Wednesday, November 28, 2018


The borders of countries are tidal. What divides and rules us depends on the whims of the times, and the songs we happen to be singing. Cities tend to be renamed, swell, and shrink... but they don't move. The people do. Beijing was conquered in 1215 by the Mongol Empire. By 1240, the turn had come for Kievan Rus, and they were readying to destroy Vienna when the Khan died in 1241. They still returned to flatten Baghdad in 1258, at the time the world's centre of learning. Beijing was rebuilt between 1264 and 1293. It was called Bei (Northern) Jing (Capital) in 1403, with the Forbidden City constructed as the Imperial Residence. Beijing has remained the political centre of China for most of the last eight centuries. It now hosts the most Fortune 500 companies, and the world's four largest financial institutions. Very much connected to the rest of the world, as it has been for thousands of years.

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