The People's Republic of China (PRC, 中華人民共和國) is a major nation of eastern Asia. For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in many areas of the arts and sciences. But in the first half of the 20th century, she was beset by major famines, civil unrest, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under Mao Zedong established a dictatorship 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 committed China to a program of economic reform. Output quadrupled in the next 20 years and China now has the world's second largest GDP. Political controls remain tight despite China's commitment to economic reform.
The capital is Beijing.
From the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S. Department of State website. Partially Wikified.
- Transnational Issues