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Peking - Beijing
 
Peking is the name of the city according to Chinese Postal Map Romanization, and the traditional customary name for Beijing in English. Beijing or Peking means "northern capital", in line with the common East Asian tradition whereby capital cities are explicitly named as such. Other cities that are similarly named include Nanjing, China, meaning "southern capital".
   
The term Peking originated with French missionaries four hundred years ago and corresponds to an older pronunciation predating a subsequent sound change in Mandarin. It is still used in many languages. The pronunciation "Peking" is also closer to the Fujianese dialect of Amoy or Min Nan spoken in the city of Xiamen, a port where European traders first landed in the 16th century, while "Beijing" more closely approximates the Mandarin dialect's pronunciation.
Peking
 

The Beijing city has been renamed several times. During the Jin Dynasty, the city was known as Zhongdu, and then later under the Mongol Yuan Dynasty as Dadu in Chinese and Daidu to Mongols.

Yanjing is and has been another popular informal name for Beijing, a reference to the ancient State of Yan that existed here during the Zhou Dynasty. This name is reflected in the locally brewed Yanjing Beer as well as Yenching University, an institution of higher learning that was merged into Peking University.

   

Twice in the city's history, the name was changed from Beijing (Peking) to Beiping (Peiping), literally "Northern Peace". This occurred first under the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, and again in 1928 with the Kuomintang (KMT). The city's name was also twice changed from Beiping (Peiping) to Beijing (Peking). This occurred first under the Yongle Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, who moved the capital from Nanjing back to Beijing, and again in 1949, when the Communist Party of China restored Beijing as China's capital after the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Peking Opera

 

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