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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 second-most populous country with a population exceeding 1.4 billion. China spans the equivalent of five time zones and borders fourteen countries by land, tied with Russia as having the most of any country in the world. With an area of nearly 9.6 million square kilometres (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third largest country by total land area. The country is divided into 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two semi-autonomous special administrative regions. The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and largest financial center is Shanghai.

The region that is now China has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era. The earliest Chinese dynastic states, such as the Shang and the Zhou, emerged in the basin of the Yellow River before the late second millenium BCE. The eighth to third centuries BCE saw a breakdown in Zhou authority and significant conflict, as well as the emergence of Classical Chinese literature and philosophy. In 221 BCE, China was unified under an emperor, ushering in more than two millennia in which China was governed by one or more imperial dynasties, such as the Han, Tang, Ming and Qing. Some of China's most notable achievements, such as the invention of gunpowder and paper, the establishment of the Silk Road, and the building of the Great Wall, occurred during this period. The Chinese culture, including languages, traditions, architecture, philosophy and more, has heavily influenced East Asia during this imperial period.

China is a unitary one-party socialist republic led by the CCP. It is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of several multilateral and regional organizations such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, the New Development Bank, and the RCEP. It is also a member of the BRICS, the G20, APEC, and the East Asia Summit. China ranks poorly in measures of democracy, transparency, and human rights, including for press freedom, religious freedom, and ethnic equality. Making up around one-fifth of the world economy, China is the world's largest economy by GDP at purchasing power parity, the second-largest economy by nominal GDP, and the second-wealthiest country. The country is one of the fastest-growing major economies and is the world's largest manufacturer and exporter, as well as the second-largest importer. China is a nuclear-weapon state with the world's largest standing army by military personnel and the second-largest defense budget. (Full article...)

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Did you know (auto generated)

  • ... that one of the largest and thickest loess plateaus in the world is the Loess Plateau in China?
  • ... that economist Nisvan Erkal's research showed that China's one-child policy created children who lacked qualities important for social and economic success?
  • ... that the release of Mario Kart: Super Circuit in China was cancelled because of excessive video-game piracy in the country?
  • ... that in China, Buddha-like parents, the polar opposite of tiger parents, do not envision their offspring accomplishing much in life?
  • ... that the China Folk House Retreat dismantled a Chinese folk house and rebuilt it in West Virginia?
  • ... that economist and anti-apartheid activist Vella Pillay arranged for South African revolutionaries to receive military training in the Soviet Union and China?

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War memorial hall commemorating the First Sino-Japanese War on Liugong Island

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In the news

22 September 2023 – China–Syria relations
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hangzhou, China, and signs a strategic partnership on infrastructure as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative. (Xinhua) (AP)
19 September 2023 –
Ten people are killed and eight others are injured by two tornadoes in Yancheng and Suqian in Jiangsu, China. (Reuters)
14 September 2023 – Recognition of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Afghanistan–China relations
China names Zhao Seng as ambassador to Afghanistan, the first country to deliver an ambassador to Afghanistan since the 2021 Taliban offensive. However, China continues to not recognise the Taliban government. (BBC News)
9 September 2023 – White Terror (Taiwan)
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen restores the reputations of victims of the White Terror repression, which was carried out by the Kuomintang government from the 1940s to the 1980s. The ceremony, held in Taipei, marked the first nationwide event that addresses crimes committed during the White Terror. (Taipei Times)
8 September 2023 – 2023 Pacific typhoon season
Flooding occurs in Guangdong and Fujian provinces in southern China after Typhoon Haikui makes landfall over the region. Rainfall records are reported in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. (Reuters)
7 September 2023 –
China bans the use of iPhones for government officials resulting in the market value of Apple Inc. stock declining by $200 billion in the past two days. (CNN) (Bloomberg)

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China's Politics

Emblem of the Communist Party of China
Emblem of the Communist Party of China
Xi Jinping
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
National Emblem of the Republic of China
Tsai Ing-wen
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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