China is a country in East Asia, and the capital is Beijing. The country is divided into twenty-three provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities directly under the Central Government, and two special administrative regions. China has influenced the course of international development for thousands of years. With more than 1.35 billion people, China accounts for roughly 20 percent of the total world population. After decades of rapid economic growth, China overtook Japan to become the world's second largest economy in 2010.
An official Chinese government statement recognizes five main religions practiced in the country—Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism—including different folk beliefs. China's international expansion, growing domestic market, raw material requirements, role as the world's factory, and related environmental issues have far-reaching implications for people and development around the world.
Geographically, China covers five time zones (Zhongyuan, Longshu, Tibet, Kunlun and Changbai time zones). China stands at the head of the economic class of the original BRIC countries, which also include Brazil, Russia, and India. After sustaining decades of annual GDP growth exceeding 10 percent, China overtook Japan in 2010 to become the world's second largest economy behind the US.
China's rapid economic growth and development is accompanied by the dramatic rise and growth of so-called mega-cities. People across China and other developing countries flock to cities in search of greater opportunity and higher living standards. The fruits of their labors and the economic advantages of cities' financial, human, and social capital help fuel development and urbanization.
China's history is the world's history in many respects. With nearly 4,000 years of continuous history and culture, China is one of the world's oldest civilizations. China has been the world's greatest power for all but several hundred of the last two thousand years. Ancient China is credited with four of the world's great inventions: paper, printing, gunpowder, and the compass. The country shares borders with fourteen states, including Russia, North Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma), India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and four states of Central Asia.
China's alignment with Russia makes progress on Ukraine difficult
March 14, 2022
China's elevated Covid cases may not hit the economy as hard as feared
March 17, 2022
In China, 37 million people are in Covid lockdown. Here's what we know
Jessie Yeung and CNN's Beijing bureau
March 15, 2022
Latest China News | Today's Breaking Stories
U.S. warns China about helping Putin with his invasion
March 14, 2022