China, officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia, bordering with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, North Korea and Russia, among others. It is the most populous country in the world, with more than 1300 million inhabitants. The country has some of the world’s most populous metropolitan areas, as Beijing, its capital, where more than 17 million people live. Shanghai, the most populated, with over 23 million inhabitants, Guangzhou (15 million) and Shenzhen (13 million).
The country is divided into twenty-two provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities under central jurisdiction – Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing – and two special administrative regions – Hong Kong and Macao.
Its official currency is the Renminbi (CNY), being the Yuan its basic unit. Until 2005, it was pegged to the dollar. Since then, it is pegged to a basket of several international currencies and allowed to float in a 2% margin. In 2010, it was established an offshore currency CNH. Unlike CNY, CNH is allowed to trade freely outside China, and its rate is almost entirely determined by foreign currency markets. However, The People’s Bank of China exerts a great influence, and the CNH rate tends to be close to the CNY rate.
China is an emerging superpower. Since the introduction of the 1978 economic reforms, China has been the world’s fastest-growing economy. Reaching world dominance in terms of GDP measured in purchasing power parity in 2014 and remaining the second largest power for nominal GDP. China is also the largest exporter and importer of goods and the first industrial and merchant power.
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