An aerial view of Beijing's central axis
Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the country's center for politics, culture, international exchanges and technological innovation. Situated in the north of the North China Plain, Beijing (39°56'N 116°20'E) is surrounded by mountains on three sides and enjoys four distinct seasons. The Municipality covers an area of 16,410.54 km2, with 16 districts and counties. By the end of 2013, its permanent population reached 21,148,000, representing all the 56 ethnic groups in China.
As a world-famous historical and cultural city, Beijing boasts a history of over 3,000 years as an established city and 860 years as the capital of China. It is home to numerous historical sites and cultural landmarks, including the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Ming Tombs and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, all of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritages. Traditional local art performances and crafts, such as Peking Opera and Cloisonné, are also renowned throughout the world.
The Forbidden City
In 2013, the gross regional product (GRP) of Beijing was 1.95 trillion RMB, with a 7.7% increase from the previous year, and the GRP per capita was 93,213 RMB. Retail sales of consumer goods, total investment in fixed asset and local public budget revenue reached 837.51 billion RMB, 703.22 billion RMB and 366.11 billion RMB respectively, up by 8.7%, 8.8% and 10.4%. Per capita disposable income for urban residents was 40,321 RMB and per capita net income for rural residents was 18,337 RMB, up by 7.1% and 7.7% respectively.
In 2013, Beijing's total import and export volume stood at 429.1 billion U.S. dollars, in which export registered 63.25 billion U.S. dollars. The actual utilized foreign capital reached 8.52 billion U.S. dollars and annual outbound investment volume reached 3.08 billion U.S. dollars. Beijing has taken an active part in the process of global economic division. Now, it is home to 52 Fortune Global 500 company headquarters, ranking the first among all cities in the world, and more than 26,000 foreign-invested companies are registered in Beijing. By February 2014, Beijing has established sister city ties with 50 cities in the world.
With persistent effort in industrial restructuring, Beijing's industrial structure has been consistently optimized. In 2013, the ratio of primary, secondary and tertiary industries has shifted from 0.8:22.7:76.5 to 0.8:22.3:76.9. The proportion of the tertiary industry, with a 0.4 percentage increase, is much higher than the national average of 46.1%, ranking the first in China. A total of 62,743 pieces of technical contracts were signed in 2013, up by 4.6% from the previous year, and the total turnover of technical contracts reached 285.12 billion RMB, a year-on-year increase of 16%.
The Temple of Heaven
The 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and Paralympics, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Beijing Summit and other international events have enhanced the city's cultural and ethical progress, and improved the city's overall service management. By the end of 2013, there are 591 star-rated hotels and around 60 Grade-A travel agencies in Beijing, ensuring sufficient capacity for conferences, accommodation and hospitality. In line with the requirements of the APEC meetings, we will provide tailored service programs covering room arrangement, menu, and language services. We will also provide high-quality tourism routes and multi-lingual services, and arrange activities such as sightseeing and shopping.
Beijing has established a modern, sophisticated and multi-dimensional transport network. In 2013, the passenger throughput of Beijing Capital International Airport hit 83.7 million, ranking the second in the world. Beijing is connected with most of the large and medium-sized cities in the country via express trains. In addressing the issue of transport, priority is given to public transport, and a series of traffic management policies have been implemented. As of the end of 2013, there were 813 bus routes with a total length of 20,575 kilometers, and the total operation mileage of intra-city rail system exceeded 465 kilometers. 46% citizens have chosen public transportation for their daily trips. During the APEC meetings, we will formulate traffic management and guarantee plans based on Beijing's traffic features and air quality, so as to strike a balance between conference and urban traffic.
In recent years, the city has made major efforts in pollution management with the focus on air quality. Consequently, a great number of coal-fired boilers have been upgraded to use clean fuel. In 2013, the average daily concentrations of inhalable particles and sulfur dioxide were 108 and 26.5 µg/m3, with respective decreases of 0.9% and 5.4% from last year; the decontamination rate of urban refuse reached 99.3%, up by 0.2% year-on-year; the sewage treatment rates for the municipality and the six districts located at city center and inner suburbs reached 84% and 96.5% respectively, up by 1% and 0.5% from the previous year; and the forest coverage rate and woody plant coverage rate reached 40% and 57.4% respectively.
Overview of the conference venue
The Yanqi Lake
The APEC 2014 Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) will be held at Beijing's Yanqi Lake. Yanqi Lake is located in the scenic Yanqi Township, Huairou District, 50 kilometers and about 45 minutes' drive from the downtown area and about 30 minutes' drive from Beijing Capital International Airport.
The construction of conference venues by Yanqi Lake is guided by the concept of "low carbon, pro-environment, and scientific and technological innovation." More than 70 world-leading ecological technologies are adopted to realize 100% clean energy use, solar-heated water use, hazard-free treatment of household waste, recycling of kitchen waste, sewage treatment, implementation of soil and water conservation plans, and ecological embankment of water bodies.
China National Convention Center
Other major meetings of the APEC 2014 Economic Leaders' Week will be held at the China National Convention Center, which is located in the heart of the Olympic Park, adjacent to the Bird Nest and the Water Cube. During the 2008 Summer Olympics, it served as the main media center and international broadcasting center as well as the venue for fencing and air pistol events. The Center has a total floor space of 530,000m2, including 270,000m2 designated for convention and exhibition. It is the largest of its kind in Asia so far.