General Information


Beijing is the second largest city demographically in China after Shanghai. Beijing is the country’s political, cultural and educational center and headquarters for most state-owned companies. Beijing is a hub of national express highways and super speed railways. Beijing has a history of more than 3000 years. Beijing is the latest of the four ancient capitals for great China. Beijing is famous for its splendid palaces, temples, parks, tombs, walls and gates. Beijing is also the country’s cultural center due to its abundant artistic treasures and numerous universities. 


The society:

The Chinese society has passed three development stages: the first stage is traditional society sticking to old doctrines from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) to the 19th century. The second stage expanded from the 19th century till establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. The third stage is called modern Chinese society from 1949 till the present time.

Anyway, the Chinese people in all these stages are combined together by many common points whereas they generally believe in Confucius’s teachings about respecting the family and esteeming the elders etc. Chinese families pay much importance to educating the children on traditional teachings especially those from Confucius. They are also concerned about traditional medicine and folklores like Beijing Opera. Since the beginning of 1980s the Chinese people strictly abide by the one-child policy in family planning which was changed in 2015 to permission of breeding a second child.

The modern Chinese society always emphasizes employment. For example, the Chinese government aims at creating 11 million jobs in merely 2017. Most Chinese enjoy social security and the system will basically cover all urban and rural areas before 2020. The social security involves different kinds of social insurances, minimum guarantee, social aid, charity and commercial insurances.

The Chinese social security system may be the biggest one in the world if all above mentioned mechanisms are accomplished gradually. The social security system was zero when the People’s Republic was founded but gradually a distinctive skeleton was shaped after years of efforts. Five fundamental social security systems were set up and improved gradually: endowment insurance, basic medical insurance, unemployment insurance, job injury insurance and birth insurance in addition to social aid system in urban and rural areas depending on the minimum livelihood guarantee which is progressing with firm steps.

As for workers and clerks, the social securities they enjoy are also called “five insurances plus public fund”, namely endowment insurance, basic medical insurance, unemployment insurance, job injury insurance and birth insurance. In any case, the Chinese society remains a conservative oriental one in spite of all those tremendous changes that struck the social composition during the past thirty years.


Culture and heritage:

 China enjoys abundant heritage for his documented history almost expands 4000 years. China consists of 56 ethnic groups and almost each of them has his own cultural heritage and language so China circulates 53 languages beside the official mandarin Chinese. These ethnic groups differ from one to another in cultural heritage but share some common festival like Spring Festival, Lantern Festival, Qing-Ming Day, Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Day. The Chinese people believe in several religions like Buddhism, Islam, Catholic, Protestant, Taoism and others. 

Intangible cultural heritage:

China is among the most abundant countries in intangible cultural heritage. In June, 2006 the State Council announced the first batch of intangible cultural heritage on the national level covering folk literature, folk music, folk dance, traditional drama, quyi art, acrobat, folk fine arts, handcrafts, traditional medicine, and folk customs in 18 types from 10 classes.

The Kunqu Opera, Guqin Art, Muqam of Uygur and the Mongolia’s long folk song, altogether 25 Chinese projects were incorporated by UNESCO 2005 in the representing list of intangible cultural heritage whereas the long folk song was proposed jointly by China and Republic of Mongolia. Beside the record files for traditional music, secret archives of the Ministerial Council in the Qing Dynasty, outcomes of the royal exams in Qing Dynasty, the Naxi people’s Dongba literature and architecture files of the Qing Dynasty were embodied in the “world heritage for memory”. In 2001, UNESCO incorporated the Chinese Tibetan epic “King Gesar” in the millennium memory of the world.

Natural and cultural heritage:

China joined the “agreement on protection of world natural and cultural heritage” in 1985 and began to nominate his projects into list of world heritage in 1986. In the 37th session of the world heritage convention June, 2013, Tianshan Mount in Xinjiang and Hani Terraces in Yunnan were embodied into world heritage list by UNESCO. Totally 45 Chinese projects were taken into world heritage list, whereas 31 projects in the cultural heritage, 10 projects in the natural heritage and 4 projects in both cultural and natural heritage.

Since 2004, China initiated widely renovation of 6 sites in Beijing embodied in the world cultural heritage list: the 13 Ming Tombs, the Great Wall, the Palace Museum, the Heaven Temple, the Summer Palace and the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian. And since 2006, the Chinese government observed the second Saturday of every June as “cultural heritage day in China”.


The book of songs, compiled in the 6th century BC, is regarded as China’s first anthology of poetry songs. There appeared afterwards simple prose before Qin Dynasty, wonderful Fu works (kind of old poetry) in Han Dynasty and music-accompanied folk songs for court of late Han Dynasty, which could all be seen as masterpieces. The song poetry reached its climax in Tang Dynasty, when about 1000 genius poets like LiBai and DuFu created more than 50 thousand eternal poems.


Chinese traditional dramas have a unique name: Xiqu, which is regarded together with the Greek tragedies and comedies and the Sanskrit Indian dramas as world’s three ancient drama cultures. China has more than 300 operas like Beijing Opera, Kunqu Opera, Yueju Opera, Henan Opera, Guangdong Opera, Sichuan Opera, Qinqiang Opera etc, wherein the Beijing Opera is the most widely spread. Chinese dramas take songs and dances as main methods to tell stories. The plum flower award is seen as highest award for excellent young and middle age drama actors.  

People and politics:

The fundamental system in China’s political composition is the People’s Congress, in addition to the inter-party cooperation, the political consultation, the grassroots autonomy and other basic political systems. All systems are put under the unified leadership of the Communist Party of China. 

The People’s Congress:

The Chinese people implement state power by way of the National people’s Congress and its different local branches. The people’s congress is in fact the fundamental and genuine political system for China and its authorities include: implementation of democratic centralism, to ensure that the people enjoy democracy and other broad rights from one hand, and to ensure centralism and unity in order to exercise state power from the other hand. Since the People’s Congress exercises state power in a unified way, clear limits are set between executive, legislative, judicial and military authorities so that they can cooperate in unity and harmony.

Members of different levels of the People’s Congress are elected from different figures that represent different circles, regions, ethnic groups and social strata.

Inter-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of CPC:

The Communist Party of China is the sole governing party in China, supported by 8 participating parties in all political affairs. The CPC before making crucial decisions about national economy or people’s livelihood usually listens to opinions of other parties and non-party figures. The so called inter-party cooperation and other fundamental systems like political consultation all abide by the leadership of CPC.

The inter-party cooperation and political consultation progress in two ways: the first is the People’s Political Consultative Conference and the second is meetings and colloquia organized by the CPC and attended by participating parties or non-party figures. The People’s Political Consultative Conference consist of representatives of CPC, the participating parties, non-party figures, mass groups, ethnic minorities and other circles in addition to special invitees. Each session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference lasts five years. When the CPPCC assembles in full version every year, its members also attend the National People’s Congress as observers in order to exercise true political consultation, democratic supervision, participation and discussion in the country’s political affairs. 

Regional autonomy for ethnic minorities:

China exercises regional autonomy for ethnic minorities under unified leadership of the country. Ethnic minorities manage local affairs by themselves in their communities while the central government provides them with financial and material aid on a large scale to promote local economic and cultural development. China now has 5 autonomous regions and 30 autonomous districts and 120 autonomous counties in addition to more than 1100 ethnic counties. The autonomy is performed by local branches of the People’s Congress and local governments. And chief of a local autonomous government should come from the specialized ethnic minority. Local autonomy enjoys wide authorities and functions based on local economic and cultural characteristics. The autonomous governments independently arrange financial incomes and treat issues related to local economic development, education, science, culture, health and sports beside protecting, organizing and promoting ethnic cultural heritage.  


 The National People’s Congress:

The National People’s Congress is the supreme organ of state power. The congress consists of representative from all provinces, autonomous regions, central cities, special administrative zones and the army. The National People’s Congress exercises the legislative authority and makes crucial decisions about the country’s political life. The  main functions of the congress include drawing and revising laws, examining and approving national economic and social development plans and state budget and implementation reportages about these issues, making choices between peace and war, electing and appointing high rank state officials including chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, the president, the premier of State Council, chairman of the central military committee or dismissing them.  


President of the republic:

The president of the republic along with the standing committee of the National People’s Congress exercise functions and authorities of head of state. On the basis of decisions of the National People’s Congress and its standing committee, the president issues laws, appoints and dismisses all members of State Council, bestows national honorary medals and titles, issues decisions of special pardon, announces state of emergency and state of war, issues orders of mobilization. The president exercise state activities in name of the country like receiving foreign diplomatic envoys, sending plenipotentiary envoys abroad or recalling them, ratifying important treaties and agreements or annulling them. The current president is H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping.

The State Council:

The State Council means the central government and the supreme executive and administrative body of the country.  The State Council responds to the National People’s Congress and its standing committee and reports to them both about its works. The State Council is authorized to issue administrative regulations, orders and decisions within specified scopes. The State Council consists of premier, premier deputies, secretary-general, member ministers or chairmen of committees (minister grade), governor of the central bank and chief auditor. The current premier is H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang. 

The central military committee:

The central military committee is the commanding organ of the whole state armed forces including the People’s Liberation Army, armed police forces and the militia. The PLA is the regular army and people’s armed police forces undertake preservation of public order. The militia as substitute forces doesn’t give up production. The central military committee consists of chairman, chairman deputies and members. The current chairman of the central military committee is H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping.