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The city originated as a city-state called Ji in the 11th Century B.C., making Beijing one of the world's oldest cities.
Beijing is known for its fast pace, modern innovation, and as a leading world center for politics and business.
People Born in Beijing
Beijing in People's Lives
Adelina Sotnikova: I traveled here in 2010 for the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, which I won. I came back in 2013 for the Figure Skating Cup of China and placed second.
Jared Leto: I traveled here in in 2006 to film a music video for my band, 30 Seconds to Mars, for the song "From Yesterday." Rather than a traditional music video, I shot the video as a short film. It was done in the Forbidden City, and became the first American music video to have been shot entirely in China.
Oscar Pistorius: I ran in the 2008 Summer Paralympics here, and won a gold medal.
Ziyi Zhang: I was born here in 1979, and grew up here. I had a quiet family life with my parents and my older brother, whom I am very close to. I took up a dedicated interest in dance, and was admitted to a prestigious Beijing dance academy for younger girls at age 11. I won a dance championship here at age 15 and was admitted to one of China's most elite acting schools at the age of 17.