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china flag
Capital :  
Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China
Population :  
1,336,718,015 est.
Area :  
9,956,960 sq km (3.7m sq miles)
Language :  
Chinese (Mandarin dialect) is the official language. However, there are many other local dialects, such as Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka etc.
Measures :  
Metric System
People :  
Han Chinese make up around 92% of the population. The remaining 8% is comprised of five minority ethnic groups.
Currency :  
China Yuan (CNY)
Its basic unit is the Yuan. 10 Fen = 1 Jiao, 10 Jiao = 1 Yuan.
Time Zone :  
Operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GTM) Daylight Savings Time is not observed. China GMT+8
Membership of   international  
United Nations (including permanent membership of the UN Security Council), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF); Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC); Asian Development Bank (ADB); Shanghai Cooperation Organisation; World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Longer Historical Perspective
The Chinese imperial system came to an end in 1911. The Qing (Manchu) dynasty was overthrown and China was proclaimed a republic, partly through the efforts of revolutionaries such as Sun Yat-sen. The country then entered a period of warlordism. In 1927 the Nationalist Party or 'Kuomintang' (KMT), under its leader Chiang Kai-shek, established a central government in Nanjing.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was founded in 1921. It broke with the KMT and was forced to flee into the interior in the Long March in 1934/35. Both KMT and CCP forces opposed Japan during World War Two but a civil war broke out from 1945-1949. CCP forces under Mao Zedong routed their KMT opponents. In 1949 Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. The government of the then Republic of China under President Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan, together with approximately 2 million supporters.
The period between 1949 and Mao's death in 1976 was characterised by an ambitious political and economic restructuring programme. This involved the collectivisation of industry, the establishment of communes and the redistribution of land. The Cultural Revolution from 1966-1976 brought enormous upheaval in the political system. Mao had to rely on the armed forces to maintain order and exercise control
Recent History
In December 1978 the CCP, inspired by Deng Xiaoping, launched a wide-ranging programme of economic and social reform. This sought to modernise the economy, develop China's external relations (the 'open door policy') - especially with the West, and implement a gradual and limited liberalisation of Chinese society.
This period of 'reform and opening up' since 1978 is expected to be widely commemorated in China this autumn as the basis of its current economic success and these commemorations may also be used as the platform for further policy reforms. There are no details at this point, but there is much speculation that rural land ownership reform may be prominent.
Political opposition to the more liberal reforms forced periods of retrenchment. In June 1989, following the brutal suppression of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing, political control swung firmly into the hands of conservative elements within the CCP. The Chinese government labelled the demonstrations a 'counter-revolutionary rebellion' and clamped down on dissent. Prominent dissidents fled the country or went into hiding. Many activists were arrested. Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang was replaced by Jiang Zemin, former Mayor and Party Secretary of Shanghai. Jiang was appointed to the additional post of State President in March 1993. Jiang continued the policies of Deng Xiaoping, prioritising economic growth, particularly in China's coastal provinces.
Jiang retired as President in March 2003. Hu Jintao was named President and Wen Jiabao became Premier. Wu Bangguo replaced Li Peng as NPC Chairman. The leadership transition was completed in September 2004 with Jiang retiring from the Chairmanship of the Central Military Commission (CMC). Hu assumed the post of CMC Chairman to add to his roles as State President and Party General Secretary.
Brief Introduction to China
Location The People Republic of China is situated in eastern Asia on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean, with an area of 9.6 million square kilometers. China's continental coastline extends for about 18,000 kilometers, and its vast sea surface is studded with more than 5,000 islands, of which Taiwan and Hainan are the largest.
Land Formation and Rivers China's land drops off in escarpments eastward to the ocean, letting in humid air current and leading many rivers eastward. Among the rivers totaling 220,000 kilometers in length in China, the Changjiang (Yangtze) and the Huanghe (Yellow) are world known.
China has beautiful scenery, with mountains and ranges, highlands, plains, basins, and hills. The highlands and hill regions account for 65 percent of the country's total land mass, and there are more than 2,000 lakes. The highest mountain peak is Qomolangma (Everest), the highest in the world, 8,848 meters above sea level; the lowest point is the Turpan Basin, 154 meters below sea level.
China is characterized by a continental climate. The latitude spans nearly 50 degrees. The greater part of the Chinese territory is situated in the Temperate Zone, its southern part in the tropical and subtropical zones, and its northern part near the Frigid Zone. Temperatures differ therefore rather strikingly across the country. The northern part of Heilongjiang Province has long winters but no summers; while the Hainan Island has long summers but no winters. The Huaihe River valley is marked by distinctive seasonal changes, but it is spring all year round in the south of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. In the northwest hinterland, the temperature changes dramatically. China high tundra zone is situated in the Qinghai-Tibet, where the temperature is low in all four seasons. Some desert areas are dry all year round.
China abounds in natural resources. It leads the world in many proven mineral deposits; No country in the world boasts more wildlife than China, many of which are native to China, such as giant panda, snub-nosed golden monkey, and Chinese alligator; China's dawn redwood and Cathaya argyrophylla are known as the living fossils of ancient plants.
To protect the nation's native animals and plants, especially the endangered species, China has established more than 700 nature reserves. History China, with a recorded history of 5,000 years, is one of the world's earliest civilizations.
The economy and science and technology were relatively well developed in ancient China. During the Shang Dynasty some 3,000 years ago, the Chinese had mastered the art of bronze metallurgy, and invented iron implements; Many distinguished thinkers, scientists, artists and writers came into being. The contributions to world civilization of ancient China's four inventions: papermaking, printing, powder, and the compass, as well as remarkable achievements in mathematics, medical science, astronomy, agriculture, and architecture, are universally recognized.
The Bourgeois Democratic Revolution of 1991 led by Sun Yat-sen toppled the rule of the Qing Dynasty, put an end to more than 2.000 years of feudal monarchical system and culminated in the establishment of the provisional government of the Republic of China.
The People's Republic of China was founded on October 1,1949. Today, China is implementing reform and opening-up policies, and has established socialist market economy, thereby charting the course for socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics. Population China, as the word's most populous country, has a population exceeding 1.2 billion, which makes up 22 percent of the world total.To bring population growth under control, the country has followed a family planning policy since the 1970s.
India - China Relations
China and India are the world's most populous countries and also fastest growing major economies. The resultant growth in China and India's global diplomatic and economic influence has also increased the significance of their bilateral relationship.
China and India are two of the world’s oldest civilizations and have coexisted in peace for millennia. Cultural and economic relations between China and India date back to ancient times. The Silk Road not only served as a major trade route between India and China, but is also credited for facilitating the spread of Buddhism from India to East Asia. During the 19th century, China's growing opium trade with the British Raj triggered the Opium Wars. During World War II, India and China played a crucial role in halting the progress of Imperial Japan. In 2008, China emerged as the largest trading partner of India and the two countries have also attempted to extend their strategic and military relations.
Recently, China has said that "Sino-Indian ties" would be the most "important bilateral partnership of the century". On June 21, 2012, Wen Jiabao, the Premier of China and Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India set a goal to increase bilateral trade between the two countries to 100 billion dollars by 2015