Beijing, also known as Peking, the capital of the People's Republic of China, is China's political, economic, cultural and educational center as well as an important center for international trade and communications.
The city covers an area of more than 16,410 square kilometers (6,336 square miles) and has a population of more than 21 million as of 2013.
Few cities in the world have served as the political and cultural centre of an area as long as Beijing. Beijing has been the heart of China's history for centuries. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates. Its art treasures and universities have long made it a centre of culture and art in China.