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"PRC" redirects here. For other uses, see PRC (disambiguation).
This article is about the People's Republic of China. For other uses, see China (disambiguation).
People's Republic of China
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó
Flag National Emblem
"March of the Volunteers"
《义勇军进行曲》 (Pinyin: "Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ")
Area controlled by China is in dark green.
Claimed but uncontrolled regions are in light green.
Largest city Shanghai
Official language(s) Standard Chinese
Recognised regional languages Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur, Zhuang, and various others
Official written language Vernacular Chinese
Official script Simplified Chinese
Ethnic groups 91.51% Han; 55 recognised minorities
List of ethnic groups
Government Nominally Marxist–Leninist single-party state[a]
- Paramount Leader[b] Hu Jintao
- Premier Wen Jiabao
- Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo
- Conference Chairman Jia Qinglin
Legislature National People's Congress
- Unification of China under the Qin Dynasty 221 BC
- Republic established 1 January 1912
- People's Republic proclaimed 1 October 1949
- Total 9,640,821 km2 [c] or 9,671,018 km² [c](3rd/4th)
3,704,427 sq mi
- Water (%) 2.8[d]
- 2010 census 1,339,724,852 (1st)
- Density 139.6/km2 (53rd)
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
- Total $11.299 trillion (2nd)
- Per capita $8,382 (91st)
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
- Total $7.298 trillion (2nd)
- Per capita $5,413 (90th)
Gini (2007) 41.5
HDI (2011) 0.687 (medium) (101st)
Currency Renminbi (yuan) (¥) (CNY)
Time zone China Standard Time (UTC+8)
Date formats yyyy-mm-dd
Drives on the right, except for Hong Kong & Macau
ISO 3166 code CN
Internet TLD .cn[c] .中國 .中国
Calling code +86[c]
a. ^ Simple characterizations of the political structure since the 1980s are no longer possible.
b. ^ As paramount leader, Hu Jintao holds four concurrent positions: General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People's Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission for both state and party.
c. ^ 9,598,086 km2 (3,705,842 sq mi) excludes all disputed territories.
9,640,821 km2 (3,722,342 sq mi) Includes Chinese-administered area (Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract, both territories claimed by India), Taiwan is not included.
d. ^ Information for mainland China only. Hong Kong, Macau, and territories under the jurisdiction of the Republic of China (Taiwan) are excluded.
China (i/ˈtʃaɪnə/; Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó; see also Names of China), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is the world's most-populous country, with a population of over 1.3 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometres, the East Asian state is the world's second-largest country by land area, and the third- or fourth-largest in total area, depending on the definition of total area.
The People's Republic of China is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party of China. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four directly controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). Its capital city is Beijing. The PRC also claims Taiwan—which is controlled by the Republic of China (ROC), a separate political entity—as its 23rd province, a claim controversial due to the complex political status of Taiwan and the unresolved Chinese Civil War. The PRC government denies the legitimacy of the ROC.
China's landscape is vast and diverse, with forest steppes and the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts occupying the arid north and northwest near Mongolia and Central Asia, and subtropical forests being prevalent in the wetter south near Southeast Asia. The terrain of western China is rugged and elevated, with the Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separating China from South and Central Asia. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third- and sixth-longest in the world, have their sources in the Tibetan Plateau and continue to the densely populated eastern seaboard. China's coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometres (9,000 mi) long—the 11th-longest in the world—and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas.
The nation of China has had numerous historical incarnations. The ancient Chinese civilization—one of the world's earliest—flourished in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, known as dynasties, beginning with the semi-mythological Xia of the Yellow River basin (approx. 2000 BC) and ending with the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. Since 221 BC, when the Qin Dynasty first conquered several states to form a Chinese empire, the country has expanded, fractured and been reformed numerous times. The Republic of China, founded in 1911 after the overthrow of the Qing dynasty, ruled the Chinese mainland until 1949. In 1945, the ROC acquired Taiwan from Japan following World War II.
In the 1946–1949 phase of the Chinese Civil War, the Chinese Communist Party defeated the nationalist Kuomintang in mainland China and established the People's Republic of China in Beijing on 1 October 1949. The Kuomintang relocated the ROC government to Taiwan, establishing its capital in Taipei. The ROC's jurisdiction is now limited to Taiwan and several outlying islands, including Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. Since 1949, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (now widely known as "Taiwan") have remained in dispute over the sovereignty of China and the political status of Taiwan, mutually claiming each other's territory and competing for international diplomatic recognition. In 1971, the PRC gained admission to the United Nations and took the Chinese seat as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. China is also a member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the WTO, APEC, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the BCIM and the G-20. As of September 2011, all but 23 countries have recognized the PRC as the sole legitimate government of China.
Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1978, China has become the world's fastest-growing major economy. As of 2012, it is the world's second-largest economy, after the United States, by both nominal GDP and purchasing power parity (PPP), and is also the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. On a per capita income basis, China ranked 90th by nominal GDP and 91st by GDP (PPP) in 2011, according to the IMF. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army, with the second-largest defense budget. In 2003, China became the third nation in the world, after the former Soviet Union and the United States, to independently launch a successful manned space mission. China has been characterized as a potential superpower by a number of academics, military analysts, and public policy and economics analysts.
2.2 Early dynastic rule
2.3 Imperial China
2.4 Late dynastic rule
2.5 Republic of China (1912–1949)
2.6 People's Republic of China (1949–present)
3.1 Political geography
3.2 Landscape and climate
3.4 Environmental issues
4.1 Administrative divisions
4.2 Foreign relations
4.2.1 Trade relations
4.2.2 Territorial disputes
4.2.3 China and the developing world
4.2.4 Emerging superpower status
4.3 Sociopolitical issues and reform
7 Science and technology
9.1 Ethnic groups
11 See also
13 Further reading
14 External links
Main article: Names of China
Simplified Chinese: 中国
Traditional Chinese: 中國
Literal meaning: Middle Kingdom
- Romanization: Tung-koe̍t
- Romanization: Dung24 Gued2
- Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōngguó
- Wade-Giles: Chung-kuo
- Bopomofo ㄓㄨㄥ ㄍㄨㄛˊ
- Hokkien POJ: Tiong-kok
- Min Dong BUC: Dṳ̆ng-guók
- Romanization: Tson平 koh入
- Jyutping: Zung1 gwok3
- Yale Romanization: Jūnggwok
People's Republic of China
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国
Traditional Chinese: 中華人民共和國
- Romanization: Chungfa Ninmin Khungfokoet
- Romanization: Dung24 fa11 ngin11 min11 kiung55 fo11 gued2
- Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó
- Hokkien POJ: Tiong-hôa jîn-bîn kiōng-hô-kok
- Min Dong BUC: Dṳ̆ng-huà Ìng-mìng Gê̤ṳng-huò-guók
- Romanization: Tson平 gho平 zin平 min平 gon去 ghu平 koh入
- Jyutping: Zung1 waa4 jan4 man4 gung6 wo4 gwok3
- Yale Romanization: Jūngwàh Yàhnmàhn Guhngwòhgwok
- Wylie: krung hwa mi dmangs spyi mthun rgyal khab
- Zangwen Pinyin: Zhunghua Mimang Jitun Gyalkab
Uyghur: جۇڭخۇا خەلق جۇمھۇرىيىت
- Latin Yëziqi: Jungxua Xelq Jumhuriyiti
- Yengi Yezik̡: Junghua Həlk̡ Jumh̡uriyiti
- SASM/GNC: Junghua Hälk̂ Jumĥuriyiti
- Siril Yëziqi: Җуңхуа Хәлқ Җумһурийити
Zhuang: Cunghvaz Yinzminz Gunghozgoz