This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Main articles: Republic of China (1912–1949) and History of the Republic of China On 1 January 1912, the Republic of China was established, heralding the end of Imperial China.  Sun Yat-sen of the Kuomintang (the KMT or Nationalist Party) was proclaimed provisional president of the republic.  However, the presidency was later given to Yuan Shikai, a former Qing general, who had ensured the defection of the entire Beiyang Army from the Qing Empire to the revolution. In 1915, Yuan proclaimed himself Emperor of China, but was forced to abdicate and reestablish the republic in the face of popular condemnation and opposition from his own Beiyang Army.  After Yuan Shikai's death in 1916, China was politically fragmented. Its Beijingbased government was internationally recognized but virtually powerless; regional warlords controlled most of its territory.  In the late 1920s, the Sun Yat-sen, the father of modern Kuomintang, under Chiang Kai-shek, was able to reunify the country under its China (seated on right), andChiang own control with a series of deft military and political maneuverings, known Kai-shek, later President of the collectively as the Northern Expedition.  The Kuomintang moved the Republic of China. nation's capital to Nanjing and implemented "political tutelage", an intermediate stage of political development outlined in Sun Yat-sen's San-min program for transforming China into a modern democratic state. Effectively, political tutelage meant one-party rule by the Kuomintang, but the party was politically divided into competing cliques.  This political division made it difficult for Chiang to battle the Communists, which the Kuomintang had been warring against since 1927 in the Chinese Civil War. This war continued successfully for the Kuomintang, especially after the Communists retreated in the Long March, until the Xi'an Incident and Japanese aggression forced Chiang to confront Imperial Japan.  The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), a part of World War II, forced an uneasy alliance between the Kuomintang and the Communists. The Japanese "three-all policy" in northern China – "kill all, burn all and destroy all" – led to numerous war atrocities being committed against the civilian population; in all, as many as 20 million Chinese civilians died.  An estimated 200,000 Chinese were massacred in the city of Nanjing alone during the Japanese occupation.  Japan unconditionally surrendered to China in 1945. Taiwan, including the Pescadores, was put under the administrative control of the Republic of China, which immediately claimed sovereignty. China emerged victorious but war-ravaged and financially drained. The continued distrust between the Kuomintang and the Communists led to the resumption of civil war. In 1947, constitutional rule was established, but because of the ongoing unrest many provisions of the ROC constitution were never implemented in mainland China. 
People's Republic of China (1949–present)
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
or fourth-largest by total area. the USofficially recognised the PRC as China's sole legitimate government.900 km2 (3. This turn of events marked China's transition from a planned economy to a mixed economy with an increasingly open market environment. Deng Xiaoping took power and led the country to significant economic reforms. a large-scale economic and social reform project.2%. who were blamed for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution. the PRCreplaced the Republic of China in the United Nations. In October 1971.705.572. .407 sq mi) according to the UN Demographic Yearbook. led the nation in the 1990s.  The country formally joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. the violent suppression of student protests in Tiananmen Square brought worldwide condemnation and sanctions against the Chinese government.961 km2 (3. which are controlled by China and claimed by India.  Mao Zedong proclaiming the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.  President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji.700.  During China's18th National Communist Party Congress in November 2012.  and caused major social displacement.011 km2 (3.696."  In 1966.000 km2 (3.596. China adopted its current constitution on 4 December 1982. However.  Geography Main article: Geography of China Political geography The People's Republic of China is the second-largest country in the world by land area after Russia and is either the third. The Communist Party subsequently loosened governmental control over citizens' personal lives and the communes were disbanded in favor of private land leases.407 sq mi) according to the CIA World Factbook. and took its seat as a permanent member of the Security Council. Mao and his allies launched the Cultural Revolution. both former mayors of Shanghai.  Under Xi.  Living standards continued to improve rapidly.100 sq mi) according to the Encyclopædia Britannica.  The city of Shanghai has become a symbol of China's rapid economic expansion since the 1990s. However.640. After Mao's death in 1976 and the arrest of the faction known as the Gang of Four. after Russia. and maintained its high rate of economic growth under Hu Jintao's presidency in the 2000s.  China's total area is generally stated as being approximately 9. the United States. who formally took office in 2013.596. but centralized political control remained tight.Mao encouraged population growth. sparking a period of political recrimination and social upheaval which lasted until Mao's death in 1976. 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.  None of these A composite satellite image showing the topography of China.600.961 km2 (3.  to 9.  which has suffered from structural instabilites in the wake of the late-2000s recession. In 1989. Mao's Great Leap Forward.000 sq mi).  it is officially described as "socialism with Chinese characteristics". depending on the definition of total area. Canada and. the Chinese government began large-scale efforts to reform its fast-growing economy. resulted in an estimated 45 million deaths between 1958 and 1961.  On 1 January 1979.722.  and 9. a system termed by some "market socialism". and under his leadership the Chinese population almost doubled from around 550 million to over 900 million.  Between 1 and 2 million landlords were executed as "counterrevolutionaries. 9.029 sq mi) including Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract. Preparations for a decadal Communist Party leadership change in 2012 were marked by factional disputes and political scandals.705. mostly from starvation. Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao were replaced as President and Premier by Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang. rapid growth also severely impacted the country's resources and environment.  Specific area figures range from 9.
in summer. including Korea and Japan. there are extensive and densely populated alluvial plains. the Philippines and Taiwan. Mekong.figures include the 1. Sepa. is the dried lake bed of Ayding Lake (−154m) in the Turpan Depression.  Although barrier tree lines planted since the 1970s have reduced the frequency of sandstorms. a small section of Russian Altai and Mongolia in Inner Asia. southern winds from coastal areas at lower latitudes are warm and moist. Melting glaciers in the Himalayas could potentially lead to water shortages for hundreds of millions of people. and high plateaus feature among the more arid landscapes of the north. Nepal and Pakistan in South Asia. Bhutan. Chinaborders 14 nations. most notably the Himalayas. China's landscapes vary significantly across its vast width. Afghanistan. and the southernmost extent of these claims reaches James Shoal.  China has the longest combined land border in the world.000 km²) per year to desertification.  lying in two of the world's . along the shores of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. Everest (8848m). which also borders 14. China's border with India is disputed. Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia. Laos. northern winds coming from high-latitude areas are cold and dry. bordering Vietnam. India. Additionally. To the west. while on the edges of the Inner Mongolian plateau in the north. Longsheng Rice Terrace in Guangxi. Japan. which lead to pronounced temperature differences between winter and summer.Brahmaputra and Amur. Southern China is dominated by hills and low mountain ranges. In the east. which is currently the world's fifth-largest desert.  Water quality. Tajikistan. broadgrasslands predominate. more than any other country except Russia. According to China's environmental watchdog. which would form a maritime frontier with Malaysia. lies on the Sino-Nepalese border.743 mi) from the mouth of the Yalu River to the Gulf of Tonkin. and longitudes 73° and 135° E. which then spread to other parts of East Asia. The world's highest point. and the world's fourth-lowest. China shares maritime boundaries with South Korea. and pollution control have become important issues in China's relations with other countries. off the Fujian coast.117 km (13. The Li River in Guangxi. The country's lowest point. the Yellow River and The South China Sea coast the Yangtze River. while the centraleast hosts thedeltas of China's two major rivers. Vietnam. and Burma in Southeast Asia. The PRC and ROC assert identical claims over the entirety of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.  China's climate is mainly dominated by dry seasons and wet monsoons. particularly the Gobi Desert. but otherwise run through the Taiwan Strait. measuring 22. In the winter. prolonged drought and poor agricultural practices have resulted in dust storms plaguing northern China each spring. Landscape and climate The territory of China lies between latitudes 18° and 54° N. and was a key cause of the 1962 Sino-Indian War. the Xi. erosion.000 square kilometres (386. Mt. and the Russian Far East and North Korea in Northeast Asia. Other major rivers include atHainan. China extends across much of East Asia. 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. Biodiversity Main article: Wildlife of China China is one of 17 megadiverse countries. such as the Taklamakan and the Gobi Desert. The climate in China differs from region to region because of the country's highly complex topography. A major environmental issue in China is the continued expansion of its deserts. China is losing a million acres (4. major mountain ranges.1 sq mi) of territory ceded to China by Tajikistan following the ratification of a Sino-Tajik border agreement in January 2011.
shark fins. By one measure. Laws prohibiting illegal animal trade are unevenly enforced. A number of other species. Chinese alligator and Pere David's deer. Gansu and Shaanxi province.  lying in two of the world's major ecozones: the Palearctic and the Indomalaya.  424 species of reptiles (seventh) and 333 species of amphibians (seventh). at theWolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan.China is one of 17 megadiverse countries. The giant panda. due mainly to human activity such as habitat destruction. with one revision which was received by the convention on 21 September 2010. such as the South China tiger. China's most famousendangered and endemic species.  1.  The country signed the Rio de Janeiro Convention on Biological Diversity on 11 June 1992.  China is the most biodiverse country in each category outside of the tropics. and became a party to the convention on 5 January 1993. vulnerable or in danger of local extinction in China. rhino horns. after Brazil and Colombia.687 species of animals and vascular plants. making it the third-most biodiverse country in the world. domestic appetite has grown for wildlife products. pollution and poaching for food. leading to a sharp rise in Illegal trading in endangered species such as ivory. China has over 34.  Fauna China is home to at least 551 species of mammals (the third-highest such number in the world).  A giant panda. fur and ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine.221 species of birds (eighth).  Endangered wildlife is protect by law and the country has over 360 nature reserves. the country's most famous endangered and endemic species. Wildlife in China share habitat with and bear acute pressure from the world's largest population of homo sapiens . As the country has grown wealthier in recent years. At least 840 animal species are threatened. and threatening wildlife in other countries. . lives in protected nature reserves in Sichuan.  It later produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. are virtually extinct in the wild and survive only in captive breeding programs.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.