"The mountains are high and the emperor is far away reciting an ancient Chinese proverb meaning that the further one stays from Beijing's grasp, the better." Beijing is a capital of the Republic of China and was often the main stage of its long and great history. Beijing has attracted many people all over the world with its historical and cultural treasures.
The earliest records of settlements in Beijing date back to 1000 BC. It developed as a frontier-trading town for Mongols, Koreans, and tribes from Shandong and central China. In Chinese history, many emperors appeared and disappeared time and time again. Beijing was often at the center stage of this great history. Beijing's history begins about 1215 AD, when Genghis Khan set fire and slaughtered everything in sight. Finally, in 1279 Genghis Khan's grandson Kublai made himself ruler of most of Asia. But the mercenary Zhu Yanhang appeared, and led an uprising in 1368, taking over the city and ushering in the Ming Dynasty. Yong Le, the son of Zhu, built many of structures like the Forbidden City and Tiantan.
The first changes came with the invasion of the Manchus, who established the Qing Dynasty. Then Beijing was expanded and renovated, and summer palaces, pagodas and temples were built. In the last 120 years of the Manchu Dynasty, Beijing was subjected to power struggles, and many invaders. In the end of the 19th century, and the beginning of the early 20th century, Beijing experienced convulsion from the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China. In 1937 Beijing was occupied by the Japanese, and even after the Japanese defeat, the civil war between the CCP and Kuomintang continued. Finally in 1949 the People's Republic of China was established, and today, the capitalist-style brought foreign money, new
High-rise buildings, freeways, and shopping malls.
After China took a measure to the open market, Beijing also developed its economy including tourism. The gross domestic product of the city in 1994 was 101.5 billion-yuan. The fixed investment totaled 62 billion-yuan. Beijing ranks the second in the comprehensive evaluation of Chinese cities. At present, Beijing has established economic trade relations with136 countries and regions. And Three hundred technical projects have been introduced from overseas. In Beijing, foreign investments mainly go to infrastructure, construction, high-tech enterprises, and to upgrading enterprises and tertiary industry.
Beijing has had a lot of architectures built by various emperors during its long history. For instance, the Forbidden City was the center of power in the Middle Kingdom for more than 500 years. It is called that because it remained off limits to commoners for 500 years. Two dynasties of emperors have called this place home, the Ming and the Qing. Tiantan Park, meaning the Temple of Heaven, personifies the aura of the Ming architecture. Tiantan was considered highly sacred ground and it was there that the emperor performed the major ceremonial of the year. The Summer Palace is also one of the finest sights in Beijing. The royal garden was enlarged and embellished by Emperor Qianling in 18th century, and Empress Dwager Cixi began rebuilding it in 1888. She used the palace as a summer resort.
Beijing is surely well known for the Great Wall of China. The "original" walls began 2000 years ago during the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC), when China was unified under Emperor Qin Shihuang. He built it to keep out marauding nomads, using hundreds of thousands of workers, many of them political prisoners. It required 10 years of hard labor to build it. Because of the history, the wall has often been a symbol of tyranny. But the wall never did perform its function as a defense line to keep out invaders out. Instead, the wall worked as a kind of elevated highway, transporting men and equipment across mountainous terrain. But the wall was largely forgotten after that, and rescued mainly by the tourist industry.
Today, Beijing is developing the tourist industry, and many foreigners visit China for the sake of its fantastic architectures and traditional food. Foreigners can know the listing of cultural evening in the China Daily and the other free tourist newspapers. One of the finest forms of entertainment are the acrobatics. Chinese acrobatic troupes are among the best in the world. The best place to catch an acrobatics show is the Chaoyang theatre. And special performances by the Beijing Opera are also popular among the tourists. The mixture of singing, speaking, mime, acrobatics, and dancing can go on for five or six hours, but two hours is more customary.
There are so many eateries around Beijing, from McDonalds to pricey restaurants. There are various kinds of restaurants to fit your needs: foods for vegetarians, Western food lovers, Mongolian, and so on. When you have a meal in one of the expensive restaurants, keep in mind that rice is generally considered to be a fairly plebeian dish, used just to fill you up, and should be ignored until the "real food" is finished. There are also many places to stay. Tourists can find a hotel proper for their budget. In the winter season, you'll have no trouble getting into a dorm, but during the summer you'll have plenty of competition for limited space available.