Form of Government: People's republic
Area: 9 572 900 sq km
Population: 1 390 080 000 inhab. (estimate 2017)
Density: 145.21 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 53° - 18° N; long. 73° - 135° E
Capital: Beijing (capital) 11 716 000 inhab. (2010); Beijing 19 618 000 inhab. (2018), urban agglomeration
Currency: renminbi-yuan (10 jiao=100 fen)
Human development index: 0.752 (rank: 86)
President: Xi Jinping, since 14 March 2013
Prime Minister: Li Keqiang, since 15 March 2013
Internet: (National Bureau of Statistics)
Member of APEC, EBRD, OAS observer, SCO, UN, WTO


Zhongguo, Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
Useful information

International license plate code VRC
International dialling code 0086
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission, including travelers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of transmission); malaria prophylaxis (recommended or advised for some areas)
Electricity (Voltage) 220
Driving side rigth
Internet code .cn

GMT  +8
DST  not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Pechino 11.8; Chongqing 18.7; Harbin 3.2; Lanzhou 9.5; Lhasa 8.3; Shanghai 15.9; Ürümqi 5.3
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Pechino -5/26; Chongqing 8.5/28.5; Harbin -20/23; Lanzhou -6.5/22.5; Lhasa -1.5/16; Shanghai 4.5/27.5; Ürümqi -16/24
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Pechino 9/6; Chongqing 4/2; Harbin 9/6; Lanzhou 7/5; Lhasa 6/6; Shanghai 5/4; Ürümqi 9/5
Annual average precipitation (mm) Pechino 573; Chongqing 1082; Harbin 586; Lanzhou 335; Lhasa 405; Shanghai 1200; Ürümqi 275
Days of rainfall (annual average) Pechino 43; Chongqing 99; Harbin 61; Lanzhou 63; Lhasa 34; Shanghai 98; Ürümqi 93

Politics and current affairs

Foreign policy under President Xi has increased conflicts with many Western countries. Many members of the European Union have placed limits on Chinese investments to slow the country’s economic saturation in key industries. The United States continues its protectionist policy that imposed tariffs on Chinese imports and limitations on the sale of high-tech goods. Meetings aimed at diplomatically overcoming the situation have not led to any significant results. Tumultuousness in the global market has amounted to a nearly ten-year slowdown in China’s economy, which has affected the middle class.

China is bordered by Mongolia and Russia to the north, North Korea to the north-east, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and India to the south, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan to the west, and by Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to the north-west. The Yellow Sea and the East China Sea lie off its east coast and the South China Sea lies off its south-east coast. Claimed by China, disputed with Taiwan, are the Pratas=Dongsha Qundao Islands, to the south-east of Hong Kong and populated by Chinese, as well as the Senkaku=Diouyutai Qundao islands, in the East China Sea and governed by Japan. In the South China Sea China also lays claim, competing with Taiwan and Vietnam, to the Paracel=Xisha Qundao Islands and, competing with Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, to the Spratly=Nansha Qundao Islands.
The landscape is predominantly mountainous. Only 30% of the land lies below 1000 m above sea level. The principal mountain chains (the Himalayas, the Kunlun Shan, the Tien Shan and the Altai) alternate with vast plateaux (Tibet, the largest plateau on earth, with an average height of 4000 m), the valleys of the Tarim and the Zungaria, the south-eastern hills and the eastern plains (Manchuria). The highest peak is Mount Everest (8848 m), on the border with Nepal. The largest depression is the Turpan Valley. From the high Tibetan plateau, the largest Chinese rivers flow down towards the east and south-east, including the Yellow River (the Huang He), The Yangtze River (the Chang Jiang) and the Xi River (the Si Kiang). To the north, the River Amur (Heilongjiang) marks the border with Russia, while the River Yalu marks the border with North Korea. Inland areas have a continental climate, while the south-east has monsoons and very heavy rains in the summer. The coast is battered by typhoons which cause storms at sea and flooding. The heavy rains become lighter as they move northwards and westwards.


The People’s Republic of China (PRC) was proclaimed on 1 October 1949, after a civil war between the Communist forces of Mao Zedong and the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek. The Nationalists were defeated and fled to Taiwan (where they established the Republic of China). According to the Constitution of 4 December 1982 (the fourth in the country’s history), the People’s Republic of China is a Socialist state in which the Communist Party (CPC) has absolute power. The National People’s Congress is the central body; it elects the Central Committee, led, in turn, by the Political Office; within this office, control is maintained by the Standing Committee, currently made up of 7 members (including the President and Prime Minister). In 1993 the principle of “socialist market economy” was added to the Constitution. The amendments of 1999, 2003 and 2004 introduced the right to private property (defined as “inviolable”), the principle of a constitutional state, the holding of public trials, the respect for and defence of human rights, as well as the moving ahead from the principle of socialist planning.
On 18/24 October 2017, the CPC Congress approved a measure to strengthen the party’s control over the state and president Xi Jinping’s control over the party.
The supreme body of state power is the National People’s Congress (NPC), whose 2987 members are elected for five years by the provinces, the autonomous regions, the municipalities and the armed forces. The NPC, which normally meets once a year, has a Standing Committee of 178 members, who carry out the business of the Assembly between the yearly sessions. The Standing Committee elects the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Council of State (which carries out the functions of government). In addition, the Standing Committee draws up laws, approves state plans and budgets. Local people’s assemblies and the committees elected by them are the local authorities of state government.
On 1 July 1997, Hong Kong was returned to the PRC. On 20 December 1999, Macau was also returned to the PRC. China continues to regard Taiwan as its 23rd province. The process to liberalize investment from Taiwan in PRC started in 2001. Nevertheless, on 14 March 2005 the National Assembly approved a law authorizing the use of force against Taiwan if it proclaimed independence.
Independence movements (harshly repressed by central authorities) are active in Tibet and Xinjiang. In the latter province, hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uyghurs and Muslims are enclosed in re-education camps.
In foreign policy, the country pursues a highly pragmatic line aimed at establishing profitable relations with countries which provide raw materials and legitimizing itself as a stable centre of a new world balance based on commerce, alternating between phases of collaboration and phases of conflict with the United States and European Union, which constitute major markets for Chinese exports as well as opportunities for investment and the diversification of the country.

All the armed forces are gathered together in the People’s Liberation Army. For organizational reasons, military service, which lasts for two years, is based on selection (fewer than 10% of potential recruits, who are also volunteers, are actually enrolled in the armed forces).

The legal system is based on a varied collection of legal principles including common law and written laws.
The death penalty is in force (though not in Hong Kong or Macau) for a vast range of crimes and is widely applied: the number of executions is kept confidential but totals a few thousand every year.

Air force17%2015
Homicides0.6per 100 000 pop.2016

Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Shanghai20 217 748inhab.2010
Beijing11 716 000inhab.2010
Urban agglomerations
Beijing19 618 000inhab.2018


Population by age and gender (% - 2018)

China is the most populous country in the world. Family planning campaigns, especially the “one-child policy” enforced from 1979 to 2015, have dramatically reduced the birth rate. As a result of the traditional preference for male children (which led to an increase in the practise of killing female babies at birth), there are now many more men than women.
The over-60s population is growing dramatically. Ethnic minorities (about 130 million individuals from Chinese-Tibetan and Altaic ethnic groups) are found especially in outlying parts of the country. A constant flow of people from rural areas is swelling the population of the large metropolitan areas. From the mid-19th century, large-scale emigration has led to the creation of numerous Chinese communities in South-East Asia, America and Europe. The huaqiao, as Chinese living overseas are known, are estimated to number approximately 50 million.

Demographic statistics
Birth rate12.42017
Death rate7.12017
Ethnic groups

Chinese folk religion21.9%2010

Chinese (official)
Population by selected age groups
0-14 years17.2%2018
15-29 years20.8%2018



Economic situation.
The slowdown in growth since 2011 continued in 2018-19, due in part to the tariffs imposed by the USA, which affected Chinese exports; not only did the manufacturing and building sectors feel its effects, but the service industry did as well, putting the middle class in difficulty, which resulted in a drop in consumption. It is against this backdrop that the result of traditional countercyclical tools (investments in infrastructure and credit incentives) remains uncertain. The expansive monetary policy, together with the exorbitant debt of businesses and provinces, is an element of heightened instability. In an attempt to stem these excesses, in 2017, many debt-ridden companies were investigated and the flow of direct investments abroad were reduced. A block on salary growth and the increase in the prices of staple goods risk feeding the public’s discontent. The thirteenth five-year plan, adopted in 2016, reiterated the previous plan’s objectives, strongly aimed at developing services and the domestic market in order to make the country less dependent on exports and the heavy industry, now at overcapacity.

Economy - General data
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)139.23index2016
Balance of trade351 140M US$2018
Economy - Employment
Active population787 551 371units2018
Active population, Females43.6%2018
Economy - Unemployment
Unemployment rate4.4%2018
Unemployment rate, Females37.7%2018
Economy - State budget
Expenses20 308 500M LCU2017
Revenues17 259 300M LCU2017
Employment by economic activity
GDP by economic activity
Financial data
Currency in circulation55 168.6BN LCU2018
International reserves3 168 216.3M US$2018


Primary sector
Agriculture and forests.
Rice is the most important crop, and is widely grown in the south-east (especially in the Chang Jiang Valley). Wheat is grown mainly in the great plains of the Huang He. Maize is widespread in the Huang He plain and in Manchuria. Barley, oats, rye, sorghum and millet are commonly grown in Manchuria, Sichuan, Qinghai and Tibet. Other very important crops grown for domestic consumption are potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, soya (the typical crop of Manchuria), fruit and vegetables. Crops grown for oil include sesame and rapeseed (in the Chang Jiang valley), peanuts (Huang He valley), tung (Vernicia fordii, in Sichuan) and the castor-oil plant. Among the main exported products are garlic, soybeans, tomatoes, apples and beans. Tea is widely grown, especially in the middle reaches of the Chang Jiang valley and the coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian. Sugar cane is grown mainly in Guangxi, beetroot in Manchuria. There is a flourishing tobacco industry (Guizhou, Henan, Sichuan, Yunnan). Plants grown for textiles include cotton (in the central and eastern provinces and in Xinjiang), ramie, jute, kenaf, sisal and flax. The forests provide large quantities of timber and rubber. Extensive reforestation programmes have been implemented to counter soil degradation.
Pig-farming is very important (pigs supply most of the meat and animal fat), also poultry and farmyard animals. Relatively few cattle are reared. Sheep and goats are farmed on the high plateaux. In Tibet, yaks are the typical livestock.
In many provinces, silkworm farming is common.
In the south of Manchuria, a type of wild silkworm produces the raw silk for making tussah silk.
Fishing (both in marine areas and inland waters) as well as aquaculture are of primary importance for feeding the domestic population. Tianjin, Qingdao, Guangzhou, Yantai, Dalian and Shanghai are the main fish-processing centres.

Land use
arable land14.34%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
barley1 897.3181000 t2017
cereals, total617 930.2991000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
cassava4 847.0981000 t2017
potatoes99 1471000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
artichokes87.9681000 t2017
asparagus7 843.1621000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Pulses
beans, dry1 322.2141000 t2017
beans, green19 281.0551000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Grape
grapes13 0831000 t2017
raisins71000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Olive
olives2.7151000 t2011
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
castor oil seed551000 t2017
groundnuts17 0921000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oil palm
oil palm fruits671.3471000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Tung
tung nuts370.0831000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Coconut palm
coconuts309.5331000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
cinnamon79.4861000 t2017
cloves1.3051000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
hops6.8221000 t2017
sugar beet9 3841000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Cotton
seed cotton17 148.4591000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Flax
flax fibre and tow121000 t2017
linseed362.0341000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
hemp tow waste16.5751000 t2017
hempseed14.9311000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
apples41 3901000 t2017
apricots58.0351000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Nuts
almonds51.9531000 t2017
cashew nuts0.2141000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits38 853.8491000 t2017
citrus fruits, nes5 287.8611000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
avocados124.111000 t2017
bananas11 1701000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Others
mushrooms7 855.6981000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
barley467.5151000 ha2017
maize42 3991000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
cassava293.6941000 ha2017
potatoes5 765.1441000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
artichokes11.8031000 ha2017
cabbages984.8611000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
beans, dry801.5881000 ha2017
beans, green680.7621000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
grape775.9751000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
olive0.2761000 ha2011
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
castor oil seed301000 ha2017
groundnuts4 6081000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oil palm
oil palm fruit50.8261000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tung
tung nuts140.8711000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Coconut palm
coconuts32.8991000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
cinnamon42.4121000 ha2017
cloves0.9381000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
hops2.3611000 ha2017
sugar beet1741000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
seed cotton3 625.3851000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
flax fibre and tow2.41000 ha2017
linseed283.1651000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
hemp tow waste4.8411000 ha2017
hempseed5.8941000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
apples2 220.231000 ha2017
apricots19.5961000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
almonds15.5831000 ha2017
cashew nuts0.1911000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits2 598.4721000 ha2017
citrus fruits, nes166.7041000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
avocados20.2661000 ha2017
bananas366.1661000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
mushrooms25.5691000 ha2017


natural rubber817 366t2017
timber327 725 3242017
Livestock - Cattle
cattle83 209.61000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes106 6791000 heads2017
Livestock - Buffaloes
buffaloes23 469.41000 heads2017
Livestock - Pigs
pigs435 037.11000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
sheep161 350.81000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
goats139 769.41000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
asses4 568.51000 heads2017
asses and mules6 497.11000 heads2017
Livestock - Camelids
camels3231000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
birds5 899 8371000 heads2017
Livestock - Beekeeping
honey462.0281000 t2014
Livestock - Silk farming
silk, raw1261000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
butter97.31000 t2014
cheese252.551000 t2014
crustaceans and molluscs23 336 734.517t2017


Secondary sector
One of the most plentiful mineral resources is coal (China mines almost half of the world’s total). The main deposits are found in Hebei (at Kaiping, Tangshan, Jingshing and Lincheng), in Shandong (at Zibo-Boshan, Yanzhou, Xinglong, Zechuan and Jingxian), in Shanxi (at Taiyuan, Pingding, Licheng and Datong), in Jiangxi (at Pingxiang) and in Manchuria (at Fuxin, Benxi, Fushun, Jiamusi, Jixi, Hegang, Huolinhe and Huainan).
Oil extraction is important: the largest reserves are at Daqing (in Heilongjiang), Yumen (in Gansu), Karamay, Tuha and Dushanzi (in Xinjiang), Qaidam (in Qinghai), Liaohe (in Liaoning), in the valley of the River Jialing (in Sichuan), at Renqiu (in Hebei) and Zhongyuan (in Henan). There are important oil pipelines running between Daqing and Qinhuangdao, Linyi and Nanjing, Dongying and Linyi, as well as the connections between the Caspian sea in Kazakhstan and Xinjiang, and between Russian Siberia and Daqing. There are reasonable reserves of natural gas (in Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia Hui and Xinjiang). A gas pipeline connects the reserves of Turkmenistan and Xinjiang, which is, in turn, connected to the coastal regions. Uranium is mined at Ürümqi, in Xinjiang.
The largest iron deposits are at Anshan, Wuhan, Daya, Baotou and Longyen. Manganese is mined in Liaoning, Hunan and Guangxi Zhuang. Nickel is mined at Jinchuan (in Gansu). Tungsten is mined at Kükong, Anyuan, Pangushan and Xihuashan. Other important minerals are zinc, tin (mined at Gejiu, in Yunnan), lead, magnesite (at Cijiao, in Manchuria), antimony (at Xinhua, in Hunan) and rare earths (in Ganzhou, Jiangxi, Inner Mongolia, Sichuan).
Much of China’s electrical energy comes from thermal coal power plants, but the amount generated by hydro-electric plants has increased in recent years with the opening of new plants on the great dams at Xiaolangdi, on the Huang He (or Yellow River) and the Three Gorges Dam, on the Yangtze River (the Chang Jiang). There are nuclear power plants near Dalian, Beijing and Shenzhen, in Fujian, Guangxi, Guangdong, on Hainan island, in Jiangsu, Liaoning, Shandong and Zhejiang, for a total of 48 reactors, with 9 more under construction. Photovoltaic an wind power plants are also expanding.
Heavy industry (mining, iron and steel, metalworking, basic chemicals) tends to be concentrated in the north-east of the country. Light industry (textiles, garment-making, computers, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, electrical household appliances, clocks and watches, furniture and toys) tend to be concentrated in the south of the country along the coast, and especially in the Special Economic Zones (Shenzhen, Shuhai, Shantou, Xiamen, Pudong, and Hainan Island). The main centres for iron and steel are in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River (at Huangshi and Wuhan) and in Manchuria (at Anshan, Dalian, Fushun and Benxi). The processing of aluminium is widespread (at Harbin, Fushun, Qinhuangdao, Guiyang and Lanzhou), also of nickel (at Jinchuan, in Gansu), zinc and lead (at Zhuzhou, Huludao, Shaoguan, Gejiu, Sidin and Shenyang). The basic chemicals sector has large petro-chemical plants at Anshan, Daqing, Dushanzi, Fushun, Lanzhou, Hangzhou, Lenghu, Maoming, Nanjing, Nanchong, Beijing, Qilu, Shanghai, Shengli, Ürümqi, Yanshan and Yumen. In the provinces of Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei and Guangdong there are modern production facilities for artificial textile fibres, synthetic rubber and plastic materials. In the provinces of Liaoning and Guangdong they refine the local oil sands. Cement is produced on a very large scale (at Jidong, Datong, Lanzhou and Nanping).
The engineering and electro-mechanic sectors are highly developed: hi-tech electrical and electronic material (at Beijing, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Shanghai, Jilin and Zhengzhou); machinery for the automotive industry (at Shenyang); farm machinery, railway rolling stock, textiles and bicycles (at Dalian, Taiyuan, Fuxian, Changchun and Tianjin); televisions (at Dandong); precision mechanics (at Chengdu); photographic equipment (Beijing, Changzhou and Shanghai); locomotives (at Changzhou); aircraft (at Xi’an, Pudong (Shanghai), Shenyang and Chengdu); shipyards (Shanghai, Hudong, Dalian, Jiangnan, Guangzhou and Zhonghua); cars, industrial vehicles and tractors (at Changchun, Beijing, Dalian, Jinan, Tianjin, Shanghai, Yuncheng, Nanjing and Chongqing). China is the world’s largest automotive manufacturer (about 28 million vehicles in 2018) with a greatly increasing domestic market.
The textile industry is one of the pillars of the Chinese economy. The cotton industry is particularly important. In addition to the old textile areas around Shanghai there are now plants in the new cotton areas: at Zhengzhou (in Henan), Xi’an and Xianyang (in Shaanxi), Beijing, Shijiazhuang (in Hebei), Chengdu (in Sichuan) and Xiangtan (in Hunan). The Manchurian textile industry also has modern production facilities (at Harbin, Shenyang, Jinzhou, Liaoyang, Dalian, Yingkou and so on), also the silk industry (at Hangzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Yantai-Chefoo and Qingdao). The wool industry is based at Shanghai, Hohhot and Tianjin.
The most important segments in the food sector are rice-polishing and grinding flour (in Shanghai).
The oil industry is concentrated at Shanghai and in Manchuria, where soya is processed in particular. The sugar, beer and tobacco industries are all well developed. Other important sectors are paper (at Longyu, Chikouchen, Huiduchen in Tianjin, and Yingkou and Jiamusi in Manchuria) and timber processing, especially panels for furniture. Other typically Chinese industries are glass, porcelain (factories at Jingdezhen, near Jiujiang, at Guangzhou and throughout Jiangxi), lacquer (at Guangzhou, Fuzhou and Ningbo), paper parasols (at Luzhou) and fans.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
coal3 255 556.61000 t2017
coal, total3 683 0001000 t2018
Mineral resources - Metal ores
antimony1001000 t2018
bauxite70 0001000 t2018
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
asbestos1001000 t2018
barite3 2001000 t2018
Mineral resources - Rocks
diatomite4201000 t2018
kaolin3 2001000 t2018
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
diamonds2301000 ct2018
diamonds, industrial - ct1 0001000 ct2012
Mineral resources - Other minerals
arsenic241000 t2018


Electric energy - Generated
- thermal4 157 282.54M kWh2016
- hydro1 150 948M kWh2016
Electric energy - Installed capacity
- thermal1 054 0001000 kW2016
- hydro305 4201000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
total net generation5 882 943.54M kWh2016
total installed capacity1 653 2151000 kW2016


Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
alumina72 0001000 t2018
aluminium33 0001000 t2018
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
bikes71 052 400no.2017
cars23 529 423no.2018
Industry - Precision and optical instruments
cameras23 082 700no.2017
watches and clocks161 866 100no.2016
Industry - Electrical and electronics
air conditioners178 615 300no.2017
computers172 435 200no.2017
Industry - Petrochemicals
bitumen21 715.81000 t2016
petrol132 761.91000 t2017
Industry - Chemicals
ammonia44 0001000 t2018
artificial tow483.21000 t2001
Industry - Textiles
cotton fabrics - m26 857M m2005
cotton yarn15 9591000 t2005
Industry - Clothing and footwear
footwear4 618 157 300pairs2016
Industry - Food and beverages
beer of barley49 2191000 t2014
cottonseed oil1 540.61000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
cigarettes2 344 825M units2017
cigars and cigarettes2 344 825M units2017
Industry - Paper and wood products
chemical pulp9 5341000 t2017
chemi-mechanical pulp10 3991000 t2017
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
cement2 370 0001000 t2018
Industry - Various
chemicals production348 673.9M US$2016
food, beverages and tobacco production381 366.3M US$2016


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.
The Chinese trade balance is traditionally in surplus. To encourage international trade and offer outlets for the building sectors, the country has promoted extensive plans for overseas infrastructure investments.

Main exports (M US$ - 2017) electrical and electronic material 313 045, telecommunications equipment 219 422, machinery and home appliances 189 877, computers and accessories 175 127, apparel and accessories 145 563, iron and steel 100 375, furniture and accessories 89 817, chemicals 80 998, optical and electro-medical appliances 70 648, plastics 70 646, vehicles and parts thereof 67 358, electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 66 508, toys and sports equipment 55 259, footwear 48 438, leather goods 29 118, synthetic and artificial fibres/yarns/fabrics 30 032, petroleum products 26 779, household linens 26 469, ships and boats 22 905, aluminium 22 642, fresh and preserved fish 20 412, ceramics 19 997, paper and paperboard 18 418, jewels and precious stones 17 780, articles of base metal 17 480, fabrics 16 509, fruit and vegetables 16 505, glass 15 850, miscellaneous manufactured articles 15 649, cotton 15 133, tools and implements 15 076

Finance and banking.
The People’s Bank of China acts as the central bank. The country purchased a substantial part of the USA’s foreign debt over the years by signing bond issues. The government bond and bond market is one of the most important in the world. The internationalization of the country has encouraged the development of commercial banks, and hundreds of foreign banks have opened branches; an element of fragility in the banking system is insufficient capitalization. There has been a considerable increase in stock exchanges: the most important are in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen. A policy of credit enhancement has led to an increase in speculative investments, which have brought about repeated episodes of instability in the financial markets.

Composition of goods exports
manufactures93.595% of goods exports2017
food products3.027% of goods exports2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
United States479 702M US$2018
Hong Kong302 960M US$2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
Korea, South204 566M US$2018
Japan180 402M US$2018
Merchandise Export
20182 487 045M US$ -
20172 263 346M US$ -
Merchandise Import
20182 135 905M US$ -
20171 843 792M US$ -


Tourism. Tourism is experiencing strong growth, supported by large investments and an increase in business tourism: China is one of the most visited countries in the world. Its chief attractions include the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Great Wall, the tombs of the Ming Emperors and the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an.

International Tourism
Expenditures257 733M US$2017
Number of arrivals60 740 000units2017


The most widely used form of transport is the railway (40% of goods and 45% of passengers) and water (45% of goods handled). The development of the high-speed rail network proceeds apace, with more than 30 000 km already operational. In 2006 a new line was opened between Qinghai and Tibet which crosses the Tangula Pass at 5072 m (the highest in the world). The most important navigable rivers are the Yangtze River (the Chang Jiang) and the Grand Imperial Canal which connects it to the Yellow River (the Huang He), the River Amur (the Heilongjiang) and the Pearl River (the Zhu Jiang). The road network is particularly highly developed along the east coast. Here, most of the cities are linked by motorways which have reached a total length of over 120 000 km. In 2011 the world’s longest bridge (Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge) was opened to traffic, 164.8 km long, connecting the two cities of the same name along the high-speed rail Beijing-Shanghai.

Media and telecommunication.
The telecommunications sector is developing extremely quickly, but only part of the country is covered by telephone services. Most of the content accessible on the Internet is controlled by the Government.

Communication - Transport
Civil aviation, km flown1 541 900 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried551 234.51000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
Broadband subscribers268.56per 1000 pop.2017
Computers57per 1000 pop.2008

Social and welfare

Education, culture
& research.
Compulsory education is organized into a primary cycle of six years and a secondary cycle of five years. Most of the schools providing secondary education offer technical and scientific or language-based syllabuses. There are about 2000 universities.

Social security and health.
The social welfare system includes old age pensions, unemployment benefits, health care and insurance for accidents in the workplace.
The pension age is 60 years for men and 50/55 for women, but a progressive increase has been established.

Social statistics - Education
Expected years of schooling14years2015
Gradautes, percentage9.7%2017
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
Teachers, primary level6 045 682units2017
Teachers, secondary level6 266 954units2017
Social statistics - Social protection
Social protection spending22.9% of total expenses2016
Social statistics - Health
Hospital beds5.7per 1000 pop.2017
Physicians2.4per 1000 pop.2017
Social statistics - Diseases
HIV-0.1% of adults2011
HIV, total0.06%2001
Museums4 721units2017
Museums, visitors971 720 000units2017
Research and development spending2.1% of GDP2017
Other social indicators
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking59.26%2016
Access to electricity100%2017
Household consumption expenditure
education, culture, recreation11.4%2017