Opinions on China

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This article is about the People's Republic of China. For the Republic of China, see Taiwan. For other uses, see China (disambiguation) and PRC (disambiguation).

China (Listen/ˈnə/; simplified Chinese: 中国; traditional Chinese: 中國; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a sovereign state located in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of over 1.35 billion. The PRC is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party, with its seat of government in the capital city of Beijing. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The PRC also claims the territories governed by the Republic of China (ROC), a separate political entity commonly known as Taiwan today, as a part of its territory, which includes the island of Taiwan as 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, a claim which is controversial due to the complex political status of Taiwan.

Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers, China is the world's second-largest country by land area, and either the third or fourth-largest by total area, depending on the method of measurement. China's landscape is vast and diverse, ranging from forest steppes and the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts in the arid north to subtropical forests in the wetter south. The Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separate China from South and Central Asia. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third- and sixth-longest in the world, run from the Tibetan Plateau to the densely populated eastern seaboard. China's coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometres (9,000 mi) long, and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas.

The history of China goes back to the ancient civilization – one of the world's earliest – that flourished in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, known as dynasties, beginning with the semi-mythological Xia of the Yellow River basin (c. 2000 BCE). Since 221 BCE, when the Qin Dynasty first conquered several states to form a Chinese empire, the country has expanded, fractured and been reformed numerous times. The Republic of China (ROC) overthrew the last dynasty in 1911, and ruled the Chinese mainland until 1949. After the defeat of the Empire of Japan in World War II, the Communist Party defeated the nationalist Kuomintang in mainland China and established the People's Republic of China in Beijing on 1 October 1949, while the Kuomintang relocated the ROC government to its present capital of Taipei.

China had the largest and most complex economy in the world for most of the past two thousand years, during which it has seen cycles of prosperity and decline. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China has become one of the world's fastest-growing major economies. As of 2013, it is the world's second-largest economy by both nominal total GDP and purchasing power parity (PPP), and is also the world's largest exporter and importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army, with the second-largest defence budget. The PRC has been a United Nations member since 1971, when it replaced the ROC as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. China is also a member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the WTO, APEC, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BCIM and the G-20. China is a regional power within Asia and has been characterized as a potential superpower by a number of commentators.
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  1. ^ Chan, Kam Wing (2007). "Misconceptions and Complexities in the Study of China's Cities: Definitions, Statistics, and Implications". Eurasian Geography and Economics 48 (4): 383–412. doi:10.2747/1538-7216.48.4.383. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2011.  p. 395
  2. ^ "Law of the People's Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language (Order of the President No.37)". Chinese Government. 31 October 2000. Retrieved 21 June 2013. "For purposes of this Law, the standard spoken and written Chinese language means Putonghua (a common speech with pronunciation based on the Beijing dialect) and the standardized Chinese characters." 
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  4. ^ "New man at helm: Xi Jinping elected to lead China". RT.com. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  5. ^ "Demographic Yearbook—Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density". UN Statistics. 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
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  8. ^ "Population (Total)". The World Bank. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
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  10. ^ "Population density (people per sq. km of land area)". World Bank. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "China GDP". International Monetary Fund. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ "China’s Income Inequality Surpasses U.S., Posing Risk for Xi". Bloomberg. 
  13. ^ "In China, Rich Population Growth Beats World Average". Forbes. 
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  15. ^ Walton, Greg; International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (2001). "Executive Summary". China's golden shield: Corporations and the development of surveillance technology in the People's Republic of China. Rights & Democracy. p. 5. ISBN 978-2-922084-42-9. 
  16. ^ "Chinese Civil War". Cultural-China.com. Retrieved 16 June 2013. "To this day, since no armistice or peace treaty has ever been signed, there is controversy as to whether the Civil War has legally ended." 
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  18. ^ Dahlman, Carl J; Aubert, Jean-Eric. "China and the Knowledge Economy: Seizing the 21st Century. WBI Development Studies. World Bank Publications.". Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  19. ^ http://browse.oecdbookshop.org/oecd/pdfs/product/4107091e.pdf Angus Maddison. Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run. Development Centre Studies. Accessed 2007. p.29
  20. ^ White, Garry (10 February 2013). "China trade now bigger than US". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  21. ^ Cite error: The named reference ChineseNukes was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  22. ^ Muldavin, Joshua (9 February 2006). "From Rural Transformation to Global Integration: The Environmental and Social Impacts of China's Rise to Superpower". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  23. ^ "A Point Of View: What kind of superpower could China be?". BBC. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 

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