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China (Chinese: ; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; Chinese: ; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó), is a country in East Asia. It is the globes most populous country, with a population of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical time space and borders 14 different countries, the second most of any country in the globeafter Russia. Covering an locationof approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the globes third or fourth biggestcountry. The country consists of 23 provinces, four municipalities, five autonomous regions, and two Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing, the biggesttownand financial center is Shanghai, followed by Guangzhou; and the technological and innovative hub is Shenzhen.

China emerged as one of the globes first civilisations in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. China was one of the globes foremost economic powers for most of the two millennia from the 1st until the 19th century. For millennia, China's political system was based on absolute hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary 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 AmazingInventions. Tang culture spread widely in Asia, as the new Silk Road 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 GlobeWar II. The Civil War resulted in a division of placein 1949 when the Communist Party (CCP) established the People's Republic of China on the mainland while the Kuomintang-led ROC government retreated to the island of Taiwan. Both claim to be the sole legitimate government of China, although the United Nations has recognized the PRC as the sole representation since 1971. China conducted a series of economic reforms since 1978, and entered into the GlobeTrade Organization in 2001.

China is currently governed as a unitary one-party socialist republic by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). China is a permanent member of the United Nations SafetyCouncil and a founding member of several multilateral and regional cooperation company such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk StreetFund, the FreshDevelopment Bank, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the RCEP, and is a member of the BRICS, the G8+5, the G20, the APEC, 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 dmca, including political repression, mass censorship, mass surveillance of their citizens and violent suppression of protests.

China is the globes biggesteconomy by GDP at purchasing power parity and the second-biggesteconomy by nominal GDP and the globes second wealthiest country. The nation is the globes fastest-growing major economy, the globes largest manufacturer and exporter and has the globes biggeststanding army by military personnel, with the second-biggestdefense budget and is an officially recognized nuclear-weapon state.


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 present as separate regions on this 1570 map by Abraham Ortelius

The word "China" has been utilize in English since the 16th century; however, it was not a word utilize 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, utilize in ancient India. "China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn (), which was in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna (). Cīna was first utilize in early Hindu scripture, including the Mahābhārata (5th century BCE) and the Laws of Manu (2nd century BCE). In 1655, Martino Martini recommendedthat the word China is derived ultimately from the name of the Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE). Although usage in Indian sources precedes this dynasty, this derivation is still given in various sources. The origin of the Sanskrit word is a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Alternative recommendation containthe names for Yelang and the Jing or Chu state. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China" (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ). The shorter form is "China" (; ) from zhōng ("central") and guó ("state"), a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was then applied to the locationaround Luoyi (present-day Luoyang) during the Eastern Zhou and then to China's Central Plain before being utilize as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing. It was often utilize as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is also translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English. China (PRC) is sometimes referred to as the Mainland when distinguishing the ROC from the PRC.



10,000 years old pottery, Xianren Cave culture (18000–7000 BCE)

Archaeological evidence recommend that early hominids inhabited China 2.25 million years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who utilize fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; they have been dated to between 680,000 and 780,000 years ago. The fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens (dated to 125,000–80,000 years ago) have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Dao County, Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, at Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800 to 5400 BCE, and Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE. Some scholars have recommendedthat the Jiahu symbols (7th millennium BCE) constituted the earliest Chinese writing system.

Early dynastic rule

Yinxu, the ruins of the capital of the late Shang dynasty (14th century BCE)

According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE. The Xia dynasty marked the beginning of China's political system based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, which lasted for a millennium. The dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age page at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these page are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period. The succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE. Their oracle bone script (from c. 1500 BCE) represents the oldest form of Chinese writing yet found and is a direct ancestor of modern Chinese hero.

The Shang was conquered by the Zhou, who ruled between the 11th and 5th centuries BCE, though centralized authority was slowly eroded by feudal warlords. Some principalities eventually emerged from the weakened Zhou, no longer fully obeyed the Zhou king, and continually waged war with each other in the 300-year Spring and Autumn period. By the time of the Warring States period of the 5th–3rd centuries BCE, there were only seven strongstates left.

Imperial China

China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, is famed for having united the Warring States' walls to form the AmazingWall of China. Most of the showstructure, however, dates to the Ming dynasty.

The Warring States period ended in 221 BCE after the state of Qin conquered the other six kingdoms, reunited China and established the dominant order of autocracy. LordZheng of Qin proclaimed himself the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty. He enacted Qin's legalist reforms throughout China, notably the forced standardization of Chinese hero, measurements, streetwidths (i.e., vehicle axles' length), and currency. His dynasty also conquered the Yue tribes in Guangxi, Guangdong, and Vietnam. The Qin dynasty lasted only fifteen years, falling soon after the First Emperor's death, as his harsh authoritarian policyled to widespread rebellion.

Following a widespread civil war during which the imperial library at Xianyang was burned, the Han dynasty emerged to rule China between 206 BCE and CE 220, creating a cultural identity among its populace still remembered in the ethnonym of the Han Chinese. The Han expanded the empire's placeconsiderably, with military campaigns reaching Central Asia, Mongolia, South Korea, and Yunnan, and the recovery of Guangdong and northern Vietnam from Nanyue. Han involvement in Central Asia and Sogdia helped establish the land route of the Silk Road, replacing the earlier path over the Himalayas to India. Han China gradually became the biggesteconomy of the ancient world. Despite the Han's initial decentralization and the official abandonment of the Qin philosophy of Legalism in favor of Confucianism, Qin's legalist institutions and policycontinued to be employed by the Han government and its successors.

Map showing the expansion of Han dynasty in the 2nd century BC

After the end of the Han dynasty, a period of strife known as Three Kingdoms followed, whose central figures were later immortalized in one of the Four Classics of Chinese literature. At its end, Wei was swiftly overthrown by the Jin dynasty. The Jin fell to civil war upon the ascension of a developmentally disabled emperor; the Five Barbarians then invaded and ruled northern China as the Sixteen States. The Xianbei unified them as the Northern Wei, whose Emperor Xiaowen reversed his predecessors' apartheid policyand enforced a drastic sinification on his topic, largely integrating them into Chinese culture. In the south, the general Liu Yu secured the abdication of the Jin in favor of the Liu Song. The various successors of these states became known as the Northern and Southern dynasties, with the two location finally reunited by the Sui in 581. The Sui restored the Han to power through China, reformed its agriculture, economy and imperial examination system, constructed the Grand Canal, and patronized Buddhism. However, they fell quickly when their conscription for public works and a failed war in northern Korea provoked widespread unrest.

Under the succeeding Tang and Song dynasties, Chinese economy, technology, and culture entered a golden age. The Tang Empire retained control of the Western Regions and the Silk Road, which brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and the Horn of Africa, and angry the capital Chang'an a cosmopolitan urban center. However, it was devastated and weakened by the An Lushan Rebellion in the 8th century. In 907, the Tang disintegrated completely when the local military governors became ungovernable. The Song dynasty ended the separatist situation in 960, leading to a balance of power between the Song and Khitan Liao. The Song was the first government in globehistory to problempaper cashand the first Chinese polity to establish a permanent standing navy which was supported by the developed shipbuilding industry along with the sea trade.

A detail from Along the River During the Qingming Festival, a 12th-century painting showing dailylife in the Song dynasty's capital, Bianjing (present-day Kaifeng)

Between the 10th and 11th centuries, the population of China doubled in size to around 100 million people, mostly because of the expansion of rice cultivation in central and southern China, and the production of abundant mealsurpluses. The Song dynasty also saw a revival of Confucianism, in response to the growth of Buddhism during the Tang, and a flourishing of philosophy and the arts, as landscape art and porcelain were brought to freshlevels of maturity and complexity. However, the military weakness of the Song army was observed by the Jurchen Jin dynasty. In 1127, Emperor Huizong of Song and the capital Bianjing were captured during the Jin–Song Wars. The remnants of the Song retreated to southern China.

The Mongol conquest of China began in 1205 with the gradual conquest of Western Xia by Genghis Khan, who also invaded Jin territories. In 1271, the Mongol leader Kublai Khan established the Yuan dynasty, which conquered the last remnant of the Song dynasty in 1279. Before the Mongol invasion, the population of Song China was 120 million citizens; this was reduced to 60 million by the time of the census in 1300. A peasant named Zhu Yuanzhang led a rebellion that overthrew the Yuan in 1368 and founded the Ming dynasty as the Hongwu Emperor. Under the Ming dynasty, China enjoyed another golden age, developing one of the strongest navies in the globeand a rich and prosperous economy amid a flourishing of art and culture. It was during this period that admiral Zheng He led the Ming treasure voyages throughout the Indian Ocean, reaching as far as East Africa.

The Qing conquest of the Ming and expansion of the empire

In the early years of the Ming dynasty, China's capital was moved from Nanjing to Beijing. With the budding of capitalism, philosophers such as Wang Yangming further critiqued and expanded Neo-Confucianism with concepts of individualism and equality of four occupations. The scholar-official stratum became a supporting force of industry and commerce in the tax boycott movements, which, together with the famines and defense against Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598) and Manchu invasions led to an exhausted treasury. In 1644, Beijing was captured by a coalition of peasant rebel forces led by Li Zicheng. The Chongzhen Emperor committed suicide when the townfell. The Manchu Qing dynasty, then allied with Ming dynasty general Wu Sangui, overthrew Li's short-lived Shun dynasty and subsequently seized control of Beijing, which became the freshcapital of the Qing dynasty.[citation needed]

The Qing dynasty, which lasted from 1644 until 1912, was the last imperial dynasty of China. Its conquest of the Ming (1618–1683) cost 25 million lives and the economy of China shrank drastically. After the Southern Ming ended, the further conquest of the Dzungar Khanate added Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang to the empire. The centralized autocracy was strengthened to suppress anti-Qing sentiment with the policiesof valuing agriculture and restraining commerce, the Haijin ("sea ban"), and ideological control as represented by the literary inquisition, causing social and technological stagnation. In the mid-19th century, the dynasty experienced Western imperialism in the Opium Wars with Britain and France. China was forced to pay compensation, open treaty ports, allow extraterritoriality for foreign nationals, and cede Hong Kong to the British under the 1842 Treaty of Nanking, the first of the Unequal Treaties. The First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) resulted in Qing China's loss of influence in the Korean Peninsula, as well as the cession of Taiwan to Japan.

Fall of the Qing dynasty

The Eight-Nation Alliance invaded China to defeat the anti-foreign Boxers and their Qing backers. The photopresent a celebration ceremony inside the Chinese imperial palace, the ProhibitedCity after the signing of the Boxer Protocol in 1901.

In the mid-19th century, the Qing dynasty experienced Western imperialism in the Opium Wars with Britain and France. China was forced to pay compensation, open treaty ports, allow extraterritoriality for foreign nationals, and cede Hong Kong to the British under the 1842 Treaty of Nanking, the first of the Unequal Treaties. The First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) resulted in Qing China's loss of influence in the Korean Peninsula, as well as the cession of Taiwan to Japan.

The Qing dynasty also began experiencing internal unrest in which tens of millions of people died, especially in the White Lotus Rebellion, the failed Taiping Rebellion that ravaged southern China in the 1850s and 1860s and the Dungan Revolt (1862–1877) in the northwest. The initial success of the Self-Strengthening Movement of the 1860s was frustrated by a series of military defeats in the 1880s and 1890s.[citation needed]

In the 19th century, the great Chinese diaspora began. Losses due to emigration were added to by conflicts and catastrophes such as the Northern Chinese Famine of 1876–1879, in which between 9 and 13 million people died. The Guangxu Emperor drafted a reform plan in 1898 to establish a modern constitutional monarchy, but these plans were thwarted by the Empress Dowager Cixi. The ill-fated anti-foreign Boxer Rebellion of 1899–1901 further weakened the dynasty. Although Cixi sponsored a softwareof reforms, the Xinhai Revolution of 1911–1912 brought an end to the Qing dynasty and established the Republic of China. Puyi, the last Emperor of China, abdicated in 1912.

Establishment of the Republic and GlobeWar II

Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of Republic of China, the first republic in Asia.

On 1 January 1912, the Republic of China was established, and Sun Yat-sen of the Kuomintang (the KMT or Nationalist Party) was proclaimed provisional president. On 12 February 1912, regent Empress Dowager Longyu sealed the imperial abdication decree on behalf of 4 year old Puyi, the last emperor of China, ending 5,000 years of monarchy in China. In March 1912, the presidency was given to Yuan Shikai, a former Qing general who in 1915 proclaimed himself Emperor of China. In the face of famouscondemnation and opposition from his own Beiyang Army, he was forced to abdicate and re-establish the republic in 1916.

After Yuan Shikai's death in 1916, China was politically fragmented. Its Beijing-based government was internationally recognized but virtually powerless; regional warlords controlled most of its territory. In the late 1920s, the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek, the then Principal of the Republic of China Military Academy, was able to reunify the country under its own control with a series of deft military and political manoeuvrings, known collectively as the Northern Expedition. The Kuomintang moved the nation's capital to Nanjing and implemented "political tutelage", an intermediate stage of political development outlined in Sun Yat-sen's San-min softwarefor transforming China into a modern democratic state. The political division in China angry it difficult for Chiang to fightthe communist-led People's Liberation Army (PLA), versuswhom the Kuomintang had been warring since 1927 in the Chinese Civil War. This war continued successfully for the Kuomintang, especially after the PLA retreated in the Long March, until Japanese aggression and the 1936 Xi'an Incident forced Chiang to confront Imperial Japan.

Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong toasting together in 1945 following the end of GlobeWar II

The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), a theater of GlobeWar II, forced an uneasy alliance between the Kuomintang and the Communists. Japanese forces committed numerous war atrocities versusthe civilian population; in all, as many as 20 million Chinese civilians died. An estimated 40,000 to 300,000 Chinese were massacred in the townof Nanjing alone during the Japanese occupation. During the war, China, along with the UK, the United States, and the Soviet Union, were referred to as "trusteeship of the powerful" and were recognized as the Allied "GiganticFour" in the Declaration by United Nations. Along with the other three amazingpowers, China was one of the four major Allies of GlobeWar II, and was later considered one of the basicvictors in the war. After the surrender of Japan in 1945, Taiwan, including the Pescadores, was returned to Chinese control. China emerged victorious but war-ravaged and financially drained. The continued distrust between the Kuomintang and the Communists led to the resumption of civil war. Constitutional rule was established in 1947, but because of the ongoing unrest, many provisions of the ROC constitution were never implemented in mainland China.

Civil War and the People's Republic

Mao Zedong proclaiming the establishment of the PRC in 1949.

Major combat in the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949 with the CCP gain control of most of mainland China, and the Kuomintang retreating offshore to Taiwan, reducing its placeto only Taiwan, Hainan, and their surrounding islands. On 1 October 1949, CCP Chairman Mao Zedong formally proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of China at the freshnation's founding ceremony and inaugural military parade in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. In 1950, the People's Liberation Army captured Hainan from the ROC and incorporated Tibet. However, remaining Kuomintang forces continued to wage an insurgency in western China throughout the 1950s.

The government consolidated its popularity among the peasants through land reform, which contain the execution of between 1 and 2 million landlords. China developed an independent industrial system and its own nuclear weapons. The Chinese population increased from 550 million in 1950 to 900 million in 1974. However, the AmazingLeap Forward, an idealistic heavyreform project, resulted in an estimated 15 to 35 million deaths between 1958 and 1961, mostly from starvation. In 1966, Mao and his allies launched the Cultural Revolution, sparking a decade of political recrimination and social upheaval that lasted until Mao's death in 1976. In October 1971, the PRC replaced the Republic of China in the United Nations, and took its seat as a permanent member of the SafetyCouncil.

Reforms and contemporary history

After Mao's death, the Gang of Four was quickly arrested by Hua Guofeng and held responsible for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution. Elder Deng Xiaoping took power in 1978, and instituted significant economic reforms. The Party loosened governmental control over citizens' privatelives, and the communes were gradually disbanded in favor of working contracted to households. This marked China's transition from a designedeconomy to a mixed economy with an increasingly open-market environment. China adopted its current constitution on 4 December 1982. In 1989, the suppression of student protests in Tiananmen Square brought condemnations and sanctions versusthe Chinese government from various foreign countries.

Seal of the People's Government of the People's Republic of China, the national seal of the state utilize between 1949 and 1959

Jiang Zemin, Li Peng and Zhu Rongji led the nation in the 1990s. Under their administration, China's economic performance pulled an estimated[by whom?] 150 million peasants out of poverty and sustained an average annual gross domestic product growth rate of 11.2%.[better source needed] The country joined the GlobeTrade Organization in 2001, and maintained its high rate of economic growth under Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao's leadership in the 2000s. However, the growth also severely impacted the country's resources and environment, and caused major social displacement.

Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping has ruled since 2012 and has pursued large-scale efforts to reform China's economy (which has suffered from structural instabilities and slowing growth), and has also reformed the one-kidpolicy and penal system, as well as instituting a vast anti corruption crackdown. In 2013, China initiated the Belt and StreetInitiative, a global infrastructure investment project.

On 1 July 2021, the People's Republic of China celebrated the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the CCP (first of the Two Centenaries) with a largegathering in Tiananmen Square and cultural artistic performance in Beijing National Stadium in Beijing.


Satellite photoof China from NASA WorldWind

China's landscape is vast and diverse, ranging from the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts in the arid north to the subtropical forests in the wetter south. The Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separate China from much of South and Central Asia. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third- and sixth-longest in the world, respectively, run from the Tibetan Plateau to the densely populated eastern seaboard. China's coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 km (9,000 mi) long and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East China and South China seas. China connects through the Kazakh border to the Eurasian Steppe which has been an artery of communication between East and West since the Neolithic through the Steppe route – the ancestor of the terrestrial Silk Road(s).[citation needed]

The placeof China lies between latitudes 18° and 54° N, and longitudes 73° and 135° E. The geographical center of China is marked by the Center of the Country Monument at 35°50′40.9″N 103°27′7.5″E / 35.844694°N 103.452083°E / 35.844694; 103.452083 (Geographical center of China). China's landscapes vary significantly across its vast territory. In the east, along the shores of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, there are extensive and densely populated alluvial plains, while on the edges of the Inner Mongolian plateau in the north, broad grasslands predominate. Southern China is dominated by hills and low mountain ranges, while the central-east hosts the deltas of China's two major rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River. Other major rivers containthe Xi, Mekong, Brahmaputra and Amur. To the west sit major mountain ranges, most notably the Himalayas. High plateaus feature among the more arid landscapes of the north, such as the Taklamakan and the Gobi Desert. The globes highest point, Mount Everest (8,848 m), lies on the Sino-Nepalese border. The country's lowest point, and the globes third-lowest, is the dried lake bed of Ayding Lake (−154 m) in the Turpan Depression.


China's climate is mainly dominated by dry seasons and wet monsoons, which lead to pronounced temperature differences between winter and summer. In the winter, northern winds coming from high-latitude location are cold and dry; in summer, southern winds from coastal location at lower latitudes are warm and moist.

A major environmental problemin China is the continued expansion of its deserts, particularly the Gobi Desert. Although barrier tree lines planted since the 1970s have reduced the frequency of sandstorms, prolonged drought and badagricultural practices have resulted in dust storms plaguing northern China each spring, which then spread to other parts of East Asia, including Japan and Korea. China's environmental watchdog, SEPA, stated in 2007 that China is losing 4,000 km2 (1,500 sq mi) per year to desertification. Water quality, erosion, and pollution control have become necessaryproblemsin China's relations with other countries. Melting glaciers in the Himalayas could potentially lead to water shortages for hundreds of millions of people. According to academics, in order to limit climate modifyin China to 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) electricity generation from coal in China without carbon capture must be phased out by 2045. Official government statsabout Chinese agricultural productivity are considered unreliable, due to exaggeration of production at subsidiary government levels. Much of China has a climate very suitable for agriculture and the country has been the globes biggestproducer of rice, wheat, tomatoes, eggplant, grapes, watermelon, spinach, and many other crops.


China is one of 17 megadiverse countries, lying in two of the globes major biogeographic realms: the Palearctic and the Indomalayan. By one measure, China has over 34,687 species of animals and vascular plants, making it the third-most biodiverse country in the world, after Brazil and Colombia. The country signed the Rio de Janeiro Convention on Biological Diversity on 11 June 1992, and became a party to the convention on 5 January 1993. It later produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, with one revision that was get by the convention on 21 September 2010.

China is home to at least 551 species of mammals (the third-highest such number in the world), 1,221 species of birds (eighth), 424 species of reptiles (seventh) and 333 species of amphibians (seventh). Wildlife in China shares habitat with, and bears acute pressure from, the globes biggestpopulation of humans. At least 840 animal species are threatened, vulnerable or in danger of local extinction in China, due mainly to human activity such as habitat destruction, pollution and poaching for food, fur and ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine. Endangered wildlife is protected by law, and as of 2005, the country has over 2,349 nature reserves, covering a total locationof 149.95 million hectares, 15 percent of China's total land area.[better source needed] Most wild animals have been eliminated from the core agricultural regions of east and central China, but they have fared better in the mountainous south and west. The Baiji was confirmed extinct on 12 December 2006.

China has over 32,000 species of vascular plants, and is home to a variety of forest kind. Cold coniferous forests predominate in the north of the country, supporting animal species such as moose and Asian black bear, along with over 120 bird species. The understory of moist conifer forests may includethickets of bamboo. In higher montane stands of juniper and yew, the bamboo is replaced by rhododendrons. Subtropical forests, which are predominate in central and southern China, assistancea high density of plant species including numerous rare endemics. Tropical and seasonal rainforests, though confined to Yunnan and Hainan Island, includea quarter of all the animal and plant species found in China. China has over 10,000 recorded species of fungi, and of them, nearly 6,000 are higher fungi.


The Three Gorges Dam is the biggesthydroelectric dam in the world.

In the early 2000s, China has suffered from environmental deterioration and pollution due to its rapid pace of industrialisation. While regulations such as the 1979 Environmental Protection Law are fairly stringent, they are poorly enforced, as they are frequently disregarded by local communities and government officials in favor of rapid economic development. China is the country with the second highest death toll because of air pollution, after India. There are approximately 1 million deaths caused by exposure to ambient air pollution. Although China ranks as the highest CO2 emitting country in the world, it only emits 8 tons of CO2 per capita, significantly lower than developed countries such as the United States (16.1), Australia (16.8) and South Korea (13.6).

In lastestyears, China has clamped down on pollution. In March 2014, CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping "declared war" on pollution during the opening of the National People's Congress. After extensive debate lasting nearly two years, the parliament approved a freshenvironmental law in April. The freshlaw empowers environmental enforcement agencies with amazingpunitive power and hugefines for offenders, defines location which require extra protection, and gives independent environmental groups more ability to operate in the country.[citation needed] In 2020, Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping announced that China aims to peak emissions before 2030 and go carbon-neutral by 2060 in accordance with the Paris climate accord. According to Climate Action Tracker, if accomplished it would lower the expected rise in global temperature by 0.2 - 0.3 degrees - "the largestsingle reduction ever estimated by the Climate Action Tracker". In September 2021 Xi Jinping announced that China will not build "coal-fired power projects abroad". The decision shouldbe "pivotal" in reducing emissions. The Belt and StreetInitiative did not containfinancing such projects already in the first half of 2021.

The country also had significant water pollution issue: 8.2% of China's rivers had been polluted by industrial and agricultural waste in 2019. China had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 7.14/10, ranking it 53rd globally out of 172 countries. In 2020, a sweeping law was passed by the Chinese government to protect the ecology of the Yangtze River. The freshlaws containstrengthening ecological protection termsfor hydropower projects along the river, banning chemical plants within 1 kilometer of the river, relocating polluting industries, severely restricting sand mining as well as a complete fishing ban on all the natural waterways of the river, including all its major tributaries and lakes.

China is also the globes leading investor in renewable energy and its commercialization, with $52 billion invested in 2011 alone; it is a major manufacturer of renewable energy technologies and invests heavily in local-scale renewable energy projects. By 2015, over 24% of China's energy was derived from renewable sources, while most notably from hydroelectric power: a total installed capacity of 197 GW makes China the biggesthydroelectric power producer in the world. China also has the biggestpower capacity of installed solar photovoltaics system and victory power system in the world. Greenhouse gas emissions by China are the globes largest, as is renewable energy in China.

Political geography

Map showing the territorial claims of the PRC.

The People's Republic of China is the third-largest country in the globeby land locationafter Russia and Canada. China's total locationis generally stated as being approximately 9,600,000 km2 (3,700,000 sq mi).[better source needed] Specific locationfigures range from 9,572,900 km2 (3,696,100 sq mi) according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, to 9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi) according to the UN Demographic Yearbook, and the CIA GlobeFactbook.

China has the longest combined land border in the world, measuring 22,117 km (13,743 mi) from the mouth of the Yalu River (Amnok River) to the Gulf of Tonkin. China borders 14 nations and extends across much of East Asia, bordering Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma) in Southeast Asia; India, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in South Asia; Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia; and Russia, Mongolia, and North Korea in Inner Asia and Northeast Asia. Additionally, China shares maritime boundaries with South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines.[citation needed]


The Chinese constitution states that The People's Republic of China "is a socialist state governed by a people’s democratic dictatorship that is led by the working class and based on an alliance of workers and peasants," and that the state institutions "shall practice the principle of democratic centralism." The PRC is one of the globes only socialist states governed by a communist party. The Chinese government has been variously described as communist and socialist, but also as authoritarian and corporatist, with massiverestrictions in many location, most notably against free admissionto the Internet, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, the right to have children, free formation of social company and freedom of religion. Its current political, ideological and economic system has been termed by its leaders as a "consultative democracy" "people's democratic dictatorship", "socialism with Chinese characteristics" (which is Marxism adapted to Chinese circumstances) and the "socialist market economy" respectively.

Communist Party

Chinese Communist Party is the founding and ruling political party of China.

Since 2018, the main body of the Chinese constitution declares that "the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)." The 2018 amendments constitutionalized the de facto one-party state status of China, wherein the CCP General Secretary (party leader) keep ultimate power and authority over state and government and serves as the informal Paramount leader. The current General Secretary is Xi Jinping, who took office on November 15, 2012, and was re-elected on 25 October 2017. The electoral system is pyramidal. Local People's Congresses are directly elected, and higher levels of People's Congresses up to the National People's Congress (NPC) are indirectly elected by the People's Congress of the level immediately below.

Another eight political parties, have representatives in the NPC and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). China assistance the Leninist principle of "democratic centralism", but critics describe the elected National People's Congress as a "rubber stamp" body.

Since both the CCP and the People's Liberation Army (PLA) promote according to seniority, it is possible to discern distinct generations of Chinese leadership. In official discourse, each group of leadership is identified with a distinct extension of the ideology of the party. Historians have studied various periods in the development of the government of the People's Republic of China by reference to these "generations".

Generations of Chinese Leadership
Generation Paramount leader Start End Theory
First Mao Zedong 1949 1976 Mao Zedong Thought
Hua Guofeng 1976 1978 Two Whatevers
Second Deng Xiaoping 1978 1989 Deng Xiaoping Theory
Third Jiang Zemin 1989 2002 Three Represents
Fourth Hu Jintao 2002 2012 Scientific Outlook on Development
Fifth Xi Jinping 2012 Xi Jinping Thought


China is a one-party state led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The National People's Congress in 2018 altered the country's constitution to remove the two-term limit on holding the Presidency of China, permitting the current leader, Xi Jinping, to remain president of China (and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party) for an infinitetime, earning criticism for creating dictatorial governance. The President is the titular head of state, elected by the National People's Congress. The Premier is the head of government, presiding over the State Council composed of four vice premiers and the heads of ministries and commissions. The incumbent president is Xi Jinping, who is also the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, making him China's paramount leader. The incumbent premier is Li Keqiang, who is also a senior member of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto top decision-making body.

In 2017, Xi called on the communist party to further tighten its grip on the country, to uphold the unity of the party leadership, and achieve the "Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation". Political concerns in China containthe growing gap between rich and badand government corruption. Nonetheless, the level of public assistancefor the government and its management of the nation is high, with 80–95% of Chinese citizens expressing satisfaction with the central government, according to a 2011 survey. A 2020 survey from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research also found that 75% of Chinese were happywith the government on infodissemination amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, while 67% were happywith its delivery of everydaynecessities.

Administrative divisions

The People's Republic of China is officially divided into 23 provinces, five autonomous regions (each with a designated minority group), and four municipalities—collectively referred to as "mainland China"—as well as the special administrative regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macau. Geographically, all 31 provincial divisions of mainland China shouldbe grouped into six regions: North China, Northeast China, East China, South Central China, Southwest China, and Northwest China.

China considers Taiwan to be its 23rd province, although Taiwan is governed by the Republic of China (ROC), which rejects the PRC's claim. Conversely, the ROC constitution claims sovereignty over all divisions governed by the PRC.

Provinces () Claimed Province
Autonomous regions (自治区) Municipalities (直辖市) Special administrative regions (特别行政区)
  • Hong Kong / Xianggang (香港特别行政区)
  • Macau / Aomen (澳门特别行政区)

Foreign relations

Diplomatic relations of China

The PRC has diplomatic relations with 175 countries and maintains embassies in 162. In 2019, China had the biggestdiplomatic network in the world. Its legitimacy is disputed by the Republic of China and a few other countries; it is thus the biggestand most populous state with limited recognition, with a population of more than 1.4 billion. In 1971, the PRC replaced the Republic of China as the sole representative of China in the United Nations and as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations SafetyCouncil. China was also a former member and leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, and still considers itself an advocate for developing countries. Along with Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, China is a member of the BRICS group of emerging major economies and hosted the group's third official summit at Sanya, Hainan in April 2011.

Under its interpretation of the One-China policy, Beijing has angry it a precondition to establishing diplomatic relations that the other country acknowledges its claim to Taiwan and severs official ties with the government of the Republic of China.[citation needed] Chinese officials have protested on numerous occasions when foreign countries have angry diplomatic overtures to Taiwan, especially in the matter of armament sales.

Much of current Chinese foreign policiesis reportedly based on Premier Zhou Enlai's Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and is also driven by the concept of "harmony without uniformity", which encourages diplomatic relations between states despite ideological differences. This policiesmay have led China to assistancestates that are regarded as dangerous or repressive by Western nations, such as Zimbabwe, North Korea and Iran. China has a close economic and military relationship with Russia, and the two states often vote in unison in the UN SafetyCouncil.

Trade relations

On 21 May 2014, China and Russia signed a $400 billion gas deal. Currently, Russia is supplying natural gas to China.

China became the globes biggesttrading nation in 2013, as measured by the sum of imports and exports, as well as the globes largestcommodity importer. comprising roughly 45% of maritime's dry-bulk market. By 2016, China was the biggesttrading partner of 124 other countries. China is the biggesttrading partner for the ASEAN nations, with a total trade value of $345.8 billion in 2015 accounting for 15.2% of ASEAN's total trade. ASEAN is also China's biggesttrading partner. In 2020, China became the biggesttrading partner of the European Union for awesome, with the total value of awesome trade reaching nearly $700 billion. China, along with ASEAN, Japan, South Korea, Australia and FreshZealand, is a member of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the globes biggestfree-trade locationcovering 30% of the globes population and economic output. China became a member of the GlobeTrade Organization (WTO) in 2001. In 2004, it proposed an entirely new East Asia Summit (EAS) framework as a forum for regional safetyproblem. The EAS, which contain ASEAN Plus Three, India, Australia and FreshZealand, held its inaugural summit in 2005.

China has had a long and complex trade relationship with the United States. In 2000, the United States Congress approved "permanent normal trade relations" (PNTR) with China, allowing Chinese exports in at the same low tariffs as awesome from most other countries. China has a significant trade surplus with the United States, its most necessaryexport market. In the early 2010s, US politicians argued that the Chinese yuan was significantly undervalued, giving China an unfair trade advantage.[needs update]

Since the turn of the century, China has followed a policiesof engaging with African nations for trade and bilateral co-operation; in 2019, Sino-African trade totalled $208 billion, having grown 20 times over two decades. According to Madison Condon "China finances more infrastructure projects in Africa than the GlobeBank and provides billions of dollars in low-interest loans to the continent’s emerging economies." China maintains extensive and highly diversified trade links with the European Union. China has furthermore strengthened its trade ties with major South American economies, and is the biggesttrading partner of Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and several others.

China's Belt and StreetInitiative has expanded significantly over the last six years and, as of April 2020, contain 138 countries and 30 international company. In addition to intensifying foreign policiesrelations, the focus here is particularly on building efficient transport routes. The focus is particularly on the maritime Silk Road with its connections to East Africa and Europe and there are Chinese investments or associateddeclarations of intent at numerous ports such as Gwadar, Kuantan, Hambantota, Piraeus and Trieste. However many of these loans angry under the Belt and Streetsoftwareare unsustainable and China has faced a number of calls for debt relief from debtor nations.

Territorial disputes

Map depicting territorial disputes between the PRC and neighbouring states. For a huge map, see here.

Ever since its establishment after the Chinese Civil War, the PRC has claimed the territories governed by the Republic of China (ROC), a separate political entity today commonly known as Taiwan, as a part of its territory. It regards the island of Taiwan as its Taiwan Province, Kinmen and Matsu as a part of Fujian Province and islands the ROC controls in the South China Sea as a part of Hainan Province and Guangdong Province. These claims are controversial because of the complicated Cross-Strait relations, with the PRC treating the One-China policy as one of its most necessarydiplomatic principles.[better source needed]

Land border disputes

China has resolved its land borders with 12 out of 14 neighboring countries, having pursued substantial compromises in most of them. As of 2020, China currently has a disputed land border with only India and Bhutan.[citation needed]

Maritime border disputes

China is additionally involved in maritime disputes with multiple countries over the ownership of several tinyislands in the East and South China Seas, such as the Senkaku Islands and the Scarborough Shoal.

Sociopolitical problemsand human rights

March in memory of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo who died of organ failure while in government custody in 2017

China utilize a heavyespionage network of cameras, facial recognition software, sensors, surveillance of privatetechnology, and a social credit system as a means of social control of persons living in China. The Chinese democracy movement, social activists, and some members of the Chinese Communist Party trustin the need for social and political reform. While economic and social controls have been significantly relaxed in China since the 1970s, political freedom is still tightly restricted. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China states that the "fundamental rights" of citizens include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to a fair trial, freedom of religion, universal suffrage, and property rights. However, in practice, these provisions do not afford significant protection versuscriminal prosecution by the state. Although some criticisms of government policyand the ruling Communist Party are tolerated, censorship of political speech and information, most notably on the Internet, are routinely utilize to prevent collective action. By 2020, China plans to give all its citizens a personal "Social Credit" score based on how they behave.[needs update] The Social Credit System, now being piloted in a number of Chinese cities,[needs update] is considered a form of mass surveillance which utilize giganticdata analysis technology.

A number of foreign governments, foreign press agencies, and NGOs have criticized China's human rights record, alleging widespread civil rights violations such as detention without trial, forced abortions, forced confessions, torture, restrictions of fundamental rights, and excessive utilizeof the death penalty. The government suppresses famousprotests and demonstrations that it considers a potential threat to "social stability", as was the case with the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

Western governments accused China of committing genocide versusUyghurs and detaining more than one million Uyghurs and other Xinjiang minorities in camps.

The Chinese state is regularly accused of large-scale repression and human rights dmca in Tibet and Xinjiang, including violent police crackdowns and religious suppression throughout the Chinese nation. At least one million members of China's Muslim Uyghur minority have been detained in mass detention camps, termed "Vocational Education and Training Centers", aimed at changing the political thinking of detainees, their identities, and their religious beliefs. According to the U.S. Department of State, actions including political indoctrination, torture, physical and psychological abuse, forced sterilization, sexual abuse, and forced labor are common in these facilities. The state has also sought to control offshore reporting of tensions in Xinjiang, intimidating foreign-based reporters by detaining their family members. According to a 2020 report, China's treatment of Uyghurs meets UN definition of genocide, and several groups called for a UN investigation. On 19 January 2021, the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that the United States Department of State had determined that "genocide and crimes versushumanity" had been perpetrated by China versusthe Uyghurs.

Global studies from Pew Research Center in 2014 and 2017 ranked the Chinese government's restrictions on religion as among the highest in the world, despite low to moderate rankings for religious-associatedsocial hostilities in the country. The Global Slavery Index estimated that in 2016 more than 3.8 million people were living in "conditions of modern slavery", or 0.25% of the population, including victims of human trafficking, forced labor, forced marriage, kidlabor, and state-imposed forced labor. The state-imposed forced system was formally abolished in 2013, but it is not clear to which extent its various practices have stopped. The Chinese penal system contain labor prison factories, detention centers, and re-education camps, which fall under the heading Laogai ("reform through labor"). The Laogai Research Foundation in the United States estimated that there were over a thousand slave labour prisons and camps, known collectively as the Laogai.

In 2019, a study called for the mass retraction of more than 400 scientific papers on organ transplantation, because of fears the organs were obtained unethically from Chinese prisoners. While the government says 10,000 transplants occur each year, a report by the Falun Gong-linked IETAC alleged that between 60,000 and 100,000 organs are transplanted each year and claimed that this gap was being angry up by executed prisoners of conscience.


With 2.3 million active troops, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the biggeststanding military force in the world, commanded by the Central Military Commission (CMC). China has the second-largestmilitary reserve force, only behind North Korea. The PLA consists of five major service branches: the Ground Force (PLAGF), the Navy (PLAN), the Air Force (PLAAF), the Rocket Force (PLARF) and the Strategic AssistanceForce (PLASSF). According to the Chinese government, military budget for 2017 totalled US$151.5 billion, constituting the globes second-biggestmilitary budget, although the military expenditures-GDP ratio with 1.3% of GDP is below globeaverage. However, many authorities – including SIPRI and the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense claim that China hides its real level of military spending, which is allegedly much higher than the official budget.

China boasts the globes third-most strongmilitary, with the globes third-biggeststockpile of nuclear weapons.


China and other major developing economies by GDP per capita at purchasing-power parity, 1990–2013. The rapid economic growth of China (blue) is readily apparent.
A proportional representation of Chinese exports, 2019

Since 2010, China has had the globes second-biggesteconomy in rulesof nominal GDP, totaling approximately US$15.66 trillion (101.6 trillion Yuan) as of 2020. In rulesof purchasing power parity (PPP GDP), China's economy has been the biggestin the globesince 2014, according to the GlobeBank. China is also the globes fastest-growing major economy. According to the GlobeBank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $14.28 trillion by 2019. China's economic growth has been consistently above 6 percent since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978. China is also the globes biggestexporter and second-biggestimporter of awesome. Between 2010 and 2019, China's contribution to global GDP growth has been 25% to 39%.

China had one of the biggesteconomies in the world for most of the past two thousand years, during which it has seen cycles of prosperity and decline. Since economic reforms began in 1978, China has developed into a highly diversified economy and one of the most consequential players in international trade. Major sectors of competitive strength containmanufacturing, retail, mining, steel, textiles, automobiles, energy generation, green energy, banking, electronics, telecommunications, real estate, e-commerce, and tourism. China has three out of the ten biggeststock exchanges in the globesup id="cite_ref-325" class="reference">—Shanghai, Hong Kong and Shenzhen—that together have a market capitalization of over $15.9 trillion, as of October 2020. China has four (Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shenzhen) out of the globes top ten most competitive financial centers, which is more than any country in the 2020 Global Financial Centres Index. By 2035, China's four cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen) are projected to be among the global top ten biggestcities by nominal GDP according to a report by Oxford Economics.

China has been the globes No. 1 manufacturer since 2010, after overtaking the US, which had been No. 1 for the previous hundred years. China has also been No. 2 in high-technicalmanufacturing since 2012, according to US National Science Foundation. China is the second biggestretail market in the world, next to the United States. China leads the globein e-commerce, accounting for 40% of the global market share in 2016 and more than 50% of the global market share in 2019. China is the globes leader in electric car, manufacturing and buying half of all the plug-in electric vehicle (BEV and PHEV) in the globein 2018. China is also the leading producer of batteries for electric car as well as several key raw content for batteries. China had 174 GW of installed solar capacity by the end of 2018, which amounts to more than 40% of the global solar capacity.

Foreign and some Chinese sources have claimed that official Chinese government statsoverstate China's economic growth. However, several Western academics and institutions have stated that China's economic growth is higher than indicated by official figures.

China has a large informal economy, which arose as a effectof the country's economic opening. The informal economy is a source of employment and income for workers, but it is unrecognized and suffers from lower productivity. In 2021, China announced it had eliminated poverty through a series of direct-action poverty alleviation policies.

Wealth in China

As of 2020, China was second in the world, after the US, in total number of billionaires and total number of millionaires, with 698 Chinese billionaires and 4.4 million millionaires. In 2019, China overtook the US as the home to the highest number of people who have a net privatewealth of at least $110,000, according to the global wealth report by Credit Suisse. According to the Hurun Global Rich List 2020, China is home to five of the globes top ten cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 10th spots, respectively) by the highest number of billionaires, which is more than any other country. China had 85 female billionaires as of January 2021, two-thirds of the global total, and minted 24 freshfemale billionaires in 2020.

However, it ranks behind over 60 countries (out of around 180) in per capita economic output, making it an upper-middle income country. Additionally, its development is highly uneven. Its major cities and coastal location are far more prosperous compared to rural and interior regions. China brought more people out of extreme poverty than any other country in history—between 1978 and 2018, China reduced extreme poverty by 800 million. China reduced the extreme poverty rate—per international standard, it refers to an income of less than $1.90/day—from 88% in 1981 to 1.85% by 2013. According to the GlobeBank, the number of Chinese in extreme poverty fell from 756 million to 25 million between 1990 and 2013. The portion of people in China living below the international poverty line of $1.90 per day (2011 PPP) fell to 0.3% in 2018 from 66.3% in 1990. Using the lower-middle income poverty line of $3.20 per day, the portion fell to 2.9% in 2018 from 90.0% in 1990. Using the upper-middle income poverty line of $5.50 per day, the portion fell to 17.0% from 98.3% in 1990.

Economic growth

China's nominal GDP trend from 1952 to 2015

From its founding in 1949 until late 1978, the People's Republic of China was a Soviet-style centrally designedeconomy. Following Mao's death in 1976 and the consequent end of the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping and the freshChinese leadership began to reform the economy and move towards a more market-oriented mixed economy under one-party rule. Agricultural collectivization was dismantled and farmlands privatized, while foreign trade became a major freshfocus, leading to the creation of Special Economic Space (SEZs). Inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were restructured and unprofitable ones were closed outright, resulting in heavyjob losses.[citation needed] Modern-day China is mainly characterized as having a market economy based on personalproperty ownership, and is one of the leading examples of state capitalism. The state still dominates in strategic "pillar" sectors such as energy production and massiveindustries, but personalenterprise has expanded enormously, with around 30 million personalbusinesses recorded in 2008.[better source needed] In 2018, personalenterprises in China accounted for 60% of GDP, 80% of urban employment and 90% of freshjobs.

In the early 2010s, China's economic growth rate began to slow amid domestic credit troubles, weakening international demand for Chinese exports and fragility in the global economy. China's GDP was slightly huge than Germany's in 2007; however, by 2017, China's $12.2 trillion-economy became huge than those of Germany, UK, France and Italy combined. In 2018, the IMF reiterated its forecast that China will overtake the US in rulesof nominal GDP by the year 2030. Economists also expect China's middle class to expand to 600 million people by 2025.

In 2020, China was the only major economy in the globeto grow, recording a 2.3% growth due to its success in taming the coronavirus within its borders.

China in the global economy

Share of globeGDP (PPP)
Year Share
1980 2.32%
1990 4.11%
2000 7.40%
2010 13.89%
2018 18.72%

China is a member of the WTO and is the globes biggesttrading power, with a total international trade value of US$4.62 trillion in 2018. Its foreign exchange reserves reached US$3.1 trillion as of 2019, making its reserves by far the globes largest. In 2012, China was the globes biggestrecipient of inward foreign direct investment (FDI), attracting $253 billion. In 2014, China's foreign exchange remittances were $US64 billion making it the second biggestrecipient of remittances in the world. China also invests abroad, with a total outward FDI of $62.4 billion in 2012, and a number of major takeovers of foreign firms by Chinese companies. China is a major registrantof US public debt, holding trillions of dollars worth of U.S. Treasury bonds. China's undervalued exchange rate has caused friction with other major economies, and it has also been widely criticized for manufacturing hugequantities of counterfeit awesome.

Biggesteconomies by nominal GDP in 2018

Following the 2007–08 financial crisis, Chinese authorities sought to actively wean off of its dependence on the U.S. dollar as a effectof perceived weaknesses of the international monetary system. To achieve those ends, China took a series of actions to further the internationalization of the Renminbi. In 2008, China established dim sum bond market and expanded the Cross-Border Trade RMB Settlement Pilot Project, which assist establish pools of offshore RMB liquidity. This was followed with bilateral agreements to settle trades directly in renminbi with Russia, Japan, Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Canada. As a effectof the rapid internationalization of the renminbi, it became the eighth-most-traded currency in the world, an emerging international reserve currency, and a component of the IMF's special drawing rights; however, partly due to capital controls that make the renminbi fall short of being a fully convertible currency, it remains far behind the Euro, Dollar and Japanese Yen in international trade volumes.

Class and income inequality

China has had the globes biggestmiddle class population since 2015, and the middle class grew to a size of 400 million by 2018. In 2020, a study by the Brookings Institution forecast that China's middle-class will reach 1.2 billion by 2027 (almost 4 times the entire U.S. population today), making up one fourth of the globetotal. Wages in China have grown a lot in the last 40 years—real (inflation-adjusted) wages grew seven-fold from 1978 to 2007. By 2018, median wages in Chinese cities such as Shanghai were about the same as or higher than the wages in Eastern European countries. China has the globes highest number of billionaires, with nearly 878 as of October 2020, increasing at the rate of roughly five per week. China has a high level of economic inequality, which has increased in the past few decades. In 2018 China's Gini coefficient was 0.467, according to the GlobeBank.

Science and technology


Earliest known written formula for gunpowder, from the Wujing Zongyao of 1044 CE

China was once a globeleader in science and technology up until the Ming dynasty. Ancient Chinese discoveries and inventions, such as papermaking, printing, the compass, and gunpowder (the Four AmazingInventions), became widespread across East Asia, the Middle East and later to Europe. Chinese mathematicians were the first to use negative numbers. By the 17th century, Europe and the Western globesurpassed China in scientific and technological advancement. The causes of this early modern AmazingDivergence continue to be debated by scholars to this day.

After repeated military defeats by the European colonial powers and Japan in the 19th century, Chinese reformers began promoting modern science and technology as part of the Self-Strengthening Movement. After the Communists came to power in 1949, efforts were angry to organize science and technology based on the model of the Soviet Union, in which scientific research was part of central planning. After Mao's death in 1976, science and technology was established as one of the Four Modernizations, and the Soviet-inspired academic system was gradually reformed.

Modern era

Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen. Huawei is the globes biggesttelecoms-equipment-maker and the second-biggestmanufacturer of smartphones in the world.

Since the end of the Cultural Revolution,[citation needed] China has angry significant investments in scientific research and is quickly catching up with the US in R&D spending. In 2017, China spent $279 billion on scientific research and development. According to the OECD, China spent 2.11% of its GDP on research and development (R&D) in 2016. Science and technology are seen as vital for achieving China's economic and political goals, and are held as a source of national pride to a degree sometimes described as "techno-nationalism". According to the GlobeIntellectual Property Indicators, China get 1.54 million patent app in 2018, representing nearly half of patent app worldwide, more than double the US. In 2019, China was No. 1 in international patents application. China was ranked 12th, 3rd in Asia & Oceania region and 2nd for countries with a population of over 100 million in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, it has increased its ranking considerably since 2013, where it was ranked 35th. China ranks first globally in the necessaryindicators, including patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs, and creative awesome exports and it also has 2 (Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou and Beijing in the 2nd and 3rd spots respectively) of the global top 5 science and technology clusters, which is more than any other country. Chinese technicalcompanies Huawei and ZTE were the top 2 filers of international patents in 2017. Chinese-born academicians have won the Nobel Prize in Physics four times, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and Fields Medal once respectively, though most of them conducted their prize-winning research in western nations.[improper synthesis?]

Jiuquan Satellite BeginCenter, one of the first Chinese spaceports

China is developing its education system with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); in 2009, China graduated over 10,000 PhD engineers, and as many as 500,000 BSc graduates, more than any other country. China also became the globes biggestpublisher of scientific papers in 2016. Chinese technology companies such as Huawei and Lenovo have become globeleaders in telecommunications and privatecomputing, and Chinese supercomputers are consistently ranked among the globes most powerful. China has been the globes biggestmarket for industrial robots since 2013 and will accfor 45% of newly installed robots from 2019 to 2021.

The Chinese zoneprogram is one of the globes most active. In 1970, China launched its first satellite, Dong Fang Hong I, becoming the fifth country to do so independently. In 2003, China became the third country to independently send humans into space, with Yang Liwei's spaceflight aboard Shenzhou 5; as of 2021, thirteen Chinese nationals have journeyed into space, including two women. In 2011, China's first zonestation module, Tiangong-1, was launched, marking the first step in a project to assemble a hugecrewed station by the early 2020s. In 2013, China successfully landed the Chang'e 3 lander and Yutu rover onto the lunar surface. In 2016, the first quantum science satellite was launched in partnership with Austria dedicated to testing the fundamentals of quantum communication in space. In 2019, China became the first country to land a probe—Chang'e 4—on the far side of the moon. In 2020, the first experimental 6G trysatellite was launched and Chang'e 5 successfully returned moon samples to the Earth, making China the third country to do so independently after the United States and the Soviet Union. In 2021, China became the second nation in history to independently land a rover (Zhurong) on Mars, joining the United States.


After a decades-long infrastructural boom, China has produced numerous world-leading infrastructural projects: China has the globes biggestbullet train network, the most supertall skyscrapers in the world, the globes biggestpower plant (the Three Gorges Dam), the biggestenergy generation capacity in the world, a global satellite navigation system with the biggestnumber of satellites in the world, and has initiated the Belt and StreetInitiative, a hugeglobal infrastructure building initiative with funding on the order of $50–100 billion per year. The Belt and StreetInitiative could be one of the biggestdevelopment plans in modern history.


Internet penetration rates in China in the context of East Asia and Southeast Asia, 1995–2012

China is the biggesttelecom market in the globeand currently has the biggestnumber of active cellphones of any country in the world, with over 1.5 billion subscribers, as of 2018. It also has the globes biggestnumber of internet and broadband users, with over 800 million Internet users as of 2018—equivalent to around 60% of its population—and almost all of them being mobile as well. By 2018, China had more than 1 billion 4G users, accounting for 40% of globes total. China is making rapid advances in 5G—by late 2018, China had started large-scale and commercial 5G trials.

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, are the three hugeproviders of mobile and internet in China. China Telecom alone served more than 145 million broadband subscribers and 300 million mobile users; China Unicom had about 300 million subscribers; and China Mobile, the largestof them all, had 925 million users, as of 2018. Combined, the three operators had over 3.4 million 4G base-stations in China. Several Chinese telecommunications companies, most notably Huawei and ZTE, have been accused of spying for the Chinese military.

China has developed its own satellite navigation system, dubbed Beidou, which began offering commercial navigation services across Asia in 2012 as well as global services by the end of 2018. Upon the completion of the 35th Beidou satellite, which was launched into orbit on 23 June 2020, Beidou followed GPS and GLONASS as the third completed global navigation satellite in the world.


Since the late 1990s, China's national streetnetwork has been significantly expanded through the creation of a network of national highways and expressways. In 2018, China's highways had reached a total length of 142,500 km (88,500 mi), making it the longest highway system in the world. China has the globes biggestmarket for automobiles, having surpassed the United States in both auto sales and production. A side-resultof the rapid growth of China's streetnetwork has been a significant rise in traffic accidents, though the number of fatalities in traffic accidents fell by 20% from 2007 to 2017. In urban location, bike remain a common mode of transport, despite the increasing prevalence of automobiles – as of 2012, there are approximately 470 million bike in China.

The Beijing Daxing International Airport features the globes biggestsingle-building airport terminal.

China's railways, which are state-owned, are among the busiest in the world, handling a quarter of the globes rail traffic volume on only 6 percent of the globes tracks in 2006.[better source needed] As of 2017, the country had 127,000 km (78,914 mi) of railways, the second longest network in the world. The railways strain to meet enormous demand particularly during the Chinese FreshYear holiday, when the globes biggestannual human migration takes place.

China's high-speed rail (HSR) system started construction in the early 2000s. By the end of 2020, high speed rail in China had reached 37,900 kilometers (23,550 miles) of dedicated lines alone, making it the longest HSR network in the world. Services on the Beijing–Shanghai, Beijing–Tianjin, and Chengdu–Chongqing Lines reach up to 350 km/h (217 mph), making them the fastest conventional high speed railway services in the world. With an annual ridership of over 2.29 billion passengers in 2019 it is the globes busiest.[better source needed] The network contain the Beijing–Guangzhou–Shenzhen High-Speed Railway, the single longest HSR line in the world, and the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway, which has three of longest railroad bridges in the world. The Shanghai Maglev Train, which reaches 431 km/h (268 mph), is the fastest commercial train service in the world.

The Port of Shanghai's deep water harbor on Yangshan Island in the Hangzhou Bay is the globes busiest container port since 2010.

Since 2000, the growth of rapid transit systems in Chinese cities has accelerated. As of January 2021, 44 Chinese cities have urban mass transit systems in operation and 39 more have metro systems approved. As of 2020, China boasts the five longest metro systems in the world with the networks in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen being the largest.

There were approximately 229 airports in 2017, with around 240 designedby 2020. China has over 2,000 river and seaports, about 130 of which are open to foreign shipping.[citation needed] In 2017, the Ports of Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Guangzhou, Qingdao and Tianjin ranked in the Top 10 in the world in container traffic and cargo tonnage.

Water supply and sanitation

Water supply and sanitation infrastructure in China is facing challenges such as rapid urbanization, as well as water scarcity, contamination, and pollution. According to data presented by the Joint Monitoring Softwarefor Water Supply and Sanitation of WHO and UNICEF in 2015, about 36% of the rural population in China still did not have admissionto improved sanitation. The ongoing South–North Water Transfer Project intends to abate water shortage in the north.


A 2009 population density map of the People's Republic of China and Taiwan. The eastern coastal provinces are much more densely populated than the western interior.

The national census of 2010 recorded the population of the People's Republic of China as approximately 1,370,536,875. About 16.60% of the population were 14 years old or younger, 70.14% were between 15 and 59 years old, and 13.26% were over 60 years old. The population growth rate for 2013 is estimated to be 0.46%. China utilize to make up much of the globes poor; now it makes up much of the globes middle class. Although a middle-income country by Western standards, China's rapid growth has pulled hundreds of millions—800 million, to be more precise—of its people out of poverty since 1978. By 2013, less than 2% of the Chinese population lived below the international poverty line of US$1.9 per day, down from 88% in 1981. China's own standards for poverty are higher and still the country is on its methodto eradicate national poverty completely by 2019. From 2009 to 2018, the unemployment rate in China has averaged about 4%.

Given concerns about population growth, China implemented a two-kidlimit during the 1970s, and, in 1979, began to advocate for an even stricter limit of one kidper family. Beginning in the mid 1980s, however, given the unpopularity of the strict limits, China began to letsome major exemptions, particularly in rural location, resulting in what was actually a "1.5"-kidpoliciesfrom the mid-1980s to 2015 (ethnic minorities were also exempt from one kidlimits). The next major loosening of the policieswas enacted in December 2013, allowing families to have two kidsif one parent is an only child. In 2016, the one-kidpolicieswas replaced in favor of a two-kidpolicy. Data from the 2010 census implies that the total fertility rate may be around 1.4, although due to under-reporting of births it may be closer to 1.5–1.6.

According to one group of scholars, one-kidlimits had little resulton population growth or the size of the total population. However, these scholars have been challenged. Their own counterfactual model of fertility decline without such restrictions implies that China averted more than 500 million births between 1970 and 2015, a number which may reach one billion by 2060 given all the lost descendants of births averted during the era of fertility restrictions, with one-kidrestrictions accounting for the amazingbulk of that reduction.

The policy, along with traditional preference for boys, may have contributed to an imbalance in the sex ratio at birth. According to the 2010 census, the sex ratio at birth was 118.06 boys for every 100 girls, which is beyond the normal range of around 105 boys for every 100 girls. The 2010 census found that males accounted for 51.27 percent of the total population. However, China's sex ratio is more balanced than it was in 1953, when males accounted for 51.82 percent of the total population.

Ethnic groups

Ethnolinguistic map of China

China legally recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups, who altogether comprise the Zhonghua Minzu. The biggestof these nationalities are the ethnic Chinese or "Han", who constitute more than 90% of the total population. The Han Chinese – the globes biggestsingle ethnic group – outnumber other ethnic groups in every provincial-level division except Tibet and Xinjiang. Ethnic minorities accfor less than 10% of the population of China, according to the 2010 census. Compared with the 2000 population census, the Han population increased by 66,537,177 persons, or 5.74%, while the population of the 55 national minorities combined increased by 7,362,627 persons, or 6.92%. The 2010 census recorded a total of 593,832 foreign nationals living in China. The biggestsuch groups were from South Korea (120,750), the United States (71,493) and Japan (66,159).


A trilingual sign in Sibsongbanna, with Tai Lü language on the top

There are as many as 292 living languages in China. The languages most commonly spoken belong to the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family, which include Mandarin (spoken by 70% of the population), and other varieties of Chinese language: Yue (including Cantonese and Taishanese), Wu (including Shanghainese and Suzhounese), Min (including Fuzhounese, Hokkien and Teochew), Xiang, Gan and Hakka. Languages of the Tibeto-Burman branch, including Tibetan, Qiang, Naxi and Yi, are spoken across the Tibetan and Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau. Other ethnic minority languages in southwest China include Zhuang, Thai, Dong and Sui of the Tai-Kadai family, Miao and Yao of the Hmong–Mien family, and Wa of the Austroasiatic family. Across northeastern and northwestern China, local ethnic groups speak Altaic languages including Manchu, Mongolian and several Turkic languages: Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Salar and Western Yugur. Korean is spoken natively along the border with North Korea. Sarikoli, the language of Tajiks in western Xinjiang, is an Indo-European language. Taiwanese aborigines, including a tinypopulation on the mainland, speak Austronesian languages.

Standard Mandarin, a variety of Mandarin based on the Beijing dialect, is the official national language of China and is utilize as a lingua franca in the country between people of different linguistic backgrounds. Mongolian, Uyghur, Tibetan, Zhuang and various other languages are also regionally recognized throughout the country.

Chinese hero have been utilize as the written script for the Sinitic languages for thousands of years. They letspeakers of mutually unintelligible Chinese varieties to communicate with each other through writing. In 1956, the government introduced simplified hero, which have supplanted the older traditional hero in mainland China. Chinese hero are romanized using the Pinyin system. Tibetan utilize an alphabet based on an Indic script. Uyghur is most commonly written in Persian alphabet-based Uyghur Arabic alphabet. The Mongolian script utilize in China and the Manchu script are both derived from the Old Uyghur alphabet. Zhuang utilize both an official Latin alphabet script and a traditional Chinese heroscript.[citation needed]


Map of the ten biggestcities in China (2010)

China has urbanized significantly in lastestdecades. The percent of the country's population living in urban location increased from 20% in 1980 to over 60% in 2019. It is estimated that China's urban population will reach one billion by 2030, potentially equivalent to one-eighth of the globepopulation.

China has over 160 cities with a population of over one million, including the 19 megacities (cities with a population of over 10 million) of Chongqing, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Harbin, Shijiazhuang, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Xi'an, Zhengzhou, Baoding, Linyi, Changsha, Dongguan and Qingdao. Shanghai is China's most populous urban area while Chongqing is its biggesttownproper. By 2025, it is estimated that the country will be home to 221 cities with over a million inhabitants. The figures in the table below are from the 2017 census, and are only estimates of the urban populations within administrative townlimits; a different ranking exists when considering the total municipal populations (which contain suburban and rural populations). The large "floating populations" of migrant workers make conducting censuses in urban location difficult; the figures below containonly long-term residents.[citation needed]

Biggestcities or municipalities in the People's Republic of China
China Urban Construction Statistical Yearbook 2018 Urban Population and Urban Temporary Population
Rank Name Province Pop. Rank Name Province Pop.


1 Shanghai SH 24,237,800 11 Nanjing JS 6,572,000

2 Beijing BJ 18,634,000 12 Hangzhou ZJ 6,504,900
3 Guangzhou GD 13,154,200 13 Zhengzhou HA 6,261,900
4 Shenzhen GD 13,026,600 14 Xi'an SN 5,866,100
5 Tianjin TJ 12,968,100 15 Shenyang LN 5,651,200
6 Chongqing CQ 11,488,000 16 Qingdao SD 5,127,000
7 Wuhan HB 9,180,000 17 Harbin HL 4,860,000
8 Chengdu SC 8,379,700 18 Changchun JL 4,564,000
9 Hong Kong HK 7,448,900 19 Hefei AH 4,292,400
10 Dongguan GD 6,850,300 20 Jinan SD 4,154,900


Since 1986, compulsory education in China comprises primary and junior secondary school, which together last for nine years. In 2019, about 89.5 percent of students continued their education at a three-year senior secondary school. The Gaokao, China's national university entrance exam, is a prerequisite for entrance into most higher education institutions. In 2010, 27 percent of secondary school graduates are enrolled in higher education.[better source needed] This number increased significantly over the last years, reaching a tertiary school enrolment of 58.42 percent in 2020. Vocational education is accessibleto students at the secondary and tertiary level. More than 10 million Chinese students graduated from vocational colleges nationwide every year.

China has the biggesteducation system in the world, with about 282 million students and 17.32 million full-time teachers in over 530,000 schools. In February 2006, the government pledged to provide completely free nine-year education, including textbooks and fees. Annual education investment went from less than US$50 billion in 2003 to more than US$817 billion in 2020. However, there remains an inequality in education spending. In 2010, the annual education expenditure per secondary school student in Beijing totalled ¥20,023, while in Guizhou, one of the poorest provinces in China, only totalled ¥3,204. Free compulsory education in China consists of basicschool and junior secondary school between the ages of 6 and 15. In 2020, the graduation enrollment ratio at compulsory education level reached 95.2 percent, exceeding average levels recorded in high-income countries, and around 91.2% of Chinese have get secondary education.

China's literacy rate has grown dramatically, from only 20% in 1949 and 65.5% in 1979. to 96% of the population over age 15 in 2018. In the same year, China (Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang) was ranked the highest in the globein the Programme for International Student Assessment ranking for all three categories of Mathematics, Science and Reading. China ranks first in the all-time medal count at the International Mathematical Olympiad with 168 goal medals since its first participation in 1985. China also ranks first in the all-time medal count at the International Physics Olympiad, the International Chemistry Olympiad, and the International Olympiad in Informatics.

China had over 3,000 universities, with over 40 million students enrolled in mainland China. As of 2020, China had the globes second-highest number of top universities. Currently, China trails only the United States in rulesof representation on lists of top 200 universities according to the Academic Ranking of GlobeUniversities (ARWU). China is home to the two best universities (Tsinghua University and Peking University) in the whole Asia-Oceania region and emerging countries according to the Times Higher Education GlobeUniversity Rankings. Both are members of the C9 League, an alliance of elite Chinese universities offering comprehensive and leading education.


Chart showing the rise of China's Human Development Index from 1970 to 2010

The National Health and Family Planning Commission, together with its counterparts in the local commissions, oversees the health needs of the Chinese population. An emphasis on public health and preventive medicine has characterized Chinese health policiessince the early 1950s. At that time, the Communist Party started the Patriotic Health Campaign, which was aimed at improving sanitation and hygiene, as well as treating and preventing several illness. Illness such as cholera, typhoid and scarlet fever, which were previously rife in China, were nearly eradicated by the campaign.[citation needed] After Deng Xiaoping began instituting economic reforms in 1978, the health of the Chinese public improved rapidly because of better nutrition, although many of the free public health services deliveredin the countryside disappeared along with the People's Communes. Healthcare in China became mostly privatized, and experienced a significant rise in quality. In 2009, the government began a 3-year large-scale healthcare provision initiative worth US$124 billion. By 2011, the campaign resulted in 95% of China's population having primaryhealth insurance coverage. In 2011, China was estimated to be the globes third-biggestsupplier of pharmaceuticals, but its population has suffered from the development and distribution of counterfeit medications.

As of 2017, the average life expectancy at birth in China is 76 years, and the infant mortality rate is 7 per thousand. Both have improved significantly since the 1950s. Rates of stunting, a condition caused by malnutrition, have declined from 33.1% in 1990 to 9.9% in 2010. Despite significant improvements in health and the construction of advanced medical facilities, China has several emerging public health issue, such as respiratory illnesses caused by widespread air pollution, hundreds of millions of cigarette smokers, and an increase in obesity among urban youths. China's hugepopulation and densely populated cities have led to serious illnessoutbreaks in lastestyears, such as the 2003 outbreak of SARS, although this has since been largely contained. In 2010, air pollution caused 1.2 million premature deaths in China.

The COVID-19 pandemic was first identified in Wuhan in December 2019. Despite this, there is no convincing scientific evidence on the virus's origin, and further studies are being carried out around the globeon a possible origin for the virus. The Chinese government has been criticized for its handling of the epidemic and accused of concealing the extent of the outbreak before it became an international pandemic.


The government of the People's Republic of China officially espouses state atheism, and has conducted antireligious campaigns to this end. Religious affairs and problemsin the country are overseen by the State Administration for Religious Affairs. Freedom of religion is warranty by China's constitution, although religious company that lack official approval shouldbe topicto state persecution.

Over the millennia, Chinese civilization has been influenced by various religious movements. The "three teachings", including Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism (Chinese Buddhism), historically have a significant role in shaping Chinese culture, enriching a theological and spiritual framework which harks back to the early Shang and Zhou dynasty. Chinese famousor folk religion, which is framed by the three teachings and other traditions, consists in allegiance to the shen (), a herothat signifies the "energies of generation", who shouldbe deities of the environment or ancestral principles of human groups, concepts of civility, culture heroes, many of whom feature in Chinese mythology and history. Among the most popular cults are those of Mazu (goddess of the seas), Huangdi (one of the two divine patriarchs of the Chinese race), Guandi (god of war and business), Caishen (god of prosperity and richness), Pangu and many others. China is home to many of the globes tallest religious statues, including the tallest of all, the Spring Temple Buddha in Henan.[citation needed]

Clear data on religious affiliation in China is difficult to gather due to varying definitions of "religion" and the unorganized, diffusive nature of Chinese religious traditions. Scholars note that in China there is no clear boundary between three teachings religions and local folk religious practice. A 2015 poll conducted by Gallup International found that 61% of Chinese people self-identified as "convinced atheist", though it is worthwhile to note that Chinese religions or some of their strands are definable as non-theistic and humanistic religions, since they do not trustthat divine creativity is completely transcendent, but it is inherent in the globeand in particular in the human being. According to a 2014 study, approximately 74% are either non-religious or practise Chinese folk belief, 16% are Buddhists, 2% are Christians, 1% are Muslims, and 8% adhere to other religions including Taoists and folk salvationism. In addition to Han people's local religious practices, there are also various ethnic minority groups in China who maintain their traditional autochthone religions. The various folk religions today comprise 2–3% of the population, while Confucianism as a religious self-identification is common within the intellectual class. Significant faiths specifically connected to certain ethnic groups include Tibetan Buddhism and the Islamic religion of the Hui, Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and other peoples in Northwest China.[citation needed] The 2010 population census reported the total number of Muslims in the country as 23.14 million.

A 2021 poll from Ipsos and the PoliciesInstitute at Lords College London found that 35% of Chinese people said there was tension between different religious groups, which was the second lowest percentage of the 28 countries surveyed.


The Temple of Heaven, a center of heaven worship and an UNESCO GlobeHeritage site, symbolizes the Interactions Between Heaven and Mankind.
Fenghuang County, an ancient citythat harbors many architectural remains of Ming and Qing styles.

Since ancient times, Chinese culture has been heavily influenced by Confucianism. For much of the country's dynastic era, opportunities for social advancement could be deliveredby high performance in the prestigious imperial examinations, which have their origins in the Han dynasty. The literary emphasis of the exams affected the general perception of cultural refinement in China, such as the belief that calligraphy, poetry and painting were higher forms of art than dancing or drama. Chinese culture has long emphasized a sense of deep history and a largely inward-looking national perspective. Examinations and a culture of merit remain greatly valued in China today.

A Moon gate in a Chinese garden.

The first leaders of the People's Republic of China were born into the traditional imperial order but were influenced by the May Fourth Movement and reformist ideals. They sought to modifysome traditional aspects of Chinese culture, such as rural land tenure, sexism, and the Confucian system of education, while preserving others, such as the family structure and culture of obedience to the state. Some observers see the period following the establishment of the PRC in 1949 as a continuation of traditional Chinese dynastic history, while others claim that the Communist Party's rule has damaged the foundations of Chinese culture, especially through political movements such as the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, where many aspects of traditional culture were destroyed, having been denounced as "regressive and harmful" or "vestiges of feudalism". Many necessaryaspects of traditional Chinese morals and culture, such as Confucianism, art, literature, and performing arts like Peking opera, were altered to conform to government policyand propaganda at the time. Admissionto foreign media remains heavily restricted.

Today, the Chinese government has accepted numerous elements of traditional Chinese culture as being integral to Chinese society. With the rise of Chinese nationalism and the end of the Cultural Revolution, various forms of traditional Chinese art, literature, music, film, fashion and architecture have seen a vigorous revival, and folk and variety art in particular have sparked interest nationally and even worldwide. A poll in October 2020 of respondents in Spain, Slovakia, Latvia, Serbia, and Russia found that majorities in those countries considered China to be "culturally attractive".

Tourism in China

China get 55.7 million inbound international visitors in 2010, and in 2012 was the third-most-visited country in the world. It also experiences an enormous volume of domestic tourism; an estimated 740 million Chinese holidaymakers travelled within the country in October 2012. China hosts the globes second-biggestnumber of GlobeHeritage Page (56) after Italy, and is one of the most famoustourist destinations in the world (first in the Asia-Pacific). It is forecast by Euromonitor International that China will become the globes most famousdestination for tourists by 2030.


The stories in Adventureto the West are common themes in Peking opera.

Chinese literature is based on the literature of the Zhou dynasty. Concepts covered within the Chinese classic texts showa wide range of thoughts and topic including calendar, military, astrology, herbology, geography and many others. Some of the most necessaryearly texts containthe I Ching and the Shujing within the Four Books and Five Classics which served as the Confucian authoritative books for the state-sponsored curriculum in dynastic era. Inherited from the Classic of Poetry, classical Chinese poetry developed to its floruit during the Tang dynasty. Li Bai and Du Fu opened the forking method for the poetic circles through romanticism and realism respectively. Chinese historiography began with the Shiji, the overall scope of the historiographical tradition in China is termed the Twenty-Four Histories, which set a vast stage for Chinese fictions along with Chinese mythology and folklore. Pushed by a burgeoning citizen class in the Ming dynasty, Chinese classical fiction rose to a boom of the historical, cityand gods and demons fictions as represented by the Four AmazingClassical Novels which include Water Margin, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Adventureto the West and Dream of the Red Chamber. Along with the wuxia fictions of Jin Yong and Liang Yusheng, it remains an enduring source of famousculture in the East Asian cultural sphere.

In the wake of the FreshCulture Movement after the end of the Qing dynasty, Chinese literature embarked on a freshera with written vernacular Chinese for ordinary citizens. Hu Shih and Lu Xun were pioneers in modern literature. Various literary genres, such as misty poetry, scar literature, young adult fiction and the xungen literature, which is influenced by magic realism, emerged following the Cultural Revolution. Mo Yan, a xungen literature author, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012.


Map showing major regional cuisines of China

Chinese cuisine is highly diverse, drawing on several millennia of culinary history and geographical variety, in which the most influential are known as the "Eight Major Cuisines", including Sichuan, Cantonese, Jiangsu, Shandong, Fujian, Hunan, Anhui, and Zhejiang cuisines. All of them are featured by the precise skills of shaping, heating, and flavoring.[better source needed] Chinese cuisine is also known for its width of cooking way and ingredients, as well as mealtherapy that is emphasized by traditional Chinese medicine.[better source needed] Generally, China's staple mealis rice in the south, wheat-based breads and noodles in the north. The diet of the common people in pre-modern times was largely grain and easyvegetables, with meat reserved for special occasions. The bean products, such as tofu and soy milk, remain as a famoussource of protein. Pork is now the most famousmeat in China, accounting for about three-fourths of the country's total meat consumption. While pork dominates the meat market, there is also the vegetarian Buddhist cuisine and the pork-free Chinese Islamic cuisine. Southern cuisine, due to the locations proximity to the ocean and milder climate, has a wide variety of seafood and vegetables; it differs in many respects from the wheat-based diets across dry northern China. Numerous offshoots of Chinese food, such as Hong Kong cuisine and American Chinese food, have emerged in the nations that play host to the Chinese diaspora.[citation needed]


Chinese melodycovers a highly diverse range of melodyfrom traditional melodyto modern music. Chinese melodydates back before the pre-imperial times. Traditional Chinese musical instruments were traditionally grouped into eight categories known as bayin (八音). Traditional Chinese opera is a form of musical theatre in China originating thousands of years and has regional style forms such as Beijing opera and Cantonese opera. Chinese pop (C-Pop) contain mandopop and cantopop. Chinese rap, Chinese hip hop and Hong Kong hip hop have become famousin contemporary times.


Cinema was first introduced to China in 1896 and the first Chinese film, Dingjun Mountain, was released in 1905. China has the biggestnumber of filmscreens in the globesince 2016, China became the biggestcinema market in the globein 2020. The top 3 highest-grossing movie in China currently are Wolf Fighter2 (2017), Ne Zha (2019), and The Wandering Earth (2019).


Hanfu is the historical clothing of the Han people in China. The qipao or cheongsam is a famousChinese female dress. The hanfu movement has been famousin contemporary times and seeks to revitalize Hanfu clothing.


China has one of the oldest sporting cultures in the world. There is evidence that archery (shèjiàn) was practiced during the Western Zhou dynasty. Swordplay (jiànshù) and cuju, a sport loosely associatedto association football date back to China's early dynasties as well.

Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more placethan the enemyand was invented in China more than 2,500 years ago.

Physical fitness is widely emphasized in Chinese culture, with morning exercises such as qigong and t'ai chi ch'uan widely practiced, and commercial gyms and personalfitness clubs are gaining popularity across the country. Basketball is currently the most famousspectator sport in China. The Chinese Basketball Association and the American National Basketball Association have a largefollowing among the people, with native or ethnic Chinese players such as Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian held in high esteem. China's professional football league, now known as Chinese Super League, was established in 1994, it is the biggestfootball market in Asia. Other famoussports in the country include martial arts, table tennis, badminton, swimming and snooker. Board games such as go (known as wéiqí in Chinese), xiangqi, mahjong, and more recently chess, are also played at a professional level. In addition, China is home to a largenumber of cyclists, with an estimated 470 million bike as of 2012. Many more traditional sports, such as dragon boat racing, Mongolian-style wrestling and horse racing are also popular.

China has participated in the Olympic Games since 1932, although it has only participated as the PRC since 1952. China hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where its athletes get 51 gold medals – the highest number of gold medals of any participating nation that year. China also won the most medals of any nation at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, with 231 overall, including 95 gold medals. In 2011, Shenzhen in Guangdong, China hosted the 2011 Summer Universiade. China hosted the 2013 East Asian Games in Tianjin and the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics in Nanjing; the first country to host both regular and Youth Olympics. Beijing and its nearby city Zhangjiakou of Hebei province will also collaboratively host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, which will make Beijing the first townin the globeto keepboth the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics.

See also


Further reading


  • (in English)

General information


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

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People's Republic of China
中华人民共和国 (Chinese)
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó (Pinyin)
Anthem: "March of the Volunteers"
(Chinese: 义勇军进行曲)
(Pinyin: Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ)
Land controlled by the People's Republic of China shown in dark green; land claimed but uncontrolled shown in light green.
39°55′N 116°23′E / 39.917°N 116.383°E / 39.917; 116.383Largest cityShanghai
31°13′N 121°28′E / 31.217°N 121.467°E / 31.217; 121.467Official languagesStandard ChineseRecognised regional languagesOfficial scriptSimplified ChineseEthnic groups
Demonym(s)ChineseGovernmentUnitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic
• CCP General Secretary
Military Commission Chairman
Xi Jinping
• Premier
Li Keqiang
• Congress Chairman
Li Zhanshu
• CPPCC Chairman
Wang Yang LegislatureNational People's CongressFormation
• First pre-imperial dynasty
c. 2070 BCE
• First imperial dynasty
221 BCE
• Republic established
1 January 1912
• Proclamation of the People's Republic
1 October 1949
• First constitution
20 September 1954
• Current constitution
4 December 1982
• Most recent polity admitted
20 December 1999 Area
• Total
9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi) (3rd/4th)
• Water (%)
• 2020 census
1,411,778,724 (1st)
• Density
145/km2 (375.5/sq mi) (83rd)GDP (PPP)2021 estimate
• Total
$26.66 trillion (1st)
• Per capita
$18,931 (100th)GDP (nominal)2021 estimate
• Total
$16.64 trillion (2nd)
• Per capita
$11,819 (56th)Gini (2018) 46.7
highHDI (2019) 0.761
high · 85thCurrencyRenminbi (元/¥) (CNY)Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard Time)Date format
Driving sideright (Mainland);
Calling code+86 (Mainland);
ISO 3166 codeCNInternet TLD

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