The 28th General Assembly of the IAU will be held from 20 until 31 August, 2012 in Beijing, China, at the China National Convention Center.
The Chinese Astronomical Society has been a member of IAU since as early as 1935. However, in the past seventy five years, no IAU General Assembly (GA) has yet been held in China. It is widely known that in recent years China has achieved remarkable economic progress. Along with economic developments, Chinese astronomy has also entered a new era characterized by unprecedented improvements in the facilities, research, education, and popularization of astronomy. Many astronomical facilities have been independently developed by China. Under this situation, the Chinese Astronomical Society submitted an application to hold the 2012 XXVIIIth General Assembly of the IAU. The suggested city for hosting the 28th IAU GA in 2012 is Beijing. In the 26th General Assembly of the IAU in Prague in 2006, Beijing won the bid of the 28th IAU GA.
As the capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing is a great modern metropolis as well as a renowned ancient city. Beijing has successfully hosted the Olympic Games in 2008. With excellent facilities, the city is entirely capable of hosting an international conference like the IAU GA. It is also of great relevance that the Headquarters of National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), as the host astronomical institute, is located in Beijing.
The venue of the GA will be China National Convention Center which is located at the heart of the Olympic Green and has all necessary facilities to host such a gathering. This world-class facility not only boasts unparalleled location and exciting surroundings, but is also environmentally friendly thanks to the unique architectural design which enables it to conserve power and collect rainfall. Besides, around the Assembly site there are many hotels of different categories for the participants to choose from, ranging from budget accommodation to luxury hotels.
Compared with many other parts of the world at present, Beijing, as well as the rest of China, is a very safe tourist destination. It enjoys convenient transportation from all major cities of the world. According to China's current visa-issuance policy, all participants of the 28th IAU GA and their accompanying persons should be able to obtain a visa for entry into China at the Chinese embassy or consulate general.
We are confident that the 28th IAU GA in Beijing 2012 will be a great success and an unforgettable event in IAU's history.