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Insight Guide China

China at a glance

Official Name People's Republic of China
Capital City Beijing
National Flag Five-star red flag, length and width proportion: 3:2.
National Anthem March of the Volunteers
National Day October 1
Head of State President Hu Jintao
Head of the Government Premier Wen Jiabao
Top Legislature National people's Congress
Highest Court Supreme People's Court
Armed Forces Army, Navy, Air Force (Total number of military personnel 2,470,000 in 1999)
Administrative Divisions 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under the Central Government and 2 special administrative regions
Territory 9.6 million square km
Location In East Asia, by the west Pacific Ocean.
Time Zone GMT+8.00
Standard Time Beijing Time
Population 1.27bn (2001)
Average Life-span 71-year-old (2000)
Ethnic Groups Han, 91.59 of the population
Official Language Standard Chinese, or Mandarin Chinese
Religion Officially atheism
Largest City Shanghai
Public Holidays New Years Day (January 1), Spring Festival (from the end of January to the middle of February), International Labor Day (May 1) and National Day (October 1)
Currency & Unit Renminbi (RMB) Yuan
Monetary Unit 1 yuan, consisting of 10 jiao
Exchange Rate 7.7 Yuan=US$1
Weights & Measures Metric System
GDP US$1.2trn (2001)
GDP per head US$910
Inflation -0.8% (2002)
Taxation All enterprises pay a 33% tax on profits
Islands 5, 400 islands
Mountains Among 19 mountains over 7,000 meters high in the world, Mt. Everest with the height of 8,848 meters above the sea level is the highest peak on the earth.
Rivers The Yangtze River (6,300 km), the third longest in the world; The Yellow River (5,464 km), the second longest in China.
Canyon The Yalu Tsangpo River Canyon, the world's largest, 504.6 km in length and 6,009 meters in depth.
Lakes The Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake; the Qinghai Lake, the country's largest salt lake.
Climate The wide range of weather conditions from the subtropical in the south to the frigid in the north
Rare Animals Giant Panda, Golden Monkey and White-flag Dolphin
Plants A great variety of plants due to the wide range of climates and topography
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