Wednesday, April 16, 2014 2:12 PM EST

China

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.

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Articles About China

Representational Image
China Blames France's Veolia for Supervision Flaws in Tap Water Pollution Case

By Reuters

China has blamed French utility Veolia Environnement for "supervision problems" in its water quality standards after authorities said a cancer-inducing chemical had been found in tap water supplied by the firm at 20 times above national safety levels, state media said on Wednesday. (2:10 pm)

MORE TOPICS: CRUDE OIL, COURT, LAWSUIT, CANCER

U.N. Security Council Meets over Ukraine Hours Before Deadline
U.N. Security Council Members View Graphic Photos of Syria Dead

By Reuters

Members of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday viewed graphic pictures taken in Syria by a former military police photographer that showed what appeared to be evidence of brutal torture, including eye gougings, strangulation and long-term starvation. (2:05 pm)

MORE TOPICS: COURT, UNITED NATIONS, RUSSIA, RWANDA, HOLLYWOOD, LONDON

Ukraine Launches 'gradual' Operation, Action Limited
Ukraine Launches 'gradual' Operation, Action Limited

By Reuters

Ukrainian forces launched a "special operation" on Tuesday against separatist militia in the Russian-speaking East, authorities said, although aside from a landing by airborne troops the action was limited. (2:01 pm)

MORE TOPICS: BARACK OBAMA, HUMAN RIGHTS, FACEBOOK, EUROPEAN UNION, UNITED NATIONS, RUSSIA

New Zealand 2013 Census Showed Number of Overseas Born Kiwis Hit 1M

By IBTimes AU

Latest 2013 data released by the New Zealand census office has shown that Kiwis born overseas in have hit more than one million persons. (1:42 pm)

MORE TOPICS: UNITED KINGDOM, AUSTRALIA, RELIGION, INDIA, SOUTH AFRICA

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (C) talks to Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Parker Song/Pool
Will Australia Bow Down? China Wants Labour Importation Part of Free Trade Agreement

By IBTimes AU

Australia's definitely eager to clinch a free trade agreement with China, the world's second-largest economy. But will it bow down to the demands of the other Asian and bigger country? China wants the free trade agreement to include provisi... (1:13 pm)

MORE TOPICS: JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA, AUSTRALIA, TONY ABBOTT, INVESTMENT

Awesome iPhone 6 Render with Wraparound Screen, Touch ID Surface as More Clues Point to Apple Phablet Release Date on Q1 2014
Metallic & Large-Screen iPhone 6 on Release Date ‘Showcased’ in Hong Kong Fair – Reports

By IBTimes AU

Months before its rumoured release date, the iPhone 6 fever appears to grip China as a supposed metal mock-up of the device surfaced in Hong Kong this week. (12:22 pm)

MORE TOPICS: IPHONE, SAMSUNG, INTEL

Global miner BHP Billiton is facing a two-week work stoppage at its Illawarra Coal Appin Mine unit as some 50 supervisors demand for an 18 per cent increase in their pay.
Australian Stock Market Report – Midday 4/16/14

By Comsec

The Australian share market is continuing to add to Tuesday's gains in the early session on Wednesday, after US markets rode out a volatile session on a high note. (12:10 pm)

MORE TOPICS: DOW JONES, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, AUSTRALIA, UKRAINE, QANTAS

Gold Near Two-week High as Ukraine Tensions Boost Safe-haven Bids
Global Markets Overview – 4/16/14

By IG Markets

Global equities were mixed with US markets continuing their recovery, while European and emerging markets struggled. US markets struggled early as China growth fears and Ukraine concerns weighed on equities, but they managed to reverse on earnings optimism. (9:31 am)

MORE TOPICS: GOLD, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, RETAIL SALES, GDP, RETAIL

The sun rises to the east of the U.S. Federal Reserve building in Washington, July 31, 2013.
Australian Stock Market Report – Morning 4/16/14

By Comsec

In US economic data, the headline and core measures of consumer prices (the latter excludes food and energy) both rose 0.2% in March, above forecasts for a 0.1% gain. The New York Federal Reserve manufacturing index eased from +5.61 to +1.29 in April. (9:26 am)

MORE TOPICS: GOLD, FEDERAL RESERVE, DOW JONES, FTSE, MANUFACTURING, TWITTER

Mangoes
Burger King China Branch Has a PooPoo Smoothie on Its Menu, Any Takers?

By IBTimes AU

Is it a case of lost in translation or a deliberate marketing gimmick to be talked about? Such questions would likely pop in the mind of fast food lovers when they read a particular item on the menu of a Burger King branch in China - the PooPoo Smoothie. (9:18 am)

MORE TOPICS: JAPAN