Beijing, or Peking, is the capital city of the People's Republic of China and the country's political, cultural and international exchanges center.
Beijing is located 39.56 degrees north latitude and 116.2 degrees east longitude. Covering an area of 16,807.8 square kilometers, Beijing lies on the north end of the North China Plain that is surrounded by mountains to its west, north and northeast. To its southeast is a plain that slopes gradually to Bohai Sea.
Climate and temperature
Beijing has a temperate, semi-humid continental climate, characterized by short springs and autumns, hot and rainy summers, along with cold and dry winters. The average annual temperature range is 10°C to 12°C, with average low temperatures ranging from -7°C to 4°C in January; and an average high temperature of 25°C to 26°C in July, but the temperature can drop to as low as -27.4°C in the winter and soar to 42°C in the summer. There are about 180-200 frost-free days each year and 75 percent of the municipality's annual precipitation occurs in the summer, usually with rainstorms in July and August.
By 2011, Beijing had a population of 20.186 million residents, including 12.779 million permanently registered residents. People from all of China's 56 ethnic groups reside in the city. Most hail from the Han ethnic group. The main religions practiced by residents are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and Christianity, along with various sects of each religion.
There are 14 districts and two counties under Beijing's administration: Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai, Shijingshan, Mentougou, Tongzhou, Shunyi, Daxing, Pinggu, Fangshan, Changping and Huairou districts and Miyun and Yanqing counties.
City trees and flowers
The city trees of Beijing are the Chinese scholar tree and arborvitae; its city flowers are the China rose and chrysanthemum.
Beijing is located in Greenwich Mean Time Zone +8:00; China's country telephone code is 86 and Beijing's city telephone code is 010.
Mandarin Chinese is the country's official language.
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