I live in Beijing at the moment and I would say its certainly a place to see for a couple of days (I don’t think you will need more than this…) I am also going travelling with my brother in March and I have heard the South has some very beautiful villages, just below Shanghai. I will check out that site now!
I travelled from Paris to Tokyo by train, bus and boat. I spent about a month in China. I really enjoyed China. I spent time in Urumqi, Xian, Beijing and Shanghai mostly. One thing I really wish I had done was climb Hua Shan near Xian. Looks like a fun adventure. Terra cotta warriors was definitely a letdown, as its just a place for people to go crazy selling you stuff. Beijing is nice, crappy air quality but nice people. Super user friendly metro. Shanghai is really interesting but people arent as friendly. lost of great design spots in both Beijing and Shanghai. I too hear southern China is Beautiful.