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Countries > China China Flag
Products   5 products specific to China are available in 6 categories.

Languages   26 languages are spoken in China. We have 476 products available for 14 of those languages.

Capital: Beijing (Peking)
Population: 1,200,000,000
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Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam

Geographic coordinates: 35 00 N, 105 00 E

Map references: Asia

total: 9,596,960 sq km
land : 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than the US

Land boundaries:
total: 22,143.34 km
border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, Hong Kong 30 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Macau 0.34 km, Mongolia 4,673 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km

Coastline: 14,500 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone : 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north

Terrain: mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,848 m (1999 est.)

Natural resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)

Land use:
arable land: 13%
permanent crops:1%
other : 86% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 525,800 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts

Environment - current issues: air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal, produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species Environment - international agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: world's fourth-largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal, is the world's tallest peak

Population: 1,284,303,705 (July 2002 est.)

Birth rate: 15.85 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 6.77 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 27.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.86 years
female: 73.86 years (2002 est.)
male: 70.02 years

Total fertility rate: 1.82 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese

Ethnic Groups: Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%

Religions: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Muslim 1%-2%, Christian 3%-4%
note: officially atheist (2002 est.)

Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.5%
male: 89.9%
female: 72.7% (1995 est.)


Country Name
conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local short form: Zhong Guo
abbreviation: PRC
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo

Government type: Communist State

Capital: Beijing

Administrative divisions:23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions* (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities** (shi, singular and plural); Anhui, Beijing**, Chongqing**, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi*, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol*, Ningxia*, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai**, Shanxi, Sichuan, Tianjin**, Xinjiang*, Xizang* (Tibet), Yunnan, Zhejiang; note - China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau

Independence: 221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty 221 BC; Qing or Ch'ing Dynasty replaced by the Republic on 12 February 1912; People's Republic established 1 October 1949)

National holiday:Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)

Constitution: most recent promulgation 4 December 1982

Legal System: a complex amalgam of custom and statute, largely criminal law; rudimentary civil code in effect since 1 January 1987; new legal codes in effect since 1 January 1980; continuing efforts are being made to improve civil, administrative, criminal, and commercial law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:
Chief of State: chief of state: President JIANG Zemin (since 27 March 1993) and Vice President HU Jintao (since 16 March 1998)
Head of government: Premier ZHU Rongji (since 18 March 1998); Vice Premiers QIAN Qichen (since 29 March 1993), LI Lanqing (29 March 1993), WU Bangguo (since 17 March 1995), and WEN Jiabao (since 18 March 1998)
Elections: elections: president and vice president elected by the National People's Congress for five-year terms; elections last held 16-18 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2003); premier nominated by the president, confirmed by the National People's Congress
Cabinet: /b> State Council appointed by the National People's Congress (NPC)
Election ResultsJIANG Zemin reelected president by the Ninth National People's Congress with a total of 2,882 votes (36 delegates voted against him, 29 abstained, and 32 did not vote); HU Jintao elected vice president by the Ninth National People's Congress with a total of 2,841 votes (67 delegates voted against him, 39 abstained, and 32 did not vote)

Legislative Branch: unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,979 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses to serve five-year terms)
Elections: last held NA December 1997-NA February 1998 (next to be held late 2002-NA March 2003)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - NA

Judicial Branch: Supreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's Congress); Local Peoples Courts (comprise higher, intermediate and local courts); Special Peoples Courts (primarily military, maritime, and railway transport courts)

Political Parties and Leaders: Chinese Communist Party or CCP [JIANG Zemin, General Secretary of the Central Committee]; eight registered small parties controlled by CCP

Political pressure groups and leaders: no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the government has identified the Falungong sect and the China Democracy Party as potential rivals

International organization participation:AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CCC, CDB, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), OPCW, PCA, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMOVIC, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador YANG Jiechi
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2582
Telephone: [1] (202) 328-2500
Chancery: 2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Clark T. RANDT, Jr.
Embassy: Xiu Shui Bei Jie 3, 100600 Beijing
Mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO APO 96521-0002
Telephone: [86] (10) 6532-3431
FAX: [86] (10) 6532-6422
Consulate(s) 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 toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner


Economy-Overview: In late 1978 the Chinese leadership began moving the economy from a sluggish Soviet-style centrally planned economy to a more market-oriented system. Whereas the system operates within a political framework of strict Communist control, the economic influence of non-state organizations and individual citizens has been steadily increasing. The authorities have switched to a system of household and village responsibility in agriculture in place of the old collectivization, increased the authority of local officials and plant managers in industry, permitted a wide variety of small-scale enterprise in services and light manufacturing, and opened the economy to increased foreign trade and investment. The result has been a quadrupling of GDP since 1978. In 2001, with its 1.27 billion people but a GDP of just $4,300 per capita, China stood as the second largest economy in the world after the US (measured on a purchasing power parity basis). Agriculture and industry have posted major gains, especially in coastal areas near Hong Kong and opposite Taiwan, where foreign investment has helped spur output of both domestic and export goods. On the darker side, the leadership has often experienced in its hybrid system the worst results of socialism (bureaucracy and lassitude) and of capitalism (windfall gains and growing income disparities). Beijing thus has periodically backtracked, retightening central controls at intervals. The government has struggled to (a) collect revenues due from provinces, businesses, and individuals; (b) reduce corruption and other economic crimes; and (c) keep afloat the large state-owned enterprises many of which had been shielded from competition by subsidies and had been losing the ability to pay full wages and pensions. From 80 to 120 million surplus rural workers are adrift between the villages and the cities, many subsisting through part-time low-paying jobs. Popular resistance, changes in central policy, and loss of authority by rural cadres have weakened China's population control program, which is essential to maintaining long-term growth in living standards. Another long-term threat to continued rapid economic growth is the deterioration in the environment, notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table especially in the north. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. Beijing will intensify efforts to stimulate growth through spending on infrastructure - such as water control and power grids - and poverty relief and through rural tax reform aimed at eliminating arbitrary local levies on farmers. Access to the World Trade Organization strengthens China's ability to maintain sturdy growth rates, and at the same time puts additional pressure on the hybrid system of strong political controls and growing market influences. Although Beijing has claimed 7%-8% annual growth in recent years, many observers believe the rate, while strong, is more like 5%.

GDP:purchasing power parity - $5.56 trillion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:7.3% (official estimate) (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,300 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17.7%
industry: 49.3%
services: 33% (2001 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer price Index): 0.8% (2001 est.)

Labor force:706 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 50%, industry 23%, services 27% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate:urban unemployment roughly 10%; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas (2001 est.)

Revenues: $161.8 billion
Expenditures: $191.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000)

Industries:iron and steel, coal, machine building, armaments, textiles and apparel, petroleum, cement, chemical fertilizers, footwear, toys, food processing, automobiles, consumer electronics, telecommunications

Industrial production growth rate: 9.9% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:1.308 trillion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption:1.206 trillion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:rice, wheat, potatoes, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish

Total Value:$262.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:machinery and equipment; textiles and clothing, footwear, toys and sporting goods; mineral fuels
Exports - partners:US 21%, Hong Kong 18%, Japan 17%, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Singapore, Taiwan (2000)

Total Value:$236.2 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, plastics, iron and steel, chemicals
Import Partners:Japan 18%, Taiwan 11%, South Korea 10%, US 10% Germany, Hong Kong, Russia, Malaysia (2000)

Debt-External:$167 billion (2001 est.)

Economic-aid (Recipient):$NA

Currency:yuan (CNY)

Exchange rates:yuan per US dollar - 8.2767 (January 2002), 8.2771 (2001), 8.2785 (2000), 8.2783 (1999), 8.2790 (1998), 8.2898 (1997)

Fiscal year:calendar year


Telephones: 135 million (2000)

Telephone system: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns
Domestic interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; a domestic satellite system with 55 earth stations is in place
International: satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); several international fiber-optic links to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, and Germany (2000)

Radio broadcast stations:AM 369, FM 259, shortwave 45 (1998)

Radios:417 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 3,240 (of which 209 are operated by China Central Television, 31 are provincial TV stations and nearly 3,000 are local city stations) (1997)

Televisions:400 million (1997)


Total: 67,524 km (including 5,400 km of provincial "local" rails) standard gauge:63,924 km 1.435-m gauge (13,362 km electrified; 20,250 km double-track)
narrow gauge: 3,600 km 0.750-m and 1.000-m gauge local industrial lines (1999 est.)

Highways: Total: 1.4 million km
Paved: 271,300 km (with at least 16,000 km of expressways)
Unpaved: 1,128,700 km (1999)

Waterways:110,000 km (1999)

Pipelines:crude oil 9,070 km; petroleum products 560 km; natural gas 9,383 km (1998)

Ports and harbors:Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Haikou, Huangpu, Lianyungang, Nanjing, Nantong, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shantou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wenzhou, Xiamen, Xingang, Yantai, Zhanjiang (2001)

Merchant marine:
total: 1,764 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 16,915,047 GRT/25,366,296 DWT
Ships by type: barge carrier 2, bulk 328, cargo 822, chemical tanker 25, combination bulk 10, combination ore/oil 1, container 134, liquefied gas 26, multi-functional large-load carrier 6, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 45, petroleum tanker 263, refrigerated cargo 26, roll on/roll off 23, short-sea passenger 42, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Croatia 1, Germany 1, Hong Kong 16, Japan 2, Panama 2, South Korea 1, Spain 1, Taiwan 9, Tanzania 1, Turkey 1 (2002 est.)

Airports:489 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways
total: 324
over 3,047 m: 27
2,438 to 3,047 m: 88
1,524 to 2,437 m: 147
914 to 1,523 m: 30
under 914 m: 32 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 165
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 29
914 to 1,523 m: 56
under 914 m: 78 (2001)


Military branches:People's Liberation Army (PLA): comprises ground forces, Navy (including naval infantry and naval aviation), Air Force, and II Artillery Corps (strategic missile force), People's Armed Police Force (internal security troops, nominally a state security body but included by the Chinese as part of the "armed forces" and considered to be an adjunct to the PLA), militia

Military manpower - military age:18 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 370,087,489 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 370,087,489 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49:203,003,036 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 10,089,458 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:$20.048 billion (2002); note - this is the officially announced figure, but actual defense spending more likely ranges from $45 billion to $65 billion for 2002

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:1.6% (2002); note - this is the officially announced figure, but actual defense spending is more likely between 3.5% to 5.0% of GDP for 2002

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:In 2000, China joined ASEAN discussions towards creating a South China Sea "code of conduct" - a non-legally binding, confidence-building measure; much of the rugged, militarized boundary with India is in dispute, but talks to resolve the least contested middle sector resumed in 2001; ongoing talks with Tajikistan have failed to resolve the longstanding dispute over the indefinite boundary; Kazakhstan is working rapidly with China to delimit its large open borders to control population migration, illegal activities, and trade; 2001 Treaty of Good Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation commits Russia and China to seek peaceable unanimity over disputed alluvial islands at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri rivers and a small island on the Argun; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; maritime boundary agreement with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin awaits ratification; Paracel Islands occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; claims Japanese-administered Senkaku-shoto (Senkaku Islands/Diaoyu Tai), as does Taiwan; demarcation of the land boundary with Vietnam has commenced, but details of the alignment have not been made public; 33-km section of boundary with North Korea in the Paektu-san (mountain) area is indefinite

Illicit drugs:major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle; growing domestic drug abuse problem; source country for chemical precursors and methamphetamine

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