supreme People's Court,
the highest court in the country, the
Beijing Municipal High People's
Court, the high people's court of the municipality, three intermediate
people's courts, one intermediate railway transport court, 14 basic
people's court (one for each of the municipality's districts and
counties), and one basic railway transport court. The
Beijing No. 1
Intermediate People's Court in
Shijingshan oversees the basic courts
of Haidian, Shijingshan, Mentougou, Changping and Yanqing. The
Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court in Fengtai oversees the
basic courts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Fengtai, Fangshan and Daxing.
Beijing No. 3 Intermediate People's Court in Laiguangying, is the
newest of the three intermediate people's courts and opened on 21
August 2013. It oversees the district courts of Chaoyang,
Tongzhou, Shunyi, Huairou, Pinggu and Miyun. Each court in
Beijing has a corresponding people's procuratorate.
Main article: List of diplomatic missions in China
About 163 countries have embassies in Beijing, which are concentrated
Liangmaqiao in Chaoyang District.
Main article: Economy of Beijing
Xidan is one of the oldest and busiest shopping area in Beijing.
As of 2016, Beijing' nominal GDP was US$386.45 billion (CN￥ 2.57
trilion), about 3.45% of the country's GDP and ranked 12th among
province-level administrative units; its nominal GDP per capita was
US$17,795 (CN￥118,198) and ranked the 1st in the country.
Due to the concentration of state owned enterprises in the national
Beijing in 2013 had more
Fortune Global 500 Company
headquarters than any other city in the world.
Historical GDP of
Beijing for 1978 –present (SNA2008)
(purchasing power parity of Chinese Yuan, as Int'l. dollar based on
IMF WEO October 2017)
GDP per capita (GDPpc) based on mid-year population
GDP in millions
1 foreign currency
The Taikoo Li
Sanlitun shopping arcade is a popular destination among
locals and visitors
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 services sector is broadly diversified with professional services,
wholesale and retail, information technology, commercial real estate,
scientific research, and residential real estate each contributing at
least 6% to the city's economy in 2013.
The single largest sub-sector remains industry, whose share of overall
output has shrunk to 18.1% in 2013. The mix of industrial output
has changed significantly since 2010 when the city announced that 140
highly-polluting, energy and water resource intensive enterprises
would be relocated from the city in five years. The relocation of
Capital Steel to neighboring
Hebei province had begun in
2005. In 2013, output of automobiles, aerospace products,
semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, and food processing all
In the farmland around Beijing, vegetables and fruits have displaced
grain as the primary crops under cultivation. In 2013, the
tonnage of vegetable, edible fungus and fruit harvested was over three
times that of grain. In 2013, overall acreage under cultivation
shrank along with most categories of produce as more land was
reforested for environmental reasons.
Main article: List of economic and technological development zones in
The skyline of
Zhongguancun is a technology hub in Haidian District
In 2006, the city government identified six high-end economic output
Beijing as the primary engines for local economic growth.
In 2012, the six zones produced 43.3% of the city's GDP, up from 36.5%
in 2007. The six zones are:
Zhongguancun, China's silicon village in
Haidian District northwest of
the city, is home to both established and start-up tech companies. As
of the second quarter of 2014, of the 9,895 companies registered in
one of the six zones, 6,150 were based in Zhongguancun.
Beijing Financial Street, in
Xicheng District on the west side of the
Fuxingmen and Fuchengmen, is lined with headquarters of
large state banks and insurance companies. The country's financial
regulatory agencies including the central bank, bank regulator,
securities regulator, and foreign exchange authority are located in
Beijing Central Business District (CBD), is actually located to the
east of downtown, near the embassies along the eastern Third Ring Road
between Jianguomenwai and Chaoyangmenwai. The CBD is home to most of
the city's skyscraper office buildings. Most of the city's foreign
companies and professional service firms are based in the CBD.
Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area, better known as
Yizhuang, is an industrial park the straddles the southern Fifth Ring
Road in Daxing District. It has attracted pharmaceutical, information
technology, and materials engineering companies.
Beijing Airport Economic Zone was created in 1993 and surrounds the
Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport in
Shunyi District northwest of
the city. In addition to logistics, airline services, and trading
firms, this zone is also home to Beijing's automobile assembly plants.
Beijing Olympic Center Zone surrounds the
Olympic Green due north of
downtown and is developing into an entertainment, sports, tourism and
business convention center.
Shijingshan, on the western outskirts of the city, is a traditional
heavy industrial base for steel-making. Chemical plants are
concentrated in the far eastern suburbs.
Less legitimate enterprises also exist. Urban
Beijing is known for
being a center of infringed 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.
Main article: Demographics of Beijing
Population size may be affected by changes on administrative
Beijing had a total population of 21.148 million within the
municipality, of which 18.251 million resided in urban districts or
suburban townships and 2.897 million lived in rural villages.
Within China, the city ranked second in urban population after
Shanghai and the third in municipal population after
Beijing also ranks among the most populous cities in the
world, a distinction the city has held for much of the past 800 years,
especially during the 15th to early 19th centuries when it was the
largest city in the world.
About 13 million of the city's residents in 2013 had local hukou
permits, which entitles them to permanent residence in Beijing.
The remaining 8 million residents had hukou permits elsewhere and were
not eligible to receive some social benefits provided by the Beijing
The population increased in 2013 by 455,000 or about 7% from the
previous year and continued a decade-long trend of rapid growth.
The total population in 2004 was 14.213 million. The population
gains are driven largely by migration. The population's rate of
natural increase in 2013 was a mere 0.441%, based on a birth rate of
8.93 and a mortality rate of 4.52. The gender balance was 51.6%
males and 48.4% females.
Working age people account for nearly 80% of the population. Compared
to 2004, residents age 0–14 as a proportion of the population
dropped from 9.96% to 9.5% in 2013 and residents over the age of 65
declined from 11.12% to 9.2%.
According to the 2010 census, nearly 96% of Beijing's population are
ethnic Han Chinese. Of the 800,000 ethnic minorities living in
the capital, Manchu (336,000), Hui (249,000), Korean (77,000), Mongol
(37,000) and Tujia (24,000) constitute the five largest groups.
In addition, there were 8,045
Hong Kong residents, 500 Macau
residents, and 7,772
Taiwan residents along with 91,128 registered
foreigners living in Beijing. A study by the
Beijing Academy of
Sciences estimates that in 2010 there were on average 200,000
foreigners living in
Beijing on any given day including students,
business travellers and tourists are not counted as registered
From 2000 to 2010, the percentage of city residents with at least some
college education nearly doubled from 16.8% to 31.5%. About 22.2%
have some high school education and 31% had reached middle
The encompassing metropolitan area was estimated by the OECD
(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to have, as
of 2010[update], a population of 24.9 million.
Beijing Ancient Observatory
A scene from a Peking opera
Royal collection of the Forbidden City
People native to urban
Beijing speak the
Beijing dialect, 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, and one of the four official languages of Singapore.
Rural areas of
Beijing Municipality have their own dialects akin to
Hebei province, which surrounds
Peking opera (京剧, Jīngjù) is a traditional form of
Chinese theater 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
Beijing cuisine is the local style of cooking.
Peking Roast Duck
Peking Roast Duck is
perhaps the best known dish. Fuling Jiabing, 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 (or Jingtailan, literally "Blue of Jingtai")
metalworking technique and tradition is a
Beijing art speciality, 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 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
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. Today, Houhai,
Wudaokou are Beijing's
Places of interest
Major National Historical and Cultural Sites (Beijing)
Major National Historical and Cultural Sites (Beijing) and
...the city remains an epicenter of tradition with the treasures of
nearly 2,000 years as the imperial capital still on view—in the
Forbidden City and in the city's lush pavilions and gardens...
— National Geographic
Qianmen Avenue, a traditional commercial street outside
along the southern Central Axis
At the historical heart of
Beijing lies the Forbidden City, 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, Shichahai, Zhongnanhai, Jingshan and Zhongshan.
These places, particularly
Beihai Park, are described as masterpieces
of Chinese gardening 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
China and the State Council. From
Tiananmen Square, right
across from the Forbidden City, there are several notable sites, such
as the Tiananmen, Qianmen, the Great Hall of the People, the National
Museum of China, the Monument to the People's Heroes, and the
Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. The
Summer Palace and the Old Summer Palace
both lie at the western part of the city; the former, a
Heritage Site, contains a comprehensive collection of imperial
gardens and palaces that served as the summer retreats for the Qing
Beijing's Temple of Heaven
Ancient Hutongs outside
Among the best known religious sites in the city is the Temple of
Heaven (Tiantan), located in southeastern Beijing, also a
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 (Ditan), while the Temple
of the Sun (Ritan) and the Temple of the Moon (Yuetan) lie in the
eastern and western urban areas respectively. Other well-known temple
sites include the Dongyue Temple, Tanzhe Temple, Miaoying Temple,
White Cloud Temple, Yonghe Temple, Fayuan Temple,
Wanshou Temple and
Big Bell Temple. The city also has its own Confucius Temple, and a
Guozijian or Imperial Academy. The Cathedral of the Immaculate
Conception, built in 1605, is the oldest Catholic church in Beijing.
Niujie Mosque is the oldest mosque in Beijing, with a history
stretching back over a thousand years.
Inside the Forbidden City
Beijing contains several well-preserved pagodas and stone pagodas,
such as the towering Pagoda of Tianning Temple, which was built during
Liao dynasty from 1100 to 1120, and the Pagoda of Cishou Temple,
which was built in 1576 during the Ming dynasty. Historically
noteworthy stone bridges include the 12th-century Lugou Bridge, the
Baliqiao bridge, and the 18th-century Jade Belt Bridge.
Beijing Ancient Observatory
Beijing Ancient Observatory displays pre-telescopic spheres dating
back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The
Fragrant Hills (Xiangshan) is
a popular scenic public park that consists of natural landscaped areas
as well as traditional and cultural relics. The
Garden exhibits over 6,000 species of plants, including a variety of
trees, bushes and flowers, and an extensive peony garden. The
Taoranting, Longtan, Chaoyang, Haidian,
Milu Yuan and Zizhu Yuan parks
are some of the notable recreational parks in the city. The Beijing
Zoo is a center of zoological research that also contains rare animals
from various continents, including the Chinese giant panda.
There are 144 museums and galleries (as of June 2008) in the
city. 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, the Capital Museum, the
Museum, the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution, the
Geological Museum of China, the
Beijing Museum of Natural History
Beijing Museum of Natural History and
the Paleozoological Museum of China.
Located at the outskirts of urban Beijing, but within its municipality
are the Thirteen Tombs of the Ming dynasty, the lavish and elaborate
burial sites of thirteen Ming emperors, which have been designated as
part of the
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site Imperial Tombs of the Ming and
Qing Dynasties. The archaeological
Peking Man site at Zhoukoudian
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site within the municipality,
containing a wealth of discoveries, among them one of the first
Homo erectus and an assemblage of bones of the gigantic
Pachycrocuta brevirostris. There are several sections of the
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
Great Wall of China, most notably
Simatai and Mutianyu.
Chinese religion or not religious and atheists (86.26%)
A Temple of the Goddess in Gubeikou.
Fire God Temple in Di'anmen.
The religious heritage of
Beijing is rich and diverse as Chinese folk
religion, Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism,
have significant historical presence in the city. As the national
capital, the city also hosts the State Administration for Religious
Affairs and various state-sponsored institutions of the leading
religions. In recent decades, foreign residents have brought
other religions to the city. According to Wang Zhiyun of the
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 2010 there were 2.2 million
Buddhists in the city, equal to 11.2% of the total population.
According to the Chinese General Social Survey of 2009, Christians
constitute 0.78% of the city's population. According to a 2010
survey, Muslims constitute 1.76% of the population of Beijing.
Rear hall of the Capital City God Temple of Beijing.
Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion and Taoism
Beijing has many temples dedicated to folk religious and communal
deities, many of which are being reconstructed or refurbished in the
2000s and 2010s. Yearly sacrifices to the God of Heaven (祭天
jìtiān) at the
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven have been resumed by Confucian
groups in the 2010s.
There are temples dedicated to the worship of the Goddess (娘娘
Niángniáng) in the city, one of them near the Olympic Village, and
they revolve around a major cult center at Mount Miaofeng. There are
also many temples consecrated to the Dragon God (龙神 Lóngshén),
to the Medicine Master (药王 Yàowáng), to Divus Guan (关帝
Guāndì), to the Fire God (火神 Huǒshén), to the Wealth God
(财神 Cáishén), temples of the City God (城隍神
Chénghuángshén), and at least one temple consecrated to the Yellow
Deity of the Chariot Shaft (轩辕黄帝 Xuānyuán Huángdì) in
Pinggu District. Many of these temples are governed by the Beijing
Taoist Association, such as the Fire God Temple of the Shicha Lake,
while many others are not and are governed by popular committees and
locals. A great Temple of Xuanyuan Huangdi will be built in Pinggu
(possibly as an expansion of the already existing shrine) within 2020,
and the temple will feature a statue of the deity which will be
amongst the tallest in the world.
Chinese Taoist Association and Chinese Taoist College
have their headquarters at the
White Cloud Temple
White Cloud Temple of Quanzhen Taoism,
which was founded in 741 and rebuilt numerous times. The Beijing
Dongyue Temple outside
Chaoyangmen is the largest temple of Zhengyi
Taoism in the city. The local
Beijing Taoist Association has its
headquarters at the
Lüzu Temple near Fuxingmen.
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The tomb pagodas at Tanzhe Temple
Yonghe Lama Temple of Tibetan Buddhism.
11% of the population of
Beijing practices Buddhism. The Buddhist
Association of China, the state's supervisory organ overseeing all
Buddhist institutions in mainland China, is headquartered in the
Guangji Temple, a temple founded over 800 years ago during the Jin
dynasty (1115–1234) in what is now Fuchengmennei. The Beijing
Buddhist Association along with the
Buddhist Choir and Orchestra are
based in the Guanghua Temple, which dates to the
Yuan dynasty over 700
years ago. The
Buddhist Academy of
China and its library are housed in
Fayuan Temple near Caishikou. The Fayuan Temple, which dates to
Tang dynasty 1300 years ago, is the oldest temple in urban
Beijing. The Tongjiao Temple inside
Dongzhimen is the city's only
The West Yellow Temple originally dates to the Liao dynasty. In 1651,
the temple was commissioned by the Qing Emperor Shunzhi to host the
visit of the Fifth Dalai Lama to Beijing. Since then, this temple has
13th Dalai Lama
13th Dalai Lama as well as the Sixth, Ninth and Tenth
Panchen Lamas. The largest Tibetan
Buddhist Temple in
Beijing is the
Yonghe Temple, which was decreed by the Qing Emperor Qianlong in 1744
to serve as the residence and research facility for his Buddhist
preceptor of Rölpé Dorjé the third Changkya (or living Buddha of
Inner Mongolia). The
Yonghe Temple is so-named because it was the
childhood residence of the Yongzheng Emperor, and retains the glazed
tiles reserved for imperial palaces.
The Lingguang Temple of
Badachu in the
Western Hills also dates to the
Tang dynasty. The temple's Zhaoxian Pagoda was first built in 1071
Liao dynasty to hold a tooth relic of the Buddha. The
pagoda was destroyed during the
Boxer Rebellion and the tooth was
discovered from its foundation. A new pagoda was built in 1964. The
six aforementioned temples: Guangji, Guanghua, Tongjiao, West Yellow,
Yonghe and Lingguang have been designated National Key Buddhist
Han Chinese Area.
In addition, other notable temples in
Beijing include the Tanzhe
Temple (founded in the
Jin dynasty (265–420)
Jin dynasty (265–420) is the oldest in the
municipality), Tianning Temple (oldest pagoda in the city), Miaoying
Temple (famed for Yuan-era white dagoba), the
Wanshou Temple (home to
Beijing Art Museum) and Big Bell Temple.
Buddhist temples in Beijing
Big Bell Temple
Temple of Azure Clouds
Beijing has about 70 mosques recognized by the Islamic Association of
China, whose headquarters are located next to the Niujie Mosque, the
oldest and most famous mosque in the city. The Niujie Mosque
was founded in 996 during the
Liao dynasty and is frequently visited
by Muslim dignitaries. Other notable mosques in the old city include
the Dongsi Mosque, founded in 1346; the Huashi Mosque, founded in
1415; Nan Douya Mosque, near Chaoyangmen; Jinshifang Street Mosque, in
Xicheng District; and the
Dongzhimen Mosque. There are large
mosques in outlying Muslim communities in Haidian, Madian, Tongzhou,
Shijingshan and Miyun. The
Institute is located in the Niujie neighborhood in Xicheng District.
Church of the Saviour, also known as the Xishiku Church, founded in
John of Montecorvino came to
Beijing as a Franciscan
missionary with the order from the Pope. After meeting and receiving
the support of
Kublai Khan in 1293, he built the first Catholic church
Beijing in 1305. The
Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA),
Houhai is the government oversight body for Catholics in
mainland China. Notable Catholic churches in
the Nantang or Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception also known as
the Xuanwumen Church, which was founded in 1605 and whose current
Joseph Li Shan
Joseph Li Shan is one of the few bishops in
China to have
the support of both the Vatican and the CPCA.
the Dongtang or St. Joseph's Church, better known as the Wangfujing
Church, founded in 1653.
the Beitang or Church of the Saviour, also known as the Xishiku
Church, founded in 1703.
the Xitang or Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel also known as the
Xizhimen Church, founded in 1723.
The National Seminary of Catholic Church in
China is located in Daxing
The earliest Protestant churches in
Beijing were founded by British
and American missionaries in the second half of the 19th century.
Protestant missionaries also opened schools, universities and
hospitals which have become important civic institutions. Most of
Beijing's Protestant churches were destroyed during the Boxer
Rebellion and afterwards rebuilt. In 1958, the 64 Protestant churches
in the city are reorganized into four and overseen by the state
through the Three-Self Patriotic Movement.
There were a significant amount of Orthodox Christians in Beijing.
Orthodox has come to
Beijing along with Russian prisoners from
Albazino conflicts in the 17th century. In 1956, Viktor, the
Beijing returned to the Soviet Union, and the Soviet embassy
took over the old cathedral and demolished it. In 2007, Russian
embassy has rebuilt a new church in its garden to serve the Russian
Orthodox Christians in Beijing.
Television and radio
China Central Television Headquarters building
Beijing Television broadcasts on channels 1 through 10, and China
Central Television, China's largest television network, maintains its
headquarters in Beijing. Three radio stations feature programmes in
English: Hit FM on FM 88.7, Easy FM by
China Radio International on FM
91.5, and the newly launched Radio 774 on AM 774.
Stations is the family of radio stations serving the city.
Beijing Evening News (
Beijing Wanbao, 北京晚报),
covering news about
Beijing in Chinese, is distributed every
afternoon. Other newspapers include
Beijing Daily, The
(Xin Jing Bao, 新京报), the
Beijing Star Daily, the
News, and the
Beijing Youth Daily
Beijing Youth Daily (
Beijing Qingnian Bao), as well as
Beijing Weekend and
Beijing Today. The
Global Times and the
China Daily (English) are
Beijing as well.
Publications primarily aimed at international visitors and the
expatriate community include the English-language periodicals Time Out
Beijing, City Weekend,
Beijing This Month,
Beijing Talk, That's
Beijing, and The Beijinger.
Main articles: Sport in
Beijing and Football in Beijing
Fireworks above Olympic venues during the opening ceremony of the 2008
Tai chi (Taijiquan) practitioners at the
Fragrant Hills Park
Beijing has hosted numerous international and national sporting
events, the most notable was the 2008 Summer Olympic and Paralympic
Games. Other multi-sport international events held in
Universiade and the 1990 Asian Games. Single-sport
international competitions include the
Beijing Marathon (annually
China Open of Tennis (1993–97, annually since 2004),
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Cup of
China (2003, 2004, 2005, 2008,
2009 and 2010), WPBSA
China Open for Snooker (annually since 2005),
Union Cycliste Internationale
Union Cycliste Internationale
Tour of Beijing (since 2011), 1961 World
Table Tennis Championships, 1987 IBF Badminton World Championships,
2004 AFC Asian Cup
2004 AFC Asian Cup (football), and 2009 Barclays Asia Trophy
Beijing hosted the 2015 IAAF World Championships in
LeSports Center will be one of the main venues for the 2019
FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The city hosted the second Chinese National Games in 1914 and the
first four National Games of
China in 1959, 1965, 1975, 1979,
respectively, and co-hosted the 1993 National Games with
Beijing also hosted the inaugural
National Peasants' Games in
1988 and the sixth National Minority Games in 1999.
In November 2013,
Beijing made a bid to host the 2022 Winter
Olympics. On 31 July 2015, the International Olympic Committee
2022 Winter Olympics
2022 Winter Olympics to the city.
Major sporting venues in the city include the National Stadium, also
known as the "Birds' Nest", National Aquatics Center, also
known as the "Water Cube", National Indoor Stadium, all in the Olympic
Green to the north of downtown; the
MasterCard Center at Wukesong west
of downtown; the Workers' Stadium and Workers' Arena in
east of downtown and the Capital Arena in Baishiqiao, northeast of
downtown. In addition, many universities in the city have their own
Professional sports teams based in
China Baseball League
Chinese Basketball Association
Beikong Fly Dragons
Women's Chinese Basketball Association
Kontinental Hockey League
HC Kunlun Red Star
Chinese Super League
China League One
China League Two
Chinese Women's National League
Beijing Olympians of the American Basketball Association, formerly
Chinese Basketball Association
Chinese Basketball Association team, kept their name and maintained
a roster of primarily Chinese players after moving to Maywood,
California in 2005.
Bandy Federation is based in Beijing, one of several cities in
which the potential for bandy development is explored.
Main article: Transport in Beijing
Mobikes jamming sidewalks in Beijing
Beijing Railway Station, one of several rail stations in the city
Traffic jam in the
Terminal 3 of the
Beijing Capital International Airport
A Line 1 train on the
Beijing Subway, which is among the longest and
busiest rapid transit systems in the world.
Bicyclists during rush hour at the Chang'an Avenue.
Beijing traffic signage found at intersections.
Beijing is an important transport hub in North
China with five ring
roads, nine expressways, eleven National Highways, nine conventional
railways, and two high-speed railways converging on the city.
Rail and high-speed rail
Beijing serves as a large rail hub in China's railway network. Ten
conventional rail lines radiate from the city to:
Guangzhou (Jingguang Line), Kowloon (Jingjiu Line), Harbin
Baotou (Jingbao Line),
Qinhuangdao (Jingqin Line),
Chengde (Jingcheng Line), Tongliao,
Inner Mongolia (Jingtong Line),
Shanxi (Jingyuan Line) and Shacheng,
Hebei (Fengsha Line).
In addition, the
Datong–Qinhuangdao Railway passes through the
municipality to the north of the city.
Beijing also has three high-speed rail lines: the Beijing-Tianjin
Intercity Railway, which opened in 2008; the Beijing-Shanghai
High-Speed Railway, which opened in 2011; and the Beijing–Guangzhou
High-Speed Railway, which opened in 2012.
The city's main railway stations are the
Beijing Railway Station,
which opened in 1959; the
Beijing West Railway Station, which opened
in 1996; and the
Beijing South Railway Station, which was rebuilt into
the city's high-speed railway station in 2008. As of 1 July 2010,
Beijing Railway Station
Beijing Railway Station had 173 trains arriving daily,
had 232 trains and
Beijing South had 163. The
Beijing North Railway
Station, first built in 1909 and expanded in 2009, had 22 trains.
Smaller stations in the city including
Beijing East Railway Station
Qinghuayuan Railway Station
Qinghuayuan Railway Station 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
From Beijing, direct passenger train service is available to most
large cities in China. International train service is available to
Vietnam and North Korea. Passenger trains in China
are numbered according to their direction in relation to Beijing.
Roads and expressways
Expressways of Beijing
Expressways of Beijing and
Highways of Beijing
Beijing is connected by road links to all parts of
China as part of
the National Trunk Road Network. Nine expressways of
Beijing, as do eleven
China National Highways. Beijing's urban
transport is dependent upon the five "ring roads" that concentrically
surround the city, with the
Forbidden City area marked as the
geographical centre for the ring roads. The ring roads appear more
rectangular than ring-shaped. There is no official "1st Ring Road".
2nd Ring Road
2nd Ring Road is located in the inner city. Ring roads tend to
resemble expressways 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
China are generally accessible from the 3rd Ring Road
outward. A final outer orbital, the Capital Ring Expressway (G95), is
being built and will extend into neighboring
Tianjin and Hebei.
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.
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
Beijing had 4 million registered automobiles. By the end of
2010, the government forecast 5 million. In 2010, new car
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. More restrictive measures are
also reserved during major events or heavily polluted weather.
Beijing's primary airport is the
Beijing Capital International Airport
(IATA: PEK) about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northeast of the city
centre. The airport is the second busiest airport in the world after
Atlanta International Airport. 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 and a hub for
China Southern and
Hainan Airlines. The airport links
almost every other Chinese city with regular air passenger service.
The Airport Expressway 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 was
built to the airport, as well as a light rail system, which now
connects to the
Other airports in the city include Liangxiang, Nanyuan, Xijiao, Shahe
and Badaling. These airports are primarily for military use and are
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, is currently being built in
Daxing District, and is expected to be open by September 2018.
As of 1 January 2013[update], tourists from 45 countries are permitted
a 72-hour visa-free stay in Beijing. The 45 countries include
Singapore, Japan, the United States, Canada, all EU and EEA countries
Norway and Liechtenstein), Switzerland, Brazil,
Australia. The programme benefits transit and business travellers
with the 72 hours calculated starting from the moment visitors receive
their transit stay permits rather than the time of their plane's
arrival. Foreign visitors are not permitted to leave
Beijing for other
Chinese cities during the 72 hours.
Beijing Subway, which began operating in 1969, now has 22 lines,
370 stations, and 608 km (378 mi) of lines. It is the second
longest subway system in the world and first in annual ridership with
3.66 billion rides delivered in 2016. In 2013, with a flat fare of
¥2.00 (0.31 USD) per ride with unlimited transfers on all lines
except the Airport Express, the subway was also the most affordable
rapid transit system in China. The subway is undergoing rapid
expansion and is expected to reach 30 lines, 450 stations, 1,050
kilometres (650 mi) in length by 2020. When fully implemented,
95% of residents inside the Fourth Ring Road will be able to walk to a
station in 15 minutes. The
Beijing Suburban Railway provides
commuter rail service to outlying suburbs of the municipality.
On 28 December 2014, the
Beijing Subway switched to a distance-based
fare system from a fixed fare for all lines except the Airport
Express. Under the new system a trip under 6 km will cost
¥3.00(0.49 USD), an additional ¥1.00 will be added for the next 6
kilometres (3.7 miles) and the next 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) until
the distance for the trip reaches 32 kilometres (20 miles). For
every 20 kilometres (12 miles) after the original 32 kilometres (20
miles) an additional ¥1.00 is added. For example, a 50
kilometres (31 miles) trip would cost ¥ 8.00.
There are nearly 1,000 public bus and trolleybus lines in the city,
including four bus rapid transit lines. Standard bus fares are as low
as ¥1.00 when purchased with the
Metered taxi in
Beijing start at ¥13 for the first 3 kilometres
(1.9 mi), ¥2.3
Renminbi per additional 1 kilometre
(0.62 mi) and ¥1 per ride fuel surcharge, not counting idling
fees which are ¥2.3 (¥4.6 during rush hours of 7–9 am and 5–7
pm) per 5 minutes of standing or running at speeds lower than 12
kilometres per hour (7.5 mph) . Most taxis are Hyundai Elantras,
Hyundai Sonatas, Peugeots, Citroëns and Volkswagen Jettas. After 15
kilometres (9.3 mi), the base fare increases by 50% (but is only
applied to the portion over that distance). Different companies have
special colours combinations painted on their vehicles. Usually
registered taxis have yellowish brown as basic hue, with another color
of Prussian blue, hunter green, white, umber, tyrian purple, rufous,
or sea green. Between 11 pm and 5 am, there is also a 20%
fee increase. Rides over 15 km (9 mi) and between 23:00 and
06:00 incur both charges, for a total increase of 80%. Tolls during
trip should be covered by customers and the costs of trips beyond
Beijing city limits should be negotiated with the driver. The cost of
unregistered taxis is also subject to negotiation with the driver.
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. Recently, cycling has seen a resurgence in
popularity thanks to the emergence of a large number of dockless app
based bikeshares such as Mobike,
Bluegogo and Ofo.
Defense and aerospace
Xi Jinping and a military honor guard welcomes South
Park Geun-hye in June 2013.
The command headquarters of China's military forces are based in
Beijing. The Central Military Commission, the political organ in
charge of the military, is housed inside the Ministry of National
Defense, located next to the Military Museum of the Chinese People's
Revolution in western Beijing. The Second Artillery Corps, which
controls the country's strategic missile and nuclear weapons, has its
command in Qinghe, Haidian District. The headquarters of the Beijing
Military Region, one of seven nationally, is based further west in
Beijing Military Region
Beijing Military Region oversees the
Beijing Garrisons as
well as the 27th, 38th and 65th Armies, which are based in Hebei.
Military institutions in
Beijing also include academies and thinktanks
such as the
PLA National Defence University
PLA National Defence University and Academy of Military
Science, military hospitals such as the 301, 307 and the Academy of
Military Medical Sciences, and army-affiliated cultural entities such
as the 1 August Film Studios and the PLA Song and Dance Troupe.
China National Space Administration, which oversees country's
space program, and several space-related state owned companies such as
CASTC and CASIC are all based in Beijing. The
Command and Control Center, in
Haidian District tracks the country's
manned and unmanned flight and other space exploration initiatives.
Nature and wildlife
Beijing Municipality has 20 nature reserves that have a total area of
1,339.7 km2 (517.3 sq mi). The mountains to the
west and north of the city are home to a number of protected wildlife
species including leopard, leopard cat, wolf, red fox, wild boar,
masked palm civet, raccoon dog, hog badger, Siberian weasel, Amur
hedgehog, roe deer, and mandarin rat snake. The Beijing
Aquatic Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center protects the Chinese
Amur stickleback and mandarin duck on the Huaijiu
and Huaisha Rivers in
Huairou District. The
Beijing Milu Park
south of the city is home to one of the largest herds of Père David's
deer, now extinct in the wild. The
Beijing barbastelle, a species of
vesper bat discovered in caves of
Fangshan District in 2001 and
identified as a distinct species in 2007, is endemic to Beijing. The
mountains of Fangshan are also habitat for the more common Beijing
mouse-eared bat, large myotis, greater horseshoe bat and Rickett's
Beijing hosts 200-300 species of migratory birds including
the common crane, black-headed gull, swan, mallard, common cuckoo and
the endangered yellow-breasted bunting. In May 2016, Common
cuckoos nesting in the wetlands of Cuihu (Haidian), Hanshiqiao
(Shunyi), Yeyahu (Yanqing) were tagged and have been traced to far as
Kenya and Mozambique. In the fall of 2016, the
Beijing Forest Police undertook a month-long campaign to crack down on
illegal hunting and trapping of migratory birds for sale in local bird
markets. Over 1,000 rescued birds of protected species including
streptopelia, Eurasian siskin, crested myna, coal tit and great tit
were handed to the
Beijing Wildlife Protection and Rescue Center for
repatriation to the wild.
The city flowers are the Chinese rose and chrysanthemum. The city
trees are the Chinese arborvitae, an evergreen in the cypress family
and the Pagoda Tree, also called the Chinese scholar tree, a deciduous
tree of the
Fabaceae family. The oldest scholar tree in the city
was planted in what is now
Beihai Park during the Tang dynasty, 1,300
2045 Peking—the name of an asteroid
Beijing city fortifications
Historical capitals of China
Large Cities Climate Leadership Group
List of hospitals in Beijing
List of mayors of Beijing
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[c1] Cancelled due to World War I; [c2] Cancelled due to World War II
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1940: Cancelled due to World War II
1944: Cancelled due to World War II
1948: St. Moritz
1956: Cortina d'Ampezzo
1960: Squaw Valley
1980: Lake Placid
2002: Salt Lake City
Winter Paralympic Games
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Kuala Lumpur (Klang Valley)
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