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Introduction - China:

Country

China

Background

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 Chinas 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.

Location - China:

Location

Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam

Geographic coordinates

35 00 N, 105 00 E

Map references

Asia

Area

total: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km

Area comparative

slightly smaller than the US

Land boundaries

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

Maritime claims

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

mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east

Elevation extremes

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 (worlds largest)

Land use

arable land: 14.86%
permanent crops: 1.27%
other: 83.87% (2005)

Irrigated land

545,960 sq km (2003)

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 agreements

Geography note

worlds fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the worlds tallest peak

People - China:

Population

1,321,851,888 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 20.4% (male 143,527,634/female 126,607,344)
15-64 years: 71.7% (male 487,079,770/female 460,596,384)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 49,683,856/female 54,356,900) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 33.2 years
male: 32.7 years
female: 33.7 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

0.606% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

13.45 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

7 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.134 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.057 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.914 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 22.12 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.01 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 24.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.88 years
male: 71.13 years
female: 74.82 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.75 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence 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 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%

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)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.9%
male: 95.1%
female: 86.5% (2000 census)

Government - China:

Country name

conventional long form: Peoples Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC

Government type

Communist state

Capital

name: Beijing
geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone

Administrative divisions

23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)
provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)
autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet)
municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin
note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau

Independence

221 BC (unification under the Qin or Chin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Manchu Dynasty replaced by a Republic); 1 October 1949 (Peoples Republic established)

National holiday

Anniversary of the Founding of the Peoples Republic of China, 1 October (1949)

Constitution

most recent promulgation 4 December 1982

Legal system

based on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003); Vice President ZENG Qinghong (since 15 March 2003)
head of government: Premier WEN Jiabao (since 16 March 2003); Vice Premier WU Yi (17 March 2003), Vice Premier ZENG Peiyan (since 17 March 2003), and Vice Premier HUI Liangyu (since 17 March 2003)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the National Peoples Congress (NPC)
elections: president and vice president elected by the National Peoples Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held 15-17 March 2003 (next to be held in mid-March 2008); premier nominated by the president, confirmed by the National Peoples Congress
election results: HU Jintao elected president by the 10th National Peoples Congress with a total of 2,937 votes (4 delegates voted against him, 4 abstained, and 38 did not vote); ZENG Qinghong elected vice president by the 10th National Peoples Congress with a total of 2,578 votes (177 delegates voted against him, 190 abstained, and 38 did not vote); 2 seats were vacant

Legislative branch

unicameral National Peoples Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,985 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial peoples congresses to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held December 2002-February 2003 (next to be held in late 2007-February 2008)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - NA

Judicial branch

Supreme Peoples Court (judges appointed by the National Peoples Congress); Local Peoples Courts (comprise higher, intermediate, and local courts); Special Peoples Courts (primarily military, maritime, and railway transport courts)

Political parties and leaders

Chinese Communist Party or CCP [HU Jintao]; eight registered small parties controlled by CCP

Political pressure groups and leaders

no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the government has identified the Falungong spiritual movement and the China Democracy Party as subversive groups

International organization participation

AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BCIE, BIS, CDB, EAS, FAO, G-24 (observer), G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOVIC, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador ZHOU Wenzhong
chancery: 2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-2500
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2582
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Clark T. RANDT, Jr.
embassy: Xiu Shui Bei Jie 3, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [86] (10) 6532-3831
FAX: [86] (10) 6532-3178
consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau, Shanghai, Shenyang

Flag description

red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner

Economy - China:

Economy overview

Chinas economy during the last quarter century has changed from a centrally planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector and is a major player in the global economy. Reforms started in the late 1970s with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, the foundation of a diversified banking system, the development of stock markets, the rapid growth of the non-state sector, and the opening to foreign trade and investment. China has generally implemented reforms in a gradualist or piecemeal fashion, including the sale of equity in Chinas largest state banks to foreign investors and refinements in foreign exchange and bond markets in 2005. The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, China in 2006 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, although in per capita terms the country is still lower middle-income and 130 million Chinese fall below international poverty lines. Economic development has generally been more rapid in coastal provinces than in the interior, and there are large disparities in per capita income between regions. The government has struggled to: (a) sustain adequate job growth for tens of millions of workers laid off from state-owned enterprises, migrants, and new entrants to the work force; (b) reduce corruption and other economic crimes; and (c) contain environmental damage and social strife related to the economys rapid transformation. From 100 million to 150 million surplus rural workers are adrift between the villages and the cities, many subsisting through part-time, low-paying jobs. One demographic consequence of the one child policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Another long-term threat to growth is the deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the north. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. China has benefited from a huge expansion in computer Internet use, with more than 100 million users at the end of 2005. Foreign investment remains a strong element in Chinas remarkable expansion in world trade and has been an important factor in the growth of urban jobs. In July 2005, China revalued its currency by 2.1% against the US dollar and moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. In 2006 China had the largest current account surplus in the world - nearly $180 billion. More power generating capacity came on line in 2006 as large scale investments were completed. Thirteen years in construction at a cost of $24 billion, the immense Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze River was essentially completed in 2006 and will revolutionize electrification and flood control in the area. The 11th Five-Year Program (2006-10), approved by the National Peoples Congress in March 2006, calls for a 20% reduction in energy consumption per unit of GDP by 2010 and an estimated 45% increase in GDP by 2010. The plan states that conserving resources and protecting the environment are basic goals, but it lacks details on the policies and reforms necessary to achieve these goals.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$10.17 trillion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$2.518 trillion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

10.7% (official data) (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$7,700 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 11.9%
industry: 48.1%
services: 40%
note: industry includes construction (2006 est.)

Labor force

798 million (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 45%
industry: 24%
services: 31% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.2% official registered unemployment in urban areas in 2005; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas (2005)

Population below poverty line

10% (2004 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.8%
highest 10%: 33.1% (2001)

Distribution of family income gini index

44 (2002)

Inflation rate consumer prices

1.5% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

44.3% of GDP (2006 est.)

Budget

revenues: $446.6 billion
expenditures: $489.6 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)

Public debt

22.1% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish

Industries

mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products, including footwear, toys, and electronics; food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites

Industrial production growth rate

22.9% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

2.5 trillion kWh (2005)

Electricity consumption

2.494 trillion kWh (2005)

Electricity exports

11.2 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity imports

5 billion kWh (2005)

Oil production

3.631 million bbl/day (2005)

Oil consumption

6.534 million bbl/day (2005)

Oil exports

443,300 bbl/day (2005)

Oil imports

3.181 million bbl/day (2005)

Oil proved reserves

16.1 billion bbl (2006 est.)

Natural gas production

52.88 billion cu m (2005)

Natural gas consumption

47.91 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas exports

2.79 billion cu m (2005)

Natural gas imports

0 cu m (2005)

Natural gas proved reserves

2.35 trillion cu m (2005 est.)

Current account balance

$179.1 billion (2006 est.)

Exports

$974 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

machinery and equipment, plastics, optical and medical equipment, iron and steel

Exports partners

US 21%, Hong Kong 16%, Japan 9.5%, South Korea 4.6%, Germany 4.2% (2006)

Imports

$777.9 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

machinery and equipment, oil and mineral fuels, plastics, optical and medical equipment, organic chemicals, iron and steel

Imports partners

Japan 14.6%, South Korea 11.3%, Taiwan 10.9%, US 7.5%, Germany 4.8% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$1.034 trillion (2006 est.)

Debt external

$305.6 billion (2006 est.)

Economic aid recipient

$NA

Currency code

yuan (CNY); note - also referred to as the Renminbi (RMB)

Exchange rates

yuan per US dollar - 7.97 (2006), 8.1943 (2005), 8.2768 (2004), 8.277 (2003), 8.277 (2002)

Communications - China:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

368 million (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

461.1 million (2006)

Telephone system

general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns; China continues to develop its telecommunications infrastructure, and is partnering with foreign providers to expand its global reach; 3 of Chinas 6 major telecommunications operators are part of an international consortium which, in December 2006, signed an agreement with Verizon Business to build the first next-generation optical cable system directly linking the US mainland and China
domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; mobile cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; a domestic satellite system with 55 earth stations is in place
international: country code - 86; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); several international fiber-optic links to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, and Germany (2000)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 369, FM 259, shortwave 45 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

3,240 (of which 209 are operated by China Central Television, 31 are provincial TV stations, and nearly 3,000 are local city stations) (1997)

Internet country code

.cn

Internet hosts

232,780 (2006)

Internet users

137 million (2006)

Transportation - China:

Airports

486 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 403
over 3,047 m: 56
2,438 to 3,047 m: 127
1,524 to 2,437 m: 138
914 to 1,523 m: 22
under 914 m: 60 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 83
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 39 (2006)

Heliports

32 (2006)

Pipelines

gas 22,664 km; oil 15,256 km; refined products 6,106 km (2006)

Railways

total: 75,438 km
standard gauge: 75,438 km 1.435-m gauge (20,151 km electrified) (2005)

Roadways

total: 1,870,661 km
paved: 1,515,797 km (with at least 34,288 km of expressways)
unpaved: 354,864 km (2004)

Waterways

124,000 km navigable (2006)

Merchant marine

total: 1,723 ships (1000 GRT or over) 21,405,633 GRT/32,411,260 DWT
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 387, cargo 695, chemical tanker 45, combination ore/oil 1, container 152, liquefied gas 31, passenger 8, passenger/cargo 83, petroleum tanker 261, refrigerated cargo 30, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 6, vehicle carrier 14
foreign-owned: 13 (Hong Kong 7, Japan 3, South Korea 2, Norway 1)
registered in other countries: 1,191 (Bahamas 3, Bangladesh 1, Belize 103, Bolivia 1, Cambodia 128, Cyprus 11, Georgia 2, Honduras 3, Hong Kong 274, India 2, North Korea 1, Liberia 35, Malaysia 1, Malta 14, Mongolia 4, Norway 3, Panama 420, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 103, Sierra Leone 2, Singapore 23, Thailand 1, Tuvalu 23, unknown 33) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Dalian, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai

Military - China:

Military branches

Peoples Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (includes airborne forces), and Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force); Peoples Armed Police (PAP); Reserve and Militia Forces (2006)

Military service age and obligation

18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with 24-month service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs (2007)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 342,956,265
females age 18-49: 324,701,244 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 281,240,272
females age 18-49: 269,025,517 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 13,186,433
females age 18-49: 12,298,149 (2005 est.)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 300,897 (Vietnam), estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea)
IDPs: 90,000 (2006)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

4.3%
note: The figure for military expenditures was changed recently, a change that was simply a clerical error. The estimate that appeared before that change--4.3 percent of GDP--remains current. (2006)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: China is a source, transit, and destination country for women, men, and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor; the majority of trafficking in China is internal, but there is also international trafficking of Chinese citizens; women are lured through false promises of legitimate employment into commercial sexual exploitation in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan; Chinese men and women are smuggled to countries throughout the world at enormous personal expense and then forced into commercial sexual exploitation or exploitative labor to repay debts to traffickers; women and children are trafficked into China from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor, marriage, and sexual slavery; most North Koreans enter northeastern China voluntarily, but others reportedly are trafficked into China from North Korea; domestic trafficking remains the most significant problem in China, with an estimated minimum of 10,000-20,000 victims trafficked each year; the actual number of victims could be much greater; some experts believe that the serious and prolonged imbalance in the male-female birth ratio may now be contributing to Chinese and foreign girls and women being trafficked as potential brides
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - China failed to show evidence of increasing efforts to address transnational trafficking; while the government provides reasonable protection to internal victims of trafficking, protection for Chinese and foreign victims of transnational trafficking remain inadequate

Disputes international

based on principles drafted in 2005, China and India continue discussions to resolve all aspects of their extensive boundary and territorial disputes together with a security and foreign policy dialogue to consolidate discussions related to the boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, and other matters; recent talks and confidence-building measures have begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, site of the worlds largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); India does not recognize Pakistans ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a boundary alignment to resolve substantial cartographic discrepancies, the largest of which lies in Bhutans northwest; China asserts sovereignty over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea eased tensions in the Spratlys but is not the legally binding code of conduct sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratlys and in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord on marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; China and Taiwan continue to reject both Japans claims to the uninhabited islands of Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japans unilaterally declared equidistance line in the East China Sea, the site of intensive hydrocarbon prospecting; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen rivers are in dispute with North Korea; China seeks to stem illegal migration of North Koreans; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 Agreement; in 2006, China and Tajikistan pledged to commence demarcation of the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002; demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary proceeds slowly and although the maritime boundary delimitation and fisheries agreements were ratified in June 2004, implementation remains stalled; in 2004, international environmentalist and political pressure from Burma and Thailand prompted China to halt construction of 13 dams on the Salween River

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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