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About China


President Hu Jintao


Vice President Zeng Qinghong


Armed Forces Leadership Vice Chairman Guo Boxiong


NPC Standing Committee Chairman   Wu Bangguo


Premier Wen Jiabao



Supreme People's Court President Xiao Yang
 

 

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    China Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight.
   Geography    China Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
35 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than the US
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 22,117 km
border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Mongolia 4,677 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km
regional borders: Hong Kong 30 km, Macau 0.34 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
14,500 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 14.86%
permanent crops: 1.27%
other: 83.87% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
545,960 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing
2,829.6 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Definition Field Listing
total: 549.76 cu km/yr (7%/26%/68%)
per capita: 415 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak
   People    China Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,330,044,544 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 20.1% (male 142,085,665/female 125,300,391)
15-64 years: 71.9% (male 491,513,378/female 465,020,030)
65 years and over: 8% (male 50,652,480/female 55,472,661) (2008 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 33.6 years
male: 33.1 years
female: 34.2 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.629% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13.71 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.03 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 21.16 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.43 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 23.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 73.18 years
male: 71.37 years
female: 75.18 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.77 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
840,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
44,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5% (2000 census)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%
note: officially atheist (2002 est.)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (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)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.9%
male: 95.1%
female: 86.5% (2000 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Definition Field Listing
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.9% of GDP (1999)
   Government    China Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Communist state
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
name: Beijing
geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)
provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)
autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet)
municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin
note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Manchu Dynasty replaced by a Republic); 1 October 1949 (People's Republic established)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
most recent promulgation 4 December 1982
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003); Vice President XI Jinping (since 15 March 2008)
head of government: Premier WEN Jiabao (since 16 March 2003); Executive Vice Premier LI Keqiang (17 March 2008), Vice Premier HUI Liangyu (since 17 March 2003), Vice Premier ZHANG Deijiang (since 17 March 2008), and Vice Premier WANG Qishan (since 17 March 2008)
cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress (NPC)
elections: president and vice president elected by National People's Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held 15-17 March 2008 (next to be held in mid-March 2013); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
election results: HU Jintao elected president by National People's Congress with a total of 2,963 votes; XI Jinping elected vice president with a total of 2,919 votes
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,987 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and People's Liberation Army to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held December 2007-February 2008; date of next election - NA
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 2,987
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's Congress); Local People's Courts (comprise higher, intermediate, and basic courts); Special People's Courts (primarily military, maritime, railway transportation, and forestry courts)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Chinese Communist Party or CCP [HU Jintao]; eight registered small parties controlled by CCP
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
the China Democracy Party; the Falungong spiritual movement
note: no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the government has identified the organizations listed above as subversive groups
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ADB, AfDB (nonregional members), APEC, APT, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CDB, EAS, FAO, G-24 (observer), G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador ZHOU Wenzhong
chancery: 2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-2500
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2582
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Clark T. RANDT, Jr.
embassy: 55 An Jia Lou Lu, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [86] (10) 8531-3000
FAX: [86] (10) 8531-3300
consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau, Shanghai, Shenyang
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner
   Economy    China Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
China's economy during the last quarter century has changed from a centrally planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector and is a major player in the global economy. Reforms started in the late 1970s with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, the foundation of a diversified banking system, the development of stock markets, the rapid growth of the non-state sector, and the opening to foreign trade and investment. China has generally implemented reforms in a gradualist or piecemeal fashion, including the sale of minority shares in four of China's largest state banks to foreign investors and refinements in foreign exchange and bond markets in 2005. After keeping its currency tightly linked to the US dollar for years, China in July 2005 revalued its currency by 2.1% against the US dollar and moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. Cumulative appreciation of the renminbi against the US dollar since the end of the dollar peg reached 15% in January 2008. The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, China in 2007 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, although in per capita terms the country is still lower middle-income. Annual inflows of foreign direct investment in 2007 rose to $75 billion. By the end of 2007, more than 5,000 domestic Chinese enterprises had established direct investments in 172 countries and regions around the world. The Chinese government faces several economic development challenges: (a) to sustain adequate job growth for tens of millions of workers laid off from state-owned enterprises, migrants, and new entrants to the work force; (b) to reduce corruption and other economic crimes; and (c) to contain environmental damage and social strife related to the economy's rapid transformation. Economic development has been more rapid in coastal provinces than in the interior, and approximately 200 million rural laborers have relocated to urban areas to find work. One demographic consequence of the "one child" policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the north - is another long-term problem. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. In 2007 China intensified government efforts to improve environmental conditions, tying the evaluation of local officials to environmental targets, publishing a national climate change policy, and establishing a high level leading group on climate change, headed by Premier WEN Jiabao. The Chinese government seeks to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil as its double-digit economic growth increases demand. Chinese energy officials in 2007 agreed to purchase five third generation nuclear reactors from Western companies. More power generating capacity came on line in 2006 as large scale investments - including the Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze River - were completed.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7.099 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$3.251 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11.9% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5,400 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 11.3%
industry: 48.6%
services: 40.1% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
800.7 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 43%
industry: 25%
services: 32% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4% unemployment in urban areas; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 34.9% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
47 (2007)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
42.7% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $674.3 billion
expenditures: $651.6 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.4% of GDP (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.8% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.33% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.47% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.09 trillion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.437 trillion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4.653 trillion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
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
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13.4% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.256 trillion kWh (2007)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.859 trillion kWh (2006)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
14.04 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
4.771 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.725 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.578 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
79,060 bbl/day (2007)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.19 million bbl/day (2007)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
69.27 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
70.51 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.69 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.92 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.265 trillion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$371.8 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.22 trillion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery, electrical products, data processing equipment, apparel, textile, steel, mobile phones
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 19.1%, Hong Kong 15.1%, Japan 8.4%, South Korea 4.6%, Germany 4% (2007)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$904.6 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, oil and mineral fuels, plastics, LED screens, data processing equipment, optical and medical equipment, organic chemicals, steel, copper
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Japan 14%, South Korea 10.9%, Taiwan 10.5%, US 7.3%, Germany 4.7% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.534 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$363 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$758.9 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$93.75 billion ( 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4.477 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Renminbi (RMB); note - also referred to by the unit yuan (CNY)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Renminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar - 7.61 (2007), 7.97 (2006), 8.1943 (2005), 8.2768 (2004), 8.277 (2003)
   Communications    China Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
365.4 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
547.286 million (2007)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns; nonetheless, by the end of 2006, more than 95% of China's villages had been connected to the telephone network; China continues to develop its telecommunications infrastructure, and is partnering with foreign providers to expand its global reach; 3 of China's 6 major telecommunications operators are part of an international consortium which, in December 2006, signed an agreement with Verizon Business to build the first next-generation fiber optic submarine cable system directly linking the US mainland and China
domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; the number of Internet users reached 253 million in 2008; a domestic satellite system with 55 earth stations is in place
international: country code - 86; a number of submarine cables provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 7 (5 Intelsat - 4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean; 1 Intersputnik - Indian Ocean region; and 1 Inmarsat - Pacific and Indian Ocean regions) (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 369, FM 259, shortwave 45 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
3,240 (of which 209 are operated by China Central Television, 31 are provincial TV stations, and nearly 3,000 are local city stations) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.cn
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14.306 million (2008)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
253 million (2008)
   Transportation    China Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
467 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 403
over 3,047 m: 58
2,438 to 3,047 m: 128
1,524 to 2,437 m: 130
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 67 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 64
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 17
under 914 m: 26 (2007)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
35 (2007)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 26,344 km; oil 17,240 km; refined products 6,106 km (2007)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 75,438 km
standard gauge: 75,438 km 1.435-m gauge (20,151 km electrified) (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,930,544 km
paved: 1,575,571 km (includes 41,005 km of expressways)
unpaved: 354,973 km (2005)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
124,000 km navigable (2006)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,826
by type: barge carrier 4, bulk carrier 451, cargo 689, carrier 2, chemical tanker 69, combination ore/oil 1, container 162, liquefied gas 44, passenger 8, passenger/cargo 83, petroleum tanker 244, refrigerated cargo 33, roll on/roll off 10, specialized tanker 9, vehicle carrier 17
foreign-owned: 20 (Ecuador 1, Greece 2, Hong Kong 12, Indonesia 1, Japan 2, South Korea 1, Norway 1)
registered in other countries: 1,441 (Bahamas 10, Bangladesh 1, Belize 71, Bermuda 10, Bolivia 1, Cambodia 193, Cyprus 10, France 5, Georgia 10, Germany 2, Honduras 3, Hong Kong 324, India 1, Indonesia 2, Kiribati 15, South Korea 1, Liberia 11, Malta 12, Marshall Islands 7, Mongolia 1, Norway 36, Panama 532, Philippines 4, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 94, Sierra Leone 15, Singapore 14, Thailand 1, Tuvalu 16, unknown 39) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Dalian, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
   Military    China Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
People's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (includes airborne forces), and Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force); People's Armed Police (PAP); PLA Reserve Force (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with 24-month service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs (2007)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 16-49: 375,009,345
females age 16-49: 354,314,328 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 16-49: 313,321,639
females age 16-49: 295,951,438 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Definition Field Listing
male: 10,760,380
female: 9,710,032 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.3% of GDP (2006)
   Transnational Issues    China Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
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 due to cartographic discrepancies; 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 the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" eased tensions in the Spratly's but is not the legally binding "code of conduct" sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly's 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 is expected to be completed by the end of 2008, while the maritime boundary delimitation and fisheries agreements in the Gulf of Tonkin, ratified in June 2004, have been implemented; 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; Hong Kong developing plans to reduce 2,000 out of 2,800 hectares of its restricted Closed Area by 2010
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing
refugees (country of origin): 300,897 (Vietnam); estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea)
IDPs: 90,000 (2007)
Trafficking in persons:
Definition Field Listing
current situation: China is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor; the majority of trafficking in China occurs within the country's borders, but there is also considerable international trafficking of Chinese citizens to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America; Chinese women are lured abroad through false promises of legitimate employment, only to be forced into commercial sexual exploitation, largely in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan; women and children are trafficked to China from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor, marriage, and prostitution; some North Korean women and children seeking to leave their country voluntarily cross the border into China and are then sold into prostitution, marriage, or forced labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - China is on the Tier 2 Watch List for the fourth consecutive year for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly in terms of punishment of trafficking crimes and the protection of Chinese and foreign victims of trafficking; victims are sometimes punished for unlawful acts that were committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, such as violations of prostitution or immigration/emigration controls; the Chinese Government continued to treat North Korean victims of trafficking solely as economic migrants, routinely deporting them back to horrendous conditions in North Korea; additional challenges facing the Chinese Government include the enormous size of its trafficking problem and the significant level of corruption and complicity in trafficking by some local government officials (2008)
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia; growing domestic drug abuse problem; source country for chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry

This page was last updated on 18 December 2008

  Introduction    China Top of Page
 
Background:
For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight.
   Geography    China Top of Page
 
Location:
Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Geographic coordinates:
35 00 N, 105 00 E
Area:
total: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than the US
Land boundaries:
total: 22,117 km
border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Mongolia 4,677 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km
regional borders: Hong Kong 30 km, Macau 0.34 km
Coastline:
14,500 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:
extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
Terrain:
mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
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)
Land use:
arable land: 15.4%
permanent crops: 1.25%
other: 83.35% (2001)
Irrigated land:
525,800 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
Environment - current issues:
air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak
   People    China Top of Page
 
Population:
1,306,313,812 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.4% (male 148,134,928/female 131,045,415)
15-64 years: 71% (male 477,182,072/female 450,664,933)
65 years and over: 7.6% (male 47,400,282/female 51,886,182) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 32.26 years
male: 31.87 years
female: 32.67 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.58% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
13.14 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
6.94 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 24.18 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.21 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 27.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.27 years
male: 70.65 years
female: 74.09 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.72 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
840,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
44,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups:
Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%
Religions:
Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Muslim 1%-2%, Christian 3%-4%
note: officially atheist (2002 est.)
Languages:
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.9%
male: 95.1%
female: 86.5% (2002)
   Government    China Top of Page
 
Country name:
conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC
Government type:
Communist state
Capital:
Beijing
Administrative divisions:
23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)
: provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang
: autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Xizang (Tibet)
: municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin
note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau
Independence:
221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Manchu Dynasty replaced by a Republic); 1 October 1949 (People's Republic established)
National holiday:
Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)
Constitution:
most recent promulgation 4 December 1982
Legal system:
based on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003) and Vice President ZENG Qinghong (since 15 March 2003)
head of government: Premier WEN Jiabao (since 16 March 2003); Vice Premiers HUANG Ju (since 17 March 2003), WU Yi (17 March 2003), ZENG Peiyan (since 17 March 2003), and HUI Liangyu (since 17 March 2003)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the National People's Congress (NPC)
elections: president and vice president elected by the National People's Congress for five-year terms; elections last held 15-17 March 2003 (next to be held mid-March 2008); premier nominated by the president, confirmed by the National People's Congress
election results: HU Jintao elected president by the Tenth National People's Congress with a total of 2,937 votes (four delegates voted against him, four abstained, and 38 did not vote); ZENG Qinghong elected vice president by the Tenth National People's Congress with a total of 2,578 votes (177 delegates voted against him, 190 abstained, and 38 did not vote); two seats were vacant
Legislative branch:
unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,985 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held December 2002-February 2003 (next to be held late 2007-February 2008)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - NA
Judicial branch:
Supreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's Congress); Local Peoples Courts (comprise higher, intermediate and local courts); Special Peoples Courts (primarily military, maritime, and railway transport courts)
Political parties and leaders:
Chinese Communist Party or CCP [HU Jintao, General Secretary of the Central Committee]; eight registered small parties controlled by CCP
Political pressure groups and leaders:
no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the government has identified the Falungong spiritual movement and the China Democracy Party as subversive groups
International organization participation:
AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BCIE, BIS, CDB, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), ONUB, OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOVIC, UNOCI, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador ZHOU Wenzhong
chancery: 2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-2500
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2582
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco
consulate(s): Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Clark T. RANDT, Jr.
embassy: Xiu Shui Bei Jie 3, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [86] (10) 6532-3831
FAX: [86] (10) 6532-3178
consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau, Shanghai, Shenyang
Flag description:
red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner
   Economy    China Top of Page
 
Economy - overview:
China's economy during the last quarter-century has changed from a centrally planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector and is a major player in the global economy. Reforms started in the late 1970s with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, the foundation of a diversified banking system, the development of stock markets, the rapid growth of the non-state sector, and the opening to foreign trade and investment. China has generally implemented reforms in a gradualist or piecemeal fashion. The process continues with key moves in 2005 including the sale of equity in China's largest state banks to foreign investors and refinements in foreign exchange and bond markets. The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than ten-fold increase in GDP since 1978. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, China in 2005 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, although in per capita terms the country is still lower middle-income and 150 million Chinese fall below international poverty lines. Economic development has generally been more rapid in coastal provinces than in the interior and there are large disparities in per capita income between regions. The government has struggled to (a) sustain adequate jobs growth for tens of millions of workers laid off from state-owned enterprises, migrants, and new entrants to the work force; (b) reduce corruption and other economic crimes; and (c) contain environmental damage and social strife related to the economy's rapid transformation. From 100 to 150 million surplus rural workers are adrift between the villages and the cities, many subsisting through part-time, low-paying jobs. One demographic consequence of the "one child" policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Another long-term threat to growth is the deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table especially in the north. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. China has benefited from a huge expansion in computer Internet use, with more than 100 million users at the end of 2005. Foreign investment remains a strong element in China's remarkable expansion in world trade and has been an important factor in growth of urban jobs. On 21 July 2005 China revalued its currency by 2.1 percent against the US dollar and moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. Reports of shortages of electric power in the summer of 2005 in southern China receded by September-October and did not have a substantial impact on China's economy. More power generating capacity is scheduled to come on line in 2006 as large scale investments are completed. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in October 2005 approved the draft 11th Five-Year Plan and the National People's Congress is expected to give final approval in March 2006. The plan calls for a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption per unit of GDP by 2010 and an estimated 45 percent increase in GDP by 2010. The plan states that conserving resources and protecting the environment are basic goals but it lacks details on the policies and reforms necessary to achieve these goals.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$8.158 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.833 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
9.2% (official data) (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $6,200 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 14.4%
industry and construction: 53.1%
services: 32.5% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
791.4 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 49%, industry 22%, services 29% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4.2% official registered unemployment in urban areas in 2004; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas; an official Chinese journal estimated overall unemployment (including rural areas) for 2003 at 20% (2004)
Population below poverty line:
10% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 30.4% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
44 (2002)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.9% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
43.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $392.1 billion
expenditures: $424.3 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
28.8% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed, pork, fish
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 and satellites
Industrial production growth rate:
27.7% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
2.19 trillion kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption:
2.17 trillion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
10.6 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
1.546 billion kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
3.504 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption:
6.391 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - exports:
340,300 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
3.226 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
18.26 billion bbl (2004)
Natural gas - production:
35.02 billion cu m (2003)
Natural gas - consumption:
33.91 billion cu m (2003)
Natural gas - exports:
2.79 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2004)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
2.53 trillion cu m (2004)
Current account balance:
$129.1 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
$752.2 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - partners:
US 21.1%, Hong Kong 17%, Japan 12.4%, South Korea 4.7%, Germany 4% (2004)
Imports:
$631.8 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - partners:
Japan 16.8%, Taiwan 11.4%, South Korea 11.1%, US 8%, Germany 5.4% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$795.1 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$242 billion (2005 est.)
Currency (code):
yuan (CNY)
note:: also referred to as the Renminbi (RMB)
Exchange rates:
yuan per US dollar - 8.19 (2005), 8.2768 (2004), 8.277 (2003), 8.277 (2002), 8.2771 (2001)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
   Communications    China Top of Page
 
Telephones - main lines in use:
263 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
269 million (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns
domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; a domestic satellite system with 55 earth stations is in place
international: country code - 86; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); several international fiber-optic links to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, and Germany (2000)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 369, FM 259, shortwave 45 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
3,240 (of which 209 are operated by China Central Television, 31 are provincial TV stations and nearly 3,000 are local city stations) (1997)
Internet country code:
.cn
Internet hosts:
160,421 (2003)
Internet users:
94 million (2004)
   Transportation    China Top of Page
 
Airports:
472 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 389
over 3,047 m: 54
2,438 to 3,047 m: 120
1,524 to 2,437 m: 139
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 53 (2005 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 117
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 29
under 914 m: 36 (2005 est.)
Heliports:
30 (2005 est.)
Pipelines:
gas 15,890 km; oil 14,478 km; refined products 3,280 km (2004)
Railways:
total: 71,898 km
standard gauge: 71,898 km 1.435-m gauge (18,115 km electrified)
dual gauge: 23,945 km (multiple track not included in total) (2002)
Roadways:
total: 1,809,829 km
paved: 1,447,682 km (with at least 29,745 km of expressways)
unpaved: 362,147 km (2003)
Waterways:
121,557 km (2002)
Merchant marine:
total: 1,649 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 18,724,653 GRT/27,749,784 DWT
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 362, cargo 696, chemical tanker 38, combination ore/oil 1, container 135, liquefied gas 30, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 81, petroleum tanker 246, refrigerated cargo 30, roll on/roll off 11, vehicle carrier 10
foreign-owned: 9 (Hong Kong 4, Japan 2, South Korea 2, United States 1)
registered in other countries: 872 (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Dalian, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai
   Military    China Top of Page
 
Military branches:
People's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (includes Airborne Forces), and II Artillery Corps (strategic missile force); People's Armed Police Force (internal security troops considered to be an adjunct to the PLA); Militia (2003)
Military service age and obligation:
18-22 years of age for compulsory military service, with 24-month service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service; 17 years of age for women who meet requirements for specific military jobs (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 342,956,265 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 281,240,272 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males: 13,186,433 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$67.49 billion (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
4.3% (2004)
   Transnational Issues    China Top of Page
 
Disputes - international:
in 2005, China and India initiate drafting principles to resolve all aspects of their extensive boundary and territorial disputes together with a security and foreign policy dialogue to consolidate discussions related to the boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, and other matters; recent talks and confidence-building measures have begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute 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; about 90,000 ethnic Tibetan exiles reside primarily in India as well as Nepal and Bhutan; China asserts sovereignty over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions in the Spratlys but is not the legally binding "code of conduct" sought by some parties; 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 have become more vocal in rejecting both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea, the site of intensive hydrocarbon prospecting; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen rivers are in an uncontested dispute with North Korea and a section of boundary around Mount Paektu is considered indefinite; China seeks to stem illegal migration of tens of thousands of North Koreans; in 2004, China and Russia divided up the islands in the Amur, Ussuri, and Argun Rivers, ending a century-old border dispute; demarcation of the China-Vietnam boundary proceeds slowly and although the maritime boundary delimitation and fisheries agreements were ratified in June 2004, implementation has been delayed; environmentalists in Burma and Thailand remain concerned about China's construction of hydroelectric dams upstream on the Nujiang/Salween River in Yunnan Province