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China, officially the People's Republic of China (Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo), country in East Asia, the world's largest country by population and one of the largest by area, measuring about the same size as the United States. The Chinese call their country Zhongguo, which means "Central Country" or "Middle Kingdom." The name China was given to it by foreigners and is probably based on a corruption of Qin (pronounced "chin"), a Chinese dynasty that ruled during the 3rd century bc.
China proper centers on the agricultural regions drained by three major riversthe Huang He (Yellow River) in the north, the Yangtze (Chang Jiang) in central China, and the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River) in the south. The country's varied terrain includes vast deserts, towering mountains, high plateaus, and broad plains. Beijing, located in the north, is China's capital and its cultural, economic, and communications center. Shanghai, located near the Yangtze, is the most populous urban center, the largest industrial and commercial city, and mainland China's leading port.
One-fifth of the world's population1.3 billion peoplelive in China. More than 90 percent of these are ethnic Han Chinese, but China also recognizes 55 national minorities, including Tibetans, Mongols, Uighurs, Zhuang, Miao, Yi, and many smaller groups. Even among the ethnic Han, there are regional linguistic differences. Although a common language called Putonghua is taught in schools and used by the mass media, local spoken languages are often mutually incomprehensible. However, the logographic writing system, which uses characters that represent syllables or words rather than pronunciation, makes it possible for all Chinese dialects to be written in the same way; this greatly aids communication across China.
In ancient times, China was East Asia's dominant civilization. Other societiesnotably the Japanese, Koreans, Tibetans, and Vietnamesewere strongly influenced by China,... [continues]
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(2007, 03). China History. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 03, 2007, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/China-History-110746.html
"China History" StudyMode.com. 03 2007. 03 2007 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/China-History-110746.html>.
"China History." StudyMode.com. 03, 2007. Accessed 03, 2007. http://www.studymode.com/essays/China-History-110746.html.