People's Republic of China

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People's Republic of China
中华人民共和国
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó
Flag
Anthem: 

"March of the Volunteers"
《义勇军进行曲》 (Pinyin: Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ)
Official area of the People's Republic of China shown in dark red; area claimed but disputed shown in light red.
Official area of the People's Republic of China shown in dark red; area claimed but disputed shown in light red.
Capital Beijing
39°55′N 116°23′E / 39.917°N 116.383°E / 39.917; 116.383
Largest city Shanghai[1][2]
Official languages Modern Standard Mandarin
(or Putonghua)[3]
Recognised regional languages Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur, Zhuang, and various others
Official written language Chinese
Official script Simplified Chinese[3]
Ethnic groups 91.51% Han;[4] 55 recognised minorities
Demonym Chinese
Government One-party republic,
called a Communist state
 -  President (and CPC General Secretary) Xi Jinping
 -  Premier Li Keqiang
 -  Congress Chairman Zhang Dejiang
 -  Conference Chairman Yu Zhengsheng
Legislature National People's Congress
Establishment
 -  Unification of China under the Qin Dynasty 221 BC 
 -  Republic established 1 January 1912 
 -  People's Republic of China proclaimed 1 October 1949 
Area
 -  Total 9,640,821 km2[b] or 9,671,018 km²[b] (3rd/4th)
3,704,427 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 2.8[c]
Population
 -  2010 census 1,339,724,852[4] (1st)
 -  Density 139.6/km2 (83rd)
363.3/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2012 estimate
 -  Total $12.382 trillion[6] (2nd)
 -  Per capita $9,146[6] (91st)
GDP (nominal) 2012 estimate
 -  Total $8.250 trillion[6] (2nd)
 -  Per capita $6,094[6] (90th)
Gini (2012) 47.4[7]
high
HDI (2011) Increase 0.699[8]
medium · 101st
Currency Renminbi (yuan) (¥) (CNY)
Time zone China Standard Time (UTC+8)
Date format yyyy-mm-dd
or yyyymd
(CE; CE-1949)
Drives on the right, except for Hong Kong & Macau
Calling code +86[c]
Internet TLD .cn[c] .中國[9] .中国
a. ^  Simple descriptions of the political structure since the 1980s are no longer possible.

b. ^  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.[10]

c. ^  Information for mainland China only. Does not include Hong Kong, Macau, and territories under the control of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

The People's Republic of China (PRC) (simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国; traditional Chinese: 中華人民共和國) is a one-party state in East Asia governed by the Communist Party of China. It was founded on October 1, 1949. It has over 1.3 billion people, which is more than any other country in the world.[4] It covers an area of 9.6 million square kilometers.

The capital city is Beijing, and Shanghai is the city with the most people living in it. United Kingdom gave Hong Kong back to China in 1997 and Portugal gave Macao back to China in 1999. These two cities remain highly autonomous. The central government is responsible for defense and foreign affairs but not the daily operations for 50 years. PRC claims Taiwan as one of its many provinces. However, PRC does not have control of Taiwan which has an entirely different political system and officially known as the Republic of China (Taiwan).

History[change | change source]

See also: History of China
Mao Zedong founding the People's Republic of China in 1949.

In 1912, the Qing Dynasty was overthrown by the Kuomintang, a nationalist party, and the Republic of China established. Over time, Marxist ideas grew popular and the Communist party was formed. In 1927, the Chinese Civil War began as the Kuomintang, led by Chiang Kai-shek, and the Communists fought one another. By 1949, the Red Army of the Chinese Communist Party had gained control over mainland China and Mao Zedong announced the creation of the People's Republic of China. Chiang Kai-shek and the other nationalists fled to Taiwan.

As the leader of the People's Republic of China, Mao began many social and economic reform projects with mixed results. The Great Leap Forward, from 1958 to 1961, tried to industrialize China and increase its food production, but resulted in one of the largest famines in history. It is estimated that 45 million people died as a result of this reform project.[11] In 1966, Mao began the Cultural Revolution to remove capitalist influences from society and government. Major government officials and ordinary citizens were accused of being "revisionists" - people who disagreed with some parts of Marxism - or "counter-revolutionaries" and were persecuted. Many universities and schools were closed, and historical and religious sites were destroyed. Although the program officially ended in 1969, it continued until Mao's death in 1976.

During this time period, the People's Republic of China did not get along with the capitalist countries of the Western world. Beginning in the 1960s, relationships between the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union also became increasingly unfriendly in the Sino-Soviet Split. In 1972, to counter the power of the Soviet Union, Mao and Zhou Enlai met with US President Richard Nixon in Beijing. This began to improve relationships between China and the Western world.

After Mao's death, there was a power struggle between the Gang of Four and Hua Guofeng, the man Mao had chosen to be the next leader of China. Eventually, Deng Xiaoping, one of the veterans of the revolution, took power. He began a "Reform and Opening Up" (simplified Chinese: 改革开放; traditional Chinese: 改革開放) campaign. These reforms tried to make the People's Republic of China a modern, industrial - but still socialist - nation by moving towards a market system. Deng's policies would be known as "socialism with Chinese characteristics."

Although Deng's policy helped loosen restrictions on citizens, the People's Republic of China continues to have problems with the amount of control the government has over citizens' private lives. In 1979, the one-child policy, which limits most couples to one child, was created because of the overpopulation problem in the People's Republic of China. This policy is highly controversial and many Westerners have criticized it. News and Internet sites are also censored by the government.

In 1989, the Chinese government used soldiers and tanks to stop a protest in Beijing's Tiananmen Square organized by students seeking political reform. This action received worldwide criticism and led to economic sanctions being placed on the Chinese government.

In August 2008, China hosted the Summer Olympics for the first time.

Geography[change | change source]

See also: List of cities in the People's Republic of China

The People's Republic of China is the third-largest country in the world by land area after Russia and Canada. China borders 14 nations. It borders Vietnam, Laos, and Burma in Southeast Asia; India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan[12] 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 has two major rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River. There is also the Taklamakan and the Gobi Desert.

The world's highest point, Mt. Everest (8848m), is on the border. The country's lowest point, and the world's fourth-lowest, is the dried lake bed of Ayding Lake (−154m).

Biodiversity[change | change source]

A giant panda photographed in Sichuan.

China is one of 17 megadiverse countries.[13] It is in two of the world's major ecozones: the Palearctic and the Indomalaya. In the Palearctic zone, mammals such as the horse, camel, tapir, and jerboa can be found. Among the species in the Indomalaya region are the Leopard Cat, bamboo rat, treeshrew, and various monkey and ape species. Some overlap is between the two regions; deer, antelope, bears, wolves, pigs, and many rodent species can all be found in China's environments. The famous giant panda is found only in a limited area along the Yangtze River. China has a continuing problem with trade in endangered species. There are now laws to stop such activities.

China also has a variety of forest types. Cold coniferous forests cover most of the north of the country. The forest have animal species such as moose and the Asian black bear, along with over 120 bird species. Moist conifer forests can have thickets of bamboo. It is replaced by rhododendrons in higher montane stands of juniper and yew. Subtropical forests, which are mostly in central and southern China. These support as many as 146,000 species of flora. Tropical and seasonal rainforests, though confined to Yunnan and Hainan Island, have a quarter of all the plant and animal species found in China.

Military[change | change source]

The PRC Armed Forces is one of the most powerful Army in the world. Nowadays PRC is among the atomic powers in the world. It also has the largest army in the world.

People and Culture[change | change source]

There are 56 recognized minority ethnic minority groups in China. Han is the largest ethnic group in China (92% of the population). The Communist Party of China controls the government. Mandarin Chinese is the main spoken language.

Ways of getting around[change | change source]

Trains are commonly used for moving from one place to another, mainly for long distances. Bullet trains are faster and more common in the cities. China has more high-speed trains than any other country in the world. Buses and air transport are also very common.

Other pages[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Chan, Kam Wing (2007). "Misconceptions and Complexities in the Study of China's Cities: Definitions, Statistics, and Implications". Eurasian Geography and Economics 48 (4): 383–412. doi:10.2747/1538-7216.48.4.383 . http://courses.washington.edu/chinageo/ChanCityDefinitionsEGE2007.pdf. Retrieved 2011-08-07. p. 395
  2. "What are China's largest and richest cities?". University of Southern California. http://china.usc.edu/(S(swqn0p55xbqmsu45cwso5lzy)A(IEcheuFczAEkAAAAODRlNTk2OTMtMDViMC00Yjk5LWFmZTgtODc1OTA1YWYxMDM4e9e8O7-g5_HYhuft0Huy7h2GlGg1))/ShowAverageDay.aspx?articleID=910.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Law of the People's Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language (Order of the President No.37)". Gov.cn. http://www.gov.cn/english/laws/2005-09/19/content_64906.htm. Retrieved 27 April 2010. "For purposes of this Law, the standard spoken and written Chinese language means Putonghua (a common speech with pronunciation based on the Beijing dialect) and the standardized Chinese characters."
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Communiqué of the National Bureau of Statistics of People's Republic of China on Major Figures of the 2010 Population Census". Stats.gov.cn. http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/newsandcomingevents/t20110428_402722244.htm. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  5. "China". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved on 15 March 2010. “Form of government: Single-Party people's republic with one legislative house” 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "World Economic Outlook Database: China". International Monetary Fund. October 2012. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2012/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=67&pr.y=4&sy=2010&ey=2017&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=924&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CNID_NGDP%2CLP&grp=0&a=. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  7. "Income inequality: Delta blues". The Economist. 23 January 2013. http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2013/01/income-inequality. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  8. "2013 Human Development Index and its components – Statistics" (PDF). UNDP. 2013. http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR2013_EN_Statistics.pdf. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  9. "ICANN Board Meeting Minutes". ICANN. http://brussels38.icann.org/meetings/brussels2010/transcript-board-25jun10-en.txt. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  10. "GDP expands 11.4 percent, fastest in 13 years". Chinadaily.net. 24 January 2008. http://www.chinadaily.net/china/2008-01/24/content_6418067.htm. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
  11. Akbar, Arifa (17 September 2010). "Mao's Great Leap Forward 'killed 45 million in four years'". The Independent (London). http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/maos-great-leap-forward-killed-45-million-in-four-years-2081630.html. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  12. China's border with Pakistan falls in the disputed Kashmir province. The area under Pakistani-administration is claimed by India.
  13. "Biodiversity Theme Report". Environment.gov.au. 10 December 2009. http://www.environment.gov.au/soe/2001/publications/theme-reports/biodiversity/biodiversity01-3.html. Retrieved 27 April 2010.