中国（literally meaning China）in different scripts
Full Name: the People’s Republic of China
National Capital: Beijing
Population: 1.37 Billion (2010)
Land Area: Approximately 9.6 million square kilometers
Geographic Location: China is located in East Asia and flanked upon the western shore of the vast Pacific Ocean. China shares common borders with 14 countries and is adjacent to 8 nations on the ocean.
4 Municipalities directly under central government administration: Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing
24 Provinces: Heilongjiang Province, Jilin Province, Liaoning Province, Jiangsu Province, Shandong Province, Anhui Province, Hebei Province, Henan Province, Hubei Province, Hunan Province, Jiangxi Province, Shaanxi Province, Shanxi Province, Sichuan Province, Qinghai Province, Hainan Province, Guangdong Province, Guizhou Province, Zhejiang Province, Fujian Province, Taiwan Province, Gansu Province and Yunnan Province.
5 autonomous regions: the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the Xinjiang Uygar Autonomous Region, the Tibet Autonomous Regionand the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
2 special administrative regions: the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region.
Ethnic Groups: There are totally 56 ethnic groups in China, among which the Han people account for 92% of the total population while the other 55 ethnic groups 8%. In addition to the Han, the other ethnic groups are the Zhuang, the Hui, the Uyghur, the Yi, the Miao, the Manchu, the Tibetan, the Mongols, the Tujia, the Buyei, the Korean, the Dong, the Yao, the Bai, the Hani, the Kazakh, the Dai, the Li, the Lisu, the Va, the She, the Lahu, the Sui, the Dongxiang, the Nakhi, the Kyrgyz, the Tu, the Qiang, the Daur, the Jingpo, the Mulao, the Xibe, the Salar, the Blang, the Gelao, the Maonan, the Tajik, the Pumi, the Nu, the Achang, the Ewenki, the Uzbeks, the De’ang, the Jing, the Jino, the Yugur, the Bonan, the Russian, the Monba, the Derung, the Oroqen, the Tatars, the Lhoba, the Gaoshan, and the Hezhen.
Languages and characters: Mandarin is the most commonly-used language. 53 ethnic groups have their own distinct languages and 23 ethnic groups have their own writing scripts.
Religions: The top 6 predominant religions in China include Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism, Christian and Confucianism.
Major Holidays: Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival) from the 1st day to the 5th day of the 1st lunar month, International Labor Day on May 1st, Dragon Boat Festival on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, Mid-Autumn Day on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, National Day on October 1st and New Year’s Day on January 1st.
Currency: Renminbi, abbreviated as RMB and with ￥ being its currency symbol, is the official currency in Mainland China.The units for Chinese Currency are the Yuan (元), Jiao (角), and Fen (分). CNY is short for Chinese Yuan. 1 Yuan = 10 Jiao = 100 Fen. Fen has almost disappeared, and the coins in circulation are 1 yuan, 5 jiao, and 1 jiao. Banknotes range from 5 jiao to 100 yuan, and vary both in size and in color.
Currency Exchange Rate:
1 Chinese Yuan (CNY) ≈ 0.1887 New Zealand Dollar (NZD) ≈ 0.1564 United States Dollar (USD)
1 New Zealand Dollar (NZD) ≈ 5.2994 Chinese Yuan (CNY) ≈ 0.8286 United States Dollar (USD)
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +8
Time Difference: 4 to 5 hours later than New Zealand
Climate: East Asia continental monsoon climate mainly
History: China, boasting an amazingly long history of over 5,000 years, is widely known as one of the four ancient civilizations in the word. From the time of the founding of the Xia Dynasty in the 21st century BC to the late Spring and Autumn Period, with the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties in between, the ancient China society was slavery-based. From the time of the Warring States Period in 475 BC to the early Qing dynasty, with the Qin, Western Han, Eastern Han, Three Kingdom, Western Jin, Eastern Jin, Southern and Northern dynasties, Sui, Tang, Five dynasties, Song, Liao, Jin, Yuan, and Ming in between, China society was based on feudalism. After the Opium War in 1840, China gradually turned into a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society as a result of the fierce imperialist invasion. In 1911, the 1911 Revolution, led by Sun Yat-sen, ended the monarchy and on October 1st, 1949, the CPC, under the leadership of Mao Zedong, led the Chinese people and established the People’s Republic of China.