Geography and History
– China is located in East Asia.
– It is the world’s second-most-populous country.
– China spans five time zones and borders fourteen countries.
– The country has an area of nearly 9.6 million square kilometers.
– China is divided into 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two semi-autonomous special administrative regions.
– China has a long history dating back to the Paleolithic era.
– The earliest Chinese dynastic states emerged in the basin of the Yellow River.
– China was unified under an emperor in 221 BCE.
– China was governed by various imperial dynasties for more than two millennia.
– Notable achievements during this period include the invention of gunpowder, the establishment of the Silk Road, and the building of the Great Wall.

Political System and Economy
– China is a unitary one-party socialist republic led by the CCP.
– It is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
– China is a member of various multilateral and regional organizations.
– The country ranks poorly in measures of democracy, transparency, and human rights.
– China has the world’s largest standing army and the second-largest defense budget.
– China is the world’s largest economy by GDP at purchasing power parity.
– It is the second-largest economy by nominal GDP.
– China is the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter.
– The country is one of the fastest-growing major economies.
– Economic reforms have significantly raised China’s standard of living.

Culture and Language
– Chinese culture has heavily influenced East Asia.
– The official name of China is the Peoples Republic of China.
– The shorter form is China, which means ‘central state.’
– China is sometimes referred to as the Mainland when distinguishing it from Taiwan.
– The country’s official language is Chinese.

Historical Dynasties
– Xia Dynasty: Historically considered mythical until 1959 excavations.
– Shang Dynasty: Ruled eastern China from 17th to 11th century BCE. Shang’s oracle bone script is the oldest form of Chinese writing.
– Qin and Han Dynasties: Qin dynasty established in 221 BCE. Han dynasty ruled China from 206 BCE to 220 CE. Han China became the largest economy in the ancient world.
– Three Kingdoms and Jin Dynasty: Three Kingdoms period followed Han dynasty. Wei overthrown by Jin dynasty. Jin fell to civil war and Five Barbarians rebellion. Northern Wei unified northern China. Liu Song emerged in the south.
– Tang and Song Dynasties: Tang dynasty controlled Western Regions and Silk Road. Tang devastated by An Lushan rebellion in the 8th century. Song dynasty ended separatist situation in 960. Song issued paper money and established a permanent navy. Song saw a revival of Confucianism and flourishing of arts.
– Yuan and Ming Dynasties: Mongol conquest of China began in 1205. Yuan dynasty established by Kublai Khan in 1271. Ming dynasty founded by Zhu Yuanzhang in 1368. Ming enjoyed a golden age and developed a strong navy. Ming admiral Zheng He led treasure voyages in the Indian Ocean.
– Fall of the Qing dynasty: Century of humiliation, Opium Wars, First Sino-Japanese War, Boxer Rebellion, Eight-Nation Alliance invasion, Qing dynasty’s internal unrest, White Lotus Rebellion, Taiping Rebellion, Dungan Revolt, Self-Strengthening Movement, Chinese diaspora, Losses due to emigration, Northern Chinese Famine, Empress Dowager Cixi’s thwarting of reform plans, Xinhai Revolution.
– Establishment of the Republic and World War II: Republic of China established in 1912. Sun Yat-sen proclaimed provisional president. Yuan Shikai’s presidency and subsequent abdication. Political fragmentation and warlord control. Kuomintang’s reunification efforts through the Northern Expedition. Nanjing as the new capital. Implementation of political tutelage. Chinese Civil War between Kuomintang and Communists. Second Sino-Japanese War as a theater of World War II. Japanese aggression and war atrocities. Allies of World War II. Taiwan handed over to Chinese control. Resumption of civil war and ongoing unrest. Constitutional rule established but not fully implemented.
– Civil War and the People’s Republic: Founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Chinese Soviet Republic and Long March. CCP’s control of mainland China. Kuomintang retreating to Taiwan. Annexation of Tibet and capture of Hainan. Insurgency by remaining Kuomintang forces. Land Reform Movement and execution of landlords. Independent industrial system and nuclear weapons development. Population growth from 550 million to 900 million. Great Leap Forward and estimated deaths. Successful explosion of China’s first atomic bomb. Cultural Revolution and political upheaval. PRC’s replacement of the Republic of China in the United Nations.
– Reforms and contemporary history: Tiananmen Square protests and military-led massacre. Arrest of the Gang of Four. Hua Guofeng’s leadership and accountability for Cultural Revolution excesses. Deng Xiaoping’s rise to power in 1978. Chinese economic reform. Modernization and opening up of China’s economy. Four Modernizations policy. Development of Special Economic Zones. Market-oriented reforms and foreign investment. China’s rapid economic growth and emergence as a global power. Challenges and criticisms of China’s human rights record. International condemnations and sanctions against the Chinese government.

Key Events and Developments
– Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Macau’s return to Chinese sovereignty in 1999. China’s hosting of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Belt and Road Initiative and China’s global infrastructure projects. Xi Jinping’s leadership and consolidation of power. Anti-corruption campaign under Xi Jinping’s administration. Expansion of China’s military capabilities and territorial disputes. Technological advancements and innovation in China. Environmental challenges and efforts for sustainability. China’s increasing influence in international organizations and diplomacy.Sources: