EtymologyThe word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century; however, it was not a word used by the Chinese themselves during this period in time. Its origin has been traced through Portuguese people, Portuguese, Malays (ethnic group), Malay, and Persian people, Persian back to the Sanskrit word ''Chīna'', used in ancient India. "China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese empire, Portuguese Portuguese exploration, explorer Duarte Barbosa.). Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian language, Persian ''Chīn'' (), which was in turn derived from Sanskrit ''Chinas, Cīna'' ().China
PrehistoryArchaeological evidence suggests that early Hominidae, hominids inhabited China 2.25 million years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a ''Homo erectus'' who Control of fire by early humans, used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; they have been dated to between 680,000 and 780,000 Before Present, years ago. The fossilized teeth of ''Homo sapiens'' (dated to 125,000–80,000 Before Present, years ago) have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Dao County, Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, at Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan culture, Dadiwan from 5800 to 5400 BCE, and Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE. Some scholars have suggested that the Jiahu symbols (7th millennium BCE) constituted the earliest Chinese writing system.
Early dynastic ruleAccording to Chinese tradition, the list of Chinese dynasties, first dynasty was the Xia dynasty, Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE. The Xia dynasty marked the beginning of China's political system based on hereditary monarchies, or Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasties, which lasted for a millennium. The dynasty was considered Chinese mythology, mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou culture, Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period. The succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE. Their oracle bone script (from BCE) represents the oldest form of Chinese writing yet found and is a direct ancestor of modern Chinese characters. The Shang was conquered by the Zhou dynasty, Zhou, who ruled between the 11th and 5th centuries BCE, though centralized authority was slowly eroded by feudal warlords. Some principalities eventually emerged from the weakened Zhou, no longer fully obeyed the Zhou king, and continually waged war with each other in the 300-year Spring and Autumn period. By the time of the Warring States period of the 5th–3rd centuries BCE, there were only seven powerful states left.
Imperial ChinaThe Warring States period ended in 221 BCE after the Qin (state), state of Qin conquered the other six kingdoms, reunited China and established the dominant order of autocracy. King Zheng of Qin proclaimed himself the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty. He enacted Qin's Legalism (Chinese philosophy), legalist reforms throughout China, notably the forced standardization of Chinese characters, Chinese units, measurements, road widths (i.e., cart axles' length), and history of Chinese currency, currency. His dynasty also Qin's campaign against the Yue tribes, conquered the Yue tribes in Guangxi, Guangdong, and Vietnam. The Qin dynasty lasted only fifteen years, falling soon after the First Emperor's death, as his harsh authoritarian policies led to widespread rebellion.Bodde, Derk. (1986). "The State and Empire of Ch'in", in ''The Cambridge History of China: Volume I: the Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C. – A.D. 220''. Edited by Denis Twitchett and Michael Loewe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . Following a Chu–Han Contention, widespread civil war during which the imperial library at Xianyang List of destroyed libraries#Human action, was burned, the Han dynasty emerged to rule China between 206 BCE and CE 220, creating a cultural identity among its populace still remembered in the ethnonym of the Han Chinese. The Han History of the Han dynasty, expanded the empire's territory considerably, with military campaigns reaching Han–Xiongnu War, Central Asia, Mongolia, Gojoseon–Han War, South Korea, and Han campaigns against Dian, Yunnan, and the Southward expansion of the Han dynasty, recovery of Guangdong and northern Vietnam from Nanyue. Han involvement in Central Asia and Sogdia helped establish the land route of the Silk Road, replacing the earlier path over the Himalayas to India. Han China gradually became the largest economy of the ancient world. Despite the Han's initial decentralization and the official abandonment of the Qin philosophy of Legalism (Chinese philosophy), Legalism in favor of Confucianism, Qin's legalist institutions and policies continued to be employed by the Han government and its successors. After the end of the Han dynasty, a period of strife known as Three Kingdoms followed, whose central figures were later immortalized in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, one of the Four Classics of Chinese literature. At its end, Cao Wei, Wei was swiftly overthrown by the Jin dynasty (265–420), Jin dynasty. The Jin fell to War of the Eight Princes, civil war upon the ascension of a Emperor Hui of Jin, developmentally disabled emperor; the Five Barbarians then uprising of the Five Barbarians, invaded and ruled northern China as the Sixteen Kingdoms, Sixteen States. The Xianbei unified them as the Northern Wei, whose Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei, Emperor Xiaowen reversed his predecessors' apartheid policies and Northern and Southern dynasties#Northern dynasties, enforced a drastic sinification on his subjects, largely integrating them into Chinese culture. In the south, the general Emperor Wu of Liu Song, Liu Yu secured the abdication of the Jin in favor of the Liu Song. The various successors of these states became known as the Northern and Southern dynasties, with the two areas finally reunited by the Sui dynasty, Sui in 581. The Sui restored the Han to power through China, reformed its agriculture, economy and imperial examination system, constructed the Grand Canal of China, Grand Canal, and patronized Buddhism in China, Buddhism. However, they fell quickly when their conscription for public works and a Goguryeo–Sui War, failed war in Goguryeo, northern Korea provoked widespread unrest. Under the succeeding Tang dynasty, Tang and Song dynasty, Song dynasties, Chinese economy, technology, and culture entered a golden age. The Tang Empire retained control of the Western Regions and the Silk Road, which brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and the Horn of Africa, and made the capital Chang'an a cosmopolitan urban center. However, it was devastated and weakened by the An Lushan Rebellion in the 8th century. In 907, the Tang disintegrated completely when the local military governors became ungovernable. The Song dynasty ended the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, separatist situation in 960, leading to a balance of power between the Song and Khitan Liao. The Song was the first government in world history to issue paper money and the first Chinese polity to establish a permanent standing navy which was supported by the developed shipbuilding industry along with the sea trade. Between the 10th and 11th centuries, the population of China doubled in size to around 100 million people, mostly because of the expansion of rice cultivation in central and southern China, and the production of abundant food surpluses. The Song dynasty also saw a Neo-Confucianism, revival of Confucianism, in response to the growth of Buddhism during the Tang, and a flourishing of philosophy and the arts, as landscape art and porcelain were brought to new levels of maturity and complexity. However, the military weakness of the Song army was observed by the Jurchen people, Jurchen Jin dynasty (1115–1234), Jin dynasty. In 1127, Emperor Huizong of Song and the capital Bianjing were captured during the Jin–Song Wars. The remnants of the Song retreated to Northern and southern China, southern China. The 13th century brought the Mongol conquest of China. In 1271, the Mongols, Mongol leader Kublai Khan established the Yuan dynasty; the Yuan conquered the last remnant of the Song dynasty in 1279. Before the Mongol invasion, the population of Song China was 120 million citizens; this was reduced to 60 million by the time of the census in 1300. A peasant named Zhu Yuanzhang overthrew the Yuan in 1368 and founded the Ming dynasty as the Hongwu Emperor. Under the Ming dynasty, China enjoyed another golden age, developing one of the strongest navies in the world and a rich and prosperous economy amid a flourishing of art and culture. It was during this period that admiral Zheng He led the Ming treasure voyages throughout the Indian Ocean, reaching as far as East Africa. In the early years of the Ming dynasty, China's capital was moved from Nanjing to Beijing. With the budding of capitalism, philosophers such as Wang Yangming further critiqued and expanded Neo-Confucianism with concepts of individualism and equality of four occupations. The scholar-official stratum became a supporting force of industry and commerce in the tax boycott movements, which, together with the famines and defense against Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598) and Qing conquest of the Ming, Manchu invasions led to an exhausted treasury. In 1644, Beijing was captured by a coalition of peasant rebel forces led by Li Zicheng. The Chongzhen Emperor committed suicide when the city fell. The Manchu Qing dynasty, then allied with Ming dynasty general Wu Sangui, overthrew Li's short-lived Shun dynasty and subsequently seized control of Beijing, which became the new capital of the Qing dynasty.
Late imperialThe Qing dynasty, which lasted from 1644 until 1912, was the last imperial dynasty of China. Its Transition from Ming to Qing, conquest of the Ming (1618–1683) cost 25 million lives and the Economic history of China before 1912#Qing dynasty (1644–1912), economy of China shrank drastically. After the Southern Ming ended, the further conquest of the Dzungar Khanate added Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang to the empire. The centralized autocracy was strengthened to crack down on anti-Qing sentiment with the policy of valuing agriculture and restraining commerce, the ''Haijin'' ("sea ban"), and ideological control as represented by the literary inquisition, causing social and technological stagnation. In the mid-19th century, the dynasty experienced Western imperialism in the Opium Wars with Britain and France. China was forced to pay compensation, open treaty ports, allow extraterritoriality for foreign nationals, and cede Hong Kong to the British under the 1842 Treaty of Nanking, the first of the Unequal Treaties. The First Sino-Japanese War (1894–95) resulted in Qing China's loss of influence in the Korean Peninsula, as well as the cession of Taiwan to Japan Empire, Japan. The Qing dynasty also began experiencing Timeline of late anti-Qing rebellions, internal unrest in which tens of millions of people died, especially in the White Lotus Rebellion, the failed Taiping Rebellion that ravaged southern China in the 1850s and 1860s and the Dungan Revolt (1862–77), Dungan Revolt (1862–77) in the northwest. The initial success of the Self-Strengthening Movement of the 1860s was frustrated by a series of military defeats in the 1880s and 1890s. In the 19th century, the great Chinese emigration, Chinese diaspora began. Losses due to emigration were added to by conflicts and catastrophes such as the Northern Chinese Famine of 1876–79, in which between 9 and 13 million people died. The Guangxu Emperor drafted a Hundred Days' Reform, reform plan in 1898 to establish a modern constitutional monarchy, but these plans were thwarted by the Empress Dowager Cixi. The ill-fated anti-foreign Boxer Rebellion of 1899–1901 further weakened the dynasty. Although Cixi sponsored a program of reforms, the Xinhai Revolution of 1911–12 brought an end to the Qing dynasty and established the Republic of China (1912–49), Republic of China. Puyi, the last Emperor of China, abdicated in 1912.
Republic (1912–1949)On 1 January 1912, the Republic of China was established, and Sun Yat-sen of the Kuomintang (the KMT or Nationalist Party) was proclaimed provisional president. However, the presidency was later given to Yuan Shikai, a former Qing general who in 1915 proclaimed himself Empire of China (1915–1916), Emperor of China. In the face of popular condemnation and opposition from his own Beiyang Army, he was forced to abdicate and re-establish the republic. After Yuan Shikai's death in 1916, China was politically fragmented. Its Beijing-based government was internationally recognized but virtually powerless; regional warlords controlled most of its territory. In the late 1920s, the Kuomintang, under Chiang Kai-shek, the then Principal of the Republic of China Military Academy, was able to reunify the country under its own control with a series of deft military and political manoeuvrings, known collectively as the Northern Expedition. The Kuomintang moved the nation's capital to Nanjing and implemented "political tutelage", an intermediate stage of political development outlined in Sun Yat-sen's San-min Doctrine, San-min program for transforming China into a modern democratic state. The List of warlords and military cliques in the Warlord Era, political division in China made it difficult for Chiang to battle the Chinese Communists, communist People's Liberation Army (PLA), against whom the Kuomintang had been warring since 1927 in the Chinese Civil War. This war continued successfully for the Kuomintang, especially after the PLA retreated in the Long March, until Japanese aggression and the 1936 Xi'an Incident forced Chiang to confront Imperial Japan. The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), a Theater (warfare), theater of World War II, forced an uneasy alliance between the Kuomintang and the PLA. Japanese forces committed numerous Japanese war crimes, war atrocities against the civilian population; in all, as many as 20 million Chinese civilians died. An estimated 40,000 to 300,000 Chinese Nanking Massacre, were massacred in the city of Nanjing alone during the Japanese occupation. During the war, China, along with the UK, the US, and the Soviet Union, were referred to as "trusteeship of the powerful" and were recognized as the Allied "Four Policemen, Big Four" in the Declaration by United Nations. Along with the other three great powers, China was one of the four major Allies of World War II, and was later considered one of the primary victors in the war. After the surrender of Japan in 1945, Taiwan, including the Pescadores, was Retrocession Day, returned to Chinese control. 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. Constitutional rule was established in 1947, but because of the ongoing unrest, many provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of China, ROC constitution were never implemented in mainland China.
People's Republic (1949–present)Major combat in the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949 with the Communist Party in control of most of mainland China, and the Republic of China retreat to Taiwan, Kuomintang retreating offshore, reducing its territory to only Taiwan (island), Taiwan, Hainan, and their surrounding islands. On 21 September 1949, Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong Proclamation of the People's Republic of China, proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of China with a speech at the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference followed by a public proclamation and celebration in Tiananmen Square. In 1950, the People's Liberation Army Landing Operation on Hainan Island, captured Hainan from the ROC and Incorporation of Tibet into the People's Republic of China, incorporated Tibet. However, remaining Kuomintang forces continued to wage Kuomintang Islamic insurgency in China (1950–58), an insurgency in western China throughout the 1950s. The regime consolidated its popularity among the peasants through land reform, which included the Mass killings of landlords under Mao Zedong, execution of between 1 and 2 million landlords. China developed an independent industrial system and China and weapons of mass destruction, its own nuclear weapons. The Chinese population increased from 550 million in 1950 to 900 million in 1974. However, the Great Leap Forward, an idealistic massive reform project, resulted in Great Chinese Famine, an estimated 15 to 35 million deaths between 1958 and 1961, mostly from starvation."A hunger for the truth: A new book, banned on the mainland, is becoming the definitive account of the Great Famine."
GeographyChina's landscape is vast and diverse, ranging from the Gobi Desert, Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts in the arid north to the subtropical forests in the wetter south. The Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir Mountains, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separate China from much of South Asia, South and Central Asia. The Yangtze River, Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third- and sixth-longest in the world, respectively, run from the Tibetan Plateau to the densely populated eastern seaboard. China's coastline along the Pacific Ocean is long and is bounded by the Bohai Sea, Bohai, Yellow Sea, Yellow, East China Sea, East China and South China Sea, South China seas. China connects through the Kazakh border to the Eurasian Steppe which has been an artery of communication between East and West since the Neolithic through the Steppe Route, Steppe route – the ancestor of the terrestrial Silk Road UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Silk Road(s).
Landscape and climateThe territory of China lies between latitudes 18th parallel north, 18° and 54th parallel north, 54° N, and longitudes 73rd meridian east, 73° and 135th meridian east, 135° E. The geographical center of China is marked by the Center of the Country Monument at . China's landscapes vary significantly across its vast territory. In the east, along the shores of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, there are extensive and densely populated alluvium, alluvial plains, while on the edges of the Inner Mongolian plateau in the north, broad grasslands predominate. Southern China is dominated by hills and low mountain ranges, while the central-east hosts the river delta, deltas of China's two major rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River. Other major rivers include the Xi River, Xi, Mekong, Brahmaputra River, Brahmaputra and Amur River, Amur. To the west sit major mountain ranges, most notably the Himalayas. High plateaus feature among the more arid landscapes of the north, such as the Taklamakan Desert, Taklamakan and the Gobi Desert. The world's highest point, Mount Everest (8,848 m), lies on the Sino-Nepalese border. The country's lowest point, and the world's third-lowest, is the dried lake bed of Ayding Lake (−154 m) in the Turpan Depression. China's climate is mainly dominated by dry seasons and wet monsoons, which lead to pronounced temperature differences between winter and summer. In the winter, northern winds coming from high-latitude areas are cold and dry; in summer, southern winds from coastal areas at lower latitudes are warm and moist. A major environmental issue in China is the continued desertification, expansion of its deserts, particularly the Gobi Desert. Although barrier tree lines planted since the 1970s have reduced the frequency of sandstorms, prolonged drought and poor agricultural practices have resulted in Asian dust, dust storms plaguing northern China each spring, which then spread to other parts of East Asia, including Japan and Korea. China's environmental watchdog, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China, SEPA, stated in 2007 that China is losing per year to desertification. Water quality, erosion, and Pollution in China, pollution control have become important issues in China's relations with other countries. Melting glaciers in the Himalayas could potentially lead to water shortages for hundreds of millions of people. According to academics, in order to limit climate change in China to electricity generation from coal in China without carbon capture must be phased out by 2045. Official government statistics about Chinese agricultural productivity are considered unreliable, due to exaggeration of production at subsidiary government levels. Much of China has a climate very suitable for agriculture and the country has been the world's largest producer of rice, wheat, tomatoes, eggplant, grapes, watermelon, spinach, and many other crops.
BiodiversityChina is one of 17 megadiverse countries, lying in two of the world's major biogeographic realms: the Palearctic realm, Palearctic and the Indomalayan realm, Indomalayan. By one measure, China has over 34,687 species of animals and vascular plants, making it the third-most biodiverse country in the world, after Brazil and Colombia. The country signed the Rio de Janeiro Convention on Biological Diversity on 11 June 1992, and became a party to the convention on 5 January 1993. It later produced a Biodiversity action plan, National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, with one revision that was received by the convention on 21 September 2010. China is home to at least 551 species of List of mammals of China, mammals (the third-highest such number in the world), 1,221 species of birds (eighth), 424 species of reptiles (seventh) and 333 species of amphibians (seventh). Wildlife in China share habitat with and bear acute pressure from the world's largest population of ''Homo sapiens''. At least 840 List of endangered and protected species of China, animal species are threatened, vulnerable or in danger of local extinction in China, due mainly to human activity such as habitat destruction, pollution and poaching for food, fur and ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine. Endangered wildlife is protected by law, and , the country has over 2,349 Protected areas of China, nature reserves, covering a total area of 149.95 million hectares, 15 percent of China's total land area. The Baiji was confirmed extinct on 12 December 2006. China has over 32,000 species of vascular plants, and is home to a variety of forest types. Cold coniferous forests predominate in the north of the country, supporting animal species such as moose and Asian black bear, along with over 120 bird species. The understory of moist conifer forests may contain thickets of bamboo. In higher Montane ecosystems, montane stands of juniper and taxus, yew, the bamboo is replaced by rhododendrons. Subtropical forests, which are predominate in central and southern China, support a high density of plant species including numerous rare endemics. Tropical and seasonal rainforests, though confined to Yunnan and Hainan Island, contain a quarter of all the animal and plant species found in China. China has over 10,000 recorded species of fungi, and of them, nearly 6,000 are higher fungi.
EnvironmentIn recent decades, China has suffered from environmental issues in China, severe environmental deterioration and pollution. While regulations such as the 1979 Environmental Protection Law are fairly stringent, they are poorly enforced, as they are frequently disregarded by local communities and government officials in favor of rapid economic development. China is the country with the second highest death toll because of air pollution, after Environmental issues in India, India. There are approximately 1 million deaths caused by exposure to ambient air pollution. China is the List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions, world's largest carbon dioxide emitter, and has been ranked as the 13th largest in List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita, emissions per capita. The country also has significant water pollution problems: 8.2% of China's rivers had been polluted by industrial and agricultural waste in 2019, and were unfit for use. China had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 7.14/10, ranking it 53rd globally out of 172 countries. However, China is the world's leading investor in renewable energy and Renewable energy commercialization, its commercialization, with US$, $52 billion invested in 2011 alone; it is a major manufacturer of renewable energy technologies and invests heavily in local-scale renewable energy projects. By 2015, over 24% of China's energy was derived from renewable sources, while most notably from hydroelectric power: a total installed capacity of 197 Gigawatt, GW makes China the Hydroelectricity#World hydroelectric capacity, largest hydroelectric power producer in the world. China also has the largest power capacity of Solar power by country, installed solar photovoltaics system and Wind power by country, wind power system in the world.2016 Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Markets
Political geographyThe People's Republic of China is the List of countries and dependencies by area, second-largest country in the world by land area after Russia, and is the third largest by total area, after Russia and Canada. China's total area is generally stated as being approximately . Specific area figures range from according to the ''Encyclopædia Britannica'', to according to the UN Demographic Yearbook, and the CIA World Factbook. China has the List of land border lengths, longest combined land border in the world, measuring from the mouth of the Yalu River (Amnok River) to the Gulf of Tonkin. China Borders of China, borders 14 nations, List of countries by number of neighbouring countries, more than any other country except Russia, which also borders 14. China extends across much of East Asia, bordering Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar, Myanmar (Burma) in Southeast Asia; India, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in South Asia; Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia; and Russia, Mongolia, and North Korea in Inner Asia and Northeast Asia. Additionally, China shares maritime boundaries with South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
PoliticsConstitution of the People's Republic of China, The Chinese constitution states that The People's Republic of China "is a socialist state governed by a people’s democratic dictatorship that is led by the working class and based on an alliance of workers and peasants," and that the state institutions "shall practice the principle of democratic centralism." The PRC is one of the world's only socialist states Ideology of the Communist Party of China, explicitly aiming to build communism. The Chinese government has been variously described as communist and socialist, but also as Authoritarianism, authoritarian and Corporatism, corporatist, with heavy restrictions in many areas, most notably against Internet censorship in China, free access to the Internet, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, reproductive rights, the right to have children, NGO, free formation of social organizations and freedom of religion. Its current political, ideological and economic system has been termed by its leaders as a "Socialist consultative democracy, consultative democracy" "people's democratic dictatorship", "socialism with Chinese characteristics" (which is Marxism adapted to Chinese circumstances) and the "socialist market economy" respectively.
Communist PartySince 2018, the main body of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, Chinese constitution declares that "the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)." The 2018 amendments constitutionalized the ''de facto'' one-party state status of China, wherein the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, General Secretary (Leader of the Chinese Communist Party, party leader) holds ultimate power and authority over state and government and serves as the Paramount leader (China), paramount leader of China. The current General Secretary is Xi Jinping, who took office on 15 November 2012 and was re-elected on 25 October 2017. The elections in the People's Republic of China, electoral system is pyramidal. Local People's Congresses are direct election, directly elected, and higher levels of People's Congresses up to the National People's Congress (NPC) are indirect election, indirectly elected by the People's Congress of the level immediately below. List of political parties in China, Another eight political parties, have representatives in the NPC and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). China supports the Leninist principle of "democratic centralism", but critics describe the elected National People's Congress as a "rubber stamp (politics), rubber stamp" body.
GovernmentChina was a one-party state led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The National People's Congress in 2018 altered the country's constitution to remove the two-term limit on holding the Presidency of China, permitting the current leader, Xi Jinping, to remain president of China (and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party) for an unlimited time, governing as a dictator. The President of the People's Republic of China, President is the titular head of state, elected by the National People's Congress. The Premier of the People's Republic of China, Premier is the head of government, presiding over the State Council of the People's Republic of China, State Council composed of four vice premiers and the heads of ministries and commissions. The incumbent president is Xi Jinping, who is also the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (China), Chairman of the Central Military Commission, making him China's Paramount leader (China), paramount leader. The incumbent premier is Li Keqiang, who is also a senior member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee, China's ''de facto'' top decision-making body. In 2017, Xi called on the communist party to further tighten its grip on the country, to uphold the unity of the party leadership, and achieve the "Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation". Political concerns in China include the growing gap between rich and poor and government corruption. Nonetheless, the level of public support for the government and its management of the nation is high, with 80–95% of Chinese citizens expressing satisfaction with the central government, according to a 2011 survey.
Administrative divisionsThe People's Republic of China is divided into 22 Provinces of China, provinces, five Autonomous regions of China, autonomous regions (each with a designated minority group), and four Direct-controlled municipality of China, municipalities—collectively referred to as "mainland China"—as well as the special administrative regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macau. Geographically, all 31 provincial divisions of mainland China can be grouped into six regions: North China, Northeast China, East China, South Central China, Southwest China, and Northwest China. China considers Taiwan to be Taiwan Province, People's Republic of China, its 23rd province, although Taiwan is governed by the Republic of China (ROC), which rejects the PRC's claim. Conversely, the ROC claims sovereignty over all divisions governed by the PRC.
Foreign relationsThe PRC has List of diplomatic missions in China, diplomatic relations with 175 countries and maintains List of diplomatic missions of the People's Republic of China, embassies in 162. In 2019, China had the largest diplomatic network in the world. Its legitimacy (political), legitimacy is disputed by the Republic of China and a few other countries; it is thus the largest and most populous List of states with limited recognition, state with limited recognition. In 1971, 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.Chang, Eddy (22 August 2004)
Trade relationsChina became the world's largest trading nation in 2013, as measured by the sum of imports and exports. By 2016, China was the largest trading partner of 124 other countries. China is the largest trading partner for the ASEAN nations, with a total trade value of $345.8 billion in 2015 accounting for 15.2% of ASEAN's total trade. ASEAN is also China's largest trading partner. In 2020, China became the largest trading partner of the European Union for goods, with the total value of goods trade reaching nearly $700 billion. China, along with ASEAN, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, is a member of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world's largest free-trade area covering 30% of the world's population and economic output. China became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. In 2004, it proposed an entirely new East Asia Summit (EAS) framework as a forum for regional security issues.Dillon, Dana; and Tkacik, John, Jr.
= Taiwan= Ever since its establishment after the Chinese Civil War, the PRC has claimed Free area of the Republic of China, the territories governed by the Republic of China (ROC), a separate political entity today commonly known as Taiwan, as a part of its territory. It regards the island of Taiwan as its Taiwan Province, People's Republic of China, Taiwan Province, Kinmen and Matsu Islands, Matsu as a part of Fujian Province and islands the ROC controls in the South China Sea as a part of Hainan Province and Guangdong Province. These claims are controversial because of the complicated Cross-Strait relations, with the PRC treating the One-China policy as one of its most important diplomatic principles.
= Land border disputes= China has resolved its land borders with 12 out of 14 neighboring countries, having pursued substantial compromises in most of them. As of 2020, China currently has a disputed land border with only Sino-Indian border dispute, India and Bhutan.
= Maritime border disputes= China is additionally involved in maritime disputes with multiple countries over the ownership of several small islands in the East and South China Seas, such as the Senkaku Islands dispute, Senkaku Islands and the Scarborough Shoal standoff, Scarborough Shoal.
Sociopolitical issues and human rightsChina uses a massive espionage network of cameras, facial recognition software, sensors, surveillance of personal technology, and a social credit system as a means of social control of persons living in China. The Chinese democracy movement, social activists, and some members of the Chinese Communist Party believe in the need for social and political reform. While economic and social controls have been significantly relaxed in China since the 1970s, political freedom is still tightly restricted. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China states that the "fundamental rights" of citizens include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to a fair trial, freedom of religion, universal suffrage, and property, property rights. However, in practice, these provisions do not afford significant protection against criminal prosecution by the state. Although some criticisms of government policies and the ruling Chinese Communist Party, Communist Party are tolerated, censorship of political speech and information, most notably on the Internet, are routinely used to prevent collective action. By 2020, China plans to give all its citizens a personal "Social Credit" score based on how they behave. The Social Credit System, now being piloted in a number of Chinese cities, is considered a form of Mass surveillance in China, mass surveillance which uses big data analysis technology. A number of foreign governments, foreign press agencies, and NGOs have criticized Human rights in China, China's human rights record, alleging widespread civil rights violations such as detention without trial, forced abortions, forced confessions, torture, restrictions of fundamental rights, and Capital punishment in the People's Republic of China, excessive use of the death penalty. The government suppresses popular protests and demonstrations that it considers a potential threat to "social stability", as was the case with the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. The Chinese state is regularly accused of large-scale repression and human rights abuses in Human rights in Tibet, Tibet and Uyghur genocide, Xinjiang, including violent police crackdowns and religious suppression throughout the Chinese nation. At least one million members of Islam in China, China's Muslim Uyghurs, Uyghur minority have been detained in Xinjiang re-education camps, mass detention camps, termed "Vocational Education and Training Centers", aimed at changing the political thinking of detainees, their identities, and their religious beliefs. According to the United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State, actions including political indoctrination, torture, Physical abuse, physical and Psychological abuse, psychological abuse, Compulsory sterilization, forced sterilization, sexual abuse, and Unfree labour, forced labor are common in these facilities. The state has also sought to control offshore reporting of tensions in Xinjiang, intimidating foreign-based reporters by detaining their family members. According to a 2020 report, China's treatment of Uyghurs meets UN definition of genocide, and several groups called for a UN investigation. On 19 January 2021, the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that the United States Department of State had determined that "genocide and crimes against humanity" had been perpetrated by China against the Uyghurs. Global studies from Pew Research Center in 2014 and 2017 ranked the Chinese government's restrictions on religion as among the highest in the world, despite low to moderate rankings for religious-related social hostilities in the country. The Global Slavery Index estimated that in 2016 more than 3.8 million people were living in "conditions of modern Slavery in China, slavery", or 0.25% of the population, including victims of human trafficking, forced labor, forced marriage, child labor, and state-imposed forced labor. The state-imposed forced system was formally abolished in 2013 but it is not clear the extent to which its various practices have stopped. The Chinese penal system includes labor prison factories, detention centers, and re-education camps, which fall under the heading Laogai ("reform through labor"). The Laogai Research Foundation in the United States estimated that there were over a thousand slave labour prisons and camps, known collectively as the Laogai. In 2019 a study called for the mass retraction of more than 400 scientific papers on Organ transplantation in China, organ transplantation, because of fears the organs were obtained unethically from Chinese prisoners. While the government says 10,000 transplants occur each year, hospital data shows between 60,000 and 100,000 organs are transplanted each year. The report provided evidence that this gap is being made up by executed prisoners of conscience.
MilitaryWith 2.3 million active troops, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the largest standing military force in the world, commanded by the Central Military Commission (People's Republic of China), Central Military Commission (CMC). China has the second-biggest military reserve force, only behind North Korea. The PLA consists of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force, Ground Force (PLAGF), the People's Liberation Army Navy, Navy (PLAN), the People's Liberation Army Air Force, Air Force (PLAAF), and the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF). According to the Chinese government, China's military budget for 2017 totalled US$151.5 billion, constituting the List of countries by military expenditures, world's second-largest military budget, although the List of countries by military expenditure share of GDP, military expenditures-GDP ratio with 1.3% of GDP is below world average. However, many authorities – including SIPRI and the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense – argue that China does not report its real level of military spending, which is allegedly much higher than the official budget.Annual Report To Congress – Military Power of the People's Republic of China 2009 (PDF)
EconomySince 2010, China had List of countries by GDP (nominal), the world's second-largest economy in terms of nominal GDP, totaling approximately US$13.5 trillion (90 trillion Yuan) as of 2018. In terms of purchasing power parity (PPP GDP), China's economy has been the largest in the world since 2014, according to the World Bank. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $13.6 trillion by 2018. China's economic growth has been consistently above 6 percent since the introduction of Chinese economic reform, economic reforms in 1978. China is also the world's List of countries by exports, largest exporter and List of countries by imports, second-largest importer of goods. Between 2010 and 2019, China's contribution to global GDP growth has been 25% to 39%. China had the Economic history of China before 1912, largest economy in the world for most of the Pax Sinica, past two thousand years, during which it has seen cycles of prosperity and decline. Since economic reforms began in 1978, China has developed into a highly diversified economy and one of the most consequential players in international trade. Major sectors of competitive strength include manufacturing, retail, mining, steel, textiles, automobiles, energy generation, green energy, banking, electronics, telecommunications, real estate, e-commerce, and tourism. China has three out of the ten largest stock exchanges in the world—Shanghai Stock Exchange, Shanghai, Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Shenzhen—that together have a market capitalization of over $15.9 trillion, as of October 2020. China has four (Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shenzhen) out of the world's top ten most competitive financial centers, which is more than any country in the 2020 Global Financial Centres Index. By 2035, China's four cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen) are projected to be among the global top ten largest cities by nominal GDP according to a report by Oxford Economics. China has been the world's No. 1 manufacturer since 2010, after overtaking the US, which had been No. 1 for the previous hundred years. China has also been No. 2 in high-tech manufacturing since 2012, according to US National Science Foundation. China is the second largest retail market in the world, next to the United States. China leads the world in e-commerce, accounting for 40% of the global market share in 2016 and more than 50% of the global market share in 2019. China is the world's leader in electric vehicles, manufacturing and buying half of all the plug-in electric cars (BEV and PHEV) in the world in 2018. China is also the leading producer of batteries for electric vehicles as well as several key raw materials for batteries. China had 174 GW of installed solar capacity by the end of 2018, which amounts to more than 40% of the global solar capacity. Foreign and Chinese sources have claimed that official Chinese government statistics overstate China's economic growth. However, several Western academics and institutions have stated that China's economic growth is higher than indicated by official figures. China has a large Informal economy of China, informal economy, which arose as a result of the country's economic opening. The informal economy is a source of employment and income for workers, but it is unrecognized and suffers from lower productivity. In 2020, hundreds of individual Chinese drug vendors illegally manufactured synthetic drugs such as fentanyl for export.
Wealth in ChinaAs of 2018, China was first in the world in total number of billionaires and second in millionaires—there were 658 Chinese billionaires and 3.5 million millionaires. In 2019, China overtook the US as the home to the highest number of rich people in the world, according to the global wealth report by Credit Suisse. In other words, as of 2019, 100 million Chinese are in the top 10% of the wealthiest individuals in the world—those who have a net personal wealth of at least $110,000. As of October 2020, China has the world's highest number of billionaires with nearly 878, increasing at the rate of roughly five per week. According to the Hurun Global Rich List 2020, China is home to five of the world's top ten cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 10th spots, respectively) by the highest number of billionaires, which is more than any other country. China had 85 female billionaires as of January 2021, two-thirds of the global total, and minted 24 new female billionaires in 2020. However, it ranks behind over 60 countries (out of around 180) in per capita economic output, making it an upper-middle income country. Additionally, its development is highly uneven. Its major cities and coastal areas are far more prosperous compared to rural and interior regions. China brought more people out of extreme poverty than any other country in history—between 1978 and 2018, China reduced extreme poverty by 800 million. China reduced the extreme poverty rate—per international standard, it refers to an income of less than $1.90/day—from 88% in 1981 to 1.85% by 2013. According to the World Bank, the number of Chinese in extreme poverty fell from 756 million to 25 million between 1990 and 2013. The portion of people in China living below the international poverty line of $1.90 per day (2011 Purchasing_power_parity, PPP) fell to 0.3% in 2018 from 66.3% in 1990. Using the lower-middle income poverty line of $3.20 per day, the portion fell to 2.9% in 2018 from 90.0% in 1990. Using the upper-middle income poverty line of $5.50 per day, the portion fell to 17.0% from 98.3% in 1990.
Economic growthFrom its founding in 1949 until late 1978, the People's Republic of China was a Soviet-style centrally planned economy. Following Mao's death in 1976 and the consequent end of the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping and the new Chinese leadership began to Economic reform in the People's Republic of China, reform the economy and move towards a more market-oriented mixed economy under one-party rule. Collective farming, Agricultural collectivization was dismantled and farmlands privatized, while foreign trade became a major new focus, leading to the creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Inefficient Government-owned corporation, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were restructured and unprofitable ones were closed outright, resulting in massive job losses. Modern-day China is mainly characterized as having a market economy based on private property ownership, and is one of the leading examples of state capitalism. The state still dominates in strategic "pillar" sectors such as energy production and heavy industry, heavy industries, but private enterprise has expanded enormously, with around 30 million private businesses recorded in 2008.John Lee
China in the global economyChina is a member of the World Trade Organization, WTO and is the world's largest trading power, with a total international trade value of US$4.62 trillion in 2018. Foreign exchange reserves of the People's Republic of China, Its foreign exchange reserves reached US$3.1 trillion as of 2019, making its reserves by far the world's largest. In 2012, China was the world's largest recipient of inward foreign direct investment (FDI), attracting $253 billion. In 2014, China's foreign exchange remittances were $US64 billion making it the second largest recipient of remittances in the world. China also invests abroad, with a total outward FDI of $62.4 billion in 2012, and a number of major takeovers of foreign firms by Chinese companies. China is a major owner of US public debt, holding trillions of dollars worth of U.S. Treasury bonds."Washington learns to treat China with care"
Class and income inequalityChina has had the world's largest middle class population since 2015, and the middle class grew to a size of 400 million by 2018. In 2020, a study by the Brookings Institution forecast that China's middle-class will reach 1.2 billion by 2027 (almost 4 times the entire U.S. population today), making up one fourth of the world total. Wages in China have grown a lot in the last 40 years—real (inflation-adjusted) wages grew seven-fold from 1978 to 2007. By 2018, median wages in Chinese cities such as Shanghai were about the same as or higher than the wages in Eastern European countries. China has the world's highest number of billionaires, with nearly 878 as of October 2020, increasing at the rate of roughly five per week. China has a high level of economic inequality, which has increased in the past few decades. In 2018 China's GINI index was 0.467, according to the World Bank.
Science and technology
HistoricalChina was once a world leader in science and technology up until the Ming dynasty. Ancient List of Chinese discoveries, Chinese discoveries and List of Chinese inventions, inventions, such as papermaking, History of typography in East Asia, printing, the compass, and gunpowder (the Four Great Inventions), became widespread across East Asia, the Middle East and later to Europe. Chinese mathematicians were the first to use negative numbers#History, negative numbers. By the 17th century, Europe and the Western world surpassed China in scientific and technological advancement. The causes of this early modern Great Divergence continue to be debated by scholars to this day. After repeated Eight-Nation Alliance, military defeats by the European colonial powers and First Sino-Japanese war, Japan in the 19th century, Chinese reformers began promoting modern science and technology as part of the Self-Strengthening Movement. After the Communists came to power in 1949, efforts were made to organize science and technology based on the model of the Soviet Union, in which scientific research was part of central planning. After Mao's death in 1976, science and technology was established as one of the Four Modernizations, and the Soviet-inspired academic system was gradually reformed.
Modern eraSince the end of the Cultural Revolution, China has made significant investments in scientific research and is quickly catching up with the US in R&D spending. In 2017, China spent $279 billion on scientific research and development. According to the OECD, China spent 2.11% of its GDP on research and development (R&D) in 2016. Science and technology are seen as vital for achieving China's economic and political goals, and are held as a source of national pride to a degree sometimes described as "techno-nationalism". According to the World Intellectual Property Indicators, China received 1.54 million patent applications in 2018, representing nearly half of patent applications worldwide, more than double the US. In 2019, China was No. 1 in international patents application. Chinese tech companies Huawei and ZTE were the top 2 filers of international patents in 2017. Chinese-born scientists have won the Nobel Prize in Physics four times, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Physiology or Medicine once respectively, though most of these scientists conducted their Nobel-winning research in western nations. China is developing its Education in China, education system with an emphasis on STEM fields, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); in 2009, China graduated over 10,000 PhD engineers, and as many as 500,000 BSc graduates, more than any other country. China also became the world's largest publisher of Academic publishing in China, scientific papers in 2016. Chinese technology companies such as Huawei and Lenovo have become world leaders in telecommunications and personal computing, and Chinese supercomputers are consistently ranked among the TOP500, world's most powerful. China has been the world's largest market for industrial robots since 2013 and will account for 45% of newly installed robots from 2019 to 2021. China ranks 14th on the Global Innovation Index and is the only middle-income economy, the only Emerging market, emerging country, and the only newly industrialized country in the top 30. China ranks first globally in the important indicators, including patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs, and creative goods exports and also has 2 (Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou and Beijing in the 2nd and 4th spots respectively) of the global top 5 science and technology clusters, which is more than any country. The Chinese space program is one of the world's most active. In 1970, China launched its first satellite, Dong Fang Hong I, becoming the fifth country to do so independently. In 2003, China became the third country to independently send humans into space, with Yang Liwei's spaceflight aboard Shenzhou 5; , List of Chinese astronauts, ten Chinese nationals have journeyed into space, including two women. In 2011, China's first space station module, Tiangong-1, was launched, marking the first step in a project to assemble Chinese space station, a large crewed station by the early 2020s. In 2013, China successfully landed the Chang'e 3 lander and Yutu (rover), Yutu rover onto the lunar surface. In 2019, China became the first country to land a probe—Chang'e 4—on the far side of the moon. In 2020, Chang'e 5 successfully returned moon samples to the Earth, making China the third country to do so independently after the United States and the Soviet Union.
InfrastructureAfter a decades-long infrastructural boom, China has produced numerous world-leading infrastructural projects: China has the High-speed rail by country, world's largest bullet train network, the List of supertall skyscrapers, most supertall skyscrapers in the world, the world's largest power plant (the Three Gorges Dam), the largest energy generation capacity in the world, a BeiDou, global satellite navigation system with the largest number of satellites in the world, and has initiated the Belt and Road Initiative, a large global infrastructure building initiative with funding on the order of $50–100 billion per year. The Belt and Road Initiative could be one of the largest development plans in modern history.
TelecommunicationsChina is the largest telecom market in the world and currently has the List of countries by number of mobile phones in use, largest number of active cellphones of any country in the world, with over 1.5 billion subscribers, as of 2018. It also has the world's largest number of List of countries by number of Internet users, internet and List of countries by number of broadband Internet users, broadband users, with over 800 million Internet users —equivalent to around 60% of its population—and almost all of them being mobile as well. By 2018, China had more than 1 billion 4G users, accounting for 40% of world's total. China is making rapid advances in 5G—by late 2018, China had started large-scale and commercial 5G trials. China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, are the three large providers of mobile and internet in China. China Telecom alone served more than 145 million broadband subscribers and 300 million mobile users; China Unicom had about 300 million subscribers; and China Mobile, the biggest of them all, had 925 million users, as of 2018. Combined, the three operators had over 3.4 million 4G base-stations in China. Several Chinese telecommunications companies, most notably Huawei and ZTE, have been accused of spying for the Chinese military. China has developed its own satellite navigation system, dubbed BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, Beidou, which began offering commercial navigation services across Asia in 2012 as well as global services by the end of 2018. The 35th and final satellite of Beidou constellation was launched into orbit on 23 June 2020, thus becoming the 3rd completed global navigation satellite system in service after Global Positioning System, GPS and GLONASS.
TransportSince the late 1990s, China's national road network has been significantly expanded through the creation of a network of China National Highways, national highways and Expressways of China, expressways. In 2018, Expressways of China, China's highways had reached a total length of , making it the List of countries by road network size, longest highway system in the world. China has the world's largest market for automobiles, having surpassed the United States in both auto sales and List of countries by motor vehicle production, production. A side-effect of the rapid growth of China's road network has been a significant rise in traffic accidents, though the number of fatalities in traffic accidents fell by 20% from 2007 to 2017. In urban areas, bicycles remain a common mode of transport, despite the increasing prevalence of automobiles – , there are approximately 470 million bicycles in China. Rail transport in China, China's railways, which are China Railway Corporation, state-owned, are among Rail usage statistics by country, the busiest in the world, handling a quarter of the world's rail traffic volume on only 6 percent of the world's tracks in 2006. As of 2017, the country had of railways, the List of countries by rail transport network size, second longest network in the world. The railways strain to meet enormous demand particularly during the Chinese New Year holiday, when the Chunyun, world's largest annual human migration takes place. China's High-speed rail in China, high-speed rail (HSR) system started construction in the early 2000s. By the end of 2019, High-speed rail in China, high speed rail in China had over of dedicated lines alone, making it the High-speed rail by country, longest HSR network in the world. Services on the Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway, Beijing–Shanghai, Beijing–Tianjin intercity railway, Beijing–Tianjin, and Chengdu–Chongqing intercity railway, Chengdu–Chongqing Lines reach up to , making them the fastest conventional high speed railway services in the world. With an annual ridership of over 2.29 billion passengers in 2019 it is the world's busiest. The network includes the Beijing–Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong High-Speed Railway, Beijing–Guangzhou–Shenzhen High-Speed Railway, the single longest HSR line in the world, and the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway, which has List of longest bridges in the world, three of longest railroad bridges in the world. The Shanghai Maglev Train, which reaches , is the fastest commercial train service in the world. Since 2000, the growth of rapid transit systems in Chinese cities has accelerated. , 44 Chinese cities have Urban rail transit in China, urban mass transit systems in operation and 39 more have metro systems approved. As of 2020, China boasts the five longest List of metro systems, metro systems in the world with the networks in Shanghai Metro, Shanghai, Beijing Subway, Beijing, Guangzhou Metro, Guangzhou, Chengdu Metro, Chengdu and Shenzhen Metro, Shenzhen being the largest. There were List of airports in China, approximately 229 airports in 2017, with around 240 planned by 2020. China has over 2,000 List of ports in China, river and seaports, about 130 of which are open to foreign shipping. In 2017, the Ports of Port of Shanghai, Shanghai, Port of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Port of Shenzhen, Shenzhen, Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Port of Guangzhou, Guangzhou, Port of Qingdao, Qingdao and Port of Tianjin, Tianjin ranked in the Top 10 in the world List of world's busiest container ports, in container traffic and List of world's busiest container ports, cargo tonnage.
Water supply and sanitationWater supply and sanitation infrastructure in China is facing challenges such as rapid urbanization, as well as Water resources of China, water scarcity, contamination, and pollution. According to data presented by the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation of WHO and UNICEF in 2015, about 36% of the rural population in China still did not have access to improved sanitation. The ongoing South–North Water Transfer Project intends to abate water shortage in the north.
DemographicsThe Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China, national census of 2010 recorded the population of the People's Republic of China as approximately 1,370,536,875. About 16.60% of the population were 14 years old or younger, 70.14% were between 15 and 59 years old, and 13.26% were over 60 years old. The population growth rate for 2013 is estimated to be 0.46%. China used to make up much of the world's poor; now it makes up much of the world's middle class. Although a middle-income country by Western standards, China's rapid growth has Poverty in China, pulled hundreds of millions—800 million, to be more precise—of its people out of poverty since 1978. By 2013, less than 2% of the Chinese population lived below the international poverty line of US$1.9 per day, down from 88% in 1981. China's own standards for poverty are higher and still the country is on its way to eradicate national poverty completely by 2019. From 2009 to 2018, the unemployment rate in China has averaged about 4%. Given concerns about population growth, China implemented a two-child limit during the 1970s, and, in 1979, began to advocate for an even stricter limit of one child per family. Beginning in the mid 1980s, however, given the unpopularity of the strict limits, China began to allow some major exemptions, particularly in rural areas, resulting in what was actually a "1.5"-child policy from the mid-1980s to 2015 (ethnic minorities were also exempt from one child limits). The next major loosening of the policy was enacted in December 2013, allowing families to have two children if one parent is an only child. In 2016, the one-child policy was replaced in favor of a two-child policy. Data from the 2010 census implies that the total fertility rate may be around 1.4, although due to under-reporting of births it may be closer to 1.5–1.6. According to one group of scholars, one-child limits had little effect on population growth or the size of the total population. However, these scholars have been challenged. Their own counterfactual model of fertility decline without such restrictions implies that China averted more than 500 million births between 1970 and 2015, a number which may reach one billion by 2060 given all the lost descendants of births averted during the era of fertility restrictions, with one-child restrictions accounting for the great bulk of that reduction. The policy, along with traditional preference for boys, may have contributed to an imbalance in the human sex ratio, sex ratio at birth. According to the 2010 census, the sex ratio at birth was 118.06 boys for every 100 girls,"Chinese mainland gender ratios most balanced since 1950s: census data"
Ethnic groupsChina legally recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups, who altogether comprise the ''Zhonghua Minzu''. The largest of these nationalities are the ethnic Chinese or "Han", who constitute more than 90% of the total population. The Han Chinese – the world's largest single ethnic group – outnumber other ethnic groups in every provincial-level division except Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibet and Xinjiang. Ethnic minorities account for less than 10% of the population of China, according to the 2010 census. Compared with the 2000 population census, the Han population increased by 66,537,177 persons, or 5.74%, while the population of the 55 national minorities combined increased by 7,362,627 persons, or 6.92%. The 2010 census recorded a total of 593,832 foreign nationals living in China. The largest such groups were from South Korea (120,750), the United States (71,493) and Japan (66,159).
LanguagesThere are as many as 292 living languages in China. The languages most commonly spoken belong to the Sinitic languages, Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family, which contains Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin (spoken by 70% of the population), and Varieties of Chinese, other varieties of Chinese language: Yue Chinese, Yue (including Cantonese and Taishanese), Wu Chinese, Wu (including Shanghainese and Suzhounese), Min Chinese, Min (including Fuzhounese, Hokkien and Teochew dialect, Teochew), Xiang Chinese, Xiang, Gan Chinese, Gan and Hakka language, Hakka. Languages of the Tibeto-Burman languages, Tibeto-Burman branch, including Standard Tibetan, Tibetan, Qiang language, Qiang, Naxi language, Naxi and Yi language, Yi, are spoken across the Tibetan Plateau, Tibetan and Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau. Other ethnic minority languages in southwest China include Zhuang language, Zhuang, Thai language, Thai, Dong language (China), Dong and Sui language, Sui of the Tai–Kadai languages, Tai-Kadai family, Hmongic language, Miao and Mienic languages, Yao of the Hmong–Mien languages, Hmong–Mien family, and Wa language, Wa of the Austroasiatic Languages, Austroasiatic family. Across Northeastern China, northeastern and northwestern China, local ethnic groups speak Altaic languages including Manchu language, Manchu, Mongolian language, Mongolian and several Turkic languages: Uyghur language, Uyghur, Kazakh language, Kazakh, Kyrgyz language, Kyrgyz, Salar language, Salar and Western Yugur language, Western Yugur. Korean language, Korean is spoken natively along the border with North Korea. Sarikoli language, Sarikoli, the language of Tajiks of Xinjiang, Tajiks in western Xinjiang, is an Indo-European language. Taiwanese aborigines, including a small population on the mainland, speak Austronesian languages."Languages"
UrbanizationChina has urbanisation, urbanized significantly in recent decades. The percent of the country's population living in urban areas increased from 20% in 1980 to over 60% in 2019. It is estimated that China's urban population will reach one billion by 2030, potentially equivalent to one-eighth of the world population. China has over 160 cities with a population of over one million, including the 10 Megacity, megacities(cities with a population of over 10 million) of Chongqing, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Harbin, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Shijiazhuang and Suzhou. Shanghai is China's List of cities in China by population, most populous urban area while Chongqing is its List of cities proper by population, largest city proper. By 2025, it is estimated that the country will be home to 221 cities with over a million inhabitants. The figures in the table below are from the 2017 census, and are only estimates of the urban populations within administrative city limits; a different ranking exists when considering the total municipal populations (which includes suburban and rural populations). The large "floating populations" of migrant workers make conducting censuses in urban areas difficult;Francesco Sisci. "China's floating population a headache for census". ''The Straits Times''. 22 September 2000. the figures below include only long-term residents.
EducationSince 1986, compulsory education in China comprises primary school, primary and middle school, junior secondary school, which together last for nine years. In 2010, about 82.5 percent of students continued their education at a three-year senior secondary school. The Gaokao, China's national university entrance exam, is a prerequisite for entrance into most higher education institutions. In 2010, 27 percent of secondary school graduates are enrolled in higher education. This number increased significantly over the last years, reaching a tertiary school enrolment of 50 percent in 2018. Vocational education is available to students at the secondary and tertiary education, tertiary level. In February 2006, the government pledged to provide completely free nine-year education, including textbooks and fees."China pledges free 9-year education in rural west"
HealthThe National Health and Family Planning Commission, together with its counterparts in the local commissions, oversees the health needs of the Chinese population. An emphasis on public health and preventive medicine has characterized Chinese health policy since the early 1950s. At that time, the Communist Party started the Patriotic Health Campaign, which was aimed at improving sanitation and hygiene, as well as treating and preventing several diseases. Diseases such as cholera, typhoid and scarlet fever, which were previously rife in China, were nearly eradicated by the campaign. After Deng Xiaoping began instituting Chinese economic reform, economic reforms in 1978, the health of the Chinese public improved rapidly because of better nutrition, although many of the free public health services provided in the countryside disappeared along with the People's Communes. Healthcare in China became mostly privatized, and experienced a significant rise in quality. In 2009, the government began a 3-year large-scale healthcare provision initiative worth US$124 billion. By 2011, the campaign resulted in 95% of China's population having basic health insurance coverage. In 2011, China was estimated to be the world's third-largest supplier of pharmaceuticals, but its population has suffered from the development and distribution of counterfeit medications. , the average life expectancy at birth in China is 76 years, and the infant mortality rate is 7 per thousand. Both have improved significantly since the 1950s. Rates of Stunted growth, stunting, a condition caused by malnutrition, have declined from 33.1% in 1990 to 9.9% in 2010. Despite significant improvements in health and the construction of advanced medical facilities, China has several emerging public health problems, such as respiratory illnesses caused by Air pollution in China, widespread air pollution, hundreds of millions of tobacco smoking, cigarette smokers, and an increase in obesity among urban youths."Serving the people?"
ReligionThe government of the People's Republic of China officially espouses State atheism#China, state atheism, and has conducted Antireligious campaigns in China, antireligious campaigns to this end. Religious affairs and issues in the country are overseen by the State Administration for Religious Affairs. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by China's constitution, although religious organizations that lack official approval can be subject to state persecution."China bans religious activities in Xinjiang"
CultureSince Ancient China, ancient times, Chinese culture has been heavily influenced by Confucianism. For much of the country's dynastic era, opportunities for social advancement could be provided by high performance in the prestigious imperial examinations, which have their origins in the Han dynasty. The Chinese literature, literary emphasis of the exams affected the general perception of cultural refinement in China, such as the belief that Chinese calligraphy, calligraphy, Classical Chinese poetry, poetry and Chinese painting, painting were higher forms of art than dancing or drama. Chinese culture has long emphasized a sense of deep history and a largely inward-looking national perspective. Examinations and a meritocracy, culture of merit remain greatly valued in China today. The first leaders of the People's Republic of China were born into the traditional imperial order, but were influenced by the May Fourth Movement and reformist ideals. They sought to change some traditional aspects of Chinese culture, such as rural land tenure, sexism, and the Confucian system of education, while preserving others, such as the family structure and culture of obedience to the state. Some observers see the period following the establishment of the PRC in 1949 as a continuation of traditional Chinese dynastic history, while others claim that the Communist Party's rule has damaged the foundations of Chinese culture, especially through political movements such as the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, where many aspects of traditional culture were destroyed, having been denounced as "regressive and harmful" or "vestiges of feudalism". Many important aspects of traditional Chinese morals and culture, such as Confucianism, art, literature, and performing arts like Peking opera, were altered to conform to government policies and propaganda at the time. Access to foreign media remains heavily restricted. Today, the Chinese government has accepted numerous elements of traditional Chinese culture as being integral to Chinese society. With the rise of Chinese nationalism and the end of the Cultural Revolution, various forms of traditional Chinese art, literature, music, film, fashion and architecture have seen a vigorous revival, and folk and variety art in particular have sparked interest nationally and even worldwide.
Tourism in ChinaChina received 55.7 million inbound international visitors in 2010, and in 2012 was the third-most-visited country in the world. It also experiences an enormous volume of domestic tourism; an estimated 740 million Chinese holidaymakers travelled within the country in October 2012. China hosts the world's World Heritage Sites by country#Countries with major concentrations of World Heritage Sites, largest number of World Heritage Sites (List of World Heritage Sites in China, 55), and is one of the World Tourism rankings, most popular tourist destinations in the world (World Tourism rankings#Asia-Pacific, first in the Asia-Pacific). It is forecast by Euromonitor International that China will become the world's most popular destination for tourists by 2030.
LiteratureChinese literature is based on the literature of the Zhou dynasty. Concepts covered within the Chinese classic texts present a wide range of Hundred Schools of Thought, thoughts and subjects including Chinese calendar, calendar, List of Chinese military texts, military, Chinese astrology, astrology, Chinese herbology, herbology, Chinese geography, geography and many others. Some of the most important early texts include the ''I Ching'' and the ''Classic of History, Shujing'' within the Four Books and Five Classics which served as the Confucian authoritative books for the state-sponsored curriculum in dynastic era. Inherited from the ''Classic of Poetry'', classical Chinese poetry developed to its floruit during the Tang dynasty. Li Bai and Du Fu opened the forking ways for the poetic circles through romanticism and realism respectively. Chinese historiography began with the ''Shiji'', the overall scope of the historiographical tradition in China is termed the Twenty-Four Histories, which set a vast stage for Chinese fictions along with Chinese mythology and Chinese folklore, folklore. Pushed by a burgeoning citizen class in the Ming dynasty, Chinese classical fiction rose to a boom of the historical, town and gods and demons fictions as represented by the Four Great Classical Novels which include ''Water Margin'', ''Romance of the Three Kingdoms'', ''Journey to the West'' and ''Dream of the Red Chamber''. Along with the wuxia fictions of Jin Yong and Liang Yusheng, it remains an enduring source of popular culture in the East Asian cultural sphere. In the wake of the New Culture Movement after the end of the Qing dynasty, Chinese literature embarked on a new era with written vernacular Chinese for ordinary citizens. Hu Shih and Lu Xun were pioneers in modern literature. Various literary genres, such as misty poetry, scar literature, young adult fiction and the xungen movement, xungen literature, which is influenced by magic realism, emerged following the Cultural Revolution. Mo Yan, a xungen literature author, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012.
CuisineChinese cuisine is highly diverse, drawing on several millennia of culinary history and geographical variety, in which the most influential are known as the "Eight Major Cuisines", including Sichuan cuisine, Sichuan, Cantonese cuisine, Cantonese, Jiangsu cuisine, Jiangsu, Shandong cuisine, Shandong, Fujian cuisine, Fujian, Hunan cuisine, Hunan, Anhui cuisine, Anhui, and Zhejiang cuisine, Zhejiang cuisines. All of them are featured by the precise skills of shaping, heating, and flavoring. Chinese cuisine is also known for its width of Chinese cooking techniques, cooking methods and ingredients, as well as Chinese food therapy, food therapy that is emphasized by traditional Chinese medicine. Generally, China's staple food is rice in the south, wheat-based breads and noodles in the north. The diet of the common people in pre-modern times was largely grain and simple vegetables, with meat reserved for special occasions. And the bean products, such as tofu and soy milk, remain as a popular source of protein. Pork is now the most popular meat in China, accounting for about three-fourths of the country's total meat consumption. While pork dominates the meat market, there is also the vegetarian Buddhist cuisine and the pork-free Chinese Islamic cuisine. Southern cuisine, due to the area's proximity to the ocean and milder climate, has a wide variety of seafood and vegetables; it differs in many respects from the wheat-based diets across dry northern China. Numerous offshoots of Chinese food, such as Cuisine of Hong Kong#Eastern Styles, Hong Kong cuisine and American Chinese food, have emerged in the nations that play host to the Chinese diaspora.
MusicChinese music covers a highly diverse range of music from the traditional music to the modern music. Chinese music dates back before the pre-imperial times. Traditional Chinese musical instruments were traditionally grouped into eight categories known as ''bayin'' (八音). Traditional Chinese opera is a form of musical theatre in China originating thousands of years and has regional style forms such as Peking opera, Beijing opera and Cantonese opera. Chinese pop (C-Pop) includes mandopop and cantopop. Chinese rap, Chinese hip hop and Hong Kong hip hop have become popular in contemporary times.
CinemaCinema was first introduced to China in 1896 and the first Chinese film, ''Dingjun Mountain (film), Dingjun Mountain,'' was released in 1905. China has the largest number of movie screens in the world since 2016, China became the largest cinema market in the world in 2020. The top 3 List of highest-grossing films in China, highest-grossing films in China currently are ''Wolf Warrior 2'' (2017)'', Ne Zha (2019 film), Ne Zha'' (2019), and ''The Wandering Earth'' (2019).
FashionHanfu is the historical clothing of the Han people in China. The Cheongsam, qipao or cheongsam is a popular Chinese female dress. The hanfu movement has been popular in contemporary times and seeks to revitalize Hanfu clothing.
SportsChina has one of the Sport in the People's Republic of China, oldest sporting cultures in the world. There is evidence that archery (''shèjiàn'') was practiced during the Western Zhou dynasty. Swordplay (''jiànshù'') and cuju, a sport loosely related to association football date back to China's early dynasties as well. Physical fitness is widely emphasized in Chinese culture, with morning exercises such as qigong and t'ai chi ch'uan widely practiced, and commercial gyms and private fitness clubs are gaining popularity across the country. Basketball is currently the most popular spectator sport in China. The Chinese Basketball Association and the American National Basketball Association have a huge following among the people, with native or ethnic Chinese players such as Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian held in high esteem. China's professional football league, now known as Chinese Super League, was established in 1994, it is the largest football market in Asia. Other popular sports in the country include Chinese martial arts, martial arts, table tennis, badminton, swimming (sport), swimming and snooker. Board games such as Go (board game), go (known as ''wéiqí'' in Chinese), xiangqi, mahjong, and more recently chess, are also played at a professional level. In addition, China is home to a huge number of cycling, cyclists, with an estimated 470 million bicycles . Many more traditional sports, such as dragon boat racing, Mongolian wrestling, Mongolian-style wrestling and horse racing are also popular.Qinfa, Ye
See also* Outline of China * Public holidays in China
Further reading* Farah, Paolo (2006). "Five Years of China's WTO Membership: EU and US Perspectives on China's Compliance with Transparency Commitments and the Transitional Review Mechanism". ''Legal Issues of Economic Integration''. Kluwer Law International. Volume 33, Number 3. pp. 263–304