(also see separate Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan entries)

Introduction ::China

    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. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.

Geography ::China

    Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
    35 00 N, 105 00 E
    total: 9,596,961 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 4
    land: 9,569,901 sq km
    water: 27,060 sq km
    slightly smaller than the US
    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
    14,500 km
    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
    extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
    mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
    lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
    highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m (highest point in Asia)
    coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)
    arable land: 11.62%
    permanent crops: 1.53%
    other: 86.84% (2011)
    629,380 sq km (2006)
    2,840 cu km (2011)
    total: 554.1 cu km/yr (12%/23%/65%)
    per capita: 409.9 cu m/yr (2005)
    frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
    volcanism: China contains some historically active volcanoes including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P'aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries
    air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; China is the world's largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; 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
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, 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
    world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak

People and Society ::China

    noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
    adjective: Chinese
    Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uighur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5% (2000 census)
    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)
    note: Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)
    Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%
    note: officially atheist (2002 est.)
    1,349,585,838 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    0-14 years: 17.2% (male 124,773,577/female 107,286,198)
    15-24 years: 15.4% (male 109,922,192/female 98,325,568)
    25-54 years: 46.7% (male 322,161,347/female 308,101,780)
    55-64 years: 11.3% (male 77,374,476/female 75,289,733)
    65 years and over: 9.4% (male 60,597,243/female 65,753,724) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 36.8 %
    youth dependency ratio: 24.7 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 12.1 %
    potential support ratio: 8.2 (2013)
    total: 36.3 years
    male: 35.5 years
    female: 37.2 years (2013 est.)
    0.46% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    12.25 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    7.31 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    -0.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    urban population: 50.6% of total population (2011)
    rate of urbanization: 2.85% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    Shanghai 16.575 million; BEIJING (capital) 15.594 million; Chongqing 9.401 million; Shenzhen 9.005 million; Guangzhou 8.884 million (2011)
    at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.17 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    37 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    total: 15.2 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 110
    male: 15.16 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 15.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 74.99 years
    country comparison to the world: 100
    male: 72.96 years
    female: 77.27 years (2013 est.)
    1.55 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    84.6% (2006)
    5.1% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    1.42 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    4.2 beds/1,000 population (2009)
    improved:
    urban: 98% of population
    rural: 85% of population
    total: 91% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2% of population
    rural: 15% of population
    total: 9% of population (2010 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 74% of population
    rural: 56% of population
    total: 64% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 26% of population
    rural: 44% of population
    total: 36% of population (2010 est.)
    0.1% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    740,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    26,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: Japanese encephalitis
    soil contact disease: hantaviral hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)
    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 (2013)
    5.7% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    3.4% (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    NA
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 95.1%
    male: 97.5%
    female: 92.7% (2010 est.)
    total: 12 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 12 years (2011)

Government ::China

    conventional long form: People's Republic of China
    conventional short form: China
    local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
    local short form: Zhongguo
    abbreviation: PRC
    Communist state
    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; many people in Xinjiang Province observe an unofficial "Xinjiang time zone" of UTC+6, two hours behind Beijing
    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 (Inner Mongolia), 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
    1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established); notable earlier dates: 221 B.C. (unification under the Qin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China)
    Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)
    most recent promulgation 4 December 1982; amended several times
    civil law influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; note - criminal procedure law revised in early 2012
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013); Vice President LI Yuanchao (since 14 March 2013)
    head of government: Premier LI Keqiang (since 16 March 2013); Executive Vice Premier ZHANG Gaoli (since 16 March 2013), Vice Premier LIU Yandong (since 16 March 2013), Vice Premier MA Kai (since 16 March 2013), and Vice Premier WANG Yang (since 16 March 2013)
    cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president and vice president elected by National People's Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 5-17 March 2013 (next to be held in March 2018); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
    election results: XI Jinping elected president by National People's Congress with a total of 2,952 votes; LI Yuanchao elected vice president with a total of 2,940 votes
    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 in December 2007-February 2008 (next to be held in late 2012 to early 2013)
    election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 2,987
    note: in practice, only members of the CCP, its eight allied parties, and CCP-approved independent candidates are elected
    highest court(s): Supreme People's Court (consists of over 340 judges including the chief justice, 13 grand justices organized into a civil committee and tribunals for civil, economic, administrative, complaint and appeal, and communication and transportation cases)
    note - in October 2012, China issued a white paper on planned judicial reform
    judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the People's National Congress; term limited to two consecutive 5-year terms; other justices and judges nominated by the chief justice and appointed by the Standing Committee of the People's National Congress; term of other justices and judges NA
    subordinate courts: Higher People's Courts; Intermediate People's Courts; District and County People's Courts; Autonomous Region People's Courts; Special People's Courts for military, maritime, transportation, and forestry issues
    Chinese Communist Party or CCP [XI Jinping]
    eight nominally independent small parties ultimately controlled by the CCP
    no substantial political opposition groups exist
    ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador CUI Tiankai
    chancery: 3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 495-2266
    FAX: [1] (202) 495-2138
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
    chief of mission: Ambassador Gary LOCKE
    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, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan
    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; the color red represents revolution, while the stars symbolize the four social classes - the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie (capitalists) - united under the Communist Party of China
    dragon
    name: "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" (The March of the Volunteers)

    lyrics/music: TIAN Han/NIE Er
    note: adopted 1949; the anthem, though banned during the Cultural Revolution, is more commonly known as "Zhongguo Guoge" (Chinese National Song); it was originally the theme song to the 1935 Chinese movie, "Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm"

Economy ::China

    Since the late 1970s China has moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role - in 2010 China became the world's largest exporter. Reforms began with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, creation of a diversified banking system, development of stock markets, rapid growth of the private sector, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors it considers important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive national champions. After keeping its currency tightly linked to the US dollar for years, in July 2005 China revalued its currency by 2.1% against the US dollar and moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid 2005 to late 2008 cumulative appreciation of the renminbi against the US dollar was more than 20%, but the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing allowed resumption of a gradual appreciation. 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 that adjusts for price differences, China in 2012 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, having surpassed Japan in 2001. The dollar values of China's agricultural and industrial output each exceed those of the US; China is second to the US in the value of services it produces. Still, per capita income is below the world average. The Chinese government faces numerous economic challenges, including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic demand; (b) sustaining adequate job growth for tens of millions of migrants and new entrants to the work force; (c) reducing corruption and other economic crimes; and (d) containing environmental damage and social strife related to the economy's rapid transformation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2011 more than 250 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of population control 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. The Chinese government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on nuclear and alternative energy development. In 2010-11, China faced high inflation resulting largely from its credit-fueled stimulus program. Some tightening measures appear to have controlled inflation, but GDP growth consequently slowed to under 8% for 2012. An economic slowdown in Europe contributed to China's, and is expected to further drag Chinese growth in 2013. Debt overhang from the stimulus program, particularly among local governments, and a property price bubble challenge policy makers currently. The government's 12th Five-Year Plan, adopted in March 2011, emphasizes continued economic reforms and the need to increase domestic consumption in order to make the economy less dependent on exports in the future. However, China has made only marginal progress toward these rebalancing goals.
    $12.61 trillion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    $11.7 trillion (2011 est.)
    $10.7 trillion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $8.227 trillion
    note: because China's exchange rate is determine by fiat, rather than by market forces, the official exchange rate measure of GDP is not an accurate measure of China's output; GDP at the official exchange rate substantially understates the actual level of China's output vis-a-vis the rest of the world; in China's situation, GDP at purchasing power parity provides the best measure for comparing output across countries (2012 est.)
    7.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    9.3% (2011 est.)
    10.4% (2010 est.)
    $9,300 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    $8,700 (2011 est.)
    $8,000 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    50.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    51.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
    52.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 35.7%
    government consumption: 13.5%
    investment in fixed capital: 46.1%
    investment in inventories: 2%
    exports of goods and services: 26.9%
    imports of goods and services: -24.1%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 10.1%
    industry: 45.3%
    services: 44.6%
    (2012 est.)
    world leader in gross value of agricultural output; rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish
    world leader in gross value of industrial output; 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
    8.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    798.5 million
    country comparison to the world: 1
    note: by the end of 2012, China's population at working age (15-64 years) was 1.0040 billion
    agriculture: 34.8%
    industry: 29.5%
    services: 35.7%
    (2011 est.)
    6.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    6.5% (2011 est.)
    note: registered urban unemployment, which excludes private enterprises and migrants, was 4.1% in 2012
    13.4%
    note: in 2011, China set a new poverty line at RMB 2300 (approximately US $3,630)
    (2011)
    lowest 10%: 3.5%
    highest 10%: 15%
    note: data are for urban households only (2008)
    47.4 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    48.4 (2007)
    revenues: $1.857 trillion
    expenditures: $1.992 trillion (2012 est.)
    22.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    -1.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    31.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    38.5% of GDP (2011)
    note: official data; data cover both central government debt and local government debt, which China's National Audit Office estimated at RMB 10.72 trillion (approximately US$1.66 trillion) in 2011; data exclude policy bank bonds, Ministry of Railway debt, China Asset Management Company debt, and non-performing loans
    calendar year
    2.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    5.5% (2011 est.)
    2.25% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    2.25% (31 December 2011 est.)
    6% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    6.56% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.907 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    $4.6 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $15.49 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    $13.52 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $12.81 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    $10.92 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $3.665 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    $3.408 trillion (31 December 2011)
    $4.763 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $213.8 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    $201.7 billion (2011 est.)
    $2.057 trillion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    $1.812 trillion (2011 est.)
    electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, radio telephone handsets, textiles, integrated circuits
    US 17.2%, Hong Kong 15.8%, Japan 7.4%, South Korea 4.3% (2012)
    $1.735 trillion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    $1.57 trillion (2011 est.)
    electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels, optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles
    Japan 9.8%, South Korea 9.2%, US 7.1%, Germany 5.1%, Australia 4.3% (2012)
    $3.341 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    $3.213 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $770.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    $685.4 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.344 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    $1.232 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $502 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    $424.8 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Renminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -
    6.3123 (2012 est.)
    6.4615 (2011 est.)
    6.7703 (2010 est.)
    6.8314 (2009)
    6.9385 (2008)

Energy ::China

Communications ::China

    285.115 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    986.253 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns; China continues to develop its telecommunications infrastructure; China in the summer of 2008 began a major restructuring of its telecommunications industry, resulting in the consolidation of its six telecom service operators to three, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, each providing both fixed-line and mobile services
    domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; the number of Internet users exceeded 564 million by the end of 2012; a domestic satellite system with several 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) (2012)
    all broadcast media are owned by, or affiliated with, the Communist Party of China or a government agency; no privately owned TV or radio stations; state-run Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations offer 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
    .cn
    20.602 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    389 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 1

Transportation ::China

    507 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    total: 463
    over 3,047 m: 71
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 158
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 123
    914 to 1,523 m: 25
    under 914 m: 86 (2013)
    total: 44
    over 3,047 m: 4
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
    914 to 1,523 m: 9
    under 914 m:
    18 (2013)
    47 (2013)
    condensate 9 km; gas 48,502 km; oil 23,072 km; oil/gas/water 31 km; refined products 15,298 km; water 9 km (2013)
    total: 86,000 km
    country comparison to the world: 3
    standard gauge: 86,000 km 1.435-m gauge (36,000 km electrified) (2008)
    total: 4,106,387 km
    country comparison to the world: 3
    paved: 3,453,890 km (includes 84,946 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 652,497 km (2011)
    110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    total: 2,030
    country comparison to the world: 3
    by type: barge carrier 7, bulk carrier 621, cargo 566, carrier 10, chemical tanker 140, container 206, liquefied gas 60, passenger 9, passenger/cargo 81, petroleum tanker 264, refrigerated cargo 33, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 23
    foreign-owned: 22 (Hong Kong 18, Indonesia 2, Japan 2)
    registered in other countries: 1,559 (Bangladesh 1, Belize 61, Cambodia 177, Comoros 1, Cyprus 6, Georgia 10, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 500, India 1, Indonesia 1, Kiribati 26, Liberia 4, Malta 6, Marshall Islands 14, North Korea 3, Panama 534, Philippines 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 65, Sao Tome and Principe 1, Sierra Leone 19, Singapore 29, South Korea 6, Thailand 1, Togo 1, Tuvalu 4, UK 7, Vanuatu 1, unknown 73) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
    river port(s): Guangzhou (Pearl)
    container port(s): Dalian (6,400,300), Guangzhou (14,260,400), Ningbo (14,719,200), Qingdao (13,020,100), Shanghai (31,739,000), Shenzhen (22,570,800), Tianjin (11,587,600)(2011)

Military ::China

    People's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (PLAN; includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (Zhongguo Renmin Jiefangjun Kongjun, PLAAF; includes Airborne Forces), and Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force); People's Armed Police (Renmin Wuzhuang Jingcha Budui, PAP); PLA Reserve Force (2012)
    18-24 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2-year 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; a recent military decision allows women in combat roles; the first class of women warship commanders was in 2011 (2012)
    males age 16-49: 385,821,101
    females age 16-49: 363,789,674 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 318,265,016
    females age 16-49: 300,323,611 (2010 est.)
    male: 10,406,544
    female: 9,131,990 (2010 est.)
    2.6% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 49

Transnational Issues ::China

    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; Hong Kong developing plans to reduce 2,000 out of 2,800 hectares of its restricted Closed Area by 2010
    refugees (country of origin): 300,897 (Vietnam); estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea) (2012)
    IDPs: 90,000 (2010)
    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, there are many reports that Chinese men, women, and children may be subjected to conditions of sex trafficking and forced labor in numerous countries and territories worldwide; women and children are trafficked to China from Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Mongolia, Russia, North Korea, and even as far away as Europe and Africa for forced labor and prostitution; some Chinese adults and children are forced into prostitution and various forms of forced labor, including begging, stealing, and working in brick kilns, coal mines, and factories
    tier rating: Tier 3 - China does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and was downgraded to Tier 3 after the maximum of two consecutive annual waivers; the government has not demonstrated significant efforts to comprehensively prohibit and punish all forms of trafficking and to prosecute traffickers; the government also has not reported providing comprehensive victim protection services to domestic or foreign, male or female victims of trafficking; in 2013, the government released an eight-year national action plan, which includes measures to improve interagency and other internal coordination among anti-trafficking stakeholders and victim protection (2013)
    major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia; growing domestic consumption of synthetic drugs, and heroin from Southeast and Southwest Asia; source country for methamphetamine and heroin chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry (2008)