Hu Jintao
General Secretary of the Communist Party


(pronounced "who-gin-TOW" [as in towel])

"We in China are working hard to build up a strong, prosperous, democratic, and culturally advanced modern socialist country. We need an international environment of lasting peace, and we long for living harmoniously with all countries of the world."

The People's Republic of China is located in central and eastern Asia. Its total area is 9,596,960 sq km (3,705,407 sq mi), making China the third-largest country in the world. With a population estimated at 1.3 billion in 2002, it is also the world's most populous nation. China is a climatically and geographically diverse nation with primarily temperate climate in most of the nation, but dense tropics in the south, warm and humid coastal regions, and frigid northern and Tibetan regions. Of the total land mass, only 10% is cultivated regularly. Some of the world's longest rivers, including the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) and Huang He (Yellow) rivers, and the world's highest mountains are located in China.

China is a relatively homogeneous nation, linguistically and ethnically, with the Han Chinese comprising 92% of the population. The remaining 8% consists of minorities such as the Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and others. Mandarin Chinese is the official language, and the literacy rate is 81.5%. The largest cities are Shanghai, Beijing (the capital), and Tianjin.

In 2001, an estimated 50% of the labor force was engaged in agriculture and forestry, while another 23% was involved in industry and 27% in services. The yuan is the national currency. China's major trading partners include Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the United States, Germany, Singapore, and Taiwan. Its primary exports are machinery and equipment, textiles, footwear, toys and sporting goods, and mineral fuels. Since 1991, the booming Chinese economy has grown approximately 10% annually. The per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at US $4,300 in 2001.


Office of the President
Beijing, People's Republic of China

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