East Asia/Southeast Asia :: China
  • Introduction :: China
  • 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 Communist Party of China 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 but political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.

    CHINA SUMMARY: PDF
  • Geography :: China
  • 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
    Map references:
    Asia
    Area:
    total: 9,596,960 sq km
    land: 9,326,410 sq km
    water: 270,550 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Area - comparative:
    slightly smaller than the US
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries:
    total: 22,457 km
    border countries (15): Afghanistan 91 km, Bhutan 477 km, Burma 2129 km, India 2659 km, Kazakhstan 1765 km, North Korea 1352 km, Kyrgyzstan 1063 km, Laos 475 km, Mongolia 4630 km, Nepal 1389 km, Pakistan 438 km, Russia (northeast) 4133 km, Russia (northwest) 46 km, Tajikistan 477 km, Vietnam 1297 km
    Coastline:
    14,500 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 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:
    mean elevation: 1,840 m
    elevation extremes: -154 m lowest point: Turpan Pendi
    8848 highest point: Mount Everest (highest peak in Asia and highest point on earth above sea level)
    Natural resources:
    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
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 54.7% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 11.3% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.6% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 41.8% (2011 est.)
    forest: 22.3% (2011 est.)
    other: 23% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    690,070 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    overwhelming majority of the population is found in the eastern half of the country; the west, with its vast mountainous and desert areas, remains sparsely populated; though ranked first in the world in total population, overall density is less than that of many other countries in Asia and Europe; high population density is found along the Yangtze and Yellow River valleys, the Xi Jiang River delta, the Sichuan Basin (around Chengdu), in and around Beijing, and the industrial area around Shenyang
    Natural hazards:

    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

    Environment - current issues:
    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; coastal destruction due to land reclamation, industrial development, and aquaculture; deforestation and habitat destruction; poor land management leads to soil erosion, landslides, floods, droughts, dust storms, and 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, 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
    Geography - note:
    world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US) and largest country situated entirely in Asia; Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak above sea level
  • People and Society :: China
  • Population:
    1,384,688,986 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Nationality:
    noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
    adjective: Chinese
    Ethnic groups:
    Han Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai, and other nationalities) 7.1% (2010 est.)

    note: the Chinese Government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups

    Languages:
    Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; 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: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)

    Religions:
    Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < 0.1%, Jewish < 0.1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2% (2010 est.)

    note: officially atheist

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 17.22% (male 128,270,371 /female 110,120,535)
    15-24 years: 12.32% (male 91,443,139 /female 79,181,726)
    25-54 years: 47.84% (male 338,189,015 /female 324,180,103)
    55-64 years: 11.35% (male 79,340,391 /female 77,857,806)
    65 years and over: 11.27% (male 74,277,631 /female 81,828,269) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 37.7 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 24.3 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 13.3 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 7.5 (2015 est.)
    data do not include Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan
    Median age:
    total: 37.7 years
    male: 36.8 years
    female: 38.8 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Population growth rate:
    0.37% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Birth rate:
    12.1 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Death rate:
    8 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Net migration rate:
    -0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Population distribution:
    overwhelming majority of the population is found in the eastern half of the country; the west, with its vast mountainous and desert areas, remains sparsely populated; though ranked first in the world in total population, overall density is less than that of many other countries in Asia and Europe; high population density is found along the Yangtze and Yellow River valleys, the Xi Jiang River delta, the Sichuan Basin (around Chengdu), in and around Beijing, and the industrial area around Shenyang
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 59.2% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 2.42% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

    note: data do not include Hong Kong and Macau

    Major urban areas - population:
    25.582 million Shanghai, 19.618 million BEIJING (capital), 14.838 million Chongqing, 12.683 million Guangdong, 13.215 million Tianjin, 11.908 million Shenzhen (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.14 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.17 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.14 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    27 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 11.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 12.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 11.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 75.8 years (2018 est.)
    male: 73.7 years (2018 est.)
    female: 78.1 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Total fertility rate:
    1.6 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Health expenditures:
    5.5% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Physicians density:
    3.63 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
    Hospital bed density:
    4.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 97.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 93% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 95.5% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 2.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 7% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 4.5% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 86.6% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 63.7% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 76.5% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 13.4% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 36.3% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 23.5% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    NA
    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: intermediate (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
    vectorborne diseases: Japanese encephalitis (2016)
    soil contact diseases: hantaviral hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) (2016)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    6.2% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    2.4% (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Education expenditures:
    NA
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 96.4% (2015 est.)
    male: 98.2% (2015 est.)
    female: 94.5% (2015 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 14 years (2015)
    male: 14 years (2015)
    female: 14 years (2015)
    People - note:
    in October 2015, the Chinese Government announced that it would change its rules to allow all couples to have two children, loosening a 1979 mandate that restricted many couples to one child; the new policy was implemented on 1 January 2016 to address China’s rapidly aging population and economic needs
  • Government :: China
  • 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
    etymology: English name derives from the Qin (Chin) rulers of the 3rd century B.C., who comprised the first imperial dynasty of ancient China; the Chinese name Zhongguo translates as "Central Nation"
    Government type:
    communist party-led state
    Capital:
    geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E
    time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    capital: Beijing

    note: despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone

    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 (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

    Independence:
    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)
    National holiday:
    National Day (anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949)
    Constitution:
    history: several previous; latest promulgated 4 December 1982 (2018)
    amendments: proposed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress or supported by more than one-fifth of the National People’s Congress membership; passage requires more than two-thirds majority vote of the Congress membership; amended several times, last in 2018 (2018)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen of China
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: while naturalization is theoretically possible, in practical terms it is extremely difficult; residency is required but not specified
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    head of government: Premier LI Keqiang (since 16 March 2013); Executive Vice Premiers HAN Zheng (since 19 March 2018), SUN Chunlan (since 19 March 2018), LIU He (since 19 March 2018), HU Chunhua (since 19 March 2018)
    cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
    elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by National People's Congress for a 5-year term (unlimited terms); election last held on 17 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2023); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
    election results: XI Jinping reelected president; National People's Congress vote - 2,970 (unanimously); WANG Quishan elected vice president with 2,969 votes
    President XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013); Vice President WANG Quishan (since 17 March 2018)
    Legislative branch:
    description: unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (maximum of 3,000 seats; members indirectly elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and the People's Liberation Army; members serve 5-year terms); note - in practice, only members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), its 8 allied independent parties, and CCP-approved independent candidates are elected
    elections: last held in December 2017-February 2018 (next to be held in late 2022 to early 2023)
    election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - NA
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: 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 late December 2016, the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth circuit courts of the Supreme People's Court began operation
    judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the People's National Congress (NPC); limited to 2 consecutive 5-year-terms; other justices and judges nominated by the chief justice and appointed by the Standing Committee of the NPC; term of other justices and judges determined by the NPC
    subordinate courts: Higher People's Courts; Intermediate People's Courts; District and County People's Courts; Autonomous Region People's Courts; International Commercial Courts; Special People's Courts for military, maritime, transportation, and forestry issues

    note: in late 2014, China unveiled planned judicial reforms

    Political parties and leaders:
    Chinese Communist Party or CCP [XI Jinping]

    note: China has 8 nominally independent small parties controlled by the CCP

    International organization participation:
    ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BRICS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-5, 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, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UN Security Council (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador CUI Tiankai (since 3 April 2013)
    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
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Terry BRANSTAD (since 12 July 2017)
    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
    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; 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
    National symbol(s):
    dragon, giant panda; national colors: red, yellow
    National anthem:
    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
  • Economy - overview:

    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. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion, resulting in efficiency gains that have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Reforms began with the phaseout of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, growth of the private sector, development of stock markets and a modern banking system, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China continues to pursue an industrial policy, state support of key sectors, and a restrictive investment regime. From 2013 to 2017, China had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, averaging slightly more than 7% real growth per year. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2017 stood as the largest economy in the world, surpassing the US in 2014 for the first time in modern history. China became the world's largest exporter in 2010, and the largest trading nation in 2013. Still, China's per capita income is below the world average.

    In July 2005 moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid-2005 to late 2008, the renminbi (RMB) appreciated more than 20% against the US dollar, but the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing announced it would resume a gradual appreciation. From 2013 until early 2015, the renminbi held steady against the dollar, but it depreciated 13% from mid-2015 until end-2016 amid strong capital outflows; in 2017 the RMB resumed appreciating against the dollar – roughly 7% from end-of-2016 to end-of-2017. In 2015, the People’s Bank of China announced it would continue to carefully push for full convertibility of the renminbi, after the currency was accepted as part of the IMF’s special drawing rights basket. However, since late 2015 the Chinese Government has strengthened capital controls and oversight of overseas investments to better manage the exchange rate and maintain financial stability.

    The Chinese Government faces numerous economic challenges including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic household consumption; (b) managing its high corporate debt burden to maintain financial stability; (c) controlling off-balance sheet local government debt used to finance infrastructure stimulus; (d) facilitating higher-wage job opportunities for the aspiring middle class, including rural migrants and college graduates, while maintaining competitiveness; (e) dampening speculative investment in the real estate sector without sharply slowing the economy; (f) reducing industrial overcapacity; and (g) raising productivity growth rates through the more efficient allocation of capital and state-support for innovation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2016 more than 169.3 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of China’s population control policy known as the "one-child policy" - which was relaxed in 2016 to permit all families to have two children - 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 urbanization. The Chinese Government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on natural gas, nuclear, and clean energy development. In 2016, China ratified the Paris Agreement, a multilateral agreement to combat climate change, and committed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions between 2025 and 2030.

    The government's 13th Five-Year Plan, unveiled in March 2016, emphasizes the need to increase innovation and boost domestic consumption to make the economy less dependent on government investment, exports, and heavy industry. However, China has made more progress on subsidizing innovation than rebalancing the economy. Beijing has committed to giving the market a more decisive role in allocating resources, but the Chinese Government’s policies continue to favor state-owned enterprises and emphasize stability. Chinese leaders in 2010 pledged to double China’s GDP by 2020, and the 13th Five Year Plan includes annual economic growth targets of at least 6.5% through 2020 to achieve that goal. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors considered important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive industries. Chinese leaders also have undermined some market-oriented reforms by reaffirming the "dominant" role of the state in the economy, a stance that threatens to discourage private initiative and make the economy less efficient over time. The slight acceleration in economic growth in 2017—the first such uptick since 2010—gives Beijing more latitude to pursue its economic reforms, focusing on financial sector deleveraging and its Supply-Side Structural Reform agenda, first announced in late 2015.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $23.21 trillion (2017 est.)
    $21.72 trillion (2016 est.)
    $20.35 trillion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 1
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $12.01 trillion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)

    note: because China's exchange rate is determined 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

    GDP - real growth rate:
    6.9% (2017 est.)
    6.7% (2016 est.)
    6.9% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $16,700 (2017 est.)
    $15,700 (2016 est.)
    $14,800 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 105
    Gross national saving:
    45.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    45.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    47.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 39.1% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 14.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 42.7% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 1.7% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 20.4% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -18.4% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 7.9% (2017 est.)
    industry: 40.5% (2017 est.)
    services: 51.6% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    world leader in gross value of agricultural output; rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, apples, cotton, pork, mutton, eggs; fish, shrimp
    Industries:
    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; fertilizer; consumer products (including footwear, toys, and electronics); food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, railcars and locomotives, ships, aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites
    Industrial production growth rate:
    6.1% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Labor force:
    806.7 million (2017 est.)

    note: by the end of 2012, China's working age population (15-64 years) was 1.004 billion

    country comparison to the world: 1
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 27.7%
    industry: 28.8%
    services: 43.5% (2016 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    3.9% (2017 est.)
    4% (2016 est.)

    note: data are for registered urban unemployment, which excludes private enterprises and migrants

    country comparison to the world: 48
    Population below poverty line:
    3.3% (2016 est.)

    note: in 2011, China set a new poverty line at RMB 2300 (approximately US $400)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 31.4% (2012)
    highest 10%: 31.4% (2012)

    note: data are for urban households only

    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    46.5 (2016 est.)
    46.2 (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Budget:
    revenues: 2.553 trillion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 3.008 trillion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    21.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -3.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Public debt:
    47% of GDP (2017 est.)
    44.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

    note: official data; data cover both central and local government debt, including debt officially recognized by China's National Audit Office report in 2011; data exclude policy bank bonds, Ministry of Railway debt, and China Asset Management Company debt

    country comparison to the world: 111
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    1.6% (2017 est.)
    2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Central bank discount rate:
    2.25% (5 December 2017 est.)
    2.25% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    4.35% (31 December 2017 est.)
    4.35% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Stock of narrow money:
    $8.351 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $7.001 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Stock of broad money:
    $8.351 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $7.001 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $27.34 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $23.02 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $7.335 trillion (December 2016 est.)
    $8.234 trillion (December 2015 est.)
    $8.518 trillion (31 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    Current account balance:
    $164.9 billion (2017 est.)
    $202.2 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Exports:
    $2.216 trillion (2017 est.)
    $1.99 trillion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Exports - partners:
    US 19%, Hong Kong 12.4%, Japan 6%, South Korea 4.5% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    electrical and other machinery, including computers and telecommunications equipment, apparel, furniture, textiles
    Imports:
    $1.74 trillion (2017 est.)
    $1.501 trillion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    Imports - commodities:
    electrical and other machinery, including integrated circuits and other computer components, oil and mineral fuels; optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles; soybeans
    Imports - partners:
    South Korea 9.7%, Japan 9.1%, US 8.5%, Germany 5.3%, Australia 5.1% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $3.236 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $3.098 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Debt - external:
    $1.598 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.429 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $1.523 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.391 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $1.383 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.227 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Exchange rates:
    Renminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -
    7.76 (2017 est.)
    6.6446 (2016 est.)
    6.2275 (2015 est.)
    6.1434 (2014 est.)
    6.1958 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: China
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 1.2 million (2016)
    electrification - total population: 99.9% (2016)
    electrification - urban areas: 100% (2016)
    electrification - rural areas: 99.8% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    5.883 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Electricity - consumption:
    5.564 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Electricity - exports:
    18.91 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Electricity - imports:
    6.185 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    1.653 billion kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    62% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    18% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    18% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Crude oil - production:
    3.838 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Crude oil - exports:
    57,310 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Crude oil - imports:
    6.71 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    25.63 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    11.51 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    12.47 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    848,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    1.16 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Natural gas - production:
    145.9 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Natural gas - consumption:
    238.6 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Natural gas - exports:
    3.37 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Natural gas - imports:
    97.63 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    5.44 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    11.67 billion Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
  • Communications :: China
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 193.762 million (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 14 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 1,474,097,000 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 107 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: China has become the largest Internet market in the world, with the majority of users accessing the Internet through mobile devices; moderate growth is predicted over the next five years in the fixed broadband segment; one of the biggest drivers of commercial growth is its increasing urbanisation rate as rural residents move to cities; 80% of China's Internet users access the Internet through mobile devices; by 2015 China will be the world's largest 5G market (2017)
    domestic: 14 per 100 fixed line and 107 per 100 moblie-cellular; a domestic satellite system with several earth stations is in place in 2018 (2017)
    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) (2017)
    Broadcast media:
    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 sends directives to all domestic media outlets to guide its reporting with the government maintaining authority to approve all programming; foreign-made TV programs must be approved prior to broadcast; increasingly, Chinese turn to online and satellite television to access Chinese and international films and television shows (2017)
    Internet country code:
    .cn
    Internet users:
    total: 730,723,960 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 53.2% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 378.54 million (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 27 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
  • Transportation :: China
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 56 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 2,890 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 436,183,969 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 19.806 billion mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    B (2016)
    Airports:
    507 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 463 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 71 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 158 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 123 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 25 (2017)
    under 914 m: 86 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 44 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 4 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 6 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2013)
    under 914 m: 18 (2013)
    Heliports:
    47 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    70000 km gas, 22900 km crude oil, 25500 km refined petroleum products, 710206 km water (2015)
    Railways:
    total: 124,000 km (2017)
    standard gauge: 124,000 km 1.435-m gauge (80,000 km electrified); 102,000 traditional, 22,000 high-speed (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    Roadways:
    total: 4,577,300 km (2015)
    paved: 4,046,300 km (includes 123,500 km of expressways) (2015)
    unpaved: 531,000 km (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Waterways:
    110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Merchant marine:
    total: 4,287 (2017)
    by type: bulk carrier 1069, container ship 198, general cargo 697, oil tanker 480, other 1843 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
    container port(s) (TEUs): Dalian (9,614,000), Guangzhou (18,857,700), Ningbo (21,560,000), Qingdao (18,010,000), Shanghai (37,133,000), Shenzhen (23,979,300), Tianjin (14,490,000) (2016)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanghai, Tangshan, Zhejiang
    river port(s): Guangzhou (Pearl)
    Transportation - note:
    seven of the world’s ten largest container ports are in China
  • Military and Security :: China
  • Military expenditures:
    1.9% of GDP (2016)
    1.95% of GDP (2015)
    1.9% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Military branches:
    People's Liberation Army (PLA): Army, Navy (PLAN, includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (Zhongguo Renmin Jiefangjun Kongjun, PLAAF, includes airborne forces), Rocket Force (strategic missile force), and Strategic Support Force (space and cyber forces); People's Armed Police (Renmin Wuzhuang Jingcha Budui, PAP); PLA Reserve Force (2016)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18-22 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)
  • Transnational Issues :: China
  • Disputes - international:

    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 1964China 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 mattersChina claims most of India's Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayaslacking 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 most contentious of which lie in Bhutan's west along China's Chumbi salientBurmese 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 ChinaChinese maps show an international boundary symbol off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Seas, where China has interrupted Vietnamese hydrocarbon explorationChina asserts sovereignty over Scarborough Reef along with the Philippines and Taiwan, and over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Bruneithe 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 partiesVietnam 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 and ASEAN began formal South China Sea Code of Conduct negotiations in March 2018, but it remains unclear the timeline for a final agreement and how it would be enforced;

    China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwanthe Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China and Taiwancertain islands in the Yalu and Tumen Rivers are in dispute with North KoreaNorth 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 ChinaChina and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 AgreementChina and Tajikistan have begun demarcating the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China has reconsidered construction of 13 dams on the Salween River, but, as of 2016, energy-starved Burma, with backing from Thailand, remained intent on building seven 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

    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    refugees (country of origin): 317,098 (Vietnam), undetermined (North Korea) (2016)
    IDPs: undetermined (2014)
    Trafficking in persons:
    current situation: China is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Chinese adults and children are forced into prostitution and various forms of forced labor, including begging and working in brick kilns, coal mines, and factories; women and children are recruited from rural areas and taken to urban centers for sexual exploitation, often lured by criminal syndicates or gangs with fraudulent job offers; state-sponsored forced labor, where detainees work for up to four years often with no remuneration, continues to be a serious concern; Chinese men, women, and children also may be subjected to conditions of sex trafficking and forced labor worldwide, particularly in overseas Chinese communities; women and children are trafficked to China from neighboring countries, as well as Africa and the Americas, for forced labor and prostitution
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - China does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; official data for 2014 states that 194 alleged traffickers were arrested and at least 35 were convicted, but the government’s conflation of human trafficking with other crimes makes it difficult to assess law enforcement efforts to investigate and to prosecute trafficking offenses according to international law; despite reports of complicity, no government officials were investigated, prosecuted, or convicted for their roles in trafficking offenses; authorities did not adequately protect victims and did not provide the data needed to ascertain the number of victims identified or assisted or the services provided; the National People’s Congress ratified a decision to abolish "reform through labor" in 2013, but some continued to operate as state-sponsored drug detention or "custody and education" centers that force inmates to perform manual labor; some North Korean refugees continued to be forcibly repatriated as illegal economic migrants, despite reports that some were trafficking victims (2015)
    Illicit drugs:
    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; more people believed to be convicted and executed for drug offences than anywhere else in the world, according to NGOs