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Country summary




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

Government type

Communist state


1,338,612,968 (July 2010 est.)[1]

Population growth

0.655% (2010 est.)[1]

Life expectancy

73.47 years[1]


4.3% (September 2009 est.)[1]

Index of Economic Freedom


Corruption Perceptions Index


Doing Business ranking


For 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.[1]

Economical characteristics

  • Currency: Chinese yuan (renminbi) (¥) (ISO code: CNY)
  • Central bank discount rate: 2.79% (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Commercial banks lending rate: 5.31% (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Stock of money (M1): $2.434 trillion (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Quasi money (with M1 makes M2): $4.523 trillion (31 December 2008)[1]

Notable events:

Housing bubble

China's economy is continuing to grow despite the global recession, helped by massive government spending. For years, regional governments across China have been building massive real estate projects that have attracted both private and corporate buyers. As prices have continued to rise (residential values in 70 large and medium-size cities across China soared in 2009, according to real estate consultancy Colliers International), more investors have become speculators, buying brand-new properties with the sole intention of flipping them.

A notable example is the city Ordos in Inner Mongolia, a whole town built with government money that is standing empty. The district was originally designed to house, support and entertain 1 million people.[7][8]


Statistic / Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
GDP (million USD)[9] 1 083 280 1 198 480 1 324 800 1 453 830 1 640 960 1 931 640 2 235 910 2 657 880 3 382 260 4 327 000
Govt. debt (% of GDP)[10] 11.609
Govt. revenue (% of GDP)[11] 6.580 7.093 7.862 8.671 8.760 9.468 9.621 10.264
Govt. expenses (% of GDP)[12] 10.734 10.448 11.124 10.885 11.372
Debt to revenue (years) 1.764


Note: statistical data was rounded. Different sources may use different methodologies for their estimates. Debt to revenue is calculated by dividing the two variables from their original ('unrounded') values. It represents how long it would a government take to repay its entire debt if it used its whole revenue for this purpose.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 CIA - The World Factbook. "China", from The World Factbook. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  2. Heritage Foundation. "China", Economic Freedom Score. A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  3. Transparency International. "China", Corruption Perceptions Index 2009. A lower ranking is better; but please note that the numbers cannot be compared between countries or years due to different methodology. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  4. Doing Business. "China", Doing Business 2010 (part of The World Bank Group). A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff. "This Time is Different", Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-14216-6, p. 357. (The list does not claim to be complete.) Referenced 2011-07-19.
  6. Carmen M. Reinhart. "This Time is Different Chartbook: Country Histories on Debt, Default, and Financial Crises" (pdf), March 3, 2010, p. 33. (The list does not claim to be complete.) Referenced 2011-07-19.
  7. Bill Powell. "Inside China's Runaway Building Boom", see also the slideshow "Ordos, China: A Modern Ghost Town". TIME, April 05, 2010. Referenced 2011-04-06.
  8. AlJazeeraEnglish. "China's empty city" (video), Al Jazeera, November 9, 2009. Referenced 2011-04-06.
  9. World Bank. "China: GDP", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  10. World Bank. "China: government debt", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  11. World Bank. "China: government revenue", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  12. World Bank. "China: government expenses", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.