language family

China (simplified Chinese: 中国; traditional Chinese: 中國; Pinyin: Zhōngguó) is a cultural region, an ancient civilization, and a nation in East Asia.

People's Republic of China
  • 中华人民共和国
  • Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China
National Emblem
Area controlled by the People's Republic of China shown in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled regions shown in light green.
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 / 39.917°N 116.383°E / 39.917; 116.383
Largest cityShanghai[1]
Official languagesStandard Chinese[2][b]
Recognised regional languages
Official written language
Vernacular Chinese
Simplified Chinese[2]
Ethnic groups
GovernmentSocialist, Single-party state[4]
Xi Jinping[d]
• Premier
Li Keqiang
Zhang Dejiang
Yu Zhengsheng
• First-ranked Secretary of the Secretariat
Liu Yunshan
Wang Qishan
• First Vice Premier
Zhang Gaoli
LegislatureNational People's Congress
• First Unification of China under the Qin Dynasty
221 BCE
1 January 1912
1 October 1949
• Total
9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi)[e] (3rd/4th)
• Water (%)
• 2016 estimate
1,403,500,365[9] (1st)
• 2010 census
1,339,724,852[10] (1st)
• Density
[convert: invalid number] (83rd)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
• Total
$27.449 trillion[12] (1st)
• Per capita
$19,559[12] (79th)
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
$15.543 trillion (IMF)[12]
$15.224 trillion (China NBS)[13][14] (2nd)
• Per capita
$11,074[12] (70th)
Gini (2015)46.2[15][16]
HDI (2017)Increase 0.752[17]
high · 86th
CurrencyRenminbi (yuan)(¥)[g] (CNY)
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard Time)
Date format
Driving sideright[h]
Calling code+86
ISO 3166 codeCN
Internet TLD
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

The last Chinese Civil War (1927–1949) resulted in two different political powers today:

China is one of the world's oldest civilizations: it has the oldest continuous civilization.[18] There is archaeological evidence over 5,000 years old.[19] China also has one of the world's oldest writing systems (and the oldest in use today). China has been the source of many major inventions.[19]


  1. Or (previously) "Peking".
  2. Portuguese (Macau only), English (Hong Kong only).
  3. Ethnic minorities that are recognized officially.
  4. Xi Jinping holds four concurrent positions: General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (de facto paramount leader), President of the People's Republic of China (de jure head of state), and Chairman of the Central Military Commission (Commander-in-chief) for both state and party.[5]
  5. The area given is the official United Nations figure for the mainland and excludes Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.[6] It also excludes the Trans-Karakoram Tract (5,800 km2 (2,200 sq mi)), Aksai Chin (37,244 km2 (14,380 sq mi)) and other territories in dispute with India. The total area of China is listed as 9,572,900 km2 (3,696,100 sq mi) by the Encyclopædia Britannica.[7]
  6. This figure was calculated using data from the CIA World Factbook.[8]
  7. The Hong Kong Dollar is used in Hong Kong and the Macanese pataca is used in Macau.
  8. Except Hong Kong and Macau.


  1. Chan, Kam Wing (2007). "Misconceptions and Complexities in the Study of China's Cities: Definitions, Statistics, and Implications" (PDF). Eurasian Geography and Economics. 48 (4): 383–412. doi:10.2747/1538-7216.48.4.383. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2011. p. 395
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Law of the People's Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language (Order of the President No.37)". Chinese Government. 31 October 2000. Retrieved 21 June 2013. For purposes of this Law, the standard spoken and written Chinese language means Putonghua (a common speech with pronunciation based on the Beijing dialect) and the standardized Chinese characters.
  3. "Tabulation of the 2010 Census of the People's Republic of China". China Statistics Press.
  4. "Constitution of the People's Republic of China". The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China. 15 November 2007. Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  5. "New man at helm: Xi Jinping elected to lead China". 15 November 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  6. "Demographic Yearbook—Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density" (PDF). UN Statistics. 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  7. "China". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  8. "CIA – The World Factbook". Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  9. "United Nations world population prospects"(PDF) 2015 revision
  10. "Communiqué of the National Bureau of Statistics of People's Republic of China on Major Figures of the 2010 Population Census (No. 1)". National Bureau of Statistics of China. 28 April 2011. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  11. "Population density (people per km2 of land area)". IMF. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 "IMF report for China". IMF. October 2019.
  13. "Xinhua Headlines: Chinese economy powering ahead, fulfilling 2018 targets". Xinhuanet News. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  14. "National Economic Performance Maintained within an Appropriate Range in 2018 with Main Development Goals Achieved". National Bureau of Statistics of China. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  15. "Income inequality in today's China". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  16. "Rich-poor gap widens: study". Global Times.
  17. "2014 Human Development Report Summary" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2014. pp. 21–25. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Haggett, Peter. [2001] (2001). Encyclopedia of World Geography, Volume 23. Edition 2, illustrated. Marshall Cavendish publishing. ISBN 0-7614-7289-4, 9780761472896. p 37. p 2836.