China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion in 2019. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million mi2), it is the world's third or fourth largest country by area. As a one-party state led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), it exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
China emerged as one of the world's first civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on absolute hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-mythical Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since then, China has expanded, fractured, and re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin reunited core China and established the first Chinese empire. The succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BCE until 220 CE, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements. The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty (618–907) and Northern Song (960–1127) completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread widely in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and the Horn of Africa. The Qing Empire, China's final dynasty, suffered heavy losses to foreign colonialism. The Chinese monarchy collapsed in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution, when the Republic of China (ROC) replaced the Qing dynasty. China was invaded by Imperial Japan during World War II. The Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the CCP led by Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China on mainland China while the Kuomintang-led ROC government retreated to the island of Taiwan.
China is a unitary one-party socialist republic and is one of the few existing nominally socialist states. Political dissidents and human rights groups have denounced and criticized the Chinese government for widespread human rights abuses, including political repression, suppression of religious and ethnic minorities, censorship, mass surveillance, and their response to protests, notably in 1989.
China is the largest economy in the world by PPP since 2014, the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP since 2010, and the largest economy in Eurasia. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been the world's fastest-growing major economy, with annual growth rates consistently above 10%. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. China recorded the fastest rise in GDP per capita in the world from 1960 to 2018. China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China holds 17.7% of the world's total wealth, the second largest share held by any country. China has the world's largest banking sector, with assets of $40 trillion and the world's top 4 largest banks all being in China. China has the highest number of rich people in the world's top 10% of wealth since 2019 and has one of the most billionaires of any country in the world. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army, the People's Liberation Army, and the second-largest defense budget. The PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since replacing the ROC in 1971. One of the world's foremost infrastructural giants, China has the world's largest bullet train network, the most supertall skyscrapers in the world, and has initiated the largest transcontinental infrastructure investment project in modern history. China has been characterized as an emerging superpower, mainly because of its large economy, fast infrastructural development, and powerful military. Read more...
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The Army groups of the National Revolutionary Army (flag pictured) were the largest conventional mobile formations in the organization of the army of the Republic of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The first army groups were established immediately after the Japanese attack at Marco Polo Bridge on 7 July 1937, and new army groups continued to be formed throughout the war. During the war, the only military formations larger than the army group were the military regions, which were defined by geographical boundaries, and the army corps, of which only four were formed and only during the Battle of Wuhan. In effect, the army group was the largest fighting unit of the National Revolutionary Army, and usually exercised command over two or more field armies or several corps, and assorted lesser units. By the end of the war with Japan, 40 army groups were in existence. The civil war saw three additional army groups being formed, even as they were gradually being replaced by newly-formed army corps, by then a largely analogous formation.
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I. M. Pei (born 1917) is a Chinese American architect, often called a master of modern architecture. Born in Guangzhou, in 1935 he moved to the United States. While enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he became unhappy with the school's focus on Beaux-Arts architecture, and spent his free time researching the emerging architects, especially Le Corbusier. After graduating, he joined the Harvard Graduate School of Design and formed a friendship with the Bauhaus architects Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Pei spent ten years working with New York real estate magnate William Zeckendorf before establishing his own independent design firm that eventually became Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Among the early projects on which Pei took the lead were the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC, and the Green Building at MIT. His first major recognition came with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado; his new stature led to his selection as chief architect for the John F. Kennedy Library in Massachusetts. He went on to design Dallas City Hall and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. In the early 1980s, Pei was the focus of controversy when he designed a glass-and-steel pyramid for the Louvre museum in Paris. Pei has won a wide variety of prizes and awards in the field of architecture, including the 1983 Pritzker Prize, sometimes called the Nobel Prize of architecture.
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The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is head of the Communist Party of China and the highest-ranking official within China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat. The officeholder is usually considered the paramount leader of China.
According to the Constitution, the General Secretary serves as an ex officio member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto top decision-making body. Since the early 1990s, the holder of the post has been, except for transitional periods, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, making the holder the Commander-in-chief of the People's Liberation Army.
The current General Secretary is Xi Jinping (picture), who took the office at the 18th National Congress on 15 November 2012.
The President of the Republic of China is the head of state of the Republic of China (ROC).
The Constitution names the president as head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China Armed Forces (formerly known as the National Revolutionary Army). The president is responsible for conducting foreign relations, such as concluding treaties, declaring war, and making peace. The president must promulgate all laws and has no right to veto. Other powers of the president include granting amnesty, pardon or clemency, declaring martial law, and conferring honors and decorations.
The current President is Tsai Ing-wen (picture), since May 20, 2016. The first woman to be elected to the office, Tsai is the seventh president of the Republic of China under the 1947 Constitution and the second president from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
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