EtymologyOver the past 3,000 years, the city of Beijing has had . The name ''Beijing'', which means "Northern Capital" (from the for ''north'' and for ''capital''), was applied to the city in 1403 during the to distinguish the city from (the "Southern Capital"). The English spelling ''Beijing'' is based on the government's official (adopted in the 1980s) of the two characters as they are pronounced in . An older English spelling, ''Peking'' is the of the same two characters as they are pronounced in spoken in the southern port towns first visited by European traders and missionaries. Those dialects preserve the pronunciation of as ''kjaeng'',Baxter, Wm. H. & Sagart, Laurent. '' '', p. 63. 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 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 , with PEK, and , still retain the former romanization. The single Chinese character abbreviation for Beijing is , which appears on automobile license plates in the city. The official for Beijing is "BJ".
Early historyThe earliest traces of human habitation in the Peking municipality were found in the caves of near the village of in , where lived. ' fossils from the caves date to 230,000 to 250,000 years ago. ' also lived there more recently, about 27,000 years ago. Archaeologists have found settlements throughout the municipality, including in , located in central Peking. The first in Beijing was , the capital city of the and was built in 1045 BC. Within modern Beijing, Jicheng was located around the present area in the south of . This settlement was later conquered by the and made its capital.
Early Imperial ChinaAfter the , Jicheng became a for the region. During the , it was held by and before falling to the of . The AD 3rd-century demoted the town, placing the prefectural seat in neighboring . During the period when northern China was conquered and divided by the , Jicheng was briefly the capital of the Kingdom. After China was reunified during the , Jicheng, also known as , became the northern terminus of the . Under the , Jicheng as , served as a military frontier command center. During the and again amidst the turmoil of the late Tang, local military commanders founded their own short-lived Yan dynasties and called the city , or the "Yan Capital." Also in the Tang dynasty, the city's name Jicheng was replaced by Youzhou or Yanjing. In 938, after the fall of the Tang, the ceded to the , which treated the city as , or the "Southern Capital", one of four secondary capitals to complement its "Supreme Capital", Shangjing (modern in ). Some of the date to the Liao period, including the . The Liao fell to the in 1122, which gave the city to the and then retook it in 1125 during its . In 1153, the Jurchen Jin made Beijing their "Central Capital", or . The city was besieged by 's invading in 1213 and two years later. Two generations later, ordered the construction of (or Daidu to the Mongols, commonly known as ), a new capital for his 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 slightly to the north of modern Beijing and stretched from the present-day to the northern part of . Remnants of the Yuan wall still stand and are known as the Tucheng.
Ming dynastyIn 1368, soon after declaring the new of the , the leader sent an army to Dadu/Khanbaliq and conquered it.Ebrey, Patricia Buckley. ''The Cambridge Illustrated History of China''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Since the continued to occupy and Mongolia, Dadu was used to supply the military garrisons in the area and was renamed Beiping (Wade–Giles: Peip'ing, "Northern Peace"). Under the Hongwu Emperor's feudal policies Beiping was given to , one of his sons, who was created "". The early death of 's heir led to a on his death, one that ended with the victory of and the declaration of the new . Since his harsh treatment of the Ming capital (modern ) alienated many there, he established his fief as a new co-capital. The city of became Beijing (“Northern Capital”) or in 1403. The construction of the new imperial residence, the , took from 1406 to 1420; this period was also responsible for several other of the modern city's major attractions, such as the and . On 28 October 1420, the city was officially designated the capital of the in the same year that the Forbidden City was completed. Beijing became the empire's primary capital, and Yingtian, also called (“Southern Capital”), became the co-capital. (A 1425 order by Zhu Di's son, the , 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 to Beijing's north.) By the 15th century, Beijing had essentially taken its current shape. The continued to serve until modern times, when it was pulled down and the 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 was constructed by in 1652 at the former site of 's chapel; the modern was later built upon the same site. The capture of Beijing by 's peasant army in 1644 ended the dynasty, but he and his abandoned the city without a fight when the army of Prince arrived 40 days later.
Qing dynastyestablished the as a direct successor of the Ming (delegitimising and his followers) and Beijing became 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 '. Northwest of the city, Qing emperors built several large palatial gardens including the and the . During the , Anglo-French forces captured the outskirts of the city, looting and burning the in 1860. Under the ending that war, Western powers for the first time secured the right to establish within the city. From 14 to 15 August 1900 the was fought. This battle was part of the . The attempt by the to eradicate this presence, as well as converts, led to Beijing's reoccupation by eight . During the fighting, several important structures were destroyed, including the and the (new) . A was concluded between the and representatives of the Chinese government and on 7 September 1901. The treaty required China to pay an indemnity of US$335 million (over US$4 billion in current dollars) plus interest over a period of 39 years. Also required was the execution or exile of government supporters of the Boxers and the destruction of Chinese forts and other defenses in much of northern China. Ten days after the treaty was signed the foreign armies left Peking, although legation guards would remain there until . With the treaty signed the returned to Peking from her "tour of inspection" on 7 January 1902 and the rule of the dynasty over China was restored, albeit much weakened by the defeat it had suffered in the Boxer Rebellion and by the indemnity and stipulations of the peace treaty. The Dowager died in 1908 and the dynasty imploded in 1911.
Republic of ChinaThe fomenters of the of 1911 sought to replace Qing rule with a republic and leaders like originally intended to return the capital to . After the Qing general forced the abdication of the last Qing emperor and ensured the success of the revolution, the revolutionaries accepted him as president of the new . Yuan maintained his capital at Beijing and 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 's , the capital was formally moved to in 1928. On 28 June the same year, Beijing's name was returned to Beiping (written at the time as "Peiping"). On 7 July 1937, the 29th Army and the Japanese army in China exchanged fire at the near the southwest of the city. The triggered the , as it is known in China. During the war, Beijing fell to Japan on 29 July 1937 and was made the seat of the , a that ruled the ethnic-Chinese portions of Japanese-occupied . This government was later merged into the larger based in Nanjing.
People's Republic of ChinaIn the final phases of the , the seized control of the city peacefully on 31 January 1949 in the course of the . On 1 October that year, announced the creation of the from atop . He restored the name of the city, as the new capital, to Beijing, a decision that had been reached by the 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 and residential neighborhoods in . Many areas of the were torn down in the 1960s to make way for the construction of the and the . During the from 1966 to 1976, the movement began in Beijing and the city's government fell victim to one of the first purges. By the autumn 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 and the Cultural Revolution in Tiananmen Square . In October 1976, the Gang was arrested in and the Cultural Revolution came to an end. In December 1978, the in Beijing under the leadership of reversed the verdicts against victims of the Cultural Revolution and instituted the Since the early 1980s, the urban area of Beijing has expanded greatly with the completion of the 2nd Ring Road in 1981 and the subsequent addition of the , , and s. According to one 2005 newspaper report, the size of newly developed Beijing was one-and-a-half times larger than before. and have developed into flourishing shopping districts, while 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 , , the loss of historic neighborhoods, and a significant influx of migrant workers from less-developed s of the country. Beijing has also been the location of many significant events in recent Chinese history, principally the .Picture Power:Tiananmen Standoff
GeographyBeijing is situated at the northern tip of the roughly triangular , 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 and , are dominated by the , while the western part is framed by ''Xishan'' or the . The across the northern part of Beijing Municipality was built on the rugged topography to defend against nomadic incursions from the steppes. , in the Western Hills and on the border with , is the municipality's highest point, with an altitude of . Major rivers flowing through the municipality, including the , , , are all tributaries in the system, and flow in a southeasterly direction. The Miyun Reservoir, on the upper reaches of the Chaobai River, is the largest reservoir within the municipality. Beijing is also the northern terminus of the to , which was built over 1,400 years ago as a transportation route, and the , constructed in the past decade to bring water from the basin. The urban area of Beijing, on the plains in the south-central of the municipality with elevation of , occupies a relatively small but expanding portion of the municipality's area. The city spreads out in concentric . The traces the and the connects satellite towns in the surrounding suburbs. and are at the center of Beijing, directly to the south of the , the former residence of the emperors of China. To the west of Tian'anmen is , the residence of China's current leaders. , which cuts between Tiananmen and the Square, forms the city's main east–west axis.
ArchitectureThree styles of architecture are predominant in urban Beijing. First, there is the traditional architecture of imperial China, perhaps best exemplified by the massive (Gate of Heavenly Peace), which remains the People's Republic of China's trademark edifice, the , the and the . 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 in east Beijing such as the new , in addition to buildings in other locations around the city such as the and . Since 2007, buildings in Beijing have received the for best overall tall building twice, for the building in 2009 and the 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 style of architecture can be seen at the , which mixes the old with the new. Beijing's tallest building is the 528-meter . Beijing is famous for its ''s'', a type of residence where a common courtyard is shared by the surrounding buildings. Among the more grand examples are the and . These courtyards are usually connected by alleys called ''s''. The ''hutongs'' are generally straight and run east to west so that doorways face north and south for good . 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.
ClimateBeijing has a monsoon-influenced (: ''Dwa''), characterized by very hot, humid summers due to the East Asian , and brief but cold, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast . Spring can bear witness to sandstorms blowing in from the across the , accompanied by rapidly warming, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn, similar to spring, is a season of transition and minimal precipitation. The monthly daily average temperature in January is , while in July it is . averages around annually, with close to three-quarters 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 on 22 February 1966 to on 24 July 1999 (unofficial record of was set on 15 June 1942).
Environmental issuesBeijing has a long history of . 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 of human society are not included. For example, surface , wind speed and near the surface were decreased, whereas ground and near-surface s, vertical air dilution and levels were increased. Because of the combined factors of urbanization and pollution caused by burning of , Beijing is often affected by serious environmental problems, which lead to issues of many inhabitants. In 2013 heavy struck Beijing and most parts of northern China, impacting a total of 600 million people. After this "pollution shock" 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 clean sources.
Air qualityJoint 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 can be traced to sources outside the city. Province and 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 and to fulfill promises to clean up the city's air, nearly US$17 billion 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 , reducing bus and subway fares, opening new subway lines, and banning high-emission vehicles. The city further assembled 3,800 -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 . Coal burning accounts for about 40% of the in Beijing and is also the chief source of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide.James West, ''Mother Jones''
ReadingsDue 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 of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau (BJEPB). The American Embassy of Beijing also reports hourly and 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. (login required) The smog is causing harm and danger to the population. The air pollution does directly result in significant impact on the mobility rate of cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease in Beijing. Exposure to large concentrations of polluted air can cause respiratory and cardiovascular problems, emergency room visits, and even death.
Dust stormsDust from the erosion of deserts in northern and northwestern China results in seasonal s that plague the city; the 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.
GovernmentThe municipal government is regulated by the local (CPC), led by the Beijing (). 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 () 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 .
Administrative divisionsBeijing Municipality currently comprises 16 administrative including 16 urban, suburban, and rural . On 1 July 2010, and were merged into Dongcheng and Xicheng, respectively. On 13 November 2015 and were upgraded to districts.
TownsBeijing's 16 county-level divisions (districts) are further subdivided into 273 lower third-level administrative units at the : 119 , 24 , 5 s and 125 . Towns within Beijing Municipality but outside the urban area include (but are not limited to): * * * * * * * * * * Several place names in Beijing end with ''mén'' (), meaning "gate", as they were the locations of gates in the former . Other place names end in ''cūn'' (), meaning "village", as they were originally villages outside the city wall.
Judiciary and procuracyThe in Beijing consists of the , the highest court in the country, the Beijing Municipal High People's Court, the of the municipality, three , one intermediate , 14 (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. The 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 .
Economy, Beijing' was 458 billion (3.0 trilion), about 3.45% of the country's GDP and ranked among ; its Nominal GDP per capita was US$21,261 (CN￥140,748) and ranked the in the country. Beijing's Nominal GDP is projected to be among the world top 10 largest cities in 2035 (together with , and in China) according to a study by , and its Nominal GDP per capita will reach US$45,000 in 2030. Due to the concentration of in the national capital, Beijing in 2013 had more Company headquarters than any other city in the world."Jones Lang LaSalle Research Report – Five years after the Olympics – Growth in Beijing has continued, what to expect next?"
Sector compositionThe city has a that is dominated by the (services), which generated 76.9% of output, followed by the (manufacturing, construction) at 22.2% and the (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 to neighboring Hebei province had begun in 2005. In 2013, output of automobiles, aerospace products, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, and food processing all increased. 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.
Economic zonesIn 2006, the city government identified six high-end economic output zones around 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: # , China's silicon village in Haidian District northwest of the city, is home to both established and start-up tech companies. In the first two quarters of 2014, 9,895 companies registered in the six zones, among which 6,150 were based in Zhongguancun. Zhongguancun is also the center of . # , in Xicheng District on the west side of the city between Fuxingmen and Fuchengmen, is lined with headquarters of large state banks and insurance companies. The country's financial regulatory agencies including the , , , and are located in the neighborhood. # , 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 . Most of the city's foreign companies and professional service firms are based in the CBD. # , better known as , 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 in Shunyi District northeast 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 due north of downtown and is developing into an entertainment, sports, tourism and business convention center. , 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 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.
DemographicsIn 2013, 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. The encompassing was estimated by the (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to have, , a population of 24.9 million.Linked from the OEC
Education and researchBeijing is a world leading center for scientific and technological innovation in China and has been ranked the city in the world with the largest scientific research output, as tracked by the since 2016. A number of Beijing's consistently rank among the best in the Asia-Pacific and the world, including , , , , , , , , , , , and . These universities were selected as "" or "" by the Chinese government in order to build world-class universities. Beijing is home to the two best universities ( and ) in the whole Asia and the and with its rankings placed at 20th and 23rd in the world respectively according to the 2021 . Both are members of the , an alliance of elite Chinese universities offering comprehensive and leading education. The city is also a seat of the , which has been consistently ranked the No.1 research institute in the world by ' since the list's inception in 2016, by . The city's system is among the best in the world: in 2018, 15-year-old students from Beijing (together with , and ) outperformed all of the other 78 participating countries in all categories (math, reading, and science) in the , a worldwide study of academic performance conducted by the OECD.
CulturePeople native to urban Beijing speak the , which belongs to the Mandarin subdivision of . This speech is the basis for ', the standard spoken language used in mainland China and , and one of the four official languages of . Rural areas of Beijing Municipality have akin to those of Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing Municipality. Beijing or is a traditional form of Chinese theater well known throughout the nation. Commonly lauded as one of the highest achievements of , 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. is the local style of cooking. is perhaps the best known dish. , a traditional Beijing snack food, is a pancake (''bing'') resembling a flat disk with a filling made from ', a fungus used in traditional . s are also common in Beijing. The (or ''Jingtailan'', literally "Blue of ") 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 is also well known for its sophisticated and intricate 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. Today, , and are Beijing's nightlife hotspots. In 2012 Beijing was named as City of Design and became part of the .
Places of interestAt the historical heart of Beijing lies the , 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 , , , and . These places, particularly Beihai Park, are described as masterpieces of ing art, and are tourist destinations of 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 and the State Council. From Tiananmen Square, right across from the Forbidden City, there are several notable sites, such as the Tiananmen, , the , the , the , and the . The and the both lie at the western part of the city; the former, a , contains a comprehensive collection of imperial gardens and palaces that served as the summer retreats for the Qing imperial family. Among the best known religious sites in the city is the (''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 (''Ditan''), while the (''Ritan'') and the (''Yuetan'') lie in the eastern and western urban areas respectively. Other well-known temple sites include the , , , , , , and . The city also has its own , and a or Imperial Academy. The , built in 1605, is the oldest Catholic church in Beijing. The 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 , which was built during the Liao dynasty from 1100 to 1120, and the , which was built in 1576 during the Ming dynasty. Historically noteworthy stone bridges include the 12th-century , the 17th-century bridge, and the 18th-century . The displays pre-telescopic spheres dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The (''Xiangshan'') is a public park that consists of natural landscaped areas as well as traditional and cultural relics. The exhibits over 6,000 species of plants, including a variety of trees, bushes and flowers, and an extensive garden. The , , , , and parks are some of the notable recreational parks in the city. The is a center of zoological research that also contains rare animals from various continents, including the Chinese . There are 144 museums and galleries () in the city. In addition to the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City and the National Museum of China, other major museums include the , the , the , the , the , the and the . Located at the outskirts of urban Beijing, but within its municipality are the , the lavish and elaborate burial sites of thirteen Ming emperors, which have been designated as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site . The archaeological site at is another World Heritage Site within the municipality, containing a wealth of discoveries, among them one of the first specimens of ' and an assemblage of bones of the gigantic '' brevirostris''. There are several sections of the UNESCO World Heritage Site , most notably , , and .
ReligionThe religious heritage of Beijing is rich and diverse as , , , , and all have significant historical presence in the city. As the national capital, the city also hosts the 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.China General Social Survey (CGSS) 2009. Report by
Chinese folk religion and TaoismBeijing has many temples dedicated to , many of which are being reconstructed or refurbished in the 2000s and 2010s. Yearly sacrifices to the () at the have been resumed by groups in the 2010s. There are temples dedicated to the worship of the Goddess () in the city, one of them near the , and they revolve around a major cult center at . There are also many temples consecrated to the , to the Medicine Master (), to , to the Fire God (), to the , temples of the , and at least one temple consecrated to the of the () in . Many of these temples are governed by the Beijing Taoist Association, such as the , 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 . The national and Chinese Taoist College have their headquarters at the of , which was founded in 741 and rebuilt numerous times. The outside Chaoyangmen is the largest temple of in the city. The local Beijing Taoist Association has its headquarters at the near Fuxingmen.
East Asian Buddhism11% of the population of Beijing practices . The , the state's supervisory organ overseeing all institutions in mainland China, is headquartered in the , a temple founded over 800 years ago during the in what is now nei (). The Beijing Buddhist Association along with the Buddhist Choir and Orchestra are based in the , which dates to the Yuan dynasty over 700 years ago. The Buddhist Academy of China and its library are housed in the near . The Fayuan Temple, which dates to the 1300 years ago, is the oldest temple in urban Beijing. The inside is the city's only Buddhist nunnery. The originally dates to the . In 1651, the temple was commissioned by the to host the visit of the to Beijing. Since then, this temple has hosted the as well as the , and s. The largest Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Beijing is the , which was decreed by the in 1744 to serve as the residence and research facility for his Buddhist preceptor of the third (or living Buddha of ). The Yonghe Temple is so-named because it was the childhood residence of the , and retains the reserved for imperial palaces. The of in the also dates to the Tang dynasty. The temple's Zhaoxian Pagoda () was first built in 1071 during the Liao dynasty to hold a tooth relic of the . The pagoda was destroyed during the and the tooth was discovered from its foundation. A new pagoda was built in 1964. The six aforementioned temples: Guangji, Guanghua, Tongjiao, Xihuang, Yonghe and Lingguang have been designated . In addition, other notable temples in Beijing include the (founded in the is the oldest in the municipality), the (oldest pagoda in the city), the (famed for -era white pagoda), the (home to the ) and the (Dazhong Temple).
IslamBeijing has about 70 mosques recognized by the , whose headquarters are located next to the , the oldest mosque in the city. The Niujie Mosque was founded in 996 during the Liao dynasty and is frequently visited by Muslim dignitaries. The largest mosque in Beijing is ChangYing mosque, located in ChaoYang district, with an area of 8,400 square meters. Other notable mosques in the old city include the , 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, , Tongzhou, Changping, Changying, Shijingshan and Miyun. The China Islamic Institute is located in the Niujie neighborhood in Xicheng District.
CatholicismIn 1289, came to Beijing as a missionary with the order from the Pope. After meeting and receiving the support of in 1293, he built the first Catholic church in Beijing in 1305. The (CPCA), based in is the government oversight body for Catholics in mainland China. Notable Catholic churches in Beijing include: * the Nantang or also known as the Xuanwumen Church, which was founded in 1605 and whose current archbishop, , is one of the few bishops in China to have the support of both the Vatican and the CPCA. * the Dongtang or , better known as the Wangfujing Church, founded in 1653. * the Beitang or , also known as the Xishiku Church, founded in 1703. * the Xitang or also known as the Xizhimen Church, founded in 1723. The National Seminary of Catholic Church in China is located in Daxing District.
ProtestantismThe earliest Protestant churches in Beijing were founded by 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 and afterwards rebuilt. In 1958, the 64 Protestant churches in the city are reorganized into four and overseen by the state through the .
Eastern OrthodoxThere was a significant amount of Orthodox Christians in Beijing. Orthodox has come to Beijing along with from in the 17th century. In 1956, Viktor, the bishop of Beijing returned to the Soviet Union, and the Soviet embassy took over the old cathedral and demolished it. In 2007, the Russian embassy built a new church in its garden to serve the Russian Orthodox Christians in Beijing.
Television and radiobroadcasts on channels 1 through 10, and , 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 on FM 91.5, and the newly launched ''Radio 774'' on AM 774. is the family of radio stations serving the city.
PressThe well-known ', covering news about Beijing in Chinese, is distributed every afternoon. Other newspapers include ', ', the ', the ''Beijing Morning News'', and the ', as well as English-language weeklies ''Beijing Weekend'' and '. The ', ' and the ' (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'', ', ', ''Beijing Talk'', ', and '.
EventsBeijing has hosted numerous international and national sporting events, the most notable was the and Games. Other international events held in Beijing include the 2001 and the . Single-sport international competitions include the (annually since 1981), (1993–97, annually since 2004), (, , , , and ), (annually since 2005), (since ), 1961 , , the (football), and (football). Beijing hosted the . Beijing's is one of the main venues for the . The city hosted the second in 1914 and the first four in 1959, 1965, 1975, 1979, respectively, and co-hosted the 1993 National Games with and . Beijing also hosted the inaugural in 1988 and the sixth National Minority Games in 1999. In November 2013, Beijing made a to host the . On 31 July 2015, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics to the city becoming the first ever to host both Summer and Winter Olympics also for the becoming the first ever to host both Summer and Winter Paralympics.
VenuesMajor sporting venues in the city include the , also known as the "Birds' Nest", , also known as the "Water Cube", , all in the to the north of downtown; the at west of downtown; the and in just east of downtown and the in Baishiqiao, northeast of downtown. In addition, many universities in the city have their own sport facilities.
ClubsProfessional sports teams based in Beijing include: * ** * ** ** * ** Beijing Shougang * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** The of the , formerly a team, kept their name and maintained a roster of primarily Chinese players after moving to in 2005. is based in Beijing, one of several cities in which the potential for development is explored.
TransportationBeijing is an important in with six , 1167 km (725 miles) of expressways, 15 National Highways, nine conventional railways, and six high-speed railways converging on the city.
Rail and high-speed railBeijing serves as a large rail hub in . Ten conventional rail lines radiate from the city to: , , , (including ), , , , and . In addition, the passes through the municipality to the north of the city. Beijing also has six lines: the , which opened in 2008; the , which opened in 2011; the , which opened in 2012; and the and the , both of which opened in 2019. The was completed in 2021. The city's main railway stations are the , which opened in 1959; the , which opened in 1996; and the , which was rebuilt into the city's high-speed railway station in 2008; The , was first built in 1905 and expanded in 2009; The , was first built in 1905 and expanded in 2019;The opened in 2021;The is under renovation; and the is under construction. Smaller stations in the city including and handle mainly commuter passenger traffic. In outlying suburbs and counties of Beijing, there are over 40 railway stations. From Beijing, is available to most large cities in China. International train service is available to , Russia, and . Passenger trains in China are numbered according to their in relation to Beijing.
Roads and expresswaysBeijing is connected by road links to all parts of China as part of the National Trunk Road Network. Many serve Beijing, as do 15 s. Beijing's urban transport is dependent upon the "" that concentrically surround the city, with the 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 is located in the inner city. Ring roads tend to resemble progressively as they extend outwards, with the and s being full-standard national expressways, linked to other roads only by interchanges. Expressways to other regions of China are generally accessible from the outward. A final outer orbital, the , was fully opened in 2018 and will extend into neighboring and . 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 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. More restrictive measures are also reserved during major events or heavily polluted weather. Road signs began to be standardized with both Chinese and English names displayed, with location names using pinyin, in 2008.
Beijing Capital International AirportBeijing has two of the world's largest airports. The (: PEK) located northeast of the city center in bordering , is the after 's . Capital Airport's Terminal 3, built during the expansion for the 2008 Olympics, is one of the largest in the world. Capital Airport is the main hub for and . The and , connect to Capital Airport from the northeast and east of the city center, respectively. Driving time from city center is about 40 minutes under normal traffic conditions. The line of and the serves the Capital Airport.
Beijing Daxing International AirportThe (IATA: PKX) located south of the city in bordering the city of , , opened on 25 September 2019. The Daxing Airport has one of the world's largest terminal buildings and is expected to be a major airport serving Beijing, Tianjin and northern Hebei Province. Daxing Airport is connected to the city via the , the line of the Beijing Subway and two expressways.
Other airportsWith the opening of the Daxing Airport in September 2019, the (IATA:NAY), located south of center in , has been closed to civilian airline service. Other airports in the city at Liangxiang, Xijiao, Shahe and Badaling are primarily for military use.
Visa requirements for air passengers, 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 (except Norway and Liechtenstein), Switzerland, Brazil, Argentina and 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 72-hour Visa-free" ChinaTour.Net
Public transitThe , which began operating in 1969, now has 23 lines, 404 , and of . It is the and with 3.66 billion rides delivered in 2016. In 2013, with a flat fare of 2.00 (0.31 ) per ride with unlimited transfers on all lines except the , the subway was also the most affordable . The subway is undergoing rapid expansion and is expected to reach 30 lines, 450 stations, in length by 2022. When fully implemented, 95% of residents inside the will be able to walk to a station in 15 minutes. The 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 . Under the new system a trip under 6 will cost 3.00(US$0.49), an additional 1.00 will be added for the next and the next until the distance for the trip reaches . For every after the original an additional 1.00 is added. For example, a trip would cost 8.00. There are nearly 1,000 and lines in the city, including four lines. Standard bus fares are as low as ¥1.00 when purchased with the ' metrocard.
TaxiMetered in Beijing start at ¥13 for the first , ¥2.3 per additional 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 . Most taxis are s, s, s, s and s. After , 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 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.
BicyclesBeijing 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. Many cyclists can be seen on most roads in the city, and most of the main roads have dedicated . Beijing is relatively flat, which makes cycling convenient. The rise of and , 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. On Mar 30, 2019, a 6.5 km (4 mile) bicycle-dedicated lane was opened, easing the traffic congestion between and where there are many high-tech companies. Cycling has seen a resurgence in popularity spurred by the emergence of a large number of dockless app based such as , and since 2016.
Defense and aerospaceThe command headquarters of China's military forces are based in Beijing. The , the political organ in charge of the military, is housed inside the , located next to the in western Beijing. The , which controls the country's and nuclear weapons, has its command in , Haidian District. The headquarters of the , one of five nationally, is based further west in Gaojing. The CTR oversees the Beijing Capital Garrison as well as the , and , which are based in Hebei. Military institutions in Beijing also include academies and thinktanks such as the and , military hospitals such as the , and the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, and army-affiliated cultural entities such as 1 August Film Studios and the . The , which oversees country's , and several space-related state owned companies such as and are all based in Beijing. The , in Haidian District tracks the country's and unmanned flight and other space exploration initiatives.
Nature and wildlifeBeijing Municipality has 20 nature reserves that have a total area of . The mountains to the west and north of the city are home to a number of protected wildlife species including , , , , , , , , , , , and . The Beijing Aquatic Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center protects the , and on the Huaijiu and Huaisha Rivers in . The south of the city is home to one of the largest herds of , now extinct in the wild. The , a species of discovered in caves of in 2001 and identified as a distinct species in 2007, is to Beijing. The mountains of Fangshan are also habitat for the more common , , and . Each year, Beijing hosts 200–300 species of including the , , , , and the endangered . 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 , and . 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 , , , and were handed to the Beijing Wildlife Protection and Rescue Center for repatriation to the wild. The city flowers are the and . The city trees are the , an evergreen in the and the , also called the Chinese scholar tree, a tree of the family . The oldest scholar tree in the city was planted in what is now during the ,.
International RelationsThe capital is the home of the , a that aims to improve economic and social outcomes in and the , an investment fund of the Chinese government to foster increased investment and provide financial supports in countries along the . Beijing is also home to the headquarters of the , making it an important city for .
Twin towns and sister citiesBeijing is with the following regions, cities, and counties: * , Ethiopia * , Turkey * , Greece * , Thailand * , Germany * , Belgium * , Romania * , Hungary * , Argentina * , Egypt * , Australia * , Germany * , Denmark * , India * , Qatar * , Ireland * , Vietnam * , Cuba * , France * , Pakistan * , Indonesia * , South Africa * , Ukraine * , Peru * , England, United Kingdom * , Philippines * , Belarus * , Mexico * , Russia * , Australia * , United States * , Kazakhstan * , Canada * , Cambodia * , Latvia * , Brazil * , Costa Rica * , Chile * , South Korea * , Estonia * , Iran * , Israel * , Albania * , Japan * , Mongolia * , Laos * , United States * , New Zealand
Foreign Embassies and ConsulatesIn 2019, China had the largest diplomatic network in the world. hosts a in its capital city of Beijing. At present, the capital of Beijing hosts 172 embassies, 1 consulate and 3 representatives, excluding and trade office.
Representative Offices and Delegations(Representative Office) (Representative Office) ()
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Further reading* * * * (Print & eBook). *