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More Quick Facts About China

At present, China is divided into 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under the Central Government, and 2 special administrative regions.

General Information

Physical Geography

Climate and Natural Habitat

Population and Ethnic Groups


Public Holidays

Chinese Currency

Capital City


National Flag

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Five-star red flag, length and width proportion: 3:2.

National Anthem

March of the Volunteers (lines: Arise, those who do not want to be slaves! We will use our flesh and blood to build another Great Wall. China has reached the brink of national collapse. All the people have been making their last outcry. Arise! Arise! Arise! All our hearts become one. Let us face the angry guns. March on! Let us face the angry guns. March on! March on! March on! On!)

National Day

October 1, the country was founded in 1949

Top Legislature

National People's Congress (NPC)


In East Asia, by the west Pacific Ocean

Territory Area

9.6 million square km, third in size after Russia and Canada

Largest City



Renminbi (RMB) or yuan

Exchange Rate

8.3 yuan=US$1

Weights and Measures

Metric System

Gross Domestic Product

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8,940.4 billion yuan (at the end of 2000)

Physical Geography


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High in its west nd low in its east: mountain areas 33.3%, plateaus 26%, basins 18.8%, plains 12% and hills 9.9%


Among the 5,400 islands, Taiwan Island is the largest (36,000 square km), and Hainan Island (34,000 square km) is second largest


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Among the world's 19 mountains over 7,000 meters high, seven are in China. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, known as "the roof of the world", has many tall mountains. The Himalayas, with an average elevation of 6,000 meters, have the world's highest peak called Mount Qomolangma, with the peak standing at 8,848 meters above sea level.


The Yangtze River (6,300 km in length) is the third longest river in the world after the Nile and the Amazon. The Yellow River, is the second longest river in China, stretching 5,464 km.


The canyon on the Yalu Tsangpo River is the world's largest (504.6 km in length and 6,009 meters in depth)

Man-Made River

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The Grand Canal (1,801 km long) is the longest man-made river in the world. Its cutting began in the fifth century BC.


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The Poyang Lake in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River is China's largest freshwater lake; the Qinghai Lake on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the country's largest salt lake.

Climate and Natural Habitat


Most of the country in the temperate zone, although geographically the country stretches from the tropical and subtropical zones in the south to the frigid zone in the north.

Wild Animals

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China has a great variety of wildlife: over 4,400 vertebrates, more than 100 rare species, including the giant panda, the golden monkey, the white-lipped deer, the South China Tiger, Crossoplilon mantchuricum, the white-flag dolphin, the Chinese alligator, and the crowned crane.


China has a great variety of plants, 32,000 species of higher plants, including nearly all the major kinds of vegetation found in the frigid and temperate zones of the northern hemisphere.

Popular Flowers

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Peony, azalea, primrose and felwort

Population and Ethnic Groups


China carried out its fifth national population census on November 1, 2000. It has a population of 1,295.33 million. Of which: the total population of the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities (excluding Jinmen and Mazu islands of Fujian Province hereafter) and of servicemen on the mainland of China was 1,265.83 million; the population of Hong Kong SAR was 6.78 million; the population of Macao SAR was 440 thousand; the population of Taiwan Province and of Jinmen, Mazu and a few other islands of Fujian Province was 22.28 million.

Population Growth Rate

Compared with the population of 1,133.68 million from the 1990 population census (with zero hour of July 1, 1990 as the reference time), the total population of the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and the servicemen of the mainland of China increased by 132.15 million persons, or 11.66 percent over the past 10 years, 4 months. The average annual growth was 12.79 million persons, or a growth rate of 1.07 percent.

Average Life-Span

71 years old at the end of 2000

Population Composition

The males: 51.63%, the females: 48.37%; people aged below 14: 22.89%; people aged 15-64: 70.15%; people aged above 65: 6.96%; urban population: 36.09%; rural population: 63.91%.

Ethnic Groups

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China has 56 ethnic groups. Of the people enumerated in the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and servicemen of the mainland of China, 1,159.40 million persons or 91.59 percent are of Han nationality, and 106.43 million persons or 8.41 percent are of various national minorities.



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Of the 56 ethnic groups in China, the Hui and Manchu use the same languages as Han people, while the rest of groups have their own spoken and written languages.

Public Holidays

Public Holidays

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New Year's Day (January 1), the Spring Festival (the New Year's Day by Chinese lunar calendar), International Labor Day (May 1), and the National Day (October 1).


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