Capital city Beijing
Surface 9,640,821 km²
Population 1,412,000,000
Road network length 5,280,000 km
Length of highway network 169,000 km
First highway 1988
Motorway name 高速公路 (Gāosù gōnglù)
Traffic drives Right
License plate code CN

The People’s Republic of China is a large country in eastern Asia. The country has an area of ​​9.6 million square kilometers, or more than 240 times the size of the Netherlands. This makes it the third largest country in the world, measured by land area. China has 1.4 billion inhabitants who largely live in the east of the country in countless metropolitan cities and a densely populated countryside. The capital Beijing is located in the north of China, the largest city Shanghai in the east at the mouth of the Yangtze River. The largest metropolitan region is the Pearl River Deltaaround Guangzhou in the south of the country. China is divided into 22 provinces, five autonomous regions and four cities with provincial status, plus the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China claims the island of Taiwan, which calls itself the Republic of China.


According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, China is located in eastern Asia, located on the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and South China Sea. Like Russia, it borders 14 countries: There are no countries that have more neighboring countries. The national borders are the longest in the world at 22,117 kilometers. China borders Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan to the south. To the west are the countries of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. To the north is Russia and Mongolia, in the east North Korea. Although it does not control Taiwan, China claims it as its territory.


The country measures 4,500 kilometers from east to west and 4,100 kilometers from north to south. Large parts of China are mountainous. The Himalayas are the highest mountain range in China. The highest point is Mount Everest with a height of 8,849 meters. That mountain is also the highest mountain on earth. The largest part of southwest China is occupied by the Tibetan plateau, which is often above 5,000 meters altitude. North of the Tibetan highlands are the Taklamatan and Gobi deserts. The Himalayas extend quite far to the southeast. The east of China consists partly of coastal plains that run deep inland and more mountainous areas in the south. The northeast of China is sloping to hilly. Mountains occur along the border with North Korea. In the northwest of China are three depressions, the Tarim Basin, Dzungarian Basin and the Turpan Depression, which is 154 meters below sea level. The Altai Mountains are also located in the border area with Russia in the northwest. The Gobi Desert extends quite far to the east and forms most of the border area with Mongolia.


China has a number of very large rivers, which mainly originate in the Himalayas. The Yangtze is the longest river in China, followed by the Huang He (Yellow River). Other important rivers are the Mekong, Brahmaputra, Zhujiang and Indus. Much of the border with Russia is formed by the Amur River.

Administrative division

The country consists of 22 provinces and the People’s Republic considers Taiwan the 23rd province. In addition, there are 5 autonomous regions, including Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Tibet. There are four counties, which are as big as small countries, namely Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai and Tianjin. In addition, there are two special administrative regions; Hong Kong and Macau. By “mainland China” or “China mainland” is usually meant China except the two administrative regions (and Taiwan) but including Hainan Island.

There are 5 levels of government in China, the first being the provinces and autonomous regions, followed by the prefectures, which include cities at the prefecture level, followed by the counties (县xiàn) which consist of different types, then the towns and townships (镇zhèn and 乡xiāng) and as the lowest level the villages (村Cūn).

Cities are classified differently in China than in many other countries. The larger cities are a county-level city, covering most of the area of ​​China. These cities often appear under this name on foreign maps, but are actually much larger jurisdictions than just the city itself, covering an area of ​​1,000 to 4,000 km² but can also be considerably larger. The county-level cities consist of several districts, one or more of which are truly urbanized. A physical city can therefore consist of one or more districts, but the county-level cities also include many rural areas and other small towns. The populations of the county-level cities are therefore much larger than those of the actual urban core. In addition, four major cities are governed as provinces, these are Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, Chongqing in particular stands out because this is for the most part not an urban area, but a mountain area that is poorly accessible. The actual city of Chongqing is much smaller in size and population than the formal city of Chongqing, which is the same size as Austria.

Provinces: Anhui • Fujian • Gansu • Guangdong • Guizhou • Hainan • Hebei • Heilongjiang • Henan • Hubei • Hunan • Jiangsu • Jiangxi • Jilin • Liaoning • Qinghai • Shaanxi • Shandong • Shanxi • Sichuan • Yunnan • ZhejiangAutonomous Regions: Guangxi • Inner Mongolia • Ningxia • Xinjiang • Tibet

Municipalities: Beijing • Chongqing • Shanghai • Tianjin

Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong • Macau


City Population
Shanghai 24,150,000
Beijing 21,150,000
Tianjin 14,131,500
Chengdu 14,048,000
Guangzhou 14,000,000
Harbin 10,636,000
Wuhan 10,120,000
Xi’an 8,467,000
Nanjing 8,162,000
Shenyang 8,106,000
Changchun 7,677,000
Hong Kong 7,184,000
Dalian 6.170.000
Chongqing 6,000,000

China has some very large cities. There are 20 cities with more than 1.5 million inhabitants. In addition, there is a megalopolis called the ” Pearl River Delta “, which includes cities such as Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. This urban region has a population of 50,000,000 and is expected to become the largest conurbation in the world, larger than the current number one, Tokyo.


China had a population of 1.41 billion according to the 2020 census, although the reliability of official data is questioned, a figure of 1.28 billion is also mentioned by demographers. This makes China the largest or second largest country in the world in terms of population, after India. The population of China grew very quickly from 547 million in 1950 to 1 billion in 1982. Afterwards, a one-child policy was introduced to dampen population growth. The one-child policy has been relaxed to two children in 2016 and three children in 2021. The number of births has decreased significantly since 1991 and may already be below 1 per woman. Rapid urbanization, high living costs and an imbalance in the gender balance due to the one-child policy have led to a sharp decline in the birth rate. Since then, China has been aging strongly, with the baby boom generation also retiring from 2022. See China population density. Population projections initially foresee a halving of the population around the year 2100, but this may have been the case considerably earlier.


China had the largest economy in the world for 2000 years, only for a short period of time in world history, China was not the largest economy in the world. Today, China is the second largest economy in the world. Between 1949 and 1978, under Mao Zedong, China was a planned economy based on that of the Soviet Union. His successor Deng Xiaoping initiated large-scale reforms and established special economic zones. The most successful of these were Shanghai and Shenzhen. The large-scale investments led to China having the largest manufacturing industry in the world. The country industrialized at a rapid pace in the 1980s and 1990s. For many years, China had the largest economic growth in the world and was little affected by the economic crisis of 2008. After 2010, economic growth gradually declined,


For centuries, China was ruled by dynasties that held varying degrees of power over parts of the area. China has expanded, disintegrated, and reunited many times over the past 4,000 years. The Han Dynasty from 206 BC – 220 AD was one of the most developed civilizations in the world. The system of successive dynasties ended in 1912 with the Xinhair Revolution, after which a republic was established. Sun Yat-sen of the Kuomintang was the first president and is considered one of the founders of modern China. In 1928, Chiang Kai-shek came to power, dealing with a politically fragmented country. He moved the capital from Beijing to Nanjing, the Chinese civil war between the communists and nationalists (Kuomintang) had already broken out by then. The Kuomintang achieved many victories in the 1930s until Japan invaded China in the run-up to World War II. This resulted in an awkward coalition between the Kuomintang and the Communists to fight Japan together. It is estimated that 20 million Chinese died during the Japanese occupation in the period 1937-1945.

After World War II, the civil war between the Kuomintang and the communists resumed. The civil war ended in 1949 when the communists took control of almost all of China. The Kuomintang had to flee to the island of Taiwan and still claims to be the legitimate government of China. In that year, Mao Zedong also proclaimed the People’s Republic of China. During the great leap forward, a major period of economic and social reform, an estimated 45 million Chinese died between 1958 and 1961, mainly from starvation. In 1971, the People’s Republic of China became China’s official representative to the United Nations. Only a small number of countries recognize the government in Taipei as the legitimate government of China. Mao died in 1976 and was succeeded by Deng Xiaoping in 1978 and initiated major economic reforms and opened China to foreign investment with special economic zones. The most successful of these were Shanghai and Shenzhen. China gradually changed from a planned economy to a partial market economy. China’s economy grew rapidly from the 1980s and hundreds of millions of people were lifted out of poverty in a relatively short period of time. China is seen as only formally a communist country, which in practice is mainly capitalist. People also speak of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.

China Location Map