Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China, as well as the political, cultural and international exchange center of the country. Located in the north of the North China Plain, Beijing has a temperate semi-moist climate. With a long history, Beijing is one of the famous historical and cultural cities and one of the ancient capitals in the world. As early as 700,000 years ago, “Peking Man” lived in the primitive tribe Zhoukoudian Area near Beijing. Along with the rapid development of the economy and culture, Beijing has been marching towards the world step by step, and is becoming a world-famous modern metropolis.
Before 1949, Beijing was known as Peking by the Western world. After 1949, the city’s name returned to Beijing, as it is known today. Since the early 1980s when China initiated economic and market reforms under the late Deng Xiaoping, Beijing has become a truly modern, international city.
Beijing City is an independently administered municipal district. She is situated in the northeastern part of China at an elevation of 43.5m above sea level. The climate in Beijing is of the continental type, with cold and dry winters and hot summers. January is the coldest month (-4 Celsius), while July the warmest (26 Celsius).
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. 38% of it is flat land and 62% mountains. She has 16 districts and 2 counties with Dongcheng, Xicheng, Xuanwu, Chongwen, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan in or close to the Beijing city proper and Fangshan, Mengtougou, Changping, Tongxian, Shunyi, Daxing, Huairou, Miyun, Pinggu and Yianqing in the outer suburbs. Population in Beijing is about 17 million.
Siheyuan architecture: Siheyuan are old Beijing–style houses built around quadrangle courtyards. Typically, four houses are connected to each other to form a square structure with the courtyard in the centre.