Earthly Issues
About Earthly Issues Contact

Site Map

Donate

People's Republic of China

China is a country with a very early civilization and a long and rich history. The compass, gunpowder, the art of paper-making and block printing invented by the ancient Chinese have contributed immensely to the progress of mankind. The Great Wall, Grand Canal and other projects built by the Chinese people are regarded as engineering feats in the world.

Man has lived for a very long time in what is now China, according to archaeological finds. In many parts of the country, for instance, fossil remains of primitive ape men have been unearthed. Among them are the fossil remains of the Yuanmou Ape Man who lived in Yunnan Province some 1.7 million years ago.

Research findings show that the Peking Man, who lived about 500,000 years ago, was able to make and use simple implements and knew the use of fire.

Like all other peoples on earth, the Chinese have passed through the primitive, matriarchal and patriarchal communes.

As one of the Four Great Ancient Civilizations, China has a recorded history of more than 4,000 years. Evidence of the cultivation of rice and millet using farming tools dating back to six to seven thousand years ago was discovered in Hemudu Town of Yuyao City, Zhejiang Province, and Banpo Village near Xian City, Shaanxi Province. 

In 2070 BC, the first Chinese dynasty - Xia Dynasty was established. This brought into being a society based upon slavery and China experienced about 1,300-year's rule by the Xia, Shang, and Western Zhou Dynasties. This era was followed by the Eastern Zhou Dynasty also named Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods during which silk production advanced and steel production started. At the same time, many scholars rose to fame despite continual wars and chaos. These included philosophers Lao Zi, Confucius, Mencius and Mo Zi as well as the militarist Sun Wu.

In 221 BC, Ying Zheng, ruler of the Qin State with great talent and bold vision, established the first centralized, unified, multi-ethnic feudal state in Chinese history - the Qin Dynasty, bringing to an end over 250 years of rivalry among the vassals during the Warring States Periods. From that time on China was subject to a long period of feudal society that lasted for nearly 2,100 years, which was the dominant stage of the country's ancient history. During the feudal period, under the rule of many wise emperors, China was one of the world's greatest economies especially during the Han and Tang Dynasties. 

At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Republic of China rose from the chaos, thereby establishing the country as a modern capitalist society. This lasted for a short but turbulent period until the foundation of the People's Republic of China on January 1, 1949. This had the effect of totally changing the fortune of the Chinese people's fortune as the nation entered the socialist era that we know today.

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. China since the early 1990s has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.

National emblem: Tiananmen Gatetower under five stars, encircled by ears of grain and with a gear wheel below.

On June 18, 1950, the Second Session of the First CPPCC National Committee adopted the design and illustration of the national emblem of the PRC. On September 27 that year, Chairman Mao Zedong ordered the promulgation of the national emblem. Composed of patterns of the national flag, the Tian'anmen Rostrum, a wheel gear and ears of wheat, it symbolizes the New-Democratic Revolution of the Chinese people since the May 4th Movement (1919) and the birth of New China under the people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class on the basis of the worker-peasant alliance.

Population:1,330,141,295 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic Groups:

China is a united multi-ethnic nation of 56 ethnic groups. As the majority (91.6 percent) of the population is of the Han ethnic group, China's other 55 ethnic groups are customarily referred to as ethnic minorities. According to the fifth national census in 2000, 18 ethnic minorities have a population of over one million, namely the Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uygur, Yi, Tujia, Mongolian, Tibetan, Bouyei, Dong, Yao, Korean, Bai, Hani, Li, Kazak and Dai. Of these the Zhuang ethnic group has the biggest population, numbering 16.179 million. There are 17 ethnic groups with a population of between 100,000 and one million, namely the She, Lisu, Gelao, Lahu, Dongxiang, Va, Sui, Naxi, Qiang, Tu, Xibe, Mulam, Kirgiz, Daur, Jingpo, Salar and Maonan. There are 20 ethnic groups with a population of between 10,000 and 100,000, namely, Blang, Tajik, Primi, Achang, Nu, Ewenki, Gin, Jino, Deang, Ozbek, Russian, Bonan, Monba, Oroqen, Derung, Tatar, Hezhen, Gaoshan (excluding the Gaoshan ethnic group in Taiwan) and Lhoba. The Lhoba ethnic group, at 2,965, has the smallest population.

The Han people can be found throughout the country, mainly on the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, the Yangtze River and the Pearl River valleys, and the Northeast Plain. The 55 ethnic minorities, though fewer in number, are also scattered over vast areas and can be found in approximately 64.3 percent of China, mainly distributed in the border areas of northeast, north, northwest and southwest China. Yunnan Province, home to more than 20 ethnic groups, has the greatest diversity of ethnic groups in China. Over China's long history, repeated instances of ethnic group migrations, opening up new land for cultivation, emigration, relocation of the ruling dynasty, and a host of other reasons, gave rise to the situation of “living together over vast areas while some living in compact communities in small areas.” This continues to provide the practical basis for political, economic and cultural intercourse between the Han and the various minority peoples, and for the functioning of the regional ethnic autonomy system.

With a landmass of 9,600,000 sq km, China is the third largest country in the world.

Located in the east of the Asian continent, on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean, the People's Republic of China has a land area of about 9.6 million sq km, and is the third-largest country in the world, next only to Russia and Canada.

From north to south, the territory of China stretches from the center of the Heilong River north of the town of Mohe to the Zengmu Reef at the southernmost tip of the Nansha Islands, covering a distance of 5,500 km. From east to west, the nation extends from the confluence of the Heilong and Wusuli rivers to the Pamirs, covering a distance of 5,200 km.

With a land boundary of some 22,800 km, China is bordered by Korea to the east; Mongolia to the north; Russia to the northeast; Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the northwest; Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan to the west and southwest; and Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam to the south. Across the seas to the east and southeast are the Republic of Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia.

China's mainland coastline measures approximately 18,000 km, with a flat topography, and many excellent docks and harbors, most of which are ice-free all year round. The Chinese mainland is flanked to the east and south by the Bohai, Yellow, East China and South China seas, with a total maritime area of 4.73 million sq km. The Bohai Sea is China's continental sea, while the Yellow, East China and South China seas are marginal seas of the Pacific Ocean.

A total of 5,400 islands dot China's territorial waters. The largest of these, with an area of about 36,000 sq km, is Taiwan, followed by Hainan with an area of 34,000 sq km. The Diaoyu and Chiwei islands, located to the northeast of Taiwan Island, are China's easternmost islands. The many islands, islets, reefs and shoals in the South China Sea, known collectively as the South China Sea Islands, are China's southernmost island group. They are called the Dongsha (East Sandbar), Xisha (West Sandbar), Zhongsha (Middle Sandbar) and Nansha (South Sandbar) island groups according to their geographical locations.

The topography varies greatly in China, a vast land of lofty plateau, large plains, rolling land and big and small basins surrounded by lofty mountains. All the five basic topographic types in the world exist in China to create the conditions for developing industry and agriculture.

Mountainous land and very rough terrains make up 2/3 of Chinese territory, and this has created some problems in transport and in the development of agricultural production. However such topographical features are conducive to the development of forestry, mineral and hydropower resources and tourism.

With highlands in the west and plains in the east, China has a varied topography. The lie of the land may be divided into three tiers. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau that rises more than 4, 000m above sea-level forms the highest tier. It is a land of peaks and valleys studded with innumerable lakes. Along the plateau's southwestern fringe is the Himalayan Range, on the eastern section of which looms the 8, 848. 13 meter-high Mt. Qomolangma, the world's loftiest peak. The vast area north and east of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau that drops to an elevation below 1, 100-2, 000m forms the second tier-a land interspersed with extensive basins and highlands. Here the Turpan Basin in Xinjiang is 154m below sea-level-the lowest depression in China. The third tier is a vast area of rolling hills and plains with an elevation below 500m lying east of the line running from the Greater Hinggan and Taihang ranges in the north to the foothills of the Wushan Mountains and the Yunnan-Guizhou Highlands in the south. Though some peaks in this area are as high as 2, 000m, the plains along the coast have an elevation of less than 50m. Off the Chinese coast is an extensive continental shelf richly endowed with petroleum, natural gas and marine resources.

There are many mountain ranges in China.  Those extending from east to west are the Tianshan-Yinshan ranges and those in the center are the Kunlun-Qinling ranges, and those in the south are the Nanling ranges.  Ranges that stretch in a NE-SW direction are, for the most part, located in the eastern part of China.  They are the Greater Hinggan Range, Taihang, Wushan, Xuefengshan, Changbaishan and Wuyishan ranges.  Those running in a NW-SE direction are the Altai and Qilianshan ranges.  Ranges that run in a north-south direction are the Hengduanshan and Helanshan ranges.  And on the border between China and India, Nepal and other countries looms the 2, 400 kilometers-long Himalayan Range with an average elevation of 6, 000m.  

In China are three large plains with fertile soil, on which crops grow in luxuriant, as well as many small ones in the Chengdu area, the Pearl River Delta, western Taiwan Province and other areas:

 

23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)
provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; 
autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet)
municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin

President of China

 XI Jinping 

Xi Jinping replaced Hu Jintao as head of the Chinese Communist Party on November 14.2012, ushering in the fifth generation of leaders set to run the world’s second-biggest economy over the next decade. He was also named chairman of the party’s Central Military Commission.

Xi Jinping, 59, was was named general secretary of the 82- million member Communist Party and is set to take over the presidency, a mostly ceremonial post, from Hu Jintao in March. He served in top positions in prosperous coastal regions, including Fujian, Zhejiang and Shanghai, from 1985 through 2007, winning praise for his pro-market policies. Since returning to Beijing, Xi has also headed the Communist Party’s main cadre training school, where he makes speeches laced with references to Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. A visit to the U.S. in February took him back to Muscatine, Iowa, where he spent time in 1985 studying farming techniques. The son of one of the revolutionary founders of the Communist state, he is married to Peng Liyuan, a popular Chinese folksinger. Their only daughter is an undergraduate at Harvard University.

Executive Vice Premier LI Keqiang (17 March 2008)

Li Keqiang, 57, is currently China’s executive vice premier in charge of the economy and health care, and is set to inherit Wen Jiabao’s job as Chinese premier in March. A native of Anhui province, Li graduated from Peking University, the school that many of the student leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen protests attended. He studied law as an undergraduate and earned a PhD in economics in 1994, writing a doctoral thesis on urbanization. He rose through the ranks of the Communist Party’s Youth League, which Hu Jintao led at the time. Li served as Communist Party secretary of central China’s Henan province, where he faced criticism for his handling of an AIDS crisis that was caused by a government-run blood donation program. As the vice premier focused on the economy, Li argued that China’s growth model should shift away from investment and toward more consumption, making China’s income distribution more equitable -- or, as he put it in a 2010 speech, more “olive shaped.” Li’s brother, Li Keming, is a deputy head of China’s State Tobacco Monopoly.

Vice Premier WANG Qishan (since 17 March 2008)

Wang Qishan, 64, is currently vice premier overseeing the financial sector and is the direct counterpart to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, who in 2009 described Wang as China’s “definitive preeminent troubleshooter, firefighter, problem solver.” Wang got that reputation for being summoned to fix crises including the 1998 collapse of an investment company and the government’s botched response to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome epidemic in 2003, when Beijing reported more cases than any other city worldwide. As Beijing’s mayor, he oversaw preparations for the 2008 Olympics. Wang is the only banker on the Politburo Standing Committee, having led China Construction Bank Corp. (939), now China’s No. 2 lender, as well serving as vice governor of the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank. Wang is married to the daughter of Yao Yilin, one of the country’s top officials in the 1980s.

Yu Zhengsheng, 67, trained as an engineer and was formerly minister of construction. He replaced Xi Jinping as Communist Party secretary of the financial hub of Shanghai in 2007. Yu’s brother, who was a top official in China’s Ministry of State Security, defected to the U.S. in 1985. His great uncle was the defense minister under Chiang Kai-shek, China’s leader before the Communist victory in 1949, according to Cheng Li, who studies China’s elite politics at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Yu served under former General Secretary Jiang Zemin at the Ministry of Electronics Industry. He has served in top official posts across the country and entered the Politburo in 2002.

 Vice Premier ZHANG Dejiang (since 17 March 2008)

Zhang Dejiang, 66 this month, is currently Chongqing party secretary and vice premier in charge of industries including telecommunications and energy. Zhang was appointed to run Chongqing after Bo Xilai was ousted earlier this year amid a political scandal that led to his wife’s conviction for murdering a British businessman. Zhang said at the time that Bo had brought “great damage” to the Communist Party’s image. Zhang studied economics at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang and rose to the post of party secretary in northeast China’s Jilin province in 1995. In 1998 he took the top party post in coastal Zhejiang province and entered the Politburo in 2002, moving to take over Guangdong, China’s most populous province. He has been a vice premier since 2008.

Zhang Gaoli, who turns 66 this month, has been the Communist Party secretary of Tianjin since 2007. In Tianjin, he oversaw a surge in infrastructure spending near the municipality’s port area centered on a new financial district, Yujiapu, modeled on Manhattan. The infrastructure spending was backed by a borrowing binge, and the city’s state-owned construction companies are among the most indebted in the country. Zhang studied planning and statistics as a student and worked in the oil industry in the 1970s and 1980s in southern China. He took the top post in the industrial city of Shenzhen in 1997. Zhang became party secretary of the coastal province of Shandong in 2002, moving to the Tianjin post and membership on the Politburo in 2007.

Liu Yunshan, 65, has been minister of the Communist Party’s propaganda department since 2002, supervising the country’s television and radio stations, newspapers, book publishers and Internet companies. Liu’s career has been limited to the province of Inner Mongolia and then Beijing, where he moved up the ranks of the Communist Party’s propaganda apparatus after becoming a deputy minister in 1993. Liu moved to the minister’s job a decade ago, securing a spot in the Politburo. Liu’s son, Liu Lefei, was chairman of state-owned Citic Private Equity Fund Management Co. until earlier this year.

 

cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
elections: president and vice president elected by National People's Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 15-17 March 2008 (next to be held in mid-March 2013); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
election results: HU Jintao elected president by National People's Congress with a total of 2,963 votes; XI Jinping elected vice president with a total of 2,919 votes

China's economy during the past 30 years has changed from a centrally planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector and is a major player in the global economy. Reforms started in the late 1970s with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, the foundation of a diversified banking system, the development of stock markets, the rapid growth of the non-state sector, and the opening to foreign trade and investment. Annual inflows of foreign direct investment rose to nearly $108 billion in 2008. China has generally implemented reforms in a gradualist or piecemeal fashion. In recent years, China has re-invigorated its support for leading state-owned enterprises in sectors it considers important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive national champions. After keeping its currency tightly linked to the US dollar for years, China in July 2005 revalued its currency by 2.1% against the US dollar and moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. Cumulative appreciation of the renminbi against the US dollar since the end of the dollar peg was more than 20% by late 2008, but the exchange rate has remained virtually pegged since the onset of the global financial crisis. The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2009 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, although in per capita terms the country is still lower middle-income. The Chinese government faces numerous economic development challenges, including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic demand through increased corporate transfers and a strengthened social safety net; (b) sustaining adequate job growth for tens of millions of migrants and new entrants to the work force; (c) reducing corruption and other economic crimes; and (d) containing environmental damage and social strife related to the economy's rapid transformation. Economic development has been more rapid in coastal provinces than in the interior, and approximately 200 million rural laborers and their dependents have relocated to urban areas to find work. One demographic consequence of the "one child" policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. 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 economic development. In 2006, China announced that by 2010 it would decrease energy intensity 20% from 2005 levels. In 2009, China announced that by 2020 it would reduce carbon intensity 40% from 2005 levels. The Chinese government seeks to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, and is focusing on nuclear and other alternative energy development. In 2009, the global economic downturn reduced foreign demand for Chinese exports for the first time in many years. The government vowed to continue reforming the economy and emphasized the need to increase domestic consumption in order to make China less dependent on foreign exports for GDP growth in the future.

A Brief Chinese Chronology

Xia Dynasty

about 2070 BC-1600 BC

Shang Dynasty

about 1600 BC-1046 BC

Zhou Dynasty

Western Zhou Dynasty

Eastern Zhou Dynasty

Spring and Autumn Period

Warring States

about 1046 BC-221 BC

about 1046 BC-771 BC

770BC-256BC

770BC-476BC

475BC-221BC

Qin Dynasty

221BC-206BC

Han Dynasty

Western Han

Eastern Han

202BC-220AD

202BC-8AD

25AD-220AD

Three Kingdoms

Wei

Shu

Wu

220AD-280AD

220AD-265AD

221AD-263AD

222AD-280AD

Jin Dynasty

Western Jin Dynasty

Eastern Jin Dynasty

265AD-420AD

265AD-316AD

317AD-420AD

Sixteen Kingdoms

304AD-439AD

Northern and Southern Dynasties

Northern Dynasties

Southern Dynasties

386AD-589AD

386AD-581AD

420AD-589AD

Sui Dynasty

581AD-618AD

Tang Dynasty

618AD-907AD

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms

907AD-979AD

Song Dynasty

Northern Song Dynasty 

Southern Song Dynasty

960AD-1276AD

960AD-1127AD

1127AD-1276AD

Liao Dynasty

916AD-1125AD

Western Xia Dynasty

1038AD-1227AD

Jin Dynasty

1115AD-1234AD

Yuan Dynasty

1271AD-1368AD

Ming Dynasty

1368AD-1644AD

Qing Dynasty

1644AD-1911AD

Republic of China

1912AD-1949AD

People's Republic of China

founded on Oct.1, 1949

 

Introduction ::China

Background:

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. China since the early 1990s has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.

Geography ::China

Location:

Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam

Geographic coordinates:

35 00 N, 105 00 E

Map references:

Asia

Area:

total: 9,596,961 sq km country comparison to the world: 4 land: 9,569,901 sq km

water: 27,060 sq km

Area - comparative:

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

Coastline:

14,500 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:

extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north

Terrain:

mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m

highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m

Natural resources:

coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)

Land use:

arable land: 14.86%

permanent crops: 1.27%

other: 83.87% (2005)

Irrigated land:

545,960 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

2,829.6 cu km (1999)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 549.76 cu km/yr (7%/26%/68%)

per capita: 415 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

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

Environment - current issues:

air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak

People ::China

Population:

1,336,718,015 (July 2011 est.) country comparison to the world: 1

Age structure:

0-14 years: 17.6% (male 126,634,384/female 108,463,142)

15-64 years: 73.6% (male 505,326,577/female 477,953,883)

65 years and over: 8.9% (male 56,823,028/female 61,517,001) (2011 est.)

Median age:

total: 35.5 years

male: 34.9 years

female: 36.2 years (2011 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.493% (2011 est.) country comparison to the world: 152

Birth rate:

12.29 births/1,000 population (2011 est.) country comparison to the world: 160

Death rate:

7.03 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.) country comparison to the world: 132

Net migration rate:

-0.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.) country comparison to the world: 130

Urbanization:

urban population: 47% of total population (2010)

rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population:

Shanghai 16.575 million; BEIJING (capital) 12.214 million; Chongqing 9.401 million; Shenzhen 9.005 million; Guangzhou 8.884 million (2009)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.133 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.17 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female

total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 16.06 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 112 male: 15.61 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 16.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.68 years country comparison to the world: 95 male: 72.68 years

female: 76.94 years (2011 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.54 children born/woman (2011 est.) country comparison to the world: 182

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 122

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

740,000 (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 14

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

26,000 (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 14

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: intermediate

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: Japanese encephalitis and dengue fever

soil contact disease: hantaviral hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)

animal contact disease: rabies

note:highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Chinese (singular and plural)

adjective: Chinese

Ethnic groups:

Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uighur, 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.)

Languages:

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)

note:Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 91.6%

male: 95.7%

female: 87.6% (2007)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years

male: 11 years

female: 12 years (2009)

Government ::China

Country name:

conventional long form: People's Republic of China

conventional short form: China

local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo

local short form: Zhongguo

abbreviation: PRC

Government type:

Communist state

Capital:

name: Beijing

geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E

time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

note:despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone; many people in Xinjiang Province observe an unofficial "Xinjiang timezone" of UTC+6, two hours behind Beijing

Administrative divisions:

23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)

provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)

autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet)

municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin

note:China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau

Independence:

1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established); notable earlier dates: 221 BC (unification under the Qin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China)

National holiday:

Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)

Constitution:

most recent promulgation 4 December 1982; amended several times

Legal system:

based on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation; party organs exercise authority over judiciary; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003); Vice President XI Jinping (since 15 March 2008)

head of government: Premier WEN Jiabao (since 16 March 2003); Executive Vice Premier LI Keqiang (17 March 2008), Vice Premier HUI Liangyu (since 17 March 2003), Vice Premier ZHANG Dejiang (since 17 March 2008), and Vice Premier WANG Qishan (since 17 March 2008)

cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president and vice president elected by National People's Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 15-17 March 2008 (next to be held in mid-March 2013); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress

election results: HU Jintao elected president by National People's Congress with a total of 2,963 votes; XI Jinping elected vice president with a total of 2,919 votes

Legislative branch:

unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,987 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and People's Liberation Army to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held in December 2007-February 2008 (date of next election to be held in late 2012 to early 2013)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 2,987

note:only members of the CCP, its eight allied parties, and sympathetic independent candidates are elected

Judicial branch:

Supreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's Congress); Local People's Courts (comprise higher, intermediate, and basic courts); Special People's Courts (primarily military, maritime, railway transportation, and forestry courts)

Political parties and leaders:

Chinese Communist Party or CCP [HU Jintao]; eight registered small parties controlled by CCP

Political pressure groups and leaders:

no substantial political opposition groups exist

International organization participation:

ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador ZHANG Yesui

chancery: 3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 495-2266

FAX: [1] (202) 495-2190

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Jon M. HUNTSMAN, Jr.

embassy: 55 An Jia Lou Lu, 100600 Beijing

mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002

telephone: [86] (10) 8531-3000

FAX: [86] (10) 8531-3300

consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan

Flag description:

red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner; the color red represents revolution, while the stars symbolize the four social classes - the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie (capitalists) - united under the Communist Party of China

National anthem:

name: "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" (The March of the Volunteers)

lyrics/music: TIAN Han/NIE Er

note:adopted 1949; the anthem, though banned during the Cultural Revolution, is more commonly known as "Zhongguo Guoge" (Chinese National Song); it was originally the theme song to the 1935 Chinese movie, "Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm"

Economy ::China

Economy - overview:

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 - in 2010 China became the world's largest exporter. Reforms began with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, creation of a diversified banking system, development of stock markets, rapid growth of the private sector, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors it considers important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive national champions. After keeping its currency tightly linked to the US dollar for years, in July 2005 China revalued its currency by 2.1% against the US dollar and moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid 2005 to late 2008 cumulative appreciation of the renminbi against the US dollar was more than 20%, but the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing allowed resumption of a gradual appreciation. The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2010 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, having surpassed Japan in 2001. The dollar values of China's agricultural and industrial output each exceed those of the US; China is second to the US in the value of services it produces. Still, per capita income is below the world average. The Chinese government faces numerous economic challenges, including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic demand; (b) sustaining adequate job growth for tens of millions of migrants and new entrants to the work force; (c) reducing corruption and other economic crimes; and (d) containing environmental damage and social strife related to the economy's rapid transformation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and approximately 200 million rural laborers and their dependents have relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of the "one child" policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. 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 economic development. The Chinese government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on nuclear and alternative energy development. In 2009, the global economic downturn reduced foreign demand for Chinese exports for the first time in many years, but China rebounded quickly, outperforming all other major economies in 2010 with GDP growth around 10%. The economy appears set to remain on a strong growth trajectory in 2011, lending credibility to the stimulus policies the regime rolled out during the global financial crisis. The government vows, in the 12th Five-Year Plan adopted in March 2011, to continue reforming the economy and emphasizes the need to increase domestic consumption in order to make the economy less dependent on exports for GDP growth in the future. However, China likely will make only marginal progress toward these rebalancing goals in 2011. Two economic problems China currently faces are inflation - which, late in 2010, surpassed the government's target of 3% - and local government debt, which swelled as a result of stimulus policies, and is largely off-the-books and potentially low-quality.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$9.872 trillion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 3 $8.95 trillion (2009 est.)

$8.204 trillion (2008 est.)

note:data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$5.745 trillion

note:because China's exchange rate is determine by fiat, rather than by market forces, the official exchange rate measure of GDP is not an accurate measure of China's output; GDP at the official exchange rate substantially understates the actual level of China's output vis-a-vis the rest of the world; in China's situation, GDP at purchasing power parity provides the best measure for comparing output across countries (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

10.3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 7 9.1% (2009 est.)

9% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$7,400 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126 $6,800 (2009 est.)

$6,200 (2008 est.)

note:data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 9.6%

industry: 46.8%

services: 43.6% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

780 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 1

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 38.1%

industry: 27.8%

services: 34.1% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:

4.3% (September 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 40 4.2% (December 2008 est.)

note:official data for urban areas only; including migrants may boost total unemployment to 9%; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas

Population below poverty line:

2.8%

note:21.5 million rural population live below the official "absolute poverty" line (approximately $90 per year); an additional 35.5 million rural population live above that level but below the official "low income" line (approximately $125 per year) (2007)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.5%

highest 10%: 15%

note:data are for urban households only (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

41.5 (2007) country comparison to the world: 53 40 (2001)

Investment (gross fixed):

47.8% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 1

Budget:

revenues: $1.149 trillion

expenditures: $1.27 trillion (2010 est.)

Public debt:

17.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 113 16.9% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 140 -0.7% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

2.79% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 110 2.79% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

5.81% (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 142 5.31% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$3.838 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 4 $3.242 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of broad money:

$10.08 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 5 $8.933 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$8.156 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 4 $7.24 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$5.008 trillion (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 4 $2.794 trillion (31 December 2008)

$6.226 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)

Agriculture - products:

world leader in gross value of agricultural output; rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish

Industries:

world leader in gross value of industrial output; mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products, including footwear, toys, and electronics; food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites

Industrial production growth rate:

11% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 17

Electricity - production:

3.451 trillion kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 2

Electricity - consumption:

3.438 trillion kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 2

Electricity - exports:

16.64 billion kWh (2008)

Electricity - imports:

3.842 billion kWh (2008)

Oil - production:

3.991 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 5

Oil - consumption:

8.2 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 3

Oil - exports:

388,000 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 33

Oil - imports:

4.393 million bbl/day (2008) country comparison to the world: 4

Oil - proved reserves:

20.35 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 13

Natural gas - production:

82.94 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 9

Natural gas - consumption:

87.08 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 9

Natural gas - exports:

3.32 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 32

Natural gas - imports:

7.462 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 27

Natural gas - proved reserves:

3.03 trillion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 13

Current account balance:

$272.5 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 1 $297.1 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$1.506 trillion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 2 $1.204 trillion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, textiles, iron and steel, optical and medical equipment

Exports - partners:

US 20.03%, Hong Kong 12.03%, Japan 8.32%, South Korea 4.55%, Germany 4.27% (2009)

Imports:

$1.307 trillion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 3 $954.3 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels, optical and medical equipment, metal ores, plastics, organic chemicals

Imports - partners:

Japan 12.27%, Hong Kong 10.06%, South Korea 9.04%, US 7.66%, Taiwan 6.84%, Germany 5.54% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$2.622 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 1 $2.426 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$406.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 23 $349.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$574.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 9 $473.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$278.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 15 $229.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Renminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -

6.7852 (2010)

6.8314 (2009)

6.9385 (2008)

7.61 (2007)

7.97 (2006)

Communications ::China

Telephones - main lines in use:

313.68 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 1

Telephones - mobile cellular:

747 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 1

Telephone system:

general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns; China continues to develop its telecommunications infrastructure, and is partnering with foreign providers to expand its global reach; China in the summer of 2008 began a major restructuring of its telecommunications industry, resulting in the consolidation of its six telecom service operators to three, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, each providing both fixed-line and mobile services

domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; the number of Internet users exceeded 250 million by summer 2008; a domestic satellite system with 55 earth stations is in place

international: country code - 86; a number of submarine cables provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 7 (5 Intelsat - 4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean; 1 Intersputnik - Indian Ocean region; and 1 Inmarsat - Pacific and Indian Ocean regions) (2008)

Broadcast media:

all broadcast media are owned by, or affiliated with, the Communist Party of China or a government agency; no privately-owned television or radio stations with state-run Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations offering more than 2,000 channels; the Central Propaganda Department lists subjects that are off limits to domestic broadcast media with the government maintaining authority to approve all programming; foreign-made TV programs must be approved prior to broadcast (2008)

Internet country code:

.cn

Internet hosts:

15.251 million (2010) country comparison to the world: 6

Internet users:

389 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 1

Transportation ::China

Airports:

502 (2010) country comparison to the world: 15

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 442

over 3,047 m: 63

2,438 to 3,047 m: 137

1,524 to 2,437 m: 132

914 to 1,523 m: 27

under 914 m: 83 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 60

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 13

under 914 m: 27 (2010)

Heliports:

48 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 38,566 km; oil 23,470 km; refined products 13,706 km (2010)

Railways:

total: 77,834 km country comparison to the world: 3 standard gauge: 77,084 km 1.435-m gauge (24,433 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 750 km 0.750-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 3,583,715 km (includes 53,913 km of expressways) (2007) country comparison to the world: 2

Waterways:

110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2010) country comparison to the world: 1

Merchant marine:

total: 2,010 country comparison to the world: 3 by type: barge carrier 6, bulk carrier 571, cargo 639, carrier 5, chemical tanker 98, container 204, liquefied gas 55, passenger 9, passenger/cargo 83, petroleum tanker 271, refrigerated cargo 35, roll on/roll off 9, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 24

foreign-owned: 18 (Germany 1, Hong Kong 15, Japan 2)

registered in other countries: 1,623 (Bahamas 4, Bangladesh 1, Belize 64, Bermuda 13, Cambodia 203, Comoros 1, Cyprus 6, France 5, Georgia 11, Germany 2, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 432, India 1, Indonesia 1, Kiribati 28, Liberia 10, Malta 11, Marshall Islands 16, North Korea 1, Norway 25, Panama 574, Philippines 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 82, Sierra Leone 12, Singapore 26, South Korea 9, Thailand 1, Togo 2, Tuvalu 9, UK 7, unknown 59) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Dalian, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin

Military ::China

Military branches:

People's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (Zhongguo Renmin Jiefangjun Kongjun, PLAAF; includes Airborne Forces), and Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force); People's Armed Police (PAP); PLA Reserve Force (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with 24-month service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs; in 2010, a decision was made to allow women in combat roles (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 385,821,101

females age 16-49: 363,789,674 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 318,265,016

females age 16-49: 300,323,611 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 10,406,544

female: 9,131,990 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

4.3% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 23

Transnational Issues ::China

Disputes - international:

continuing talks and confidence-building measures work toward reducing tensions over Kashmir that nonetheless remains militarized with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; China and India continue their security and foreign policy dialogue started in 2005 related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, and other matters; China claims most of India's Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas; lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the largest of which lie in Bhutan's northwest and along the Chumbi salient; Bhutan protests Chinese road construction and other activities on Bhutanese soil; Chinese border soldiers frequently intrude deep into Bhutanese territory; Burmese forces attempting to dig in to the largely autonomous Shan State to rout local militias tied to the drug trade, prompts local residents to periodically flee into neighboring Yunnan Province in China; Chinese maps show an international boundary symbol off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Seas, where China has interrupted Vietnamese hydrocarbon exploration; China asserts sovereignty over Scarborough Reef along with the Philippines and Taiwan, and over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brunei; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" eased tensions in the Spratly's but is not the legally binding "code of conduct" sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly's and in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord on marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; China and Taiwan continue to reject both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared equidistance line in the East China Sea, the site of intensive hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen rivers are in dispute with North Korea; North Korea and China seek to stem illegal migration to China by North Koreans, fleeing privations and oppression, by building a fence along portions of the border and imprisoning North Koreans deported by China; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 Agreement; China and Tajikistan have begun demarcating the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China has reconsidered construction of 13 dams on the Salween River, but energy-starved Burma, with backing from Thailand, remains intent on building five hydro-electric dams downstream despite regional and international protests; Chinese and Hong Kong authorities met in March 2008 to resolve ownership and use of lands recovered in Shenzhen River channelization, including 96-hectare Lok Ma Chau Loop; Hong Kong developing plans to reduce 2,000 out of 2,800 hectares of its restricted Closed Area by 2010

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 300,897 (Vietnam); estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea)

IDPs: 90,000 (2007)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: China is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor; the majority of trafficking in China occurs within the country's borders, but there is also considerable international trafficking of Chinese citizens to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America; Chinese women are lured abroad through false promises of legitimate employment, only to be forced into commercial sexual exploitation, largely in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan; women and children are trafficked to China from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor, marriage, and prostitution; some North Korean women and children seeking to leave their country voluntarily cross the border into China and are then sold into prostitution, marriage, or forced labor

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - China is on the Tier 2 Watch List for the fourth consecutive year for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly in terms of punishment of trafficking crimes and the protection of Chinese and foreign victims of trafficking; victims are sometimes punished for unlawful acts that were committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, such as violations of prostitution or immigration/emigration controls; the Chinese Government continued to treat North Korean victims of trafficking solely as economic migrants, routinely deporting them back to horrendous conditions in North Korea; additional challenges facing the Chinese Government include the enormous size of its trafficking problem and the significant level of corruption and complicity in trafficking by some local government officials (2008)

Illicit drugs:

major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia; growing domestic consumption of synthetic drugs, and heroin from Southeast and Southwest Asia; source country for methamphetamine and heroin chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry (2008)

 

Credit: CIA Fact Book, People's Republic of China