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 G20. China is a regional power within Asia and has been characterized as a potential superpower by a number of commentators.
MTR is the metro system of Hong Kong. First opened for service in 1979, the network has since expanded to encompass seven metro lines and 53 stations, with further expansions planned. It is an affordable mode of public transport in Hong Kong, with an average of 2.45 million journeys recorded each day. The system has proven so popular because of its efficiency and affordability. Construction of the MTR was prompted by a government-commissioned study released in 1967. The government of Hong Kong commissioned the study in the 1960s to find solutions to the growing traffic problem caused by expansion of the colony's economy. Construction started soon after release of the study, and the first line was opened in 1979. In 2000, the government-owned MTR Corporation was partially privatised and renamed the MTR Corporation Limited. MTR Corporation has always been reliant on developing properties next to railway stations for its profits (although the rail lines are profitable themselves); many recently built stations are incorporated into large housing estates or shopping complexes.
The Great Wall of China is a 6,352 km (3,948 miles) long Chinese fortification built over a span of nearly 2,000 years, in order to protect the various dynasties from raids coming from areas in modern-day Mongolia and Manchuria. Along most of its arc, it roughly delineates the border between North China and Inner Mongolia. Although it is commonly said that the wall is visible to the naked eye from space, it is more accurate to say that it is visible under favorable viewing conditions, if one knows exactly where to look.
Jay Chou (born 1979) is a World Music Award-winning Taiwanese musician, singer, producer, actor and director. In 1998, he was discovered in a talent contest where he showcased his piano and song-writing skills. Over the next two years, he was hired to compose for popular Chinese singers. Trained in classical music, he combines Chinese and Western music styles to produce songs that fuse R&B, rock, and pop genres, covering issues such as domestic violence, war, and urbanization. In 2000, he released his first album titled Jay under the record company Alfa Music. Since then, he has released one album per year, selling several million copies each. His music has gained recognition throughout Asia, most notably in countries such as China, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, and in overseas Chinese communities, winning more than 20 awards each year. He has sold over 25 million albums worldwide. In 2007, he was named one of the 50 most influential people in China by the British think tank Chatham House. He starred in Initial D (2005) for which he won Best Newcomer Actor in Golden Horse Awards, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by Hong Kong Film Awards for his role in Curse of the Golden Flower (2006).
Anniversaries for January 22
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The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is head of the Communist Party of China and the highest-ranking official within China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat. The officeholder is usually considered the paramount leader of China.
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 Commander-in-chief of the People's Liberation Army.
The current General Secretary is Xi Jinping (picture), who took the office at the 18th National Congress on 15 November 2012.
Wikipedias in languages found in China
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