中国行:北京Běijīng

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Beijing is the capital(首都Shǒudū) of the People’s Republic of China(中国Zhōngguó). It is the political and cultural center, and also one of the international communication hubs of the country. Located at 39°56′ N and 116°20′ E, on the northwest edge of the North China Plain, Beijing adjoins Tianjin to its east and Hebei 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 sq km, including 87.1 sq km of urban area.

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(紫禁城Zǐjìnchéng), the Great Wall(长城Chángchéng), the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, the Temple of Heaven (天安门Tiān’ānmén), the Summer Palace(故宫Gùgōng)and the Ming Tombs (十三陵Shísānlíng) 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 Lama Temple, Tanzhe Temple, Fragrant Hills, the Ruins of the Yuanmingyuan, the Eight Great Sites, Longqing Gorge, Shihua Cave and etc.

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