China officially the People’s Republic of China(PRC), is the world’s most-populous country, with a population of over 1.3 billion. The East Asian state covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres, and is the world’s second-largest country by land area, and the third- or fourth-largest in total area, depending on the definition of total area.
The People’s Republic of China is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party of China. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four directly-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (SARs), Hong Kong and Macau. Its capital city is Beijing. The PRC also claims Taiwan, which is controlled by the Republic of China (ROC)–a separate political entity–as its 23rd province, a claim controversial due to the complex political status of Taiwan and the unresolved Chinese Civil War. The PRC government denies the legitimacy of the ROC.
China’s landscape is vast and diverse, with forest steppes and the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts occupying the arid north and northwest near Mongolia and Central Asia, and subtropical forests being prevalent in the wetter south near Southeast Asia. The terrain of western China is rugged and elevated, with the Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separating China from South and Central Asia. The world’s apex, Mt. Everest (8,848 m), lies on the China–Nepal border, while the world’s second-highest point, K2 (8,611 m), is situated on China’s border with Pakistan.