Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the country's center for politics, culture, international exchanges and technological innovation. Situated in the north of the North China Plain, Beijing (39°56'N 116°20'E) is surrounded by mountains on three sides and enjoys four distinct seasons. The Municipality covers an area of 16,410.54 km2, with 16 districts and counties. By the end of 2013, its permanent population reached 21,148,000, representing all the 56 ethnic groups in China.

As a world-famous historical and cultural city, Beijing boasts a history of over 3,000 years as an established city and 860 years as the capital of China. It is home to numerous historical sites and cultural landmarks, including the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Ming Tombs and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, all of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritages. Traditional local art performances and crafts, such as Peking Opera and Cloisonné, are also renowned throughout the world.



Welcome to Beijing, one of the leading capitals of the world and the host of the 2008 Olympics. With a history that is more than 3000 years, Beijing is an amazing mix of old and new. For centuries Beijing has been the centre for cultural and business activities and is today beyond doubt a truly world class and international city.



The vast Chinese economy has developed in fits and starts since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. Its basic structure is mostly that of a developing country, with the majority of the population employed on the land. However, there is a significant industrial base and expanding pockets of advanced manufacturing and technological enterprises, including a space programme.



CLIMATE & TEMPERATURE Beijing has a temperate, semi-humid continental climate, characterized by short springs and autumns, hot and rainy summers, along with cold and dry winters. The average annual temperature range is 10°C to 12°C, with average low temperatures ranging from -7°C to 4°C in January; and an average high temperature of 25°C to 26°C in July, but the temperature can drop to as low as -27.4°C in the winter and soar to 42°C in the summer. There are about 180-200 frost-free days each year and 75 percent of the municipality's annual precipitation occurs in the summer, usually with rainstorms in July and August.
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION Beijing is located 39.56 degrees north latitude and 116.2 degrees east longitude. Covering an area of 16,807.8 square kilometers, Beijing lies on the north end of the North China Plain that is surrounded by mountains to its west, north and northeast. To its southeast is a plain that slopes gradually to Bohai Sea.
RELIGION China is a country with religious freedom and respects every religion. Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Christianity are religions found in Beijing. Religious activities are carried out in Buddhist temples, Taoist temples, mosques and churches in Beijing. The most well known of these are: Catholic East Church, Catholic South Church, Gangwa City Christian Church, Chongwenmen Christian Church, Niujie Street Mosque, Dongsi Mosque, Guangji Temple, Guanghua Temple, Baiyun Taoist Temple and Yonghegong Lamasery.
TRANSPORTATION Beijing is a transportation hub and has a well laid out network of roads, railways and a major airport. Commuting in Beijing should be the least bothersome issue in a visitors mind. The city has convenient transportation links, extending in all directions. The well laid out rail and road network enables one to have a pleasant journey at Beijing.
POPULATION By 2011, Beijing had a population of 20.186 million residents, including 12.779 million permanently registered residents. People from all of China's 56 ethnic groups reside in the city. Most hail from the Han ethnic group. The main religions practiced by residents are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and Christianity, along with various sects of each religion.
DISTRICTS There are 16 districts under Beijing's administration: Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai, Shijingshan, Mentougou, Tongzhou, Shunyi, Daxing, Pinggu, Fangshan, Changping and Huairou, Miyun and Yanqing districts.
CITY TREES & FLOWERS The city trees of Beijing are the Chinese scholar tree and arborvitae; its city flowers are the China rose and chrysanthemum.
TIME ZONE Beijing is located in Greenwich Mean Time Zone +8:00; China's country telephone code is 86 and Beijing's city telephone code is 010.
LANGUAGE Mandarin Chinese is the country's official language.