Country: CHINAchina

Capital:  Beijing

Geographic Coordinates: 35 00 N, 105 00 E

Population: 1,330,141,295 (July 2010 est.)

Main Religion: Daoist (Taoism), Buddhism)

Language: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect). Individual provinces also use their own dialects like, Cantonese, Shanghainese, and  Minnan.

Government Type: Communist state

Head of State: chief of state: President HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003); Vice President XI Jinping (since 15 March 2008); Head of government: Premier WEN Jiabao

Main 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

GDP in US Dollars (per capita): $6,600 (2009 est.)

Currency Code: Renminbi (RMB) *note - also referred to by the unit yuan (CNY)

Life Expectancy: 71 years (men), 75 years (women) (UN)

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

Issue facing Women and Children:

  • Some 140 million people have abandoned the countryside to seek work in China’s rapidly growing cities. The current hukou residency system often denies migrant children access to free public education and health care, but reforms are underway.
  • Maternal and under-five mortality rates have improved dramatically since 1990, but high rates persist in rural areas that lack quality medical care.
  • Many of China’s poorest families run small poultry farms; their livelihood is threatened by the looming spectre of avian influenza.

Land Mine Ban Signatory: N

Local Media: Press: Renmin Ribao (People's Daily), Zhongguo Qingnian Bao (China Youth Daily), China Daily,

Jiefangjun Bao, Zhongguo Jingji Shibao (China Economic Times), Fazhi Ribao (Legal Daily), Nanfang Ribao (Southern Daily); Radio and TV:  Chinese Central TV (CCTV), China National Radio, China Radio International

Interesting Fact:  China has the world's largest internet-using population (253M in June 2008), but the web scene is under tight control. Beijing routinely blocks access to sites run by the banned spiritual movement Falun Gong, rights groups and some foreign news organisations. It has moved to curb postings by a growing number of bloggers.  The media rights group Reporters Without Borders describes the country as the world's "largest prison for journalists". However there is also a vibrant network of Chinese-language websites, used primarily by the country's users for messenging, blogging and other communicating purposes.

Famous for: Great Wall of China, Terracotta Army, Beijing Olympics, The Forbidden City, Confucius, Sun Yat-sen, Mao Zedong, Bruce Lee, acupuncture, feng shui, gunpowder, paper, printing


Official Tourism Website: