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China

China

Capital Beijing
Largest city Shanghai
Official languages Standard Mandarin (spoken), Simplified Chinese (written)
National language Standard Mandarin, Simplified Chinese (written)
Ethnic groups 91.6% Han, 1.30% Zhuang, 0.86% Manchu, 0.79% Uyghur, 0.79% Hui, 0.72% Miao, 0.65% Yi, 0.62% Tujia, 0.47% Mongol, 0.44% Tibetan, 0.26% Buyei, 0.15% Korean, 1.05% other

Government Socialist state,
Single-party communist state,
People’s democratic dictatorship
- President Hu Jintao
- Premier Wen Jiabao
- Chairman of NPCSC Wu Bangguo
- Chairman of CPPCC Jia Qinglin
Legislature National People’s Congress
Establishment
- People’s Republic of China proclaimed. 1 October 1949
Area
- Total 9,640,821 km2 or 9,671,018 km2 (3rd/4th)
3,704,427 sq mi
- Water (%) 2.8
Population
- 2009 estimate 1,338,612,968[b] (1st)
- 2000 census 1,242,612,226
- Density 140/km2 (53rd) 363/sq mi

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; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó), commonly known as China, is the largest country in East Asia and the most populous in the world with over 1.3 billion people, approximately one-fifth of the world’s population. It is a socialist republic (specifically a people’s democratic dictatorship according to its constitution) ruled by the Communist Party of China under a single-party system, and has jurisdiction over twenty-two provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two largely self-governing Special Administrative Regions. The PRC’s capital is Beijing.

At approximately 9.6 million square kilometres (3.7 million square miles), the People’s Republic of China is the world’s third largest country by total area, and the second largest by land area. Its landscape is diverse with forest steppes and deserts (the Gobi and Taklamakan) in the dry north near Mongolia and Russia’s Siberia, and subtropical forests in the wet south close to Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. The terrain in the west is rugged and high altitude, with the Himalayas and the Tian Shan mountain ranges forming China’s natural borders with India and Central Asia. In contrast, mainland China’s eastern seaboard is low-lying and has a 14,500-kilometre long coastline bounded on the southeast by the South China Sea and on the east by the East China Sea beyond which lies Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.

Ancient Chinese civilization—one of the world’s earliest—flourished in the fertile basin of the Yellow River which flows through the North China Plain. For over 4,000 years, China’s political system was based on hereditary monarchies (also known as dynasties). The first of these dynasties was the Xia but it was later the Qin Dynasty who first unified China in 221 BC. The last dynasty, the Qing, ended in 1911 with the founding of the Republic of China (ROC) by the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT). The first half of the 20th century saw China plunged into a period of disunity and civil wars that divided the country into two main political camps – the Kuomintang and the Communists. Major hostilities ended in 1949, when the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established in mainland China by the victorious Communists. The KMT-led Republic of China government retreated to Taipei, its jurisdiction now limited to Taiwan and several outlying islands. As of today, the PRC is still involved in disputes with the ROC over issues of sovereignty and the political status of Taiwan.

Where in the world is Peoples Republic of China? See the map.

Where in the world is Peoples Republic of China? See the map.

China flag

China flag

 
China flag

China flag


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