China

In this section all about the country of China we cover the provinces that make up China,countries that surround China; information on all the principal cities; airports; visitor attractions; universities; the ethnicity of the people of China; thoughts about China's future and China's climate. As well as a detailed page on each individual province (including a map) are other pages describing the geography and historical features of China: the Yellow River; Yangzi River; Great Wall and the Silk Road.

China flag
Name (zhōng guó) ['centre' 'country']
CapitalBeijing
Population1,375 million (2015 est.)
Area9,597,000 km2
GDP10,360 billion US$ (2014)

China, home to 1 in 5 of all humanity, is the most populous country in the world and the third largest in land area after Russia and Canada; slightly ahead of the U.S.A. and Europe. It is divided into 33 administrative regions (22 provinces; 4 metropolitan municipalities; 5 autonomous regions and 2 special autonomous regions). The map of provinces shows the geographical division of China into provinces. We also have a map of each distinct geographic region of China. Geographically the Yellow and Yangzi rivers act as boundaries, thoroughfares and water sources for the majority of Chinese people.

Climate

China is a very varied country with high mountains in the south-west; arid deserts in the north and north-west; tropical rainforests in the far south-west and snowfields in the north-east. It is dominated by two large rivers: the Yellow River in the north and the Yangzi in the center, both flowing east into the East China Sea. It is subject to climactic extremes, from tropical uniformity in the far south to harsh, long, cold winters in the far north. Most rain falls on the eastern and south-eastern areas during hot and humid summers. Please refer to our Climate and Geography guides for further details.

China's People

Population

Population

China

China has been the most populuos nation for much of the last few thousand years. The draconian 'One Child Policy' measure was introduced to curb the worrying recent growth.

Population is densest on the South China Plain formed by a triangle from Beijing (Hebei) to Luoyang (Henan) to Shanghai. Apart from that main triangular area, Sichuan; Chongqing and the southern coast are also heavily populated. As early as 1830 the population already stood at 395 million; it passed the 1 billion mark in 1982 and now the total population stands at 1,375 million. China has always been densely populated compared to other countries, reaching about a third of the total world population at times. The density varies widely from the 'average' of 130 people per km2, from over 3,000 in Shanghai to 2 over the vast empty lands of Tibet. The one child policy instituted in 1979 has halted the rapid increase and China's population is stabilizing, it is likely to be overtaken by India as the most populous nation in a few decades. The proportion of men to women is 119 to 100 and there are concerns about the surplus of boys who will remain unmarried. For much more on this topic please refer to our China's population section.

The Han Chinese are the dominant people, but in the border provinces indigenous people predominate. The five autonomous regions of China (Tibet; Xinjiang; Guangxi; Ningxia and Inner Mongolia) give these areas limited relaxation of central control. It is the people that make up a country, and there are a surprising number of minority peoples that have all contributed their own cultural influence. For all about the different nationalities that make up China please read more in our Peoples of China section.

China's Neighbors

China has a land border with a total of 14 neighboring countries. The history of the relations with China's neighbors reveals much about China itself. We detail each of China's 14 neighboring countries. Japan and Taiwan stand out as historically significant neighbors and we cover the history of their special relations with China.

Man made Geography

Historically the Great Wall defines the north wall country of China as much as anything, it is even mentioned in the Chinese National Anthem. The world's longest canal, Grand Canal knits together the important rivers and cities as they flow east to the Sea. When contact with Central Asia and Europe took the over-land route it was the Silk Road into China that carried the goods through the natural gateway into Gansu.

Geology

China has an extremely diverse geology. The land now forming China is made up of a number of tectonic plates that have fused over the billions of years of Earth's history. The varied geology gives a wide variety of soil types for agriculture and extensive deposits of minerals; oil and gas.

Show Bing Map

China's Flag

China flag

The flag of the People's Republic of China is the Communist red of revolution, with one large and four smaller stars. The large star symbolizes the Communist Party and the other four stars the important classes of people of China: working class; peasantry; petit bourgeoisie and patriotic capitalists. Reflecting views at the time it excludes intellectuals and ‘ordinary’ capitalists. Red is the color of communism and the Han dynasty, while yellow is for the Yellow River as well as the skin color of Han Chinese people. A later revision suggested that the smaller stars may refer to the minority peoples of China.


The governance of modern China

The governance of modern China

Modern History

Governing 1,400 million people is no mean feat. China's structure of government is a power pyramid with the President at its head. In theory the people elect representatives who decide policy, in practise the ruling elite are rarely challenged by the democratic process. However the strong military involvement in government has been on the wane for over 25 years.
China emblem

The National emblem of the People's Republic of China has the same five yellow stars for the party and the important classes of people of China. They stand above a representation of Tiananmen Gate, the entrance to the Forbidden City from Tiananmen Square. The circle is surrounded by ears of grain representing the rural peasants while the gear at the bottom stands for the industrial workers. The Chinese National Badge was designed in 1935 by Liang Sicheng, Lin Huiyin and other experts and finalized by Gao Zhuang.


Flag of Republic of China

Previously the flag used by the Republic of China (1928-1949) had a white sun in a blue sky surrounded by red ground. The twelve rays of the sun symbolizes either months or hours. The red ground represents the blood of martyrs who died to found the republic. Blue is for liberty and white for equality and democracy. It is still used in Chinese Taipei (Taiwan).


Flag of Republic of China

Another flag briefly used for the Republic (1912-1928) was five equal horizontal bars of different colors.

Each bar represents a different ethnic group: red for Han Chinese; yellow for Manchu; blue for Mongolians; white for Hui and black for Tibetans. This misses out the largest minority group in China the Zhuang. The Japanese puppet state of Manchuguo used a variation of this flag.


Flag of Qing dynasty China

Further back in Chinese history, each dynasty had its own flag; the last Manchu Qing dynasty developed a rectangular format (1889-1912) rather than the original triangular form to tie in with flags of other nations. It is also known as the Yellow Dragon Flag, a blue dragon is chasing a red pearl. Yellow has been the color of emperors from ancient times.

National anthem

Tian Han wrote the national anthem and it was set to music by Nie Er in 1935. It is entitled “The March of the Volunteers” 勇军 yì yǒng jūn jìn háng qǔ and was written at the time of the Republic of China and the fight against Japanese invasion.

做奴隶

.
被迫着吼声.

,
着敌
着敌

Qǐlái! búyuàn zuò núlì de rénmen!
Bǎ wǒmende xuèròu zhùchéng wǒmen xīnde chángchéng!
Zhōnghuá mínzú dào le zuì wēixiǎn de shíhòu
Měigèrén bèi pòzhe fāchū zuìhòude hǒushēng
Qǐlái! qǐlái! qǐlái!
Wǒmen wànzhòng yìxīn,
Màozhe dírén de pàohuǒ, qiánjìn!
Màozhe dírén de pàohuǒ, qiánjìn!
Qiánjìn! qiánjìn, jìn!


Arise, you who refuse to be slaves;
With our own flesh and blood, let us build our new Great Wall!
The peoples of China are at the most crucial time,
Everybody must roar his defiance.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
Millions of hearts with one mind,
Brave the enemy's gunfire, march on!
Brave the enemy's gunfire, march on!
March on! March on, on!


monument, Beijing, Tiananmen Square
Monument on West side of Tiananmen Square between Mao Mausoleum and Monument to the Heroes of the People. September 2013. Image by RThiele available under a Creative Commons license .
Chinese Cities

Chinese Cities

China

Statistics on all the major cities in China. Gives Population, Chinese name and shows map of location within China as well as calculating distances to any other Chinese city.

Shanghai

Shanghai City was known as the 'Paris of the East' in the 1920s. By Chinese standards Shanghai is a very modern city. It was just a small fishing port in the 1840s with population of only 50,000; by 2007 this had risen to an incredible 18.6 million making it the largest city in China. It is considered China's second city.
Read More
Share this page Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest

Chinasage is a new web resource, started in 2012, pages will be added, enhanced and re-formatted regularly. Please check back soon for updated information about China.

We would be most grateful if you can help improve this page. Please visit our (secure) contact page to leave any comment. Thanks.

Citation information: Chinasage, 'The country of China', last updated 13 Dec 2016, Web, http://www.chinasage.info/china.htm.

Copyright © Chinasage 2012 to 2017