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Pedestrians make their way through Swire Pacific Ltd.'s (Credit: Bloomberg)

Pedestrians make their way through Swire Pacific Ltd.'s Sanlitun Village retail complex in Beijing, China. (July 6, 2011)

Old Beijing in the shadow of the new

This isn't the Beijing Mao Zedong envisioned. No longer an introverted, sober capital most defined by the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Ming Tombs, today's Beijing is a booming metropolis on a building, boozing and buying binge. --Nancy Trejos, The Washington Post

Chinese shoppers walk past Christmas decorations at the
(Credit: Getty Images)

Chinese shoppers walk past Christmas decorations at the Solana shopping in Beijing, China. Christmas continues to gain popularity in Chinese consumer culture year after year. (Dec. 22, 2011)

This is a view of Hutong of Qianmen
(Credit: Getty Images)

This is a view of Hutong of Qianmen district in Beijing, China. (May 11, 2011)

People walk past a frozen river alongside the
(Credit: AFP/Getty Images/ED JONES)

People walk past a frozen river alongside the Forbidden City in Beijing. Beijing's government has bowed to a vocal online campaign for a change in the way air quality is measured in the Chinese capital, one of the world's most polluted cities. Authorities said they would start publishing figures this month showing the smallest, most dangerous pollution particles in the air after considering the wishes of residents, expressed on China's popular microblogs. (Jan. 7, 2012)

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Pedestrians make their way through Swire Pacific Ltd.'s
(Credit: Bloomberg)

Pedestrians make their way through Swire Pacific Ltd.'s Sanlitun Village retail complex in Beijing, China. (July 6, 2011)

Pedestrians make their way through Swire Pacific Ltd.'s
(Credit: Bloomberg)

Pedestrians make their way through Swire Pacific Ltd.'s Sanlitun Village retail complex in Beijing, China. (July 6, 2011)

People walk past signs for coffee along Nanluoguxiang
(Credit: AFP/Getty Images/FREDERIC J. BROWN)

People walk past signs for coffee along Nanluoguxiang street, a popular street surrounded by a neighborhood of traditional walled courtyard homes, known locally as hutong in Beijing. (Aug. 27, 2009)

A pedicab driver takes tourists through one of
(Credit: AFP/Getty Images/FREDERIC J. BROWN)

A pedicab driver takes tourists through one of the the city's few remaining hutong, or alleyway, neighborhoods in Beijing. (Sept. 30, 2008)

Chinese tourists walk past a large televised mural
(Credit: AFP/Getty Images/MARK RALSTON)

Chinese tourists walk past a large televised mural of tourist attractions at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. (Jan. 5, 2012)

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Chinese workers install red lanterns for a lantern
(Credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese workers install red lanterns for a lantern festival in the Summer Palace in Beijing as people celebrate the lunar Chinese New Year holidays. The world's largest annual migration of people begins in China on January 8 with millions of travelers' boarding public transport to journey across the vast country for the Lunar New Year celebrations. (Jan. 16, 2011)

People walk down a shopping street before the
(Credit: AFP/Getty Images/Ed Jones)

People walk down a shopping street before the Zhengyangmen gate in Beijing. (Dec. 10, 2011)

New residential apartment buildings are under construction in
(Credit: Imaginechina/Wang zhou bj)

New residential apartment buildings are under construction in Beijing. (Dec. 27, 2011)

Shoppers walk through a busy retail street in
(Credit: AFP/Getty Images/PETER PARKS)

Shoppers walk through a busy retail street in Beijing. China overtook Japan as the world's second-biggest economy in 2010. (Feb.14, 2011)

A L'Oreal billboard decorates Xidan shopping center in
(Credit: Getty Images/Lintao Zhang)

A L'Oreal billboard decorates Xidan shopping center in Beijing. (Nov. 23, 2011)

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A hawker cooks exotic foods, including lizards, for
(Credit: AFP / Getty Images)

A hawker cooks exotic foods, including lizards, for adventurous eaters at his stall in the Wangfujing shopping street in Beijing. (Jan. 17 2012)

--FILE-- View of Sanlitun area in Beijing, March
(Credit: Fu zengkai - Imaginechina/Fu zengkai)

--FILE-- View of Sanlitun area in Beijing, March 12, 2008.

Colourful Chinese lanterns are on display for sale
(Credit: Getty/MARK RALSTON)

Colourful Chinese lanterns are on display for sale at a store in the Qianhai lake tourist area at the start of the 'Year of the Dragon' in Beijing on January 29, 2012. China said retail sales surged 16.2 percent year on year to 470 billion yuan (74 billion USD) during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, as consumers splashed out on food, wine and clothes. Hundreds of millions of people journey across the country during the holiday to celebrate with their families and consumer spending typically soars during the period. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese tourists pose for photos in the Wangfujing
(Credit: Getty/MARK RALSTON)

Chinese tourists pose for photos in the Wangfujing shopping street at the start of the 'Year of the Dragon' in Beijing on January 29, 2012. China said retail sales surged 16.2 percent year on year to 470 billion yuan (74 billion USD) during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, as consumers splashed out on food, wine and clothes. Hundreds of millions of people journey across the country during the holiday to celebrate with their families and consumer spending typically soars during the period. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 14: Dutch tourists dance
(Credit: Getty/Paula Bronstein)

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 14: Dutch tourists dance on the tables inside one of the clubs in Beijing's Sanlitun night club district which are packed with foreigners in town to enjoy the Olympics, on August 14, 2008 in Beijing, China. The well known Sanlitun area has been cleaned up prior to the Olympic games and thrives with young people looking for a party. (Photo Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

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Lizards, scorpions and bugs are seen available to
(Credit: Getty/MARK RALSTON)

Lizards, scorpions and bugs are seen available to adventurous eaters at a food stall in the Wangfujing shopping street of Beijing on January 17 2012. China said its economy expanded an annual 9.2 percent in 2011, slowing from 2010, as efforts to tame high inflation and global turbulence put the brakes on growth. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said, slower than in the third quarter, but still exceeding analyst expectations. The annual figure was down from 10.4 percent in 2010, but analysts said the economy appeared to be holding up well. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

--FILE--Trendy young women walk past a huge advertisement
(Credit: Mu sen - Imaginechina/Mu sen)

--FILE--Trendy young women walk past a huge advertisement for agnes b. in Sanlitun, Beijing, China, 26 August 2010.

Children play at a fountain in Sanlitun Village
(Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS/Andy Wong)

Children play at a fountain in Sanlitun Village in the summer heat in Beijing Sunday, July 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

BEIJING, CHINA: A car passes a drink kiosk
(Credit: Getty/PETER PARKS)

BEIJING, CHINA: A car passes a drink kiosk shaped like a beer mug in Sanlitun bar district of Beijing, 24 July 2004. With more people drinking alcohol and more car owners in China, drink-driving is taking its toll on the roads with 2,183 people killed nationwide in accidents in the first half of the year, a 12 percent increase from the same period last year. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 14: Tourists dance on
(Credit: Getty/Paula Bronstein)

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 14: Tourists dance on the tables inside one of the clubs at Beijing's Sanlitun night club district which are packed with foreigners in town to enjoy the Olympics, on August 14, 2008 in Beijing, China. The well known Sanlitun area has been cleaned up prior to the Olympic games and thrives with young people looking for a party. (Photo Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

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BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 14: A band performs
(Credit: Getty/Paula Bronstein)

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 14: A band performs inside one of the clubs at Beijing's Sanlitun night club district, which is packed with foreigners in town to enjoy the Olympics, on August 14, 2008 in Beijing, China. The well known Sanlitun area has been cleaned up prior to the Olympic games and thrives with young people looking for a party. (Photo Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

BEIJING - JULY 30: Taxi riders cool down
(Credit: Getty/Julian Finney)

BEIJING - JULY 30: Taxi riders cool down as they wait for work in the Houhai district on July 30, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

A woman and her child look at art
(Credit: Getty/FREDERIC J. BROWN)

A woman and her child look at art sculptures on display at the Biennale at 798 in an arts district of Beijing on August 25, 2009. With more than 100 artists participating, two-thirds from outside China, organizers of the almost one-month event which opened in mid-August hope to reinforce Beijing's position as an international arts capital. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

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