Beijing, which is also abbreviated as "Jing," is the capital of the People's Republic of China. The political and cultural center of the country, it is also one of the international communication hubs of China. Beijing is located at 39056' N and 116020' E, on the northwest edge of the North China Plain, adjoining Tianjin City to its east and Hebei Province to its north, west and south. The Bohai Sea lies about 150 km to its southeast. Beijing has 16 districts and two counties under its jurisdiction, covering an area of 16,807.8 square kilometers, including 87.1 square kilometers of urban area
Mountains stand in the west, north and northeast of Beijing; the 10,417.5 square kilometers of mountainous areas, with an average elevation of 1,000-1,500 meters, account for 62 percent of its total territory. In its southeast lies the vast North China Plain of 6,390.3 kilometers, with an average altitude of 20-60 meters above sea level. The 2,303-meter-high Mount Lingshan on the border between Beijing and Hebei is the highest peak of the city.
Beijing has a semi-humid climate with clearly cut four seasons: short spring and autumn and long winter and summer. The average annual temperature is 130C (averaging 25.20C in July, the hottest month, and 3.70C in January, the coldest month). The average annual rainfall is 507.7 millimeters and the frost-free period is 180-200 days. The average annual sun radiance is 135 Cal/square centimeter.
Five rivers flow across the city, including Chaobai and Beiyun rivers in its east and the Yongding and Juma rivers in its west. Most of the rivers originate from the city's northwestern mountainous areas and, after winding southeastwards across the plain areas, flow into the Bohai Sea. The 174 km Yongding River running through southwest Beijing is the city's biggest river. Beijing has 30 big and small lakes, including such major ones as Kunming, Yuyuantan, Beihai, Zhonghai, Nanhai, Qianhai, Houhai, Xihai, Longtan, Taoranting and Zizhuyuan. Beijing's surface water totals 2.53 billion cubic meters and its ground water reserve is 2.63 billion cubic meters.
Beijing's mountainous areas produce various minerals such as coal and iron ores as well as building materials such as granite and marble.
Human activities began in the Beijing area some half a million years ago. The recorded history of Beijing as a city can date back to more than 3,000 years ago. In 1271 Kublai Khan renamed the city and decided to build it as the capital of his empire, and since then, Beijing served as a national capital for more than 700 years, being one of China's seven great ancient capitals. In this famed historical and cultural city, cultural heritage sites and scenic spots are found everywhere. Ancient palace groups, temples, parks, ancient pagodas with rock carvings, imperial gardens and tombs, former residences of historic personages throng the city side by side with modern buildings of museums and memorial halls.
Beijing has a total of 7,309 cultural heritage sites, including 42 under state protection and 222 under municipal protection. The Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian are on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Beijing has over 200 scenic spots open to visitors, such as the Forbidden City, the Beihai Park, the Summer Palace, the Ming Tombs (Shisanling), the Temple of Heaven (Tiantan Park), the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, the Great Wall, Yonghegong Lamasery, Tanzhe Temple, Fragrant Hills, the Ruins of the Yuanmingyuan, the Eight Great Sites, Longqing Gorge, Shihua Cave and etc.
There are 456 tourist hotels, including 407 star-rated hotels offering a total of 84,000 guest rooms. Serving travelers to Beijing are 456 travel agencies with 5,000 tour guides speaking 21 major world languages. Beijing is one of the "Excellent Chinese Tourist Cities" awarded by the China National Tourism Administration.
In recent years Beijing has managed to control dust pollution through afforestation and the efforts have proved effective. In 2003, 61.4 percent of the 365 days, or 224 days, had air of grade 2 or better, an increase of 21 days compared with the previous year.
All industrial pollutants reached required standards for environmental protection. Up to 56 percent of the city¡¯s sewage were treated, the daily rate of treatment being 1.6 million tons. A total of 3.6 million tons of urban trash were cleared and removed during the year, up by 12.6 percent compared with the previous year.
Some 13,333 hectares of bare soil in the key sandstorm source regions by Yongding River, Chaobai River, Dasha River, Kangzhuang in Yanqing and Nankou in Changping were afforested. The coverage of trees in the whole city reached 47.5 percent, and 41 percent of the urban and suburban areas have become green. The per capita share of public green areas has topped 10 square meters.
By the end of 2003, Beijing had a stable population of 14.564 million, an increase of 332,000 people from the previous year. The birth rate was 5.1 per thousand and the mortality was 5.2 per thousand.
Population growth rate: -0.1¡ë.
Life expectancy: 76 years.
People of all of China's 56 ethnic groups are found in Beijing. The vast majority, 95.7 percent (13.229 million), of the city¡¯s population belongs to the Han ethnic group. The total population of ethnic minorities is 590,000, with the Hui, Manchu and Mongolian being the major ethnic groups.
In 2003, Beijing had a total of 73 institutes of higher learning. The registered number of college undergraduates was 457,000, and the number of postgraduates reached 120,000. Foreign students in Beijing¡¯s universities amounted to 17,000.
In Beijing at least 99.9 percent of school age children go to school
By the end of 2003, the registered unemployment rate in the city¡¯s urban districts and towns was 1.43 percent, an increase of 0.08 percentage points from the previous year
In 2003, the city¡¯s GDP reached 361.19 billion yuan, which is 10.5 percent higher than that in the preceding year. The per capita GDP reached 31,613 yuan, up by 9.2 percent.
GDP ratio (1st, 2nd and tertiary industries):
In 2003, the first industry created an added value of 9.53 billion yuan, 3.3 percent more than that of the preceding year; the second industry, 129.85 billion yuan, a growth of 11.9 percent; the tertiary industry, 221.82 billion yuan, a growth of 10 percent. The proportion of the three industries is 0.93: 41.7: 57.33
In 2003, the municipal financial revenue was 59.25 billion yuan, an increase of 18.2 percent over the previous year.
Industrial output value:
The city¡¯s industrial production has been growing steadily. In 2003, the city achieved an industrial added value of 101.73 billion yuan, 12 percent over the preceding year. It contributed some 33.2 percent to the city¡¯s economic growth.
In 2003, the city approved a total of 1,360 foreign investment projects which involved US$3.27 billion of contractual value. In spite of a 0.7 percent decrease in the number of foreign investment projects, the contractual value of these projects was up by 16.5 percent from that of the previous year. The foreign direct investment which was materialized during the year stood at US$2.15 billion, up by 19.8 percent.
In 2003, the endowment insurance, medical insurance, unemployment insurance and industrial accident insurance plans covered a population of 4.485 million, 4.361 million, 3.066 million and 2.429 million respectively. They are respectively up by 123,000, 823,000, 71,000 and 219,000 from the previous year.
In 2003, urban residents¡¯ disposable income amounted to 13,882 yuan per head, up by 11.4 percent from 2002, and their per capita expenditure amounted to 11,123 yuan, up by 8.1 percent. Rural residents¡¯ net income was 6,496 yuan per head while their per capita expenditure was 4,655 yuan. These two figures are up by 10.5 percent and 10.7 percent respectively.
Highways and subways:
The city has more than 20,000 km of highways with the nation¡¯s top highway density of over 60 km per 100 square kilometers.
Twelve state highways radiate from the city to other major cities such as Shenyang, Tianjin, Harbin, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Nanjing, Fuzhou and Kunming. The city has six expressways, namely, the Badaling, Capital Airport, Beijing-Shenyang, Beijing-Tianjin-Tanggu, Beijing-Shijiazhuang and Beijing-Zhangjiakou expressways.
The city has an urban highway mileage of 4,125.8 km with a total road surface of 4,921.4 square meters. It has two metro lines with a combined mileage of 54 km
The city¡¯s Capital International Airport has opened over 200 domestic and international air routes to reach most Chinese cities as well as major cities in other countries and regions. The airport handled some 12.455 million person-times in 2003, a drop of 2.5 percent from the preceding year. But its volume of freight transportation increased by 2 percent to reach 467,000 tons