|People's Republic of China|
Area controlled by the People's Republic of China shown in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled regions shown in light green.
39°55′N 116°23′E / 39°55′N 116°23′E / 39.917; 116.383
|Official languages||Standard Chinese[b]|
|Recognised regional languages|
|Official script||Simplified Chinese[c]|
|Ethnic groups |
|Religion ||See Religion in China|
|Government||Unitary Marxist-Leninist one-party socialist republic|
|Legislature||National People's Congress|
|1 January 1912|
|21 September 1949|
|1 October 1949|
|4 December 1982|
|20 December 1999|
|9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi)[g] (3rd/4th)|
• Water (%)
• 2016 estimate
|1,403,500,365  (1st)|
• 2010 census
|145/km2 (375.5/sq mi) (83rd)|
|GDP (PPP)||2018 estimate|
|$25.238 trillion (1st)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
|$14.092 trillion (2nd)|
• Per capita
|HDI (2017)|| 0.752|
high · 86th
|Currency||Renminbi (yuan; ¥)[i] (CNY)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (China Standard Time)|
|ISO 3166 code||CN|
China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area,[k] depending on the source consulted. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since then, China has expanded, fractured, and re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin unified core China and established the first Chinese empire. The succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements. The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty (618–907) and Northern Song (960–1127) completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread widely in Asia, as the new maritime Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution, when a republic replaced the Qing dynasty. The Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed.
Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates consistently above 6 percent. As of 2016 , it is the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). China is also the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget. The PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is also a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, and the G20. China is a great power and a major regional power within Asia, and has been characterized as a potential superpower.
The English word "China" is first attested in Richard Eden's 1555 translation[l] of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa.[m] The demonym, that is, the name for the people, and adjectival form "Chinese" developed later on the model of Portuguese chinês and French chinois.[n] Portuguese China is thought to derive from Persian Chīn (چین), which may be traced further back to Sanskrit Cīna (चीन). Cīna was first used in early Hindu scripture, including the Mahābhārata (5th century BCE) and the Laws of Manu (2nd century BCE). In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived ultimately from the name of the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC), a proposal supported by many later scholars, although there are also a number of alternative suggestions.
The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China" (Chinese: 中华人民共和国; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó). The shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó (中国), from zhōng ("central") and guó ("state"),[o] a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne.[p] It was then applied to the area around Luoyi (present-day Luoyang) during the Eastern Zhou and then to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing. It was often used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians" and was the source of the English name "Middle Kingdom". A more literary or inclusive name, alluding to the "land of Chinese civilization", is Zhōnghuá (中华). It developed during the Wei and Jin dynasties as a contraction of "the central state of the Huaxia". Before the PRC's establishment, the proposed name of the country was the People's Democratic Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 中华人民民主共和国; traditional Chinese: 中華人民民主共和國; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Mínzhǔ Gònghéguó) during the first CPPCC held on 15 June 1949. During the 1950s and 1960s, after the defeat of the Kuomintang in the Chinese Civil War, it was also referred to as "Communist China" or "Red China", to be differentiated from "Nationalist China" or "Free China".
беларуская (тарашкевіца): Кітай
Chavacano de Zamboanga: China
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: चीन
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: গণচীন
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kina