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In the mid-1980s China's farmers annually planted crops on about 145 million hectares of land. Eighty percent of the land was sown with grain, 5 percent with oilseed crops, 5 percent with fruits, 3 percent with vegetables, 2 percent with fiber crops, and 0.5 percent with sugar crops and tobacco. Other crops made up the remaining 4 percent. In the 1960s and 1970s, when policies emphasized grain output, the area sown with grain exceeded 85 percent. After the reforms were launched in the early 1980s, the area sown with grain fell below 80 percent and the area sown with other crops expanded correspondingly.

Grain is China's most important agricultural product. It is the source of most of the calories and protein in the average diet and accounts for a sizable proportion of the value of agricultural production. China's statisticians define grain to include wheat, rice, corn, sorghum, millet, potatoes (at one-fifth their fresh weight), soybeans, barley, oats, buckwheat, field peas, and beans. Grain output paralleled the increase in population from 1949 through 1975 but rose rapidly in the decade between 1975 and 1985 (see table 13, Appendix A).

In 1987 China was the world's largest producer of rice, and the crop made up a little less than half of the country's total grain output. In a given year total rice output came from four different crops. The early rice crop grows primarily in provinces along the Chang Jiang and in provinces in the south; it is planted in February to April and harvested in June and July and contributes about 34 percent to total rice output. Intermediate and single-crop late rice grows in the southwest and along the Chang Jiang; it is planted in March to June and harvested in October and November and also contributed about 34 percent to total rice output in the 1980s. Double-crop late rice, planted after the early crop is reaped, is harvested in October to November and adds about 25 percent to total rice production. Rice grown in the north is planted from April to June and harvested from September to October; it contributes about 7 percent to total production.

All rice cultivation is highly labor intensive. Rice is generally grown as a wetland crop in fields flooded to supply water during the growing season. Transplanting seedlings requires many hours of labor, as does harvesting. Mechanization of rice cultivation is only minimally advanced. Rice cultivation also demands more of other inputs, such as fertilizer, than most other crops.

Rice is highly prized by consumers as a food grain, especially in south China, and per capita consumption has risen through the years. Also, as incomes have risen, consumers have preferred to eat more rice and less potatoes, corn, sorghum, and millet. Large production increases in the early 1980s and poor local transportation systems combined to induce farmers to feed large quantities of lower quality rice to livestock.

In 1987 China ranked third in the world as a producer of wheat. Winter wheat, which in the same year accounted for about 88 percent of total national output, is grown primarily in the Chang Jiang Valley and on the North China Plain. The crop is sown each fall from September through November and is harvested in May and June the subsequent year. Spring wheat is planted each spring in the north and northeast and is harvested in late summer. Spring wheat contributes about 12 percent of total wheat output.

Wheat is the staple food grain in north China and is eaten in the form of steamed bread and noodles. Per capita consumption has risen, and the demand for wheat flour has increased as incomes have risen. Wheat has been by far the most important imported grain.

Corn is grown in most parts of the country but is most common in areas that also produce wheat. Corn production has increased substantially over time and in some years has been second only to production of rice. Consumers have traditionally considered corn less desirable for human use than rice or wheat. Nevertheless, it frequently yields more per unit of land than other varieties of grain, making it useful for maintaining subsistence. As incomes rose in the early 1980s, consumer demand for corn as a food grain decreased, and increasing quantities of corn were allocated for animal feed.

Millet and sorghum are raised in the northern provinces, primarily in areas affected by drought. Millet is used primarily as a food grain. Sorghum is not a preferred food grain and in the 1980s was used for livestock feed and maotai, a potent alcoholic beverage.

Both Irish and sweet potatoes are grown in China. In the 1980s about 20 percent of output came from Irish potatoes grown mostly in the northern part of the country. The remaining 80 percent of output came primarily from sweet potatoes grown in central and south China (cassava output was also included in total potato production). Potatoes are generally considered to be a somewhat lower-quality food grain. Per capita consumption has declined through time. Potatoes are also used in the production of vodka and as a livestock feed.

Other grains, such as field peas, beans, and pulses, are grown throughout China. These grains are good sources of plant protein and add variety to the diet. Barley is a major grain produced in the lower Chang Jiang Basin. It is used for direct human consumption, livestock feed, and increasingly is in great demand as a feedstock to produce beer.

Soybeans, a leguminous crop, are also included in China's grain statistics. The northeast has traditionally been the most important producing area, but substantial amounts of soybeans are also produced on the North China Plain. Production of soybeans declined after the Great Leap Forward, and output did not regain the 10-million-ton level of the late 1950s until 1985. Population growth has greatly outstripped soybean output, and per capita consumption has fallen. Soybeans are a useful source of protein and fat, an important consideration given the limited amount of meat available and the grain- and vegetable-based diet. Oilseed cakes, by-products of soybean oil extraction, are used as animal feed and fertilizer.

Cotton is China's most important fiber crop. The crop is grown on the North China Plain and in the middle and lower reaches of the Chang Jiang Valley. In the 1970s domestic output did not meet demand, and significant quantities of raw cotton were imported. Production expanded dramatically in the early 1980s to reach a record 6 million tons in 1984. Although production declined to 4.2 million tons in 1985, China was still by far the largest cotton producer in the world. In the 1980s raw cotton imports ceased, and China became a major exporter of cotton.

Significant quantities of jute and hemp are also produced in China. Production of these crops expanded from 257,000 tons in 1955 to 3.4 million tons in 1985. Major producing provinces include Heilongjiang and Henan and also provinces along the Chang Jiang.

China is an important producer of oilseeds, including peanuts, rapeseed, sesame seed, sunflower seed, and safflower seed. Oilseed output in 1955 was 4.8 million tons. Output, however, did not expand between 1955 and 1975, which meant per capita oilseed availability decreased substantially because of population growth. Production from 1975 to 1985 more than tripled, to 15.5 million tons, but China continues to have one of the world's lowest levels of per capita consumption of oilseeds.

Sugarcane accounted for about 83 percent of total output of sugar crops in 1985. Major producing provinces include Guangdong, Fujian, and Yunnan provinces and Guangxi-Zhuang Autonomous Region. Production has grown steadily through the years from about 8 million tons in 1955 to over 51 million tons in 1985.

Sugar beet production accounted for the remaining 17 percent of total output in 1985. Major producing provinces and autonomous regions include Heilongjiang, Jilin, Nei Monggol, and Xinjiang. Sugar beet production rose from 1.6 million tons in 1955 to 8.9 million tons in 1985. Despite these impressive increases in output, per capita consumption was still very low, and large quantities were imported. China is the world's largest producer of leaf tobacco. Farmers produce many kinds of tobacco, but flue-cured varieties often make up more than 80 percent of total output. Major producing areas include Henan, Shandong, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan provinces.

Tea and silk, produced mainly in the south, have traditionally been important commercial crops. The domestic market for these products has been substantial, and they continue to be important exports.

Given China's different agricultural climatic regions, many varieties of vegetables are grown. Farmers raise vegetables in private plots for their own consumption. Near towns and cities, farmers grow vegetables for sale to meet the demand of urban consumers. Vegetables are an important source of vitamins and minerals in the diet.

Temperate, subtropical, and tropical fruits are cultivated in China. Output expanded from 2.6 million tons in 1955 to more than 11 million tons in 1985. Reforms in the early 1980s encouraged farmers to plant orchards, and the output of apples, pears, bananas, and citrus fruit was expected to expand in the late 1980s.

Data as of July 1987



BackgroundFor 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. China since the early 1990s has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.
LocationEastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Area(sq km)total: 9,596,961 sq km
land: 9,569,901 sq km
water: 27,060 sq km
Geographic coordinates35 00 N, 105 00 E
Land boundaries(km)total: 22,117 km
border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Mongolia 4,677 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km
regional borders: Hong Kong 30 km, Macau 0.34 km

Coastline(km)14,500 km

Climateextremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
Natural resourcescoal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)
Land use(%)arable land: 14.86%
permanent crops: 1.27%
other: 83.87% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)545,960 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources(cu km)2,829.6 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 549.76 cu km/yr (7%/26%/68%)
per capita: 415 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazardsfrequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
Environment - current issuesair pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; 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 agreementsparty 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 - noteworld's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak
Population1,338,612,968 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 19.8% (male 140,877,745/female 124,290,090)
15-64 years: 72.1% (male 495,724,889/female 469,182,087)
65 years and over: 8.1% (male 51,774,115/female 56,764,042) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 34.1 years
male: 33.5 years
female: 34.7 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)0.655% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)14 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)7.06 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 43% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 20.25 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 18.87 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 21.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 73.47 years
male: 71.61 years
female: 75.52 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)1.79 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups(%)Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5% (2000 census)

Religions(%)Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%
note: officially atheist (2002 est.)
Languages(%)Standard Chinese or Mandarin (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)

Country nameconventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC
Government typeCommunist state
Capitalname: 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 timezone" of UTC+6, two hours behind Beijing
Administrative divisions23 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, 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
Constitutionmost recent promulgation 4 December 1982 with amendments in 1988 and 1993

Legal systembased on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003); Vice President XI Jinping (since 15 March 2008)
head of government: Premier WEN Jiabao (since 16 March 2003); Executive Vice Premier LI Keqiang (17 March 2008), Vice Premier HUI Liangyu (since 17 March 2003), Vice Premier ZHANG Deijiang (since 17 March 2008), and Vice Premier WANG Qishan (since 17 March 2008)
cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
elections: president and vice president elected by National People's Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held 15-17 March 2008 (next to be held in mid-March 2013); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
election results: HU Jintao elected president by National People's Congress with a total of 2,963 votes; XI Jinping elected vice president with a total of 2,919 votes

Legislative branchunicameral 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 December 2007-February 2008; date of next election - late 2012 to early 2013
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 2,987
note: only members of the CCP, its eight allied parties, and sympathetic independent candidates are elected

Judicial branchSupreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's Congress); Local People's Courts (comprise higher, intermediate, and basic courts); Special People's Courts (primarily military, maritime, railway transportation, and forestry courts)

Political pressure groups and leadersthe China Democracy Party; the Falungong spiritual movement
note: no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the government has identified the organizations listed above as subversive groups
International organization participationADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, APT, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CDB, EAS, FAO, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Flag descriptionred 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

Economy - overviewChina's economy during the past 30 years has changed from a centrally planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector and is a major player in the global economy. Reforms started in the late 1970s with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, the foundation of a diversified banking system, the development of stock markets, the rapid growth of the non-state sector, and the opening to foreign trade and investment. Annual inflows of foreign direct investment rose to nearly $84 billion in 2007. China has generally implemented reforms in a gradualist or piecemeal fashion. In recent years, China has re-invigorated its support for leading state-owned enterprises in sectors it considers important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive national champions. After keeping its currency tightly linked to the US dollar for years, China in July 2005 revalued its currency by 2.1% against the US dollar and moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. Cumulative appreciation of the renminbi against the US dollar since the end of the dollar peg was more than 20% by late 2008, but the exchange rate has changed little since the onset of the global financial crisis. 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 2008 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, although in per capita terms the country is still lower middle-income. The Chinese government faces numerous economic development challenges, including: (a) strengthening its social safety net, including pension and health system reform, to counteract a high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic demand; (b) sustaining adequate job growth for tens of millions of migrants, new entrants to the work force, and workers laid off from state-owned enterprises deemed not worth saving; (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 been more rapid in coastal provinces than in the interior, and approximately 200 million rural laborers and their dependents have relocated to urban areas to find work - in recent years many have returned to their villages. One demographic consequence of the "one child" 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. In 2007 China intensified government efforts to improve environmental conditions, tying the evaluation of local officials to environmental targets, publishing a national climate change policy, and establishing a high level leading group on climate change, headed by Premier WEN Jiabao. The Chinese government seeks to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil. In late 2008, as China commemorated the 30th anniversary of its historic economic reforms, the global economic downturn began to slow foreign demand for Chinese exports for the first time in many years. The government vowed to continue reforming the economy and emphasized the need to increase domestic consumption in order to make China less dependent on foreign exports for GDP growth in the future.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$7.992 trillion (2008 est.)
$7.332 trillion (2007 est.)
$6.489 trillion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$4.327 trillion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)9% (2008 est.)
13% (2007 est.)
11.6% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$6,000 (2008 est.)
$5,500 (2007 est.)
$4,900 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 11.3%
industry: 48.6%
services: 40.1% (2008 est.)
Labor force807.3 million (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 43%
industry: 25%
services: 32% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate(%)4% (2008 est.)
4% (2007 est.)
note: official data for urban areas only; including migrants may boost total unemployment to 9%; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas
Population below poverty line(%)8%
note: 21.5 million rural population live below the official "absolute poverty" line (approximately $90 per year); and an additional 35.5 million rural population above that but below the official "low income" line (approximately $125 per year) (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 31.4% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index47 (2007)
40 (2001)
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)40.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $847.8 billion
expenditures: $861.6 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)5.9% (2008 est.)
4.8% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$2.434 trillion (31 December 2008)
$2.09 trillion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money$4.523 trillion (31 December 2008)
$3.437 trillion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit$5.555 trillion (31 December 2008)
$4.653 trillion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares$2.794 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)
$6.226 trillion (31 December 2007)
$2.426 trillion (31 December 2006)
Economic aid - recipient$1.641 billion (FY07)

Public debt(% of GDP)15.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
31.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish
Industriesmining 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, and aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites

Industrial production growth rate(%)9.3% (2008 est.)

Current account balance$426.1 billion (2008 est.)
$371.8 billion (2007 est.)
Exports$1.435 trillion (2008 est.)
$1.22 trillion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, textiles, iron and steel, optical and medical equipment
Exports - partners(%)US 17.7%, Hong Kong 13.3%, Japan 8.1%, South Korea 5.2%, Germany 4.1% (2008)
Imports$1.074 trillion (2008 est.)
$904.6 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels, optical and medical equipment, metal ores, plastics, organic chemicals
Imports - partners(%)Japan 13.3%, South Korea 9.9%, US 7.2%, Germany 4.9% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.955 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)
$1.534 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$400.6 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$363 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$758.9 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$149.3 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$95.8 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Exchange ratesRenminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar - 6.9385 (2008 est.), 7.61 (2007), 7.97 (2006), 8.1943 (2005), 8.2768 (2004)

Currency (code)Renminbi (RMB); note - also referred to by the unit yuan (CNY)

Telephones - main lines in use365.6 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular634 million (2008)
Telephone systemgeneral 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, and is partnering with foreign providers to expand its global reach; 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 250 million by summer 2008; a domestic satellite system with 55 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) (2008)
Internet country code.cn
Internet users298 million (2008)
Airports482 (2009)
Pipelines(km)gas 28,132 km; oil 20,204 km; refined products 9,746 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 3,583,715 km (includes 53,913 km of expressways) (2007)

Ports and terminalsDalian, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
Military branchesPeople's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (includes airborne forces), and Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force); People's Armed Police (PAP); PLA Reserve Force (2009)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with 24-month service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs (2009)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 375,009,345
females age 16-49: 354,314,328 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 314,459,083
females age 16-49: 296,763,134 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 10,621,373
female: 9,533,880 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)4.3% of GDP (2006)
Disputes - internationalcontinuing talks and confidence-building measures work toward reducing tensions over Kashmir that nonetheless remains militarized with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; China and India continue their security and foreign policy dialogue started in 2005 related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, and other matters; China claims most of India's Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas; lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes due to cartographic discrepancies; Chinese maps show an international boundary symbol off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Seas, where China has interrupted Vietnamese hydrocarbon exploration; China asserts sovereignty over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" eased tensions in the Spratly's but is not the legally binding "code of conduct" sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly's and in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord on marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; China and Taiwan continue to reject both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared equidistance line in the East China Sea, the site of intensive hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen rivers are in dispute with North Korea; North Korea and China seek to stem illegal migration to China by North Koreans, fleeing privations and oppression, by building a fence along portions of the border and imprisoning North Koreans deported by China; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 Agreement; China and Tajikistan have begun demarcating the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary is expected to be completed by the end of 2008, while the maritime boundary delimitation and fisheries agreements in the Gulf of Tonkin, ratified in June 2004, have been implemented; citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China has reconsidered construction of 13 dams on the Salween River, but energy-starved Burma, with backing from Thailand, remains intent on building five hydro-electric dams downstream despite regional and international protests; Chinese and Hong Kong authorities met in March 2008 to resolve ownership and use of lands recovered in Shenzhen River channelization, including 96-hectare Lok Ma Chau Loop; Hong Kong developing plans to reduce 2,000 out of 2,800 hectares of its restricted Closed Area by 2010

Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 300,897 (Vietnam); estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea)
IDPs: 90,000 (2007)
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: China is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor; the majority of trafficking in China occurs within the country's borders, but there is also considerable international trafficking of Chinese citizens to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America; Chinese women are lured abroad through false promises of legitimate employment, only to be forced into commercial sexual exploitation, largely in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan; women and children are trafficked to China from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor, marriage, and prostitution; some North Korean women and children seeking to leave their country voluntarily cross the border into China and are then sold into prostitution, marriage, or forced labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - China is on the Tier 2 Watch List for the fourth consecutive year for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly in terms of punishment of trafficking crimes and the protection of Chinese and foreign victims of trafficking; victims are sometimes punished for unlawful acts that were committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, such as violations of prostitution or immigration/emigration controls; the Chinese Government continued to treat North Korean victims of trafficking solely as economic migrants, routinely deporting them back to horrendous conditions in North Korea; additional challenges facing the Chinese Government include the enormous size of its trafficking problem and the significant level of corruption and complicity in trafficking by some local government officials (2008)
Electricity - production(kWh)3.041 trillion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 80.2%
hydro: 18.5%
nuclear: 1.2%
other: 0.1% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)2.835 trillion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)16.64 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)3.842 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production(bbl/day)3.973 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)7.85 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)419,200 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)4.21 million bbl/day (2007)
Oil - proved reserves(bbl)16 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)76.04 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)77.18 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)3.36 billion cu m (2008)
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)2.265 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS700,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths39,000 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: Japanese encephalitis and dengue fever
soil contact disease: hantaviral hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)
animal contact disease: rabies
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 (2009)
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.9%
male: 95.1%
female: 86.5% (2000 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2006)
Education expenditures(% of GDP)1.9% of GDP (1999)








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