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Beijing

北京市

Peking
Location of Beijing Municipality within China/ˌbˈɪŋ/ BAY-JING[10][11] Mandarin pronunciation: [pèi.tɕíŋ] (About this soundlisten)), alternatively romanized as Peking[12] (/ˌpˈkɪŋ/ PEY-KING),[11] is the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is the world's most populous capital city, with over 21 million residents within an administrative area of 16,410.5 km2.[4] The city, located in Northern China, is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of the State Council with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts.[13] Beijing is mostly surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin to the southeast; together, the three divisions form the Jingjinji megalopolis and the national capital region of China.[14]

Beijing is a global city, and one of the world's leading centers for culture, diplomacy and politics, business and economy, education, language, and science and technology. A megacity, Beijing is the second-largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation's cultural, educational, and political center.[15] It is home to the headquarters of most of China's largest state-owned companies and houses the largest number of Fortune Global 500 companies in the world, as well as the world's four biggest financial institutions.[16][17] Beijing has also been described as the "billionaire capital of the world" after overtaking New York City.[18][19] It is also a major hub for the national highway, expressway, railway, and high-speed rail networks. The Beijing Capital International Airport has been the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic since 2010,[20] and, as of 2016, the city's subway network is the busiest and longest in the world. The Beijing Daxing International Airport, a second international airport in Beijing, is the largest single-structure airport terminal in the world.[21][22]

Combining both modern and traditional architecture, Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a rich history dating back three millennia. As the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for most of the past eight centuries,[23] and was the largest city in the world by population for much of the second millennium AD.[24] 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. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls and gates.[25] It has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites—the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, and parts of the Great Wall and the Grand Canal—all of which are tourist locations.[26] Siheyuans, the city's traditional housing style, and hutongs, the narrow alleys between siheyuans, are major tourist attractions and are common in urban Beijing.

Many of Beijing's 91 universities[27] consistently rank among the best in Asia and the world[28][29] Beijing is home to the two best universities (Tsinghua and Peking) in Asia Pacific and emerging countries, claiming the top 2 spots in the THE Asia University Rankings,[30] and the THE Emerging Economies Rankings.[31] Beijing CBD is a center for Beijing's economic expansion, with the ongoing or recently completed construction of multiple skyscrapers. Beijing's Zhongguancun area is known as China's Silicon Valley and is a center of scientific and technological innovation as well as entrepreneurship. Beijing is also the top city in the world by scientific research as tracked by the Nature Index for the fifth consecutive year.[32][33][34]

Beijing has hosted numerous international and national sporting events, the most notable was the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2008 Summer Paralympics Games. Beijing will become the first ever to host both the Summer and the Winter Olympics[35] and also become the first ever to host both the Summer and the Winter Paralympics.[36]

Etymology

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 for north and for capital), was applied to the city in 1403 during the Ming dynasty to distinguish the city from Nanjing (the "Southern Capital").[37] The English spelling Beijing is based on the government's official romanization (adopted in the 1980s) 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.[38] Those dialects preserve the Middle Chinese pronunciation of as kjaeng,[39] prior to a phonetic shift in the northern dialects to the modern pronunciation.[40] Although Peking is no longer the common name for the city, some of the city's older locations and facilities, such as Beijing Capital International Airport, with IATA Code PEK, and Peking University, still use the former romanization.

The single Chinese character abbreviation for Beijing is , which appears on automobile license plates in the city. The official Latin alphabet abbreviation for Beijing is "BJ".[41]

History

Early history

The earliest traces of human habitation in the Peking municipality were found in the caves of 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. Paleolithic Homo sapiens also lived there more recently, about 27,000 years ago.[42] Archaeologists have found neolithic settlements throughout the municipality, including in Wangfujing, located in central Peking.

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.[43] This settlement was later conquered by the state of Yan and made its capital.[44]

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.[1] During the Three Kingdoms period, it was held by Gongsun Zan and Yuan Shao before falling to the Wei Kingdom of Cao Cao. The AD 3rd-century Western Jin demoted the town, placing the prefectural seat in neighboring Zhuozhou.

During the Sixteen Kingdoms period wh

Beijing is a global city, and one of the world's leading centers for culture, diplomacy and politics, business and economy, education, language, and science and technology. A megacity, Beijing is the second-largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation's cultural, educational, and political center.[15] It is home to the headquarters of most of China's largest state-owned companies and houses the largest number of Fortune Global 500 companies in the world, as well as the world's four biggest financial institutions.[16][17] Beijing has also been described as the "billionaire capital of the world" after overtaking New York City.[18][19] It is also a major hub for the national highway, expressway, railway, and high-speed rail networks. The Beijing Capital International Airport has been the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic since 2010,[20] and, as of 2016, the city's subway network is the busiest and longest in the world. The Beijing Daxing International Airport, a second international airport in Beijing, is the largest single-structure airport terminal in the world.[21][22]

Combining both modern and traditional architecture, Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a rich history dating back three millennia. As the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for most of the past eight centuries,[23] and was the largest city in the world by population for much of the second millennium AD.[24] 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. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls and gates.[25] It has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites—the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, and parts of the Great Wall and the Grand Canal—all of which are tourist locations.[26] Siheyuans, the city's traditional housing style, and hutongs, the narrow alleys between siheyuans, are major tourist attractions and are common in urban Beijing.

Many of Beijing's 91 universities[27] consistently rank among the best in Asia and the world[28][29] Beijing is home to the two best universities (Tsinghua and Peking) in Asia Pacific and emerging countries, claiming the top 2 spots in the THE Asia University Rankings,[30] and the THE Emerging Economies Rankings.[31] Beijing CBD is a center for Beijing's economic expansion, with the ongoing or recently completed construction of multiple skyscrapers. Beijing's Zhongguancun area is known as China's Silicon Valley and is a center of scientific and technological innovation as well as entrepreneurship. Beijing is also the top city in the world by scientific research as tracked by the Nature Index for the fifth consecutive year.[32][33][34]

Beijing has hosted numerous international and national sporting events, the most notable was the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2008 Summer Paralympics Games. Beijing will become the first ever to host both the Summer and the Winter Olympics[35] and also become the first ever to host both the Summer and the Winter Paralympics.[36]

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 for north and for capital), was applied to the city in 1403 during the Ming dynasty to distinguish the city from Nanjing (the "Southern Capital").[37] The English spelling Beijing is based on the government's official romanization (adopted in the 1980s) 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.[38] Those dialects preserve the Middle Chinese pronunciation of as kjaeng,[39] prior to a phonetic shift in the northern dialects to the modern pronunciation.[40] Although Peking is no longer the common name for the city, some of the city's older locations and facilities, such as Beijing Capital International Airport, with IATA Code PEK, and Peking University, still use the former romanization.

The single Chinese character abbreviation for Beijing is , which appears on automobile license plates in the city. The official Latin alphabet abbreviation for Beijing is "BJ".[41]

History

Early history

The earliest traces of human habitation in the Peking municipality were found in the caves of 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. Paleolithic Homo sapiens also lived there more recently, about 27,000 years ago.[42] Archaeologists have found neolithic settlements throughout the municipality, including in Wangfujing, located in central Peking.

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.[43] This settlement was later conquered by the state of Yan and made its capital.[44]

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.[1] During the Three Kingdoms period, it was held by Gongsun Zan and Yuan Shao before falling to the Wei Kingdom of Cao Cao. The AD 3rd-century Western Jin demoted the town, placing the prefectural seat in neighboring Zhuozhou.

During the Sixteen Kingdoms period when northern China was conquered and divided by the Wu Hu, Jicheng was briefly the capital of the Xianbei Former Yan Kingdom.[45]

After 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 replaced by 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", Shangjing (modern Baarin Left Banner in Inner Mongolia). Some of the oldest surviving structures in Beijing date to the Liao period, including the Tianning Pagoda.

The Liao fell to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1122, which gave the city to the 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.[1] The city was besieged by Genghis Khan's invading Mongolian army in 1213 and razed to the ground two years later.[46] 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,[1][46][47] but greatly enhanced the status of a city on the northern fringe of China proper. The city was centered on the Drum Tower slightly to the north of modern 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.[48]

Ming dynasty

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 municipality. 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 and 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.

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 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.[77] 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 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 CBD.

The sign of Doujiao Hutong, one of the many traditional alleyways in the inner city

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 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,[78] as entire city blocks of hutongs are replaced by high-rise buildings.[79] 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 complai

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 CBD.

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 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,[78] as entire city blocks of hutongs are replaced by high-rise buildings.[79] 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,[80] and these properties are often government owned.[81]

Climate

humid continental climate (Köppen: Dwa), characterized by very hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and brief but cold, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone.[82] Spring can bear witness to sandstorms blowing in from the Gobi Desert across the Mongolian steppe, 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 −2.9 °C (26.8 °F), while in July it is 26.9 °C (80.4 °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).[83][84]