World Country China

About the world country China, its location, size, population, and who is in power.

NATIONS OF THE WORLD

CHINA

Location: In east Asia, south of Siberia (U.S.S.R.) and the Mongolian People's Republic. Size: 3,705,390 sq. mi. (9,596,961 sq. km.). Population: 1,053,788,000.

Who Really Rules: Nationwide political and economic policies are set by the upper echelons of the Chinese Communist party, as well as by top Communist military officers. At the national level the government tolerates little dissent. Most of China's economy is socialized, although unregulated "free markets" exist throughout the country. In many areas local committees make the day-to-day decisions governing factories, agricultural communes, and neighborhoods, but only with the consent of the Communist party.

Within the Communist party, there have been ongoing disputes over the degree of economic centralization, the role of production incentives, and the degree of China's dependence on foreign goods and technology. Several times since the Communists took power in 1949, leading party figures have been discredited. Usually these leaders--such as the "Gang of Four" associated with the 1960s Cultural Revolution--are blamed for a wide range of policy failures, and the rhetoric of party policy shifts sharply. The present dominant faction, led by Deng Xiaoping, advocates "modernization."

China's leadership comes from the Han ethnic group, which makes up 96% of the population. Although divided into regional cultures speaking different dialects of the same written language, the Han are relatively homogeneous. The cultural and political rights of ethnic minorities are protected as long as they do not conflict with the perceived interests of China overall.

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