BEIJING

Beijing, sometimes called as Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world. The population as of 2010 was 19,612,368. The metropolis, located in northern China, is governed as a direct-controlled municipality under the national government, with 14 urban and suburban districts and two rural counties. Beijing Municipality is surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighbouring Tianjin Municipality to the southeast.

Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation's political, cultural, and educational center. It is home to the headquarters of most of China's largest state-owned companies, and is a major hub for the national highway, expressway, railway, and high-speed rail networks, while Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic.

Few cities in the world have been the political and cultural center of an area as immense for so long. Beijing is one of the "Four Great Ancient Capitals of China" and has been the political center of China for centuries. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates, and its art treasures and universities have made it a center of culture and art in China.