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China (Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó; literally: 'Central State' or 'Middle Kingdom'), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.428 billion in 2017. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third largest or the fourth largest country by area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

China emerged as one of the world's first civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-mythical Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since then, China has expanded, fractured, and re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin reunited core China and established the first Chinese empire. The succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BCE until 220 CE, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements. The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty (618–907) and Northern Song (960–1127) completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread widely in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and the Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution, when the Republic of China (ROC) replaced the Qing dynasty. China as a whole was ravaged by feudal warlordism and Japan during World War II. The subsequent Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949 when the Communist Party of China led by Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China on mainland China while the Kuomintang-led nationalist government retreated to the island of Taiwan where it governed until 1996 when Taiwan transitioned to democracy. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed to this day.

China is a unitary one-party socialist republic and is one of the few existing Communist states. and human rights groups have denounced and criticized the Chinese government for , suppression of religious and ethnic minorities, and mass surveillance, and cracking down on protests . The Chinese government says that the right to subsistence and economic development is a prerequisite to other types of human rights, and that the notion of human rights should take into account a country's present economic level.

Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates consistently above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. According to official data, China's GDP in 2018 was 90 trillion Yuan ($13.5 trillion). Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP, and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity. China is also the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army, the People's Liberation Army, and second-largest defense budget. The PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is also a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, and the G20. China is one of the world's most technologically advanced nations and is home to some of the world's largest tech giants such as Huawei, Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba. Since 2019, China has the highest number of rich people in the world. China has been characterized as a potential superpower, mainly because of its massive population, economy, and military. Read more...

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The technology of the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD) was advanced, providing some of the most prolific technological advancements in Chinese history, much of which came from talented statesmen drafted by the government through imperial examinations. The ingenuity of mechanical engineering had a long tradition in China. The Song Dynasty engineer Su Song admitted that he and his contemporaries were building upon the achievements of the ancients such as Zhang Heng, an astronomer, inventor, and early master of mechanical gears. The application of movable type printing advanced the already widespread use of woodblock printing to educate and amuse Confucian students and the masses. The application of new weapons employing the use of gunpowder enabled the Song Dynasty to ward off its militant enemies until its collapse to the Mongol forces of Kublai Khan, in the late 13th century. Notable advancements in civil engineering, nautics, and metallurgy were made in Song China, as well as the introduction of the windmill to China during the 13th century. These advancements, along with the introduction of paper-printed money, helped revolutionize and sustain the economy of the Song Dynasty.

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Shaanxi cuisine, or Qin cuisine, is derived from the native cooking styles of Shaanxi Province and parts of northwestern China. Read more...

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Lijiang River
Credit: Miguel A. Monjas

Mountain peaks by the Lijiang River, in Guangxi Province.

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Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping (22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997) was a Chinese politician and reformist leader of the People's Republic of China who, after Mao Zedong's death, led his country towards a market economy. While Deng never held office as the head of state, head of government or General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (de jure leader of the Communist Party of China), he nonetheless was the "paramount leader" of the People's Republic of China from 1978 to 1992. Born into a peasant background in Guang'an, Sichuan, Deng studied and worked in France in the 1920s, where he was influenced by Marxism-Leninism. Deng was instrumental in China's economic reconstruction following the Great Leap Forward in the early 1960s. His economic policies, however, were at odds with the political ideologies of chairman Mao Zedong.He is considered "the architect" of a new brand of socialist thinking, having developed "socialism with Chinese characteristics" and led Chinese economic reform through a synthesis of theories that became known as the "socialist market economy".

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China's Politics

Emblem of the Communist Party of China
Xi Jinping

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is head of the Communist Party of China and the highest-ranking official within China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat. The officeholder is usually considered the paramount leader of China.

According to the Constitution, the General Secretary serves as an ex officio member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto top decision-making body. Since the early 1990s, the holder of the post has been, except for transitional periods, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, making the holder the Commander-in-chief of the People's Liberation Army.

The current General Secretary is Xi Jinping (picture), who took the office at the 18th National Congress on 15 November 2012.

National Emblem of the Republic of China
Tsai Ing-wen

The President of the Republic of China is the head of state of the Republic of China (ROC).

The Constitution names the president as head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China Armed Forces (formerly known as the National Revolutionary Army). The president is responsible for conducting foreign relations, such as concluding treaties, declaring war, and making peace. The president must promulgate all laws and has no right to veto. Other powers of the president include granting amnesty, pardon or clemency, declaring martial law, and conferring honors and decorations.

The current President is Tsai Ing-wen (picture), since May 20, 2016. The first woman to be elected to the office, Tsai is the seventh president of the Republic of China under the 1947 Constitution and the second president from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Wikipedias in languages found in China

粵語 / 广东话 (Cantonese)           古文 / 文言文 (Classical Chinese)           赣语 (Gan)           Hak-kâ-fa (Hakka)           قازاق تىلى (Kazakh)           中文 / 普通话 (Mandarin) (Now unable to access in China Mainland because of the GFW)           闽东语 (Min Dong)           闽南语 (Min-nan)           བོད་ཡིག (Tibetan)           ئۇيغۇرچە (Uyghur)           吴语 (Wu)           Sawcuengh (Zhuang)

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