Beijing

(redirected from Northern capital)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

Beijing

(bā-jĭng) or

Peking

(pē-kĭng, pā–), city and independent municipality (2010 pop. 19,612,368), capital of the People's Republic of China. It is in central Hebei prov., but constitutes an independent unit (6,564 sq mi/17,000 sq km) administered directly by the national government. The second largest city in China (after Shanghai), Beijing is the political, cultural, and educational center of the country.

Economy and Transportation

Since the Communist victory in 1949, Beijing has become a great industrial area, the heart of a vast complex of textile mills, iron- and steelworks, railroad repair shops, machine shops, chemical plants, and factories manufacturing heavy machinery, electronic equipment, locomotives, plastics, synthetic fibers, and rolling stock. With the construction in the 1970s of a pipeline that links the city with the Daqing oil fields, Beijing has developed a sizable petrochemical industry. Service industries also grew. New industrial development declined in the 1970s and 80s, mainly due to concerns over further pollution. The city is a rail hub, receiving lines from all sections of the country and linked directly with Vietnam and, through both Mongolia and NE China, with Russia. Its airport, greatly expanded in 1999, links it to all major Chinese cities and numerous foreign countries.

Cultural and Educational Institutions

The city has an opera, a ballet, and the impressive national library. It is the seat of many learned societies, research organizations, and academies of fine arts, drama, dance, and music. The more than 25 institutions of higher learning include Beijing Univ., the People's Univ. of China, China Univ. of Science and Technology, Tsinghua Univ., the Beijing Institute of Foreign Languages, two medical colleges, and many technical and scientific schools. The Beijing zoo is famous for its collection of pandas. The Workers' Stadium is the scene of the Pan-Chinese games, held every four years.

Points of Interest

Beijing in the main consists of two formerly walled districts, the Outer or Chinese City and the Inner or Tatar City. The 25 mi (40 km) of ramparts and monumental gates that once surrounded the cities have been razed and replaced by wide avenues to aid the traffic flow. Within the Tatar City is the Forbidden City (formerly the emperor's residence), the Imperial City (where his retinue was housed), and the Legation Quarter. The Imperial City is now the seat of the government.

On the southern edge of the Tatar City is Tiananmen SquareTiananmen Square,
large public square in Beijing, China, on the southern edge of the Inner or Tatar City. The square, named for its Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen), contains the monument to the heroes of the revolution, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of
..... Click the link for more information.
, which contains the monument to the heroes of the revolution, the Great Hall of the People, and the vast National Museum of China. In June, 1989, the Square was the site of massive protests for democratic reform, which were violently suppressed by the military, resulting in thousands of deaths and many injuries. Near the Square is the National Center for the Performing Arts.

Beijing is known for its artificial lakes and for its parks and temples. It contains many of the greatest examples of architecture of the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties as well as remains from earlier times. The Temple of Heaven (15th cent.) is set in a large park and has a massive altar of white marble before which the emperors prayed at the summer solstice. In the temple of Confucius, built by Kublai Khan, are guarded incised boulders that date from the Chou dynasty. An ancient astronomical observatory, once used by Catholic missionaries, still functions. The Forbidden City, now a vast museum, contains the imperial palaces (two groups of three each) and smaller palaces, all replete with art treasures. To the northwest of the city's historic center is the imperial summer palace with its lovely parks, and to the north are the grounds of the 2008 Olympic Games, with the National Stadium (nicknamed Bird's Nest), National Aquatics Center (Water Cube), and other facilities.

In addition to the many tourist attractions in the city, the Great WallGreat Wall of China,
series of fortifications, c.3,890 mi (6,260 km) long (not including trenches and natural defensive barriers), winding across N China from Gansu prov. to Liaoning prov.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and the gigantic Ming tombs are easily accessible. At nearby Zhoukoudian were discovered several fossil bones of so-called Peking man, now classified as Homo erectusHomo erectus
, extinct hominin living between 1.6 million and 250,000 years ago. Homo erectus is thought to have evolved in Africa from H. habilis, the first member of the genus Homo. African forms of H.
..... Click the link for more information.
 remains.

History

Since 723 B.C. several cities, bearing various names, have existed at this site. The nucleus of the present city was Kublai Khan's capital, Cambuluc (constructed 1260–90). Under the name Beijing [Chin.,=northern capital] the city was the capital of China from 1421 until 1911. The gateway to Mongolia and Manchuria, it was often the prize of contending armies.

In 1860, Great Britain and France captured it after the battle of Baliqiao and forced the Chinese government to concede the Legation Quarter for foreign settlements. This cession was among the factors responsible for the Boxer Uprising (1900), in which the foreign colony was besieged until relieved by a combined expeditionary force of American, Japanese, and European troops. The foreign powers exacted a treaty that provided for the permanent garrisoning of foreign troops in Beijing.

The city changed hands repeatedly during the civil wars that followed the establishment of the Chinese Republic in 1911–12. From 1912 to 1927, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Hankou alternated as centers of government. In 1928, when the seat of government was transferred to Nanjing [Chin.,=southern capital], the name Beiping (Pei-p'ing) [Chin.,=northern peace] was adopted. Japan occupied the city after the famous Marco Polo Bridge incident in 1937 (see Sino-Japanese War, SecondSino-Japanese War, Second,
1937–45, conflict between Japanese and Chinese forces for control of the Chinese mainland. The war sapped the Nationalist government's strength while allowing the Communists to gain control over large areas through organization of guerrilla units.
..... Click the link for more information.
). The Japanese made the city the capital of a puppet state (Dec., 1937).

With the end of World War II and the abolition of the last foreign concessions (1946), the city was entirely restored to Chinese sovereignty. In Jan., 1949, it fell to the Communists, who later that year designated it the capital of the newly founded People's Republic of China and restored the name Beijing. Since 1949 Beijing has spread well beyond its two core cities, and newer buildings, hotels, and cultural centers are now common in the city and its suburbs. From the 1950s through the 1970s many of the inner city's beautiful and historical buildings and gates were destroyed as Mao decreed that large new government structures be built. A subway was completed in 1969 and since has been extended. More recently, the government has attempted to restore and preserve many of the country's important artistic and architectural works, many of which are in Beijing, but modern construction in the city also has increased since the 1990s, resulting in the loss of most of the traditional neighborhoods (hutongs, alleys lined with courtyard houses), that once dominated Beijing. Many of the city's outstanding new buildings have been designed by prominent Western architects, e.g., Sir Norman Foster, Herzog and de Meuron, Rem Koolhaas, I. M. Pei Associates, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Beijing hosted the 2008 summer Olympics and will host the 2022 winter games. The city has experienced enormous population growth in the early 21st cent., mainly as a result of the influx of Chinese from rural areas.

Bibliography

See R. MacFarquhar, The Forbidden City (1972); Zhou Shachen, Beijing—Old and New (1984); P. Fleming, The Siege at Peking (1986); W. Hung, Remaking Beijing: Tiananmen Square and the Creation of a Political Space (2005); M. Meyer, The Last Days of Old Beijing (2008); G. R. Barmé, The Forbidden City (2008); W. Jun, Beijing Record: A Physical and Political History of Planning Modern Beijing (2003, tr. 2011).

Beijing

the capital of the People's Republic of China, in the northeast in central Hebei province: dates back to the 12th century bc; consists of two central walled cities, the Outer City (containing the commercial quarter) and the Inner City, which contains the Imperial City, within which is the Purple or Forbidden City; three universities. Pop.: 10 849 000 (2005 est.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Letting specialists from the lucrative London property market see the northern capital as the next money-making place.
Senior officers in Thailand's northern capital Chiang Mai now believe that 23-year-old Miss Jones knew her killer, and was murdered "accidentally" while being raped.
Letwin situates his study within the larger context of the South's "colonial" relationship to northern capital.
Speaking at a press conference held at his office in the northern capital, Mikati said that the project of constructing an underground parking lot at el-Tal Square in Tripoli is not a priority for the city, calling upon Prime Minister Salam to meet the citizens of Tripoli and listen to their demands to list the projects' priority according to the needs of the city.
Sergey Emdin, the CEO of Northern Capital Gateway LLC, the managing company of Pulkovo Airport said, The airport managing company has invested significant means into the development of Pulkovo Airport.
And the recent commotion over the removal of religious and political paraphernalia shows how tenuous the situation in Lebanon's northern capital truly is.
Fraport and its partners in the Northern Capital Gateway consortium that manages and develops Pulkovo Airport said they started test mode operations at the new passenger Terminal-1 on December 4 at Pulkovo Airport (LED) in St.
Fraport and its partners in the Northern Capital Gateway (NCG) consortium - which manages and develops Pulkovo Airport - started test mode operations at the new passenger Terminal-1 on December 4 at Pulkovo Airport (LED) in St.
Following a series of bombing in the Northern capital of Kirkuk , the region's govenor told Al Jazeera that he believed al Qaeda was back in Iraq.
TUNIS, April 14, 2011 (TAP) - TelSol Tunisie, a subsidiary of Egyptian "Energya Industries" group, was officially inaugurated, on Wednesday, on a site in Northern capital city.
Northern Capital Gateway--a consortium consisting of Fraport AG, Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, VTB Bank Europe plc and Copelouzos Group--has won a 30-year contract tendered by the city of St Petersburg for the concession, modernisation and running of the city's Pulkovo Airport.

Full browser ?