About Beijing

Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and the second largest city in the country, Shanghai is the largest. Beijing is an independently administered municipality. Beijing has a population of 17 million living in 16 districts and 2 counties. Beijing has four districts inside the old walled city: Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chongwen and Xuanwu. These districts are further divided into the inner city of Dongcheng and Xicheng and the outer city of Chongwen and Xuanwu.

(National Centre for the Performing Arts - The Egg - with Forbidden City in forground.) National Centre for the Performing Arts and Forbidden City.

Beijing means “capital in the north” and lies 39 o 56’ north and 116 o 21’ east. The beginnings of Beijing can be traced back 3000 years. The majority of people are from the Han ethnic group but there are about 56 different ethnic groups in China. Peking is the traditional name for Beijing but Beijing has also been known throughout history as Daidu to the Mongols and as Zhongdu during the Jin Dynasty as well as Yanjing as an informal name for Beijing.

The time zone is China Standard Time (GMT/UTC plus 8 hours) or it can be called BST (Beijing Standard Time).