China facts on every entity in the world

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, the communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.



Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam

Geographic coordinates

35.00° N, 105.00° E

Area 4/257

total: 9,596,960 sq km

land: 9,326,410 sq km

water: 270,550 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than the US

Land boundaries

total: 22,457 km

border countries (14): Afghanistan 91 km, Bhutan 477 km, Burma 2,129 km, India 2,659 km, Kazakhstan 1,765 km, North Korea 1,352 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,063 km, Laos 475 km, Mongolia 4,630 km, Nepal 1,389 km, Pakistan 438 km, Russia (northeast) 4,133 km, Russia (northwest) 46 km, Tajikistan 477 km, Vietnam 1,297 km

regional borders: Hong Kong 33 km, Macau 3 km


14,500 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north


mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m

highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m (highest peak in Asia and highest point on earth above sea level)

Natural resources

coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest), arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 54.7%

arable land 11.3%; permanent crops 1.6%; permanent pasture 41.8%

forest: 22.3%

other: 23% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

690,070 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

2,840 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 554.1 cu km/yr (12%/23%/65%)

per capita: 409.9 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence

volcanism: China contains some historically active volcanoes including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P'aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries

Environment - current issues

air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; China is the world's largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US) and largest country situated entirely in Asia; Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak

People and Society


noun: Chinese (singular and plural)

adjective: Chinese

Ethnic groups

Han Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai and other nationalities) 7.1%

note: the Chinese Government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups (2010 est.)


Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)

note: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)


Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu note: officially atheist (2010 est.)

Population 1/238

1,367,485,388 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 17.08% (male 126,146,137/female 107,410,265)

15-24 years: 13.82% (male 100,380,703/female 88,615,299)

25-54 years: 47.95% (male 334,240,795/female 321,417,301)

55-64 years: 11.14% (male 77,098,602/female 75,286,553)

65 years and over: 10.01% (male 65,573,256/female 71,316,477) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 36.6%

youth dependency ratio: 23.5%

elderly dependency ratio: 13%

potential support ratio: 7.7% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 36.8 years

male: 36 years

female: 37.7 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 162/233

0.45% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 159/224

12.49 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 112/225

7.53 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 133/222

-0.44 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 55.6% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 3.05% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

Shanghai 23.741 million; BEIJING (capital) 20.384 million; Chongqing 13.332 million; Guangdong 12.458 million; Tianjin 11.21 million; Shenzhen 10.749 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.15 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.17 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.13 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female

total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 116/184

27 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 121/224

total: 12.44 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 12.58 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 99/224

total population: 75.41 years

male: 73.38 years

female: 77.73 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 181/224

1.6 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

84.6% (2006)

Health expenditures 126/191

5.6% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

1.49 physicians/1,000 population (2011)

Hospital bed density

3.8 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source


urban: 97.5% of population

rural: 93% of population

total: 95.5% of population


urban: 2.5% of population

rural: 7% of population

total: 4.5% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 86.6% of population

rural: 63.7% of population

total: 76.5% of population


urban: 13.4% of population

rural: 36.3% of population

total: 23.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.1% (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

780,000 (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths


Obesity - adult prevalence rate 152/191

7.3% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 109/138

3.4% (2010)

Education expenditures


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 13 years (2012)


Country name

conventional long form: People's Republic of China

conventional short form: China

local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo

local short form: Zhongguo

abbreviation: PRC

etymology: English name derives from the Qin (Chin) rulers of the 3rd century B.C., who comprised the first imperial dynasty of ancient China; the Chinese name Zhongguo translates as "Central Nation"

Government type

communist state


name: Beijing

geographic coordinates: 39.55° N, 116.23° E

time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

note: despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone; many people in Xinjiang Province observe an unofficial "Xinjiang time zone" of UTC+6, two hours behind Beijing

Administrative divisions

23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)

provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)

autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet)

municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin

note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau


1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established); notable earlier dates: 221 B.C. (unification under the Qin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China)

National holiday

National Day, the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)


several previous; latest promulgated 4 December 1982; amended several times, last in 2004 (2015)

Legal system

civil law influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; note - criminal procedure law revised in early 2012

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen of China

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: while naturalization is theoretically possible, in practical terms it is extremely difficult; residency is required but not specified


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013); Vice President LI Yuanchao (since 14 March 2013)

head of government: Premier LI Keqiang (since 16 March 2013); Executive Vice Premiers ZHANG Gaoli (since 16 March 2013), LIU Yandong (since 16 March 2013), MA Kai (since 16 March 2013), WANG Yang (since 16 March 2013)

cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress

elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by National People's Congress for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 5-17 March 2013 (next to be held in March 2018); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress

election results: XI Jinping elected president; National People's Congress vote - 2,952 ; LI Yuanchao elected vice president with 2,940 votes

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,987 seats; members indirectly elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and the People's Liberation Army; members serve 5-year terms); note - in practice, only members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), its 8 allied parties, and CCP-approved independent candidates are elected

elections: last held in December 2012-February 2013 (next to be held in late 2017 to early 2018)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 2,987

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme People's Court (consists of over 340 judges including the chief justice, 13 grand justices organized into a civil committee and tribunals for civil, economic, administrative, complaint and appeal, and communication and transportation cases)

judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the People's National Congress; term limited to 2 consecutive 5-year terms; other justices and judges nominated by the chief justice and appointed by the Standing Committee of the People's National Congress; term of other justices and judges NA

subordinate courts: Higher People's Courts; Intermediate People's Courts; District and County People's Courts; Autonomous Region People's Courts; Special People's Courts for military, maritime, transportation, and forestry issues

note: in late 2014, China unveiled planned judicial reforms

Political parties and leaders

Chinese Communist Party or CCP [XI Jinping]

note: China has eight nominally independent small parties ultimately controlled by the CCP

Political pressure groups and leaders

no substantial political opposition groups exist

International organization participation

ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BRICS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-5, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Flag description

red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner; the color red represents revolution, while the stars symbolize the four social classes - the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie (capitalists) - united under the Communist Party of China

National symbol(s)

dragon; national colors: red, yellow

National anthem

name: "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" (The March of the Volunteers)

lyrics/music: TIAN Han/NIE Er

note: adopted 1949; the anthem, though banned during the Cultural Revolution, is more commonly known as "Zhongguo Guoge" (Chinese National Song); it was originally the theme song to the 1935 Chinese movie, "Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm"


Economy - overview

Since the late 1970s China has moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role - in 2010 China became the world's largest exporter. Reforms began with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, growth of the private sector, development of stock markets and a modern banking system, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors considered important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive industries. The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2015 stood as the largest economy in the world, surpassing the US in 2014 for the first time in modern history. Still, China's per capita income is below the world average.

After keeping its currency tightly linked to the US dollar for years, in July 2005 China moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid-2005 to late 2008 cumulative appreciation of the renminbi against the US dollar was more than 20%, but the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing allowed resumption of a gradual appreciation. In 2015 the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced it would continue to carefully push for full convertibility of the renminbi after the currency was accepted as part of the IMF’s special drawing rights basket.

The Chinese government faces numerous economic challenges, including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic consumption; (b) facilitating higher-wage job opportunities for the aspiring middle class, including rural migrants and increasing numbers of college graduates; (c) reducing corruption and other economic crimes; and (d) containing environmental damage and social strife related to the economy's rapid transformation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2014 more than 274 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of population control policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the North - is another long-term problem. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. The Chinese government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on nuclear and alternative energy development.

Several factors are converging to slow China's growth, including debt overhang from its credit-fueled stimulus program, industrial overcapacity, inefficient allocation of capital by state-owned banks, and the slow recovery of China's trading partners. The government's 13th Five-Year Plan, unveiled in November 2015, emphasizes continued economic reforms and the need to increase innovation and domestic consumption in order to make the economy less dependent in the future on fixed investments, exports, and heavy industry. However, China has made only marginal progress toward these rebalancing goals. The new government of President XI Jinping has signaled a greater willingness to undertake reforms that focus on China's long-term economic health, including giving the market a more decisive role in allocating resources. In 2014 China agreed to begin limiting carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 1/230

$19.51 trillion (2015 est.)

$18.27 trillion (2014 est.)

$17.02 trillion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$11.38 trillion

note: because China's exchange rate is determined by fiat, rather than by market forces, the official exchange rate measure of GDP is not an accurate measure of China's output; GDP at the official exchange rate substantially understates the actual level of China's output vis-a-vis the rest of the world; in China's situation, GDP at purchasing power parity provides the best measure for comparing output across countries (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 19/225

6.8% (2015 est.)

7.3% (2014 est.)

7.7% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 112/230

$14,300 (2015 est.)

$13,400 (2014 est.)

$12,400 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 3/179

47.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

48.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

48.2% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 38.1%

government consumption: 13.8%

investment in fixed capital: 42.4%

investment in inventories: 1%

exports of goods and services: 22.7%

imports of goods and services: -18%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 8.9%

industry: 42.7%

services: 48.4%

(2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

world leader in gross value of agricultural output; rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish


world leader in gross value of industrial output; mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products (including footwear, toys, and electronics); food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites

Industrial production growth rate 16/202

7% (2015 est.)

Labor force 1/233

804 million

note: by the end of 2012, China's population at working age (15-64 years) was 1.004 billion (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 33.6%

industry: 30.3%

services: 36.1%

(2012 est.)

Unemployment rate 41/207

4.2% (2015 est.)

4.1% (2014 est.)

note: data are for registered urban unemployment, which excludes private enterprises and migrants

Population below poverty line


note: in 2011, China set a new poverty line at RMB 2300 (approximately US $400)

(2013 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.7%

highest 10%: 30%

note: data are for urban households only (2009)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 28/144

46.9 (2014 est.)

47.3 (2013 est.)


revenues: $2.426 trillion

expenditures: $2.718 trillion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 149/219

21.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 92/220

-2.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 157/176

16.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

14.9% of GDP (2014 est.)

note: official data; data cover both central government debt and local government debt, which China's National Audit Office estimated at RMB 10.72 trillion (approximately US$1.66 trillion) in 2011; data exclude policy bank bonds, Ministry of Railway debt, China Asset Management Company debt, and non-performing loans

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 87/226

1.5% (2015 est.)

2% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 112/156

2.25% (31 December 2014 est.)

2.25% (31 December 2013 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 156/184

4.4% (31 December 2015 est.)

5.6% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 2/192

$5.753 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$5.688 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 1/193

$20.93 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$20.07 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 3/191

$18.81 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$17.6 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 3/121

$6.065 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

$6.499 trillion (31 December 2013)

$5.753 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Current account balance 2/197

$347.8 billion (2015 est.)

$219.7 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 1/224

$2.27 trillion (2015 est.)

$2.244 trillion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, furniture, textiles, integrated circuits

Exports - partners

US 16.9%, Hong Kong 15.5%, Japan 6.4%, South Korea 4.3% (2014 est.)

Imports 3/223

$1.596 trillion (2015 est.)

$1.808 trillion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels; nuclear reactor, boiler, and machinery components; optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles; soybeans

Imports - partners

South Korea 9.7%, Japan 8.3%, US 8.1%, Taiwan 7.8%, Germany 5.4%, Australia 5% (2014 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 1/170

$3.217 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$3.869 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 19/206

$949.6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$874.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 4/120

$1.723 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.334 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 11/105

$1.111 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$792.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

Renminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -

6.24 (2015 est.)

6.14 (2014 est.)

6.2 (2013 est.)

6.31 (2012 est.)

6.46 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 1/220

5.65 trillion kWh (2014)

Electricity - consumption 1/219

5.523 trillion kWh (2014)

Electricity - exports 9/218

18.16 billion kWh (2014)

Electricity - imports 36/219

6.75 billion kWh (2014)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 1/214

1.505 billion kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 118/214

67.3% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 31/214

1.5% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 88/214

22.2% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 42/212

9% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Crude oil - production 4/214

4.189 million bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 63/214

12,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - imports 2/214

6.167 million bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 14/215

24.65 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 3/214

9.879 million bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 3/212

10.48 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 9/214

593,400 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 12/213

600,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Natural gas - production 7/216

121.5 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 4/215

180.4 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports 34/215

2.603 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports 5/214

59.7 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 10/212

3.3 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 1/212

10 billion Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 1/219

total subscriptions: 249.4 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 1/217

total: 1.3 billion

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 94 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns; China continues to develop its telecommunications infrastructure; China in the summer of 2008 began a major restructuring of its telecommunications industry, resulting in the consolidation of its six telecom service operators to three, China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom, each providing both fixed-line and mobile services

domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; the number of Internet users exceeded 564 million by the end of 2012; a domestic satellite system with several earth stations is in place

international: country code - 86; a number of submarine cables provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 7 (5 Intelsat - 4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean; 1 Intersputnik - Indian Ocean region; and 1 Inmarsat - Pacific and Indian Ocean regions) (2012)

Broadcast media

all broadcast media are owned by, or affiliated with, the Communist Party of China or a government agency; no privately owned TV or radio stations; state-run Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations offer more than 2,000 channels; the Central Propaganda Department lists subjects that are off limits to domestic broadcast media with the government maintaining authority to approve all programming; foreign-made TV programs must be approved prior to broadcast

Radio broadcast stations

AM 369, FM 259, shortwave 45 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

3,240 (of which 209 are operated by China Central Television, 31 are provincial TV stations, and nearly 3,000 are local city stations) (1997)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 5/232

20.602 million (2012)

Internet users 1/217

total: 626.6 million

percent of population: 46.0% (2014 est.)


Airports 14/236

507 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 463

over 3,047 m: 71

2,438 to 3,047 m: 158

1,524 to 2,437 m: 123

914 to 1,523 m: 25

under 914 m: 86 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 44

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 9

under 914 m: 18 (2013)


47 (2013)


condensate 9 km; gas 48,502 km; oil 23,072 km; oil/gas/water 31 km; refined products 15,298 km; water 9 km (2013)

Railways 3/136

total: 191,270 km

broad gauge: 100 km 1.520-m gauge

standard gauge: 190,000 km 1.435-m gauge (92,000 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 670 km 1.000-m gauge; 500 km 0.762-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 3/223

total: 4,106,387 km

paved: 3,453,890 km (includes 84,946 km of expressways)

unpaved: 652,497 km (2011)

Waterways 1/107

110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2011)

Merchant marine 3/156

total: 2,030

by type: barge carrier 7, bulk carrier 621, cargo 566, carrier 10, chemical tanker 140, container 206, liquefied gas 60, passenger 9, passenger/cargo 81, petroleum tanker 264, refrigerated cargo 33, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 23

foreign-owned: 22 (Hong Kong 18, Indonesia 2, Japan 2)

registered in other countries: 1,559 (Bangladesh 1, Belize 61, Cambodia 177, Comoros 1, Cyprus 6, Georgia 10, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 500, India 1, Indonesia 1, Kiribati 26, Liberia 4, Malta 6, Marshall Islands 14, North Korea 3, Panama 534, Philippines 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 65, Sao Tome and Principe 1, Sierra Leone 19, Singapore 29, South Korea 6, Thailand 1, Togo 1, Tuvalu 4, UK 7, Vanuatu 1, unknown 73) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin

river port(s): Guangzhou (Pearl)

container port(s) (TEUs): Dalian (6,400,300), Guangzhou (14,260,400), Ningbo (14,719,200), Qingdao (13,020,100), Shanghai (31,739,000), Shenzhen (22,570,800), Tianjin (11,587,600)(2011)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanghai, Tangshan, Zhejiang

Military and Security

Military branches

People's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (PLAN; includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (Zhongguo Renmin Jiefangjun Kongjun, PLAAF; includes Airborne Forces), and Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force); People's Armed Police (Renmin Wuzhuang Jingcha Budui, PAP); PLA Reserve Force (2012)

Military service age and obligation

18-24 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2-year service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs; a recent military decision allows women in combat roles; the first class of women warship commanders was in 2011 (2012)

Military expenditures 40/132

1.99% of GDP (2012)

2% of GDP (2011)

1.99% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

continuing talks and confidence-building measures work toward reducing tensions over Kashmir that nonetheless remains militarized with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas)

India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964

China and India continue their security and foreign policy dialogue started in 2005 related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, and other matters

China claims most of India's Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas

lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the largest of which lie in Bhutan's northwest and along the Chumbi salient

Burmese forces attempting to dig in to the largely autonomous Shan State to rout local militias tied to the drug trade, prompts local residents to periodically flee into neighboring Yunnan Province in China

Chinese maps show an international boundary symbol off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Seas, where China has interrupted Vietnamese hydrocarbon exploration

China asserts sovereignty over Scarborough Reef along with the Philippines and Taiwan, and over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brunei

the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea eased tensions in the Spratlys but is not the legally binding code of conduct sought by some parties

Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratlys and in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord on marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands

China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan

the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan

certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen rivers are in dispute with North Korea

North Korea and China seek to stem illegal migration to China by North Koreans, fleeing privations and oppression, by building a fence along portions of the border and imprisoning North Koreans deported by China

China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 Agreement

China and Tajikistan have begun demarcating the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002

the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009

citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China has reconsidered construction of 13 dams on the Salween River, but energy-starved Burma, with backing from Thailand, remains intent on building five hydro-electric dams downstream despite regional and international protests

Chinese and Hong Kong authorities met in March 2008 to resolve ownership and use of lands recovered in Shenzhen River channelization, including 96-hectare Lok Ma Chau Loop

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 300,896 (Vietnam); undetermined (North Korea) (2014)

IDPs: undetermined (2014)

Illicit drugs

major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia; growing domestic consumption of synthetic drugs, and heroin from Southeast and Southwest Asia; source country for methamphetamine and heroin chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry; more people believed to be convicted and executed for drug offences than anywhere else in the world, according to NGOs (2008)