INTRODUCTION The city of Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and stands in the northeast of the country. Its urban area covers just over 528 square miles
(about 1,300 square kilometers), but the municipality is about 6,336 square miles (16,800 square kilometers) and contains more than 21 million people. Beijing is the country’s political and cultural heart, even though it is only the second largest city. The largest is Shanghai, further south, with a population of more than 15 million.
Beijing is a striking mix of old and new. In this view of the capital, the palaces of the 15th-century Forbidden City stand in front of towering modern skyscrapers.
City layout The center of modern Beijing is known as the Old City. It is symmetrical , and divided into two parts, called the Inner City and the Outer City. Both were once enclosed in high walls. The Inner City was built in the 15th century. This area contains the Forbidden City, a collection of palaces where China’s emperors lived, and the Imperial City, where nobles lived. The 16th-century Outer City, to the south, was built for ordinary people.
Major World Cities
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