Facts & Figures
President: Xi Jinping (2013)
Prime Minister: Premier Li Keqiang (2013)
Land area: 3,600,927 sq mi (9,326,411 sq km); total area: 3,705,407 sq mi (9,596,960 sq km)1
Population (2014 est.): 1,355,692,576 (growth rate: 0.44%); birth rate: 12.17/1000; infant mortality rate: 14.79/1000; life expectancy: 75.15
Capital (2011 est.): Beijing, 15.594 million
Largest cities: Shanghai 20.208 million; Guangzhou 10.849 million; Shenzhen 10.63 million; Chongqing 9.977 million; Wuhan 9.158 million (2011)
Monetary unit: Yuan/Renminbi
National name: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; 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: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uyghur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)
Ethnicity/race: Han Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai and other nationalities) 7.1% note: the Chinese government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups (2010 est.)
National Holiday: Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, October 1
Religions: Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < .1%, Jewish < .1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2%. Officially atheist (2010).
Literacy rate: 95.1% (2010 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $13.39 trillion; per capita $9,800. Real growth rate: 7.7% (official data). Inflation: 2.6%. Unemployment: 4.1% official registered unemployment in urban areas; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas. Arable land: 11.62%. Agriculture: rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish. Labor force: 797.6 million (2011); agriculture 33.6%, industry 30.3%, services 36.1% (2012 est.). Industries: 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. Natural resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest). Exports: $2.21 trillion (2013 est.): machinery and equipment, plastics, optical and medical equipment, iron and steel. Imports: $1.95 trillion (2013 est.): machinery and equipment, oil and mineral fuels, plastics, optical and medical equipment, organic chemicals, iron and steel. Major trading partners: U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Australia, Taiwan (2013).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 278.86 million (2012); mobile cellular: 1.1 billion (2012). Broadcast media: 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). Internet hosts: 20.602 million (2012). Internet users: 389 million (2009).
Transportation: Railways: total: 86,000 (2008). Roadways: total: 4,106,387 km; paved: 3,453,890 km (with at least 84,946 km of expressways) ; unpaved: 652,497 km (2011). Waterways: 110,000 km (2010). Ports and harbors: Dalian, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin . Airports: 507 (2013 est.).
International disputes: 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; 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 Spratlys but is not the legally binding code of conduct sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratlys 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.