Country Overview

Land & Geography

Geographic Location China is located in the east of the Asian continent, and on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean. China borders with Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.[1]  
Climate Most of China lies in the North Temperate Zone, characterized by a warm climate and distinctive seasons, a climate well suited for habitation. [2] Tropical in south to subarctic in North.
Area 9,600,000 sq. km[3] (Making it roughly the same area as the continental United States)
Land Boundary 22,800 km[4]  (As per Chinese Claims.)
Coastal Boundary 18,000 km[5] (As per Chinese Claims.)
Natural Hazards Flood, drought, earthquake, typhoon and landslide/mudslide[6]
Water Resources[7] More than 1,500 rivers each drain 1,000 square kilometers or larger areas. More than 2,700 billion cubic meters of water flow along these rivers, 5.8% of the world’s total.
Land Resources[8] Agricultural land : 130.04 million hectares Forest :  158.94 million hectares Grassland : 400 million hectares


Official Name People’s Republic of China (PRC)[9]
Capital Beijing[10]
Independent since October 1, 1949[11]
National Day of China October 1[12]
Type of Government One-Party Socialist State
Head of the State Xi Jinping[13] –      General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) (2012–present) –      President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (2013–present) –      Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) (2012–present)
Head of Government Li Keqiang[14] Premier of the State Council (2013–present)First Plenum of the 19th Central Committee on October 25,2017 revealed the members of China’s Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee.
Members of the Politburo 19th Politburo Standing Committee[15] : Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng. [16] 19th Politburo[17]: Ding Xuexiang, Wang Chen, Liu He, Xu Qiliang, Sun Chunlan, Li Xi, Li Qiang, Li Hongzhong, Yang Jiechi, Yang Xiaodu, Zhang Youxia, Chen Xi, Chen Quanguo, Chen Min’er, Hu Chunhua, Guo Shengkun, Huang Kunming, Cai Qi. [18]
CPC – Central Military Commission[19] Chairman: Xi Jinping[20] Vice-Chairmen: Xu Qiliang and Zhang Youxia[21] Members[22]: Wei FengheLi ZuochengMiao HuaZhang Shengmin
Constitution Current version was adopted at the Fifth Session of the Fifth NPC and promulgated for implementation by the Proclamation of the NPC on December 4, 1982, with further amendments[23] in 1988, 1993, 1999, 2004 and 2018. Earlier, three previous state constitutions—those of 1954, 1975, and 1978—were superseded in turn.                              
Parliament Party Position National People’s Congress (NPC) is the highest legislative organ of  China composed of elected deputies from 35 electoral units which include people’s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government, and the servicemen congress of the People’s Liberation NOTE: In practice, only members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), its 8 allied independent parties, and CPC approved independent candidates are elected.
National People’s Congress Elections Last held in December 2017- February 2018 (Next due in late 2022 to early 2023)  
Principal Political Party & Leader Communist Party of China (CPC) is the country’s sole national political party in power. The leader is Xi Jinping.

Administrative Divisions[24] 

Municipalities   Beijing Chongqing Shanghai Tianjin  
Provinces Anhui 14.          Jilin Fujian 15.          Liaoning Gansu 16.          Qinghai Guangdong 17.          Shaanxi Guizhou 18.          Shandong Hainan 19.          Shanxi Hebei 20.          Sichuan Heilongjiang 21.          Yunnan Henan 22.          Zhejiang Hubei   Hunan   Jiangsu   Jiangxi    
Autonomous Regions   Guangxi Inner Mongolia Ningxia Tibet Xinjiang  
Special Administrative Regions   Hong Kong Macao (Macau)  


People & Society

Total Population 1.37 billion by 2011[xxv] (Chinese Data) Note: As per UN data, China’s estimated population in 2018 was 1.41 billion[xxvi].
Density (per Sq. Km) 135[xxvii]
Ethnic Groups Han (91.6%); Hani(0.12%); Xibe(0.014%); Bonan(0.001%); Zhuang (1.27%); Li (0.10%); Kyrgyz(0.014%); Russian(0.001%); Hui(0.7%); Kazakh(0.1%); Jingpo(0.011%); Yugur(0.001%); Hanchu (0.7%); Dai(0.09%); Daur(0.009%); Uzbek(0.0008%); Uygur (0.7%); She(0.05%); Salar(0.009%); Monba(0.0008%); Miao(0.7%); Lisu(0.05%); Blang(0.009%); Oroqen(0.0006%);
Yi (0.6%); Dongxiang(0.04%); Maonan(0.007%); Derung(0.0005%); Tujia(0.6%); Gelao(0.04%); Tajik(0.003%); Hezhen(0.0004%); Tibetan(0.47%); Lahu(0.03%); Pumi(0.003%); Gaoshan(0.0003%); Mongol (0.4%); Wa(0.03%); Achang(0.003%); Lhoba(0.0003%); Dong(0.2%); Sui(0.03%); Nu(0.002%); Tatars(0.0003%); Bouyei(0.2%); Nakhi(0.02%); Evenki(0.002%); Un-distinguished(0.048%); Yao(0.2%); Qiang(0.02%); Gin(0.002%); Naturalized
Citizen(0.0001%) Bai(0.14%); Tu(0.02%); Jino(0.001%);   Korean(0.13%); Mualo(0.01%); De’ang(0.001%);  

Source[xxviii] [Note: Chinese Government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups.]
Languages Standard Chinese or Putonghua or Standard Mandarin, based on the Beijing dialect, Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien -Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, and Hakka  dialects, as well as minority languages.[xxix]
Religions The number of religious worshippers in China is estimated at well over 100 million, most of whom follow Buddhism. Other major religions are Daoism, Islam and Christianity in both Catholic and Protestant forms.[xxx]
Literacy 95.1[xxxi] (2008-2012)
Life Expectancy 76.34[xxxii] Years (2015)
Sex Ratio 104.81[xxxiii] [Female=100] (2017 National Sample Survey on Population Changes)
Health   Current Expenditure (% of GDP) – 5.3[xxxiv]  (2015) Physicians (per 1000 pop) – 3.6[xxxv] (2015)  
Education (Gross Enrolment Ratio)[xxxvi] F/M per 100 pop.   Primary : 101.2/100.6 (2016) Secondary : 95.9/94.2 (2013) Tertiary     : 53.3/44.2 (2016)
Employment (% of employed) [xxxvii]   Agriculture      : 16.4 (2016) Industry : 26.3(2016) Services and Others         : 57.2 (2016)  


Official Currency Renminbi (RMB)/yuan
GDP (Nominal) 12237700[xxxviii] (US$ Million)- Year 2017 [Note: Data has been collected from Chinese Official Website of National Bureau of Statistics which has referred World Bank for primary data] 
GDP (Growth Rate) 6.9[xxxix] (annual %) – Year 2017
Per Capita GDP (PPP) 8827[xl] (US$) – Year 2017
Public Debt (% of GDP) 50.463%[xli] – Year  2018
Gross National Savings (Percent of GDP) 44.588%[xlii] – Year 2018
Foreign Exchange Reserves 3139900[xliii] (US$ Million) Year – 2017
Foreign Trade (Export & Import) Total Export – 2263370[xliv](US$ Million) Year – 2017    Total Import- 1843790[xlv](US$ Million) Year – 2017    Total Trade Balance – 419580[xlvi] (US$ Million) Year – 2017      
Balance of payments, Current Account Estimated – 164887[xlvii] (US$ Million) Year – 2017
Major Items of Export Diamond; Cotton Yarn, Iron Ore, Copper, Organic Chemicals[xlviii]
Major Items of Import Fertilizers, Antibiotics, Organic Chemicals[xlix]
Major Trading Partners USA, Hong Kong (China), Australia, Germany, Vietnam, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, United Kingdom[l]
Economy (Sector Wise % of Gross Value Added)[li] Year – 2016 Agriculture : 8.9 Industry : 40 Services and Others : 51.2  


Military & Security

Military Expenditure Year Wise Expenditure[lii] (US$ Million) 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 131063 137890 148656 161441 176476 191627 204202 215718 227829 239223
Military Expenditure (Percentage of GDP) Percent of GDP (%)[liii] 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018  2.1 1.9 1.8 1.8 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9

Disclaimer: Vivekananda International Foundation does not take any stance on the data presented above. The data sources are duly referenced. Last Updated: 30 August 2019

[1] Geography –Embassy of the PRC in the Republic of India

[2] Ibid.

[3] Geography (Land Size) –Embassy of the PRC in the Republic of India


[5] Ibid.

[6] The losses caused by these five main natural disasters come up to 80%-90% of the annual disaster-loss total. Others are waterlogging, debris flow, wind and hail, low temperature, freezing and snow disasters.

[7] China ABC, General Introduction for Rivers and Lakes

[8] Ibid.

[9] Fast Facts –Embassy of the PRC in the Republic of India

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] China ABC, National Day

[13] China’s New Politburo Standing Committee, Brookings

[14] Ibid.

[15] 19th CPC National Congress, Top Leadership, Available at:

[16]  All members of the Politburo Standing Committee (above) also hold a seat in the Politburo.

[17] New Leadership of Communist Party of China, Available at:

[18] All 25 members of the Politburo, including 7 Politburo Standing Committee members are mentioned above. Detailed biographies are hyperlinked along with.

[19] Theoretically, the CPC (Party) CMC is elected by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and is subordinate to the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC). In practice, membership is very closely controlled by the PBSC.

[20] New Leadership of Communist Party of China, China Daily , Available at:

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Amendments are proposed by the Standing Committee of the NPC or supported by more than 1/5th of the NPC membership; passage requires more than 2/3rd majority vote of the Congress Membership.

[24] China’s Administrative Divisions, China Today. Available at:

[xxv] Fast Facts –Embassy of the PRC in the Republic of India

[xxvi] For statistical purposes, the data for China do not include those for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong SAR), Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) and Taiwan Province of China.

[xxvii] Ibid.




[xxxi] China Statistics, UNICEF

[xxxii] Life Expectancy at Birth 2-4

[xxxiii] Household, Population, Sex Ratio and Household Size by Region(2017) 2-10

[xxxiv] China – UN Data

[xxxv] Ibid.

[xxxvi] Ibid.

[xxxvii] Ibid.

[xxxviii]Appendix1-4 Gross Domestic Product and its Growth Rate


[xl] Appendix1-5 GDP Per Capita

[xli] Report for Selected Countries and Subjects, IMF

[xlii] Ibid.

[xliii] Appendix- 13 Foreign Exchange Reserves

[xliv] Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation 11-1

[xlv] Ibid.

[xlvi] Ibid.

[xlvii] National Accounts- 3-21 Balance of Payments

[xlviii] INDIA- CHINA Bilateral Relations (MEA, Oct 2017)

[xlix] Ibid.

[l] 11-5 Value of Imports and exports by country(Region)of Origin/ Destination(2017)

[li] China – UN Data

[lii] Military Expenditure by country, in constant(2017) 1988-2018

[liii] Military expenditure by Country as Percentage of GDP, 1988-2018 SIPRI 2019, Available at: