Beijing (also formerly known in English as Peking) is a metropolis in northern China and the capital of the People’s Republic of China. It is China’s second largest city, after Shanghai, and a major transportation hub.
Beijing is situated at the northern tip of the roughly triangular North China Plain, which opens to the south and east of the city.
Mountains to the north, northwest and west shield the city and northern China’s agricultural heartland from the encroaching desert steppes.
The northwestern part of the municipality is dominated by the Jundu Mountains, while the western part of the municipality is framed by the Xishan Mountains.
Major rivers flowing through the municipality include the Yongding River and the Chaobai River, part of the Hai River system, and flow in a southerly direction.