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Introducing 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 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.

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: 9,596,961 sq km
country comparison to the world: 4
land: 9,569,901 sq km
water: 27,060 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than the US

Land boundaries:
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

Coastline:
14,500 km

Maritime claims:
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

Climate:
Current Weather
extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north

Terrain:
mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m

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)

Land use:
arable land: 14.86%
permanent crops: 1.27%
other: 83.87% (2005)

Irrigated land:
545,960 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
2,829.6 cu km (1999)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 549.76 cu km/yr (7%/26%/68%)
per capita: 415 cu m/yr (2000)

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; 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

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); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak

Population:
1,330,141,295 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19.8% (male 140,877,745/female 124,290,090)
15-64 years: 72.1% (male 495,724,889/female 469,182,087)
65 years and over: 8.1% (male 51,774,115/female 56,764,042) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 35.2 years
male: 34.5 years
female: 35.8 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.494% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153

Birth rate:
12.17 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165

Death rate:
6.89 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142

Net migration rate:
-0.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Urbanization:
urban population: 43% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.14 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.17 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 16.51 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 114
male: 15.84 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.51 years
country comparison to the world: 94
male: 72.54 years
female: 76.77 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.54 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
700,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
39,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: Japanese encephalitis and dengue fever
soil contact disease: hantaviral hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)
animal contact disease: rabies
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 (2009)

Nationality:
noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese

Ethnic groups:
Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uighur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5% (2000 census)

Religions:
Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%
note: officially atheist (2002 est.)

Languages:
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect) (official), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.6%
male: 95.7%
female: 87.6% (2007)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2008)

Education expenditures:
1.9% of GDP (1999)
country comparison to the world: 172

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

Government type:
Communist state

Capital:
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 timezone" of UTC+6, two hours behind Beijing

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

Independence:
1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established); notable earlier dates: 221 BC (unification under the Qin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China)

National holiday:
Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)

Constitution:
most recent promulgation 4 December 1982 with amendments in 1988, 1993, 2004

Legal system:
based on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation; party organs exercise authority over judiciary; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003); Vice President XI Jinping (since 15 March 2008)
head of government: Premier WEN Jiabao (since 16 March 2003); Executive Vice Premier LI Keqiang (17 March 2008), Vice Premier HUI Liangyu (since 17 March 2003), Vice Premier ZHANG Dejiang (since 17 March 2008), and Vice Premier WANG Qishan (since 17 March 2008)
cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
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 15-17 March 2008 (next to be held in mid-March 2013); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
election results: HU Jintao elected president by National People's Congress with a total of 2,963 votes; XI Jinping elected vice president with a total of 2,919 votes

Legislative branch:
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 (date of next election to be held in late 2012 to early 2013)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 2,987
note: only members of the CCP, its eight allied parties, and sympathetic independent candidates are elected

Judicial branch:
Supreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's Congress); Local People's Courts (comprise higher, intermediate, and basic courts); Special People's Courts (primarily military, maritime, railway transportation, and forestry courts)

Political parties and leaders:
Chinese Communist Party or CCP [HU Jintao]; eight registered small parties controlled by CCP

Political pressure groups and leaders:
no substantial political opposition groups exist

International organization participation:
ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador ZHANG Yesui
chancery: 3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 495-2266
FAX: [1] (202) 495-2190
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jon M. HUNTSMAN, Jr.
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 anthem:
name: "Yiyonggjun 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 - overview:
China's economy during the past 30 years has changed from a centrally planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector and is a major player in the global economy. Reforms started in the late 1970s with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, the foundation of a diversified banking system, the development of stock markets, the rapid growth of the non-state sector, and the opening to foreign trade and investment. Annual inflows of foreign direct investment rose to nearly $108 billion in 2008. China has generally implemented reforms in a gradualist or piecemeal fashion. In recent years, China has re-invigorated its support for leading 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, China in July 2005 revalued its currency by 2.1% against the US dollar and moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. Cumulative appreciation of the renminbi against the US dollar since the end of the dollar peg was more than 20% by late 2008, but the exchange rate has remained virtually pegged since the onset of the global financial crisis. 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 2009 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, although in per capita terms the country is still lower middle-income. The Chinese government faces numerous economic development challenges, including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic demand through increased corporate transfers and a strengthened social safety net; (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 been more rapid in coastal provinces than in the interior, and approximately 200 million rural laborers and their dependents have relocated to urban areas to find work. One demographic consequence of the "one child" 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. In 2006, China announced that by 2010 it would decrease energy intensity 20% from 2005 levels. In 2009, China announced that by 2020 it would reduce carbon intensity 40% from 2005 levels. The Chinese government seeks to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, and is focusing on nuclear and other alternative energy development. In 2009, the global economic downturn reduced foreign demand for Chinese exports for the first time in many years. The government vowed to continue reforming the economy and emphasized the need to increase domestic consumption in order to make China less dependent on foreign exports for GDP growth in the future.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$8.818 trillion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
$8.083 trillion (2008 est.)
$7.415 trillion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$4.985 trillion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
9.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
9% (2008 est.)
13% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$6,700 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
$6,100 (2008 est.)
$5,700 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10.3%
industry: 46.3%
services: 43.4% (2009 est.)

Labor force:
813.5 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 39.5%
industry: 27.2%
services: 33.2% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
4.3% (September 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
4.2% (December 2008 est.)
note: official data for urban areas only; including migrants may boost total unemployment to 9%; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas

Population below poverty line:
2.8%
note: 21.5 million rural population live below the official "absolute poverty" line (approximately $90 per year); an additional 35.5 million rural population live above that level but below the official "low income" line (approximately $125 per year) (2007)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 15%
note: data are for urban households only (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
41.5 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 54
40 (2001)

Investment (gross fixed):
46.3% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1

Budget:
revenues: $1.002 trillion
expenditures: $1.111 trillion (2009 est.)

Public debt:
16.9% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
15.6% of GDP (2008 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-0.7% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
6% (2008 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
2.79% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 129
2.79% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
5.31% (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
5.31% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$3.221 trillion (31 December 2009)
$2.434 trillion (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:
$8.876 trillion (31 December 2009)
$6.957 trillion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:
$7.241 trillion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 4
$5.555 trillion (31 December 2008)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$5.011 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
$2.794 trillion (31 December 2008)
$6.226 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)

Agriculture - products:
rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish

Industries:
mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products, including footwear, toys, and electronics; food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites

Industrial production growth rate:
9.9% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4

Electricity - production:
3.451 trillion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2

Electricity - consumption:
3.438 trillion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2

Electricity - exports:
16.64 billion kWh (2008)

Electricity - imports:
3.842 billion kWh (2008)

Oil - production:
3.991 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5

Oil - consumption:
8.2 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3

Oil - exports:
388,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Oil - imports:
4.393 million bbl/day (2008)
country comparison to the world: 4

Oil - proved reserves:
20.35 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13

Natural gas - production:
82.94 billion cu m (2009)
country comparison to the world: 8

Natural gas - consumption:
87.08 billion cu m (2009)
country comparison to the world: 9

Natural gas - exports:
3.32 billion cu m (2009)
country comparison to the world: 31

Natural gas - imports:
7.462 billion cu m (2009)
country comparison to the world: 27

Natural gas - proved reserves:
3.03 trillion cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13

Current account balance:
$297.1 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
$436.1 billion (2008 est.)

Exports:
$1.204 trillion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
$1.435 trillion (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:
electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, textiles, iron and steel, optical and medical equipment

Exports - partners:
US 20.03%, Hong Kong 12.03%, Japan 8.32%, South Korea 4.55%, Germany 4.27% (2009)

Imports:
$954.3 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
$1.074 trillion (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:
electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels, optical and medical equipment, metal ores, plastics, organic chemicals

Imports - partners:
Japan 12.27%, Hong Kong 10.06%, South Korea 9.04%, US 7.66%, Taiwan 6.84%, Germany 5.54% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.426 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
$1.953 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$349.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
$378.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$473.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
$378.1 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$229.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
$147.9 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
Renminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar - 6.8249 (2009), 6.9385 (2008), 7.61 (2007), 7.97 (2006), 8.1943 (2005)

Telephones - main lines in use:
313.68 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 1

Telephones - mobile cellular:
747 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 1

Telephone system:
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, and is partnering with foreign providers to expand its global reach; 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 250 million by summer 2008; a domestic satellite system with 55 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) (2008)

Broadcast media:
all broadcast media are owned by, or affiliated with, the Communist Party of China or a government agency; no privately-owned television or radio stations with state-run Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations offering 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 (2008)

Internet country code:
.cn

Internet hosts:
15.251 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 6

Internet users:
298 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 1

Airports:
502 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 15

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 442
over 3,047 m: 63
2,438 to 3,047 m: 137
1,524 to 2,437 m: 132
914 to 1,523 m: 27
under 914 m: 83 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 60
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 27 (2010)

Heliports:
48 (2010)

Pipelines:
gas 32,545 km; oil 20,097 km; refined products 10,915 km (2009)

Railways:
total: 77,834 km
country comparison to the world: 3
standard gauge: 77,084 km 1.435-m gauge (24,433 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 750 km 0.750-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:
total: 3,583,715 km (includes 53,913 km of expressways) (2007)
country comparison to the world: 2

Waterways:
110,000 km navigable (2008)
country comparison to the world: 1

Merchant marine:
total: 2,010
country comparison to the world: 3
by type: barge carrier 6, bulk carrier 571, cargo 639, carrier 5, chemical tanker 98, container 204, liquefied gas 55, passenger 9, passenger/cargo 83, petroleum tanker 271, refrigerated cargo 35, roll on/roll off 9, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 24
foreign-owned: 18 (Germany 1, Hong Kong 15, Japan 2)
registered in other countries: 1,623 (Bahamas 4, Bangladesh 1, Belize 64, Bermuda 13, Cambodia 203, Comoros 1, Cyprus 6, France 5, Georgia 11, Germany 2, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 432, India 1, Indonesia 1, Kiribati 28, Liberia 10, Malta 11, Marshall Islands 16, North Korea 1, Norway 25, Panama 574, Philippines 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 82, Sierra Leone 12, Singapore 26, South Korea 9, Thailand 1, Togo 2, Tuvalu 9, UK 7, unknown 59) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Dalian, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin

Military branches:
People's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (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 (PAP); PLA Reserve Force (2010)

Military service age and obligation:
18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with 24-month 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; in 2010, a decision was made to allow women in combat roles (2010)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 381,747,145
females age 16-49: 360,385,629 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 314,668,817
females age 16-49: 298,745,786 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 10,699,186
female: 9,460,217 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
4.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 23

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 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 due to cartographic discrepancies; 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 Spratly's but is not the legally binding "code of conduct" sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly's 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 and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 300,897 (Vietnam); estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea)
IDPs: 90,000 (2007)

Trafficking in persons:
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, but there is also considerable international trafficking of Chinese citizens to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America; Chinese women are lured abroad through false promises of legitimate employment, only to be forced into commercial sexual exploitation, largely in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan; women and children are trafficked to China from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor, marriage, and prostitution; some North Korean women and children seeking to leave their country voluntarily cross the border into China and are then sold into prostitution, marriage, or forced labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - China is on the Tier 2 Watch List for the fourth consecutive year for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly in terms of punishment of trafficking crimes and the protection of Chinese and foreign victims of trafficking; victims are sometimes punished for unlawful acts that were committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, such as violations of prostitution or immigration/emigration controls; the Chinese Government continued to treat North Korean victims of trafficking solely as economic migrants, routinely deporting them back to horrendous conditions in North Korea; additional challenges facing the Chinese Government include the enormous size of its trafficking problem and the significant level of corruption and complicity in trafficking by some local government officials (2008)

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 (2008)

 

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