People’s Republic of China

Zhongguo Renmin Gongheguo

(Chung-hua Jen-min Kung-ho Kuo)

Political Status: Communist People’s Republic established October 1, 1949; government controls mainland China, Hong Kong (since 1997), and Macao (since 1999); present constitution adopted December 4, 1982.

Area: 3,692,213 sq. mi. (9,562,842 sq. km.), excluding Taiwan.

Population: 1,242,612,226 (2000C, excluding Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao); 1,332,042,000 (2008E, excluding Taiwan).

Major Urban Centers (urban areas, 2005E): BEIJING (Peking, 12,100,000), Shanghai (18,150,000), Guangzhou (Canton, 9,550,000), Wuhan (9,100,000), Tianjin (Tientsin, 6,350,000), Shenyang (4,550,000), Nanjing (Nanking, 3,500,000), Harbin (3,400,000), Dalian (Dairen, 2,900,000). Most of these figures are substantially less than previous estimates.

Official Language: Northern (Mandarin) Chinese (putunghua is the officially promoted Beijing dialect).

Monetary Unit: Yuan (official rate December 1, 2009: 6.82 yuan = $1US). The overall currency is known as renminbi (people’s currency). China shifted from a ...

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