Chinaofficially the Peoples Republic ofChina (PRC), is a sovereign statelocated in East Asia.
GeographyChina stretches some 5,026 km across the East Asian landmass. China is bordered byseas and waters eastward, with the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, TaiwanStrait, and South China Sea, and bordered by landmasses on its 3 other sides, fromNorth Korea to Vietnam. China has been officially and conveniently divided into 5homogeneous physical macro-regions: Eastern China, Xinjiang-Mongolia, and theTibetan-highlands. Its physical features are multiples. The eastern and southernhalf of the country, its seacoast fringed with offshore islands, is a region of fertilelowlands and foothills with most of the agricultural output and human population.The western and northern half of China is a region of sunken basins(Gobi, Taklamakan), rolling plateaus, and towering massifs, including a portion ofthe highest tableland on earth (Tibetan Plateau) with lower agriculturalpossibilities and thus, far less populated.
PeopleChina officially recognizes 56distinct ethnic groups, the largestof which are the Han Chinese, whoconstitute about 91.51% of thetotal population.The Han Chinese– the worlds largest single ethnicgroup – outnumber other ethnicgroups in everyprovince, municipality andautonomous region except Tibetand Xinjiang, and are descendedfrom ancient Huaxia tribes livingalong the Yellow River.
LanguageThe languages of China are collectively known as Zhongyu(simplified Chinese: 中语; traditional Chinese: 中語;pinyin: Zhōngyǔ), and their study is considered a distinctacademic discipline in China. The languages most studiedand supported by the state includeChinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhuang. Chinahas 292 living languages and 1 extinct language (Jurchen)according to Ethnologue.Standard Chinese (known in China as Putonghua) is theofficial national spoken language for the mainland.Several other autonomous regions have additionalofficial languages
ReligionBuddhismBuddhism was introduced to China around the first centuryA.D. Since the fourth century A.D, it was widely spread andgradually became the most influential religion in China.Buddhism in China is divided into three branches accordingto varied language families, namely, ChineseBuddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Pali Buddhism and thereare about 200 thousand Buddhist monks and nuns underthese three branches. At present, there are more than 13thousand Buddhist temples that are open to the public, 33Buddhist colleges and nearly 50 types of Buddhistpublications in China.
TaoismTaoism is a typically traditional religion inChina with a history of more than 18 hundredyears since the second century A.D. Itadvocates the worship of natural objects andancestors as was practiced since timeimmemorial and had various factions in thehistory; later, it evolved into two majorfactions, namely, Quanzhen and ZhengyiTaoism, and was fairly influential among Hanpeople.
IslamIslam was introduced to China in the seventhcentury A.D with nearly 18 million believers fromHui, Uygur, Tartar, Kirgiz, Kazakh, Ozbek,Dongxiang, Sala and Baoan nationalities. Most ofthe Muslims in China live in compactcommunities in Xinjiang Uygur AutonomousRegion, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Gansu,Qinghai and Yunnan Provinces; besides, someMuslims in small groups live in other provinces orcities in China. At present, there are more than 30thousand mosques in China with over 40thousand imams or ahungs.
CatholicismCatholicism was first introduced to China in the seventh centuryand widely spread across the country after the Opium War in 1840.At present, Chinese Catholic Church boasts one hundred parishes,some five million believers, nearly five thousand cathedrals andplaces for religious activities and twelve theological seminaries.ChristianityChristianity was introduced to China in early 19th century andwidely spread after 1840s. In 1950, the church called on itsbelievers to shake off the vestige of foreign imperialist influenceand uphold patriotism in order to achieve self-administration, self-supporting and self-propagation, which are the cardinal principle ofChinese Christianity. At present, there are about ten millionChristian believers, 18 thousand priests and 12 churches or religioussites in China.
All power within the government of the Peoples Republic ofChina is divided among several bodies:• the political branch, the Communist Party of China• the executive branch, the State Council• the legislative branch, the National Peoples Congress.• the judicial branch, the Supreme Peoples Court• the military branch, Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) via theCentral Military CommissionPresident of China: Xi JinpingVice President: Li Yuanchao
Education in the Peoples Republic of China is a state-runsystem of public education run by the Ministry ofEducation. All citizens must attend school for at least nineyears. The government provides primary education for sixto nine years, starting at age six or seven, followed by sixyears of secondary education for ages 12 to 18. Someprovinces may have five years of primary school but fouryears for middle school. There are three years of middleschool and three years of high school. The Ministry ofEducation reported a 99 percent attendance rate forprimary school and an 80 percent rate for both primary andmiddle schools. In 1985, the government abolished tax-funded higher education, requiring university applicants tocompete for scholarships based on academic ability. In theearly 1980s the government allowed the establishment ofthe first private schools.
The Socialist market economy of PeoplesRepublic of China (PRC) is the worlds secondlargest economy by nominal GDP andby purchasing power parity after the UnitedStates. It is the worlds fastest-growing majoreconomy, with growth rates averaging10% over the past 30 years. China is also thelargest exporter and secondlargest importer of goods in the world.Currency: Renminbi ; Unit: YuanFiscal Year: (1 January to 31 December)