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China

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Asia : East Asia : China
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Quick Facts
CapitalBeijing
GovernmentCommunist state
Currencyyuan (CNY)
Areatotal: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km
Population1,284,303,705 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageStandard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
ReligionDaoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Muslim 1%-2%, Christian 3%-4%
note: officially atheist (2002 est.)


This article is an import from the CIA World Factbook 2002. It's a starting point for creating a real Wikitravel country article according to our country article template. Please plunge forward and edit it.

For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences. But in the 19th and early 20th centuries, China was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established a dictatorship that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping gradually introduced market-oriented reforms and decentralized economic decision making, and output quadrupled by 2000. Political controls remain tight even while economic controls continue to be relaxed.

Regions

Provinces

Autonomous regions


Municipalities


Special Administrative Regions

Geography

Ch-map.png
Map of China
Location 
Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Geographic coordinates 
35 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references 
Asia
Area 
total: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km
Area - comparative 
slightly smaller than the US
Land boundaries 
total: 22,147.34 km
border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, Hong Kong 30 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Macau 0.34 km, Mongolia 4,677 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km
Coastline 
14,500 km
Maritime claims 
contiguous zone: 24 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate 
extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
Terrain 
mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
Elevation extremes 
lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m (1999 est.)
Natural resources 
coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)
Land use 
arable land: 13.31%
permanent crops: 1.2%
other: 85.49% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land 
525,800 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards 
frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
Environment - current issues 
air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal, produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species
Environment - international agreements 
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note 
world's fourth-largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal, is the world's tallest peak; soybean, one of the oldest of cultivated crops, is believed to have originated in China

People

Population 
1,284,303,705 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 24.3% (male 163,821,081; female 148,855,387)
15-64 years: 68.4% (male 452,354,428; female 426,055,713)
65 years and over: 7.3% (male 43,834,528; female 49,382,568) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
0.87% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
15.85 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
6.77 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
-0.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio 
at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
27.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 71.86 years
female: 73.86 years (2002 est.)
male: 70.02 years
Total fertility rate 
1.82 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
less than 0.2% (2000-01 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
1.25 million (January 2001)
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
17,000 (1999 est.)
Nationality 
noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups 
Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%
Religions 
Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Muslim 1%-2%, Christian 3%-4%
note: officially atheist (2002 est.)
Languages 
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
Literacy 
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.5%
male: 89.9%
female: 72.7% (1995 est.)

Government

Country name 
conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local short form: Zhong Guo
abbreviation: PRC
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
Government type 
Communist state
Capital 
Beijing
Administrative divisions 
23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions* (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities** (shi, singular and plural); Anhui, Beijing**, Chongqing**, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi*, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol*, Ningxia*, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai**, Shanxi, Sichuan, Tianjin**, Xinjiang*, Xizang* (Tibet), Yunnan, Zhejiang; note - China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau
Independence 
People's Republic of China established 1 October 1949
National holiday 
Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)
Constitution 
most recent promulgation 4 December 1982
Legal system 
a complex amalgam of custom and statute, largely criminal law; rudimentary civil code in effect since 1 January 1987; new legal codes in effect since 1 January 1980; continuing efforts are being made to improve civil, administrative, criminal, and commercial law
Suffrage 
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch 
chief of state: President Hu Jintao (since 15 March 2003) and Vice President ZENG Qinghong (since 15 March 2003)
elections: president and vice president elected by the National People's Congress for five-year terms; elections last held 16-18 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2003); premier nominated by the president, confirmed by the National People's Congress
head of government: Premier WEN Jiabao (since 16 March 2003); Vice Premiers QIAN Qichen (since 29 March 1993), LI Lanqing (29 March 1993), WU Bangguo (since 17 March 1995), and WEN Jiabao (since 18 March 1998)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the National People's Congress (NPC)
election results: JIANG Zemin reelected president by the Ninth National People's Congress with a total of 2,882 votes (36 delegates voted against him, 29 abstained, and 32 did not vote); HU Jintao elected vice president by the Ninth National People's Congress with a total of 2,841 votes (67 delegates voted against him, 39 abstained, and 32 did not vote)
Legislative branch 
unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,979 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held NA December 1997-NA February 1998 (next to be held late 2002-NA March 2003)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - NA
Judicial branch 
Supreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's Congress); Local Peoples Courts (comprise higher, intermediate and local courts); Special Peoples Courts (primarily military, maritime, and railway transport courts)
Political parties and leaders 
Chinese Communist Party (CPC or CCP) [HU Jintao, General Secretary of the Central Committee]; eight registered small parties controlled by CPC
Political pressure groups and leaders 
no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the government has identified the Falungong sect and the China Democracy Party as potential rivals
International organization participation 
AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CCC, CDB, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), OPCW, PCA, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMOVIC, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador YANG Jiechi
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2582
telephone: [1] (202) 328-2500
chancery: 2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Clark T. RANDT, Jr.
embassy: Xiu Shui Bei Jie 3, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [86] (10) 6532-3431
FAX: [86] (10) 6532-6929
consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenyang
Flag description 
red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner

Economy

Economy - overview 
In late 1978 the Chinese leadership began moving the economy from a sluggish Soviet-style centrally planned economy to a more market-oriented system. Whereas the system operates within a political framework of strict Communist control, the economic influence of non-state organizations and individual citizens has been steadily increasing. The authorities have switched to a system of household and village responsibility in agriculture in place of the old collectivization, increased the authority of local officials and plant managers in industry, permitted a wide variety of small-scale enterprise in services and light manufacturing, and opened the economy to increased foreign trade and investment. The result has been a quadrupling of GDP since 1978. In 2002, with its 1.28 billion people but a GDP of just $4,600 per capita, China stood as the second largest economy in the world after the US (measured on a purchasing power parity basis). Agriculture and industry have posted major gains, especially in coastal areas near Hong Kong and opposite Taiwan, where foreign investment has helped spur output of both domestic and export goods. On the darker side, the leadership has often experienced in its hybrid system the worst results of socialism (bureaucracy and lassitude) and of capitalism (windfall gains and growing income disparities). Beijing thus has periodically backtracked, retightening central controls at intervals. The government has struggled to (a) collect revenues due from provinces, businesses, and individuals; (b) reduce corruption and other economic crimes; and (c) keep afloat the large state-owned enterprises many of which had been shielded from competition by subsidies and had been losing the ability to pay full wages and pensions. From 80 to 120 million surplus rural workers are adrift between the villages and the cities, many subsisting through part-time low-paying jobs. Popular resistance, changes in central policy, and loss of authority by rural cadres have weakened China's population control program, which is essential to maintaining long-term growth in living standards. Another long-term threat to growth is the deterioration in the environment, notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table especially in the north. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. Beijing will intensify efforts to stimulate growth through spending on infrastructure - such as water control and power grids - and poverty relief and through rural tax reform aimed at eliminating arbitrary local levies on farmers. Access to the World Trade Organization strengthens China's ability to maintain sturdy growth rates, and at the same time puts additional pressure on the hybrid system of strong political controls and growing market influences. Although Beijing has claimed 7%-8% annual growth in recent years, many observers believe the rate, while strong, is more like 5%.
GDP 
purchasing power parity - $6 trillion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
8% (official estimate) (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $4,600 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 18%
industry: 49%
services: 33% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line 
10% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 30% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index 
40 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
-0.8% (2002 est.)
Labor force 
706 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation 
agriculture 50%, industry 23%, services 27% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 
urban unemployment roughly 10%; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas (2002 est.)
Budget 
revenues: $161.8 billion
expenditures: $191.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000)
Industries 
iron and steel, coal, machine building, armaments, textiles and apparel, petroleum, cement, chemical fertilizers, footwear, toys, food processing, automobiles, consumer electronics, telecommunications
Industrial production growth rate 
13.5% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production 
1.308 trillion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 82%
hydro: 17%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 1%
Electricity - consumption 
1.206 trillion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
10.25 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
400 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products 
rice, wheat, potatoes, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish
Exports 
$312.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities 
machinery and equipment; textiles and clothing, footwear, toys and sporting goods; mineral fuels
Exports - partners 
US 20.4%, Hong Kong 17.5%, Japan 16.9%, South Korea 4.7%, Germany 3.7%, Netherlands 2.7%, UK 2.6%, Singapore 2.2%, Taiwan (2001)
Imports 
$268.6 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities 
machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, plastics, iron and steel, chemicals
Imports - partners 
Japan 17.6%, Taiwan 11.2%, US 10.8%, South Korea 9.6%, Germany 5.7%, Hong Kong 3.9%, Russia 3.3%, Malaysia 2.5% (2001)
Debt - external 
$149.4 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient 
$NA
Currency 
yuan (CNY)
Currency code 
CNY
Exchange rates 
yuan per US dollar - 8.2767 (January 2002), 8.2771 (2001), 8.2785 (2000), 8.2783 (1999), 8.2790 (1998), 8.2898 (1997)
Fiscal year 
calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use 
135 million (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
65 million (January 2001)
Telephone system 
general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns
domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; a domestic satellite system with 55 earth stations is in place
international: satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); several international fiber-optic links to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, and Germany (2000)
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 369, FM 259, shortwave 45 (1998)
Radios 
417 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
3,240 (of which 209 are operated by China Central Television, 31 are provincial TV stations and nearly 3,000 are local city stations) (1997)
Televisions 
400 million (1997)
Internet country code 
.cn
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
3 (2000)
Internet users 
45.8 million (2002)

Transportation

Railways 
total: 67,524 km (including 5,400 km of provincial "local" rails)
standard gauge: 63,924 km 1.435-m gauge (13,362 km electrified; 20,250 km double-track)
narrow gauge: 3,600 km 0.750-m and 1.000-m gauge local industrial lines (1999 est.)
Highways 
total: 1.4 million km
paved: 271,300 km (with at least 16,000 km of expressways)
unpaved: 1,128,700 km (1999)
Waterways 
110,000 km (1999)
Pipelines 
crude oil 9,070 km; petroleum products 560 km; natural gas 9,383 km (1998)
Ports and harbors 
Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Haikou, Huangpu, Lianyungang, Nanjing, Nantong, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shantou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wenzhou, Xiamen, Xingang, Yantai, Zhanjiang (2001)
Merchant marine 
total: 1,764 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 16,915,047 GRT/25,366,296 DWT
ships by type: barge carrier 2, bulk 328, cargo 822, chemical tanker 25, combination bulk 10, combination ore/oil 1, container 134, liquefied gas 26, multi-functional large-load carrier 6, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 45, petroleum tanker 263, refrigerated cargo 26, roll on/roll off 23, short-sea passenger 42, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Croatia 1, Germany 1, Hong Kong 16, Japan 2, Panama 2, South Korea 1, Spain 1, Taiwan 9, Tanzania 1, Turkey 1 (2002 est.)
Airports 
489 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 324
over 3,047 m: 27
2,438 to 3,047 m: 88
1,524 to 2,437 m: 147
914 to 1,523 m: 30
under 914 m: 32 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 165
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 29
914 to 1,523 m: 56
under 914 m: 78 (2002)

Military

Military branches 
People's Liberation Army (PLA): comprises ground forces, Navy (including naval infantry and naval aviation), Air Force, and II Artillery Corps (strategic missile force), People's Armed Police Force (internal security troops, nominally a state security body but included by the Chinese as part of the "armed forces" and considered to be an adjunct to the PLA), militia
Military manpower - military age 
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability 
males age 15-49: 370,087,489 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service 
males age 15-49: 203,003,036 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually 
males: 10,089,458 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$20.048 billion (2002); note - this is the officially announced figure, but actual defense spending more likely ranges from $45 billion to $65 billion for 2002
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
1.6% (2002); note - this is the officially announced figure, but actual defense spending is more likely between 3.5% to 5.0% of GDP for 2002

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
in 2000, China joined ASEAN discussions towards creating a South China Sea "code of conduct" - a non-legally binding, confidence-building measure; much of the rugged, militarized boundary with India is in dispute, but talks to resolve the least contested middle sector resumed in 2001; ongoing talks with Tajikistan have failed to resolve the longstanding dispute over the indefinite boundary; Kazakhstan is working rapidly with China to delimit its large open borders to control population migration, illegal activities, and trade; 2001 Treaty of Good Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation commits Russia and China to seek peaceable unanimity over disputed alluvial islands at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri rivers and a small island on the Argun; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; maritime boundary agreement with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin awaits ratification; Paracel Islands occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; claims Japanese-administered Senkaku-shoto (Senkaku Islands/Diaoyu Tai), as does Taiwan; demarcation of the land boundary with Vietnam has commenced, but details of the alignment have not been made public; 33-km section of boundary with North Korea in the Paektu-san (mountain) area is indefinite
Illicit drugs 
major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle; growing domestic drug abuse problem; source country for chemical precursors and methamphetamine

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