Beijing General Information
Beijing is a world-famous city
for its long history and splendid culture. According to archaeological
discoveries, more than seven hundred thousand years ago, there were primitive
people (Beijing Ren) in this area. The written records show that in 350 BC, it
was occupied and made the capital of Ji. Later in its history it got other
names such as Zhuojun during the Sui Dynasty (581-618), Youzhou during the
Tang Dynasty (618-907), Nanjing and Yanjing during the Five Dynasties and the
Liao Dynasty (907-1125), Zhongdu during the Jin Period (1115-1234), Dadu
during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), Beiping and Beijing during the Ming
Dynasty (1368-1644), Beijing during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Beiping
again under the control of Nationalist Party (1912-1949) and it finally was
named Beijing after the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949.
In the year 1272, Beijing became
the Capital of a unified country for the first time in the Yuan Dynasty
(1206-1368), which was written in the Travels of Marco Polo.
In fact, Beijing has been the
Capital of Jin, Yuan, Ming, Qing and Republic of China and today it still is
the center of national politics, economics, culture, transportation and tourism.
Now Beijing is undergoing big
changes and heading for modernization as ancient civilization meets with
modern achievements of the whole world, creating youthful vigor and energy.
With a total area of 16,800 sq. kilometers, Beijing Municipality is roughly the size of Belgium.
Beijing has 10.6 million permanent residents. The transient population is over 3 million.
The permanent residents of Beijing come from all of China's 56 ethnic groups. The Han nationality
accounts for 96.5% of the total. The other 55 ethnic minorities claim a
population of more than 300,000, most of them are from Hui, Manchu, and
Though it may not appear so to the
visitor in the shambles of arrival, Beijing is a city of very orderly design.
Think of the city as one giant grid, with the Forbidden City at its centre. As
for the street names: Chongwen-menwai Dajie mean's ' the avenue ( dajie)
outside ( wai) Chongwen Gate ( Chongwenmen)', whereas Chongwenmennei Dajie (
that is, inside the old wall). It's an academic exercise since the gate and
the wall in question no longer exists.
A major boulevard can change names six
or eight times along its length. Streets and points: Dong Dajie (East Avenue),
Xi Dajie (West Avenue), Bei Dajie (North Avenue) and Nan Dajie (South Avenue).
All these streets head off from an intersection, usually where a gate once
Officially, there are four ' ring
roads' around Beijing, circumnavigating the city centre in four concentric
rinds. A fifth ring road exists on paper, but construction has yet to
In China, Beijing is one of the four municipalities directly under the central government.
There are ten districts and
eight counties under the jurisdictive of Beijing. There are Dongcheng,
Xicheng, Chongwen, Xuanwu,Chaoyang,Haidian, Fengtai, Shijingshan, Mentougou
and Fangshan Districts, as well as Changping.Shunyi, Tongxian, Daxing, Pingnu,
Huairou,Miyun and Yangqing counties.
Beijing lies in the continental
monsoon region in the warm temperature zone and its climate represents as hot
and rainy in summer and cold and dry in winter.
Beijing enjoys a moderate continental climate. The average yearly rainfall is about 600 to 700 millimeters.
Much of it falls in the late June, July and August. Spring in Beijing is dry and dusty, summer rainy, winter long, sunny and dry.
The best season to visit Beijing, as many other parts of China, is autumn.
The four seasons in Beijing are
distinct. It is dry, windy and sandy in spring and hot and rainy in summer.
Autumn is the best season in a year when the sky is blue; the air is crisp,
mild and humid. However, winter is cold and dry with little snow. The average
temperature throughout a year is 11.7¡æ. The average temperatures of the
hottest month, July and the coldest month January range from 27¡æ and -4.6¡æ.
The shorter seasons, spring (usually from February to April) and autumn
(usually from August to October) are better seasons for visiting Beijing when
it is sunny and warm with few tourists crowding in the attractions.
If you come to Beijing in
spring, you could wear a thin sweater, a pair of sweat pants, and a coat. But
sometimes it may be a good idea to bring a warm cap because it is windy and
sandy during this period though it is not cold. In summer the temperature
could reach as high as 30¡æ. When you go out, you could take an umbrella along
with you if it doesn't bother you much, because a downpour may come
unexpectedly at evenings from July to August. Autumn is the most beautiful
season, but after October you may feel the constant changes of the weather and
you may encounter light rains at any moment. So it is better to bring some
heavy clothes with you. In winter, you need a heavy woolen sweater, and a long
wind coat or a down jacket. Generally there will be two or three heavy
snowfalls each winter, so it is always wise for you to have anti-skidding
shoes with you when you come. Lastly, don't wear light-color clothes in
Bilingual weather information can be obtained if you dial 121 in Beijing.
Unique Overall Advantages
On February 27, 1995, the
State Council formally granted Beijing the privilege of enjoy all the
preferential policies given to open coastal cities. Beijing enjoys the
following unique advantages and preferential conditions:
As China's political and
cultural center, Beijing is very influential politically, economically and
socially. It is here that the central government, and all ministries,
departments and offices of the State Council exert their management power.
It is also here that China conducts high-level political, economic, science
and technological, and cultural exchanges with other countries of the world.
To date, some 160 countries have set up embassies in Beijing. In addition,
the city has established the relationship of sister cities with 22 foreign
Beijing is one of the
Chinese cities that enjoy outstanding geographical advantages in the wave of
regional development. The pan-Bohai-Sea economic ring, consisting of the
Liaoding Peninsula, the Shandong Peninsula, and Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei
Province, boasts a solid industrial foundation, is rich in tourist
resources, and has a dense population and huge market potential. It's bound
to become the most active and influential area in China's future economic
development. As a major metropolis in this economic ring, Beijing will act
according to the overall planning of the State Council and unite with other
provinces and cities in the ring to make due contributions to the country's
Beijing is also a
Chinese city that attracts large amounts of investment from transnational
corporations. In the recent years, more and more transnational groups are
choosing Beijing as the destination to establish Sino-foreign contractual
joint ventures or their regional headquarters. Of the 270 transnational and
corporations that have
invested in Beijing, 126 of them are among the world's top 500 industrial
giants or service companies. So far, these companies have registered 5,600
representative offices in Beijing, representing more than 80 countries and
regions, which is a first in China. All these have laid a solid foundation
for the city's further opening up to the outside world.
Beijing abounds in
tourism resources. The Capital International Airport, with 69 international
air routes opened, connecting 56 large cities in 36 countries and regions,
is a transition point and communications hub of the country. In 1995, the
passenger volume of the airport was 15.04 million person times. Once the
expansion project now underway is completed, the annual passenger volume of
the airport will soar to 35 million. Beijing is known to the world for its
rich tourism resources. In 1995, the city received 2.07 million overseas
tourists, recouping a foreign exchange income of US$ 2.1 billion. The
hosting of international meetings like the Fourth World Conference on Women
has effectively raised Beijing's image and promoted the growth of the city's
Of all Chinese cities,
Beijing boasts the most advanced infrastructure facilities. The city owns
nearly 12,000 kilometers per square kilometer. In the city proper, there are
180 fly over and the Second Ring Road and the Third Ring Road have been
built into non-stop highways. The Beijing-Tianjin Expressway has cut down
the trip from Beijing to Tanggu Port to only 90 minutes. The recently
completed Beijing West Railway Station is reportedly the largest of its kind
in Asia. Everything said, Beijing has become a central point for
international post and telecommunications. Today, international calls can be
made here to more than 127 countries and regions worldwide. In addition, on
May 8, 1996, Beijing's telephones were upgraded from seven digits to eight.
In terms of green coverage, the coverage rate is now 32.42%, with the
per-capita greenland ownership up to 7.08 square meters. All forestry
indexes have risen up to international standards.
Beijing had been the Capital of
four Dynasties before the founding of PRC. Its Great Wall, splendid palaces,
beautiful gardens, old temples, a considerable variety of exhibitions and
museums and former residences of celebrities show its glorious history and
Today more than two hundred and
sixty places of interest have been opened to the public with new ones under
building and planning. Besides these places of interest, the natural scenery
of Beijing's suburbs also attracts great many visitors with its charms, hills,
lakes, hot springs, karst caves and so forth.
In 1986 sixteen famous scenic
spots of Beijing were picked from forty spots and were named "the Sixteen
Sights of Beijing". They are
Badaling Great Wall,
Temple of Heaven,
Fragrant Hill, Shidu Scenic Spot, Relics of Primitive at Zhoukoudian, Longqing Gorge, Big Bell Temple, White Dragon Pond,
Mutianyu Great Wall and
Grand View Garden.
The Capital Airport, the largest and most advanced one in China, has more than twenty international airlines
connecting countries in Asia, Africa, America, Europe and Oceania. It has over
thirty airlines connecting about eighty big cities within the country.
Meanwhile, it is the center of highway-net and communication.
There are more than two hundred
star hotels in the city supplying more than fifty two thousand rooms. There
are about three hundred travel agencies around here.
Beijing is not only a
world-famous city for its tourism but also a good medium for you to know more
about China, a time-honored country, and the Chinese, a diligent and wise
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