China (i//; Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People's Republic of China, is a sovereign state located in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of over 1.35 billion. The PRC is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party, with its seat of government in the capital city of Beijing. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The PRC also claims Taiwan – which is controlled by the Republic of China (ROC), a separate political entity – as its 23rd province, a claim controversial due to the complex political status of Taiwan and the unresolved Chinese Civil War.
Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometres, China is the world's second-largest country by land area, but only the third or fourth-largest by total area, depending on the method of measurement. China's landscape is vast and diverse, ranging from forest steppes and the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts in the arid north to subtropical forests in the wetter south. The Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separate China from South and Central Asia. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third- and sixth-longest in the world, run from the Tibetan Plateau to the densely populated eastern seaboard. China's coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometres (9,000 mi) long, and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas.
The ancient Chinese civilization – one of the world's earliest – flourished in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, known as dynasties, beginning with the semi-mythological Xia of the Yellow River basin (c. 2000 BCE). Since 221 BCE, when the Qin Dynasty first conquered several states to form a Chinese empire, the country has expanded, fractured and been reformed numerous times. The Republic of China (ROC) overthrew the last dynasty in 1911, and ruled the Chinese mainland until 1949. After the defeat of the Empire of Japan in World War II, the Communist Party defeated the nationalist Kuomintang in mainland China and established the People's Republic of China in Beijing on 1 October 1949, while the Kuomintang relocated the ROC government to its present capital of Taipei.
Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China has become one of the world's fastest-growing major economies. As of 2013, it is the world's second-largest economy by both nominal total GDP and purchasing power parity (PPP), and is also the world's largest exporter and importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army, with the second-largest defense budget. The PRC has been a United Nations member since 1971, when it replaced the ROC as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. China is also a member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the WTO, APEC, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the BCIM and the G-20. China is a regional power within Asia and has been characterized as a potential superpower by a number of commentators.
The women's road race was one of the cycling events at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. It took place on 10 August 2008, featuring 66 women from 33 countries. Heavy rain during the entire race made conditions difficult for the competitors. A group of five was able to break away during the final lap and worked together until the final sprint, where Nicole Cooke placed herself in position to win the race (pictured). Cooke earned Great Britain's first medal at these Games and 200th Olympic gold medal overall. Emma Johansson of Sweden and Tatiana Guderzo of Italy won the silver and bronze medals respectively. The race also marked the first positive drug test of the 2008 Olympic Games, by María Isabel Moreno of Spain. It was the seventh appearance of an Olympic women's road race event and featured a longer course than any of the previous six races. The race was run on the Urban Road Cycling Course (one of Beijing's nine temporary venues), which is 102.6 kilometres (63.8 mi) in its entirety. Including a second lap around the 23.8 km (14.8 mi) final circuit, the total distance of the women's race was 126.4 km (78.5 mi), less than half the length of the men's race.
Mao Zedong (December 26, 1893 –September 9, 1976) was a Chinese revolutionary, political theorist and communist leader. He led the People's Republic of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. His theoretical contribution to Marxism-Leninism, military strategies, and his brand of Communist policies are now collectively known as Maoism. Mao remains a controversial figure to this day, with a contentious and ever-evolving legacy. He is officially held in high regard in China as a great revolutionary, political strategist, military mastermind, and savior of the nation. Many Chinese also believe that through his policies, he laid the economic, technological and cultural foundations of modern China, transforming the country from an agrarian society into a major world power. Additionally, Mao is viewed by many as a poet, philosopher, and visionary, owing the latter primarily to the cult of personality fostered during his time in power. As a consequence, his portrait continues to be featured prominently on Tiananmen and on all Renminbi bills. Mao is regarded as one of the most influential figures in modern world history, and named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century.
- 2008 – Severe flooding begins in eastern and southern China that will ultimately cause 148 deaths and force the evacuation of 1.3 million.
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is the highest ranking official within the Communist Party of China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat.
According to the Constitution, the General Secretary serves as an ex officio member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto top decision-making body.Since the early 1990s, the holder of the post has been, except for transitional periods, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission making the holder the leader of the People's Republic of China.
Since its founding, the most important position in the PRC has been that of the General Secretary (or Chairman from 1922 to 1925 and 1943 to 1982). As a single party state, the Communist party leader holds ultimate power and authority over state and government.
Wikipedias in languages found in China
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