Chinese capital has been struggling to build itself into a modern international metropolis while protecting its characteristics as the country's political and cultural center over the past few years.
Beijing has transferred the emphasis of urban construction from the central areas to its suburban areas, according to Shan Qixiang, director of the municipal planning committee.
The city planning department has finished the overall planning on nine "satellite towns" to alleviate pressure on central areas brought by a dense population and heavy traffic.
Plans for the other five satellite towns will also be completed by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, in Beijing's central urban areas, effective measures have been adopted to preserve the city's historical face.
Beijing was the capital of five ancient dynasties, beginning with the Liao (916-1125) and ending with the Qing (1644-1911).
Illegal construction on sensitive historical sites has been punished according to the regulations and other relevant laws since 1992. About three million square meters of buildings constructed without authorization were cleared off last year.
Efforts are still needed to effect a radical cure for illegal building in the city, said Liang Ping, a member of the Standing Committee of the Municipal People's Congress.
(People's Daily 06/21/2001)