China

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of China
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of China
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Map of China
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OF CHINA
 

Introduction

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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.
 
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Geography

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Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
 
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35 00 N, 105 00 E
 
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total: 9,596,961 sq km
country comparison to the world: 4
land: 9,569,901 sq km
water: 27,060 sq km
 
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slightly smaller than the US
 
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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
 
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14,500 km
 
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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
 
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extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
 
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mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
 
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lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
 
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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)
 
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arable land: 14.86%
permanent crops: 1.27%
other: 83.87% (2005)
 
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641,410 sq km (2008)
 
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2,829.6 cu km (1999)
 
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total: 549.76 cu km/yr (7%/26%/68%)
per capita: 415 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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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
 
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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
 
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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
 
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world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak
 
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People and Society

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noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese
 
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Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uighur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5% (2000 census)
 
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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)
 
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Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%
note: officially atheist (2002 est.)
 
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1,336,718,015 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
 
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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.)
 
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total: 35.5 years
male: 34.9 years
female: 36.2 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.493% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
 
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12.29 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
 
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7.03 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
 
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-0.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
 
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urban population: 47% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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Shanghai 16.575 million; BEIJING (capital) 12.214 million; Chongqing 9.401 million; Shenzhen 9.005 million; Guangzhou 8.884 million (2009)
 
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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.)
 
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38 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 105
 
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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.)
 
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total population: 74.68 years
country comparison to the world: 96
male: 72.68 years
female: 76.94 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.54 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
 
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4.6% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 148
 
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1.415 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 86
 
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4.06 beds/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 48
 
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improved:
urban: 98% of population
rural: 82% of population
total: 89% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2% of population
rural: 18% of population
total: 11% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 58% of population
rural: 52% of population
total: 55% of population
unimproved:
urban: 42% of population
rural: 48% of population
total: 45% of population (2008)
 
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0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
 
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740,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
 
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26,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
 
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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)
 
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2.9% (2002)
country comparison to the world: 66
 
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8.7% (2000)
country comparison to the world: 69
 
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NA
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.2%
male: 96%
female: 88.5% (2008 census)
 
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total: 12 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2009)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC
 
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Communist state
 
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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
 
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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 (Inner Mongolia), 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
 
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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)
 
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Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)
 
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most recent promulgation 4 December 1982; amended several times
 
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civil law influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation
 
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has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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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 Opens in New Window)
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
 
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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
 
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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)
 
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Chinese Communist Party or CCP [HU Jintao]; eight registered small parties controlled by CCP
 
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no substantial political opposition groups exist
 
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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, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
 
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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
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Gary Locke
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
 
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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
 
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dragon
 
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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"
 
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Economy

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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.
 
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$10.09 trillion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
$9.144 trillion (2009 est.)
$8.374 trillion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$5.878 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.)
 
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10.3% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
9.2% (2009 est.)
9.6% (2008 est.)
 
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$7,600 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
$6,900 (2009 est.)
$6,400 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 10.2%
industry: 46.9%
services: 43% (2010 est.)
 
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815.3 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
 
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agriculture: 38.1%
industry: 27.8%
services: 34.1% (2008 est.)
 
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6.1% (September 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
6.3% (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
 
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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)
 
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lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 15%
note: data are for urban households only (2008)
 
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41.5 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 53
40 (2001)
 
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45.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
 
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revenues: $1.227 trillion
expenditures: $1.323 trillion (2010 est.)
 
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20.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
 
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-1.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
 
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16.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
16.5% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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3.2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
-0.7% (2009 est.)
 
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3.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
2.79% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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5.81% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
5.31% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$4.026 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
$3.243 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$10.96 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
$8.937 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$8.868 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
$7.243 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$4.763 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
$5.008 trillion (31 December 2009)
$2.794 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)
 
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world leader in gross value of agricultural output; rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish
 
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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
 
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15.7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
 
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3.446 trillion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
 
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3.438 trillion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
 
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17.39 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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11.38 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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4.273 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
 
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9.189 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
 
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480,600 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
 
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4.753 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
 
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20.35 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
 
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94.41 billion cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
 
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106.7 billion cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
 
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4.02 billion cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
 
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16.33 billion cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
 
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3.03 trillion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
 
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$305.4 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
$261.1 billion (2009 est.)
 
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$1.581 trillion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
$1.204 trillion (2009 est.)
 
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electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, textiles, iron and steel, optical and medical equipment
 
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US 18%, Hong Kong 13.8%, Japan 7.6%, South Korea 4.4%, Germany 4.3% (2010)
 
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$1.327 trillion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
$954.3 billion (2009 est.)
 
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electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels, optical and medical equipment, metal ores, plastics, organic chemicals
 
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Japan 12.6%, South Korea 9.9%, US 7.3%, Germany 5.3%, Australia 4.3% (2010)
 
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$2.876 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
$2.426 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$529.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
$428.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$578.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
$473.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$297.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
$229.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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Renminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -
6.7852 (2010)
6.8314 (2009)
6.9385 (2008)
7.61 (2007)
7.97 (2006)
 
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Communications

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294.383 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 1
 
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859 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 1
 
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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)
 
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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)
 
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.cn
 
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15.251 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 6
 
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389 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 1
 
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Transportation

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502 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 15
 
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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)
 
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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)
 
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48 (2010)
 
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gas 38,566 km; oil 23,470 km; refined products 13,706 km (2010)
 
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total: 86,000 km
country comparison to the world: 3
standard gauge: 86,000 km 1.435-m gauge (36,000 km electrified) (2009)
 
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total: 3,860,800 km
country comparison to the world: 2
paved: 3,056,300 km (includes 65,000 km of expressways)
unpaved: 804,500 km (2009)
 
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110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 1
 
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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)
 
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Dalian, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
 
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Military

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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)
 
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18-24 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2 year 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; a recent military decision allows women in combat roles; the first class of women warship commanders was in training in 2011 (2011)
 
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males age 16-49: 385,821,101
females age 16-49: 363,789,674 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 318,265,016
females age 16-49: 300,323,611 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 10,406,544
female: 9,131,990 (2010 est.)
 
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4.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 22
 
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Transnational Issues

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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
 
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refugees (country of origin): 300,897 (Vietnam); estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea)
IDPs: 90,000 (2007)
 
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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, there are reports in recent years that Chinese men, women, and children may be subjected to conditions of sex trafficking and forced labor in numerous countries and territories worldwide; women and children are trafficked to China from Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Mongolia, Russia, North Korea, Romania, and Zimbabwe for forced labor, marriage, and prostitution; some Chinese children are forced into prostitution, and various forms of forced labor, including begging, stealing, and work in brick kilns and factories
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - China does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and did not demonstrate evidence of significant efforts to address all forms of trafficking or effectively protect victims; however, China has increased its attention to trafficking of women and children nationwide; China continues to lack a formal, nationwide procedure to systematically identify victims of trafficking (2011)
 
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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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