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People's Republic of China

China calligraphy

China is a great country which has an over 5,000 years’ history of civilization. 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, China further suffered from a 3-year civil war between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China, before the communist-led new China was born on Oct. 1, 1949. Unfortunately, the first 3 decades of PRC (People’s Republic of China) was not successful. After 1978, Deng xiaoping and other Chinese leaders shifted the governing policy and launched a series of economic reforms to develop a market-oriented economy. Since then, China has been experiencing fast growth in economy for more than 3 decades and living standards for most of the population have been dramatically improved. In the beginning of 2011, China overtook Japan as the world’s second largest economy. But due to its large population, China remains much poorer than Japan, with GDP per head about a fifth that of its neighbour when purchasing power differences are taken into account.

Although China has won great success in the past 30 years, there are many problems facing the uprising nation, rampant corruption, wealth disparity, environmental pollution are among the most significant ones.

In mainland China (except Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao), there are 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions and 4 municipalities. Major cities include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Chengdu, Xian, Wuhan etc.

Chinese population consists of 56 ethnic groups, with the majority Han making up 91.9% of the total.

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