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Beijing, sometimes romanized as Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The metropolis, located in northern China, is governed as a direct-controlled municipality under the national government, with 14 urban and suburban districts and two rural counties. Beijing Municipality is surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin Municipality to the southeast.
Beijing is China's second largest city by urban population after Shanghai and is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's largest state-owned companies. Beijing is a major transportation hub in the national highway, expressway, railway and high-speed rail network. Beijing's Capital International Airport is the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic.
Few cities in the world have been the political and cultural centre of an area as immense for so long. Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, and it has been the political centre of China for centuries. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates, and its art treasures and universities have made it a centre of culture and art in China.
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