The Beijing Capital International Airport has been the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic since 2010,, the city's subway network is the busiest and second longest in the world, after Shanghai's subway system. As the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for much of the past eight centuries.With mountains surrounding the inland city on three sides, in addition to the old inner and outer city walls, Beijing was strategically poised and developed to be the residence of the emperor and thus was the perfect location for the imperial capital.The single Chinese character abbreviation for Beijing is δΊ¬, which appears on automobile license plates in the city.

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An older English spelling, Peking, is the postal romanization of the same two characters as they are pronounced in Chinese dialects spoken in the southern port towns first visited by European traders and missionaries.

Although Peking is no longer the common name for the city, some of the city's older locations and facilities, such as Beijing Capital International Airport, with IATA Code PEK, and Peking University, still use the former romanization.

The city was centered on the Drum Tower slightly to the north of modern Beijing and stretched from the present-day Chang'an Avenue to the northern part of Line 10 subway.

Remnants of the Yuan rammed earth wall still stand and are known as the Tucheng.

The Liao fell to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1122, which gave the city to the Song dynasty and then retook it in 1125 during its conquest of northern China.

In 1153, the Jurchen Jin made Beijing their "Central Capital", or Zhongdu.Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation's political, cultural, and educational center.It is home to the headquarters of most of China's largest state-owned companies and is a major hub for the national highway, expressway, railway, and high-speed rail networks.Beijing's Zhongguancun area is also known as China's Silicon Valley and China's center of innovation and technology entrepreneurship.The English spelling is based on the pinyin romanization of the two characters as they are pronounced in Standard Mandarin.Beijing Municipality is surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin Municipality to the southeast; together the three divisions form the Jingjinji metropolitan region and the national capital region of China.