Covering an area of 426 square kilometers, Haidian District is divided into 17 neighbourhood committees and 11 townships with a population of l. 44 million. Famous high-tech industry and institutions of higher learning are located in the distinct. Its rural area is Beijing’ s non-staple food production base. Its western mountainous area is one of the Beijing’s famous production bases.
Haidian was originally a village outside of Beijing’s Inner City. It was first built in the Yuan dynasty, and became one of the eight major business areas of the capital during the Qing Dynasty and was the seat of such old shops as Lotus White, Quanjude and Hongbin House. The famed Old Summer Palace and Summer Palace, two grand imperial gardens were also among its reputed features. There are many universities and colleges in Haidian, among which Peking University and Tsinghua University are well known. Together with other academic institutes, they are regarded as “smart reservoirs” for Beijing and even the country.