The People’s Republic of China, commonly known as China, is the largest country in East Asia and the third or fourth largest country in the world. With a population of over 1.3 billion, it is the most populous country in the world.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) has led the PRC under a single-party system since the state’s establishment in 1949. The PRC is involved in a long-running dispute over the political status of Taiwan. The CPC’s rival during the Chinese Civil War, the Kuomintang (KMT), fled to Taiwan and surrounding islands after its civil war defeat in 1949, claiming legitimacy over China, Mongolia, and Tuva while it was the ruling power of the Republic of China (ROC). The term “Mainland China” is often used to denote the areas under PRC rule, but usually excludes its two Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong and Macau.
Because of its vast population, rapidly growing economy, and large research and development investments, China is considered an “emerging superpower”. It has the world’s fourth largest economy (second largest in terms of purchasing power parity). China is also a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Since 1978, China‘s market-based economic reforms have brought the poverty rate down from 53% in 1981 to 8% by 2001. However, China is now faced with a number of other economic problems, including an aging population, an increasing rural-urban income gap, and rapid environmental degradation.
China plays a major role in international trade. The country is the world’s largest consumer of steel and concrete, using, respectively, a third and over a half of the world’s supply of each. Counting all products, China is the third largest importer and the second largest exporter in the world.
US citizens traveling to China are required to possess a valid visa prior to entering China. Visa applications must be made at the Embassy in Washington D.C or at any of the five Consulate-Generals located throughout the US. For detailed information regarding visa requirements for travels to China, follow the link below.