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CHINA Beijing
Definitely the time of my life! I couldn't ask for anything better. I learned a lot about China through courses and field trips. In Shanghai I stood in the room where the first Communist meeting was held. You get chills when you think about what actually happened. Nanjing, Sanzhou, Hanzhou and Wuxi were equally impressive. To get a history lesson in the place it happened is priceless.

Read more reviews... Robert Brady
Auburn University
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Beijing

Beijing, situated in the northeast region of China, is the nation's political, economic, educational and cultural center. It is the country's capital city and home to the Chinese government. As the second largest industrial and economic zone in China, it provides numerous opportunities for investment and internships. Beijing has more universities and research institutes than any other city in China, making it the intellectual hub of the country.

Beijing has a long and rich history dating back to 1045 B.C. From 1129 to 1911 it served as the capital of Imperial China for the Liao, Jin, Yuang, Ming and Qing dynasties. In the 1920s, Beijing became the cradle of China's democratic revolution and took a central role in the May Fourth Movement. On October 1st, 1949, Chairman Mao proclaimed Beijing as the capital of the People's Republic of China, marking a new era in Beijing's history. Today, it is one of the largest and fastest-growing cities in Asia, spanning an area of 16,800 km2 with a population of 15 million.

Beijing has many attractions including concert halls, movie theaters, night clubs, restaurants, museums, palaces, monuments and other reminders of imperial China. The Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square are at the center of this incredible city. There is no doubt that Beijing is one of the most interesting and historic cities in the world.

People's Republic of China

Chinese civilization is one of the world's oldest. China's traditions, music, art and architecture are the result of 3000 years of heritage. China is home to some the world's most revered treasures, such as The Great Wall and Terra-Cotta Warriors. Contemporary culture in China is a mix of ancient traditions, optimistic future and welcoming attitudes.

China has had one of the most rapidly growing economies, with a 7% growth of GNP each year. Most Fortune 500 companies have a presence in the country. In 1984, the first private car appeared in Beijing, and today there are 1.2 million car owners in the city. In September 2003, the first fast food drive through opened in Beijing.

The official language in China is Mandarin, as spoken in Beijing. Approximately 70% of the population speaks Mandarin. Cantonese, spoken mainly in Southern China, is the second most spoken dialect.

China & WTO

In the 1980s, China began to seek membership in the World Trade Organization to maintain favorable tariff treatment by other markets, including the United States. After 15 years of negotiations, China formally became a member of the WTO in December 2001. China's entry into the WTO has resulted in significant economic, legal and political reforms. Most of these reforms are centralized in or originated from China's political and financial capital - Beijing. In response to increased political interest, foreign investment and the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing is undergoing rapid expansion and development. New buildings are being erected and old buildings are being renovated in anticipation for increased tourism and world recognition.

Quick facts
  • Population of China: 1.3 billion
  • Population of Beijing: 15 million
  • Official Language: Mandarin
  • Currency: Yuan Renminbi (CNY or RMB)
  • Local time in Beijing: GMT+8
  • High temp in Beijing: July: 88F
  • Low temp in Beijing: January: 34F