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CHINA - People's Republic of China, Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo


National or official language: Mandarin Chinese or Standard Chinese
(Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect),
Other spoken languages: • Yue (Cantonese)
• Wu (Shanghaiese)
• Minbei (Fuzhou)
• Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese)
• Xiang
• Gan
• Hakka dialects
• and minority languages
Literacy: Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
• total population: 90.9%
• male: 95.1%
• female: 86.5% (2002)


Population: 1,298,847,624 (July 2004 est.)
Structure: • 0-14 years: 22.3% (male 153,401,051; female 135,812,993)
• 15-64 years: 70.3% (male 469,328,664; female 443,248,860)
• 65 years and over: 7.5% (male 46,308,923; female 50,747,133) (2004 est.)
Ethnic groups: Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%
Religions: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Muslim 1%-2%, Christian 3%-4%
Note: officially atheist (2002 est.)


Currency: Chinese yuan (CNY)

Major exports 2002 % of total Major imports 2002 % of total
Apparel & clothing 12.7 Electrical equipment & parts 18.8
Computers 11.1 Crude oil & fuels 5.8
Electrical equipment & parts 9.8 Machinery & parts 5.3
Telecommunications products 9.8 Apparel & clothing 4.4
Leading markets 2002 % of total Leading suppliers 2002 % of total
US 21.5 Japan 18.1
Hong Kong 18.0 EU 13.1
Japan 14.9 Taiwan 12.9
14.8 US 9.2

GDP (US$ bn; market exchange rate)
1,266.1(b) Real GDP growth 7.7
GDP (US$ bn; PPP) 6,033.2 Real domestic demand growth 8.3
GDP per head (US$; market exchange rate) 986 Inflation -0.4
GDP per head (US$; purchasing power parity) 4,698 FDI inflows/GDP 3.9


Government type: Communist state
Capital: Beijing
Independence: 221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty); 1 January 1910 (Manchu Dynasty replaced by a Republic); 1 October 1949 (People's Republic established)
National holiday: Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)
Legal system: a complex amalgam of custom and statute, largely criminal law; rudimentary civil code in effect since 1 January 1987; new legal codes in effect since 1 January 1980; continuing efforts are being made to improve civil, administrative, criminal, and commercial law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

For more information visit:

Ethnologue - Language background on CHINA
Country trivias - CHINA
Economics - CHINA

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