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- This lesson series looks at the people of China.
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China, or People's Republic of China, is a country located in East Asia and is known to be the world's third largest country, having a land area of 9,600,000 sq.m., next to Russia and Canada. Its capital city is Beijing. The geographical setting of the country is constituted of mountains, deserts and high plateus in the west and hills, plains, and deltas in the east. This enables it to have extremely diverse climate specifically tropical in the southern part and sub arctic in the northern part.
The economy of P.R.C. is booming with its $4.814 trillion GDP in year 2009 having the GDP real growth rate of 8.7%. China is rich in natural resources. It has the world's largest potential for hydropower source. It is also rich in other resources such as iron ore, natural gas, petroleum, tungsten, coal, magnetite, manganese, antimony, vanadium, lead, uranium, zinc, mercury, molybdenum, and petroleum. China is also one of the world's largest producers of agricultural products such as rice and wheat, as well as supplier of many livestock products. It is also known to export machine equipments, electronic gadgets and accessories, plastic and metal wares, textiles and apparels, and is famous for their hi-tech inventions. The accepted currency in the country is Renminbi (RMB) or Yuan.
Last 2002, China was declared as the most populous country in the world constituting one-fifth of the world's total population. Its population density is 1 square kilometer for every 134 people and its ethnicity is composed mainly of Han people composing 91.6% of the total population. Other minority groups include Tibetan, Manchu, Zhuang, Hui Miao, Uygur, Mongolian, Tujia and Yi. People mostly reside in the middle and lower reaches of the major rivers in the country such as the Yellow River, Pearl River, Yangtze River as well as the Northeast Plain.
Most of the Chinese are Buddhist, and some of them are followers of other major religions as Taoism, Islam, and Christianity. Although religious freedom is specified in the constitution of the country, the government is still screening or regulating the entry of other religions in the country.
The People's Republic of China is a Communist party-led state and the government is composed of three branches, namely the Executive branch, the Legislative branch, and the Judiciary. It is composed of 23 provinces, including Taiwan, 5 autonomous regions, including Tibet, 4 municipalities, and two special administrative regions, including Hong Kong and Macau. Its military is known as People's Liberation Army (PLA) and is subdivided into three major divisions namely: the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. The Second Artillery Force is its minor division.
China, being one of the oldest civilizations in the history of mankind, dating back 3,500 years ago has lots of historical claims rich as well as cultural spheres, which are already popular in Asia as well as in other continents around the world. The existence of dynasties in the history of China developed a system which enabled its citizens to be agrarian-based which gave them an edge over neighboring nomadic countries as well agrarian areas. The ideologies of Chinese philosophers such as Confucius was also a plus for the strengthening of the Chinese civilization.
China is a country with various dialects. The standard Chinese or popularly known as Mandarin, or Potunghua, as it is called by natives in Beijing is the main language used in the country. It is also the medium of communication used in schools and in the government. As to the Cantonese, they use Yue, to Shanghaise, Wu, to Fuzhou, Minbei, to Taiwanese, Minnan, and other minority languages are also used as Xiang Gan and Hakka.