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China

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Description

Hong Kong (028)
Hong Kong (028)

China, officially the People’s Republic of China (中華人民共和國), 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). Covering approximately 9.6 million km², China is the world’s second-largest country by land area. 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 km long, and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas.

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The ancient Chinese civilization - one of the world’s earliest - 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. 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.

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 recognised 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 Organisation, the BCIM and the G-20. China is a regional power within Asia and has been characterised as a potential superpower by a number of commentators.

List of sights

Map

See also

Countries visited35,337 photos

Neuschwanstein Castle (160)
Neuschwanstein CastleGermany

List of countries visited worldwide. [Read more]

Austria …16 photosBelgium …280 photosBhutan …255 photosCambodia …265 photosChina …284 photosFrance …2,650 photosGermany …4,249 photosGreece …1,630 photosIceland …194 photosIndia …3,744 photosItaly …14,222 photosJordan …184 photosKazakhstan …376 photosLaos …1,162 photosMyanmar …308 photosNepal …954 photosNetherlands …1,995 photosNorway …138 photosPeru …1,335 photosRussia …386 photosSuriname …35 photosUnited States …62 photosVatican City136 photosVietnam …251 photosYemen …226 photos