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About Beijing

Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China, not only in terms of politics, but Beijing is seen as China’s cultural and educational capital as well.  Beijing has a history of over 3,000 years. Since the fourteenth century, the city is one of the four ancient capitals and its name means Northern Capital.

On 1 October 1949 Mao Zedong announced the creation of the People’s Republic of China from Tian’anmen, the Gate of Heavenly Peace is one of the main entrances to the Forbidden City. In the fifties, Beijing started to expand rapidly and heavy industries surrounded the old city. In 1966, as the Cultural Revolution kicked off, all city schools were shut down. Beijing was also the place where the Cultural Revolution came to an end, after a large protest against the Gang of Four.

The city is build up in several rings, with the Forbidden City in its centre. The 2nd Ring Road was completed in 1981 and today the 6th  Ring Roads is completed. This rapid urbanization has had a large impact on the life of Beijing’s residents. The heavy air pollution is one of the most pressing issues for the local administration.

All in all offers Beijing an insight in the old China, but also shows the huge developments of the last decades. 

Summers in Beijing are hot and humid, due to the East Asian monsoon. Winters are cold, windy and dryer. Beijing is also known for its poor air quality.

Interesting Facts

  • About 10% of Beijing’s population has the surname ‘Wang’.
  • There are over 13 million bicycles in Beijing!
  • Beijing truly has a long history: Homo erectus fossils, that are over 230,000 years old have been found in cages near the city.

Top three activities

  • Visit the Great Wall of China, one of the seven world wonders and the only human structure that can be seen from out of space.
  • The Forbidden City was home to the Chinese emperors for almost 500 years. It’s construction began in 1406 and required over one million workers, who worked on the structure for 14 year.
  • Don’t miss the Bird’s nest and the other impressive structures that were built for the 2008 Olympics. 

Facts about Beijing

Population       21,150,000
Size (km²) 1,368
Life expectancy76 years
GDP per capita$15,373

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