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Municipality of Beijing


Population (2007): 17,430,000

GDP (2007): CNY900.62 billion

Nationalities: Han (96%), Manchu (2%), Hui (2%), and Mongolian (0.3%)

Area: 16,801.25 km²

Climatic features:

Warm-temperature, semi-humid, monsoonal climate; hot, rainy summers; cold, dry winters; short springs and autumns; frequent spring droughts and summer flooding.

Average temperature: In January around 10C, and 300C in July. The highest recorded was 420C and the lowest was -270C.

Annual average rainfall: 600 mm; over 700 mm on the seaward side of mountains; 75 percent of the rain falls in summer.

Physical features: Mountainous in the north and west; flatlands in the southeast.

Mountains:

Juandu Mountains in Yanqing County and Huairou District, Xishan Mountains in Western Beijing, and Mount Dongling in the Xishan ranges and on the border with Hebei.

Rivers: Yongding River and Chaobai river.

Products: Wheat, corn, millet, potatoes, rice, peanuts, soybeans, sesame, cotton, silk cocoons; tobacco; pears, grapes; coal, iron, marble, asbestos.

Specialties: Miyun dates, Jingbai pears, Liangxiang chestnuts, Beijing duck.

Administrative divisions: 10 districts and 8 counties
Neighboring areas: Hebei Province and Tianjin Municipality.

Tourist attractions:

Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall, Summer Palace
Comments:The capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing is a political, economic, cultural, and transportation center.

Elevation extremes:

Mountains stand in the west, north and northeast of Beijing; the 10,417.5 sq km 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.

Climate:

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 13ˇăC (averaging 25.2ˇăC in July, the hottest month, and 3.7ˇăC in January, the coldest month). The average annual rainfall is 507.7 mm and the frost-free period is 180-200 days. The average annual sun radiance is 135 Cal/square centimeter.

Natural resources:

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.

The forest coverage in Beijing had reached 50.5% by the end of 2005. There are now 20 nature reserves covering a total area of 1,342 sq km and 7 ecological demonstration zones covering a total area of 9,246 sq km.

Tourism resources:

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, the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, the Temple of Heaven (Tiantan Park), the Summer Palace and the Ming Tombs (Shisanling) 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 Ming Tombs, 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 languages. Beijing is one of the "Excellent Chinese Tourist Cities"; awarded by the China National Tourism Administration.