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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Beijing

The State of Yan named Beijing its capital during the Warring States period of 475 to 221 BC. These early incarnations of the city served as trading posts for northern peoples like Mongols and Koreans.

Under Genghis Khan Beijing was besieged for seven years until it finally fell to the Mongols in 1215 AD.

Beijing was developed substantially by the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan. Known as Dadu, he
established it as the political center for all of China. 

During the Ming dynasty the capital was moved to Nanjing for 35 years. Beijing was only reinstalled as China’s capital on October 28, 1420, the same year that the Forbidden City, the seat of government, was completed.


Beijing became the largest city by population in the world in 1710 with 770,000 people. The position had been held for seven decades by Constantinople.

During the cultural revolution, the red guard movement began in Beijing and the city's government fell victim to one of Mao's first purges. By the fall of 1966, all city schools were shut down.


Beijing opened its subway system in 1971.

Underneath Beijing there is a city spanning 33 square miles called Dixia Cheng. It was built in the 1970's due to rising tensions between China and the Soviet Union.

The pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests ended on June 4, 1989 with the declaration of martial law in Beijing by the government and the shooting of several hundred, or possibly thousands, of civilians by soldiers. Official figures of the dead range from 200 to 300. 



The many sights that represent the Chinese city of Beijing were built by foreigners: the Forbidden City (see below) was built by the Mongols, the Temple of Heaven by the Manchurians.



Currently there are 19,612,368 people residing in Beijing. Most residents are of Han ethnicity.

Beijing has long been well known for the number of bicycles on its streets and is considered to be the bicycle capital of the world. It has many parking lots dedicated to bikes alone.

Beijing’s main shopping street is called Wangfujing. It contains a plethora of shops and food stalls.

Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. It opened, at 8pm on 08/08/08. The number eight is considered a lucky number in China and many parts of the Far East.


A scene from the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. By papparazzi..Wikipedia 

Due to the deforestation of the forests in North China, over one million tons of sands blows into Beijing from the Gobi desert. It sometimes causes the sky to turn yellow.


Some districts in Beijing are sinking by as much as 11 centimeters per year due to groundwater depletion.

Breathing the air in Beijing has the same health risks as smoking 21 cigarettes a day.

With well over 5,000 public toilets, Beijing claims to have more than any other capital city. 

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