China (Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; Chinese: 中华人民共和国; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical time zones and borders 14 different countries, the second most of any country in the world after Russia. Covering an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third or fourth largest country. The country consists of 23 provinces, four municipalities, five autonomous regions, and two Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing.

China emerged as one of the world's first civilizations in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. China was one of the world's foremost economic powers for most of the two millennia from the 1st until the 19th century. For millennia, China's political system was based on absolute hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in the 21st century BCE. Since then, China has expanded, fractured, and re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin reunited core China and established the first Chinese empire. The succeeding Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements. The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty (618–907) and Northern Song dynasty (960–1127) completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread widely in Asia, as the new Silk Road brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and the Horn of Africa. The Qing dynasty, China's last dynasty, which formed the territorial basis for modern China, suffered heavy losses to foreign imperialism in the 19th century.

China is currently governed as a unitary one-party socialist republic by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a founding member of several multilateral and regional cooperation organizations such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, the New Development Bank, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the RCEP, and is a member of the BRICS, the G8+5, the G20, the APEC, and the East Asia Summit. It ranks among the lowest in international measurements of civil liberties, government transparency, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and ethnic minorities. Chinese authorities have been criticized by political dissidents and human rights activists for widespread human rights abuses, including political repression, mass censorship, mass surveillance of their citizens and violent suppression of protests. (Full article...)

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  • There are no contemporaneous portraits of Du Fu; this is a later artist's impression.
    There are no contemporaneous portraits of Du Fu; this is a later artist's impression.
  • A 17th-century Tibetan thangka of Guhyasamaja Akshobhyavajra; the Ming dynasty court gathered various tribute items which were native products of Tibet (such as thangkas), and in return granted Tibetan tribute-bearers with gifts.
    A 17th-century Tibetan thangka of Guhyasamaja Akshobhyavajra; the Ming dynasty court gathered various tribute items which were native products of Tibet (such as thangkas), and in return granted Tibetan tribute-bearers with gifts.
  • The empire during the reign of Wu Zetian, circa 700
    The empire during the reign of Wu Zetian, circa 700
  • Zhou Tong stroking his beard
    Zhou Tong stroking his beard
  • Image 8Choe Bu (Korean: 최부, 1454–1504) was a Korean official during the early Joseon Dynasty. He is most well known for the account of his shipwrecked travels in China from February to July 1488, during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). He was eventually banished from the Joseon court in 1498 and executed in 1504 during two political purges. However, in 1506 he was exonerated and given posthumous honors by the Joseon court.Choe's diary accounts of his travels in China became widely printed during the 16th century in both Korea and Japan. Modern historians also refer to his written works, since his travel diary provides a unique outsider's perspective on Chinese culture in the 15th century. The attitudes and opinions expressed in his writing represent in part the standpoints and views of the 15th century Confucian Korean literati, who viewed Chinese culture as compatible with and similar to their own. His description of cities, people, customs, cuisines, and maritime commerce along China's Grand Canal provides insight into the daily life of China and how it differed between northern and southern China during the 15th century. (Full article...)
    Choe Bu (Korean: 최부, 1454–1504) was a Korean official during the early Joseon Dynasty. He is most well known for the account of his shipwrecked travels in China from February to July 1488, during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). He was eventually banished from the Joseon court in 1498 and executed in 1504 during two political purges. However, in 1506 he was exonerated and given posthumous honors by the Joseon court.

    Choe's diary accounts of his travels in China became widely printed during the 16th century in both Korea and Japan. Modern historians also refer to his written works, since his travel diary provides a unique outsider's perspective on Chinese culture in the 15th century. The attitudes and opinions expressed in his writing represent in part the standpoints and views of the 15th century Confucian Korean literati, who viewed Chinese culture as compatible with and similar to their own. His description of cities, people, customs, cuisines, and maritime commerce along China's Grand Canal provides insight into the daily life of China and how it differed between northern and southern China during the 15th century. (Full article...)
  • A stamp of Zhang Heng issued by China Post in 1955
    A stamp of Zhang Heng issued by China Post in 1955
  • Screenshots from a mobile phone-taped video clip of violence on Tianchi Road
    Screenshots from a mobile phone-taped video clip of violence on Tianchi Road
  • Paramount publicity photo, c. 1935
    Paramount publicity photo, c. 1935
  • Engravings on a cliff-side mark one widely accepted site of Chibi, near modern Chibi City, Hubei. The engravings are at least 1000 years old.
    Engravings on a cliff-side mark one widely accepted site of Chibi, near modern Chibi City, Hubei. The engravings are at least 1000 years old.
  • The Sakyamuni Buddha, by Song painter Zhang Shengwen, c. AD 1181–1186; although Buddhism was in decline and under attack by Neo-Confucian critics in the Song era, it nonetheless remained one of the major religious ideologies in China.
    The Sakyamuni Buddha, by Song painter Zhang Shengwen, c. AD 1181–1186; although Buddhism was in decline and under attack by Neo-Confucian critics in the Song era, it nonetheless remained one of the major religious ideologies in China.

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Skewered quail is common street food in Qibao Town, Shanghai.
Skewered quail is common street food in Qibao Town, Shanghai.
Shanghai cuisine (Chinese: 上海菜; pinyin: Shànghǎi cài), also known as Hu cuisine (simplified Chinese: 沪菜; traditional Chinese: 滬菜; pinyin: Hù cài), is a popular style of Chinese food. In a narrow sense, Shanghai cuisine refers only to what is traditionally called Benbang cuisine (本帮菜; 本幫菜; Běnbāng cài; 'local cuisine') which originated in Shanghai; in a broad sense, it refers to complex and developed styles of cooking under profound influence of those of the surrounding provinces, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. It takes "colour, aroma and taste" as its elements, like other Chinese regional cuisines, and emphasises in particular the use of seasonings, the quality of raw ingredients and original flavours. Shanghai was formerly a part of Jiangsu province; as such Shanghai cuisine is most similar to Jiangsu cuisine and may still be classified as a part of Jiangsu cuisine, although it has come into more contact with Zhejiang cuisine and foreign influences as an international city. The adoption of Western influence in Shanghai cuisine developed a unique cooking style known as Haipai cuisine(海派菜). (Full article...)

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Fountain Memory, written calligraphy of Emperor Taizong on a Tang dynasty stele.

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9 January 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China
7 January 2022 – Chongqing explosion
Sixteen people are killed and 10 others injured by a gas explosion in Chongqing, China. (CNN)
5 January 2022 –
Fourteen people are killed and three others are injured by a landslide at a construction site in Bijie, Guizhou, China. (Al Jazeera)
4 January 2022 –
The Cyberspace Administration of China announces that, beginning on February 15, all companies with at least one million users will be required to undergo cybersecurity reviews before they can be listed on foreign stock exchanges. Companies that are deemed to have an impact on national security will be barred from being listed. (Al Jazeera)
4 January 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China
China orders 1.1 million people in Yuzhou, Henan to stay at home after three asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were reported. (BBC News)

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China's Politics

The General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is head of the Chinese Communist Party and the highest-ranking official within China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat. The officeholder is usually considered the paramount leader of China.

According to the Constitution, the General Secretary serves as an ex officio member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto top decision-making body. Since the early 1990s, the holder of the post has been, except for transitional periods, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, making the holder the Commander-in-chief of the People's Liberation Army.

The current General Secretary is Xi Jinping (picture), who took the office at the 18th National Congress on 15 November 2012.

The President of the Republic of China is the head of state of the Republic of China (ROC).

The Constitution names the president as head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China Armed Forces (formerly known as the National Revolutionary Army). The president is responsible for conducting foreign relations, such as concluding treaties, declaring war, and making peace. The president must promulgate all laws and has no right to veto. Other powers of the president include granting amnesty, pardon or clemency, declaring martial law, and conferring honors and decorations.

The current President is Tsai Ing-wen (picture), since May 20, 2016. The first woman to be elected to the office, Tsai is the seventh president of the Republic of China under the 1947 Constitution and the second president from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

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Wikipedias in languages found in China

粵語 / 广东话 (Cantonese)           古文 / 文言文 (Classical Chinese)           赣语 (Gan)           Hak-kâ-fa (Hakka)           قازاق تىلى (Kazakh)           中文 / 普通话 (Mandarin) (Now unable to access in China Mainland because of the GFW)           闽东语 (Min Dong)           闽南语 (Min-nan)           བོད་ཡིག (Tibetan)           ئۇيغۇرچە (Uyghur)           吴语 (Wu)           Sawcuengh (Zhuang)

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