Tuesday, September 2, 2014 4:38 AM EST


The People's Republic of China (PRC) is the most extensive country in East Asia and the third or fourth most extensive country in the world. With a population of over 1.3 billion people, it is the most populous country in the world.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) created the PRC in 1949 after defeating the Republic of China (ROC) in a civil war lasting from 1946 to 1950. China remains one of the few remaining officially communist/socialist states in the world, although its government, economics, and society can no longer be convincingly qualified as such. After Deng Xiaoping initiated the “reform and opening” period in the 1980s, which reintegrated China with world trade and dramatically increased its economic growth, the country’s government has referred to its political system as “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”  
The term "Mainland China" is used to denote the areas under PRC rule, but excludes its two Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong and Macau. Since the ROC and its main political party, the Nationalists or Guomindang (GMD) retreated to Taiwan, both mainland and Taiwanese governments have disputed the political status of the island. Efforts to assert de jure independence from the Taiwanese independence movement in the late 1990s created friction with the mainland, but the further lifting of trade, travel, and investment restrictions over past years have resulted in a period of warming relations. 
Because of its vast population, rapidly growing economy, and large research and development investments, China is considered an "emerging superpower". In past years, it has consistently shown yearly double digit growth, which eventually allowed the country to become world's second largest economy in both nominal and purchasing power parity terms. According to various international groups, China passed Japan to become the world’s second largest economy at the end of 2010. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank respectively predict that China’s economy will become the world’s largest by 2017 or 2030.  The government is currently trying to adjust the economy in two significant ways: first by slowing growth and preventing the economy from overheating; second by rebalancing to orient from export-driven to domestic-consumption driven growth.
China plays a critical role in international trade. The country is the world's largest consumer of steel and concrete, using, respectively, a third and over a half of the world's supply of each. Counting all products, China is the second largest importer and the largest exporter in the world.
However, in per capita terms, the country largely remains a developing nation, ranking 90th in the world with the average person making only more than $5,400 a year in 2011 (IMF). However, people living in relatively developed large urban areas in the coastal regions, especially in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have living standards increasingly comparable to those in South Korea and Japan.
China is also a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Organization. Since 1978, China's economic reforms have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. However, the country is now faced with a number of other economic problems, including an aging population, an increasing rural-urban income gap, and rapid environmental degradation.

Headlines Around the Web

JPMorgan hires Asian regulation head

Jan 09 - Financial Times

Oil and gas: A new frontier

Jan 08 - Financial Times

Rémy Cointreau: less spirited

Jan 04 - Financial Times

India bigger market than China for Le Cirque

Jan 01 - The Times of India

Articles About China

Kate Middleton
Prince William & Kate Middleton Boards London Train in Casual Disguise, Royal Couple’s Incognito Plan A Huge Hit [PHOTOS]

By IBTimes AU

Dressed in casual attires, Prince William and wife Kate Middleton goes incognito on Friday, Aug. 29, as they joined a huge crowd of train commuters. (4:29 pm)


Maria Sharapova of Russia waves to the crowd after being defeated by Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their match at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, August 31, 2014. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine
2014 US Open: Down Goes Maria Sharapova, BF Grigor Dimitrov Advances

By IBTimes AU

A tricky day for tennis couple Maria Sharapova and Grigor Dimitrov at the US Open. (3:49 pm)

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key in an election meeting
Chinese Foreign Minister’s Visit To New Zealand Sparks Row

By IBTimes AU

The concerns of the opposition could have been addressed by planning the visit suitably. (3:04 pm)


Call Of Duty Advanced Warfare
Pentagon Key Advisors in the Making of 'Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare'

By IBTimes AU

"Call of Duty Advanced Warfare" is the sequence of the "Call of Duty" series. The game has been created with extensive research and advice from the military and futurologists to give the feeling of reality and to conceive war strategy. (12:14 pm)


Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting
Global Markets Overview – September 1, 2014

By IG Markets

Global markets are in for a big week on the central bank front, with the RBA, BoE, BoJ, BoC and ECB all set to meet. In the background will be the threat of Russia/Ukraine tension derailing the recovery. (9:33 am)


New York Stock Exchange
Australian Stock Market Report – Morning September 1, 2014

By Comsec

In US economic data, the Chicago purchasing managers index rose from 52.6 to 64.3 in August - the biggest monthly point gain since July 1983. US personal income rose by 0.2% in July with spending down by 0.1% - both results fell short of forecasts. And consumer sentiment rose from 79.2 to 82. (8:48 am)


Mobile World Congress
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro: An In-Depth Look

By IBTimes AU

Lenovo officially announced its new flagship smartphone, the Lenovo K290 – known as the Vibe Z2 Pro, last August 5. The flagship phablet boasts high-end features, with photography and imaging as its primary focus. (Aug 31)


A Sales Assistant Holding Samsung Electronics' Galaxy 5 Smartphone And Apple Inc's iPhone 5 Smartphone Poses For Photographs At A Store In Seoul
Samsung's Market Share Drops in the First Half of 2014 – Find Out Why

By IBTimes AU

The mobile device market has seen an overall decline in the second quarter of the current year, but Samsung has recently confirmed a more drastic drop. (Aug 31)


A man reacts while trying out his new Samsung Galaxy S5 in Jakarta
Samsung and Apple in Trouble with their Global Standing With Other Players Catching Up

By IBTimes AU

Earnings and sales reports typically come out on a quarterly basis. For example, during the first quarter of 2014, the verdict came out that Apple and Samsung were still the top 2 smartphone makers around the globe. (Aug 31)


2014 FIBA World Cup Group B: Greece vs. Philippines Live Streaming Info, Betting Odds and Preview

By IBTimes AU

World Cup Live Streaming - The Philippines almost shocked world with near win against Croatia in their opening game. On Sunday, they’ll face another European powerhouse in Greece in the continuing group phase action of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Sevilla, Spain. (Aug 31)