China (GPS: 35 00 N, 105 00 E) is located in Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and the South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam. The country’s area measurements are total: 9,596,960 sq km; land: 9,326,410 sq km, water: 270,550 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than the US. The total irrigated land is 690,070 sq km (2012).
One of China’s important features: the World’s fourth-largest country (after Russia, Canada, and the US) and the largest country situated entirely in Asia. Mount Everest, on the border with Nepal, is the world’s tallest peak above sea-level. The largest cave chamber globally is the Miao Room, in the Gebihe cave system at China’s Ziyun Getu He Chuandong National Park, which encloses some 10.78 million cu m (380.7 million cu ft) of volume. China appears to have been the center of domestication for two of the world’s leading cereal crops: millet in the north along the Yellow River and rice in the south along the lower or middle Yangtze River.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Beijing’s GPS coordinates are 39 55 N 116 23 E. Beijing’s local time is 13 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+8, note; Despite its size, all of China falls within a one-time zone; many people in Xinjiang Province observe an unofficial “Xinjiang time zone” of UTC+6 two hours behind Beijing.
China’s historical civilization dates from at least 1200 B.C.; From the 3rd century B.C. and for the next two millennia, China alternated between periods of unity and disunity under a succession of imperial dynasties. 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 Chinese Communist Party 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, but political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.
China’s names conventional long form: The people’s Republic of China, conventional short form: China, local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo, local short form: Zhongguoabbreviation: PRC, etymology: English name derives from the Qin (Chin) rulers of the 3rd century B.C., who comprised the first imperial dynasty of ancient China; the Chinese name Zhongguo translates as “Central Nation.” The English name derives from the Qin (Chin) rulers of the 3rd century B.C., who comprised the first imperial dynasty of ancient China; The Chinese name Zhongguo translates as “Central Nation” or “Middle Kingdom.”
China’s terrain is typically mountains, high plateaus, deserts in the west; plains, deltas, and hills. The country’s mean elevation: 1,840 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m, highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m.
The country’s general climate is extremely diverse: tropical in the south to subarctic in the north.
China’s coastline is 14,500 km. Its marital claims are territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200 nautical miles or the edge of the continental margin. Waterways: 110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2011). Land use: agricultural land: 54.7%; arable land 11.3%; permanent crops 1.6%; permanent pasture 41.8%; forest: 22.3%; other: 23% (2011 estimate).
The population in China 1,384,688,986 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 55.6% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: Shanghai 23.741 million; BEIJING (capital) 20.384 million; Chongqing 13.332 million; Guangdong 12.458 million; Tianjin 11.21 million; Shenzhen 10.749 million (2015), while China has N/A. Their spoken languages are Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official language; 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). Note: Zhuang is the official language in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is the official language in Guangdong, Mongolian is the official language in Nei Mongol, Uighur is the official language in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is the official language in Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibetan is the official language in Xizang (Tibet). Main religions in China are Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < 0.1%, Jewish < 0.1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2%note: officially atheist (2010 estimate).
The nation uses civil law influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems; the legislature retains the power to interpret statutes; note – criminal procedure law revised in early 2012. It is a(n) communist state, National holiday(s) National Day, the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, 1 October (1949).
Economic overview for the country: Since the late 1970s, China has moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion, resulting in efficiency gains that have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Reforms began with the phaseout of collectivized agriculture. They expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, growth of the private sector, development of stock markets and a modern banking system, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China continues to pursue an industrial policy, state support of key sectors, and a restrictive investment regime. From 2013 to 2017, China had one of the fastest-growing economies globally, averaging slightly more than 7% real growth per year. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2017 stood as the largest economy globally, surpassing the US in 2014 for the first time in modern history. China became the world’s largest exporter in 2010 and the largest trading nation in 2013. Still, China’s per capita income is below the world average.
In July 2005, moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid-2005 to late 2008, the renminbi (RMB) appreciated more than 20% against the US dollar. Still, the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing announced it would resume a gradual appreciation. From 2013 until early 2015, the renminbi held steady against the dollar, but it depreciated 13% from mid-2015 until end-2016 amid strong capital outflows; In 2017, the RMB resumed appreciating against the dollar roughly 7% from end-of-2016 to end-of-2017. In 2015, the People’s Bank of China announced it would continue to carefully push for the renminbi’s full convertibility after the currency was accepted as part of the IMF’s unique drawing rights basket. However, since late 2015 the Chinese Government has strengthened capital controls and overseas investments to better manage the exchange rate and maintain financial stability.
The Chinese Government faces numerous economic challenges, including (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic household consumption; (b) managing its high corporate debt burden to maintain financial stability; (c) controlling off-balance sheet local government debt used to finance infrastructure stimulus; (d) facilitating higher-wage job opportunities for the aspiring middle class, including rural migrants and college graduates, while maintaining competitiveness; (e) dampening speculative investment in the real estate sector without sharply slowing the economy; (f) reducing industrial overcapacity; And (g) raising productivity growth rates through the more efficient allocation of capital and state-support for innovation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2016 more than 169.3 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of China’s population control policy known as the “one-child policy” – which was relaxed in 2016 to permit all families to have two children – is that China is now one of the world’s most rapidly aging countries. Deterioration in the environment – notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the North – is another long-term problem. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and urbanization. The Chinese Government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on natural gas, nuclear, and clean energy development. In 2016, China ratified the Paris Agreement, a multilateral agreement to combat climate change, and committed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions between 2025 and 2030.
The government’s 13th Five-Year Plan, unveiled in March 2016, emphasizes the need to increase innovation and boost domestic consumption to make the economy less dependent on government investment, exports, and heavy industry. However, China has made more progress in subsidizing innovation than rebalancing the economy. Beijing has committed to giving the market a more decisive role in allocating resources, but the Chinese Government’s policies continue to favor state-owned enterprises and emphasize stability.
Chinese leaders in 2010 pledged to double China’s GDP by 2020, and the 13th Five Year Plan includes annual economic growth targets of at least 6.5% through 2020 to achieve that goal. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors considered necessary to “economic security,” explicitly looking to foster globally competitive industries. Chinese leaders have also undermined some market-oriented reforms by reaffirming the “dominant” role in the economy. This stance threatens to discourage private initiative and make the economy less efficient over time. The slight acceleration in economic growth in 2017, the first such uptick since 2010, gives Beijing more latitude to pursue its economic reforms, focusing on financial sector deleveraging and its Supply-Side Structural Reform agenda, first announced in late 2015.
Main export partners for China, Asia is the US 18%, Hong Kong 14.6%, Japan 6%, South Korea 4.5% (2015) for electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, furniture, textiles, integrated circuits, while the main import partners for the country are: South Korea 10.9%, US 9%, Japan 8.9%, Germany 5.5%, Australia 4.1% (2015) for electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels; nuclear reactor, boiler, and machinery components; optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles; soybeans.
When you visit this country in Asia, consider the natural hazards in China: Frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts), damaging floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, land subsidence volcanism: China contains some historically active volcanoes, including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P’aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries, while infectious diseases are a degree of risk: intermediate food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne disease: Japanese encephalitis oil contact disease: hantaviral hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) (2016). Also, note that China faces the following environmental issues: Air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain, China is the world’s largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, water shortages, particularly in the north, water pollution from untreated wastes, Coastal destruction due to land reclamation, industrial development, and aquaculture, Deforestation, and habitat destruction, Poor land management leads to soil erosion, landslides, floods, droughts, dust storms, and desertification, Trade in endangered species.