The People's Republic of China was established on October 1, 1949, however, the country traces its founding to unification under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC. After World War II, the Communist Party of China under Mao Zedong established an autocratic socialist system. Today, China remains the most populous country and the fourth-largest in the world, geographically.
POPULATION: 1,379,302,771 (July 2017 est.)
MAJOR URBAN AREAS: Shanghai 25.582 million; BEIJING (capital) 19.618 million; Chongqing 14.838 million; Guangdong 12.683 million; Tianjin 13.215 million; Shenzhen 11.908 million (2018).
GOVERNMENT TYPE: Communist Party-led state
HEAD OF STATE: President Xi Jinping (since March 14, 2013) Vice President Wang Quishan (since March 17, 2018)
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: Premier Li Keqiang (since March 16, 2013)
NATIONAL SYMBOLS: Dragon, Giant Panda; National Colors: red, yellow; National Anthem: "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" (The March of the Volunteers); 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.
LANGUAGES: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects.
RELIGIONS: Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < 0.1%, Jewish < 0.1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2%
CURRENCY: Renminbi yuan (RMB)
GDP: $23.16 trillion (2017 est.)
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE: 3.9% (2017 est.)
EXPORTS: Electrical and other machinery, including computers and telecommunications equipment, apparel, furniture, textiles. Top export partners include: US 19%, Hong Kong 12.4%, Japan 6%, South Korea 4.5% (2017).
IMPORTS: Electrical and other machinery, including integrated circuits and other computer components, oil and mineral fuels; optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles; soybeans. Top import partners include: South Korea 9.7%, Japan 9.1%, US 8.5%, Germany 5.3%, Australia 5.1% (2017).
MILITARY BRANCHES: People's Liberation Army (PLA): Army, Navy (PLAN, includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (Zhongguo Renmin Jiefangjun Kongjun, PLAAF, includes airborne forces), Rocket Force (strategic missile force), and Strategic Support Force (space and cyber forces); People's Armed Police (Renmin Wuzhuang Jingcha Budui, PAP); PLA Reserve Force
MILITARY EXPENDITURES: 1.9% of GDP (2016)
INTERNET USERS: Total: 730,723,960; Percent of population: 53.2% (July 2016 est.)
Source: 2018 CIA World Factbook
KLTV & KTRE's Lane Luckie is traveling to Asia to explore the current issues related to the important bilateral relationship between the world's two largest economies, the United States and China. Click here to follow Lane's travels and explore our special coverage, China In Focus.