Situated in East Asia, China has an area of about 9.6 million square kilometers, making it the third largest country in the world. As the world's  most populous country, China is home to 1.2 billion people of 56 ethnic groups. With a history of several thousand years of civilization, China boasts as one of the most significent cultures in the world.

Since the 1980's, thanks to the implementation of China's policy of economic reform and opening to the outside world, the nation's economy has developed with great speed. The GNP continues to increase at a rate of over 10 percent a year, and foreign exchange reserves have surpassed 70 billion US dollars. Urban and rural average annual incomes increase by 7.7 percent and 4.5 percent respectively. Rapid, significant progress has been made in the areas of transportation, communications, banking, postal service, and energy resources. China has also made notable achievements in the fields of technology, education, culture, health and athletics.

Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China, situated in the northern part of the country, 150 kilometers from the Bohai sea. With a population of about 10 million, Beijing is the country's political, scientific, cultural and educational center.

With a history of more than 3,000 years, Beijing is one of China's most ancient cities and oldest capitals. In 1057 AD, the Yan Kingdom established Beijing as its capital. Thereafter, it was used as a capital during the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and
Qing Dynasties. Many world-renowned historical sites can be found in and around the city, including the Great Wall, the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City), the Summer Palace, the Ming Tombs, and the Temple of Heaven. With over one hundred universities in the city and its surrounding areas, as well as many research institutions, the city has a rich atmosphere of learning.

Beijing is rapidly becoming a modern international capital city. With its harmonious mixture of ancient traditional culture and modern facilities and infrastructure, the city attracts over a million overseas visitors each year. Through these visitors, the Chinese motto "One is not a real man until one has been to the Great Wall" is well known in other parts of the world.

Beijing's construction of basic infrastructure is complete, and prices are stable and daily life convenient. The city has a great variety of restaurants offering the food of the nation's many varied ethnic groups, as well as international cuisine. In terms of hotels and other infrastructure, the 1990 Asian Games and the 1995 Fourth International Conference on Women,with 30,000 delegates,showed that Beijing has the human and material resources necessary for holding such large-scale international events.

Beijing's average year-round temperature is 10-12C°, while the average in August is 25-26C° . The weather cools off at night, so summer evenings and mornings are very pleasant.


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