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Visa information on China:

Background information on China :

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, China was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established a dictatorship that, while ensuring China 's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping gradually introduced mark et-oriented reforms and decentralized economic decision-making. Output quadrupled by 2000. Political controls remain tight while economic controls continue to be relaxed.

The Lonely Planet reports:

China isn't a country - it's a different world. Unless you have a couple of years and unlimited patience, it's best to follow a loose itinerary here, such as following the Silk Road route, sailing down the Yangzi River, or exploring the Dr Seuss landscape of Guangxi Province.

From shop-till-you-drop metropolises to the epic grasslands of Inner Mongolia , China is a land of cultural and geo graphic schisms. It's not that it has completely done away with its Maoist past - it's more that the yin of revolutionary zeal is being balanced by the yang of economic pragmatism.

Factsheet China :

Full country name: People's Republic of China
Area: 9.59 million sq km
Population: 1.28 billion
Capital City : Beijing (pop 12.6 million)
People: Han Chinese (93%), plus 55 ethnic minorities
Language: Chinese
Religion: Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism (no stats available); Muslim (14 million), Christian (7 million)
Government: Communist republic

GDP: US$4.5 trillion
GDP per capita: US$3,600
Inflation: 2.8%
Major Industries: Iron, steel, coal, machinery, automobiles, petrolium , chemicals, telecommunications, textiles
Major Trading Partners: USA , Japan , Germany , South Korea , Taiwan

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