China

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People's Republic of China

  • 中华人民共和国 (Chinese)
  • Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó (Pinyin)
Anthem: 义勇军进行曲
Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ
("March of the Volunteers")
Land controlled by the People's Republic of China shown in dark green; land claimed but uncontrolled shown in light green.
Land controlled by the People's Republic of China shown in dark green; land claimed but uncontrolled shown in light green.
CapitalBeijing
39°55′N 116°23′E / 39.917°N 116.383°E / 39.917; 116.383
Largest cityShanghai
Official languagesStandard Chinese[lower-alpha 1]
Recognised regional languages
Official scriptSimplified Chinese[lower-alpha 2]
Ethnic groups
Religion
(2020)[1]
Demonym(s)Chinese
GovernmentUnitary Marxist–Leninist[2] one-party socialist republic[3]
Xi Jinping
• Premier
Li Keqiang
Li Zhanshu
Wang Yang
Wang Huning
Zhao Leji
• 1st Vice Premier
Han Zheng
Wang Qishan[lower-alpha 7]
Yang Xiaodu
Zhou Qiang
Zhang Jun
LegislatureNational People's Congress
Formation
c. 2070 BCE
221 BCE
1 January 1912
1 October 1949
20 September 1954
4 December 1982
20 December 1999
Area
• Total
9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi)[lower-alpha 8][6] (3rd/4th)
• Water (%)
2.8[lower-alpha 9]
Population
• 2019 estimate
Increase 1,400,050,000[8] (1st)
• 2010 census
1,340,910,000[8] (1st)
• Density
145[9]/km2 (375.5/sq mi) (83rd)
GDP (PPP)2020 estimate
• Total
Increase $24.162 trillion[10] (1st)
• Per capita
Increase $17,206[10] (73rd)
GDP (nominal)2020 estimate
• Total
Increase $14.861 trillion[10] (2nd)
• Per capita
Increase $10,839[10] (59th)
Gini (2018)Negative increase 46.7[11]
high
HDI (2019)Increase 0.761[12]
high · 85th
CurrencyRenminbi (yuan; ¥)[lower-alpha 10] (CNY-Renminbi)
HKD-Hong Kong)
MOP-Macau
)
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard Time)
Date format
Driving sideright (mainland); left (Hong Kong and Macau)
Calling code+86 (mainland); +852 (Hong Kong); +853 (Macau)
ISO 3166 codeCN
Internet TLD

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion.[8] Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million mi2), it is the world's third or fourth-largest country by area.[lower-alpha 11] The country is officially divided into 23 provinces,[lower-alpha 12][18] five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

China emerged as one of the world's first civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. China was one of the world's foremost economic powers for most of the two millennia from the 1st until the 19th century.[19] For millennia, China's political system was based on absolute hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since then, China has expanded, fractured, and re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin reunited core China and established the first Chinese empire. The succeeding Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE) saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements. The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty (618–907) and Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127) completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread widely in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and the Horn of Africa. The Qing Empire, China's last dynasty, which formed the territorial basis for modern China suffered heavy losses to foreign imperialism. The Chinese monarchy collapsed in 1912 with the 1911 Revolution, when the Republic of China (ROC) replaced the Qing dynasty. China was invaded by the Empire of Japan during World War II. The Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China on mainland China while the Kuomintang-led ROC government retreated to the island of Taiwan.[lower-alpha 13] Both the PRC and the ROC currently claim to be the sole legitimate government of China, resulting in an ongoing dispute even after the United Nations recognized the PRC as the government to represent China at all UN conferences in 1971.

China is nominally a unitary one-party socialist republic. The country is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since replacing the ROC in 1971. China is a founding member of several multilateral and regional cooperation organizations such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and is a member of the BRICS nations and the East Asia Summit. It ranks among the lowest in international measurements of civil liberties, government transparency, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and ethnic minorities. Chinese authorities have been criticized by political dissidents and human rights activists for widespread human rights abuses, including political repression, mass censorship, mass surveillance of their citizens and violent suppression of protests.

After economic reforms in 1978, and its entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, China's economy became the second-largest country by nominal GDP in 2010 and grew to the largest in the world by PPP in 2014. China is the world's fastest-growing major economy,[20] the second-wealthiest nation in the world, and the world's largest manufacturer and exporter. The nation has the world's largest standing army—the People's Liberation Army—the second-largest defense budget, and is a recognized nuclear-weapons state. China has been characterized as an emerging superpower due to its large economy and powerful military.[21][22][23][24]

Etymology[edit]

China
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China (today's Guangdong), Mangi (inland of Xanton), and Cataio (inland of China and Chequan, and including the capital Cambalu, Xandu, and a marble bridge) are all shown as separate regions on this 1570 map by Abraham Ortelius

The word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century; however, it was not a word used by the Chinese themselves during this period in time. Its origin has been traced through Portuguese, Malay, and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Chīna, used in ancient India.[25]

"China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation[lower-alpha 14] of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa.[lower-alpha 15][25] Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn (چین), which was in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna (चीन).[30] Cīna was first used in early Hindu scripture, including the Mahābhārata (5th century BCE) and the Laws of Manu (2nd century BCE).[31] In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived ultimately from the name of the Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE).[31][32] Although this derivation is still given in various sources,[33] the origin of the Sanskrit word is a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.[25] Alternative suggestions include the names for Yelang and the Jing or Chu state.[31][34]

The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China" (simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国; traditional Chinese: 中華人民共和國; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó). The shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó (中国; 中國) from zhōng ("central") and guó ("state"),[lower-alpha 16] a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne.[lower-alpha 17] It was then applied to the area around Luoyi (present-day Luoyang) during the Eastern Zhou and then to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing.[36] It was often used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians".[36] The name Zhongguo is also translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.[38] China (PRC) is sometimes referred to as the Mainland when distinguishing the ROC from the PRC.[39][40][41][42]

Notes[edit]

  1. Portuguese (Macau only), English (Hong Kong only).
  2. In the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese characters are used. The Mongolian script is used in Inner Mongolia and the Tibetan script is used in the Tibet Autonomous Region, alongside simplified Chinese.
  3. Ethnic minorities that are recognized officially.
  4. Although PRC President is head of state, it is a largely ceremonial office with limited power under CCP General Secretary.
  5. Including both state and party's central military chairs.
  6. Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
  7. According to the official orders of precedence in China (i.e. party comes first), the order of Wang would be inferior to the members of the Standing Committee of Politburo of CCP as he was not appointed to office in the 19th Central Committee.
  8. The area given is the official United Nations figure for the mainland and excludes Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.[4] It also excludes the Trans-Karakoram Tract (5,800 km2 or 2,200 sq mi), Aksai Chin (37,244 km2 or 14,380 sq mi) and other territories in dispute with India. The total area of China is listed as 9,572,900 km2 (3,696,100 sq mi) by the Encyclopædia Britannica.[5] For further information, see Territorial changes of the People's Republic of China.
  9. This figure was calculated using data from the CIA World Factbook.[7]
  10. The Hong Kong dollar is used in Hong Kong and Macau while the Macanese pataca is used in Macau only.
  11. The total area ranking relative to the United States depends on the measurement of the total areas of both countries. See List of countries and dependencies by area for more information. The following two primary sources (non-mirrored) represent the range (min./max.) of estimates of China's and the United States' total areas. Both sources (1) exclude Taiwan from the area of China; (2) exclude China's coastal and territorial waters. However, the CIA World Factbook includes the United States coastal and territorial waters, while Encyclopædia Britannica excludes the United States coastal and territorial waters.
    1. The Encyclopædia Britannica lists China as world's third-largest country (after Russia and Canada) with a total area of 9,572,900 km2,[13] and the United States as fourth-largest at 9,525,067 km2.[14]
    2. The CIA World Factbook lists China as fourth-largest country (after Russia, Canada and the United States) with a total area of 9,596,960 km2,[15] and the United States as the third-largest at 9,833,517 km2.[16]

    Notably, Encyclopædia Britannica specifies the United States' area (excluding coastal and territorial waters) as 9,525,067 km2, which is less than either source's figure given for China's area.[14] Therefore, while it can be determined that China has a larger area excluding coastal and territorial waters, it is unclear which country has a larger area including coastal and territorial waters.


    United Nations Statistics Division's figure for the United States is 9,833,517 km2 (3,796,742 sq mi) and China is 9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi). These closely match the CIA World Factbook figures and similarly include coastal and territorial waters for the United States, but exclude coastal and territorial waters for China.


    Further explanation of disputed ranking: The dispute for world's third-largest country arose from the inclusion of coastal and territorial waters for the United States. This discrepancy was deduced from comparing the CIA World Factbook and its previous iterations[17] against the information for United States in Encyclopædia Britannica, particularly its footnote section.[14] In sum, according to older versions of the CIA World Factbook (from 1982 to 1996), the U.S. was listed as the world's fourth-largest country (after Russia, Canada, and China) with a total area of 9,372,610 km2 (3,618,780 sq mi). However, in the 1997 edition, the U.S. added coastal waters to its total area (increasing it to 9,629,091 square kilometres [3,717,813 sq mi]). And then again in 2007, U.S. added territorial water to its total area (increasing it to 9,833,517 square kilometres [3,796,742 sq mi]). During this time, China's total area remained unchanged. In other words, no coastal or territorial water area was added to China's total area figure. The United States has a coastal water area of 109,362 km2 (42,225 sq mi), and a territorial water area of 195,213 km2 (75,372 sq mi), for a total of 304,575 km2 (117,597 sq mi) of additional water space. This is larger than entire countries like Italy, New Zealand] and the United Kingdom. Adding this figure to the U.S. will boost it over China in ranking since China's coastal and territorial water figures are currently unknown (no official publication) and thus cannot be added into China's total area figure.

  12. The disputed 23rd province of Taiwan is claimed by People's Republic of China but it does not administer it. See § Administrative divisions
  13. The KMT solely governed the island until its transition to democracy in 1996.
  14. "[...] Next vnto this, is found the great China, whose kyng is thought to bee the greatest prince in the worlde, and is named Santoa Raia".[26][27]
  15. "[...] The Very Great Kingdom of China".[28] (Portuguese: ...O Grande Reino da China...).[29]
  16. Although this is the present meaning of guó, in Old Chinese (when its pronunciation was something like /*qʷˤək/)[35] it meant the walled city of the Chinese and the areas they could control from them.[36]
  17. Its use is attested from the 6th-century BC Classic of History, which states "Huangtian bestowed the lands and the peoples of the central state to the ancestors" (皇天既付中國民越厥疆土于先王).[37]

References[edit]

  1. "Chinese Religion | Data on Chinese Religions | GRF". www.globalreligiousfutures.org.
  2. "Xi Jinping is making great attempts to 'Sinicize' Marxist–Leninist Thought 'with Chinese characteristics' in the political sphere," states Lutgard Lams, "Examining Strategic Narratives in Chinese Official Discourse under Xi Jinping" Journal of Chinese Political Science (2018) volume 23, pp. 387–411 at p. 395.
  3. "China (People's Republic of) 1982 (rev. 2004)". Constitute. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  4. "Demographic Yearbook—Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density" (PDF). UN Statistics. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  5. "China". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  6. "Largest Countries in the World by Area – Worldometers". www.worldometers.info.
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named CIA
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 总人口 (in 中文). National Bureau of Statistics of China. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  9. "Population density (people per km2 of land area)". IMF. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2020". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  11. "China Economic Update, December 2019 : Cyclical Risks and Structural Imperatives" (PDF). openknowledge.worldbank.org. World Bank. p. 21. Retrieved 3 January 2020. The Gini coefficient, a measure of overall income inequality, declined to 0.462 in 2015, and has since risen to 0.467 in 2018 (Figure 27). Higher income inequality is partly driven by unequal regional income distribution. The eastern coastal regions have been the driver of China's rapid growth, due to its geographic location and the early introduction of reforms. As a result, the eastern coastal region is now home to 38 percent of the population, and its per capita GDP was 77 percent higher than that of the central, western, and northeastern regions in 2018. This gap widened further in the first three quarters of 2019. This is in part due to a disproportionate slowdown in interior provinces, which are more dependent on commodities and heavy industry. The slowdown has been negatively affected by structural shifts, especially necessary cuts in overcapacity (Figure 28).
  12. "Human Development Report 2020" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 15 December 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  13. "China". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "United States". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  15. "China". CIA. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  16. "United States". CIA. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  17. "31 Years of CIA World Factbook". CIA. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  18. China, Washington Post
  19. Maddison, Angus (2007). Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History. Oxford University Press. p. 379. ISBN 978-0-191-64758-1.
  20. "Overview". World Bank. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  21. Cordesman, Anthony (1 October 2019). "China and the United States: Cooperation, Competition, and/or Conflict". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 22 March 2021. Seen from this perspective, such trends clearly that show that China already is a true economic superpower with growing resources and a steadily improving technology base. Its military structure is evolving to the point where China can compare or compete with the U.S. — at least in Asia.
  22. Silver, Laura; Devlin, Kat; Huang, Christine (5 December 2019). "China's Economic Growth Mostly Welcomed in Emerging Markets, but Neighbors Wary of Its Influence". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 22 March 2021. China has emerged as a global economic superpower in recent decades. It is not only the world’s second largest economy and the largest exporter by value, but it has also been investing in overseas infrastructure and development at a rapid clip
  23. Lendon, Brad (5 March 2021). "China has built the world's largest navy. Now what's Beijing going to do with it?". CNN. Retrieved 22 March 2021. In 2018, China held 40% of the world's shipbuilding market by gross tons, according to United Nations figures cited by the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, well ahead of second place South Korea at 25%. Put in a historical perspective, China's shipbuilding numbers are staggering -- dwarfing even the US efforts of World War II. China built more ships in one year of peace time (2019) than the US did in four of war (1941-1945).
  24. Lemahieu, Herve (29 May 2019). "Five big takeaways from the 2019 Asia Power Index". Lowy Institute. Retrieved 22 March 2021. China, the emerging superpower, netted the highest gains in overall power in 2019, ranking first in half of the eight Index measures. For the first time, China narrowly edged out the United States in the Index’s assessment of economic resources. In absolute terms China’s economy grew by more than the total size of Australia’s economy in 2018. The world’s largest trading nation has also paradoxically seen its GDP become less dependent on exports. This makes China less vulnerable to an escalating trade war than most other Asian economies.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 "China". Oxford English Dictionary.ISBN 0-19-957315-8
  26. Eden, Richard (1555), Decades of the New World, p. 230.
  27. Myers, Henry Allen (1984). Western Views of China and the Far East, Volume 1. Asian Research Service. p. 34.
  28. Dames, Mansel Longworth, ed. (1918), The Book of Duarte Barbosa, Vol. II, London, p. 211, ISBN 978-81-206-0451-3
  29. Barbosa, Duarte (1946), Livro em que dá Relação do que Viu e Ouviu no Oriente, Lisbon, archived from the original on 22 October 2008. (in Portuguese)
  30. "China". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000). Boston and New York: Houghton-Mifflin.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Wade, Geoff. "The Polity of Yelang and the Origin of the Name 'China'". Sino-Platonic Papers, No. 188, May 2009, p. 20.
  32. Martino, Martin, Novus Atlas Sinensis, Vienna 1655, Preface, p. 2.
  33. Bodde, Derk (1978). Denis Twitchett; Michael Loewe (eds.). The Cambridge History of China: Volume 1, The Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 BC – AD 220. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-521-24327-8.
  34. Yule, Henry (1866). Cathay and the Way Thither. pp. 3–7. ISBN 978-81-206-1966-1.
  35. Baxter-Sagart.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Wilkinson, Endymion (2000), Chinese History: A Manual, Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph No. 52, Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, p. 132, ISBN 978-0-674-00249-4
  37. 《尚書》, 梓材. (in Chinese)
  38. Tang, Xiaoyang; Guo, Sujian; Guo, Baogang (2010). Greater China in an Era of Globalization. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-0-7391-3534-1.
  39. "Two "Chinese" flags in Chinatown 美國唐人街兩面「中國」國旗之爭". BBC.
  40. "Chou Hsi-wei on Conflict Zone". Deutsche Welle. So-called 'China', we call it 'Mainland', we are 'Taiwan'. Together we are 'China'.
  41. "China-Taiwan Relations". Council on Foreign Relations.
  42. "What's behind the China-Taiwan divide?". BBC.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Government[edit]

General information[edit]

Coordinates: 35°N 103°E / 35°N 103°E / 35; 103