Population: more than 1.4 billion people live in China. The majority of the people live in cities and towns.

Capital: Beijing with 21 million inhabitants is not only China's capital city but also the second biggest city after Shanghai.

Name: People's Republic of China (PRC)

Government: Republic, communist state

China Flag

China flag
Languages: Mandarin or Standard Chinese (official language), while Cantonese (Yue) and Shanghainese (Wu) are among other most spoken languages. The Chinese writing is done from top to bottom in little symbols or signs, called 'characters' of which an adult usually knows about 8,000 different characters. With 13 years most Chinese children can read and write 3,000 characters.

Some Chinese words good to know:

Ni hao! means Hello!

Xie Xie means Thank You

Gong Xi Fa Cai means Happy Chinese New Year

Religion: Main religions are Buddhist (18%), Christian 5%, Muslim 1.8%.

Currency: Yuan

National symbols: dragon and giant panda

History: For many centuries, China has been one of the most advanced civilisations.The Xia and Shang dynasties are considered as the oldest Chinese civilisations. Over the centuries many emporors ruled the country. In the 20th century the world was shaken by bloody wars and from 1937-1945 Japan occupied large industrial areas in China and took over the Chinese government. Since 1949 the Communist Party of China rules the country. The president of the People's Republic of China is Xi Jinping - since 2013.

China Map

China map

China is located in the eastern parts of Asia and is the largest country that is entirely situated in Asia. 

China has 23 provinces including the island of Taiwan.China is the fourth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada and the USA. 

The Pacific Ocean forms the natural border in the east and southeast and southwest of the country. 
In the west, there are the Himalayas, which is the highest mountain range in the world.

Most of the western parts of the country lie on the Tibetan mountainous plateau. 

The huge country has many different climate zones ranging from tropic zones to arctic zones.

In the north, there is the vast Gobi Desert. Deserts make up about 20% of the country.

The highest mountain on the border with China is the Mount Everest, the world's highest mountains, with 8,848 metres

The longest river in China is the Yangtze River with over 6,300km in length. This is also Asia's longest river.

Tourist Attractions

Great Wall of China is 8,850 long. It was once the border of the old Chinese empire. The wall stretches across China from the Korean border into the Gobi desert. This is the longest wall in the world.

Terracotta Warriors: See the over 5000 sculptures of life-size soldiers, made from terracotta, in Xian. The sculptures which are on one of the world's most famous archeological sites, are older than 2,000 years.

Forbidden City in Beijing: The Forbidden City houses the Palace museum with the Chinese Imperial Palace and the Summer Palace, that were still used until 1911.

Potala Palace in Lhasa/Tibet: This is where every Dalai Lama has held his official residence until the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950

Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve near Chengdu: See the pandas in their natural habitat.

Chinese People

The Chinese government lifted the one-child policy in 2016, now Chinese parents are allowed to have two children.

Chinese New Year, also called the Lunar New Year, is the biggest celebration on the Chinese calendar. The Chinese calendar start at the end of January/early February each year and every year another animal sign symbolises the strength and the weaknesses. There are 12 zodiac/animal signs and thus every 12 years the animals signs start over again.

Chinese Food

Soy, vegetable and rice products are the most common ingrediences in Chinese dishes. Chinese mainly eat with chopsticks and drink their soups instead of eating them with a spoon as we do. Here is some typical Chinese food:

Sweet and sour pork: fried cubed pork and fried vegetables in a sweet and sour sauce often made with capsicum peppers and pineapple
Peking Duck: duck roast with crispy thin skin, often served with plum sauce
Dim Sum: Steamed dumplings filled with minced meat or vegetables

 China Animals

There are many endangered animal species living in China. Among them are the Giant Panda, the South Chinese Tiger and the Chinese Alligator.

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