Located in Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam, China is a multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual nation, existing of 56 different cultures (like the Han, the Mongols, Tibetans, Koreans, Muslims etc) and 7 major language groups (with over 8000 dialects).
China is a leader in high technology, (not only manufacturing but in design and development), next generation telecommunications networks and in solar and wind technologies. China is a leader also in a number of research fields, including super hybrid rice, GM cotton, dwarf-male-sterile wheat, and bird flu vaccine. China is a global player in trade and foreign investment.
:: Background of China ::
For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China’s sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight.
In this Country Profile
:: Geography of China ::
Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam. Note: world’s fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world’s tallest peak.
Geographic coordinates: 35 00 N, 105 00 E
total: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly smaller than the US
total: 22,117 km
border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Mongolia 4,677 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km
regional borders: Hong Kong 30 km, Macau 0.34 km.
Coastline: 14,500 km
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
Terrain: mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east.
lowest point: Turpan Pendi 154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
Natural resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world’s largest).
arable land: 14.86%
permanent crops: 1.27%
other: 83.87% (2005)
Natural hazards: frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence.
Environment – current issues: air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species.
Environment – international agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling. Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreement.
:: People of China ::
Population: 1,330,044,544 (July 2008 est.)
0-14 years: 20.1% (male 142,085,665/female 125,300,391)
15-64 years: 71.9% (male 491,513,378/female 465,020,030)
65 years and over: 8% (male 50,652,480/female 55,472,661) (2008 est.)
total: 33.6 years
male: 33.1 years
female: 34.2 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.629% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 13.71 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 7.03 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 21.16 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.43 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 23.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.18 years
male: 71.37 years
female: 75.18 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.77 children born/woman (2008 est
HIV/AIDS – adult prévalence rate: 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 840,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 44,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Chinese (singular and plural) adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups: Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5% (2000 census).
Religions: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%. Note: officially atheist (2002 est.)
Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry).
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.9%
female: 86.5% (2000 census)