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SPECIAL REGIONAL CONSIDERATIONS - CHINA


WARNING - ADOPTION ALERT from the U.S. Department of State.

INTRODUCTION1

The People's Republic of China (PRC), commonly known as China, is the largest country in East Asia and the most populous in the world with over 1.3 billion people, approximately a fifth of the world's population. China borders the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam. Border countries include Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia (northeast), Russia (northwest), Tajikistan, and Vietnam. Its regional borders are Hong Kong and Macau. The world's tallest peak Mount Everest is on the border with Nepal. Beijing is the capital city and is China's second largest city. Shanghai is the largest city in China in terms of population and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with over 20 million people.

The PRC officially recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Han Chinese, who constitute about 91.9% of the total population. Large ethnic minorities include the Zhuang (16 million), Manchu (10 million), Hui (9 million), Miao (8 million), Uyghur (7 million), Yi (7 million), Tujia (5.75 million), Mongols (5 million), Tibetans (5 million), Buyei (3 million), and Koreans (2 million).

There are five recognized religions by the state: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism. About 200 million people are Buddhists, Taoists or worshippers of legendary figures such as the Dragon King and God of Fortune, accounting for 66.1% of all believers, while Christianity accounted for 12% of believers, or 40 million people.

The national language is Putonghua (the common speech) or Mandarin, which is one of the five working languages at the United Nations. Most of the 55 minority nationalities have their own languages. Cantonese is one of the local dialects of southern China. As a written language, Chinese has been used for 6,000 years.

 

1 People's Republic of China, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Republic_of_China

 

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