Official language: ChineseCapital: Beijing
Largest city: Shanghai
Currency: YuanOfficial time: UTC + 8Population: 1,313,973,713 Total area: 9,596,960 km2
China is located in Asia, the western shores of the Pacific Ocean. Its territory covers 9.8 million km2. Its coastline extends over 18.000 km.
China's economy has grown fast since the seventies. After thousands of years of relying almost entirely on its agricultural sector and to experiment with the planned system that brought the communist revolution of Mao Zedong, the country opened to foreign investment and competition. According to recent data in 2005 the real GDP of China was second in the world with 10.5 billion dollars. The primary sector accounted for 14%, 46% secondary and tertiary 40%, was the first and third in exports in foreign exchange reserves of more than 1 trillion dollars.
The country is the world's fourth largest in total area, and the third largest in land area. Given its size, naturally contains a variety of landscapes and climatic zones. In the east, along the coast of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea, there are densely populated alluvial plains. The coastal area of South China Sea is more mountainous and southern China prevails topography of hills and small mountains. In the center of the east are the deltas of the two largest rivers: the Yellow and Yangzi. Other major rivers include the Pearl River, Mekong, Brahmaputra, the Amur, the Huai He and Xi Jiang.
To the west, dominated by large mountain ranges, especially the Himalayas, reaching its highest point on Mount Everest, and plateaus that characterize much of an arid landscape with deserts such as the Taklamakan and Gobi. Due to drought and damaging agricultural practices, dust storms have become usual in the spring. The expansion of the Gobi desert is the main cause of these storms affecting the Northeast China and Korea and Japan.
China is the most populous country in the world. With more than 1300 million people, makes up almost a quarter of the total population of the world.
The average population density of China is 130 people per square kilometer, with an unbalanced distribution, as in the coastal reaches more than 400 in the central regions to over 200 and in the northwest to less than 10.