9,596,960 sq km (3,705,407 sq mi)
Population (2009 est.):
Capital (2003 est.):
Beijing - 10,849,000 (metro. area)
Shanghai - 12,665,000 (metro. area); Tianjin (Tientsin) - 9,346,000 (metro. area); Wuhan - 3,959,700; Shenyang (Mukden) - 3,574,100; Guangzhou - 3,473,800; Haerbin - 2,904,900; Xian - 2,642,100; Chungking (Chongquing) - 2,370,100; Chengdu - 2,011,000; Hong Kong
(Xianggang) - 1,361,200
Standard Chinese (Mandarin/Putonghua), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages
Officially atheist; Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%–4%, Muslim 1%–2%
GMT+8 (throughout the country); DST is not observed
AC 220V/50Hz; plugs with two blades (American) and with three blades (Australian) are most common; outlets for square three-pin plugs (British standard) can also be found; many hotels also have AC 110V
Shanghai Pudong Skyline
China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is the largest country in East Asia and the most populous country in the world. China borders 14 countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India
, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam
to the south; Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to the west; Russia
and Mongolia to the north and North Korea to the east. China has coasts on the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea.
The vast territory of China has very diverse terrain and landscapes. Plains dominate the east, along the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. These areas are also very densely populated. Southern China is mostly hilly with low mountains. The two major rivers, Yangtze and the Yellow River, form large deltas in the central-east. The southwest is dominated by the Tibet Plateau, with an average elevation of 4,000 m (13,200 ft). Major mountain ranges in China include the Himalayas, the Altai Mountains, the Tian Shan Mountains and the Kunlun Mountains. The highest point is Mount Everest (8,848 m / 29,198 ft), situated at the Nepal border.
China includes two autonomous Special Administrative Regions - Hong Kong, formerly British dependent territory (until 1997), and Macau, formerly under Portuguese administration (until 1999).
There are 31 pictures in our China gallery. Click the thumbnail to enter.