China now has 668 cities, of which 13 have populations of more than two million each; 24, between one and two million; 48, between 500,000 and one million; 205, between 200,000 and 500,000; and 378, less than 200,000.
Beijing Beijing is a municipality directly under the Central Government and the capital of the PRC, with an urban population of 7.34 million. It is not only the nation's political center, but also its cultural, scientific and educational center, and a key transportation hub. Situated on the north edge of the North China Plain, it is sheltered by chain upon chain of mountains to the west, north and east. Its southeastern part is a plain. Beijing's temperate continental climate produces four clearly contrasted seasons: a short spring, rainy and humid summer, long and cold winter, and a very pleasant autumn.
Beijing emerged as a city as far back as the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century-770 B.C.), then known as Ji. During the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.) it was the capital of the State of Yan. Ji had ever since remained a city of strategic importance and a trade center for the north for well over a thousand years. Then, in the early 10th century, it became the secondary capital of the Liao Dynasty under the name of Yanjing. Bet