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A new megalopolis around Beijing, Jing-Jin-Ji, is to cover ground the size of Kansas and have a population about six times larger than the New York metropolitan area. Jing-Jin-Ji, as the region is called (“Jing” for Beijing, “Jin” for Tianjin and “Ji,” the traditional name for Hebei Province), is meant to help the area catch up to China’s more prosperous economic belts: the Yangtze River Delta around Shanghai and Nanjing in central China, and the Pearl River Delta around Guangzhou and Shenzhen in southern China.

Outside an elementary school, children, their parents, bicycles, cars and a cement mixer fight for space in Yanjiao, China, a suburb of Beijing. A new megalopolis around Beijing, Jing-Jin-Ji, is to cover ground the size of Kansas and have a population about six times larger than the New York metropolitan area.

Sim Chi Yin/New York Times

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Amid densely-built residential towers, women do a nightly "plaza dance" while children play among them," in Yanjiao, China, a suburb of Beijing.

Sim Chi Yin/New York Times

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Dawn over densely-built residential towers in Yanjiao, China, a suburb of Beijing.

Sim Chi Yin/New York Times

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Riders wait for buses to Beijing, a commute that can take three hours, in Yanjiao, China.

Sim Chi Yin/New York Times

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At the start of a trip to Beijing, residents walk on a dirt track across the Chaobai River, which has mostly dried up, in Yanjiao, China.

Sim Chi Yin/New York Times

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As day breaks, one of the main streets is already lined with commuters waiting for a bus to Beijing, a commute that can take three hours, in Yanjiao, China.

Sim Chi Yin/New York Times

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A man fishes along the bank of the mostly dried-up Chaobai River in Yanjiao, China, a suburb of Beijing.

Sim Chi Yin/New York Times

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Residents in a park in Yanjiao, China, a suburb of Beijing. A new megalopolis around Beijing, Jing-Jin-Ji, is to cover ground the size of Kansas and have a population about six times larger than the New York metropolitan area.

Sim Chi Yin/New York Times

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At the end of a workday, commuters squeeze into a bus headed for Yanjiao in Beijing's central business district.

Sim Chi Yin/New York Times

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Lines snake down the street for buses to Beijing, creating an hourlong wait for a commute that can take three hours, in Yanjiao, China.

Sim Chi Yin/New York Times

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