Location: The most populous country in the world and the third largest in area, China is made up of 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions and four municipalities. It occupies most of the habitable mainland of East Asia. Two-thirds of the territory is mountainous or desert; only one-tenth is cultivated. The eastern half of China is one of the world's best watered-lands. Three great river systems (the Chang or Yangtze, Huang Ko or Yellow and Xi) provide water for the farmlands.
History: One of the oldest countries in the world, China became a republic in 1911. Following internal conflicts after World War II involving the Kuomintang, Communists and other factions, China came under the domination of Communist armies. The People's Republic of China was proclaimed in Peking on October 1, 1949 under Mao Tse-Tung. The Kuomintang Govt. moved to Taiwan, Dec. 8, 1949. Mao died in 1976 and Deng Xiaoping succeeded him as the 'paramount leader' of China. Deng died in 1997 and Jiang Zemin came to power.
On Oct. 26, 1971 China was admitted a member of the UN, displacing Nationalist China (Taiwan).
Agriculture & Minerals: China is essentially an agricultural country. The main crops are rice, tea, tobacco, sugar cane, jute, soya, groundnut and hemp. The main forest products are teak and ting oil. Among the principal industries are cotton and woolen mills, iron, leather and electrical equipments. The chief minerals are coal, manganese, iron ore, gold, copper, lead, zinc, silver, tungsten, mercury, antimony and tin. Petroleum industry is steadily growing.
Economy & Trade: In late 1978, the Chinese leadership began moving the economy from a Soviet-style centrally planned economy to a more market-oriented system. The result has been a quadrupling of GDP since 1978. In 2002, with its 1.28 billion people but a GDP of just $4600 per capita, China stood as the second largest economy in the world after the US (measured on a purchasing power parity basis).
China is a nuclear power well advanced in space Technology. It launched its first earth satellite in April, 1970.
Student uprising in 1989 for political reform and liberalization was put down by the government. Tiananmen Square, outside the Great Hall of the People was the main scene of the demonstration. It is estimated that 5000 people died and 10,000 were injured. China released its top dissident leader Wang Dan in April '98.
China intends to downsize its three million-strong military to 2.5m. In July '99, China banned the quasis-religious sect Falun Gong. In early '99, the constitution was amended so as to bolster private enterprise. The Govt. follows a one-child per family policy. It targets zero population growth by 2010.
Tibet: One of the five autonomous regions, Tibet is a thinly populated region of high plateaus and massive mountains. Capital is Lhasa, and population about 2.44m of whom 500,000 are Chinese. China installed a Communist Govt. in 1953, revising the theocratic Lamaist Buddhist rule. There was an uprising in 1959. It was crushed, and Buddhism was almost totally suppressed. The Dalai Lama and 100,000 Tibetans fed to India.
*The country became a member of WTO in 2002 China plans to send its first manned spacecraft shortly.
*Hu Jintao became the new President of China, as Jiang Zemin was re-elected C-in-C of People's Liberation Army on March 15, 2003.
More details about: 1. Hong Kong
Mission In India:
Embassy of the People's Republic of China
50-D, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi - 110 021, India
Tel: 011 - 26881249
Fax: 011 - 26882024
Indian Mission in China:
Embassy of India
I, Ritan Dong Lu
Beijing - 100600, China
Tel: 00 - 86 - 10 - 65321908
Fax: 00 - 86 - 10 - 65324684