14 August 1999 Saturday
Beijing, also known as Peking, capital city of the People’s Republic of China,with a population of 13 million.
To many foreign visitors, Beijing is an enormous treasure-house of cultural and historical relics, stocked with various collections of palaces, temples, parks and above all, one of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Wall. It is a mysterious land with a striking contrast between the numerous traces of old tradition and the modern metropolitan life. What impresses visitors most is its long history and rich culture. Beijing had been the ruling center of China for several kingdoms and dynasties, and it has remained to be the center of China’s political and cultural life in addition to its role as a major trading center and a place of strategic importance.
Beijing is located in the southern part of the North China Plain, encircled by Hebei Province. The city center is situated at Latitude 39″6’N and Longitude 116″20’E. It is surrounded by mountains of the Taihang and Yanshan ranges in the west, north and northeast ,with the broad plain to the southeast. It is approximately 110 km northwest of the Bo Hai gulf.
The city center is 43.7 meters above sea level. The mountains average from 1,000 to 1,500 meters above sea level, with the highest Lingshan Peak measuring 2,303 meters, whereas the nadir point is less than ten meters above sea level.