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China Historical and Political Profile

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China Index

  • China-Composition of Foreign Trade
  • China-Textiles
  • China-Reserve Service System
  • China-Leading Group for Science and Technology
  • China-Promotion
  • China-Nationalism
  • China-Social Stratification
  • China-The Legal System under the 1975 State Constitution
  • China-Publishing
  • China-Capital Construction
  • China-Telecommunications Services
  • China-Crops
  • China-Integration of Administrative Systems
  • China-Military Modernization in the 1970s
  • China-Sino-American Relations
  • China-Deng Xiaoping Consolidates Power
  • China-Stratification and Families
  • China-Research in Colleges, Universities, and Enterprises
  • China-The Budget
  • China-General Political Department
  • China-Housing Construction CONSTRUCTION
  • China-Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
  • China-Building Materials
  • China-The Cultural Revolution Decade, 1966-76
  • China-The Decentralization of Power
  • China-People-to-People Diplomacy
  • China-Arms Sales
  • China-Collectivization and Class Status RURAL SOCIETY
  • China-Diffusion of Values
  • China-The Period of Readjustment, 1979-81
  • China-Radio and Television
  • China-The Post-Mao Interlude, 1976-78
  • China-Traditional Social Structure
  • China-Chapter 8 - Trade and Transportation
  • China-Historical Background LAW ENFORCEMENT
  • China-Raw Materials
  • China-Urbanization
  • China-State Security
  • China-Mortality and Fertility
  • China-Newspapers
  • China-Modes of Transfer
  • China-Events During the Cultural Revolution Decade, 1966-76
  • China-Work Units
  • China-The Relation with Economic Reform
  • China-Table A - Chronology of Chinese Dynasties
  • China-Libraries and Archives
  • China-Political Reform
  • China-Inland Waterways
  • China-The People's Liberation Army in the Cultural Revolution
  • China-Developments after 1949
  • China-Boundaries
  • China-Rise of the Communists
  • China-Fertilizer
  • China-Painting and Calligraphy
  • China-Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade
  • China-Trade Policy in the 1980s
  • China-Planning
  • China-The Opening Up Policy and Reform in the Countryside
  • China-THE SECOND WAVE OF REFORM, 1984-86
  • China-Population Control Programs
  • China-China's Role in International Organizations
  • China-Historical Legacy and Worldview
  • China-Literacy and Language Reform
  • China-Wages and Benefits
  • China-India
  • China-Chapter 2 - Physical Environment and Population
  • China-Military Research and Development and the National Defense Science, Technology, and Industry Commission
  • China-Water Conservancy
  • China-The Confucian Legacy
  • China-Paper
  • China-Communist Party Membership
  • China-Family and Household
  • China-Chapter 10 - Party and Government
  • China-Chapter 12 - Foreign Relations
  • China-Iron Ore
  • China-The Self-Strengthening Movement
  • China-Chapter 7 - Industry
  • China-Paramilitary Forces
  • China-Weapons Production
  • China-Personnel and Job Mobility
  • China-Seed Varieties Pest Control
  • China-Grass-Roots Organizations
  • China-FOREWORD
  • China-Chapter 9 - Science and Technology
  • China-The Program
  • China-The People's Armed Police Force
  • China-Community Structure
  • China-Decollectivization
  • China-Chapter 5 - Economic Context
  • China-Energy
  • China-Educational Investment
  • China-RELIGION
  • China-Background HIGHER EDUCATION
  • China-Communist Youth League
  • China-Electric Power Equipment
  • China-Reform of the Economic System, Beginning in 1979
  • China-Chemicals
  • China-The Great Leap Forward, 1958-60
  • China-Early Years of the People's Republic, 1949-53
  • China-Key Schools
  • China-Animal Husbandry
  • China-National Party Congresses
  • China-Metallurgical Equipment
  • China-Europe
  • China-Air Force
  • China-Women, Artists, Students, and Others
  • China-Middle Schools SECONDARY EDUCATION
  • China-Inflation
  • China-Organization of Foreign Trade
  • China-Mongolian Interlude
  • China-Financial Transactions and Investment
  • China-Prices
  • China-Military Organization
  • China-Readjustment and Recovery: "Agriculture First," 1961-65
  • China-Anti-Japanese War
  • China-Examinations, Hereditary Transmission of Jobs, and Connections
  • China-The Republican Revolution of 1911
  • China-Industry
  • China-Literature in the Post-Mao Period
  • China-The First Five-Year Plan, 1953-57
  • China-Iron and Steel
  • China-Restoration of Empire
  • China-Railroads
  • China-Mass Organizations
  • China-The State Council
  • China-Trade Unions
  • China-The Ninth National Party Congress to the Demise of Lin Biao, 1969-71
  • China-Electronics
  • China-Popular Attitudes Toward the People's Liberation Army
  • China-Technology Markets and Joint Ventures
  • China-Urban-Rural Distinctions
  • China-Health Care
  • China-General Staff Department
  • China-The Post-Mao Period, 1976-78
  • China-Food
  • China-Legal Reforms in the 1982 State Constitution
  • China-The Banking System
  • China-Classics
  • China-Operational Control
  • China-Terrain and Drainage
  • China-Maritime Shipping
  • China-The Western Powers Arrive
  • China-Return to Civil War
  • China-The Hundred Schools of Thought
  • China-Migration
  • China-The Data Base POPULATION
  • China-Role in Modernization ADULT EDUCATION
  • China-Traditional Literature CULTURE AND THE ARTS
  • China-South China Sea
  • China-Changes in Enrollment and Assignment Policies
  • China-Other Minerals and Metals
  • China-Folk and Variety Arts
  • China-Vietnam
  • China-Soviet Influence in the 1950s
  • China-The Work Place DIFFERENTIATION
  • China-Compulsory Education Law
  • China-Sideline Production
  • China-Oil and Natural Gas ENERGY
  • China-The Great Leap Forward, 1958-60
  • China-Era of Disunity
  • China-Industry
  • China-The Cadre System
  • China-From the Founding of the People's Liberation Army to the Korean War HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT, 1927-79
  • China-Chapter 1 - Historical Setting
  • China-The Soviet Union PERCEPTION OF THREAT
  • China-Food Processing
  • China-Civil Aviation
  • China-Central Committee and Political Bureau
  • China-Marriage
  • China-National Organization and Administration
  • China-Modern Prose
  • China-Education and Training
  • China-Regulations and Favors
  • China-China Association of Science and Technology
  • China-The Zhou Period
  • China-Mechanization
  • China-Modernization Goals in the 1980s
  • China-National Defense Science, Technology, and Industry Commission
  • China-Ground Forces FORCE STRUCTURE
  • China-Early Poetry
  • China-Competing Bureaucratic Interests
  • China-Wildlife
  • China-Nationalism and Communism
  • China-Local Administration
  • China-Housing
  • China-Government and Party Organizations
  • China-The Judiciary
  • China-Decision Making and Implementation
  • China-Conditions of Service
  • China-The Supply of Skilled Manpower SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE 1980S
  • China-Entrance Examinations and Admission Criteria
  • China-Resistance and the Campaign Against Bourgeois Liberalization
  • China-Defense Industry
  • China-ECONOMY
  • China-The Militant Phase, 1966-68
  • China-Constitutional Framework THE GOVERNMENT
  • China-THE MEDIA
  • China-Retail Sales
  • China-Rectification and Reform
  • China-Taiwan
  • China-Ministry of National Defense and National Defense Science, Technology, and Industry Commission
  • China-The Role of the Household
  • China-Deng Xiaoping's Seminal Role
  • China-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • China-Informal Mechanisms of Exchange
  • China-Lateral Economic Cooperation
  • China-People's Armed Police Force
  • China-Introduction
  • China-Relations with the Third World
  • China-Acknowledgments
  • China-Nuclear Forces
  • China-Reform and Opening, Beginning in 1982
  • China-Chapter 11 - The Political Process
  • China-Democratic Parties
  • China-Special Education
  • China-Readjustment and Recovery, 1961-65
  • China-Chapter 4 - Education and Culture
  • China-The Opium War, 1839-42
  • China-The Chinese Regain Power
  • China-Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade
  • China-Political Role of the People's Liberation Army
  • China-Consequences of Rural Reform
  • China-Machine Building
  • China-Vocational and Technical Schools
  • China-Providing for the Next Generation
  • China-TEACHERS
  • China-Secretariat
  • China-Housing
  • China-Ideology and the Socialist Man
  • China-The Gang of Four, 1974-76
  • China
  • China-Linking Technology and Economics
  • China
  • China-Trading Partners
  • China-Historical Development TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • China-Importance of Agriculture Recognized
  • China-Emigration and Immigration
  • China-Study Abroad
  • China-CHINA
  • China-Opportunities and Competition
  • China-Reds Versus "Experts" in the 1950s and 1960s
  • China-Policy
  • China-The First Imperial Period THE IMPERIAL ERA
  • China-Training Reforms
  • China-Early Prose
  • China
  • China-The Decision-Making Process
  • China
  • China
  • China-The Imperial Era THE LEGAL SYSTEM
  • China-Planning Scientific Research
  • China-Tourism
  • China-Other Consumer Goods
  • China
  • China-Civil-Military Relations
  • China
  • China-Public Security Forces
  • China-Recovery from War, 1949-52
  • China-Traditional Arts
  • China-The Role of Prices
  • China-Foreign Learning and Chinese Learning
  • China -Country Profile
  • China
  • China-The Taiping Rebellion, 1851-64
  • China-The Role of Ideology
  • China-Alternative Forms
  • China
  • China-Republican China
  • China-Ideology and Social Change
  • China-The Influence of Ideology
  • China
  • China-Problems in Price Policy
  • China-General Logistics Department
  • China-Regional Distinctions
  • China-Electric and Nuclear Power
  • China-Clothing
  • China-Civilian Production
  • China-Sino-Soviet Relations
  • China-Central Military Commission
  • China-Post-Mao Development
  • China-The Rise of the Manchus
  • China-Coal MINING
  • China-SOCIETY
  • China-Bridges
  • China-Foreign Trade Corporations and Enterprises
  • China-Research Institutes
  • China-History of Chinese Foreign Trade FOREIGN TRADE
  • China-The Hundred Days' Reform and the Aftermath
  • China-Progress since 1949 LIVING STANDARDS
  • China-Labor
  • China-Personnel
  • China-State Science and Technology Commission
  • China-Transportation Equipment
  • China-WOMEN
  • China-Roles of the Government and the Party STRUCTURE AND OPERATION OF THE ECONOMY
  • China-Fishery
  • China-End of the Era of Mao Zedong, 1972-76
  • China-The Dawn of History
  • China-Defense Industry and the Economic Role of the People's Liberation Army
  • China-Minority Nationalities
  • China
  • China-Party Control
  • China-Return to Socialist Legality
  • China-Consolidation under the Guomindang
  • China-Relations with the Developed World
  • China-Recovery
  • China
  • China-Other Organizations Involved in Trade
  • China-Chapter 13 - Criminal Justice and Public Security
  • China
  • China-Opposing the Warlords
  • China-China and the Four Modernizations, 1979-82
  • China-The Examination System
  • China-Post-Mao Policies
  • China
  • China
  • China-Doctrine, Strategy, and Tactics
  • China-Chapter 6 - Agriculture
  • China-Agriculture
  • China-Contemporary Performing Arts
  • China-Other Party Organs
  • China
  • China-Japan
  • China
  • China-The National People's Congress
  • China-Primary Schools PRIMARY EDUCATION
  • China-Military Modernization in the 1950s and 1960s
  • China-Highways and Roads
  • China-Shortcomings of the Science and Technology System THE REFORM PROGRAM
  • China-The Components of Reform
  • China-Chapter 3 - The Social System
  • China-Consumer Goods
  • China-Income Distribution
  • China-New Directions
  • China-A Successor Generation
  • China
  • China-Social Mobility
  • China
  • China-Other Important Sectors
  • China-Military Expenditures
  • China-Machine Tools
  • China-Preschool Education
  • China-Navy
  • China-Membership
  • China-Rehabilitation and Rethinking, 1977-84
  • China-Resumption of Systematic Growth, 1970-74
  • China-Production and Construction Corps
  • China-THE FIRST WAVE OF REFORM, 1979-84
  • China-Economic Roles of the People's Liberation Army
  • China-The 1950s
  • China-Subways
  • China-Streamlining and Reduction in Force
  • China-Labor Force
  • China
  • China-Ministry of National Defense
  • China-Agricultural Science
  • China-Ranks, Uniforms, and Insignia
  • BackgroundFor 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.
    LocationEastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
    Area(sq km)total: 9,596,961 sq km
    land: 9,569,901 sq km
    water: 27,060 sq km
    Geographic coordinates35 00 N, 105 00 E
    Land boundaries(km)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(km)14,500 km

    Climateextremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north

    Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
    highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
    Natural resourcescoal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)
    Land use(%)arable land: 14.86%
    permanent crops: 1.27%
    other: 83.87% (2005)

    Irrigated land(sq km)545,960 sq km (2003)
    Total renewable water resources(cu km)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 hazardsfrequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
    Environment - current issuesair 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 agreementsparty 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 - noteworld's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak
    Population1,338,612,968 (July 2009 est.)
    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) (2009 est.)
    Median age(years)total: 34.1 years
    male: 33.5 years
    female: 34.7 years (2009 est.)
    Population growth rate(%)0.655% (2009 est.)
    Birth rate(births/1,000 population)14 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)7.06 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

    Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Urbanization(%)urban population: 43% of total population (2008)
    rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
    Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
    Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 20.25 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 18.87 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 21.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 73.47 years
    male: 71.61 years
    female: 75.52 years (2009 est.)

    Total fertility rate(children born/woman)1.79 children born/woman (2009 est.)
    Nationalitynoun: Chinese (singular and plural)
    adjective: Chinese
    Ethnic groups(%)Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, 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)

    Country nameconventional long form: People's Republic of China
    conventional short form: China
    local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
    local short form: Zhongguo
    abbreviation: PRC
    Government typeCommunist state
    Capitalname: 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 divisions23 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
    Constitutionmost recent promulgation 4 December 1982 with amendments in 1988 and 1993

    Legal systembased 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; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage18 years of age; universal
    Executive branchchief 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 Deijiang (since 17 March 2008), and Vice Premier WANG Qishan (since 17 March 2008)
    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 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 branchunicameral 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 December 2007-February 2008; date of next election - 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 branchSupreme 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 pressure groups and leadersthe China Democracy Party; the Falungong spiritual movement
    note: no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the government has identified the organizations listed above as subversive groups
    International organization participationADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, APT, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CDB, EAS, FAO, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-77, 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, MONUC, 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, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    Flag descriptionred 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

    Economy - overviewChina'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 $84 billion in 2007. 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 changed little 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 2008 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) strengthening its social safety net, including pension and health system reform, to counteract a high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic demand; (b) sustaining adequate job growth for tens of millions of migrants, new entrants to the work force, and workers laid off from state-owned enterprises deemed not worth saving; (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 - in recent years many have returned to their villages. 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 2007 China intensified government efforts to improve environmental conditions, tying the evaluation of local officials to environmental targets, publishing a national climate change policy, and establishing a high level leading group on climate change, headed by Premier WEN Jiabao. The Chinese government seeks to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil. In late 2008, as China commemorated the 30th anniversary of its historic economic reforms, the global economic downturn began to slow 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.
    GDP (purchasing power parity)$7.992 trillion (2008 est.)
    $7.332 trillion (2007 est.)
    $6.489 trillion (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP (official exchange rate)$4.327 trillion (2008 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate(%)9% (2008 est.)
    13% (2007 est.)
    11.6% (2006 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP)$6,000 (2008 est.)
    $5,500 (2007 est.)
    $4,900 (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 11.3%
    industry: 48.6%
    services: 40.1% (2008 est.)
    Labor force807.3 million (2008 est.)

    Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 43%
    industry: 25%
    services: 32% (2006 est.)
    Unemployment rate(%)4% (2008 est.)
    4% (2007 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(%)8%
    note: 21.5 million rural population live below the official "absolute poverty" line (approximately $90 per year); and an additional 35.5 million rural population above that but below the official "low income" line (approximately $125 per year) (2006 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 2.4%
    highest 10%: 31.4% (2004)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index47 (2007)
    40 (2001)
    Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)40.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
    Budgetrevenues: $847.8 billion
    expenditures: $861.6 billion (2008 est.)
    Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)5.9% (2008 est.)
    4.8% (2007 est.)

    Stock of money$2.434 trillion (31 December 2008)
    $2.09 trillion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of quasi money$4.523 trillion (31 December 2008)
    $3.437 trillion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of domestic credit$5.555 trillion (31 December 2008)
    $4.653 trillion (31 December 2007)
    Market value of publicly traded shares$2.794 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $6.226 trillion (31 December 2007)
    $2.426 trillion (31 December 2006)
    Economic aid - recipient$1.641 billion (FY07)

    Public debt(% of GDP)15.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
    31.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
    Agriculture - productsrice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish
    Industriesmining 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(%)9.3% (2008 est.)

    Current account balance$426.1 billion (2008 est.)
    $371.8 billion (2007 est.)
    Exports$1.435 trillion (2008 est.)
    $1.22 trillion (2007 est.)

    Exports - commodities(%)electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, textiles, iron and steel, optical and medical equipment
    Exports - partners(%)US 17.7%, Hong Kong 13.3%, Japan 8.1%, South Korea 5.2%, Germany 4.1% (2008)
    Imports$1.074 trillion (2008 est.)
    $904.6 billion (2007 est.)

    Imports - commodities(%)electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels, optical and medical equipment, metal ores, plastics, organic chemicals
    Imports - partners(%)Japan 13.3%, South Korea 9.9%, US 7.2%, Germany 4.9% (2008)

    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.955 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $1.534 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Debt - external$400.6 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $363 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$758.9 billion (2007 est.)
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$149.3 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $95.8 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Exchange ratesRenminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar - 6.9385 (2008 est.), 7.61 (2007), 7.97 (2006), 8.1943 (2005), 8.2768 (2004)

    Currency (code)Renminbi (RMB); note - also referred to by the unit yuan (CNY)

    Telephones - main lines in use365.6 million (2007)
    Telephones - mobile cellular634 million (2008)
    Telephone systemgeneral 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)
    Internet country code.cn
    Internet users298 million (2008)
    Airports482 (2009)
    Pipelines(km)gas 28,132 km; oil 20,204 km; refined products 9,746 km (2008)
    Roadways(km)total: 3,583,715 km (includes 53,913 km of expressways) (2007)

    Ports and terminalsDalian, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
    Military branchesPeople's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (includes airborne forces), and Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force); People's Armed Police (PAP); PLA Reserve Force (2009)
    Military service age and obligation(years of age)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 (2009)
    Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 375,009,345
    females age 16-49: 354,314,328 (2008 est.)
    Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 314,459,083
    females age 16-49: 296,763,134 (2009 est.)
    Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 10,621,373
    female: 9,533,880 (2009 est.)
    Military expenditures(% of GDP)4.3% of GDP (2006)
    Disputes - internationalcontinuing 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 the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly 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 is expected to be completed by the end of 2008, while the maritime boundary delimitation and fisheries agreements in the Gulf of Tonkin, ratified in June 2004, have been implemented; 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 personsrefugees (country of origin): 300,897 (Vietnam); estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea)
    IDPs: 90,000 (2007)
    Trafficking in personscurrent 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)
    Electricity - production(kWh)3.041 trillion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 80.2%
    hydro: 18.5%
    nuclear: 1.2%
    other: 0.1% (2001)
    Electricity - consumption(kWh)2.835 trillion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - exports(kWh)16.64 billion kWh (2008 est.)
    Electricity - imports(kWh)3.842 billion kWh (2008 est.)
    Oil - production(bbl/day)3.973 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - consumption(bbl/day)7.85 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - exports(bbl/day)419,200 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - imports(bbl/day)4.21 million bbl/day (2007)
    Oil - proved reserves(bbl)16 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
    Natural gas - production(cu m)76.04 billion cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - consumption(cu m)77.18 billion cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - exports(cu m)3.36 billion cu m (2008)
    Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)2.265 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.1% (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS700,000 (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - deaths39,000 (2007 est.)
    Major infectious diseasesdegree 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)
    Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 90.9%
    male: 95.1%
    female: 86.5% (2000 census)

    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 11 years
    male: 11 years
    female: 11 years (2006)
    Education expenditures(% of GDP)1.9% of GDP (1999)

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