A

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Andorra
Angola
Anguilla
Antartica
Antigua & Barbuda
Arctic Ocean
Argentina
Armenia
Aruba
Ashmore & Cartier Islands
Atlantic Ocean
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan

B

Bahamas
Bahrain
Baker Island
Bangladesh
Barbados
Bassas da India
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bermuda
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Botswanna
Bouvet Island
Brazil
British Indian Ocean
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burma
Burundi

C

Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Clipperton Island
Cocos Islands
Colombia
Comoros
Congo (DRC)
Congo
Cook Islands
Coral Sea Islands
Costa Rica
Cota D'Ivory
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republich

D

Denmark
Dijouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic

E

East Timor
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Europa Islands

F

Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Southern Antarctic Lands

G

Gabon
Gambia
Gaza Strip
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Glorioso Islands
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guernsey
Guinea Bissau
Guinea Bissau
Guyana

H

Haiti
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Howland Island
Hungary

I

Iceland
India
Indian Ocean
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Isle of Man
Isreal
Italy

J

Jamaica
Jan Mayen
Japan
Jarvis Island
Jersey
Johnston Atoll
Jordan
Juan de Nova

  China
(also see separate Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan entries)
 
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This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


Map of China



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    China Top of Page
Background:

For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight.

 

  
   Geography    China Top of Page
Location:

Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Geographic coordinates:

35 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references:

Asia
Area:

total: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km
Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than the US
Land boundaries:

total: 22,117 km
border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Mongolia 4,677 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km
regional borders: Hong Kong 30 km, Macau 0.34 km
Coastline:

14,500 km
Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:

extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
Terrain:

mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
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)
Land use:

arable land: 14.86%
permanent crops: 1.27%
other: 83.87% (2005)
Irrigated land:

545,960 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:

frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
Environment - current issues:

air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species
Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:

world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak
   People    China Top of Page
Population:

1,321,851,888 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:

0-14 years: 20.4% (male 143,527,634/female 126,607,344)
15-64 years: 71.7% (male 487,079,770/female 460,596,384)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 49,683,856/female 54,356,900) (2007 est.)
Median age:

total: 33.2 years
male: 32.7 years
female: 33.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:

0.606% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:

13.45 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:

7 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:

-0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.134 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.057 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.914 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:

total: 22.12 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.01 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 24.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 72.88 years
male: 71.13 years
female: 74.82 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:

1.75 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

840,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:

44,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality:

noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups:

Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%
Religions:

Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%
note: officially atheist (2002 est.)
Languages:

Standard Chinese or Mandarin (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)
Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.9%
male: 95.1%
female: 86.5% (2000 census)
   Government    China Top of Page
Country name:

conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC
Government type:

Communist state
Capital:

name: Beijing
geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone
Administrative divisions:

23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)
provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)
autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet)
municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin
note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau
Independence:

221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Manchu Dynasty replaced by a Republic); 1 October 1949 (People's Republic established)
National holiday:

Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)
Constitution:

most recent promulgation 4 December 1982
Legal system:

based on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:

chief of state: President HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003); Vice President ZENG Qinghong (since 15 March 2003)
head of government: Premier WEN Jiabao (since 16 March 2003); Vice Premier WU Yi (17 March 2003), Vice Premier ZENG Peiyan (since 17 March 2003), and Vice Premier HUI Liangyu (since 17 March 2003)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the National People's Congress (NPC)
elections: president and vice president elected by the National People's Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held 15-17 March 2003 (next to be held in mid-March 2008); premier nominated by the president, confirmed by the National People's Congress
election results: HU Jintao elected president by the 10th National People's Congress with a total of 2,937 votes (4 delegates voted against him, 4 abstained, and 38 did not vote); ZENG Qinghong elected vice president by the 10th National People's Congress with a total of 2,578 votes (177 delegates voted against him, 190 abstained, and 38 did not vote); 2 seats were vacant
Legislative branch:

unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,985 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held December 2002-February 2003 (next to be held in late 2007-February 2008)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - NA
Judicial branch:

Supreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's Congress); Local People's Courts (comprise higher, intermediate, and local courts); Special People's Courts (primarily military, maritime, and railway transport courts)
Political parties and leaders:

Chinese Communist Party or CCP [HU Jintao]; eight registered small parties controlled by CCP
Political pressure groups and leaders:

no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the government has identified the Falungong spiritual movement and the China Democracy Party as subversive groups
International organization participation:

AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BCIE, BIS, CDB, EAS, FAO, G-24 (observer), G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOVIC, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador ZHOU Wenzhong
chancery: 2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-2500
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2582
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Clark T. RANDT, Jr.
embassy: Xiu Shui Bei Jie 3, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [86] (10) 6532-3831
FAX: [86] (10) 6532-3178
consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau, Shanghai, Shenyang
Flag description:

red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner
   Economy    China Top of Page
Economy - overview:

China's economy during the last quarter century has changed from a centrally planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector and is a major player in the global economy. Reforms started in the late 1970s with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, the foundation of a diversified banking system, the development of stock markets, the rapid growth of the non-state sector, and the opening to foreign trade and investment. China has generally implemented reforms in a gradualist or piecemeal fashion, including the sale of equity in China's largest state banks to foreign investors and refinements in foreign exchange and bond markets in 2005. The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, China in 2006 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, although in per capita terms the country is still lower middle-income and 130 million Chinese fall below international poverty lines. Economic development has generally been more rapid in coastal provinces than in the interior, and there are large disparities in per capita income between regions. The government has struggled to: (a) sustain adequate job growth for tens of millions of workers laid off from state-owned enterprises, migrants, and new entrants to the work force; (b) reduce corruption and other economic crimes; and (c) contain environmental damage and social strife related to the economy's rapid transformation. From 100 million to 150 million surplus rural workers are adrift between the villages and the cities, many subsisting through part-time, low-paying jobs. One demographic consequence of the "one child" policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Another long-term threat to growth is the deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the north. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. China has benefited from a huge expansion in computer Internet use, with more than 100 million users at the end of 2005. Foreign investment remains a strong element in China's remarkable expansion in world trade and has been an important factor in the growth of urban jobs. In July 2005, China revalued its currency by 2.1% against the US dollar and moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. In 2006 China had the largest current account surplus in the world - nearly $180 billion. More power generating capacity came on line in 2006 as large scale investments were completed. Thirteen years in construction at a cost of $24 billion, the immense Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze River was essentially completed in 2006 and will revolutionize electrification and flood control in the area. The 11th Five-Year Program (2006-10), approved by the National People's Congress in March 2006, calls for a 20% reduction in energy consumption per unit of GDP by 2010 and an estimated 45% increase in GDP by 2010. The plan states that conserving resources and protecting the environment are basic goals, but it lacks details on the policies and reforms necessary to achieve these goals.
GDP (purchasing power parity):

$10.21 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):

$2.527 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:

11.1% (official data) (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):

$7,800 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 11.7%
industry: 48.9%
services: 39.3%
note: industry includes construction (2006 est.)
Labor force:

795.3 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 45%
industry: 24%
services: 31% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:

4.2% official registered unemployment in urban areas in 2005; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas (2005)
Population below poverty line:

10% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 34.9% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:

46.9 (2004)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.7% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):

40.9% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget:

revenues: $482.2 billion
expenditures: $515.8 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt:

22.1% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:

rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish
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
Industrial production growth rate:

22.9% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:

2.372 trillion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:

2.197 trillion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:

11.19 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:

5.011 billion kWh (2005)
Oil - production:

3.631 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil - consumption:

6.534 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil - exports:

443,300 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:

3.181 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves:

16.3 billion bbl (2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:

47.88 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:

44.93 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:

2.944 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:

1.448 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:

$249.9 billion (2006 est.)
Exports:

$969.7 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, plastics, optical and medical equipment, iron and steel
Exports - partners:

US 21%, Hong Kong 16%, Japan 9.5%, South Korea 4.6%, Germany 4.2% (2006)
Imports:

$751.9 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, oil and mineral fuels, plastics, optical and medical equipment, organic chemicals, iron and steel
Imports - partners:

Japan 14.6%, South Korea 11.3%, Taiwan 10.9%, US 7.5%, Germany 4.8% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient:

$NA
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.073 trillion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:

$315 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$699.5 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$67.4 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:

$2.426 trillion (2006)
Currency (code):

yuan (CNY); note - also referred to as the Renminbi (RMB)
Exchange rates:

yuan per US dollar - 7.97 (2006), 8.1943 (2005), 8.2768 (2004), 8.277 (2003), 8.277 (2002)
Fiscal year:

calendar year
   Communications    China Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:

368 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular:

461.1 million (2006)
Telephone system:

general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns; China continues to develop its telecommunications infrastructure, and is partnering with foreign providers to expand its global reach; 3 of China's 6 major telecommunications operators are part of an international consortium which, in December 2006, signed an agreement with Verizon Business to build the first next-generation optical cable system directly linking the US mainland and China
domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; broadband Internet subscribership reached 50 million in 2006; a domestic satellite system with 55 earth stations is in place
international: country code - 86; a number of submarine cables provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions) (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:

AM 369, FM 259, shortwave 45 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:

3,240 (of which 209 are operated by China Central Television, 31 are provincial TV stations, and nearly 3,000 are local city stations) (1997)
Internet country code:

.cn
Internet hosts:

10.637 million (2007)
Internet users:

137 million (2006)
   Transportation    China Top of Page
Airports:

467 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:

total: 403
over 3,047 m: 58
2,438 to 3,047 m: 128
1,524 to 2,437 m: 130
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 67 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 64
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 17
under 914 m: 26 (2007)
Heliports:

35 (2007)
Pipelines:

gas 22,664 km; oil 15,256 km; refined products 6,106 km (2006)
Railways:

total: 75,438 km
standard gauge: 75,438 km 1.435-m gauge (20,151 km electrified) (2005)
Roadways:

total: 1,870,661 km
paved: 1,515,797 km (with at least 34,288 km of expressways)
unpaved: 354,864 km (2004)
Waterways:

124,000 km navigable (2006)
Merchant marine:

total: 1,775 ships (1000 GRT or over) 22,219,786 GRT/33,819,636 DWT
by type: barge carrier 3, bulk carrier 415, cargo 689, carrier 3, chemical tanker 62, combination ore/oil 2, container 157, liquefied gas 35, passenger 8, passenger/cargo 84, petroleum tanker 250, refrigerated cargo 33, roll on/roll off 9, specialized tanker 8, vehicle carrier 17
foreign-owned: 12 (Ecuador 1, Greece 1, Hong Kong 6, Japan 2, South Korea 1, Norway 1)
registered in other countries: 1,366 (Bahamas 9, Bangladesh 1, Belize 107, Bermuda 10, Bolivia 1, Cambodia 166, Cyprus 10, France 5, Georgia 4, Germany 2, Honduras 3, Hong Kong 309, India 1, Indonesia 2, Liberia 32, Malaysia 1, Malta 13, Marshall Islands 3, Mongolia 3, Norway 47, Panama 473, Philippines 2, Sierra Leone 8, Singapore 19, St Vincent and The Grenadines 106, Thailand 1, Turkey 1, Tuvalu 25, unknown 33) (2007)
Ports and terminals:

Dalian, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai
   Military    China Top of Page
Military branches:

People's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (includes airborne forces), and Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force); People's Armed Police (PAP); Reserve and Militia Forces (2006)
Military service age and obligation:

18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with 24-month service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs (2007)
Manpower available for military service:

males age 18-49: 342,956,265
females age 18-49: 324,701,244 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:

males age 18-49: 281,240,272
females age 18-49: 269,025,517 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:

males age 18-49: 13,186,433
females age 18-49: 12,298,149 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:

4.3% (2006)
   Transnational Issues    China Top of Page
Disputes - international:

based on principles drafted in 2005, China and India continue discussions to resolve all aspects of their extensive boundary and territorial disputes together with a security and foreign policy dialogue to consolidate discussions related to the boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, and other matters; recent talks and confidence-building measures have begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute 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; lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a boundary alignment to resolve substantial cartographic discrepancies, the largest of which lies in Bhutan's northwest; China asserts sovereignty over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" eased tensions in the Spratly's but is not the legally binding "code of conduct" sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly's 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 prospecting; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen rivers are in dispute with North Korea; China seeks to stem illegal migration of North Koreans; 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; in 2006, China and Tajikistan pledged to commence demarcation of the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002; demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary proceeds slowly and although the maritime boundary delimitation and fisheries agreements were ratified in June 2004, implementation remains stalled; in 2004, international environmentalist and political pressure from Burma and Thailand prompted China to halt construction of 13 dams on the Salween River
Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 300,897 (Vietnam), estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea)
IDPs: 90,000 (2006)
Trafficking in persons:

current situation: China is a source, transit, and destination country for women, men, and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor; the majority of trafficking in China is internal, but there is also international trafficking of Chinese citizens; women are lured through false promises of legitimate employment into commercial sexual exploitation in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan; Chinese men and women are smuggled to countries throughout the world at enormous personal expense and then forced into commercial sexual exploitation or exploitative labor to repay debts to traffickers; women and children are trafficked into China from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor, marriage, and sexual slavery; most North Koreans enter northeastern China voluntarily, but others reportedly are trafficked into China from North Korea; domestic trafficking remains the most significant problem in China, with an estimated minimum of 10,000-20,000 victims trafficked each year; the actual number of victims could be much greater; some experts believe that the serious and prolonged imbalance in the male-female birth ratio may now be contributing to Chinese and foreign girls and women being trafficked as potential brides
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - China failed to show evidence of increasing efforts to address transnational trafficking; while the government provides reasonable protection to internal victims of trafficking, protection for Chinese and foreign victims of transnational trafficking remain inadequate
Illicit drugs:

major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia; growing domestic drug abuse problem; source country for chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry

This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


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Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Niue
Norfolk Island
North Korea
Northern Mariana Islands
Norway

O

Oman

P

Pacific Ocean
Pakistan
Palau
Palmyra Atoll
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paracel Islands
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Islands
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico

Q

Qatar

R

Reunion
Romania
Russia
Rwanda

S

St. Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Pierra & Miquelon
St Vincent & Grenadines
Samoa
San Marina
Sao Tome & Principle
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia & Montenegro
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Southern Islands
Spain
Spratly Islands
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Svalbard
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria

T

Taiwan
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Togo
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tromelin Island
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Turks & Caicos Islands
Tuvalu

U

Uganda
UK
Ukraine
UAE
Uruguay
USA
Uzbekistan

V

Vanuatu
Vatican
Venezuela
Vietnam
Virgin Islands

W

Wake Island
Wallis & Futuna
West Bank
Western Sahara
The World

Y

Yemen

Z

Zimbabwe
Zambia