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The quake struck shortly before 2.30pm (1630 AEST), according to the USGS, at a depth of just 10km.
China has denied issuing a warning that a strong earthquake could strike Beijing between 10pm and midnight today (1200-1400 AEST Tuesday).
"We have issued no such warning,'' Li Qianghua, a top official at the China Earthquake Bureau, was quoted as saying by the government's main website.
The People's Daily, the ruling Communist Party's main mouthpiece, had reported earlier on its website that a quake measuring between two and six on the Richter scale could hit Beijing in a few hours.