Beijing is the capital of China, the most populous country in the world - and a nation in flux. After half a century of strict communist rule, China relaxed its economic controls in the mid-1990s to allow growth. However, economic development has had mixed results for Beijing. An important religious and cultural center for at least 2,000 years, the city possesses irreplaceable treasures that are now under threat as developers change the face of the city. An enormous population that previously moved around on nonpolluting bicycles can now afford cars, which has terrible consequences for air pollution and congestion. And with no free elections, residents of Beijing have little say in how their city is run. \"Beijing\", an information-packed new title from the resourceful \"Global Cities\" series, is an ideal introduction to this rapidly changing city.
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