- Art Gallery -



China, See : Flags, Maps

Myths and Legends of China, E. T. C. Werner

Travels in China, John Barrow

Village Life in China , Arthur H. Smith

Intimate China, Archibald Little

Peking Dust, Ellen N. La Motte

Sidelights on Chinese Life, J. Macgowan, Illustrated by Montague Smyth

China, by Sir Henry Arthur Blake, Illustrated by Mortimer Menpes

Chinese Poems, Charles Budd

The Sayings Of Confucius

Ti-Ping Tien-Kwoh, Augustus F. Lindley


Artist from China

The Arts of China, Michael Sullivan

Art in China, Craig Clunas

The Birth of Landscape Painting in China: The Sui and Tʻang dynasties, Michael Sullivan

Chinese brushwork in calligraphy and painting: its history, aesthetics, and tecniques, Da-Wei Kwo

Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents, Wu Hung, Peggy Wang

Art and artists of twentieth-century China, Michael Sullivan

Inside/out: new Chinese art , Minglu Gao, Norman Bryson, Asia Society. Galleries, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Performance art in China, Thomas J. Berghuis

Children in Chinese art, Ann Elizabeth Barrott Wicks

The Simple Art of Chinese Brush Painting, Qu Lei Lei

Poetry and Painting in Song China: The Subtle Art of Dissent, Alfreda Murck

Chinese sculpture, Angela Falco Howard

China (East & Southeast Asia)

Introduction ::China

China National anthem


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

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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:



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

China Great Wall

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


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


extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north


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


1,330,141,295 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 1

Age structure:

0-14 years: 19.8% (male 140,877,745/female 124,290,090)

15-64 years: 72.1% (male 495,724,889/female 469,182,087)

65 years and over: 8.1% (male 51,774,115/female 56,764,042) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 35.2 years

male: 34.5 years

female: 35.8 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.494% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 153

Birth rate:

12.17 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 164

Death rate:

6.89 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 142

Net migration rate:

-0.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 135


urban population: 43% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.14 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 (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 16.51 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 114 male: 15.84 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 17.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.51 years country comparison to the world: 93 male: 72.54 years

female: 76.77 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.54 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 182

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 115

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

700,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 17

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

39,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 15

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)


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)


Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%

note: officially atheist (2002 est.)


Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect) (official), 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)


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: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 12 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

1.9% of GDP (1999) country comparison to the world: 172

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


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


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)


most recent promulgation 4 December 1982 with amendments in 1988, 1993, 1999, 2004

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


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: "Yiyonggjun 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:

China's economy since the late 1970s has changed from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major role in the global economy - 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 generally 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 exceeded those of the US, although China was second to the US in the value of services it produced. Still, per capita income is below the world average. The Chinese government faces numerous economic development 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 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. 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 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, but 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: 5 9.1% (2009 est.)

9% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$7,400 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 127 $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:

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

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 39.5%

industry: 27.2%

services: 33.2% (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:


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: 54 40 (2001)

Investment (gross fixed):

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

Public debt:

17.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 112 16.9% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 143 -0.7% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

2.79% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 129 2.79% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

5.81% (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 147 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


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: 12

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: 32

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: 8

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: 31

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.)


$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)


$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: 22 $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:


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


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)


48 (2010)


gas 32,545 km; oil 20,097 km; refined products 10,915 km (2009)


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)


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


110,000 km navigable (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,

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: 381,747,145

females age 16-49: 360,385,629 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 314,668,817

females age 16-49: 298,745,786 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 10,699,186

female: 9,460,217 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

4.3% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 22

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 due to cartographic discrepancies; 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)



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