Title: The People's Republic of China

Population: 1,397,897,720

Population Change: 0.39

National Average Age: 38

Urban Percentage: 61

Christian Population: 67,070,000

Christian Percentage: 4

Introduction: 'China is a populous nation in East Asia whose vast landscape encompasses grassland desert mountains lakes rivers and more than 14000km of coastline. Capital Beijing mixes modern architecture with historic sites such as the Forbidden City palace complex and Tiananmen Square. Shanghai is a skyscraper-studded global financial center. The iconic Great Wall of China runs east-west across the country''s north.'

Overview: For centuries China stood as a leading civilization outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences but in the 19th and early 20th centuries the country was beset by civil unrest major famines military defeats and foreign occupation. After World War II the communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that while ensuring China's sovereignty imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978 MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded yet political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.



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