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The People’s Republic of China is located in the eastern part of Asia. It is bordered by Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Vietnam.
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It is on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean in the southern part of the Eurasian continent, bordering East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam. It is the third-largest country in the world and covers an area of 3,696,000 square miles and has an estimated population of 1,331,460,000.
Beijing is the capital of China and is among the most populous cities in the world. It is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. Also known as Peking, it is among the most developed Chinese cities. It is the country’s political, educational, cultural and military center. Beijing means “northern capital”, as it is situated at the northern tip of the North China Plain. The population of the city is 19,612,368, and it covers an area of 6,487 square miles.
The Renminbi is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China. Its ISO 4217 code is CNY. Its primary unit is the Yuan, which is subdivided into 10 jiao, which is further divided into 10 fen. Renminbi is issued by People’s Bank of China. Hong Kong and Macau have their own currencies: the Hong Kong dollar and Macanese pataca.
Shanghai is the largest city of China. It is located at the mouth of the Yangtze River in eastern China. It is a global city and has a powerful influence over finance, commerce, fashion, technology and culture of the country. Its territory covers an area of 2,448.1 square miles and it has a population of 23,019,148. It is also known as the “showpiece” of the booming economy of mainland China.
Mandarin is spoken by 70% of the population. Most languages like Cantonese, Min, Xiang, Gan and Hakka belong to the Sino-Tibetan languages family. Non-Sinitic languages are spoken by ethnic minorities of the country.
The “official” faith of the people of China is centered on the worship of Shangdi or the Supreme god. The worship of Shangdi includes erection of shrines. Taoism is an indigenous religion of China. Its beginning can be traced to the composition of Laozi’s Tao Te Ching. In its unorganized form, Taoism can be considered a folk religion of China. Buddhism is also popular among the Chinese. It was introduced from central Asia during the Han Dynasty. Islam was introduced in 651. Muslims came to China for trade during the Song Dynasty. Judaism in the country dates to as early as 7th or 8th century AD, while Christianity developed during the 7th century AD.
The literacy rate in China is 95.9%.
China is a single-party socialist republic. The constitution of the country states the leadership of the Communist Party of the country. The government of the republic is divided into three bodies: the Communist Party of China, the Central People’s Government, and the People’s Liberation Army. The President of the country is Hu Jintao. He assumed office on November 15, 2002. Xi Jinping is the current Prime Minister of the country. He assumed office on October 22, 2007.
The national day of China is celebrated on October 1. The PRC was founded on October 1, 1949. It is celebrated as a public holiday. In mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, the national day is celebrated with a variety of government-organized festivities.
China is ranked as the world’s second-largest economy. It is the largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods in the world. China imports oil, mineral fuels, optical and medical equipment, metal ores and plastics, while it exports apparel, textile, iron and steel, and electrical and other machinery. Its primary trading partners are USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, South Korea and Taiwan. Its GDP is 5.88 trillion dollars. The coastal regions of China are more industrialized, while regions in the hinterland are less developed. Unemployment rate stands at 4.2%.