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China (Chinese: ; pinyin: Zh?ngguó; lit. 'Central State; Middle Kingdom'), officially the People's Republic of China (Chinese: ?; pinyin: Zh?nghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó; PRC), is a country in East Asia and unitary one-party socialist republic of led by the Communist Party of China (CPC). It is the world's most populous country, with a population of more than 1.4 billion. China follows a single standard time offset of UTC+08:00 even though spanning five geographical time zones and borders 14 countries, the second most of any country in the world, after Russia. Covering an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million mi2), it is the world's third or fourth largest country. The country is officially divided into 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, and four direct-controlled municipalities of Beijing (the capital city), Tianjin, Shanghai (the largest city), and Chongqing, as well as two special administrative regions: 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. China was one of the world's foremost economic powers for most of the two millennia from the 1st until the 19th century. For millennia, China's political system was based on absolute hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the 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 (206 BCE-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 Dynasty (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. The Qing Empire, China's last dynasty, which formed the territorial basis for modern China, suffered heavy losses to foreign imperialism. The Chinese monarchy collapsed in 1912 with the 1911 Revolution, when the Republic of China (ROC) replaced the Qing dynasty. China was invaded by the Empire of Japan during World War II. The Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China on mainland China while the Kuomintang-led ROC government retreated to the island of Taiwan. Both the PRC and the ROC currently claim to be the sole legitimate government of China, resulting in an ongoing dispute even after the United Nations recognized the PRC as the government to represent China at all UN conferences in 1971.

China is nominally a unitary one-party socialist republic. The country is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a founding member of several multilateral and regional cooperation organizations such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, the New Development Bank, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and is a member of the BRICS, the G8+5, the G20, the APEC, and the East Asia Summit. It ranks among the lowest in international measurements of civil liberties, government transparency, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and ethnic minorities. Chinese authorities have been criticized by political dissidents and human rights activists for widespread human rights abuses, including political repression, mass censorship, mass surveillance of their citizens and violent suppression of protests.

After economic reforms in 1978, and its entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, China's economy became the second-largest country by nominal GDP in 2010 and grew to the largest in the world by PPP in 2014. China is the world's fastest-growing major economy, the second-wealthiest nation in the world, and the world's largest manufacturer and exporter. The nation has the world's largest standing army--the People's Liberation Army--the second-largest defense budget, and is a recognized nuclear weapons state. China has been characterized as a potential superpower due to its large economy and powerful military. (Full article...)

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Regional Emblem of Hong Kong.svg

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. It is located on the southeastern coast of China. As a former British colony, Hong Kong has one of the world's most free economies and is a major international centre of finance and trade. Though administered by the PRC under the policy of "one country, two systems," Hong Kong is legally entitled to a high degree of legal and cultural autonomy, retaining its own legal system, currency, and immigration laws. Hong Kong even maintains its own rules of the road, with traffic continuing to drive on the left. Only national defence and diplomatic relations are responsibilities of the government in Beijing.

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Selected cuisine

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Cantonese or Yue cuisine is the cuisine of the Guangdong province of China, particularly the provincial capital Guangzhou, and the surrounding regions in the Pearl River Delta including Hong Kong and Macau. Strictly speaking, Cantonese cuisine is the cuisine of Guangzhou or of Cantonese speakers, but it often includes the cooking styles of all the speakers of Yue Chinese languages in Guangdong. On the other hand, the Teochew cuisine and Hakka cuisine of Guangdong are considered their own styles, as is neighbouring Guangxi's cuisine despite eastern Guangxi being considered culturally Cantonese due to the presence of ethnic Zhuang influences in the rest of the province. Cantonese cuisine is one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine. Its prominence outside China is due to the large number of Cantonese emigrants. Chefs trained in Cantonese cuisine are highly sought after throughout China. Until the late 20th century, most Chinese restaurants in the West served largely Cantonese dishes. (Full article...)

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Mount Lu
Credit: Pfctdayelise

Mount Lu, located south of the city of Jiujiang in Jiangxi Province. The mountain is a prominent tourist attraction, and is situated in Lushan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Selected biography

Shi Jianqiao

Shi Jianqiao (born 1905 or 1906 - August 27, 1979) was the daughter of the Chinese military officer Shi Congbin, whose killing she avenged by assassinating the former warlord Sun Chuanfang. The revenge killing and the legal proceedings that followed were highly publicized at the time and incited public debates over the concepts of filial piety and the rule of law. Shi Jianqiao's given name was Shi Gulan, (simplified Chinese: ???; traditional Chinese: ???; pinyin: Sh? G?lán; Wade-Giles: Shih Ku-lan; lit. 'Valley Orchid'). She adopted the name Shi Jianqiao around the time she was planning to assassinate Sun Chuanfang to avenge her father's killing. The characters of her adopted name mean "sword" and "to raise" alluding to her planned role as an avenging assassin.

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30 July 2021 - Hong Kong national security law
Police arrest a 40-year-old man at a mall for booing the Chinese national anthem during the ceremony for Hong Kong's first gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Police added the man carried a Hong Kong colonial flag and that he was arrested on grounds of the man's aim to "incite hatred and politicize sports". (Reuters)
29 July 2021 - Central African Republic Civil War
The United Nations Security Council extends an arms embargo and targeted sanctions on the Central African Republic for another year. China was the only UNSC member to abstain from the vote. (U.S. News)
26 July 2021 -
Thirteen people are killed and 45 others are injured when a long-distance bus rolls over on the G22 Qingdao-Lanzhou Expressway in Gansu, China. This is the second major disaster in the province this year after the Gansu ultramarathon disaster. (Xinhua News Agency)
24 July 2021 - 2021 Henan floods
Thirty-three more people are killed during the heavy floods in Henan, China, bringing the death toll to 58. (South China Morning Post)
24 July 2021 -
Fourteen people are killed and 26 more injured during a warehouse fire in the Jingyue High-tech Industrial Development Zone in Changchun, Jilin province, China. (Xinhua News Agency)
24 July 2021 - 2020 Summer Olympics
Yang Qian of China's women's 10-meter rifle team wins the first gold medal of this year's Olympics. (Reuters)

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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).

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