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Beijing, China
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    Formerly Peking
    Started out as a trading post for Chinese, Koreans, and Mongols
    Destroyed by Genghis Khan (1215)
    Scene of an uprising that overthrew the Mongols and initiated the Ming Dynasty (1268)
    Site of the Forbidden City, an imperial palace complex
    Continued to be the capital during the Manchu Ching dynasty
    Invaded by the Mongols, Manchurians, French, Japanese, and Chinese Communists
    Became capital of Communist China and remains so to the present day
    Scene of a bloody massacre by Communist troops in Tiananmen Square that killed thousands of people (1989)
    Set to be the host of the 2008 Olympics
    Name means 'Northern Capital'
    Population is about 13 million
    There are more communists per square mile there than anywhere else.
    Its appearance is marred by Stalinist architecture and industrial pollution in much of the rest of the city.
    It is the site of Mao Zedong's personal shrine, where he is preserved and displayed.
    Until recently, some of its areas were off-limits to many travelers because the government feared foreign influences.
    It has had numerous names throughout its history, which sometimes confuse students.
    It is crowded.
    The government destroyed some of its historic buildings to build new streets.
    There is evidence of human population in the area that is over 500,000 years old.
    It has a functioning subway system that has been in place for over 30 years.
    It is the site of beautiful palaces.
    There is a large capitalist influence on the city such as office buildings, shops, and hotels.
    Its citizens rallied around the pro-democracy protestors (1989).
    Most visitors to China go there.
    Its population has grown rapidly in recent years.

Credit: Wang

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