General Information of Beijing

 

Beijing General Information



History

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.

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Orientation

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 Mongolian nationalities.

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 stood.

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 begin.

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.

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Climate

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. The average temperatures of the hottest month, July and the coldest month January range from 27 and -4.6. 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. 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 winter.

Bilingual weather information can be obtained if you dial 121 in Beijing.

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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:

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Tourism

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 civilization.

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 Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Badaling Great Wall, Beihai Park, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Fragrant Hill, Shidu Scenic Spot, Relics of Primitive at Zhoukoudian, Longqing Gorge, Big Bell Temple, White Dragon Pond, Ming Tombs, Lugou Bridge, 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 nation.

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