China (Traditional Chinese: 中國; Simplified Chinese: 中国; Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōngguó (help·info); Tongyong Pinyin: Jhongguó; Gwoyeu Romatzyh: Jonggwo) is a cultural region and ancient civilization in East Asia. As a result of the 1949 Chinese Civil War, China today is administratively divided into two states: the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC). The PRC administers and governs the majority of China (mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau), while the ROC administers the island groups of Taiwan, the Pescadores, Kinmen, Matsu, and the disputed islands of Pratas, and Taiping in the South China Sea. However, the People's Republic of China considers Taiwan a "renegade province" and does not recognize the Republic of China (Taiwan). In contrast, the Republic of China (Taiwan) administers themselves as an independent sovereign state and does not recognize the Beijing-based People's Republic of China.
Beijing [English Pronunciation] (Chinese: 北京 [Chinese Pronunciation]; Pinyin: Běijīng; IPA: [pei˨˩˦ tɕɪŋ˥˥]), a city in northern China, is the capital of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It was formerly known in English as Peking or Peiking [English Pronunciation]. Beijing is also one of the four municipalities of the PRC, which are equivalent to provinces in China's administrative structure. Beijing Municipality borders Hebei Province to the north, west, south, and for a small section in the east, and Tianjin Municipality to the southeast.
Beijing is China's second largest city in terms of population, after Shanghai. It is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and expressways entering and leaving it in all directions. It is also the focal point of many international flights to China. Beijing is recognized as the political, educational, and cultural center of the People's Republic of China, while Shanghai and Hong Kong predominate in economic fields.
Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. It will also host the 2008 Summer Olympics.