About Beijing

The City
Beijing, as the capital of China, is the nation's political and cultural center and is unique in its history, tradition and character. Some 3000 years ago, a small village was born at the southwest of the modern Beijing. From the 12th Century to 1911, it was the capital city for the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Beijing is ever reshaping throughout centuries a thoroughly modern metropolis, covering an area of 16,800 square kilometers and encompassing a population of 22 million. You will find the city an unforgettable destination, with its ancient Great Wall, the Forbidden City and numerous palaces and temples as a reminder of dynasties lost in the mists of time. Moreover, the city has refreshed its character by a growing number of parks, recreational centers, folk shows during holiday celebrations, splendid theaters, and a grand city outlook.

Passport and Visa
Foreigners traveling to the People’s Republic of China are required to possess passports that are valid for at least six months beyond the period of their intended stay in China. Based on the regulations on foreign affairs, foreigners MUST obtain a visa before entry into China, and exemption of visa is given to citizens of Brunei, Japan or Singapore holding an ordinary passport if they enter China through ports open to foreigners and stay in China for no longer than 15 days. Attendees are advised to consult the nearest Chinese diplomatic mission for more details regarding visa application. Usually, a single entry visa is valid for three months from the date of issue, and can be extended for an additional month at the Foreigners Section of the Local Public Security Bureau if necessary. Visa application should be made preferably at least one month before the intended departure for China.
Attendees may apply for either a business visa (category “F”) or a tourist visa (category “L”) at the local Chinese embassy/consulate.
“F” visa: an invitation letter produced by the local congress organizer (The China International Conference Center for Science and Technology) will be provided to facilitate your visa application. In order to receive the Invitation Letter, you need to complete your online registration (with registration fee paid). In addition, you are required to provide us with all the information/documents required for processing the visa invitation letter through the online registration system. Upon receiving these, a letter will be produced, and an electronic copy of this letter will be sent to the e-mail address that you used for registration.
“L” visa: An invitation letter is NOT required to get an “L” visa. For more details regarding the tourist visa, please consult your local Chinese embassy/consulate.

July in Beijing is sunny and hot. The average daily temperature is about 23°C / 73.4°F, with highs of around 36°C / 97°F and lows of around 11°C / 52°F. The monthly precipitation is 70 mm.

Time Difference (Standard Time)
Los Angeles -16 hours; London -8 hours; Berlin -7 hours; Paris -7 hours; Zurich -7 hours; Toronto -13 hours; Moscow -5 hours; Amsterdam -7 hours; Tokyo +1 hour; Sydney +2 hours; Melbourne +2 hours; Jakarta -1 hour.

The conference organizers do not accept any liability for personal accidents or loss or damage to the private property of any participants during the conference or indirectly arising from attending the conference. It is advisable that participants should purchase adequate travel and health insurances before leaving their own countries.

The electricity supply in China is 220V, 50Hz. Two types of sockets are used: three-pin socket (a grounding pin and two flat prongs forming a V-shape) and two-pin socket (two flat parallel prongs without grounding).

Currency Exchange
The renminbi (literally "people's currency") is the legal tender in the mainland of the People's Republic of China. The official abbreviation is CNY, although also commonly abbreviated as "RMB". Money exchange centers can be found at the airport, most hotels and large shopping centers. The exchange rate at present (2013) is roughly US $1 = 6.10 Chinese RMB. When exchanging money, please keep your exchange memo so that you can convert any remaining Chinese currency back to foreign currency upon leaving China. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and JCB are accepted in many department stores and hotels. It may be difficult to withdraw cash with credit cards.
Banks and most hotels can cash travelers' checks issued by many foreign banks or financial institutions. Participants will need to show their passport and pay a 0.75 percent commission fee. Travelers' checks signed over to a third party cannot be cashed in China, but can be presented for collection through the Bank of China.

All flights arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport, which is 30 kilometers from town, and is served by major international airline companies. Airport bus shuttles connect the airport to different parts of downtown Beijing, including Friendship Hotel of Beijing. But the most convenient way is to take a taxi at the taxi stand; the cost is around 120 Chinese yuan.