However the name has not been consistently transcribed into Roman letters. The letter K before an I was used for a J-like sound that was quite far forward in the mouth — almost a DZ sound. A contrasting J-like sound was spelled CH. The distinction between the two sounds was important several centuries ago, but remains in very few Mandarin dialects today. The establishment of a standard dialect of Mandarin as China's official language in did not recognize the "KI-CHI" distinction, and spellings observing it continued only in France, so far as I know. Language reform in the s established an official Romanized spelling system for use in transcribing Chinese words in other languages. The rationalized new spelling system was generally ignored outside of China until the mids, when the Chinese government refused to continue transcribing Chinese words in official press releases into multiple other systems.
That prompted me to wonder when Peking had actually become Beijing. I mean, when I grew up the capital city of China was most definitely Peking. Then again, when I grew up there was a country called Czechoslovakia. Actually, it seems there still is, if you listen to John McCain. Anyway, a bit of research turns up that it was after that Peking became Beijing, when the Pinyin method of conveying Mandarin in the Roman alphabet was adopted as an international standard. Digging around on the Internet seems to indicate that Beijing is only the latest in a long line of incarnations of the city's name as understood by Westerners. And let's not even start on the fact that between and , it was known as Peiping or Beiping in the new system , because it wasn't the 'official' capital of 'official' China anymore!
It is the world's most populous capital city , with over 21 million residents within an administrative area of 16, A megacity , Beijing is the second-largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation's cultural , educational , and political center. The Beijing Capital International Airport has been the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic since ,  and, as of [update] , the city's subway network is the busiest and longest in the world. Combining both modern and traditional architecture , Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world , with a rich history dating back three millennia. As the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China , Beijing has been the political center of the country for most of the past eight centuries,  and was the largest city in the world by population for much of the second millennium AD. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls and gates. Many of Beijing's 91 universities  consistently rank among the best in China, such as the Peking University and Tsinghua University.
We love cold sesame noodles, and Peking Duck, burritos and fajitas—even fish tacos are now a comfort food. Imperial Kitchen, a restaurant in Hong Kong, makes my favorite version: smoked Peking duck with camphor wood spices. Peking duck transports me back to Hong Kong every time I make it, eat it, or smell it. My first memories of Peking duck are at age 14 when I washed woks at a Peking duck restaurant in my hometown of Hong Kong. Felt uncomfortable at the idea of being killed; felt troubled at the idea of leaving Peking. On the 7th of January the court returned to Peking —a step which marked the restoration, more or less, of normal conditions. But the Chinese still felt uneasy and in succeeded in inducing him to undertake a journey to Peking.