General information: For centuries, China has been the most advanced civilization, surpassing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences. But in the first half of the 20th century China suffered famine, civil unrest, military defeat and occupation. After World War II, the Communist Party, under the leadership of MAO Zedong (MAO Zedong), established a dictatorship that upheld China’s sovereignty, but at the same time imposed strict control over the daily lives of citizens, costing the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, MAO Zedong’s successor, DENG Xiaoping, decentralized economic decision-making. Over the next 20 years, output quadrupled; In terms of GDP, China is currently in second place among all countries in the world. Government control over politics remains tight. See areacodesexplorer.com to know more about China History.
Location: East Asia, coast of East China Sea, Korea Strait, Yellow Sea and South China Sea between North Korea and Vietnam.
Geographic coordinates: 35° 00′ N. latitude, 105° 00′ E
Reference map: Asia.
Area: 7 total: 9,596,960 km2; land surface area: 9,326,410 km2; water surface area: 270,550 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the US.
Land borders: total length: 22,147.24 km; with neighboring states: with Afghanistan 76 km, with Bhutan 470 km, with Burma 2,185 km, with Hong Kong 30 km, with India 3,380 km, with Kazakhstan 1,533 km, with North Korea 1,416 km, with Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Macau 0.34 km, Mongolia 4,676.9 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, with Tajikistan 414 km, with Vietnam 1,281 km.
Coastline: 14,500 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; continental shelf: 200 nautical miles or to the outer limits of the continent; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in the south and temperate in the north.
Relief: mostly mountainous; high plateaus, mountains in the west; plains, river deltas and hills in the east.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Turpan-Pendi depression -154 m; highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m (1999 est.)
Natural resources: coal, iron ore, oil, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower resources (the largest in the world).
Land use: arable land: 10%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 43%; forests and plantations: 14%; others: 33% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 498,720 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: frequent typhoons (about five per year on the south and east coasts); destructive floods; tsunami; earthquakes; drought.
Current environmental issues: air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide) due to the use of coal; acid rain; insufficient supplies of drinking water (especially in the north); water pollution by untreated waste; deforestation; loss of approximately 20% of agricultural land (since 1949) due to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in animals of endangered species.
International agreements on environmental protection: party to: Antarctica – Environmental Protection Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical timber 1994, Wetlands, Whaling; signed but not ratified: Kyoto Protocol.
Note to the section “Geography”: the fourth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada and the USA).
Population: 1,273,111,290 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 25.01% (male 166,754,893; female 151,598,117); from 15 to 64 years old: 67.88% (male 445 222 858; female 418 959 646); over 65: 7.11% (male 42,547,296; female 48,028,480) (2001 est.)
Population growth: 0.88% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 15.95 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 6.74 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -0.39 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.09 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.1 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.06 male/female; over 65: 0.89 male/female; for the general population: 1.06 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 28.08 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 71.62 years; men: 69.81 years; women: 73.59 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.82 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.07% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 500,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 17,000 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Chinese; adjective: Chinese.
Ethnic groups: Han (Chinese) 91.9%, Zhu-ans, Uighurs, Hui, Yi, Tibetans, Miao, Manchus, Mongols, Bui, Koreans and other nationalities 8.1%.
Believers: Taoists, Buddhists, Muslims 2-3%, Christians 1% (est.); note: the official worldview is atheism.
Language(s): Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putungwa, based on Beijing dialect), Yu (Guangzhou), Wu (Shanghai), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hainan-Taiwanese) (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Han, Hakka dialects, minor languages (see column “ethnic groups”).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 81.5%; men: 89.9%; women: 72.7% (1995 est.).
Common long form: People’s Republic of China;
conventional short form: China; local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gong-heguo; local short form: Zhong Guo; abbreviation: PRC.
State structure: communist state.
Administrative division: 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions* and 4 municipalities**: Anhui, Inner Mongolia*, Gansu, Guangdong, Guanxi Zhuang Auton. district *, Guizhou, Liaoning, Ningxia Hui Auton. district*, Beijing**, Xinjiang Uygur Auton. district *, Sichu-an, Tibetan auton. district*, Tianjin**, Fujian, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Jilin, Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Qinghai, Shanghai**, Shandong, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Zhejiang, Chongqing**, Yunnan; note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate articles for Special Administrative Regions – Hong Kong and Macau.
Independence: from 221 BC e. (China was unified under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC; the Qing Dynasty became a republic on February 12, 1912; the People’s Republic was proclaimed on October 1, 1949.)
National Day: Founding of the People’s Republic of China, 1 October (since 1949).
Constitution: last draft promulgated 4 December 1982
Legal system: complex mixture of customs and written laws, mostly criminal law; a primitive code of civil laws was enacted on January 1, 1987; the new code of laws was put into effect on January 1, 1980; attempts are being made to improve civil, administrative, criminal and commercial law.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: Chairman JIANG Zemin (since March 27, 1993) and Vice Chairman HU Jintao (since March 16, 1998);
head of the government: Premier ZHU Rongji (since March 18, 1998); Vice Premiers QIAN Qichen (since March 29, 1993), LI Lanqing (since March 29, 1993), WU Bangguo (since March 17, 1995) and WEN Jibao (WEN Jiabao) (since March 18, 1998);
Government: the State Council, whose members are appointed by the National People’s Congress; elections: chairman and vice chairman elected by the National People’s Congress for five-year terms; elections last held 16-18 March 1998 (next to be held in 2003); the candidacy of the premier is nominated by the President of the People’s Republic of China and approved by the National People’s Congress; election results: JIANG Zemin re-elected PRC President by the Ninth National People’s Congress with a total of 2,882 votes (36 delegates voted against, 29 abstained, 32 did not vote at all; HU Jintao was elected Vice Chairman by the Ninth National People’s Congress with a total of 2,882 votes a total of 2,841 votes (67 delegates voted against, 39 abstained,
Legislature: unicameral National People’s Congress of China (Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui) (2,979 members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial councils for a five-year term); elections: last held in December 1997 – February 1998 (next expected late 2002 – March 2003); election results: distribution of votes – no data; distribution of seats – no data.
Judiciary: Supreme People’s Court; judges are appointed by the National People’s Congress.
Political parties and leaders: Communist Party of China (JIANG Zemin, General Secretary of the Central Committee); registered 8 small parties controlled by the CCP.
Political influence groups and their leaders: there is no powerful opposition group, although the government considers the Falun Gong sect and the Chinese Democratic Party as potential rivals.
Participation in international organizations: AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CCC, CDB (non-regional), ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, NAM (observer), OPCW, PCA, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNTAET, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer), ZC.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador YANG Jiechi; office: 2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 328-2500; consulates general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Joseph W. PRUEHER; Embassy: Xiu Shui Bei Jie 3, 100600 Beijing; mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002; phone:  (10) 6532-3431; fax:  (10) 6532-6422; consulates general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang.
Flag Description: Red, with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc arched towards the center of the flag) in the upper corner near the hoist.