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Geography: The greater part of the country is mountainous. Its principal ranges are the Tien Shan, the Kunlun chain, and the Trans-Himalaya. In the southwest is Tibet, which China annexed in 1950. The Gobi Desert lies to the north. China proper consists of three great river systems: the Yellow River (Huang He), 2,109 mi (5,464 km) long; the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang), the third-longest river in the world at 2,432 mi (6,300 km); and the Pearl River (Zhu Jiang), 848 mi (2,197 km) long.

History: The earliest recorded human settlements in what is today called China were discovered in the Huang He basin and date from about 5000 B.C. During the Shang dynasty (1500–1000 B.C. ), the precursor of modern China's ideographic writing system developed, allowing the emerging feudal states of the era to achieve an advanced stage of civilization, rivaling in sophistication any society found at the time in Europe, the Middle East, or the Americas. It was following this initial flourishing of civilization, in a period known as the Chou dynasty (1122–249 B.C. ), that Lao-tse, Confucius, Mo Ti, and Mencius laid the foundation of Chinese philosophical thought. The feudal states, often at war with one another, were first united under Emperor Ch'in Shih Huang Ti, during whose reign (246–210 B.C. ) work was begun on the Great Wall of China, a monumental bulwark against invasion from the West. Although the Great Wall symbolized China's desire to protect itself from the outside world, under the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220), the civilization conducted extensive commercial trading with the West. In the T'ang dynasty (618–907)—often called the golden age of Chinese history—painting, sculpture, and poetry flourished, and woodblock printing, which enabled the mass production of books, made its earliest known appearance. The Mings, last of the native rulers (1368–1644), overthrew the Mongol, or Yuan, dynasty (1271–1368) established by Kublai Khan. The Mings in turn were overthrown in 1644 by invaders from the north, the Manchus


Capital (2011 est.): Beijing,National name: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry) note: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uyghur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet) Ethnicity/race: Han Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai and other nationalities) 7.1% note: the Chinese government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups (2010 est.) National Holiday: Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, October 1 Religions: Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu Literacy rate: 95.1% (2010 est.) Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $13.39 trillion; per capita $9,800. Real growth rate: 7.7% (official data). Inflation: 2.6%. Unemployment: 4.1% official registered unemployment in urban areas; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas. Arable land: 11.62%. Agriculture: rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish. Labor force: 797.6 million (2011); agriculture 33.6%, industry 30.3%, services 36.1% (2012 est.). Industries: mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products, including footwear, toys, and electronics; food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites. Natural resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest). Exports: $2.21 trillion (2013 est.): machinery and equipment, plastics, optical and medical equipment, iron and steel. Imports: $1.95 trillion (2013 est.): machinery and equipment, oil and mineral fuels, plastics, optical and medical equipment, organic chemicals, iron and steel. Major trading partners: U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Australia, Taiwan (2013). Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 278.86 million (2012); mobile cellular: 1.1 billion (2012). Broadcast media: all broadcast media are owned by, or affiliated with, the Communist Party of China or a government agency; no privately-owned television or radio stations with state-run Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations offering more than 2,000 channels; the Central Propaganda Department lists subjects that are off limits to domestic broadcast media with the government maintaining authority to approve all programming; foreign-made TV programs must be approved prior to broadcast (2008). Internet hosts: 20.602 million (2012). Internet users: 389 million (2009). Transportation: Railways: total: 86,000 (2008). Roadways: total: 4,106,387 km; paved: 3,453,890 km (with at least 84,946 km of expressways) ; unpaved: 652,497 km (2011). Waterways: 110,000 km (2010). Ports and harbors:Dalian, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin . Airports: 507 (2013 est.). International disputes: continuing talks and confidence-building measures work toward reducing tensions over Kashmir that nonetheless remains militarized with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; China and India continue their security and foreign policy dialogue started in 2005 related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, and other matters; China claims most of India's Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas; lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the largest of which lie in Bhutan's northwest and along the Chumbi salient; Burmese forces attempting to dig in to the largely autonomous Shan State to rout local militias tied to the drug trade, prompts local residents to periodically flee into neighboring Yunnan Province in China; Chinese maps show an international boundary symbol off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Seas, where China has interrupted Vietnamese hydrocarbon exploration; China asserts sovereignty over Scarborough Reef along with the Philippines and Taiwan, and over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brunei; the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea eased tensions in the Spratlys but is not the legally binding code of conduct sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratlys and in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord on marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; China and Taiwan continue to reject both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared equidistance line in the East China Sea, the site of intensive hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen rivers are in dispute with North Korea; North Korea and China seek to stem illegal migration to China by North Koreans, fleeing privations and oppression, by building a fence along portions of the border and imprisoning North Koreans deported by China; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 Agreement; China and Tajikistan have begun demarcating the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China has reconsidered construction of 13 dams on the Salween River, but energy-starved Burma, with backing from Thailand, remains intent on building five hydro-electric dams downstream despite regional and international protests; Chinese and Hong Kong authorities met in March 2008 to resolve ownership and use of lands recovered in Shenzhen River channelization, including 96-hectare Lok Ma Chau Loop.

चीन विश्व की प्राचीन सभ्यताओं में से एक है जो एशियाई महाद्वीप के पू‍र्व में स्थित है। चीन की सभ्यता एवं संस्कृति छठी शताब्दी से भी पुरानी है। चीन की लिखित भाषा प्रणाली विश्व की सबसे पुरानी है जो आज तक उपयोग में लायी जा रही है और जो कई आविष्कारों का स्रोत भी है। ब्रिटिश विद्वान और जीव-रसायन शास्त्री जोसफ नीधम ने प्राचीन चीन के चार महान अविष्कार बताये जो हैं :- कागज़, कम्पास, बारूद और मुद्रण। ऐतिहासिक रूप से चीनी संस्कृति का प्रभाव पूर्वी और दक्षिण पूर्वी एशियाई देशों पर रहा है और चीनी धर्म, रिवाज़ और लेखन प्रणाली को इन देशों में अलग-अलग स्तर तक अपनाया गया है। चीन में प्रथम मानवीय उपस्थिति के प्रमाण झोऊ कोऊ दियन गुफा के समीप मिलते हैं और जो होमो इरेक्टस के प्रथम नमूने भी है जिसे हम 'पेकिंग मानव' के नाम से जानते हैं। अनुमान है कि ये इस क्षेत्र में ३,००,००० से ५,००,००० वर्ष पूर्व यहाँ रहते थे और कुछ शोधों से ये महत्वपूर्ण जानकारी भी मिली है कि पेकिंग मानव आग जलाने की और उसे नियंत्रित करने की कला जानते थे। चीन के गृह युद्ध के कारण इसके दो भाग हो गये -चीन एशिया के दक्षिण-पूर्व में स्थित है। इसकी राजधानी बीजिंग है। यहाँ के अधिकांश निवासी बौद्ध हैं। चीनी आबादी में 91% बौद्ध अनुयायी है। आज चीन में बौद्ध जनसंख्या करीब 1.3 अरब है जो विश्व के दुसरे बडे आबादी वाले देश भारत या विश्व के समस्तहिन्दुओं से भी अधिक है। चीन के निवासी अपनी भाषा में अपने देश को 'चंगक्यूह' कहते हैं। कदाचित् इसीलिये भारत तथा फारस के प्राचीन निवासियों ने इस देश का नाम अपने यहाँ 'चीन' रख लिया था। चीन देश का उल्लेख महाभारतमनुस्मृतिललितविस्तरआदि ग्रंथों में बराबर मिलता है। यहाँ के रेशमी कपड़े भारत में 'चीनांशुक' नाम से इतने प्रसिद्ध थे कि रेशमी कपड़े का नाम ही 'चीनांशुक' पड़ गया है।चीन में बहुत प्राचीन काल का क्रमबद्ध इतिहास सुरक्षित है। ईसा से २९५० वर्ष पूर्व तक के राजवंश का पता चलता है। चीन की सभ्यता बहुत प्राचीन है, यहाँ तक कि यूरोप की सभ्यता का बहुत कुछ अंश— जैसे, पहनावा, बैठने और खाने पीने आदि का ढंग, पुस्तक छापने की कला आदि — चीन से लिया गया है। यहाँ ईसा के २१७ वर्ष पूर्व से बौद्ध धर्म का संचार हो गया था पर ईसवीं सन् ६१ में मिंगती राजा के शासनकाल में जब भारतवर्ष से ग्रंथ और मूर्तियाँ गई, लोग बौद्ध धर्म की ओर आकर्षित होने लगे। सन् ६७ में कश्यप मतंग नामक एक बौद्ध पंडित चीन में गए और उन्होंने 'द्वाचत्वारिंशत् सूत्र' का चीनी भाषा में अनुवाद किया। तबसे बराबर चीन में बौद्ध धर्म का प्रचार बढ़ता गया। चीन से झुंड के झुंड यात्री विद्याध्ययन के लिये भारतवर्ष में आते थे। चीन में अब तक ऐसे कई स्तूप पाये जाते हैं जिनके विषय में चीनियों का कथन है कि वे सम्राट अशोक के बनवाये हुए हैं।"चीन" शब्द का प्रथम दर्ज उपयोग १५५५ में किया गया था। ये शब्द चिन से निकला था जो मार्को पोलो द्वारा पश्चिम में प्रचारित किया गया। यह शब्द पारसी और संस्कृत के Cīnā (चीन) और अंततः किन साम्राज्य से निकला (秦) (७७८ ईसा पूर्व -२०७ ईसा पूर्व), जो झोऊ वंशावली के समय चीन का सबसे पश्चिमी साम्राज्य था।ऐतिहासिक रूप से चीन को सिना या सिनो, सिने, कैथे, या पश्चिमी देशों द्वारा सेरेस के नाम से भी जाना जाता है। चीन का आधिकारिक नाम प्रत्येक वंश के साथ बदलता रहा है और सबसे प्रचलित और आम नाम है झोंग्गुओ (中國), जिसका अर्थ है "केंद्रीय राष्ट्र", या "मध्य साम्राज्य"।



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