Beijing (北京 pinyin bei3 jing1) (Pekin or Peking) is the capital city of the People's Republic of China, with 13,000,000 inhabitants. Beijing Municipality is about 16,800 km2. The municipality governs 10 districts and 8 counties. It literally means "northern capital".
Beijing is sometimes referred to as Peking. The latter term does not correspond to any modern transliteration. The term Peking originated with French missionaries four hundred years ago, and corresponds to an archaic pronunciation which does not take into account a k->j sound shift in Mandarin that occurred during the Qing dynasty.
In China, the city has had many names. Between 1911 and 1949, it was known as Beiping (北平) or "Northern Peace". The name was changed because jing means "capital" and the Kuomintang government in Nanjing wanted to emphasize that Beijing was not the capital of China. Curiously, many maps of China from Taiwan still use the old name, although most people in Taiwan call the city Beijing.
For the historical names of Beijing, see Capital of China.
Beijing will be the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Famous landmarks around Beijing include: