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General introduction of Beijing

Updated: 2021-03-22 20:33

Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China. 

It is the political center, cultural center, international communication center and scientific and technological innovation center of the country.

It is a world famous ancient capital and a modern international city.

Beijing Municipality covers an area of 16,410.54 square kilometers (sq km) with a  latitude of 39.56 degrees north and a longitude of 116.2 degrees east. Nestled on the north of the North China Plain, it border Tianjin Municipality on the east and Hebei Province in all other directions.

Geographical location and natural resources

Beijing has a higher northwest part and a lower southeast part. It is surrounded by mountains to its west, north and northeast. To its southeast, the North China Plain gradually descends towards the Bohai Sea.

The capital has a temperate, continental monsoonal climate, characterized by short spring and autumns, hot and rainy summers, and cold and dry winters.

According to preliminary calculation, Beijing's GDP in 2020 was RMB 3,610.26 billion, an increase of 1.2% over the previous year.


1. Education, science and technology, culture, public health and sports

In 2019, number of patent application and authorization amounted to 226 thousands and 132 thousands, with a rise of 7.1% and 6.7% respectively over the previous year.

By the end of 2019, 260.434 million person-times of diagnosis and treatment were done by medical institutions, with an increase of 5.2% over the previous year.

In 2019, a total of 157 thousands students were enrolled by universities and junior colleges in Beijing and number of graduates 145 thousands.

45 medals were won in international competitions, of which gold medals amounted to 20.

By the end of 2019, there were 24 public libraries with a total collection of 70 million volumes.

2. People's living conditions 

In 2019, the per capita disposable income of residents in Beijing reached RMB 67,756, up by 8.7% over the previous year. In terms of the floor space of sold commercial housings, the absolute volume reached 9.389 million square meters, up by 34.9%; the per capita transfer income of low income peasants was RMB 8,059, up by 27.5%.

Number of newly increased employment in urban regions in 2019 hit 351 thousands; and sales volume of tap water in 2019 amounted to 1.17 billion cubic meters, up by 0.9% over the previous year.

In 2020, the per capita disposable income of residents in Beijing reached RMB 78,656, up by 2.2% over the previous year; the absolute volume of the floor space of sold commercial housings reached 69,6000 square meters, up by 19.8%.

3. Economy

The industrial added value of 2019 was RMB 424.11 billion, with an increase of 3.0% over the previous year on comparable basis. Of which, the added value of industries above designated size rose by 3.1%.

Based on preliminary accounting, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Beijing hit RMB 3,537.13 billion in 2019, up by 6.1% over the previous year at comparable price.

In 2020, the GDP reached RMB 3,610.26 billion, an increase of 1.2% over the previous year.

By the end of 2019, the balance of deposits in RMB and foreign currencies in financial institutions of Beijing (including foreign institutions) had registered RMB 17,106.23 billion.

New started floor space amounted to 20.732 million square meters.

The general public budgetary financial revenue amounted to RMB 581.71 billion.

4. Urban construction

In 2019, investment in fixed assets decreased by 2.4% year-on-year. The number of motor vehicles in the city was 6.365 million.

In 2019, the total post and telecommunications business reached RMB 314.17 billion, an increase of 44.8% over the previous year.

Beijing has made headway in building a comprehensive transport system during the 13th Five­Year Plan (2016­20), which has helped improve urban management and cross­regional coordinated development.

In the past five years, the city started the construction of nine urban rail sections.

By the end of 2020, the length of Beijing's urban rail transit network reached 727 km, ranking second among China’s cities.

5. Development quality and efficiency

In 2019, the added value of the new economy reached RMB 1,276.58 billion, an increase of 7.5% over the previous year. The added value of high-tech industries reached 863 billion yuan. The labor productivity of industrial enterprises above designated size was 503,000 yuan per person.

6. Population

The permanent population is 21.893 million, according to data from the seventh census by the National Bureau of Statistics  released on May 11, 2021.

Overall planning

A blueprint for the development of China's capital over the next two decades, which caps the city's population at 23 million and calls for more green space, has been given the seal of approval by the central leadership. 

The Beijing Urban Master Plan (2016 -2035) (“Master Plan”), which was approved by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Sept 29, answers questions about what kind of city the capital will be over the next 20 years.

The development plan emphasizes Beijing's role as the capital city and an international metropolis.

It envisages the strengthening of its functions as a center for politics, culture, and international exchanges, as well as scientific and technological innovation in its core areas.

Its role as a political center requires the maintenance of good security, to ensure the national government operates smoothly.

The cultural center focuses on the preservation of Beijing's local culture, as well as the heritage of the ancient part of the city.

The government will also support the development of public cultural services and innovation-driven cultural industries.

Plans for the international exchanges center emphasizes construction of both hardware and software facilities.

It means the government will not only build more convention centers, but also deepen international access to the capital.

The construction of the center for scientific and technological innovation will employ a strategy that supports major projects at the vanguard of the development of technological innovation.

The plan sets the goal of building Beijing into a "world-class harmonious and livable city" by 2050. It also announces that Beijing will construct an urban spatial structure featuring "one core, one center, one sub-center, two axes, multiple points and one area."

The "one core" refers to the capital's core functional area with a total area of about 92.5 square kilometers.

The State Council said the core area is home to most of the nation's political, cultural and international exchange centers, and is also a key zone for the preservation of historical sites.

This 92.5-square-kilometer area, which includes Dongcheng and Xicheng districts, houses the central government headquarters.

The "one center" refers to the central urban area including Docheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan, covering a total area of about 1,378 sq km.

The "sub-center" is Beijing's urban sub-center. The planning scope of Beijing's urban sub-center covers originally Tongzhou New Town with a total area of 155 sq km.

To enhance the capital's political role in the core area, the Beijing authorities established a sub-city center in Tongzhou district. Municipal government bodies have relocated to this zone, releasing more space for the central government in the core area.

The sub-center of Beijing will be a water city with an emphasis on the environment, according to the detailed urban draft plan for Tongzhou.

Its planning will be complementary to that of Xiongan New Area, according to the plan reviewed by the Standing Committee of Beijing People's Congress.

The government will put people first and develop Tongzhou into a city with green transportation, environmentally friendly municipal infrastructure, beautiful landscapes and distinctive cultural features.

Tongzhou's role as the sub-center of Beijing was first put forward in the Overall Urban Planning in Beijing on Sept 13, 2017. The goal is to help relieve the current heavy pressure on public services in downtown Beijing, ease congestion, and achieve more balanced development in the region.

Two axes include the Central Axis and its extensions, Chang'an Avenue and its extensions. The Central Axis and its extensions refer to the traditional Central Axis and its southern and northern extensions. The traditional Central Axis starts from Yongding Gate in the south and the Bell and Drum Towers in the north, spanning for about 7.8 kilometers. Its northern extension can reach the Yanshan Mountains and the southern extension to Beijing's new airport (Daxing International Airport) and the Yongding River. Centered on the Tiananmen Square, the Chang'an Avenue extends eastwards and westwards respectively. Of them, the section between Fuxing Gate and Jianguo Gate is about 7 km long. It extends westwards to Shougang area, Yongding River and the Western Hills, and eastwards to Beijing's urban sub-center, the North Canal and the Chaobai River.

Multiple points are five new towns in the plains. They refer to Shunyi, Daxing, Yizhuang, Changping and Fangshan new towns, which are designated to carry out the functions of the central urban area and for dispersing population. These new towns serve as important areas to promote the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province.

One area refers to the ecological conservation area. The ecological conservation area refers to the mountainous regions of Mentougou, Pinggu, Huairou, Miyun, Yanqing and Changping districts. It constitutes the ecological conservation area in the middle, west and north of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Province regions, and is Beijing's "oxygen bar" and key to the capital's sustainable development.

It sets a target that by 2020 the ecological conservation area will take up 73 percent of the city's total area, increasing to 75 percent by 2035.

The plan also set targets to relieve traffic congestion, control housing prices, improve air quality and preserve cultural heritage in Beijing.

Based on its reality and highlighting its Chinese characteristics, Beijing will be built according to first-class international standards and people-centered development thought, with extensive and important international influence in politics, science and technologies, culture, society and ecology. Beijing will take the lead in driving the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province, creating a capital-centered world-class city cluster.

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