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Beijing - The City

olympicsChina today reflects a long legacy of cultural and social change that has shaped its people throughout a five-thousand-year history. With its burgeoning metropolises and astounding landscapes, sacred peaks and imperial ruins, and more than fifty minorities and numerous dialects, China endures as a land of cultural and geographic diversity. The Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Silk Road, terra-cotta warriors, colonial buildings, and revolutionary museums; the gap between rural and urban life; and Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist temples supply the background scenery to the fall of dynasties, the turning of the revolutionary wheel, and the new capitalist market economy. Nowadays, the still visible history mixes everywhere with the new wave of growth and entrepreneurship as China opens its doors to the world with all its myriad possibilities.
mallBeijing, China's enormous capital city located in the northeastern corner of the country, has entered the new millennium with a bang. While the old hutongs and neighborhoods are still a part of Beijing life, they are giving way to new construction that is turning the city into a modern metropolis. Cell phones, MTV, and shopping malls live side-by-side with the Summer Palace, old-school bureaucrats, and traditional open markets. There are those who do not endorse this fast-paced life. However, amid an explosion of economic development and the changing of the political guard, there can be no doubt that change is unavoidable.