Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and she lies in the north of the North China Plain, at 39.6 N latitude and 116.20 E longitude. Total area of Beijing is : 16,807.8 sq. km. with the population of 15.38 million .
There are 56 ethnic groups in China are found among Beijing residents, including the Han majority and Hui, Manchurian, Mongolian and other minorities.
Temperate semi-humid climate, short spring and autumn,long summer and winter; average temperature: 13 degrees Celsius. Annual rainfall: 539 mm.
According to archaeological findings, present-day Beijing is the site of an ancient city that dates to 475-221 BC. Before that, Beijing was half a million years in the making and began with Peking man in Zhoukoudian, hundreds of thousands of years ago. In 1260, Kublai Khan (AD1215-1294) started to change a frontier-trading city into what was to become Beijing.
The Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644) spent 15 years renovating Beijing as its capital. The rulers of the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644-1911) added to Beijing’s charm by constructing several large royal gardens in the city’s northwest. Since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, Beijing has undergone something of a transformation. Beijing’s successful bid for the 2008 Olympics in 2001 brings its history up to date.
Beijing is one of the four municipalities directly under the central government. It is divided into 16 districts and 2 counties: Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chongwen, Xuanwu, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai, Shijingshan, Mentougou, Fangshan, Tongzhou, Shunyi, Daxing, Pinggu, Changping and Huairou districts, Miyun and Yanqing counties.
As a window for foreign cultural exchanges, Beijing has regular friendly ties with 124 capitals and major cities in 72 countries and has established sister relations with 31 cities in 27 countries. There are 158 foreign embassies, 23 offices of international and regional organizations and 251 offices of foreign news media in Beijing. In addition, over 9,000 foreign representative offices are operating and over 23,000 foreign students are studying in the city.
Main language: Mandarin (putonghua)
Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 8 hours
City flowers: Chinese rose and chrysanthemum
City trees: Oriental arborvitae and cypress.