Form of Government: People's republic
Area: 9 572 900 sq km
Population: 1 411 778 724 inhab. (census 2020)
Density: 147.48 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 53° - 18° N; long. 73° - 135° E
Capital: Beijing (capital) 11 716 000 inhab. (2010); Beijing 19 437 000 inhab. (2020), urban agglomeration
Currency: renminbi-yuan (10 jiao=100 fen)
Human development index: 0.761 (rank: 85)
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

The five-year plan outlined by the plenum of the Central Committee of the PCC (26-29 October 2020) put the country’s development on a dual course with increased domestic market and technological independence, without maintaining openness to foreign markets. However, tensions still continue with the United States, despite the change of administration, and with the European Union, where fear for China’s growing political and economic importance join protests at the failure to respect the civil rights of ethnic minorities and in Hong Kong. To broaden its sphere of influence, China made use of “vaccine diplomacy” in 2020-21, aimed at providing vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 to nations cut out of the main supply chains of Western countries.

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 437 000inhab.2020


Population by age and gender (% - 2020)

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 rate10.52019
Death rate7.12019
Ethnic groups

Chinese folk religion21.9%2010

Chinese (official)
Population by selected age groups
0-14 years17.3%2020
15-29 years18.7%2020



Economic situation.
Access to credit and tax benefits aided a speedy recovery from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, especially in sectors centred on export and major public infrastructure, resulting in overall GDP growth in 2020. The loss of jobs and widespread uncertainty nevertheless slowed down the return to previous consumption and investment levels, thereby increasing income distribution. Economic stimulus packages further exacerbated the exorbitant public and private debt, which is an element of strong instability. The fourteenth five-year plan, outlined in 2020, emphasized the goals of developing a strong internal market, reducing reliance on exports and achieving technological independence, while continuing to lay claim to a leading role in world trade.

Economy - General data
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)139.23index2016
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)104.14index2019
Economy - Employment
Active population771 255 814units2020
Active population, Females43.7%2019
Economy - Unemployment
Unemployment rate5$%2020
Unemployment rate, Females37.7%2019
Economy - State budget
Expenses23 885 840M LCU2019
Revenues19 039 010M LCU2019
Employment by economic activity
GDP by economic activity
Financial data
Currency in circulation57 600BN LCU2019
International reserves3 357 240.875M US$2020


Primary sector
Agriculture and forests.
Rice is the most important crop, and is widely grown in the great plains of the Huang He and Chang Jiang, as is wheat. Maize is widespread in the Huang He plain and in Manchuria. Oats, rye, sorghum and millet are commonly grown in the north-east; barley in Jiangsu and Yunnan. 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), sunflower (Inner Mongolia), 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. The country is the world’s largest producer of caviar and oysters.

Land use
arable land14.326%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
barley9001000 t2019
cereals, total612 719.91000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
cassava4 975.4721000 t2019
potatoes91 818.951000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
artichokes92.9071000 t2019
asparagus8 303.3921000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Pulses
beans, dry1 297.8671000 t2019
beans, green21 748.0041000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Grape
grapes14 283.5321000 t2019
raisins7$1000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Olive
olives2.7151000 t2011
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
castor oil seed36$1000 t2019
groundnuts17 519.61000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Oil palm
oil palm fruits665.9251000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Tung
tung nuts266.7431000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Coconut palm
coconuts401.2521000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
cinnamon82.8371000 t2019
cloves1.4031000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
hops7.0361000 t2019
sugar beet12 272.91000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Cotton
seed cotton23 504.5761000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Flax
flax fibre and tow17.551000 t2019
linseed3401000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
hemp tow waste14.5381000 t2019
hempseed71.4231000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fruits
apples42 425.41000 t2019
apricots60.7281000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Nuts
almonds45$1000 t2019
cashew nuts0.1491000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits43 539.9161000 t2019
citrus fruits, nes5 800.9181000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
avocados129.3111000 t2019
bananas11 655.71000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Others
mushrooms8 938.8141000 t2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
barley2601000 ha2019
maize41 2801000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
cassava299.2121000 ha2019
potatoes4 912.1611000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
artichokes12.2991000 ha2019
cabbages992.3581000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
beans, dry745.9361000 ha2019
beans, green741.0421000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
grape743.1921000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
olive0.2761000 ha2011
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
castor oil seed21$1000 ha2019
groundnuts4 5001000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oil palm
oil palm fruit50.3371000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tung
tung nuts106.1911000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Coconut palm
coconuts37.5391000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
cinnamon41.8431000 ha2019
cloves1.0361000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
hops2.3261000 ha2019
sugar beet223.3571000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
seed cotton4 815.371000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
flax fibre and tow4.441000 ha2019
linseed2601000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
hemp tow waste4.0151000 ha2019
hempseed12.6031000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
apples2 041.0021000 ha2019
apricots20.9891000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
almonds12.8111000 ha2019
cashew nuts0.1111000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits2 854.1591000 ha2019
citrus fruits, nes177.4251000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
avocados22.5611000 ha2019
bananas344.011000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
mushrooms29.0521000 ha2019


natural rubber839 909t2019
timber340 118 8812019
Livestock - Cattle
cattle63 391.9341000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes90 728.0641000 heads2019
Livestock - Buffaloes
buffaloes27 336.131000 heads2019
Livestock - Pigs
pigs310 406.91000 heads2019
Livestock - Sheep
sheep163 489.61000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
goats137 231.71000 heads2019
Livestock - Equines
asses2 600.71000 heads2019
asses and mules3 315.21000 heads2019
Livestock - Camelids
camels405.31000 heads2019
Livestock - Poultry
birds6 169 0101000 heads2019
Livestock - Beekeeping
honey444.11000 t2019
Livestock - Silk farming
silk, raw137.0261000 t2018
Livestock - Livestock products
butter88.1811000 t2018
cheese197.9741000 t2018
crustaceans and molluscs24 075 640.779t2019


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, between Russian Siberia and Daqing, and between Kunming and the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar. There are reasonable reserves of natural gas (in Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia Hui and Xinjiang), with pipelines connecting Kungming with the Bay of Bengal, Yacutia with Manchuria and the gas fields of Turkmenistan with 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 51 reactors, with 13 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, with numerous plant concentrated in the eastern provinces.
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); batteries (central-eastern provinces); 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 (over 25 million vehicles in 2020) with a greatly increasing domestic market.
The textile industry has been 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 668 628.51000 t2019
coal, total3 902 0001000 t2020
Mineral resources - Metal ores
antimony80$1000 t2020
bauxite60 0001000 t2020
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
asbestos1001000 t2020
barite2 5001000 t2020
Mineral resources - Rocks
diatomite1501000 t2020
kaolin5 0001000 t2020
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
diamonds1001000 ct2019
diamonds, industrial - ct18 200 0001000 ct2018
Mineral resources - Other minerals
arsenic24$1000 t2020


Electric energy - Generated
- thermal4 812 964.5M kWh2019
- hydro1 254 464.64M kWh2019
Electric energy - Installed capacity
- thermal1 144 0001000 kW2018
- other renew.431 5681000 kW2019
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
total net generation7 136 225.64M kWh2019
total installed capacity1 911 2741000 kW2018


Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
alumina74 0001000 t2020
aluminium37 0001000 t2020
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
bikes49 789 700no.2019
cars19 994 081no.2020
Industry - Precision and optical instruments
cameras15 952 400no.2019
watches and clocks161 866 100no.2016
Industry - Electrical and electronics
air conditioners218 661 600no.2019
computers185 332 200no.2019
Industry - Petrochemicals
bitumen26 876.71000 t2018
petrol141 206.81000 t2019
Industry - Chemicals
ammonia38 0001000 t2020
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 barley38 1201000 t2018
cottonseed oil1 2621000 t2018
Industry - Tobacco
cigarettes2 364 249M units2019
cigars and cigarettes2 364 249M units2019
Industry - Paper and wood products
chemical pulp10 1051000 t2019
chemi-mechanical pulp12 6801000 t2019
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
cement2 200 0001000 t2020
Industry - Various
chemicals production418 233.772M US$2018
food, beverages and tobacco production457 448.325M US$2018


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

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. A digital version of the renminbi is being tested.

Composition of goods exports
manufactures93.065% of goods exports2019
food products2.876% of goods exports2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
United States452 576M US$2020
Hong Kong272 651M US$2020
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
Japan174 867M US$2020
Korea, South172 756M US$2020
Merchandise Export
20202 591 121M US$ -
20192 499 457M US$ -
Merchandise Import
20202 055 752M US$ -
20192 078 386M 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
Expenditures254 621M US$2019
Number of arrivals65 700 000units2019


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 about 38 000 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 about 150 000 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 carried659 629.11000 units2019
Communication - Media and telecommunication
Broadband subscribers313.352per 1000 pop.2019
Computers57$per 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 schooling14$years2015
Gradautes, percentage9.681%2019
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
Students, primary level104 325 244units2019
Students, secondary level86 101 697units2019
Social statistics - Social protection
Social protection spending26.212% of total expenses2018
Social statistics - Health
Hospital beds6.3per 1000 pop.2019
Physicians2.77per 1000 pop.2019
Social statistics - Diseases
HIV-0.1% of adults2011
HIV, total0.06%2001
Museums5 132units2019
Museums, visitors1 122 880 000units2019
Research and development spending2.141% of GDP2018
Other social indicators
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking64.4%2019
Access to electricity100%2019
Household consumption expenditure
education, culture, recreation11.2%2018