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Beijing, formerly Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world. Its population in 2013 was 21,150,000.<ref name=Population2013>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The city proper is the 13th largest in the world. The metropolis, located in northern China, is governed as a direct-controlled municipality under the national government with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts.<ref name=figures>Figures based on 2006 statistics published in 2007 National Statistical Yearbook of China and available online at 2006年中国乡村人口数 中国人口与发展研究中心 (archive). Retrieved 21 April 2009.</ref> Beijing Municipality is surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin Municipality to the southeast; together the three divisions form the Jingjinji metropolitan region and the national capital region of China.<ref name="basic">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation's political, cultural and educational center.<ref name="columbia encyclopedia"></ref> 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. The Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic.<ref name="ACI aero">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The city's history dates back three millennia. As the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for much of the past eight centuries.<ref></ref> The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks and gardens, tombs, walls and gates,<ref name="world book">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and its art treasures and universities have made it a center of culture and art in China.<ref name="world book"/> Encyclopædia Britannica notes that "few cities in the world have served for so long as the political headquarters and cultural centre of an area as immense as China."<ref name="britannica">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Beijing has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, Great Wall, and the Grand Canal.<ref>(Chinese) 走进北京七大世界文化遗产--千龙网 18 August 2014</ref>

Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will make it the first and only city to ever host both events.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Beijing sections
Intro  Etymology  History  Geography  Politics and government  Economy  Demographics  Culture  Media  Sports  Transportation  Defense and aerospace  Nature and wildlife  See also  Notes and references  Further reading  External links  

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