Population mix About 96 percent of people living in Beijing are ethnic Chinese , known as Han-Chinese. Members of China’s 55 minority groups also live in the city. The Hui (Chinese people who converted to Islam in the 10th century ad ) are one of the largest minority groups in Beijing. More than 400,000 of them live in the city. Their main place of worship is the Niujie Mosque (see page 23). There are two other large minority groups in Beijing: the Manchu s and the Mongols .


People have lived in the Beijing region for thousands of years. In 1929 a skull was found near Zhoukoudian, about 34 miles (55 km) from central Beijing. It belonged to a member of an early human species and was about half a million years old. The species is now known as Beijing Man. The model above shows what a member of the species probably looked like.

⌂ People from East and West now more commonly meet and conduct business in Beijing than ever before.

Newcomers In the Mao years, people from the countryside were not allowed to move to cities. Now many waidiren (people from outside towns) come to Beijing looking for work. China also opened up to foreigners after Mao’s death, so Beijing contains a growing number of foreign business people. The government did not like the Chinese to come into contact with foreigners and their democratic ideas, and the two groups still live in separate areas.



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