Introduction: Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China, is the nation's political and cultural center. It is an independently administered municipal district.
Area: 750 sq. km (290 sq. mi) province: 16,800 sq km (6552 sq mi)
Country: People's Republic of China
Nationality: 95% Han Chinese
Main language: Mandarin (putonghua)
Time zone: GMT/UTC +8
Telephone area code: 010
The Forbidden is located in the center of the city and was surrounded by a chessboard of roads, including five 'ring roads', which circle the city center in concentric circles. The First Ring Rd is a mapmaker's fiction and just part of the grid around the Forbidden City. However, the Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth (opened in 2002) are multi-lane freeways.
Beijing is situated at 40 degrees north latitude and 116 degrees east longitude. It is 43 metres above sea level and 183 kilometres from the sea. Beijing covers an area of 16,800 square kilometres, 38% of it is flat land and 62% mountains.
Beijing has a whole area of 16808 sq km (about 6500 sq mi), stretching 160 kilometres from east to west and over 180 kilometres north to south. She has 18 districts and counties with Dongcheng, Xicheng, Xuanwu, Chongwen, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan in the surburbs and Fangshan, Mengtougou, Changping, Tongxian, Shunyi, Daxing, Huairou, Miyun, Pinggu and Yianqing in the outer suburbs. Population in Beijing is about 12 million.
Beijing has a continental climate. Annual rainfall averages nearly 700 millimetres, most of it comes in July and August. Winter is dry and cold and has little snow, The frost-free period is 185 days. The best time to visit Beijing is May, September and October, when people enjoy bright sunny sky.
Some 690,000 years ago, Peking Man lived at Zhoukoudian, 48 kilometres southwest of Beijing.
A small town appeared on the present site of southwestern Beijing in 1045 B. C. It was named Ji and then changed to Yan. At the beginning of the 10th century, it was the second capital of the Liao Dynasty. From then on, the city had been the capital of the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties until 1911.
In the early twenties, Beijing became the cradle of China's new democratic revolution. The May Fourth Movement against imperialism and feudalism began here in 1919.
On October Ist, 1949, Chairman Mao proclaimed to the whole world the founding of the People's Republic of China.