General Facts about China

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China, an ancient, mysterious and beautiful land, is always appealing to adventurous foreign visitors. As the third largest country in the world occupying an area of 9,600,000 sq km, it spans 62 degrees of longitude and 49 degrees of latitude. A wide variety of terrain and climate shape its numerous natural attractions. Abundant in a variety of resources, plants, animals, and minerals, the land has nurtured countless generations of Chinese people.

China Great Wall
One of China’s greatest treasures is her long, rich history. As early as 1.7 million years  ago, the earliest humans evolved on this land. The first dynasty, the Xia Dynasty, dates to about the 21st century BC. For 4,000 years, feudalism was the dominant economic and cultural model. Then, in 1911, the revolution led by Sun Yat-sen brought the monarchy to an end. On October 1st, 1949, modern China was founded as the ‘People’s Republic of China’. Since then, China has developed independently and vigorously. Most recently, reform and opening-up policy has energized life in China.

China is proud of her many people, long history, resplendent culture and distinctive customs. Among her greatest gifts to the world are the ‘four great inventions’ (paper, gunpowder, printing and the compass) . Chinese arts and crafts, including painting, calligraphy, operas, embroidery and silk are distinctive and unique. Martial arts, which have only recently begun to enjoy popularity in other parts of the world have been part of Chinese culture for centuries, and Chinese literature is testifies to the country’s rich heritage. And, of course, there is Chinese cuisine, which has been exported to every corner of the globe.

Basic Details:

Full Name: The People’s Republic of China

Temple of Heaven in Beijing
Area: 9,600,000 sq km
Population: 1.3 billion (as of 2004)
Capital City: Beijing
National Flag: Five-Stars-Red-Flag
Location: middle and East Asia, bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean
Territorial Seas: the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea
Climate: mainly continental monsoon climate (Tibet: vertical climate zone)
People: Han Chinese (93.3%), plus 55 ethnic groups like Miao, Li, Mongolian
Language: Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua) based on Beijing dialect, plus local dialects
Main Religions and Beliefs: officially atheist, Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam (over 22 million), Catholicism (over 4 million) and Protestantism (over 10 million)
Currency and Monetary Unit : Renminbi/Yuan
Form of Government: system of National People’s Congress
Administrative Demarcations: 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities, and 2 Special Administrative Regions
Chinese President: Hu Jintao

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