Location: China 🌎
Country: China ISO2 Code: CN ISO3 Code: CHN Location Type: Country Latitude: Longitude:
China (Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It has a population exceeding 1.4 billion. China spans the equivalent of five time zones and borders fourteen countries by land, the most of any country in the world. With an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometres (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world’s third largest country by total land area. The country consists of 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and largest financial center is Shanghai. Modern China traces its origins to a cradle of civilization in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. The semi-legendary Xia dynasty in the 21st century BCE and the Shang and Zhou dynasties developed a political system to serve hereditary monarchies. Written script was developed and inscription of Bronze and engraving of Oracle bone became common. Classic literature, and the Hundred Schools of Thought emerged during this period and influenced the region and beyond for centuries to come. In the third century BCE, the Qin dynasty ended the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period when Qin Shi Huangdi assumed the self-invented title of Huangdi (Emperor of China). Fractured by the uprising peasants, the Qin was replaced by Liu Bang’s Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE). Together they laid the foundation for a political tradition of nearly two millennia in which the Chinese empire was one of the world’s foremost economic powers. The empire expanded, fractured, and reunified; absorbed foreign religions and ideas; and made world-leading scientific advances, such as the Four Great Inventions: gunpowder, paper, the compass, and printing. After centuries of disunity following the fall of the Han, the Sui (581–618) and Tang (618–907) dynasties reunified the empire. The Tang welcomed foreign trade and culture that came over the Silk Road and adapted Buddhism to Chinese needs. The early modern Song dynasty (960–1279) became increasingly urban and commercial. The civilian scholar-officials or literati adopted the examination system and the doctrines of Neo-Confucianism to replace the military aristocrats of earlier dynasties. The Mongol established the Yuan dynasty in 1279 before the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) re-established Han Chinese control. The Manchu-led Qing dynasty nearly doubled the empire’s territory and established a multi-ethnic state that was the basis of the modern Chinese nation, although subsequently suffered heavy losses to European imperialism in the 19th century. The Chinese monarchy collapsed in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution, when the Republic of China (ROC) replaced the imperial ruling of Qing. In its early years, the country underwent a rather unstable Warlord Era before mostly centralizing in 1928 under the Nationalist government. A civil war between the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) broke out in 1927, though the war was halted when Japan invaded China in 1937. After Japan’s surrender in 1945, China’s civil war renewed. A division was caused in 1949 when the CCP established the People’s Republic of China on the mainland while the KMT-led government of the ROC retreated to the islands in the South and East China Sea. Both claiming to be the sole legitimate government, the United Nations has recognized the PRC as legitimate since 1971. From 1959 to 1961, an economic and social campaign, the Great Leap Forward resulted in a sharp economic decline and massive famine. From 1966 to 1976, the Red Guards’ Cultural Revolution led to greater political instability, economic and educational decline. Eventually, with a change in the leadership, a series of political and economic reforms began in 1978 that greatly improve the economy and standards of living. China is a unitary socialist republic led by the CCP. It is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of several multilateral and regional organizations such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, the New Development Bank, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the RCEP. It is also a member of the BRICS, the G8+5, the G20, the APEC, and the East Asia Summit. China ranks poorly in measures of democracy, transparency, press freedom, religious freedom, and ethnic equality. The Chinese authorities are often criticized for human rights abuses. Making up around one-fifth of the world economy, China is the world’s largest economy by GDP at purchasing power parity, the second-largest economy by nominal GDP, and the second-wealthiest country. The country is one of the fastest-growing major economies and is the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter, as well as the second-largest importer. China is a nuclear-weapon state with the world’s largest standing army by military personnel and the second-largest defense budget.
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