[Overview] Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain as well as the country's political, financial and transportation center. It is the highest capital city in Europe at an altitude of 670 meters, located on Meseta Central in the center of the Iberian Peninsula at the southernmost tip of the European continent. The city covers an area of 1,020 square kilometers and has a population of about 6.5 million.
[Politics] The administrative body of Madrid is the municipal government. The municipal government is composed of one mayor, one secretary to the mayor and a governing board consisting of nine members. The mayor and members of the governing board are directly elected by the citizens. The governing board meets at least once a week to discuss and decide on important matters of the city. There are nine departments under the municipal government, and each of the nine members of the governing board is in charge of one department. There are 21 districts under the jurisdiction of Madrid. Each district has its own leadership and is directly elected by the citizens. The incumbent Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, took office in June 2019 for a four-year term.
[Economy] The Community of Madrid, where the City of Madrid is located, is the center of Spain's transportation, logistics, R&D, consumption and high-tech industries. It is the second largest industrial center in Spain after Barcelona, and the fifth largest financial center in Europe after London, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.
The pillar industries of Madrid are construction, services, transportation, communications, financial intermediaries, and trade. It has a well-developed service sector, including consulting, computer science, research and development, quality inspection, and design industries. Madrid is Spain's railway, highway, and air transportation hub. The Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport is the fourth largest airport in Europe.
[Culture and Education] Madrid is a cultural city, with more than 1,900 historic monuments. There are 11 universities, 36 ancient art museums, more than 100 museums, over 100 sculpture groups, 18 libraries and more than 1,200 bookstores in the city. The Madrid Book Fair is held in May every year and its exhibitors include important publishers from all over the world. The headquarters of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is also located in Madrid. The two most famous football teams of the city are Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid.
[Relations with Beijing] On September 16, 1985, Beijing and Madrid officially became sister cities. Since then, they have maintained good official ties and engaged in productive cooperation in the fields of culture, tourism and sports. In September 2011, the two cities signed a framework agreement on friendly cooperation in Madrid.
People-to-people and Cultural Exchanges: In July 2005, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the sisterhood between Beijing and Madrid, the two cities jointly organized a series of cultural and sports activities, including a friendly match between Real Madrid and Beijing Xiandai and flamenco dance.
Olympics: In August 2008, at the invitation of Beijing, a delegation led by then Mayor of Madrid Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón visited Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
Tourism: In February 2016, Madrid joined the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) established on the initiative of Beijing.