by Bernadette Olivares
December 10, 2012
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.)
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)
Population :1,338,612,968 (July 2009 est.)
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, MAO's 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.
Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Area: total: 9,596,961 sq km
country comparison to the world: 10
land: 9,569,901 sq km
water: 27,060 sq km
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
Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north Terrain: mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
AREAS OF CHINA
North: Inner Mongolia
Northeast: Manchuria, Peking(Beijing)
Central: Szechwan, Hunan
East: Shanghai, Fukien
South: Canton, Yunnan
The People's Republic of China is the most populous country in the world occupying most of the eastern part of Asia, and the third largest after Russia and Canada. Its civilization goes back more than 7000 years, and, up until the 20th century, a succession of emperors ruled. It became a republic in 1911 and in 1949, a communist state.
A land of many contrasts, some of the driest deserts and highest mountains as well as very fertile farmland exist in China. This country consists of vast amount of land, with diverse geography, climates, and terrains. Sub-arctic regions prevail in the north, and tropical lowlands comprise the south. The east contains fertile plains, but extensive desert makes up much of the west. Forests and fertile farmland cover a large portion of the northeast. Mountains lie in the east central region; the west has dry, rocky plateaus and mountains; the Himalaya Mountains are on the southwestern border; and northwest is desert.
Wild differences in climatic conditions follow the varying terrain. The north and west endure long, hard, cold winters, while the central and southern areas experience mild to warm winters. Hot, humid summers reign in southern Manchuria, but the arid northwest has hot, dry summers. Tibet and the Himalayas lie in the southwestern section, which experiences harsh winters and windy conditions prevailing throughout the year due to the high elevation.
Lakes are all over the landscape and many...