China is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia.
The official name of the country is the People’s Republic of China.
The official language is Standard Mandarin.
China is the world’s most populous country with more than 1.38 billion people — 20 percent of the Earth‘s population.
Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers, China is the world’s second largest state by land area, and either the third or fourth-largest by total area, depending on the method of measurement.
Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China. It is the nation’s second-largest city after Shanghai. It was also the seat of the Ming and Qing dynasty emperors until the formation of a republic in 1911. Beijing is the political, educational and cultural center of the country and as such it is rich in historical sites and important government and cultural institutions.
China’s geography is highly diverse, with hills, plains, and river deltas in the east and deserts, high plateaus, and mountains in the west.
The highest point in China is Mount Everest. It lies in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas which bordering China and Nepal. Mount Everest is Earth’s highest mountain. Its peak is 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level.
China’s coastline covers approximately 14,500 kilometers (9,010 miles) from the Bohai gulf on the north to the Gulf of Tonkin on the south.
China has the third longest river in the world, the Yangtze River [photo below], which reaches 6,300 kilometers (3,915 miles) in length. It also has the sixth longest, the Yellow River, stretching 5,464 kilometers (3,395 miles).
China has 225 national parks.
Wulingyuan is usually the only one of China’s national parks to make it to a top-in-the-world list. It features some awesome towering geology, alongside rich wildlife. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park makes up most of it, alongside Suoxiyu Nature Reserve. In 1992, Wulingyuan was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
China has 50 UNESCO world heritage sites.
The Great Wall of China is the largest man made structure in the world, stretching an incredible 21,196 km (13,171 miles).
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty—the years 1420 to 1912. The complex consists of 980 buildings with more than 9,000 rooms and covers 72 hectares (178 acres). It is located in the centre of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum.
The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising.
The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-meter (233-foot) tall stone statue, built between 713 and 803 (during the Tang Dynasty), depicting Maitreya. It is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan.
China has perhaps the world’s longest continuous civilization; for more than 40 centuries its people created a culture with strong philosophies, traditions, and values.
Chinese history is divided into dynasties, each of which marks the period when a line of emperors ruled. The first empire was the Qin dynasty and began in 221 B.C. The last emperor was overthrown in 1912, and China became a republic. The communist government began its rule in 1949 following a civil war with the Chinese Nationalists.
In the last 20 years, China has changed faster than any other country in the world.
China is the second largest economy in the world, after the United States of America.
China is the world’s largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods.
China has the world’s largest standing army and second-largest defense budget.
In 2003 China became only the third nation (after Russia and the U.S.) to launch a manned spaceflight. The country launched a lunar orbiter in 2007 with the possibility of a manned mission to the moon by 2020.
Chinese New Year, known in modern Chinese as the “Spring Festival”, is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. Celebrations traditionally run from the evening preceding the first day, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month.
The Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao, is based on a twelve-year cycle, each year in that cycle related to an animal sign. These signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. It is calculated according to Chinese lunar calendar.
The time in China follows a single standard time offset of UTC+08:00, despite China spanning five geographical time zones.
The Chinese invented paper, the magnetic compass, printing, tea porcelain, silk and gunpowder, among other things.
White, rather than black, is the Chinese color for mourning and funerals.
Chinese brides often wear red, a color considered to be lucky.
Dyeing pets to look like other wild animals is a trend in China.
Badminton, football, basketball and table tennis are all major sports in China.
Cricket fighting is a popular amusement in China.
The giant panda lives in the misty mountains of central China and nowhere else on Earth.
Selling dog meat for consumption is legal in China and approximately 10 million dogs each year are slaughtered for consumption.
Every year, four million cats are eaten in China as a delicacy.
Rich people in China hire body doubles to serve their prison sentence.
Brad Pitt was banned from China for his role in the movie “7 Years in Tibet.”
Villagers in central China have been using dinosaur bones as medicine – thinking they were from dragons. These bones have been dug up, then boiled in soup or ground down to make traditional medicines for decades.
China is the world’s largest consumer of red wine.
Put together, all of China’s railways lines could loop around Earth twice!