China is the most populous nation in the world. Its 1.39 billion people belong to 56 ethnic groups. The official language of China is Standard Chinese, also called Mandarin, which is also the most widely spoken language in the world. There are many other languages and dialects spoken in China, often grouped under the name “Chinese”. Linguists estimate that there are 297 languages spoken in China today.
China, covering an area of 9.6 million square meters, is located in the east of Asia, on the western bank of the Pacific Ocean. In the west rises the Tibet Plateau, hailed as "the Roof of the World" with the world's highest peak Mount Everest. The central part, containing basins and plateaus, is hilly and forested. Its long eastern region is dominated by river plains. China has 23 provinces, five autonomous regions (Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Guangxi and Tibet), four municipalities directly under the central government (Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Tianjin) and two special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau).
China is one of the world's oldest and most influential civilizations. Over 5,000 years, it developed from a primitive society to a socialist society, witnessing the birth of various religions and the rise and fall of civilizations and empires. The year 1949 saw the founding of the People's Republic of China, a new page has been unfolded.
China is the world’s second-largest and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with a gross domestic product growth rate of 6.6 per cent in 2018. Agriculture, modern industries, information technology and other services form major sectors in the economy. Its largest trading partners are the United states, Japan and South Korea.
China's rich and abundant flora and fauna is attributed to its diverse climate and geography. China is home to giant panda, Siberian tiger, Yangtze river dolphin, Asian elephant, golden monkey, black-necked crane, crested ibis and many lesser-known species.
“The country should protect the environment like one protects one's eyes and treat the environment as one treats one's life. The modernization that we pursue is one characterized by the harmonious coexistence between man and nature," said China's President Xi Jinping.