China

China (Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; Chinese: 中华人民共和国; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical time zones and borders 14 countries, the second most of any country in the world after Russia. Covering an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third or fourth largest country.[lower-alpha 9] The country consists of 23 provinces,[lower-alpha 10] five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing and the largest city is Shanghai.

People's Republic of China
中华人民共和国 (Chinese)
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó (Pinyin)
Anthem: 义勇军进行曲
Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ
"March of the Volunteers"
Territory controlled by the People's Republic of China shown in dark green; territory claimed but uncontrolled shown in light green
CapitalBeijing
39°55′N 116°23′E
Largest cityShanghai
Official languagesStandard Chinese[lower-alpha 1]
Recognized regional languages
Official scriptSimplified Chinese[lower-alpha 2]
Ethnic groups
(2020)[1]
Religion
(2020)[2]
Demonym(s)Chinese
GovernmentUnitary Marxist–Leninist[3] one-party socialist republic[4]
Xi Jinping
 Premier
Li Keqiang
Li Zhanshu
Wang Yang
LegislatureNational People's Congress
Formation
c.2070 BCE
221 BCE
1 January 1912
1 October 1949
20 September 1954
4 December 1982
20 December 1999
Area
 Total
9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi)[lower-alpha 6][7] (3rd / 4th)
 Water (%)
2.8[lower-alpha 7]
Population
 2021 census
1,412,600,000[9] (1st)
 Density
145[10]/km2 (375.5/sq mi) (83rd)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
 Total
$30.18 trillion[11] (1st)
 Per capita
$21,364[11] (70th)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
 Total
$19.91 trillion[11] (2nd)
 Per capita
$14,096[11] (56th)
Gini (2018) 46.7[12]
high
HDI (2019) 0.761[13]
high · 85th
CurrencyRenminbi (元/¥)[lower-alpha 8] (CNY)
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard Time)
Date format
Driving sideright (Mainland)
left (Hong Kong and Macau)
Calling code+86 (Mainland)
+852 (Hong Kong)
+853 (Macau)
ISO 3166 codeCN
Internet TLD

China emerged as one of the world's first civilizations in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. China was one of the world's foremost economic powers for most of the two millennia from the 1st until the 19th century. For millennia, China's political system was based on absolute hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in the 21st century BCE. Since then, China has expanded, fractured, and re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin reunited core China and established the first Chinese empire. The succeeding Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements. The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty (618–907) and Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127) completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread widely in Asia, as the new Silk Road brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and the Horn of Africa. The Qing dynasty, China's last dynasty, which formed the territorial basis for modern China, suffered heavy losses to foreign imperialism in the 19th century.

The Chinese monarchy collapsed in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution, when the Republic of China (ROC) replaced the Qing dynasty. China was invaded by the Empire of Japan during World War II. The Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) established the People's Republic of China on the mainland while the Kuomintang-led ROC government retreated to the island of Taiwan.[lower-alpha 11] Both claim to be the sole legitimate government of China, although the United Nations has recognized the PRC as the sole representation since 1971. China conducted a series of economic reforms since 1978, and entered into the World Trade Organization in 2001.

China is currently governed as a unitary one-party socialist republic by the CCP. China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a founding member of several multilateral and regional cooperation organizations such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, the New Development Bank, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the RCEP, and is a member of the BRICS, the G8+5, the G20, the APEC, and the East Asia Summit. It ranks among the lowest in international measurements of civil liberties, government transparency, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and ethnic minorities. The Chinese authorities have been criticized by political dissidents and human rights activists for widespread human rights abuses, including political repression, mass censorship, mass surveillance of their citizens and violent suppression of protests.

China is the world's largest economy by GDP at purchasing power parity, the second-largest economy by nominal GDP, and the second-wealthiest country. The country is one of the fastest growing major economies and is the world's largest manufacturer and exporter. China is a recognized nuclear-weapon state with the world's largest standing army by military personnel and second-largest defense budget.


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