General Information of China
China is situated in eastern Asia, bounded by the Pacific in the east. The third largest country in
the world, next to Canada and Russia, it has an area of 9.6 million square kilometers, or one-
fifteenth of the world's landmass. It begins from the confluence of the Heilong and Wusuli Rivers
(135 degrees and 5 minutes east longitude) in the east to the Pamirs west of Wuqia County in
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (73 degrees and 40 minutes east longitude) in the west,
with about 5,200 kilometers apart. In the north, it starts from the midstream of the Heilong River
north of Mohe (53 degrees and 31 minutes north latitude) and stretches south to the
southernmost island Zengmu'ansha in the South China Sea (4 degrees and 15 minutes north
latitude), with about 5,500 kilometers in between.
The Chinese border stretches over 22,000 kilometers on land and its coastline extends well
over 18,000 kilometers, washed by the waters of the Bohai Sea, the Huanghai, the East China
and the South China Seas. The Bohai Sea is China’s only inland sea.
There are 6,536 islands larger than 500 square meters, the largest being Taiwan, with a total
area of about 36,000 square kilometers, and the second, Hainan. The South China Sea Islands
are the southernmost island group of China.
CAPITAL: Beijing (Area: 16,800 square kilometers; Population: 12.59 million)
Provinces & Major Cities:
Major cities: Beijing, Tianjing, Shanghai, Chongqing
Provinces: Hebei, Shanxi, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilong Jiang, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian,
Taiwan, JIangxi, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan,
Guizhou, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Guangxi, Xinjiang, Tibet,
Special District: Shenzhen, Hong Kong & Macao.
CLIMATE: China lies mainly in the northern temperate zone under the influence of monsoon.
From September and October to March and April next year monsoon blows from Siberia and the
Mongolian Plateau into China and decreases in force as it goes southward, causing dry and
cold winter in the country and a temperature difference of 40 degrees centigrade between the
north and the south. The temperature in China in the winter is 5 to 18 degrees centigrade lower
than that in other countries on the same latitude in winter. Monsoon blows into China from the
ocean in summer, bringing with them warm and wet currents, thus rain. Great differences in
climate are found from region to region owing to China's extensive territory and complex
topography. The northern part of Heilongjiang Province in the northeast has no summer, while
Hainan Island in the south has a long summer but no winter. The Huaihe River valley features
four distinct seasons, and the western part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is covered by snow all
year round. The southern part of the Yunan-Guizhou Plateau is spring-like in all seasons; and
the northwestern inland regions could see great variations of temperature within the day. Annual
precipitation also varies greatly from region to region, which is as high as 1,500 millimeters
along the southeastern coast, and as low as 50 millimeters in the northwest.
POPULATION: 1.38271 billion (2016), about 22% of total population in the world.
In 1998, there were 19.91 million new births and 8.07 million deaths, with a net growth of 11.84
million (compared with 12.37 million in 1997). More than 10% of the total population is over 60
years old (1999 data).
The Chinese population is unevenly distributed, with the eastern part heavily populated (more
than 300 persons per square kilometer) and the west scarcely populated (about 40 persons per
square kilometer). The national average density of population is 119 per square kilometer (1990
census). The average size of household is 3.7 persons. The proportion of population aged at 0-
14 was 26.4 percent, 67.3% between the ages 15-64, and 6.4% for the age group of over 65.
The average life span of the Chinese population is 70.8 years, with the male at 68.71, and
female at 73.04. (Some of the above data are based on the report from China National Statistics
Bureau, FOR YOUR REFERENCE ONLY).
ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS: China has 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities
and 2 Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong and Macao). For the locations of these
administrative divisions, please click MAP OF CHINA. (Click here for detailed information)
ECONOMIC GROWTH (1995-2013)
Year Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
MAIN PORTS OF ENTRY
By Air Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hohhot, Hong Kong, Kunming,
Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Tianjin, Urumqi, Xiamen and Xi'an.
By Land Alataw, Baketu, Erenhot, Friendship Pass, Hunchun, Ji'an, Kunjirap, Manzhouli, Mohe,
Nyalam (Zhangmu), Pingxiang, Ruili, Suifenhe, Tumen, Wanding, Xunke and Yadong.
By Water Beihai, Dalian, Dandong, Guangzhou, Haikou, Hankou, Huangpu, Jiujiang,
Lianyungang, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Sanya, Shanghai, Shantou, Shenzhen,
Tianjin, Weihai, Yangzhou, Yantai, Zhanjiang and Zhenjiang.
HISTORY: China, one of the four oldest civilizations in the world, has a written history of 4,000
years and boasts rich cultural relics and historical sites. It is the inventor of compass, paper,
gunpowder and printing. The Great Wall, the Grand Canal and the Karez irrigation systems are
three great ancient engineering projects built 2,000 years ago. Now they are the symbols of the
rich culture heritage of the Chinese nation. China has gone over a long history of primitive
society, slavery society, feudal society and semi-feudal semi-colonial society and the present
socialist society. (For a brief history of China, Click Here)
The National People's Congress (NPC)
The President of the People's Republic of China
The State Council
The Central Military Commission
The Supreme People's Court
The Supreme People's Procuratorate
(More government agencies....)
ARMED FORCE: The People's Liberation Army (PLA)
THE RULING PARTY: The Communist Party of China (CPC)
STATE PRESIDENT: Xi Jinping
New Year's Day: January 1
The Spring Festival (Chinese Lunar New Year's Day – between January and February):
The exact date varies, depending on Chinese Lunar Calendar. Chinese New Year's Day in 2016
will be on February 8. The year 2016 is the year of Monkey in Chinese zodiac system.
Labor Day: May 1;
National Day: October 1
The working days are Monday through Friday. Official hours are from 8:00am to 17:00pm with
one hour for lunch.
LANGUAGES: The national language is Putonghua (the common speech) or Mandarin, which is
one of the five working languages at the United Nations. Most of the 55 minority nationalities
have their own languages. Cantonese is one of the local dialects of southern China. As a written
language, Chinese has been used for 6,000 years.
NATIONALITIES: China is made up of 56 ethnic groups. The Han people make up 91.02 percent
of the total population, and the other 55 national minorities 8.98 percent. They are Mongolian,
Hui, Tibetan, Uygur, Miao, Yi, Zhuang, Bouyi, Korean, Manchu, Dong, Yao, Bai, Tujia, Hani,
Kazak, Dai, Li, Lisu, Wa, She, Gaoshan, Lahu, Shui, Dongxiang, Naxi, Jingpo, Kirgiz, Tu, Daur,
Mulam, Qiang, Blang, Salar, Maonan, Gelo, Xibe, Achang, Pumi, Tajik, Nu, Ozbek, Russian,
Ewenki, Benglong, Bonan, Yugur, Jing, Tatar, Drung, Oroqen, Hezhen, Moinba, Lhoba and Gelo.
All nationalities enjoy equal status according to the Constitution. The State protects their lawful
rights and interests and promotes equality, unity and mutual help among all nationalities.
FAMILY NAMES: Chinese family names came into being some 5,000 years ago. There are more
than 5,000 family names, of which 200 to 300 are popular. In Chinese names, family names
comes first and given name second. For example, in the case of Deng Xiaoping, Deng is the
family name, Xiaoping the given name. The most popular Chinese family names are ZHANG,
WANG, LI, ZHAO, LIU, CHEN...
RIVERS: China has 50,000 rivers that cover a catchment area of at least 100 square kilometers,
and 1,500 of them cover a catchment area of more than 1,000 square kilometers. Most of the
rivers flow from west to east to empty into the Pacific Ocean. The main rivers include the Yangtze
River(Changjiang), the Yellow River (Huanghe), Heilongjiang, the Pearl River, Liaohe, Haihe,
Qiantangjiang and Lancang Rivers. At 6,300 kilometers long, the Yangzi is the longest river in
China. The second longest is the Yellow River at 5,464 kilometers. The Grand Canal from
Hangzhou to Beijing is a great water project in ancient China. 1,794 kilometers in length, it is the
longest canal in the world.
RELIGIONS: China is a multi-religious country. Buddhism, Taoism and Islam are the three major
religions. Catholicism and Protestantism have smaller but substantial followers too. Different
ethnic groups usually follow different religions. Islam is followed by the Hui, Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz,
Tatar, Dongxiang, Salar and Bonan peoples; Buddhism and Lamaism are followed by the
Tibetan, Mongolian, Dai and Yugur nationalities; Christianity is followed by the Miao, Yao and Yi
nationalities; Shamanism is followed by the Oroqen, Ewenki and Daur nationalities; and the
majority Han nationality believes in Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity.
TOPOGRAPHY: With a broad area, China has a very complex topography. The outline descends
step by step from the west to the east. Mountains and hilly land take up 65 percent of the total
area. There are five main mountain ranges. Seven mountain peaks are higher than 8,000
meters above sea level. The Bohai Sea, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and South China Sea
embrace the east and southeast coast.
MONEY: Chinese Money is called Renminbi (RMB) (means "People's Currency"). The popular
unit of RMB is Yuan. The official exchange rate between U.S. Dollar and RMB Yuan currently is
about 1 : 8.3 (1.00 Dollar = 8.30 Yuan). 1 Yuan equals 10 Jiao, and 1 Jiao equals 10 Fen. (There
are parts of China the Yuan is also known as Kuai, and Jiao is known as Mao.) Chinese
currency is issued in the following denominations: one, two, five, ten, fifty and a hundred Yuan;
one, two and five Jiao; and one, two and five Fen.
CIVIL ELECTRICAL POWER: AC 220 V, 50 Hz (bathrooms of many luxury and medium-grade
hotels may have 110-volt sockets).
TELEVISION SYSTEM: PAL (In addition to Chinese language TV broadcast, English and
Japanese TV programs are available in many hotels via satellite relay. China Central Television
Station (CCTV) and some local TV stations also provide English news and other programs in
TELEPHONE AREA CODE: Mainland China 86; Hong Kong 852; Taiwan 886. (Special Telephone
Numbers: Police 110; Fire 119; Emergency 120.)
ROAD DRIVE SIDE:
Mainland China: on the right
Hong Kong: on the left
Taiwan: on the right
INTERNET DOMAIN CODE:
Mainlan China: cn (such as "....org.cn" , "...edu.cn" or "....com.cn")
Hong Kong: hk
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