Beijing is the capital city of the Peoples Republic of China. It is the nation's political and cultural center and also a center for international contacts. With an area of 16808 square kilometers and a population of 13 million, Beijing is located in the northern part of the North China Plain and its terrain is high in the northwest and low in the southeast.
Beijing is a city with a rather long history. In the last 1,000 years, it has been China's political and cultural center. Beijing was established as the secondary capital of the Liao Kingdom (916-1125) in 938. In the Jin Kingdom (1115-1234) in 1151, Beijing began to serve as the central capital. After the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) was founded, Beijing was made by Kublai Khan in 1263 the winter capital and a grand metropolitan city, which became the center of international cultural exchanges in the Orient. The foundation of the layout of present Beijing was laid in 1404, when the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) decided to move the capital from Nanjing to Beijing and started a large-scale construction. Many of the ancient palace buildings, temple structures and gardens that are still visible today can be traced back to this period or later. The succeeded Qing Dynasty developed the civilization and made the city become even more prosperous.
In 1949, Beijing became the capital of the new China. When the great leader Mao Zedong announced the founding of the Peoples Republic of China, Beijing and the whole China came to a grand new period. Since the founding of the PRC, particularly since China initiated the reform and open policy in 1978, the economy of Beijing has kept its momentum of sustained, rapid and healthy development. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the city has been growing at an annual rate of 9%, with the comprehensive economic strength increased substantially. Beijing has established an economy comprising multi-sectors, which include State-run and collectively owned enterprises and also consist of Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino-foreign cooperative ventures and wholly foreign-funded enterprises as well as individual businesses, etc.
Nowadays, with highly developed economy, Beijing is gradually developing as an international city with modern facilities and convenient traffic lines. As the hosting city of 2008 Olympic games, Beijing is becoming a better place under the efforts of the government and all the residents here. It is a charming city, which will surely attract more people around the world. Under the Olympic motto one world, one dream, the city Beijing opens widely to the outside world and the world will know better about Beijing in the future.