Clockwise from top:
Skyline (2017), Great Wall of China at Badaling (2008), Temple of Heaven (2004), National Center for the Performing Arts (2007), Beijing National Stadium (2008), Tiananmen (2005)
Beijing outline map
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|resident||21,893,095 (2020) ( 2nd )|
|density||1,334.1 residents /km²|
|telephone area code||10|
|Mayor||Cai Qi (executive)|
Beijing (obsolete Latinized transliteration, officially Beijing , Chinese 北京, pinyin Běijīng , W.-G. Pei-ching - "Northern Capital", [ pei˨˩tɕiŋ˥˥ ] ) is the capital of the People's Republic of China . Beijing has a history of over three thousand years and is now one of the four self-government cities , i. that is, it has the rank of a province .
The entire 16,411 square kilometers (almost half the size of North Rhine-Westphalia ) large administrative area of Beijing has 21,893,095 inhabitants (as of the 2020 census). The largest part of the area is structured rurally, and in addition to the core city of Beijing there are other urban settlements embedded in it. Of the total population, 11.8 million are registered permanent residents (戶口 / 户口, hùkǒu ) and 7.7 million are temporary residents (流動人口 / 流动人口, liúdòng rénkǒu ) with temporary residency (暫住證 / 暂住证, zànzhù ) If the core city (high building density and closed local form) is taken as the basis, 7.7 million people live in Beijing with their main residence (as of 2007) . The metropolitan area (including suburbs) has 11.8 million inhabitants (as of 2007) . From 2018, the metropolis is to become the core of a megalopolis of 130 million inhabitants called Jing-Jin-Ji .
As the capital, Beijing is the political center of China. Due to the long history, Beijing is home to significant cultural heritage . This includes the traditional residential areas with hutongs , Tian'anmen Square (天安門廣場 / 天安门广场 - "lit. Square at the Gate of Heavenly Peace"), the Forbidden City , declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987 , the new and old Summer Palace and various temples such as B. 2012 the Temple of Heaven , the Temple of the Lama and the Temple of Confucius.
The name Beijing , German Peking (北京, Běijīng ), literally means "Northern Capital". The name of the city of Nanjing (南京, Nánjīng ) for 'Southern Capital' was also formed in the same way . The same also applies to Japanese Tokyo ( Japanese 東京 Tōkyō ) and Vietnamese Đông Kinh (old name for Hanoi), both of which mean "Eastern Capital" (in their respective frames of reference) and are called Dōngjīng (東京 / 东京) in Chinese.
The usual German name "Peking" follows the spelling of the old Chinese Post transcription system . In Standard Chinese , the city is pronounced [ b̥èɪ̯.d̥ʑ̥íŋ ] ( ). In the official pinyin transcription it is therefore written Běijīng or Beijing without tones .
In Germany z. For example, the Foreign Office still uses the spelling "Peking". In German-language publications from China, only the official Chinese spelling "Beijing" is used. The German media have increasingly used this form in recent years. In contrast, the city was historically called "Pekingen" and "Pecking" in German.
Located 110 kilometers northwest of the Bohai Gulf in the heart of Hebei Province , Beijing is an independently administered sub-government city with an area of 16,807.8 km², roughly the area of the federal state of Thuringia or Styria . Of this, however, only 1,369.9 km² (8%) belong to the core city (high building density and closed town form). 15,398.4 km² (92%) consists of suburbs and areas with a rural settlement structure. The Beijing metropolitan area , including the suburban belt surrounding the city proper, has an area of 8,859.9 km².
The city is located on the northwestern edge of the densely populated North China Plain at an average elevation of 63 meters above sea level and is surrounded by mountains (Mongolian Plateau). The highest point in the administrative area of Beijing is the Ling Shan (more precisely: Dongling Shan東靈山 / 东灵山) with 2303 meters. The area extends over 180 km in a north-south direction and over 170 km in an east-west direction. Other major cities in the administrative area of Beijing are (as of January 1, 2007): Mentougou 205,574 inhabitants, Tongzhou 169,770 inhabitants, Shunyi 122,264 inhabitants, Huangcun 109,043 inhabitants and Fangshan 100,855 inhabitants.
The North China Plain (Great Plain) in which Beijing lies is geologically a collapse field that was later filled in by the delta formations of the North China Currents. It consists of alluvial loess and sands brought in by the rivers from the western mountainous countries. So the plain is a continuation of the loessland.
It is also similar to the neighboring Loessberg countries in terms of climate - hot, humid summers and dry, cold winters with dust storms - and in terms of plant geography - parkland with steppe-like features. The North China Plain is a huge alluvial fan created by the Huang He , the world's muddiest river, over many millennia, with branches north and south of the Shandong Peninsula reaching the Yellow Sea .
The area is exposed to strong tectonic stresses that repeatedly lead to earthquakes , which is why the Jiufeng earthquake station was set up in 1930 . The cause is the slow northward shift of the Indian tectonic plate into the Eurasian tectonic plate. The average speed of plate tectonics is about four centimeters per year.
On July 28, 1976, Tangshan , 140 km east of Beijing, experienced the most momentous earthquake of the 20th century (see 1976 Tangshan quake ). It had a magnitude of 8.2 on the Richter scale . The official figure from the government of the People's Republic of China on the number of dead is 242,419, but some estimates put the number up to 800,000 dead, and the strength is officially only given as 7.8. The quake also caused damage in Beijing and other cities in the region.
Downtown Beijing (marked red and blue) without the suburban belt is made up of six wards . On July 1, 2010, Chongwen District (崇文區 / 崇文区, Chóngwén Qū ) was incorporated into Dongcheng District , and Xuanwu District (宣武區 / 宣武区, Xuānwǔ Qū ) was incorporated into Xicheng District .
- Chaoyang (朝陽區 / 朝阳区, Cháoyáng Qū ),
- Dongcheng (東城區 / 东城区, Dongcheng Qū ),
- Fengtai (豐台區 / 丰台区, Fēngtái Qū ),
- Haidian (海澱區 / 海淀区, 'Hǎidiàn Qū ),
- Shijingshan (石景山區 / 石景山区, Shíjǐngshān Qū ),
- Xicheng (西城區 / 西城区, Xīcheng Qū ),
In the vicinity of downtown Beijing (marked in green) there are another six districts. Between 1986 and 2001, these were converted from districts into city districts.
- Mentougou (門頭溝區 / 门头沟区, Méntóugōu Qū ),
- Fangshan (房山區 / 房山区, Fángshān Qū ) – Fangshan County until 1986,
- Tongzhou (通州區 / 通州区, Tōngzhōu Qū ) – Tongxian County until 1997,
- Shunyi (順義區 / 顺义区, Shùnyì Qū ) – Shunyi County until 1998,
- Changping (昌平區 / 昌平区, Chāngpíng Qū ) – Changping County until 1999,
- Daxing (大興區 / 大兴区, Dàxīng Qū ) – Daxing County until 2001.
Further away from the downtown area there are four other boroughs (marked in yellow). These were formed in 2001 and 2015 from former districts.
- Pinggu District (平谷區 / 平谷区, Pínggǔ Qū ) – Pinggu County until 2001.
- Huairou District (懷柔區 / 怀柔区, Huáiróu Qū ) – Huairou County until 2001.
- Miyun Municipality (密雲區 / 密云区, Mìyún Qū ),– Miyun County until 2015.
- Yanqing Municipality (延慶區 / 延庆区, Yánqìng Qū ).– Yanqing County until 2015.
Although Beijing is only about 150 kilometers from the coast, due to its location in the west wind belt , it has a temperate continental climate , meaning warm, wet summers and cold, dry winters. Average annual precipitation is 578 mm, of which about 62% falls in July and August.
The average annual temperature is 11.8 °C. The warmest month is July with an average daily high of 30.8 °C and an average daily low of 21.6 °C. The coldest month in the Beijing area is January, with a mean daily high of 1.6 °C and a mean daily low of -9.6 °C.
In winter, temperatures drop to -20°C and a icy wind blows from the plains of Inner Mongolia . Summer (June to August) is muggy and hot with temperatures up to 40°C, the short spring (April and May) is dry but windy. Autumn (September and October) has dry and mild weather.
Visibility is poor when the wind comes from the south or south-east, especially in June to August. On the other hand, when the wind comes from the north, it gets very cold in the winter, and then in the spring there are the sandstorms. The highest temperature was officially measured on June 15, 1942 at 42.6 °C, the lowest on February 22, 1966 at −27.4 °C.
Monthly average temperatures and rainfall for Beijing
Source: DWD, rainy days and humidity: reference period 1951-1980, otherwise: reference period 1961-1990
The Chinese capital is struggling with numerous environmental problems . These include excessive river pollution, problems with drinking water supplies, air pollution , shortcomings in local public transport and excessive traffic congestion. Since the early 1990s, the government has made increased efforts to promote environmental protection. Laws have been enacted on recycling , environmental impact assessment, increasing energy efficiency, and clean air.
To improve air quality, stricter emission regulations have been enacted. Since January 1, 2003, only passenger cars that meet the Euronorm 2 have been registered. Since March 1, 2008, all new cars must meet the Euro IV standard . Numerous diesel-powered buses have been replaced by natural gas buses . In addition, the proportion of electrically operated trolleybuses in the total of 18,000 buses in Beijing rose to around five percent. Local rail transport, especially the subway network, is also being greatly expanded. However, air pollution in the metropolis remains a concern. The high levels of particulate matter and other air pollutants are a major problem.
As part of the Clean Air Plan, all of the city's coal -fired power plants were shut down from 2013 to 2017 and replaced with low-emission gas -fired power plants . A program was also launched with the aim of converting residential buildings heated with coal to electric heat pump heating systems.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the air quality in the capital is one of the worst in the world. The causes lie in the numerous factories and power plants as well as in traffic and in private households. Due to the rapid urbanization, the sharp increase in traffic and the concentration of industry in the metropolitan area , the excessive pollution and smog pose a serious threat to public health. During inversion weather conditions, respiratory diseases in particular increase among the population of the capital.
Representatives of Homo erectus already lived in the area of present-day Beijing 770,000 ± 80,000 years ago ; they came to be known by the appellation Peking people after their remains were discovered in the 1920s and 1930s at Zhoukoudian , 50 km southwest of downtown.
The time before the Yuan Dynasty came to power
Ji (Reed) – 1000 BC Chr.
The history of the city of Beijing dates back to the Western Zhou Dynasty (1121-770 BC) when it was called Ji (reed). The city was founded under this name in 1000 BC. Chr. first mentioned in a document. Ji was at that time a center for trade with the Mongols and Koreans , as well as various tribes from Shandong and central China.
Yanjing (capital of the Yan) - 475 to 221 BC Chr.
During the Warring States Period , Beijing was the capital of Yan , hence the name of the city Yanjing (capital of the Yan) . 221 BC The later first emperor Qin Shihuangdi (259-210 BC) occupied the city during his war of unification. Under his reign the northern walls were fortified.
Renaming back to Ji (reed) – after 221 BC Chr.
In the following centuries, Ji developed from an insignificant provincial town into a trading hub and important military base for the defense of China's northern borders and was repeatedly occupied by steppe and nomadic peoples from the north because of its strategic importance.
Youzhou - 618 to 907 AD
During the Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907) , a military governor ruled in the city now called Youzhou . It has always stood in the shadow of Chang'an , the capital of China at the time . It was only under the foreign rule of the Liao dynasty that Beijing regained some of its former importance.
In 937, the Kitan under Te-kuang (926–947) conquered part of northern China and established their seat of power in Beijing. In 960 the Kitan in the Song Dynasty had an equal opponent. The Song dynasty attempted to retake northern China in 979, but failed to defeat the Kitan general Yelü Hsiu-ko before Beijing. Yelü Hsiu-ko was also victorious in 986.
Zhongdu (Middle Capital) – 1153 to 1215
After the Jurchen conquest in 1153, Beijing became the capital of the Jin Dynasty and was magnificently expanded under the name of Zhongdu (“Middle Capital”). Over 100,000 workers were hired to expand the city.
Cambaluc / Dadu (City of Khan / Great Capital) - after 1215
In 1215 the troops of Genghis Khan (1162-1227) took Beijing. They sacked the city and set it on fire. Kublai Khan later had Dadu (the great capital) built on the old ruins, also known as Khanbaliq ( City of the Khan , near Marco Polo Kambaluk ). With the creation of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, the city gained a dominant position.
The rule of the Yuan Dynasty
During the reign of Kublai Khan (1215-1294), the founder of the Yuan dynasty, Beijing was planned and expanded under the name of Dadu as the capital of the Yuan . The city was the main residence of the Mongols from 1264 to 1368. At that time, the grandson of Genghis Khan was in charge of almost all of East Asia and the first Europeans – including Marco Polo (1254–1324), according to his own statements – came to Beijing via the famous Silk Road .
Marco Polo, who was Kublai's guest and worked in the city for a while, was extremely impressed by the great sophistication: "There are so many houses and people that no one could number them... I don't think there is any place in the world that sees so many traders, so many valuable and peculiar goods and treasures coming from all directions..."
The wealth was due to the city's location at the starting point of the Silk Road, and according to Polo, "almost a day more than a thousand carts loaded with silk" arrived in the city for onward journeys to lands west of China.
In a display of style and splendor unparalleled by the great khans who later came to be called emperors, Kublai built a palace of enormous proportions , protected on all sides by walls and accessed by marble stairs .
Development of power under the Ming and Qing dynasties
In 1368 the Yuan dynasty was succeeded by the Ming dynasty . Hongwu (1328–1398), the first emperor of the Ming dynasty, established his capital in Nanjing (Southern Capital) on the Yangzi River and changed the name Dadus to Beiping (北平, Běipíng , Pei-p'ing - "Northern Peace" ).
Beginning in 1408, Emperor Yongle began to completely rebuild the city under its new name Beijing (Northern Capital) . Among other things, he created the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven , with which Yongle outlined important elements of urban development. In 1421, Yongle made Beijing the new capital of the Ming Dynasty . During the subsequent Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the city was expanded with more temples and palaces. This period was marked by the rise and fall of the Manchu and Qing dynasties respectively.
The capital experienced its heyday during the first half of the 18th century under the emperors Kangxi , Yongzheng and Qianlong . At that time, the Qing also built the legendary Summer Palace north of the city , a unique garden complex for the nobility with 200 pavilions, temples and palace buildings set against the backdrop of a vast landscape of man-made lakes and hills. Together with the imperial palace, it formed the center and symbol of Chinese glory and development of power.
However , during the Second Opium War in 1860, British and French troops advanced to the walls of the capital and the Summer Palace was first looted by the British and then set on fire, practically burning it to the ground. While the imperial court lived in a separate, walled city in a spacious area, the civilian population had to live under inhumane conditions.
From 1884 , the Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908) began to build a new summer palace for herself with funds that were actually intended for the modernization of the Chinese navy . Your project, as the last major symbol, marked the end of imperial architectural splendor and patronage – and like its predecessor, it was destroyed by fire by foreign soldiers during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. At the time, the empire and the imperial capital were on the verge of collapse as a result of successive waves of foreign occupation.
Beijing after the Manchu abdication
After the Manchu abdication and the founding of the Republic of China in 1912, Beijing remained the political center of China until 1928. Then Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) established the capital in Nanjing . Being under the control of rival warlords , Beijing was renamed Beiping (Northern Peace) by the Kuomintang in 1928 to indicate that it was not a capital city.
During the tumultuous 1920s, mass rallies of residents erupted in Beijing, first in 1925 to protest the massacre of Chinese demonstrators in Shanghai by British soldiers, and in 1926 to express their anger at the government's ignominious surrender to Japan in Manchuria . announce crisis . As the protesters marched toward government agencies, soldiers opened fire on them.
The city was occupied by the Japanese Army during the Marco Polo Bridge Incident (Lugouqiao) at the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War on July 19, 1937 . The city was only liberated by the Kuomintang and US Marines in 1945 after the end of the Pacific War .
The period since the communists took power
In January 1949, the Communists took Beijing - nine months before Chiang Kai-shek's flight to Taiwan made final victory a certainty. Following the founding of the People's Republic of China by Mao Zedong on October 1, 1949, the communist government declared Beijing the capital again.
The rebuilding of the capital and the eradication of the symbols of previous regimes were top priorities for the new rulers. In order to free itself from the past and build a modern capital of the people, a large part of the valuable old building fabric was destroyed or misused. For example, the Temple of Cultivated Wisdom was converted into a wire factory and light bulbs were manufactured in the Temple of the Fire God. In the 1940s the city still had 8,000 temples and monuments, by the 1960s this number had shrunk to 150.
Beijing became the scene of a massive popular uprising in 1989, when almost a million demonstrators took to Tiananmen Square in the city center between April and June of that year to express their displeasure at the slow pace of reforms, the lack of freedom and the far widespread corruption . A huge statue, the goddess of freedom, made to carry a torch in both hands, was made by art students and juxtaposed with the portrait of Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square.
As a result, the Chinese government imposed martial law on May 20 of that year. On June 4, 1989, the peacefully demonstrating democracy movement was brutally crushed by the army; thousands of civilians died.
On October 20, 1998, the country's first human rights conference opened in Beijing. More than 100 representatives from 27 countries took part in the conference. - In July 2001, the International Olympic Committee designated Beijing as the venue for the 2008 Summer Olympics .
The biggest problems the city is facing today because of a failed (modern) urban planning policy are the increasing immigration, the air pollution caused by outdated factories and the excessive traffic that is bringing the city to the brink of gridlock and its share of poor air quality contributes.
As early as 1450, 600,000 people lived in Beijing. By 1800, the city's population had risen to 1.1 million. After a temporary decline to 693,000 in 1900, the population grew to 1.6 million in 1930 and to 2.8 million in 1953. In 2007, 7.7 million people lived in the core city (high building density and closed town form), two and a half times as many as in 1953. The population density is 5639 inhabitants per square kilometer. In Berlin , for comparison, there are 3,800. In 2007, 11.8 million people lived in the metropolitan region of Beijing, which also includes the suburban belt surrounding the city proper. The population density in 2007 was 1337 people per square kilometer.
The entire administrative area of the direct government city of Beijing, which also includes extensive rural areas, had around 21.5 million inhabitants in 2016. In 2015, the population was 21.7 million, of which 13.5 million were registered permanent residents (戶口 / 户口, hùkǒu ) and 8.2 million were temporary residents (流動人口 / 流动人口, liúdòng rénkǒu ) with temporary residence permits (暫住證 / 暂住证, zànzhùzhèng ).
If you want to stay longer than three days in the city, you have to report to the Office for Public Security and will be registered there. The applicant then receives a temporary residence permit for three months, which must be renewed after the period has expired. A certificate from the place of origin must be submitted to the office, confirming that the person is registered there. There are also about a million guest workers in the city , mostly unskilled migrant workers and illegal immigrants who are not recorded by official statistics. Since the birth rate is low, population growth is mainly due to immigration. The natural growth rate of the permanent resident population in Beijing is currently 0.9 per 1,000 people, birth rate: 6.0 per 1,000 people, death rate: 5.1 per 1,000 people.
About 95.7% of the population is Han . The largest ethnic minority with over 1.8% of the population are the Manchu ; with 1.74%, the Muslim Hui Chinese are in second place. There are also significant groups of Mongolians (0.3% of the Beijing population) and Koreans (0.15%). All of China's ethnic groups are also represented in small numbers among Beijing residents; The De'ang, a Mon-Khmer people, with four inhabitants, are in last place quantitatively. The Chinese spoken in Beijing largely corresponds to Standard Chinese (Putonghua), the official language of the People's Republic of China, with some colloquialisms.
The following overview shows the population of the core city (without the suburban belt). Registered residents with main residence in Beijing are listed.
development of the housing situation
According to Forbes' 2009 list of the World's Most Expensive Cities To Live , Beijing is considered a very high cost of living city and one of the most expensive cities in the world. In a 2018 ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Beijing ranked 119th out of 231 cities surveyed worldwide.
Many elements of modern urban planning policies were devastating to the populace, creating more problems than they solved. A large part of the traditional courtyard houses ( siheyuan ) in the narrow streets ( hutongs ), which were considered a breeding ground for individualists, have been demolished since 1949. Their place was taken by anonymous new buildings made of concrete, often with inadequate sanitary facilities and hardly any running water.
When extensive renovation work on the buildings seemed urgently needed in the late 1960s, an underground network of tunnels was built instead, which was intended to provide protection in the event of war. Millions of man-hours were invested in the project, which could not provide protection against modern bombs and ultimately only led to the lowering of the water table.
In 1950, the government ordered the killing of all dogs in the Chinese capital. The killing of numerous sparrows in 1956 - the measure was originally intended to protect grain stocks - resulted in the insects being able to reproduce more quickly. To counteract this, the city government ordered the removal of all green spaces in the capital, which in turn caused dust storms in the windy winter months.
At the beginning of the new millennium, major urban regeneration projects were underway to prepare Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics . Various efforts to curb air pollution have already been made; Factories that could not be further modernized had to close. Open spaces have been brought to life again by extensive greening. The polluted canals were dredged.
As the guiding star on China's path to modernity, Beijing is leading the way in transforming the country. Buildings are being demolished and new ones erected at a rapid pace, as evidenced by the white characters拆( chāi for demolition ) on old houses and the many construction cranes. Mostly modern concrete and glass buildings are being erected in the city center, and numerous office complexes are being built along the broad main avenues. The housing there is not affordable for the poorer sections of the population. They are pushed to the outskirts of the city.
Most residents of Beijing live in high-rise buildings. Two residential areas are particularly important for this: the Wangjing area in the northeast and the Huilongguan residential area in the northwest. To deal with the problem of overpopulation, a number of satellite cities , each with more than 500,000 inhabitants, are under construction and planning as part of large-scale construction measures .
Chen Jining (born 1964) has been the mayor of Beijing since May 2017 . His predecessor was Guo Jinlong from November 2007 until his retirement in July 2012 . Guo was born in Nanjing in July 1947 and was most recently the party secretary of Anhui and is a member of the CPC Central Committee . His predecessor was Wang Qishan , born in July 1948 in Shanxitian Township near the city of Qingdao . He took over the post on April 22, 2003 from Meng Xuenong, who was ousted from his post by the Chinese Communist Party for misconduct during the SARS outbreak in the capital .
Meng Xuenong has been blamed for a policy of cover-up and silence to conceal the SARS outbreak for a long time. Several thousand people fell ill with SARS in Beijing and hundreds died. Meng Xuenong took over as mayor from Liu Qi on January 19, 2003 .
Other members of the Beijing municipal government include Secretary of the Party Committee Liu Qi, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress Yu Junbo and Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Cheng Shi'e. The CPPCC is composed of the National Committee and local committees at various levels.
The city government is subordinate to the governments of 16 boroughs and two counties. The city districts are in turn divided into street quarters , partly also into municipalities , large municipalities and "sub-districts" (at the municipal level). The districts, on the other hand, are made up of municipalities and large municipalities, only in Miyun district , which has developed a small urban center, there are two street districts. At the bottom of Beijing's administrative pyramid are the so-called residents ' communities (社區 / 社区, shèqū ) in the urban areas, which are administered by the residents' committees (居民委員會 / 居民委员会, jūmín wěiyuánhùi ) and in the rural areas the villages (村, cūn ) administered by village committees (村民委員會 / 村民委员会, cūnmín wěiyuánhùi ).
Beijing has partnerships with the following cities:
Beijing has partnerships with the following regions:
- since March 14, 1979: Tokyo Prefecture , Japan
- since July 2, 1987: Île-de-France , France
- since December 6, 1998: Gauteng Province , South Africa
- since January 17, 2005: Autonomous Community of Madrid , Spain
Culture and sights
music and theatre
There are numerous theaters (for example , the People's Theater ), as well as the Beijing Concert Hall for music events. The famous Peking Opera is named after Beijing and represents a special mixture of different art forms such as song, dance, acrobatics and mimicry . The plot is mostly based on historical or mythological material.
Contemporary theater , on the other hand , is undergoing rapid change and has recently shown Chinese translations of Western plays and experimental productions by local playwrights .
The spoken theater found its way onto Chinese stages only in the 20th century. Its home became the Folk Art Theater in Beijing, where before the Cultural Revolution European plays with a clear social message were shown. In 1968, however, this art form was banned by Jiang Qing , Mao Zedong's third wife, with the exception of a few pieces - deemed edifying to society. The theater and most cinemas were closed for around ten years.
The radio station China National Radio (CNR) has its own concert hall with excellent acoustics. This concert hall is also the broadcasting hall where many concerts are recorded or broadcast directly across the country. In this concert hall is one of the largest organs in China, it comes from Germany and was built in 1999 by the company Gebr. Oberlinger Orgelbau based in Windesheim , Rhineland-Palatinate.
Beijing's museums house some of the most important collections of Chinese traditional art and archaeological finds, including the National Art Museum and the Capital Museum . In addition, Beijing also has a natural history museum and a large museum for technology and science.
The result of a Qing emperor's passion for collecting is an unusual watch museum in the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City . Most of the exhibits are exuberant examples of Baroque ornamentation from Britain and France , but perhaps the most impressive is the giant Chinese water clock.
In recent years, Beijing has become a center of contemporary, especially Chinese, art. Much of the more sophisticated exhibitions take place in private galleries. Many are concentrated in so-called art districts, mostly in former factory buildings such as 798 , Caochangdi or Jiuchang. In the city center, the most famous are the Courtyard Gallery on Donghuamen Dajie and the Red Gate Gallery .
60 kilometers north of the city is the Aviation Museum . In a huge hangar and exhibition hall, more than 300 aircraft are on display, ranging from a replica of the Wright brothers ' airplane piloted by Feng Ru (1883-1912), the first Chinese aircraft engineer and pilot in 1909, to attack helicopters that used in the First Gulf War . The collection also includes fighter planes from the Korean War , the bomber that dropped China's first atomic bomb in 1964 , Mao Zedong's personal plane and the plane from which Zhou Enlai 's ashes were scattered.
Old Town and Imperial Palace
The old town of Beijing, which was originally surrounded by a large wall, was planned as an image of the cosmos - from Greek kósmos = the world [order] - and consisted of three rectangular districts (imperial, inner and outer city). On the main axis of the old town, in the north-south direction, there were gates, palaces and ceremonial buildings. The Forbidden City - it was originally not accessible to the common people - is home to the walled former Imperial Palace, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. The site was the residence of 24 Chinese emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties and their families. Today, the Forbidden City houses the Beijing Palace Museum .
The old town consisted of the Outer Town and the square northern part of the Inner Town, built from 1409 to 1420 and surrounded by a wide 15 meter high wall with nine gates. The inner city's boundaries largely corresponded to those of the capital Dadu in the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368). In the inner city was the imperial city, which contained government buildings, palaces, temples, gardens and parks, and the Forbidden City. Outside the imperial city were districts with markets and temples, as well as residential areas. The wall was about 25 kilometers long.
Located in the southern part, the Outer City was built during the Ming Dynasty between 1521 and 1566. It was rectangular and had a wall 23.5 kilometers long. There were both important temple districts and residential areas for the common people in this area. After the communists seized power in China on October 1, 1949, the old city walls of Beijing were torn down and replaced by main thoroughfares; however, several of the old city gates have been preserved.
The Palace Museum (Gugong) in the Forbidden City is the former residence of the imperial family and court. This complex - built in the 15th century - comprises a series of huge halls and palaces. West of this complex is the Zhongnanhai area , a large park with lakes surrounded by a wall.
Just south of the Forbidden City and the Palace Museum is Tian'anmen Square (Gate of Heavenly Peace) , the center of the city. Up to a million people can gather in the square. With an area of 40 hectares, it is the largest public square in the world. It was created in its current size after the communists took power. Big celebrations and rallies are held here every year.
On the west side of the square is the Great Hall of the People (seat of the Chinese National Assembly), on the east side there is a Museum of Chinese History and Revolution. A monument to the People's Heroes and the tomb of former Chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976) dominate the central square.
In its more recent history, the square has served as a setting for numerous historically significant mass rallies: on May 4, 1919, the first demands for democracy and liberalism by students demonstrating against the Versailles Treaty ; on December 9, 1935, the anti-Japanese protests calling for a war of national resistance; In 1966, the eight stage-ready mass marches that marked the beginning of the Cultural Revolution and for which around a million Red Guards were transported to Beijing each time to be sworn into revolutionary ideals and then ordered to the provinces. In April 1976, during the Tiananmen Incident , just before China 's Memorial Day , wreaths and flowers placed in memory of former Prime Minister Zhou Enlai (1898-1976) were removed by security forces due to intra-party disputes.
Today, however, the square is best known for the 1989 Tian'anmen Massacre , when pro-democracy students and workers demonstrated and thousands were killed by the Chinese military on June 4 of that year.
Of the many temples, the Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) in the southern part of the Outer City is particularly noteworthy (including the Hall of Annual Prayers). There the emperor prayed every year for a rich harvest.
The facility is located in Xuanwu District in the south of the city in the middle of a large park. The most important building of the temple is the Hall of Harvest Offerings, a circular building on a three-tiered marble terrace. It was built in 1420, burned down in 1889 and was rebuilt in 1890.
In the northwestern suburbs (Shisan ling) are the Ming tombs of the emperors from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). This is reached via an avenue lined with marble lions, elephants, camels and horses. Northwest of the tombs (near Badaling) is part of the Great Wall of China .
The Old Observatory is interesting as a relic of bygone times. The first observatory at this point was built by order of Kublai Khan (1215-1294) to have the then erroneous calendar corrected by astronomers. Later, when Islamic science was at its height, it came under Muslim control, only to finally pass into the hands of Christian Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century , who remained the masters until the 1830s.
The complex has an idyllic garden and eight Ming Dynasty astronomical instruments - beautifully crafted armillary spheres , theodolites and the like - on the roof. Attached is a small museum with a display of early astronomy-inspired pottery and navigational instruments.
Other important sights are the 400 meter high TV tower built in 1992 , the spectacular Central Chinese Television Headquarters , the city's highest skyscraper at 330 meters within the China World Trade Center , the Chinese National Opera and the numerous Christian churches. The largest and most famous of them are the Eastern Church (Wangfujing), the Western Church (Xizhimen), the Southern Church (Xuanwumen) and the Northern Church (Xishiku). Also worth mentioning are the Imperial Summer Palace (Yihe Yuan) and the ruins of the Old Summer Palace (Yuanming Yuan).
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China stretches 8,850 kilometers through China, a monumental structure that was built in the 5th century BC. and continued until the 16th century. The pieces that still stand today would stretch from New York to Los Angeles , and if you built a single wall five meters high and one meter deep from their stones, the result would be a distance longer than the circumference of the earth.
The best-known section of the wall is at Badaling , 70 km north-west of Beijing. It was the first section to be restored in 1957. The wall there is six meters wide and equipped with watchtowers from the Ming period (1368-1644) at regular intervals. Its course follows the ridge of a chain of hills and could hardly have been designed better in terms of defensive strategy, which is why this section was never attacked directly, but was taken from the sides.
Less well known is the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu , 90 km northeast of Beijing. The section there, built in 1368 and restored in 1983, with its numerous watchtowers is two kilometers long and stretches along a ridge in a green, gently undulating landscape. Another section of the Great Wall of China is at Simatai , 110 km northeast of Beijing. Most of this wall segment, which dates back to the Ming dynasty, has been left in its original state and only has a few innovations from later times such as turrets for cannons and inner wall barriers drawn across the outer wall to stop enemies who had already entered.
parks and green spaces
In Chinese culture, the connection between home and nature or imitated nature is traditionally close. However, in the urban settlements, this idea was repeatedly pushed aside in favor of the best possible use of the scarce land, especially in recent years with the advent of high-rise residential buildings in serial construction. Only residual areas were left for green spaces near the house. The structural density is so great that there was a need for public parks, sports facilities, leisure and play areas to compensate.
Lately, the idea has prevailed that a city with a smog bell hanging over most of the time has little future. There are two notable countermeasures: emission control and reduction, and ventilation via green corridors. In the meantime, it has become standard practice to create accompanying green strips on expressways, which form even smaller wooded areas with a width of 100 to 400 meters. In particular, the program to expand the river beds and canals with wide banks is a step forward. For example, smaller parks, bike paths and leisure facilities were scattered in the shoulders of the dammed rivers around Beijing, so that the residents of the new outskirts settlements have recreational opportunities close to their homes. Even the numerous new golf courses are to be mentioned here, although they are less frequented as non-public areas.
Commonly referred to as the Summer Palace , Yiheyuan is one of the most attractive parks in Beijing. The huge area, two thirds of which is a lake, was used by the last emperors as a summer resort, to which they and their court retreated during the hottest months of the year.
And the location, surrounded by hills, cooled by the lake and sheltered by gardens, is ideal. Imperial pavilions have been there since the 11th century, but most of the current structure dates from the 18th century under the Manchu Emperor Qianlong .
The North Sea Park (北海公園 / 北海公园, Běihǎi Gōngyuán ) northwest of the Imperial Palace is one of the typical Chinese gardens . The Jin Emperor Shizong began building a summer palace and this park in 1179.
Emperor Kublai Khan made it his residence in 1260 by occupying the "Hall of Expansive Refrigeration". In its place, the Lamaistic "White Pagoda" was built by the Qing emperors from 1651, which still dominates the park today. Emperor Qianlong had extensive expansion work carried out between 1735 and 1796. Almost all of today's buildings in this park date from this construction period.
Other parks are Jingshan Park and Ditan Park . Several parks are located in the mountains west of the city, such as Badachu and Fragrant Hill Park . There is also the new and old Beijing Botanical Garden with the Valley of the Cherries. The Beijing Zoo is also worth seeing , not only for the giant panda, but also for the aquarium.
Southwest is the approximately 40-hectare Beijing World Park . Here, scaled-down replicas of many world-famous old and newer buildings and architectural ensembles from all continents, for example from the Egyptian pyramids and the Eiffel Tower to the lost New York World Trade Center , can be viewed in different scales.
A park and leisure landscape that surpasses all previous projects has been created in the west since 2001: starting south of the Marco Polo Bridge , a drained river bed was first drained over a length of 20 km and a width between 0.8 and 2 km with public green spaces and smaller lakes and several golf courses. Further areas are already being prepared in the south as an extension of this green lung. 14 km to the north-west, the narrowing river bed is transformed into a park landscape with a particularly large number of water areas. By the end of 2010, around 60% of the work had already been completed. After the completion of all facilities beyond the southwestern city limits (around 2020), around 80 square kilometers of a landscape park close to the city, around 55 kilometers long, will be available. The art landscape, which is probably unique in the world, is 18 to 42 kilometers from the city center of Beijing.
Nowhere on the Chinese mainland is the culinary diversity greater than in Beijing. In addition to all Chinese cuisines, almost all Asian and most world cuisines are represented here. In view of this abundance, it is often overlooked that Beijing itself has its own cooking tradition and makes a tasty contribution with specialties such as Peking duck (北京烤鴨 / 北京烤鸭, běijīng kǎoyā ) and Mongolian hot pot (火鍋 / 火锅, huǒguō ).
Served in Chinese restaurants around the world, Peking duck consists of small pieces of meat dipped in sweet black bean sauce (甜麵醬 / 甜面酱, tián miànjiàng ) and then rolled in a kind of flour dumpling with chopped spring onions.
Another well-known dish is the Mongolian hot pot, in which thinly sliced mutton, prawns, cabbage (and other vegetables) and noodles are dipped into a pot of boiling, mild to strong broth, usually kept at boiling temperature from below. The rest is sometimes drunk as a soup at the end.
Massive investments were made in the city's sporting infrastructure for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Among the numerous new buildings is the Olympic Stadium , which developed into a new attraction in Beijing even during the construction phase due to its sensational architecture. The Workers' Stadium is one of the monumental structures erected in 1959 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China . Beijing Guoan football club plays in the Chinese Super League .
The Nanshan Ski Village is about 65 km northeast of Beijing and is a popular winter sports resort.
In Beijing in September 2021, the Hollywood entertainment company opened the four-square-kilometer Universal Beijing Resort amusement park with 24 stage shows, numerous restaurants, attractions and hotels. From 2015, construction here cost 6.5 billion euros. 10 million day visitors per year are expected.
Economy and Infrastructure
According to a 2014 study, Beijing has a gross domestic product of US$506.1 billion (KKB). In the ranking of the economically strongest metropolitan regions worldwide, it took 11th place. GDP per capita was US$23,390, making Beijing one of the richest cities in China. Beijing is the city with the highest number of Fortune Global 500 companies.
Beijing is now the second largest industrial center in the country. Major industries were settled in the satellite cities: petrochemical manufacturing in Fangshan, machine manufacturing in Fentai, iron and steel manufacturing in Shijingshan, and motor vehicle manufacturing in Tongxian.
Over two million workers in the province are employed in industry . Clothing, canned goods, cotton and synthetic fabrics, paints, paper, lubricants and electronic products are manufactured. Since the start of economic reforms in 1978, the construction industry has become increasingly important. It employs around 700,000 construction workers.
Around 900,000 people work in agriculture in the city, which is directly under the government . Agricultural products include poultry and pork, cereals, vegetables (cabbage, tomatoes, eggplant, carrots and onions), milk and eggs.
Numerous commercial and service companies have settled in Beijing in recent years (over a million employees). The city is a shopping and fashion center. There are several modern shopping districts (for example, on Wangfujing Street). Among other things, gold enamel work (cloisonné), jade carving and carpet weaving have a long tradition.
Since the economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s there have also been companies that are supported by foreign investors. Many private companies emerged. In Beijing there are around 100,000 private employees (Getihu) in commercial establishments. The service industry has over 30,000 companies with around 200,000 employees.
In a ranking of the most important financial centers worldwide, Beijing ranked 11th (as of 2018).
As a transport hub, Beijing has airports and rail links to all parts of the country, as well as an intercontinental route via the Trans-Mongolian Railway ( Ulan Bator ) and the Trans-Siberian Railway to Europe. Beijing plays a central role in the expansion and new construction plans for the high-speed rail service of the state railway .
Beijing Capital Airport is located in the Shunyi area, about 20 kilometers northeast of the city center.
In 2011, it was announced that another airport, Beijing Daxing Airport, with a capacity of 120 million passengers and up to seven runways, was planned and opened on September 25, 2019 as planned. Beijing Daxing is one of the largest airports in the world.
Until the opening of the new major airport in 2019, Beijing-Nanyuan was another, smaller airport with around one million passengers per year in the south of the city.
Beijing is connected to other cities in China by nine expressways. Beijing 's highway network is constantly being expanded. Five ring roads and some through roads are available for inner-city traffic. The city center is classified as the part of Beijing that is inside the 2nd ring road and the metropolitan area of Beijing as the part that is inside the 5th ring road .
Similar to Moscow , Beijing develops in the form of rings. This has caused problems for road traffic. Traffic jams are frequent, and the construction and expansion of ring roads does not seem to solve the traffic problem.
bus and trams
Inner-city public transport comes in the form of almost a thousand bus and trolleybus routes . The first trolleybus drove in the city on February 26, 1957. On June 24, 1899, the first electric trams ran in Beijing, but operations were stopped again on June 13, 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion . On December 17, 1924, the system was reintroduced. This time the trams ran until May 6, 1966.
The first section of the Beijing Metro opened on October 1, 1969. After that, the system was expanded very slowly. Only with the commissioning of several subway lines in 2008 for the Olympic Games did the network grow to eight lines. This marked the start of a rapid expansion, so that by 2010 there were already 14 lines. Further major expansions are planned for the years 2014 to 2020. Currently (as of December 2014) the route network measures 527 km.
A single ticket costs about 90 cents. (as of January 2018)
For a long time, the bicycle was of outstanding importance in Beijing as an inner-city means of transport , with dedicated bike lanes for the approximately ten million private bicycles. Recently, it has been increasingly replaced by private cars . To reduce air pollution , traffic congestion and bicycle theft , the city government is now setting up a network of bicycle rental stations that provided 50,000 bicycles by the time of the 2008 Summer Olympics . Thanks to the emergence of a number of dockless app-based bike sharing systems such as Mobike, Bluegogo and Ofo , cycling has regained its popularity.
Of the city's many colleges, Peking University (北京大學 / 北京大学, Běijīng Dàxué , founded 1898) and Tsinghua University (清華大學 / 清华大学, Qīnghuá dàxué , founded 1911) are the best known. Nationally known are the Renmin University of China (人民大學 / 人民大学, Rénmín Daxue ), the University of International Business and Economics (對外經濟貿易大學 / 对外经济贸易大学, Duìwaì Jingji Maoyi Daxue ) and the Pedagogical University of Beijing (北京師範大學 / 北京师范大学, Běijīng Shīfàn Dàxué ). At BLCU (北京語言文化大學 / 北京语言文化大学, Běijīng yǔyán wénhuà dàxué , formerly Language Institute; founded in 1962), about three quarters of the students are foreigners studying Chinese.
Equally interesting is the Beijing Sports University (北京體育大學 / 北京体育大学, Běijīng tǐyù dà xué ), the most important sports university in China, popular with foreigners especially for studying Wushu , often in combination with language studies. There is also the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a number of research institutes under it. Beijing Foreign Language University (北京外國語大學 / 北京外国语大学, Běijīng wàiguóyǔ dàxué ) is one of the top foreign language universities in the country.
China Central Academy of Fine Arts is the name of the art academy in Beijing, it is the oldest art academy in China. The Research Institute for Music of the Chinese Academy of Arts is also based in Beijing.
Over 250,000 people are employed in the scientific and technical fields. Around 500,000 people work in education and communications. The Beijing Library is the most important in the People's Republic of China (about ten million volumes; with holdings from the libraries of the Sung, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties).
Most of the universities are located in the Haidian District (海澱區 / 海淀区, Hǎidiàn qū ) in the northwest of the city. There are more than twenty universities there alone.
The China Rehabilitation Research Center is a state rehabilitation clinic in Beijing and a center for training and research in the field of rehabilitation in China.
Beijing was the birthplace of numerous prominent personalities. The most well-known include Emperors of China Qianlong and Puyi , Dowager Empress Cixi , World Chess Champion Xie Jun , actors Ivan Desny , Jet Li and Zhang Ziyi , writers Shan Sa and Lao She , and singer-actress Faye Wong , among others .
To date, around twenty people have been made honorary citizens of the city of Beijing. These are mostly people who live in Hong Kong , including many owners of large corporations ( tycoons ). Some honorary citizens come from abroad, including two Germans , the film producer Manfred Durniok (1934–2003) and the piano designer Lothar Schell .
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