$name - General

For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.

Source: CIA World Fact Book


Country name:
conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC

Government type:

Communist state


name: Beijing
geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
note: despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone; many people in Xinjiang Province observe an unofficial 'Xinjiang time zone' of UTC+6, two hours behind Beijing

Administrative divisions:

23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)
provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)
autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet)
municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin
note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau


1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established); notable earlier dates: 221 B.C. (unification under the Qin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China)

National holiday:

anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)


several previous; latest promulgated 4 December 1982; amended several times, last in 2005 (2005)

Legal system:

civil law influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; note - criminal procedure law revised in early 2012

International law organization participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013); Vice President LI Yuanchao (since 14 March 2013)
head of government: Premier LI Keqiang (since 16 March 2013); Executive Vice Premier ZHANG Gaoli (since 16 March 2013); Vice Premier LIU Yandong (since 16 March 2013); Vice Premier MA Kai (since 16 March 2013); Vice Premier WANG Yang (since 16 March 2013)
cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president and vice president elected by National People's Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 5-17 March 2013 (next to be held in March 2018); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
election results: XI Jinping elected president by National People's Congress with 2,952 votes; LI Yuanchao elected vice president with 2,940 votes

Legislative branch:

unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,987 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and People's Liberation Army to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held in December 2012-February 2013 (next to be held in late 2017 to early 2018)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 2,987
note: in practice, only members of the CCP, its eight allied parties, and CCP-approved independent candidates are elected

Judicial branch:

highest court(s): Supreme People's Court (consists of over 340 judges including the chief justice, 13 grand justices organized into a civil committee and tribunals for civil, economic, administrative, complaint and appeal, and communication and transportation cases)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the People's National Congress; term limited to two consecutive 5-year terms; other justices and judges nominated by the chief justice and appointed by the Standing Committee of the People's National Congress; term of other justices and judges NA
subordinate courts: Higher People's Courts; Intermediate People's Courts; District and County People's Courts; Autonomous Region People's Courts; Special People's Courts for military, maritime, transportation, and forestry issues
note - in October 2012, China issued a white paper on planned judicial reform

Political parties and leaders:

Chinese Communist Party or CCP [XI Jinping]
eight nominally independent small parties ultimately controlled by the CCP

Political pressure groups and leaders:

no substantial political opposition groups exist

International organization participation:

ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador CUI Tiankai (since 3 April 2013)
chancery: 3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 495-2266
FAX: [1] (202) 495-2138
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Max Sieben BAUCUS (since 21 February 2014)
embassy: 55 An Jia Lou Lu, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [86] (10) 8531-3000
FAX: [86] (10) 8531-3300
consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan

Flag description:

red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner; the color red represents revolution, while the stars symbolize the four social classes - the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie (capitalists) - united under the Communist Party of China

National symbol(s):


National anthem:

name: 'Yiyongjun Jinxingqu' (The March of the Volunteers)

lyrics/music: TIAN Han/NIE Er
note: adopted 1949; the anthem, though banned during the Cultural Revolution, is more commonly known as 'Zhongguo Guoge' (Chinese National Song); it was originally the theme song to the 1935 Chinese movie, 'Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm'

Source: CIA World Fact Book


Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Geographic coordinates:

35 00 N, 105 00 E

Map references:



total: 9,596,960 sq km
country comparison to the world: 4
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km

Area - comparative:

Area comparison map:  

Land boundaries:

total: 22,457 km
border countries: Afghanistan 91 km, Bhutan 477 km, Burma 2,129 km, India 2,659 km, Kazakhstan 1,765 km, North Korea 1,352 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,063 km, Laos 475 km, Mongolia 4,630 km, Nepal 1,389 km, Pakistan 438 km, Russia (northeast) 4,139 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 477 km, Vietnam 1,297 km
regional borders: Hong Kong 33 km, Macau 3 km


14,500 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north


mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m (highest point in Asia)

Natural resources:

coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)

Land use:

arable land: 11.62%
permanent crops: 1.53%
other: 86.84% (2011)

Irrigated land:

629,380 sq km (2006)

Total renewable water resources:

2,840 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 554.1 cu km/yr (12%/23%/65%)
per capita: 409.9 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards:

frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
volcanism: China contains some historically active volcanoes including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P'aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries

Environment - current issues:

air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; China is the world's largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US) and largest country situated entirely in Asia; Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak

Source: CIA World Fact Book

Demographics and Population Development

noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese

Ethnic groups:

Han Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai and other nationalities) 7.1%
note: the Chinese government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups (2010 est.)


Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
note: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uyghur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)


Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < .1%, Jewish < .1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2%
note: officially atheist (2010 est.)

1,355,692,576 (July 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1

Age structure:

0-14 years: 17.1% (male 124,340,516/female 107,287,324)
15-24 years: 14.7% (male 105,763,058/female 93,903,845)
25-54 years: 47.2% (male 327,130,324/female 313,029,536)
55-64 years: 11.3% (male 77,751,100/female 75,737,968)
65 years and over: 9.4% (male 62,646,075/female 68,102,830) (2014 est.)
population pyramid:  

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 37.4 %
youth dependency ratio: 24.9 %
elderly dependency ratio: 12.5 %
potential support ratio: 8 (2014 est.)

Median age:

total: 36.7 years
male: 35.8 years
female: 37.5 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.44% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159

Birth rate:

12.17 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163

Death rate:

7.44 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115

Net migration rate:

-0.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128


urban population: 50.6% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 2.85% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

Shanghai 20.208 million; BEIJING (capital) 15.594 million; Guangzhou 10.849 million; Shenzhen 10.63 million; Chongqing 9.977 million; Wuhan 9.158 million (2011)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.16 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:

37 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
country comparison to the world: 116

Infant mortality rate:

total: 14.79 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 108
male: 14.93 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 75.15 years
country comparison to the world: 100
male: 73.09 years
female: 77.43 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.55 children born/woman (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

84.6% (2006)

Health expenditures:

5.2% of GDP (2011)
country comparison to the world: 135

Physicians density:

1.46 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density:

3.8 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source:

urban: 98.4% of population
rural: 84.9% of population
total: 91.9% of population
urban: 1.6% of population
rural: 15.1% of population
total: 8.1% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access:

urban: 74.1% of population
rural: 55.8% of population
total: 65.3% of population
urban: 25.9% of population
rural: 44.2% of population
total: 34.7% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

780,000 (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

26,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: Japanese encephalitis
soil contact disease: hantaviral hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

5.7% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 152

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

3.4% (2010)
country comparison to the world: 105

Education expenditures:



definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.1%
male: 97.5%
female: 92.7% (2010 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2012)

Source: CIA World Fact Book


Since the late 1970s China has moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role - in 2010 China became the world's largest exporter. Reforms began with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, growth of the private sector, development of stock markets and a modern banking system, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors considered important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive industries. After keeping its currency tightly linked to the US dollar for years, in July 2005 China moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid 2005 to late 2008 cumulative appreciation of the renminbi against the US dollar was more than 20%, but the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing allowed resumption of a gradual appreciation and expanded the daily trading band within which the RMB is permitted to fluctuate. The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2013 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, having surpassed Japan in 2001. The dollar values of China's agricultural and industrial output each exceed those of the US; China is second to the US in the value of services it produces. Still, per capita income is below the world average. The Chinese government faces numerous economic challenges, including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic consumption; (b) facilitating higher-wage job opportunities for the aspiring middle class, including rural migrants and increasing numbers of college graduates; (c) reducing corruption and other economic crimes; and (d) containing environmental damage and social strife related to the economy's rapid transformation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2011 more than 250 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of population control policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the North - is another long-term problem. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. The Chinese government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on nuclear and alternative energy development. Several factors are converging to slow China's growth, including debt overhang from its credit-fueled stimulus program, industrial overcapacity, inefficient allocation of capital by state-owned banks, and the slow recovery of China's trading partners. The government's 12th Five-Year Plan, adopted in March 2011 and reiterated at the Communist Party's "Third Plenum" meeting in November 2013, emphasizes continued economic reforms and the need to increase domestic consumption in order to make the economy less dependent in the future on fixed investments, exports, and heavy industry. However, China has made only marginal progress toward these rebalancing goals. The new government of President XI Jinping has signaled a greater willingness to undertake reforms that focus on China's long-term economic health, including giving the market a more decisive role in allocating resources.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$13.39 trillion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
$12.43 trillion (2012 est.)
$11.54 trillion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$9.33 trillion
note: because China's exchange rate is determine by fiat, rather than by market forces, the official exchange rate measure of GDP is not an accurate measure of China's output; GDP at the official exchange rate substantially understates the actual level of China's output vis-a-vis the rest of the world; in China's situation, GDP at purchasing power parity provides the best measure for comparing output across countries (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

7.7% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
7.7% (2012 est.)
9.3% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$9,800 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
$9,100 (2012 est.)
$8,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

Gross national saving:

50% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
51.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
50.1% of GDP (2011 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 36.3%
government consumption: 13.7%
investment in fixed capital: 46%
investment in inventories: 1.2%
exports of goods and services: 25.1%
imports of goods and services: -22.2%
(2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 10%
industry: 43.9%
services: 46.1%
(2013 est.)

Agriculture - products:

world leader in gross value of agricultural output; rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish


world leader in gross value of industrial output; mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products (including footwear, toys, and electronics); food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites

Industrial production growth rate:

7.6% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29

Labor force:

797.6 million
country comparison to the world: 1
note: by the end of 2012, China's population at working age (15-64 years) was 1.0040 billion (2013 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 33.6%
industry: 30.3%
services: 36.1%
(2012 est.)

Unemployment rate:

4.1% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
4.1% (2012 est.)
note: data are for registered urban unemployment, which excludes private enterprises and migrants

Population below poverty line:

note: in 2011, China set a new poverty line at RMB 2300 (approximately US $3,630)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 30%
note: data are for urban households only (2009)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

47.3 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 27
47.4 (2012)


revenues: $2.118 trillion
expenditures: $2.292 trillion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

19.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-2.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89

Public debt:

22.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
26.1% of GDP (2012)
note: official data; data cover both central government debt and local government debt, which China's National Audit Office estimated at RMB 10.72 trillion (approximately US$1.66 trillion) in 2011; data exclude policy bank bonds, Ministry of Railway debt, China Asset Management Company debt, and non-performing loans

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.6% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
2.6% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

2.25% (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
2.25% (31 December 2012 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

5.73% (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
6% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$5.532 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
$4.911 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money:

$18.15 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
$15.5 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$11.79 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
$10.02 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$6.499 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
$5.753 trillion (31 December 2012)
$3.389 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)

Current account balance:

$182.8 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
$215.4 billion (2012 est.)


$2.21 trillion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
$2.049 trillion (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities:

electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, radio telephone handsets, textiles, integrated circuits

Exports - partners:

Hong Kong 17.4%, US 16.7%, Japan 6.8%, South Korea 4.1% (2013 est.)


$1.95 trillion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
$1.818 trillion (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities:

electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels; nuclear reactor, boiler, and machinery components; optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles; soybeans

Imports - partners:

South Korea 9.4%, Japan 8.3%, Taiwan 8%, United States 7.8%, Australia 5%, Germany 4.8% (2013 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$3.821 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
$3.388 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Debt - external:

$863.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
$737 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$1.344 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
$1.232 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$541 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
$531.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates:

Renminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -
6.2 (2013 est.)
6.3123 (2012 est.)
6.7703 (2010 est.)
6.8314 (2009)
6.9385 (2008)

Source: CIA World Fact Book


Telephones - main lines in use:
278.86 million (2012)
country comparison to the world: 1

Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.1 billion (2012)
country comparison to the world: 1

Telephone system:

general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns; China continues to develop its telecommunications infrastructure; China in the summer of 2008 began a major restructuring of its telecommunications industry, resulting in the consolidation of its six telecom service operators to three, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, each providing both fixed-line and mobile services
domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; the number of Internet users exceeded 564 million by the end of 2012; a domestic satellite system with several earth stations is in place
international: country code - 86; a number of submarine cables provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 7 (5 Intelsat - 4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean; 1 Intersputnik - Indian Ocean region; and 1 Inmarsat - Pacific and Indian Ocean regions) (2012)

Broadcast media:

all broadcast media are owned by, or affiliated with, the Communist Party of China or a government agency; no privately owned TV or radio stations; state-run Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations offer more than 2,000 channels; the Central Propaganda Department lists subjects that are off limits to domestic broadcast media with the government maintaining authority to approve all programming; foreign-made TV programs must be approved prior to broadcast
Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

20.602 million (2012)
country comparison to the world: 5

Internet users:

389 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 1

Source: CIA World Fact Book


507 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 14

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 463
over 3,047 m: 71
2,438 to 3,047 m: 158
1,524 to 2,437 m: 123
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 86 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 44
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 
18 (2013)


47 (2013)


condensate 9 km; gas 48,502 km; oil 23,072 km; oil/gas/water 31 km; refined products 15,298 km; water 9 km (2013)


total: 86,000 km
country comparison to the world: 3
standard gauge: 86,000 km 1.435-m gauge (36,000 km electrified) (2008)


total: 4,106,387 km
country comparison to the world: 3
paved: 3,453,890 km (includes 84,946 km of expressways)
unpaved: 652,497 km (2011)


110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 1

Merchant marine:

total: 2,030
country comparison to the world: 3
by type: barge carrier 7, bulk carrier 621, cargo 566, carrier 10, chemical tanker 140, container 206, liquefied gas 60, passenger 9, passenger/cargo 81, petroleum tanker 264, refrigerated cargo 33, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 23
foreign-owned: 22 (Hong Kong 18, Indonesia 2, Japan 2)
registered in other countries: 1,559 (Bangladesh 1, Belize 61, Cambodia 177, Comoros 1, Cyprus 6, Georgia 10, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 500, India 1, Indonesia 1, Kiribati 26, Liberia 4, Malta 6, Marshall Islands 14, North Korea 3, Panama 534, Philippines 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 65, Sao Tome and Principe 1, Sierra Leone 19, Singapore 29, South Korea 6, Thailand 1, Togo 1, Tuvalu 4, UK 7, Vanuatu 1, unknown 73) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
river port(s): Guangzhou (Pearl)
container port(s) (TEUs): Dalian (6,400,300), Guangzhou (14,260,400), Ningbo (14,719,200), Qingdao (13,020,100), Shanghai (31,739,000), Shenzhen (22,570,800), Tianjin (11,587,600)(2011)

Source: CIA World Fact Book


Electricity - production:
5.398 trillion kWh (2013)
country comparison to the world: 1

Electricity - consumption:

5.322 trillion kWh (2013)
country comparison to the world: 1

Electricity - exports:

18.67 billion kWh (2013)
country comparison to the world: 12

Electricity - imports:

7.438 billion kWh (2013)
country comparison to the world: 31

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

1.247 billion kW (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

69.1% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

1.2% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

22.5% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

7.2% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

Crude oil - production:

4.197 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4

Crude oil - exports:

33,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
Crude oil - imports:

5.664 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2

Crude oil - proved reserves:

17.3 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14

Refined petroleum products - production:

9.371 million bbl/day (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

9.79 million bbl/day (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3

Refined petroleum products - exports:

664,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9

Refined petroleum products - imports:

922,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6

Natural gas - production:

117.1 billion cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7

Natural gas - consumption:

150 billion cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4

Natural gas - exports:

2.4 billion cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42

Natural gas - imports:

53 billion cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6

Natural gas - proved reserves:

3.1 trillion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

10 billion Mt (2013 est.)

Source: CIA World Fact Book


Source: CIA World Fact Book

Annual Exports

Top 20 Sectors exported from Kwazulu-Natal in 2017

#DescriptionChapter CodeTotal (in Rands)
1Ores, slag and ash26 R4,040,821,428.00
2Pulp of wood, fibrous cellulosic material, waste etc47 R3,353,398,093.00
3Iron and steel72 R 354,526,302.00
4Aluminium and articles thereof76 R 243,194,373.00
5Copper and articles thereof74 R 243,098,916.00
6Sugars and sugar confectionery17 R 154,639,060.00
7Electrical, electronic equipment85 R 128,453,843.00
8Tanning, dyeing extracts, tannins, derivs,pigments etc32 R 108,312,390.00
9Miscellaneous chemical products38 R 106,051,039.00
10Paper & paperboard, articles of pulp, paper and board48 R 90,214,340.00
11Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery, etc84 R 33,903,361.00
12Organic chemicals29 R 32,010,261.00
13Railway, tramway locomotives, rolling stock, equipment86 R 27,297,007.00
14Pharmaceutical products30 R 19,215,300.00
15Articles of iron or steel73 R 14,545,167.00
16Plastics and articles thereof39 R 11,060,788.00
17Wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal44 R 8,053,975.00
18Stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica, etc articles68 R 7,332,888.00
19Optical, photo, technical, medical, etc apparatus90 R 5,626,463.00
20Inorganic chemicals, precious metal compound, isotopes28 R 5,098,180.00

Source: SARS

Visa Requirements

Visa Required: Yes 


Visa Fee: Yes

Visa Issuing Authority:  

Embassy of China 965 Church Street Tel012-4316500       
012-4316500 Fax 012-4307620 Consulate (Cape Town) Tel 021-6740579        
021-6740579/0592/0594 Fax 021-6740583 Consulate (Durban) Tel031-5634534        
031-5634534/4989 Fax 031-5634827 Consulate (Johannesburg) Tel 011-6857549        
011-6857549 Fax 011-8835274

Compulsory Vaccination Requirement(s)Yellow Fever if coming from endemic country or travelled through an endemic country

Recommended Vaccination Requirement(s): Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitus A, Malaria  Prophylaxis

Source: CIA World Fact Book

Business Etiquette

Language: Mandarin
Currency: Renminbi (RMB or CNY) means ‘People’s currency’
in Chinese language
International Dialing Code: +86
Time Difference: +8 hours GMT
Greeting: Hello – ‘Ni Hao’ (pronounced ‘Nee Ha-oh’)
Goodbye – ‘Zai jian’ (pronounced ‘Dzai jee-en’ – sounds like the
capital letters GN)

Dealing with a Business Counterpart:
• Titles are very important and it is best to address people directly, using their professional title, or Mr/Mrs/Miss;
• Handshakes are expected upon both meeting and leaving an individual. Handshakes should be accompanied by a nod of the head;
• When meeting a women in business, shake hands as one would with a male business counterpart;
• Always allow the Chinese to depart from a meeting first;
• Business cards should be both presented and received using both hands. Business cards should be examined carefully, so to show interest. Never write on or fold a business card that has been presented.

Source: CIA World Fact Book

Realistic Export Opportunities

A total of 125 Realistic Export Opportunities (REOs) from South Africa to China are identified based on the North-West University’s (South Africa) TRADE Decision Support Model (DSM).

The methodology is a very useful instrument to identify market opportunities globally for one’s product and also provides a good reference for one to be able to prioritise marketing efforts based on the value and size of these opportunities.

The TRADE-DSM Navigator provides sound information that companies are able to use in developing their export marketing strategy and forms the basis and guidance for further research should this be required.

In total 125 of the products associated with import demand are identified as realistic export opportunities. The relative 'untapped' potential of the market opportunity is shown in the chart below:

A total 'untapped' potential from South Africa’s perspective of approximately 1 975.94 (in million US dollar terms) based on the average value of the top 6 supplying countries (excluding South Africa) are associated with these specific product export opportunities.

The highest number of identified opportunities are associated with the economic sector of

Machinery & equipment (356-359) .

Not all sectors will be present, as not all economic sectors (some of which are based on economic activity while the REOs are based on traded products) are relevant for all products. However, various other sectors also do exhibit potential.

While the above examples are based on high level economic sectors, the information is available at a much more granular level on the HS 6-digit tariff code level. To demonstrate the following example of a product description is provided:

Sub-heading 84.27:
Fork-lift trucks; other works trucks fitted with lifting or handling equipment:
HS 6-digit product code 8427.10:
Self-propelled trucks powered by an electric motor.

Research reports containing more detailed information related to these realistic export opportunities (down to product level as illustrated with the above product description) for each country are available from TIKZN.

Please contact us if you are interested in more detail by clicking here.

For an example of a more detailed country report please click here.

Please note that a more up-to-date version for the specific country report used in this example is available from TIKZN. This report is provided for demonstration purposes only and should not be used for any decision-making.


Embassies and Diplomats

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Country Profile

Read China Country Profile     Download China Country Profile   China Country Profile

Trade Agreements

Read African Free Trade Zone Agreement     Download African Free Trade Zone Agreement   African Free Trade Zone Agreement

Read AGOA Trade Agreement     Download AGOA Trade Agreement   AGOA Trade Agreement

Read SA Trade Agreements with other countries since 1994     Download SA Trade Agreements with other countries since 1994   SA Trade Agreements with other countries since 1994

Read South African Trade Agreements     Download South African Trade Agreements   South African Trade Agreements

Export Incentives

Read EMIA Individual Participation     Download EMIA Individual Participation   EMIA Individual Participation

Read SSAS EMIA Sector Specific Assistance Scheme for Emerging Exporters     Download SSAS EMIA Sector Specific Assistance Scheme for Emerging Exporters   SSAS EMIA Sector Specific Assistance Scheme for Emerging Exporters

Read SSAS Sector Specific Assistance Scheme     Download SSAS Sector Specific Assistance Scheme   SSAS Sector Specific Assistance Scheme

Read CPFP Capital Projects Feasibility Programme     Download CPFP Capital Projects Feasibility Programme   CPFP Capital Projects Feasibility Programme

Read Summary of Incentives     Download Summary of Incentives   Summary of Incentives