As one of the four great ancient civilizations, China is an old country, full of beauty and fascination. She has 56 ethnic groups, complex and varied terrains, rich and diverse natural resources, long and brilliant history and culture, magnificent and enchanting sceneries. These are tempting visitors all over the world to witness her strength, beauty, and impossibly hard language.
China is a country with 5,000 years of civilization, creating glorious science and culture. China’s ancestors began to make pottery as early as ten thousand years ago. China is the first country in the world to raise silkworms and produce silk. The Great Wall is one of the construction wonders of the world. China’s tea, alcohol, opera, food, ethnic minority cultures as well as folk art like paper-cutting, kites, embroidery, and shadow play are the treasures and the pride of the Chinese nation.
Located in the east of Asia and on the western bank of the Pacific Ocean, China covers an area of 9.6 million square kilometers (3,706,581 square miles). The geographic features of China are higher in the west and lower in the east with numerous mountains, lakes and rivers spreading over the whole land. The complex and varied climate, terrains, and landforms have created a natural paradise for biodiversity.
The administrative regionalization of China is made of up four municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing & Tianjin), two special administrative regions (Hong Kong & Macau), five autonomous regions (Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Tibet, Ningxia & Xinjiang), and 23 provinces.
With a population of about 1.3 billion, Chinese people are made up of Han (91.59% of the total population) and 55 ethnic minorities like Mongolian, Zhuang, Manchu and Uyghur, Miao, Bai, Tujia, Dai, Li, Bulang, Gaoshan, Korean, Kazak, Kirgiz, Tajik and so on. Putonghua (mandarin) is the official language of China, while local dialects are also widely spoken and the 55 ethnic minorities also have their own languages.
Being a multi-ethnic country, every ethnic minority still withhold their own traditional festivals such as the Dai Water-Sprinkling Festival, Yi Torch Festival, Bai March Street, Zhuang Singing Festival and Mongolian Nadam Fair. However, Chinese people share many national festivals such as Spring Festival, Lantern Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Day, Chongyang, Laba Festival and so on.
Since initiating market reforms in 1978, China has shifted from a centrally planned to a market based economy and experienced rapid economic and social development. GDP growth averaging about 10 percent a year has lifted more than 500 million people out of poverty. China recently became the second largest economy and is increasingly playing an important and influential role in the global economy.