As the capital city of China, Beijing is the center of national politics and culture, and a hub of Chinese international interaction. Alongside Xian, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Nanjing and Hangzhou, Beijing is one of the Six Ancient Cities in China. In addition, Beijing was the host city of the 2008 Summer Olympics. With a population of about 17 million people, Beijing contains 18 districts and counties, which are further subdivided into 273 lower (third)-level administrative units at the township level.
Situated at the northwest edge of the North China Plain, Beijing City is next to Tianjin City, to its southeast. The landform of this city basically falls away from northwest to southeast.
Beijing was also known as Peking by the Western world before 1949. It is one of the famed ancient cities in the world. With more than two-thousand years of history, Beijing City is a place of military importance. It had consistently been the capital of the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. In the early nineteen-twenties, Beijing became the cradle of Chinese new democratic revolution. The May Fourth Movement against imperialism and feudalism began here in 1919. And in Oct. 1, 1949, Beijing became the capital city of the PRC, which opened a new page in this ancient city.