Beijing Is the Official National Capital of the People’s Republic of China. It is the political, educational, and cultural center of China. It is the world’s most populous national capital city, with over 21 million residents. 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 the Bohai Sea.
It is home to the headquarters of most of China’s largest state-owned companies and houses the largest number of Fortune Global 500 companies in the world, as well as the world’s four biggest financial institutions. Beijing is the “billionaire capital of the world” with the highest number of billionaires living in the city.
Fast Historical Facts
Beijing has been the capital of six notable Chinese governments. China has been ruled by Beijing for over 700 years, which is why there are so many historical sites to explore.
- 221 BC: Yan State Capital, Warring States Period
- 1271: first a national capital for the Yuan Dynasty
- 1402: Became Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) capital
- 1644: Qing Dynasty capital
- 1912: Republic of China capital
- October 1, 1949: The people’s Republic of China inaugurated by Mao Zedong
Before settling in on the name “Beijing” in 1403, the city had a series of names: Jicheng (‘City of Ji’), Yanjing (Capital of Yan’), Nanjing (‘Southern Capital’), Zhongdu (‘Central Capital’), Dadu (‘Great Capital’), Beiping (‘Central Peace’), etc. Beijing (‘Northern Capital’) was the 16th name given to the city.
There are 14 districts and two counties under Beijing’s administration: Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai, Shijingshan, Mentougou, Tongzhou, Shunyi, Daxing, Pinggu, Fangshan, Changping and Huairou districts and Miyun and Yanqing counties. 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.
Beijing has 6 airports and the primary airport is the Beijing Capital International Airport about 20 kilometers northeast of the city center. Beijing serves as a large rail focal point in China’s railway network. The city’s main railway stations are the Beijing Railway Station, the Beijing West Railway Station, and the Beijing South Railway Station. The Beijing Subway is the second longest subway system in the world. It features nearly 1,000 public bus and trolleybus lines in the city including four bus rapid transit lines.