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Main article: History of the People's Republic of China Major combat in the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949 with the Communist Party in control of mainland China, and the Kuomintang retreating offshore, reducing the ROC's territory to only Taiwan, Hainan, and their surrounding islands. On 1 October 1949, Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China,  which was commonly known in the West as "Communist China" or "Red China" during the Cold War.  In 1950, the People's Liberation Army succeeded in capturing Hainan from the ROC,  occupying Tibet,  and defeating the majority of the remaining Kuomintang forces in Yunnan and Xinjiang provinces, though some Kuomintang holdouts survived in China and Burma until the early 1960s.  Mao encouraged population growth, and under his leadership the Chinese population almost doubled from around 550 million to over 900 million. However, Mao's Great Leap Forward, a large-scale economic and social reform project, resulted in an estimated 45 million deaths between 1958 and 1961, mostly from starvation.  Between 1 and 2 million landlords were executed as "counterrevolutionaries."  In 1966, Mao and his allies launched the Cultural Revolution, sparking a period of political recrimination and social upheaval which lasted until Mao's death in 1976. In October 1971, the PRCreplaced the Republic of China in the United Nations, and took its seat as a permanent member of the Security Council.  On 1 January 1979, the USofficially recognised the PRC as China's sole legitimate government. 
Mao Zedong proclaiming the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
After Mao's death in 1976 and the arrest of the faction known as the Gang of Four, who were blamed for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping took power and led the country to significant economic reforms. The Communist Party subsequently loosened governmental control over citizens' personal lives and the communes were disbanded in favor of private land leases. This turn of events marked China's transition from a planned economy to a mixed economy with an increasingly open market environment, a system termed by some "market socialism";  it is officially described as "socialism with Chinese characteristics". China adopted its current constitution on 4 December 1982. In 1989, the violent suppression of student protests in Tiananmen Square brought worldwide condemnation and sanctions against the Chinese government.  President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji, both former mayors of Shanghai, led the nation in the 1990s. Under Jiang and Zhu's ten years of administration, China's economic performance pulled an estimated 150 million peasants out of poverty and sustained an average annual gross domestic product growth rate of 11.2%.  The country formally joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, and maintained its high rate of economic growth under Hu Jintao's presidency in the 2000s. However, rapid growth also severely impacted the country's resources and environment,  and caused major social displacement.  Living standards continued to improve rapidly, but centralized political control remained tight. 
The city of Shanghai has become a symbol of China's rapid economic expansion since the 1990s.
Preparations for a decadal Communist Party leadership change in 2012 were marked by factional disputes and political scandals.  During China's18th National Communist Party Congress in November 2012, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao were replaced as President and Premier by Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, who formally took office in 2013.  Under Xi, the Chinese government began large-scale efforts to reform its fast-growing economy,  which has suffered from structural instabilites in the wake of the late-2000s recession. 
Main article: Geography of China
The People's Republic of China is the second-largest country in the world by land area after Russia and is either the third- or fourth-largest by total area, after Russia, Canada and, depending on the definition of total area, the United States.  China's total area is generally stated as being approximately 9,600,000 km2 (3,700,000 sq mi).  Specific area figures range from 9,572,900 km2 (3,696,100 sq mi) according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, 9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi) according to the UN Demographic Yearbook,  to 9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi) according to the CIA World Factbook,  and 9,640,011 km2 (3,722,029 sq mi) including Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract, which are controlled by China and claimed by India.  None of these figures include the 1,000 square kilometres (386.1 sq mi) of territory ceded to China by Tajikistan following the ratification of a Sino-Tajik border agreement in January 2011.  China has the longest combined land border in the world, measuring 22,117 km (13,743 mi) from the mouth of the Yalu River to the Gulf of Tonkin. Chinaborders 14 nations, more than any other country except Russia, which also borders 14. China extends across much of East Asia, bordering Vietnam, Laos, and Burma in Southeast Asia; India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan in South Asia; Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia; a small section of Russian Altai and Mongolia in Inner Asia; and the Russian Far East and North Korea in Northeast Asia. China's border with India is disputed, and was a key cause of the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
A composite satellite image showing the topography of China.
Longsheng Rice Terrace in Guangxi.
Additionally, China shares maritime boundaries with South Korea, Japan, The Li River in Guangxi. Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan. The PRC and the Republic of China (Taiwan) make mutual claims over each other's territory and the frontier between areas under their respective control is closest near the islands of Kinmen and Matsu, off the Fujian coast, but otherwise run through the Taiwan Strait. The PRC and ROC assert identical claims over the entirety of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, and the southernmost extent of these claims reaches James Shoal, which would form a maritime frontier with Malaysia.
Landscape and climate
221 species of birds (eighth). Mt. Subtropical forests. contain a quarter of all the animal and plant species found in China.  Endangered wildlife is protect by law and the country has over 360 nature reserves. broadgrasslands predominate. Biodiversity Main article: Wildlife of China China is one of 17 megadiverse countries. Moist conifer forests can have thickets of bamboo as an understorey. More than 2. long overlooked in China. Cold coniferous forests predominate in the north of the country. and high plateaus feature among the more arid landscapes of the north. support as many as 146. in summer. the country's most famous endangered and endemic species. Mekong.  424 species of reptiles (seventh) and 333 species of amphibians (seventh). is the dried lake bed of Ayding Lake (−154m) in the Turpan Depression. due mainly to human activity such as habitat destruction. A major environmental issue in China is the continued expansion of its deserts. Laws prohibiting illegal animal trade are unevenly enforced. China's most famousendangered and endemic species. In the winter.  Environmental campaigners have warned that water pollution is becoming a . along with over 120 bird species. Gansu and Shaanxi province. rhino horns.  More than 5. are virtually extinct in the wild and survive only in captive breeding programs.000 species of fungi were reported in 2005 for northwestern China.C. and longitudes 73° and 135° E. Wildlife in China share habitat with and bear acute pressure from the world's largest population of homo sapiens . but probably exceeds 10. there are extensive and densely populated alluvial plains. pollution and poaching for food. which dominate central and southern China. including lichen-forming species. and became a party to the convention on 5 January 1993. According to China's environmental watchdog. while the centraleast hosts thedeltas of China's two major rivers.Brahmaputra and Amur. Sepa. though confined to Yunnan andHainan Island. A number of other species. major mountain ranges. As the country has grown wealthier in recent years. along the shores of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea.000 species of vascular plants  and is home to a variety of forest types. Flora China has over 32. The climate in China differs from region to region because of the country's highly complex topography.  lying in two of the world's major ecozones: the Palearctic and the Indomalaya. domestic appetite has grown for wildlife products.  The country signed the Rio de Janeiro Convention on Biological Diversity on 11 June 1992.000 species of flora. at theWolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan. the Xi. prolonged drought and poor agricultural practices have resulted in dust storms plaguing northern China each spring. and the world's fourth-lowest. To the west. with one revision which was received by the convention on 21 September 2010.  Fungi The number of species of fungi recorded in China. after Brazil and Colombia. erosion. such as the Taklamakan and the Gobi Desert. with pioneer publications evaluating the conservation status of individual species.  China is the most biodiverse country in each category outside of the tropics. China has suffered from severe environmental deterioration and pollution.000 species of "higher fungi" – mainly basidiomyceteswith some ascomycetes – were reported in 2001 for tropical China alone. which lead to pronounced temperature differences between winter and summer. supporting animal species such asmoose and the Asian black bear.  Although barrier tree lines planted since the 1970s have reduced the frequency of sandstorms. By one measure.  1. The world's highest point.  While regulations such as the 1979 Environmental Protection Law are fairly stringent.687 species of animals and vascular plants. Teng in the first modern treatment of Chinese fungi in the English language. Melting glaciers in the Himalayas could potentially lead to water shortages for hundreds of millions of people. and threatening wildlife in other countries. Chinese alligator and Pere David's deer. lives in protected nature reserves in Sichuan. and pollution control have become important issues in China's relations with other countries. is not known with precision. The country's lowest point. public protests and riots over environmental issues have become increasingly common. leading to a sharp rise in Illegal trading in endangered species such as ivory.  A giant panda. the Yellow River and The South China Sea coast the Yangtze River.  Environmental issues Main article: Environment of China See also: Water resources of the People's Republic of China In recent decades. Southern China is dominated by hills and low mountain ranges. Everest (8848m).  China's climate is mainly dominated by dry seasons and wet monsoons.  Fauna China is home to at least 551 species of mammals (the third-highest such number in the world). most notably the Himalayas.  Water quality. As a result. as they are frequently disregarded by local communities and government officials in favour of rapid economic development. vulnerable or in danger of local extinction in China. including Korea and Japan. southern winds from coastal areas at lower latitudes are warm and moist. northern winds coming from high-latitude areas are cold and dry. replaced by rhododendrons in higher montane stands ofjuniper and yew. The giant panda. fur and ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine. such as the South China tiger.000 km²) per year to desertification. lies on the Sino-Nepalese border. which is currently the world's fifth-largest desert. China's landscapes vary significantly across its vast width. shark fins. particularly the Gobi Desert. with the production of many volumes in the Flora Fungorum Sinicorum series of publications. was first addressed in the early 2010s. China is losing a million acres (4. At least 840 animal species are threatened. China has over 34. while on the edges of the Inner Mongolian plateau in the north. which was published in 1996.  It later produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Tropical and seasonal rainforests.The territory of China lies between latitudes 18° and 54° N. making it the third-most biodiverse country in the world.  The exploration and classification of the fungi of China is currently being pursued under the auspices of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.400 species were listed by the mycologist S. they are poorly enforced. The issue of fungal conservation. In the east.000.  and nearly 4. which then spread to other parts of East Asia. Other major rivers include atHainan.
and Municipalities of Macau See also: Administrative divisions of the Republic of China The People's Republic of China has administrative control over 22 provinces.  The incumbent President is Xi Jinping. Compared to its closed-door policies until the mid-1970s. and Vietnam. of which China has a total installed capacity of 197 GW. the press. TheDabancheng project is Asia's Chinese Ministry of Water Resources. China supports the Leninist principle of "democratic centralism". most notably on the Internet. Provinces ( çœ) Anhui (å®‰å¾½çœ) Fujian (ç¦å»ºçœ) Gansu (ç”˜è‚ƒçœ) Guangdong (å¹¿ä¸œçœ) Guizhou (è´µå·žçœ) †Taiwan Hainan (æµ·å—çœ) Hebei (æ²³åŒ—çœ) Heilongjiang (é»‘é¾™æ±Ÿçœ) Henan (æ²³å—çœ) Hubei (æ¹–åŒ—çœ) Hunan (æ¹–å—çœ) Jiangsu (æ±Ÿè‹ ç œ) Jiangxi (æ±Ÿè¥¿çœ) Jilin (å‰æž—çœ) Liaoning (è¾½å®ç œ) Qinghai (é’æµ·çœ) Shaanxi (é™•è¥¿çœ) Shandong (å±±ä¸œçœ) Shanxi (å±±è¥¿çœ) Sichuan (å››å·ç œ) Taiwan (å°æ¹¾çœ) † Yunnan (äº‘å—çœ) Zhejiang (æµ™æ±Ÿçœ) is claimed by the PRC but governed by the Republic of China Autonomous regions ( è‡ªæ²»åŒº) Municipalities ( ç›´è¾–å¸‚) Beijing (åŒ—äº¬å¸‚) Chongqing (é‡åº†å¸‚) Shanghai (ä¸Šæµ·å¸‚) Tianjin (å¤©æ´¥å¸‚) Special administrative regions ( ç‰¹åˆ«è¡Œæ”¿åŒº) Hong Kong / Xianggang (é¦™æ¸¯ç‰¹åˆ«è¡Œæ”¿åŒº) Macau / Aomen (æ¾³é—¨ç‰¹åˆ«è¡Œæ”¿åŒº) Guangxi (å¹¿è¥¿å£®æ—è‡ªæ²»åŒº) Inner Mongolia / Nei Mongol (å†…è’™å¤è‡ªæ²»åŒº) Ningxia (å®å¤å›žæ—è‡ªæ²»åŒº) Xinjiang (æ–°ç–†ç»´å¾å°”è‡ªæ²»åŒº) Tibet / Xizang (è¥¿è—è‡ªæ²»åŒº) . which claims the entirety of the PRC's territory. roughly 300 million Chinese do not largest wind farm.  The Chinese government has been variously described as communist and socialist. who is also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and theChairman of the Central Military Commission. where the National People's Congress convenes. is one of the world's four remaining socialist states espousing communism. are widely pursued at the local level.  Nonetheless. the level of public support for the government and its management of the nation is among the highest in the world. in that open contested elections are now held at the village and town levels.  In 2011. the Party retains effective control over government appointments: in the absence of meaningful opposition.severe threat to Chinese society. None of these divisions are recognized by the ROC government. five autonomous regions. These 22 provinces. China is the world's leading investor in renewable energy commercialisation. a term which usually excludes the SARs of Hong Kong and Macau. particularly in the north-east of the country. and considers Taiwan to be its 23rd province. and two Special Administrative Regions (SARs).  with limited democratic processes internal to the party and at local village levels. and to complete construction of a flood prevention and anti-drought system by 2020.55 billion) in water infrastructure and desalination projects over a ten-year period. the Chinese government announced plans to invest four trillion yuan (US$618.  The political system is partly decentralized. and 40% of China's rivers had been polluted by industrial and agricultural waste by late 2011.  Its current political/economic system has been termed by its leaders as "socialism with Chinese characteristics". although these experiments have been marred by corruption.  and renewable energy projects. have access to safe drinking water. including Shanghai. with heavy restrictions remaining in many areas. freedom of assembly. although Taiwan is currently governed by the Republic of China.  Administrative divisions Main articles: Administrative divisions of the People's Republic of China. along with Cuba. the CPC wins by default most of the time.  The current Premier is Li Keqiang.  Additionally. numerous major Chinese coastal cities.  According to the Wind turbines in Xinjiang. with $52 billion invested in 2011 alone. referred to in China as democratic parties. However. Districts of Hong Kong. which participate in the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). the liberalization of China has resulted in the administrative climate being less restrictive than before.  but the elected National People's Congress has been described as a "rubber stamp" body. Laos. four municipalities.  By 2009. which disputes the PRC's claim.reproductive rights. which enjoy a degree of political autonomy. There have been some moves toward political liberalization. but also as authoritarian.  Politics Main article: Politics of the People's Republic of China The People's Republic of China. whereby local People's Congresses are directly elected.  This crisis is compounded by increasingly severe water shortages. Political concerns in China include lessening the growing gap between rich and poor and fighting corruption within the government leadership. such as solar water heating. over 17% of China's energy was derived from renewable sources – most notably hydroelectric power plants. There are other political parties in China. with 86% of Chinese citizens expressing satisfaction with their nation's economy according to a 2008 Pew Research Center survey. who is also a senior member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee.  China produces more wind turbines and solar panels than any other country.  China also has five subdivisions officially termed autonomous regions. The Great Hall of the People in Beijing.  The Chinese electoral system is hierarchical. and all higher levels of People's Congresses up to the National People's Congress (NPC) are indirectly elected by the People's Congress of the level immediately below. The country is ruled by the Communist Party of China (CPC). are deemed to be highly vulnerable to large-scale flooding. and four municipalities can be collectively referred to as "mainland China". each with a designated minority group.  However. and freedom of religion. whose power is enshrined in China's constitution.
 China furthermore has an increasingly close economic and military relationship with Russia. India. particularly with the United States.  and the two states often vote in unison in the UN Security Council. with China's Hu Jintao second from right.  Trade relations In recent decades.Foreign relations Main article: Foreign relations of China The PRC has diplomatic relations with 171 countries and maintains embassies in 162. Australia and New Zealand. Russia. along with Russia and the Central Asian republics.  especially in the matter of armament sales. This policy has led China to support states that are regarded as dangerous or repressive by Western nations. and is also driven by the concept of "harmony without uniformity". the United States Congress approved "permanent normal trade relations" (PNTR) with China.  Along with Brazil. Sweden was the first western country to establish diplomatic relations with the PRC on 9 May 1950. India and South Africa. Hainan in April 2011. which encourages diplomatic relations between states despite ideological differences. Relations with many Western nations suffered for a time following the military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. pointedly excluding the United States. the U.  Conflicts with foreign countries have occurred at times in China's recent history. as the latter considers Tibet to be formally part of China.  Much of current Chinese foreign policy is reportedly based on Zhou Enlai's Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. although in recent years China has improved its diplomatic links with the West. it proposed an entirely new East Asia Summit (EAS) framework as a forum for regional security issues.  The EAS. North Korea and Iran.  Its legitimacy is disputed by the Republic of China and a few other countries. In 2004. Chinese officials have protested on numerous occasions when foreign countries have made diplomatic overtures to Taiwan. for instance. it is thus the largest and most populous state with limited recognition.  Political meetings between foreign government officials and the 14th Dalai Lama are also opposed by China. such as Zimbabwe. China has followed a policy of engaging with African nations for trade and bilateral co-operation. . Bush in 2006. and hosted the group's third official summit at Sanya. allowing Chinese exports in at the same low A meeting of G5 leaders in 2007. Under its interpretation of the One-China policy.  China has furthermore strengthened its ties with major South American economies.  In 1971. becoming the largest trading partner of Brazil and building strategic links with Argentina. Beijing has made it a precondition to establishing diplomatic relations that the other country acknowledges its claim to Taiwan and severs official ties with the government of the Republic of China.  Hu Jintao with US President George W. the PRC replaced the Republic of China as the sole representative of China in the United Nations and as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Sino-African trade totalled over US$160 billion.  in 2012. held its inaugural summit in 2005. China has played an increasing role in calling for free trade areas and security pacts amongst its Asia-Pacific neighbors. China is a member of the BRICS group of emerging major economies.S.S.  China was also a former member and leader of the Non-Aligned Movement. bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo conflict in May 1999 and the Hainan Island incidentinvolving a U. In 2000. spy plane in April 2001. China is also a founding member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). which includes ASEAN Plus Three. and still considers itself an advocate for developing countries.  In recent decades.
 Military Main article: People's Liberation Army With 2. Since the 1990s. According to a 2013 report by the US Department of Defense. and focus more on the people's rights to subsistence and development in poorer countries. and some members of the Communist Party of China have all identified the need for social and political reform.tariffs as goods from most other countries. very large population. and life expectancy for the average Chinese since the 1970s.  Rural migrants to China's cities often find themselves treated as second-class citizens by the hukou household registration system. China is considered both a major regional military power and a potential military superpower. social activists. the Second Artillery Corps. such as the United States. which controls access to state benefits.  In particular. its most important export market.  The PLA consists of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF).  Although the Chinese government is increasingly tolerant of NGOs which offer practical. the Chinese state is regularly accused of large-scale repression and human rights abuses in Tibet and Xinjiang. Social welfare in China.torture. which is seen in some quarters as attempting to contain China's regional power.  China claims it maintains an army purely for defensive purposes. According to the Chinese government. literacy.  and excessive use of the death penalty. China is regularly hailed as a potential new superpower.  In the early 2010s.  It has also responded to allegations of state repression by accusing Western media of supporting and justifying terrorist acts in Xinjiang. constituting the world's second-largest military  budget. freedom of religion. China is additionally involved in multilateral disputes over the ownership of several small islands in the East and South China Seas. particularly the United States. as was the case with the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.  The government has suppressed demonstrations by organizations that it considers a potential threat to "social stability". including a disputed border with India and an undefined border with Bhutan. which is allegedly much higher than the official budget. the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). freedom of the press. warn thateconomic bubbles and demographic imbalances could slow or even halt China's growth as the century progresses. China's military expenditure in 2012 totalled US$100 billion.  although a 2007 report by the US Secretary of Defense noted that "China's actions in certain areas increasingly appear inconsistent with its declaratory policies". however. see here. and noting that it lacks the military and cultural influence of the United States. efficient solutions to social problems. However. have claimed that China does not report its real level of military spending.  and taxation disproportionately affects poorer citizens. Reporters Without Borders ranked China 159th out of 167 states in its Annual World Press Freedom Index. the right to a fair trial.  Some authors also question the definition of "superpower". growing military might.  Property rights are often poorly protected. and technological and cultural changes that are making China more open to the wider world.  Territorial disputes Main article: Foreign relations of China#International territorial disputes See also: List of wars involving the People's Republic of China In addition to claiming all of Taiwan.  It emphasizes the rise in the standard of living. A PLAAF Chengdu J-10 fighter aircraft. forced confessions. Hukou system.  The Chinese government has responded to foreign criticism by arguing that the notion of human rights should take into account a country's present level of economic development. However. and Feminism in the People's Republic of China The Chinese democracy movement. as well as improvements in workplace safety and efforts to combat natural disasters such as the perennial Yangtze River floods. and property rights. and additional social services provided to rural dwellers.  China has a significant trade surplus with the United States. the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). althoughothers remain more conservative.  is openly and routinely used in China to silence criticism of the government and the ruling Communist Party. with certain commentators citing its rapid economic progress. an increasingly educated citizenry. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China states that the "fundamental rights" of citizens include freedom of speech.  Others.  A number of foreign governments and NGOs also routinely criticize China's human rights record.  Furthermore. commanded by theCentral Military Commission (CMC).  Emerging superpower status Map depicting territorial disputes between the PRC and neighboring states.  Both Bill Clinton and George W. in practice. universal suffrage. most notably on the Internet.  However. While economic and social controls have been greatly relaxed in China since the 1970s. China has been involved in negotiations to resolve its disputed land borders.  These issues have led to friction between China and western nations. other nations. The Communist Party has had mixed success in controlling information: a powerful and pervasive media control system faces equally strong market forces. these provisions do not afford significant protection against criminal prosecution by the state. US politicians argued that the Chinese yuan was significantly undervalued. restrictions of fundamental rights.  Bush was furthermore an advocate of Chinese entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). such "third sector" activity remains heavily regulated. For a larger map. and a strategic nuclear force. some Chinese politicians have spoken out in support of democratisation. arguing that China's large economy alone would not qualify it as a superpower. indicating a very low level of perceived press freedom. giving China an unfair trade advantage.  Sociopolitical issues and reform See also: Human rights in China. Censorship in China. political freedom is still tightly restricted. a number of rural taxes have been reduced or abolished since the early 2000s. Elections in the People's Republic of China. and increasing international influence as signs that it will play a prominent global role in the 21st century. alleging widespread civil rights violations such as detention without trial. Bush asserted that free trade would gradually open China to democratic reform. China fields between 50 and 75 .3 million active troops. the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the largest standing military force in the world. China has been involved in a number of other international territorial disputes.  As a recognised nuclear weapons state.  Censorship of political speech and information.  In 2005. including violent police crackdowns and religious suppression.
 China is the world's third-largest recipient of inward foreign direct investment (FDI). China's economy is again second only to the United States – in 2012.  If PPP is taken into account.  China has also updated its ground forces.85 trillion by the end of 2010.  From its founding in 1949 until late 1978. its PPP GDP reached $12. China is furthermore engaged in developing an indigenous stealth aircraft and numerous combat drones. and a number of major takeovers of foreign firms by Chinese companies. including several nuclear-powered attack and ballistic missile submarines. without private The Shanghai Stock Exchange building inShanghai's Lujiazui financial district.  Its foreign exchange reserves reached US$2. China is a member of the WTO and is the world's largest trading power. replacing its Members of a Chinese military honor guard. 61 Chinese companies were listed in the Fortune Global 500. China's economic growth rate was equivalent to all of the G7 countries' growth combined. Shanghai has the 25th-largest city GDP in industrialized communist society.  Following Mao's death in 1976 and the consequent end of the Cultural Revolution. the number of US dollar billionaires in China increased from 130 in 2009 to 251 in 2012. Inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were restructured and unprofitable ones were closed outright.  In 2011. leading to the creation ofSpecial Economic Zones (SEZs).and exportled economy has grown more than a hundredfold and is the fastest-growing major economy in the world.  in US$ billions. Modern-day China is mainly characterized as having a market economy based on private property ownership.  including anti-satellite missiles.  China's domestic retail market .  In the early 2010s.  China also increasingly invests abroad.7 million soldiers. Deng Xiaopinginitiated China's market-oriented reforms. it has developed numerous power projection assets – its first aircraft carrier entered service in 2012. Agriculture in China.  China has made significant progress in modernizing its air force since the early 2000s. corresponding to $9. resulting in massive job losses. China's investment.87 trillion in 2012. changing government priorities  and global economic turmoil.075 puts it behind around ninety countries (out of 183 countries on the IMF list) in global GDP per capita rankings. China's economic growth rate began to slow amid domestic credit troubles.  According to the IMF. results.  cruise missiles  and submarine-launched nuclear ICBMs.  Based on the Hurun rich list. Agricultural collectivization was dismantled and farmlands privatized. China has been perceived as attempting to rival the United States in military technology. including fifthranked Sinopec Group. China's middle-class population (defined as those with annual income of at least US$17.5 million) was estimated to be 1.  Nonetheless.  The state still dominates in strategic "pillar" sectors such as energy production and heavy industries.  China has furthermore established a network of foreign military relationships that has been compared to a string of pearls. Mao Zedong instituted the Great Leap the world. while foreign trade became a major new focus. with ageing Soviet-derived tank inventory with numerous variants around 2. three of the world's top ten most valuable companies are Chinese.  China owns an estimated $1. sixth-ranked China National Petroleum and seventh-ranked State Grid (the world's largest A graph comparing the 2012 nominal GDPs of major economies electric utilities company). purchasing Russian fighter jets such as the Sukhoi Su-30. holding over US$1. although this had decidedly mixed economic 2011.6 trillion of US securities. with around 30 million private businesses recorded in 2008.02 million in 2012. Its ground forces alone of the modern Type 99 tank. China has a very high 3G growth rating. Between 2007 and 2011. along with a number ofSRBMs.16 trillion in US Treasury bonds.  However. China has the world's second-largest economy in terms of nominal GDP.000) had reached more than 100 million by 2011. most notably the Chengdu J-10 and the Shenyang J-11. China possesses the largest standing army in the world.  while the number of individuals worth more than 10 million yuan (US$1. making its reserves by far the world's largest.5%. the People's Republic of China was a Soviet-style centrally planned economy. but its undervalued exchange rate has caused friction with other major economies.  Since economic liberalization began in 1978. and List of Chinese administrative divisions by GDP As of 2013.  According to the Global Growth Generators index announced by Citigroup in February 2011. marking a 9% increase over 2010. giving China the world's second-highest number of billionaires. J-15 and J-16.  China. China is the only one of the UN Security Council Permanent Members to have relatively limited power projectioncapabilities.  Measured by total revenues.227 trillion according to theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF). with a total outward FDI of $68 billion in 2010.  and is one of the leading examples of state capitalism.  To offset this.  although some analysts note that the American military remains far more capable than the PLA. To propel the country towards a modern.  although it is only ranked 135th among the 179 countries measured in the Index of Economic Freedom. an increase of 18. attracting $115 billion in 2011 alone. but private enterprise has expanded enormously. China has developed or acquired numerous advanced missile systems.nuclear ICBMs.Deng Xiaoping and the new Chinese leadership began to reform the economy and move towards a more market-oriented mixed economy under one-party rule. and upgrading its total 1.3 million active personnel. according to IMF data. China's annual average GDP growth between 2001 and 2010 was 10. low labor costs and relatively good infrastructure have made it a global leader in manufacturing.161 per capita.  In 1978. totalling US$304 billion in Forward in the early 1960s.  Its high productivity.  Economy Main articles: Economy of China.7% over the previous year.  In addition. totalling approximately US$8. and also manufacturing its own modern fighters.  and it maintains a substantial fleet ofsubmarines.405 trillion. battlefield C3I and C4I systems to enhance its networkcentric warfare capabilities. businesses or capitalism.  and it has also been widely criticised for manufacturing large quantities of counterfeit goods.  As a result of these advances. China's 2012 nominal GDP per capita of US$6.  is the largest foreign holder of US public debt.  China now ranks 29th in the Global Competitiveness Index. according to the Hurun Report. with a total international trade value of US$3.
more than any other country. the first nation to employ gunpowder weapons. this has led to massive water and air pollution. including 5.  Prominent Chinese scientists have included the oncologist Min Chiu Li. After the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War in 1949. medieval Chinese thinkers did not attempt to reduce observations of nature to mathematical laws. Ancient Chinese discoveries and inventions. printing.was worth over 20 trillion yuan (US$3.  Efforts have also been made to streamline bureaucracy and reduce wastefulness by government enterprises. a major shopping street in Shanghai. efforts were made to organize science and technology based on the model of the Soviet Union.000 BSc graduates. step in a project to assemble a large manned station by 2020. China became the third country to independently send humans into space.  Chinese technology companies such as Huawei and Lenovo have become world leaders in telecommunications and personal computing. There was an increasing concentration on literature.  and Chinesesupercomputers are consistently ranked among the world's most powerful. some foreign analysts have accused China of covertly using its civilian space missions for military purposes. China has become one of the world's leading technological powers. China was as papermaking. planning to make renewables constitute 30% of China's total energy production by 2050. In 2011.  However. Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution of 1966–76 had a catastrophic effect on Chinese research.D. Main articles: Science and technology in the People's Republic of China and Chinese space program China was a world leader in science and technology until the Ming Dynasty. In 2008. and the Soviet-inspired academic system was gradually reformed. such Ming Dynasty matchlock firearms.  However. with over 1 billion users as of .  Consequently.500 in 2010 alone.  and still relies on coal to supply over 70% of its energy needs.  China is furthermore the world's largest investor in renewable energy technology. and they did not form a scholarly community offering peer review and progressive research. and possibly a manned lunar landing in 2025.  The causes of this Great Divergence continue to be debated.  Experience gained from the lunar program may be used for future programs such as the exploration of Mars andVenus. producing 121.  Coupled with lax environmental regulations. later became widespread in Asia and Europe. However. and is a major source of national pride. Dong Fang Hong I. the government has promised to use more renewable energy. Chinese mathematicians were the first to use negative numbers. Tiangong-1. China launched its first satellite.  Science and technology Historical Nanjing Road.  In 1970. such as the launch of surveillance satellites. the compass. while science and technology were seen as trivial or restricted to limited practical applications. ten Chinese nationals have journeyed into space. China conducted its first spacewalk with theShenzhou 7 mission. marking the first 3Brocket. Unlike the European scientists of the Scientific Revolution.  Infrastructure Communications Main article: Telecommunications in the People's Republic of China China currently has the largest number of active cellphones of any country in the world.  Modern era Since the end of the Cultural Revolution.  The Chinese economy is highly energy-intensive and inefficient. as academics were persecuted and the training of scientists and engineers was severely curtailed for nearly a decade. Chinese reformers began promoting modern science and technology as part of the Selfedit Strengthening Movement. engineering graduates.  spending over US$100 billion on scientific research and development in 2011 alone. and gunpowder (the Four Great Inventions). China is rapidly developing its education system with an emphasis on science.  leading to increased government regulation.  The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program includes a planned lunar rover launch in 2013.  while the country's luxury goods market has expanded immensely. mathematics and engineering. with Yang Liwei's spaceflight aboard Shenzhou 5. China's rapid economic growth has contributed to severe consumer inflation. Chinese scientific activity entered a prolonged decline in the fourteenth century.  China is also the world's second-largest publisher of scientific papers.200 in leading international scientific journals.  Science and technology are seen as vital for achieving economic and political goals. in 2009. In 2003. was launched. and are held as a source of national pride to a degree sometimes described as "techno-nationalism". and public administration. leaving China with 20 of the world's 30 most polluted cities.000 Ph.  China became the world's largest energy consumer in 2010.  After Mao's death in 1976. in recent years. History of science and technology in China Inventions Discoveries By era Han Dynasty Tang Dynasty Song Dynasty People's Republic of China Present-day China This box: view talk After repeated military defeats by Western nations in the 19th century. who became the first doctor to cure a solid cancer with chemotherapy in 1956. science and technology was established as one of the Four Modernizations.  The Chinese space program is one of the world's most active.  However. China's first The launch of a Chinese Long March space station module. the arts. with 27. as of June 2013.  Chinese-born scientists have won the Nobel Prize in Physics four times and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry once to date. it produced over 10. and as many as 500.2 trillion) in 2012 and is now growing at over 12% annually.5% of the global share.
and divided into various railway bureaux in different regions. which surpassed the United States as the world's largest automobile market in 2009. China accounts for 24% of the world's internet-connected devices. in 2006.968. and the Chinese government has begun a US$250 billion five-year project to expand and modernize domestic air travel. train leavingPudong International Airport. despite the increasing prevalence of automobiles – as of 2012. particularly during holiday seasons. The proportion of the population of workable age was thus around 70%.3 billion and dwindling natural resources. which began offering commercial navigation services across Asia in 2012.000 km (9.  It also has the world's largest number of internet and broadband users.26%. and 8% (48.  A 2009 population density map of the .  Data from the 2010 census implies that the total fertility rate may now be around 1.012 mi) of service routes. known as the "onechild policy. The eastern growth has pulled hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty since coastal provinces are much more densely populated than the western interior. China's rapid People's Republic of China.68 billion total passengers in 2010 alone. although true overall unemployment may be as high as 10%. However.  The one-child policy is resisted. in the form of networks of underground or light rail systems.4 billion and 1. there are approximately 470 million bicycles in China. the country's two largest broadband providers. about 10% of the Chinese population lives below the poverty line of US$1 per day. down from 64% in 1978.103.  China Telecom and China Unicom. Urban unemployment in China reportedly declined to 4% by the end of 2007. 3. the proportion of mainland Chinese people aged 14 or younger was 16.902 females) were over 65 years old.  As of July 2013.  and is planned to offer global coverage by 2020.184 mi) serve trains with top speeds of 300 km/h (190 mph).515 km (2.000 km (53. China's family planning minister has indicated that the one-child policy will be maintained until at least 2020.000 Chinese died in road accidents.86% dependents. dubbedBeidou. China's average internet connection speed in 2011 was 100. around 62. less than half of the global average of 212.439.  long-distance transportation remains dominated by railways and charter bus systems.  The decreasing reliability of Chinese population statistics since family planning began in the late 1970s has made evaluating the effectiveness of the policy difficult. China. with high levels of broadband penetration and rapidly slowing subscriber growth.6%.  In 2011.  With a population of over 1. Railways are the vital carrier in China. in an attempt to prevent sex-selective abortion. second only to the highway network of There are over 85. which led to a ban on using ultrasound devices for non-emergency applications. Families who breach the policy often lie during the census. have become highly profitable in overseas markets.000 km  the United States. such as Chunyun during the Chinese New Year.  Demographics Main article: Demographics of China The national census of 2010 recorded the population of the People's Republic of China as approximately 1.4. they are monopolized by the state. equivalent to around 44% of its population. China Telecom alone serves 55 million broadband subscribers.  Of these. but have also been accused of spying for the Chinese military.489 females) were between 15 and 64 years old.  with over 591 million internet users as of 2013." This seeks to restrict families to one child each.6 million. bicycles remain an extremely common mode of transport. China is very concerned about its population growth and has attempted.  Several Chinese telecommunications companies. whereas the world's ten largest broadband service providers combined accounted for 39% of the world's broadband customers. 71% (482.800 mi) of divided expressways in ownership is growing rapidly in China. with exceptions for ethnic minorities and a degree of flexibility in rural areas. Due to huge demand.9 kbit/s. though some projections estimate a population of anywhere between 1. The Chinese rail network carried an estimated 1.  In urban areas. accounted for 20% of global broadband subscribers. China is the world's largest constructor of new airports. known as the National Trunk Highway System (NTHS).960. 455. apparently the result of a combination of traditional preference for boys and family planning pressure. with mixed results.445.562. Today.739 females) were 14 years old or younger.  Although a middle-income country by Western standards.900 mi) of high-speed rail lines by 2020. while the number aged 60 or older grew to 13. 53. with over 9. The population growth rate for 2006 was 0.676 km (6. particularly in rural areas.612.115 males. giving a total proportion of 29. China produced its first high-speed trains built entirely without foreign assistance. while China Unicom serves more than 40 million. most notably Huawei and ZTE. China's national road network has been significantly expanded through the creation of a network of expressways. and efforts to improve traffic safety have had limited success. 128. mostly caused by poorly enforced traffic laws – in 2011 alone. Private car (52.  The government is particularly concerned with the large imbalance in the sex ratio at birth.  A side-effect of the rapid growth of China's road network has been a significant rise in traffic accidents. whereas the world's other major broadband ISPs operate in the mature markets of the developed world. 80% of China's airspace remains restricted for military use.  As of 2012. because of the need for agricultural labour and a traditional preference for boys. Shanghai. It is hoped that population growth in China will stabilize in the early decades of the 21st century. China is additionally developing its own satellite navigation system.  China intends to operate approximately 16.  Analysts predict that annual car sales in China may rise as high as 40 million by 2020.  Rapid transitsystems are also rapidly developing in China's major cities.6 billion by 2025.338.60%.  According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).  Transport Main article: Transport in China Since the late 1990s. 1978.635 males. About 21% of the population (145.  to implement a strict family planning policy. China's expressways had reached a A high-speed maglev total length of 85. By the end of 2011. the system is regularly subject to overcrowding.000 mi).  By end of 2010.  China also possesses the world's longest high-speed rail network. The massive rise in internet use in China continues to fuel rapid broadband growth. with total car sales of over 13.May 2012.5 kbit/s.461.833 males.
while females made up 48. based on the Mandarin dialect and first popularized in Ming Dynasty novels. a different ranking exists when considering the total municipal populations (which includes suburban and rural populations).984 Rank 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 City name Shenyang Hangzhou Chongqing Harbin Suzhou Jinan Xi'an Wuxi Hefei Province Liaoning Zhejiang Chongqing Heilongjiang Jiangsu Shandong Shaanxi Jiangsu Anhui Pop. and Metropolitan regions of China Since 2000.750).055.49% of the population of China.537.695.743.123. Urbanization See also: List of cities in China.315.542. during the early 20th century as the national standard.549 4. Gan.59 million fewer females than males.  Today.313 5. and Hakka.362. Min (includes Hokkien and Teochew).53 points lower than the ratio obtained from a population sample survey carried out in 2005. by 2025.  The 2010 census recorded a total of 593.938 8. 22.697 7. There are also several major linguistic groups within the Chinese language itself. Simplified Chinese characters have become the official standardized written script used to write the Chinese language within mainland China. is the written standard. a variety of Mandarin based on the Beijing dialect.070. and Ethnic groups in Chinese history China officially recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups.517. municipality and autonomous region except Tibet and Xinjiang.  Population of China from 1949 to 2008.  Languages Main articles: Languages of China and List of endangered languages in China The languages most spoken in China belong to the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is estimated that China's urban population will increase by 400 million people by 2025.074. according to the 2010 census.000 11.  A recent study suggests that as many as three million Chinese babies are hidden by their parents every year.493) and Japan (66.  when its cities will house a combined population of over one billion. v t e Rank 1 2 3 4 Shanghai 5 6 7 8 9 City name Shanghai Beijing Tianjin Guangzhou Shenzhen Dongguan Chengdu Hong Kong Nanjing Province Shanghai Beijing Tianjin Guangdong Guangdong Guangdong Sichuan Hong Kong Jiangsu Pop. The large "floating populations" of migrant workers make conducting censuses in urban areas difficult. Ethnic minorities account for about 8. The largest such groups were from South Korea (120.827. It was adopted.177 persons.314 11.74%.  Compared with the 2000 population census.According to the 2010 census.06 is still beyond the normal range of around 105 percent. Non-Sinitic languages spoken widely by ethnic minorities include Zhuang. Mongolian. 5. and experts warn of increased social instability should this trend continue. population).076 Guangzhou Tianjin Largest cities or towns of the People's Republic of China Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China (2010) .627 persons. and allowed for written communication between speakers of various unintelligible languages and dialects in China. or 5. and is thus intelligible to some degree to many Chinese.090. the Han population increased by 66.159). Tibetan. is the official national language of China and is used as a lingua franca between people of different linguistic backgrounds.721 4.  The figures in the table below are from the 2008 census. there were 118. it is estimated that there could be 35.426 18.937 7.718 5.220. a scale unprecedented in human history.6% between 1978 and 2009. males accounted for 51.  However. Hmong and Korean. Classical Chinese is still part of the high school curriculum. and Shanghai.352. while the population of the 55 national minorities combined increased by 7. Ethnic groups Main articles: List of ethnic groups in China. who constitute about 91. or baihua.  The Han Chinese – the world's largest single ethnic group – outnumber other ethnic groups in every province.4% to 46.098 3. returning home to the countryside periodically with their earnings. Yue (includesCantonese and Taishanese). and are only estimates of the urban populations within administrative city limits. List of cities in China by population.922.180 3.  Between 150 and 200 million migrant workers work part-time in the major cities.357. and are descended from ancient Huaxia tribes living along theYellow River. Since their promulgation by the government in 1956. Uyghur. Written vernacular Chinese.832 foreign citizens living in China. According to the 2010 census.890. Xiang.852. the largest of which are the Han Chinese.  Other demographers argue that perceived gender imbalances may arise from the underreporting of female births. with significant modifications.06 boys born for every 100 girls. China's cities have expanded at an average rate of 10% annually. including the three global cities of Beijing. Ethnic minorities in China.319 3.51% of the total population. which is 0.27 percent of the total population.402.  The country's urbanization rate increased from 17.92%. or 6.654 10. the gender ratio of 118. the United States (71. Classical Chinese was the written standard in China for thousands of years. The most spoken varieties are Mandarin (the first language of over 70% of the 1990 map of Chinese ethnolinguistic groups. Wu (includes Shanghainese).73 percent of the total. China has dozens of cities with one million or more long-term residents.071 6. the country will be home to 221 cities with over a million inhabitants.000 3. Hong Kong.  Standard Mandarin.  the figures below include only long-term residents. supplanting the use of the earlier Traditional Chinese characters.  For the population born between the years 1900 and 2000.
science and literacy.  In 2009. Fudan University. as well as treating and preventing several diseases. the Chinese population has suffered from the development and distribution of counterfeit medications.000 people.  An emphasis on public health and preventive medicine has characterized Chinese health policy since the early 1950s. However. 94.434. After Deng Xiaoping began instituting economic reforms in 1978. which is expected to eventually cover 90% of China's population. a worldwide evaluation of 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance. according to United Nations FAO sources. Xi'an Jiaotong University South Central China: Wuhan University. such as the 2003 outbreak of SARS. although this has since been largely contained. Tongji University Northeast China: Jilin University.Beijing 10 Wuhan Hubei 6. University of Science and Technology of China. oversees the health needs of the Chinese population. China was estimated to be the third-largest supplier of pharmaceuticals in the world.373 20 Changchun Jilin 3. the government advanced its basic education goal by pledging to provide completely free nine-year education. the Chinese government declared education a national "strategic priority". Tsinghua University.  Free compulsory education in China consists of elementary school and middle school between the ages of 6 and 15.6 per thousand births.  In 2000.  As of 2012. Nanjing University.  Pollution is proving to be a particularly severe threat – in 2007.700 Education Main article: Education in the People's Republic of China In 1986. although many of the free public health services provided in the countryside disappeared along with the People's Communes. The national life expectancy at birth rose from about 35 years in 1949 to 73. which was aimed at improving sanitation and hygiene.  and infant mortality decreased from 300 per thousand in the 1950s to around 23 per thousand in 2006. China set the long-term goal of providing compulsory nine-year basic education to every child. Chinese students from Shanghai achieved the world's best results in mathematics.8 years. Nankai University. The consistently top-ranked universities in mainland China are:  East China: Zhejiang University. At that time.5 billion yuan (US$28. and 2012 to improve compulsory education in rural areas.  and its infant mortality rate is 15. such as respiratory illnesses caused by widespread air pollution and hundreds of millions ofcigarette smokers. Healthcare in China became mostly privatised. as tested by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).  The quality of Chinese colleges and universities varies considerably across the country. Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 94% of the population over age 15 are literate. China has several emerging public health problems.2% for males and 98.  In 2011. and 2. estimates of annual excess deaths in China from air and water pollution were placed at 760. the government began a large-scale healthcare provision initiative worth US$124 billion.  Despite significant improvements in health and the construction of advanced medical facilities. there were 396. and 223. Sun Yat-sen University Health Main article: Health in China See also: Pharmaceutical industry in China The Ministry of Health.9% (99.18 years in 2008. China's literacy rate among 15-to-24-year-olds was 98. together with its counterparts in the provincial health bureaux.  and as many as 500 million Chinese lacked access to clean drinking water in 2005.5% for females). and experienced a significant rise in quality. Harbin Institute of Technology North China: Peking University.  China's large population and densely populated cities have led to serious disease outbreaks in recent years.236 higher education institutions in China. were nearly eradicated by the campaign. Renmin University of China.  In February 2006. around 77% of children enter secondary education thereafter.341. which were previously rife in China.567 primary schools. By 2007. the health of the Chinese public improved rapidly due to better nutrition.  . Tianjin University Western China: Sichuan University. and an increase in obesity among urban youths. Huazhong University of Science and Technology. including textbooks and fees. China's national average life expectancy at birth is 74.  In March 2007.116 secondary schools. the central budget for national scholarships was tripled between 2007 and 2009.  Malnutrition as of 2002 stood at 12% of the population. Diseases such as cholera. the Communist Party started the Patriotic Health Campaign.  compared to only 20% in 1950. typhoid and scarlet fever.  As of 2010.65 billion) of extra state funding was allocated between 2007 Tsinghua University in Beijing.  a possible future HIV/AIDS epidemic.  In 2009.
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