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China (Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, slightly ahead of India. China spans the equivalent of five time zones and borders fourteen countries by land, the most of any country in the world, tied with Russia. With an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometres (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third largest country by total land area. The country consists of 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and financial center is Shanghai.

Modern Chinese trace their origins to a cradle of civilization in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. The semi-legendary Xia dynasty in the 21st century BCE and the well-attested Shang and Zhou dynasties developed a bureaucratic political system to serve hereditary monarchies, or dynasties. Chinese writing, Chinese classic literature, and the Hundred Schools of Thought emerged during this period and influenced China and its neighbors for centuries to come. In the third century BCE, Qin's wars of unification created the first Chinese empire, the short-lived Qin dynasty. The Qin was followed by the more stable Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), which established a model for nearly two millennia in which the Chinese empire was one of the world's foremost economic powers. The empire expanded, fractured, and reunified; was conquered and reestablished; absorbed foreign religions and ideas; and made world-leading scientific advances, such as the Four Great Inventions: gunpowder, paper, the compass, and printing. After centuries of disunity following the fall of the Han, the Sui (581–618) and Tang (618–907) dynasties reunified the empire. The multi-ethnic Tang welcomed foreign trade and culture that came over the Silk Road and adapted Buddhism to Chinese needs. The early modern Song dynasty (960–1279) became increasingly urban and commercial. The civilian scholar-officials or literati used the examination system and the doctrines of Neo-Confucianism to replace the military aristocrats of earlier dynasties. The Mongol invasion established the Yuan dynasty in 1279, but the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) re-established Han Chinese control. The Manchu-led Qing dynasty nearly doubled the empire's territory and established a multi-ethnic state that was the basis of the modern Chinese nation, but suffered heavy losses to foreign imperialism in the 19th century.

China is currently governed as a unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic by the CCP. China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a founding member of several multilateral and regional cooperation organizations such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, the New Development Bank, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the RCEP. It is also a member of the BRICS, the G8+5, the G20, the APEC, and the East Asia Summit. It ranks among the lowest in measurements of democracy, civil liberties, government transparency, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the human rights of ethnic minorities. The Chinese authorities have been criticized by human rights activists and non-governmental organizations for human rights abuses, including political repression, mass censorship, mass surveillance of their citizens, and violent suppression of protest and dissent. (Full article...)

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Skewered quail is common street food in Qibao Town, Shanghai.
Shanghai cuisine (Chinese: 上海菜; pinyin: Shànghǎi cài; Shanghainese: zaon⁶ he⁵ tshe¹; IPA: [zɑ̃¹¹ he⁴⁴ tsʰᴇ¹¹]), also known as Hu cuisine (simplified Chinese: 沪菜; traditional Chinese: 滬菜; pinyin: Hù cài; Shanghainese: wu⁶ tshe¹; IPA: [ɦu¹¹ tsʰᴇ⁴⁴]), is a popular style of Chinese food. In a narrow sense, Shanghai cuisine refers only to what is traditionally called Benbang cuisine (本帮菜; 本幫菜; Běnbāng cài; pen⁵ paon¹ tshe⁵; 'local cuisine') which originated in Shanghai. In a broader sense, it refers to complex styles of cooking developed under the influence of neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. The dishes within the cuisine need to master the following three elements "color, aroma and taste" (Chinese: "色香味"). Like other cuisines within China, Shanghai cuisine emphasises the use of seasonings, the quality of raw ingredients, and preserving the original flavors of ingredients. The adoption of Western influence in Shanghai cuisine resulted in a unique cooking style known as Haipai cuisine (海派菜). (Full article...)

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In the news

30 January 2023 – Aging of China
The Chinese province of Sichuan announces the abolition of its three-child policy and the restrictions on birth registration for single parents on February 15, citing the country's population decline. (AFP via ABS-CBN News)
26 January 2023 – Hong Kong–United States relations
U.S. President Joe Biden grants a two-year extension to the Deferred Enforced Departure immigration status of Hong Kong residents, citing increasing tensions between Hong Kong and mainland China. (AFP via GMA News Online)
20 January 2023 – 2023 Nyingchi avalanche
Twenty-eight people are killed and 53 others are rescued during an avalanche at a tunnel in Nyingchi, Tibet, China. (Al Jazeera)
17 January 2023 – Aging of China
The National Bureau of Statistics reports that China's population, the largest in the world, declined for the first time since 1960, with a population decrease of 850,000 people reported in the past year. (AFP via France 24) (The New York Times)
11 January 2023 –
Five people are killed and 13 others injured when a man rams his automobile into a crowd in Guangzhou, China. (BBC News)
10 January 2023 – China–Japan relations, China–South Korea relations
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China's Politics

Emblem of the Communist Party of China
Xi Jinping

The General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is head of the Chinese Communist Party and the highest-ranking official within China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat. The officeholder is usually considered the paramount leader of China.

According to the Constitution, the General Secretary serves as an ex officio member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto top decision-making body. Since the early 1990s, the holder of the post has been, except for transitional periods, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, making the holder the Commander-in-chief of the People's Liberation Army.

The current General Secretary is Xi Jinping (picture), who took the office at the 18th National Congress on 15 November 2012.

National Emblem of the Republic of China
Tsai Ing-wen

The President of the Republic of China is the head of state of the Republic of China (ROC).

The Constitution names the president as head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China Armed Forces (formerly known as the National Revolutionary Army). The president is responsible for conducting foreign relations, such as concluding treaties, declaring war, and making peace. The president must promulgate all laws and has no right to veto. Other powers of the president include granting amnesty, pardon or clemency, declaring martial law, and conferring honors and decorations.

The current President is Tsai Ing-wen (picture), since May 20, 2016. The first woman to be elected to the office, Tsai is the seventh president of the Republic of China under the 1947 Constitution and the second president from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

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