Really interesting to know that there is also a city of Pekin(g) in Illinois, USA:
China used to be far away, the country at the bottom of the world. Certainly that must be how it seemed just 20 years ago in a place like Pekin, Ill., a city of 34,000 residents on the Illinois River that took its name from the Chinese capital in the 1820’s. According to local legend, Pekin is directly opposite Beijing on the globe. The high-school teams there were still called the Chinks until 1981, when they were renamed the Dragons. A smart and forward-looking decision, it turns out: as is happening throughout the United States, the Pekinese have in their own local ways grown inextricably linked to the Chinese of today. They are now connected not by an imaginary hole through the earth but by the world’s shipping lanes, financial markets, telecommunications networks and, above all, the globalization of appetites.
Source: The Chinese Century, by Ted C. Fishman, the New York Times, July 4, 2004.