Country full name: People's Republic of China;Local short form of country name: Zhongguo(中国). CHINA POPULATION: Total Population 1.328 billion (2008) about 22% of total population in the world.
Conventional long form: People's Republic of China
Conventional short form: China
Local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo (中华人民共和国)
Local short form: Zhongguo(中国)
*DATE OF ESTABLISHMENT of the People's Republic of China: October 1, 1949
*CONSTITUTION: most recent promulgation 4 December 1982 with amendments in 1988, 1993, 2004.
*ARMED FORCE: The People's Liberation Army (PLA) under the leadership of CCP.
*THE RULING PARTY: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
*THE CURRENT PRESIDENT: Hu Jintao
*CAPITAL: Beijing (北京)
×TIME ZONE: UTC+8
New Year's Day: January 1
Chinese Lunar New Year's Day: (Between January and February (The exact date varies, depends on the Lunar Calendar, Chinese New Year's Day in 2011 is Feb. 3. is the Year of Rabbit in Chinese calendar. )
Labor Day: May 1;
National Day: October 1
The working days are from Monday to Friday. Most people do not work on weekend. Official hours are from 8:00am to 17:00pm with one hour for lunch.
* CHINA POPULATION: Total Population 1.328 billion (2008) about 22% of total population in the world.
The year of 1998 saw19.91 million births, 8.07 million deaths of the population, with a net growth population of 11.84 million (compared with 12.37 million in 1997); More than 10% of total population is over 60 years old (1999 data).
China population is distributed unevenly with more in the east (more than 300 persons per square kilometer) and fewer in the west (about 40 persons per square kilometer. The national average density of population is 119 per square kilometer (1990 census).
The average size of household was 3.7 persons. The proportion of population aged at 0-14 was 26.4 percent, those aged 15-64 was 67.2 percent, and that of the people aged 65 and over was 6.4 percent. The Average Chinese Life-Span of the population was 70.8 years, that for male was 68.71, and female, 73.04. (Some of the above data are based on the report from China National Statistics Bureau, FOR YOUR REFERENCE ONLY).
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCTS (GDP 2009) : 33535.3 billion yuan RMB (4.92 trillion US$) a 8.7% increase over 2008. Compare GDP (in 1999, China's GDP was 8205.4 billion yuan RMB, about $980.6 billion US$).
*CHINA 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; (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
* MAIN PORTS OF ENTRY
Air: Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hohhot, Hong Kong, Kunming, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Tianjin, Urumqi, Xiamen and Xi'an.
Land: Alataw, Baketu, Erenhot, Friendship Pass, Hunchun, Ji'an, Kunjirap, Manzhouli, Mohe, Nyalam (Zhangmu), Pingxiang, Ruili, Suifenhe, Tumen, Wanding, Xunke and Yadong.
Water: Beihai, Dalian, Dangdong, Guangzhou, Haikou, Hankou, Huangpu, Jiujiang, Lianyungang, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Sanya, Shanghai, Shantou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Weihai, Yangzhou, Yantai, Zhangjiang and Zhenjiang.
*HISTORY: China, one of the four oldest civilizations in the world, has a written history of 4,000 years and boasts rich cultural relics and historical sites. It is the inventor of compass, paper-making, gunpowder and printing. The Great Wall, Grand Canal and Karez irrigation system are three great ancient engineering projects built 2,000 years ago. Now they are the symbols of the rich culture of the Chinese nation. 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, MAO's 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. China since the early 1990s has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.
* LANGUAGES: The national language is Putonghua (the common speech) or Mandarin, which is one of the five working languages at the United Nations. Most of the 55 minority nationalities have their own languages. Cantonese is one of the local dialects of southern China. As a written language, Chinese has been used for 6,000 years.
*NATIONALITIES: The People's Republic of China is a unified, multi-national country, comprising 56 nationalities. The Han people make up 91.02 percent of the total population, leaving 8.98 percent for the other 55 ethnic minorities. They are Mongolian, Hui, Tibetan, Uygur, Miao, Yi, Zhuang, Bouyei, Korean, Manchu, Dong, Yao, Bai, Tujia, Hani, Kazak, Dai, Li, Lisu, Va, She, Gaoshan, Lahu, Shui, Dongxiang, Naxi, Jingpo, Kirgiz, Tu, Daur, Mulam, Qiang, Blang, Salar, Maonan, Gelo, Xibe, Achang, Pumi, Tajik, Nu, Ozbek, Russian, Ewenki, Benglong, Bonan, Yugur, Jing, Tatar, Drung, Oroqen, Hezhen, Moinba, Lhoba and Gelo. All nationalities in China are equal according to the law.
*CHINESE FAMILY NAMES: Chinese family names came into being some 5,000 years ago. There are more than 5,000 family names, of which 200 to 300 are polular. The order of Chinese names is family name goes first, following by given name. For instance, the family name of a person is Wang, given name is Dong, his/her full name would be Wang Dong . The most popular Chinese family names are LI, ZHANG, WANG, LI, ZHAO, LIU, CHEN. According to the most recent official statistics in 2007, the three most popular family names in China are: WANG (total 92.88 million, shares 7.25% of total China population); LI (total 92.07 million, shares 7.19% of total China population) and ZHANG (total 87.50 million, share 6.83% of total China population).
*CHINA'S MAJOR RIVERS: China has 50,000 rivers each covering a catchment area of more than 100 square kilometers, and 1,500 of them cover a catchment area exceeding 1,000 square kilometers. Most of them flow from west to east to empty into the Pacific Ocean. Main rivers include the Yangtze (Changjiang), Yellow (Huanghe), Heilong, Pearl (Zhujiang River), Liaohe, Haihe, Qiangtang and Lancang. The Yangtze of 6,300 kilometers is the longest river in China. The second longest Yellow River is 5,464 kilometers. The Grand Canal from Hangzhou to Beijing is a great water project in ancient China. It is of 1,794 kilometers, making it the longest canal in the world. (Click for information about China's three most important river deltas -- the Yangtze River Delta, Yellow River Delta, and the Zhujiang River Delta )
* CHINA'S RELIGIONS: China is a multi-religious country. Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism, with the first three being more wide spread.Various religions exert different influence on different ethnic groups. Islam is followed by the Hui, Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz, Tatar, Dongxiang, Salar and Bonan nationalities; Buddhism and Lamaism are followed by the Tibetan, Mongolian, Dai and Yugur nationalities; Christianity is followed by the Miao, Yao and Yi nationalities; Shamanism is followed by the Oroqen, Ewenki and Daur nationalities; the majority Han nationality believes in Buddhism, Christianity and Taoism.
*TOPOGRAPHY: With a broad area, China's topography is very complex. The outline descends step by step from the west to the east. Mountains and hilly land take up 65 percent of the total area. There are five main mountain ranges. Seven mountain peaks are higher than 8,000 meters above sea level. The Bohai Sea, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and South China Sea embrace the east and southeast coast.
*CHINESE MONEY: Chinese Money is called Renminbi (RMB) (means "People's Currency"). The popular unit of RMB is Yuan. The official exchange rate between U.S. Dollar and Renminbi Yuan currently is about 1 : 6.7 (1.00 Dollar = 6.7 Yuan). 1 Yuan to 10 Jiao, 1 Jiao to 10 Fen (There are parts of China the Yuan is also known as Kuai and Jiao is known as Mao. Chinese currency is issued in the following denominations: one, two, five, ten, fifty and a hundred Yuan; one, two and five Jiao; and one, two and five Fen.
*CHINA CIVIL ELECTRICAL POWER: AC 220 V, 50 Hz (bathrooms of many luxury and medium-grade hotels may have 110-volt sockets).
*CHINA TELEVISION SYSTEM: PAL (In addition to Chinese language TV broadcast, English and Japanese TV programs are available in many hotel via satellite relay. China Central Television Station (CCTV) and some local TV stations also provide English news and other programs in English.)
*CHINA TELEPHONE AREA CODE: Mainland China 86; Hong Kong 852; Mcacu 853; Taiwan 886. (Special Telephone Numbers: Police 110; Fire 119; Emergency 120.)
*CHINA ROAD DRIVE SIDE:
*Continental China: on the right
*Hong Kong: on the left
* Macau: on the left
*Taiwan: on the right
*INTERNET DOMAIN CODE: .cn (such as "....org.cn" , "...edu.cn" or "....com.cn"), Hong Kong .hk, Macau: .mo