Much like the ancient Roman and Egyptian empires, China led most of the world in the arts and sciences for hundreds of years.
Then in the 19th Century, China experienced debilitating civil unrest, significant food shortages, military defeats, and foreign occupation.
With the end of World War II, the upstart Communists under the leadership of MAO Zedong established a dictatorship that, while ensuring China’s sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life, and cost the lives of tens of millions of people.
After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping gradually introduced market-oriented reforms and decentralized economic decision-making.
Those efforts were successful as GDP output quadrupled by the year 2000. Today, political controls still remain tight, but more and more economic controls continue to be relaxed. China’s economy is booming and its influence is growing worldwide.
Facts and Figures
- Name China
- (long form) People’s Republic of China
- Population 1,306,313,800
- Population & Density (all countries)
- Capital City Beijing metro (14.2 million)
- Currency Yuan (CNY)
- Currency Converter here
- Languages Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua,) Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan, Xiang, Gan and Hakka dialects
- Flag here
- National Day October 1
- Religions Officially atheist, with small groups of Daoist, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian
Latitude/Longitude (capital city)
39? 55′ N, 116? 20′ E
Relative Location : China is located in both the eastern and northern hemispheres. It occupies a huge part of eastern Asia and is bordered by the Yellow Sea, South China Sea, Pacific Ocean and by (14 countries), including North Korea, Russian Federation, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Laos and Vietnam.
Coastline 9,010 miles (14,500 km)
(land) 3,600,945 sq miles (9,326,410 sq km)
(water) 104,460 sq miles (270,550 sq km)
(TOTAL) 3,705,405 sq miles (9,596,960 sq km)
Land Area (all countries) here
Landforms In the vast western reaches of China – mountains, high plateaus and deserts dominate the landscape, while in the central and east areas, the land slopes into broad plains and deltas.
The Himalayas, the world’s most elevated mountain range, forms its southwestern borders with India, Nepal and Bhutan. In the far northeast, high mountains ring its border with the Russian Federation.
The Gobi Desert runs west to east along the border with Mongolia. Here the topography varies from sand desert, into the low mountain foothills and plateaus that stretch into Mongolia.
From the higher elevations in the west literally thousands of rivers drain the country; the most significant include the Yangtze (third longest river on the planet), and the Heilong (Amur), Mekong, Pearl and Yellow.
Highest Point Mt. Everest – 29,025 ft. (8.850 m)
Lowest Point Turpan Pendi (-154 m)
Land Divisions 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions and 4 municipalities:
provinces include Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan and Zhejiang. Note that China views the island of Taiwan as its 23rd province.