Statistical information China 1990China

Map of China | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

China in the World
China in the World

Sightseeing Pass

China - Introduction 1990
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Background: For most of its 3,500 years of history, China led the world in agriculture, crafts, and science, then fell behind in the 19th century when the Industrial Revolution gave the West clear superiority in military and economic affairs. In the first half of the 20th century, China continued to suffer from major famines, civil unrest, military defeat, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established a dictatorship that, while ensuring China's autonomy, imposed strict controls over all aspects of life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping decentralized economic decision making; output quickly doubled. Political controls remain tight at the same time economic controls have been weakening. Present issues are: closing down inefficient state-owned enterprises; modernizing the military; fighting corruption; and providing support to tens of millions of displaced workers.

China - Geography 1990
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: 23,213.34 km total; Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Myanmar 2,185 km, Hong Kong 30 km, India 3,380 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Laos 423 km, Macau 0.34 km, Mongolia 4,673 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, USSR 7,520 km, Vietnam 1,281 km

Coastline: 14,500 km

Maritime claims: Territorial sea:12 nm

Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north

Terrain: mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east


Natural resources: coal, iron ore, crude oil, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, world's largest hydropower potential
Land use

Land use: 10% arable land; NEGL% permanent crops; 31% meadows and pastures; 14% forest and woodland; 45% other; includes 5% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: world's third-largest country (after USSR and Canada)

China - People 1990
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Population: 1,118,162,727 (July 1990), growth rate 1.4% (1990)

Nationality: noun--Chinese (sing., pl.; adjective--Chinese

Ethnic groups: 93.3% Han Chinese; 6.7% Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities

Languages: Standard Chinese (Putonghua) or Mandarin (based on the Beijing dialect; also Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, and minority languages (see ethnic divisions)

Religions: officially atheist, but traditionally pragmatic and eclectic; most important elements of religion are Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism; about 2-3% Muslim, 1% Christian

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 22 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 7 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1990)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: frequent typhoons (about five times per year along southern and eastern coasts), damaging floods, tsunamis, earthquakes; deforestation; soil erosion; industrial pollution; water pollution; desertification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 34 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 67 years male, 69 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.3 children born/woman (1990)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: over 75%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

China - Government 1990
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Country name: conventional long form: People's Republic of China; abbreviated PRC

Government type: Communist Party-led state

Capital: Beijing

Administrative divisions: 23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions* (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 3 municipalities** (shi, singular and plural; Anhui, Beijing**, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi*, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol*, Ningxia*, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai**, Shanxi, Sichuan, Tianjin**, Xinjiang*, Xizang*, Yunnan, Zhejiang; note--China considers Taiwan its 23rd province

Dependent areas

Independence: unification under the Qin (Ch'in) Dynasty 221 BC, Qing (Ch'ing or Manchu) Dynasty replaced by the Republic on 12 February 1912, People's Republic established 1 October 1949

National holiday: National Day, 1 October (1949)

Constitution: 4 December 1982

Legal system: a complex amalgam of custom and statute, largely criminal law; rudimentary civil code in effect since 1 January 1987; new legal codes in effect since 1 January 1980; continuing efforts are being made to improve civil, administrative, criminal, and commercial law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State and Head of Government (de facto)--DENG Xiaoping (since mid-1977; Chief of State--President YANG Shangkun (since 8 April 1988; Vice President WANG Zhen (since 8 April 1988; Head of Government--Premier LI Peng (Acting Premier since 24 November 1987, Premier since 9 April 1988; Vice Premier YAO Yilin (since 2 July 1979; Vice Premier TIAN Jiyun (since 20 June 1983; Vice Premier WU Xueqian (since 12 April 1988)

Legislative branch: Chinese People's Liberation Army (CPLA), CPLA Navy (including Marines), CPLA Air Force

Judicial branch: Supreme People's Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ADB, CCC, ESCAP, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, ITU, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador ZHU Qizhen; Chancery at 2,300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20,008; telephone (202) 328-2,500 through 2,502; there are Chinese Consulates General in Chicago, Houston, New York, and San Francisco; US--Ambassador James R. LILLEY; Embassy at Xiu Shui Bei Jie 3, Beijing (mailing address is FPO San Francisco 96,655; telephone p86o (1) 532-3,831; there are US Consulates General in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang

Flag descriptionflag of China: red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

China - Economy 1990
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Economy overview: Beginning in late 1978 the Chinese leadership has been trying to move the economy from the sluggish Soviet-style centrally planned economy to a more productive and flexible economy with market elements--but still within the framework of monolithic Communist control. To this end the authorities have switched to a system of household responsibility in agriculture in place of the old collectivization, increased the authority of local officials and plant managers in industry, permitted a wide variety of small-scale enterprise in services and light manufacturing, and opened the foreign economic sector to increased trade and joint ventures. The most gratifying result has been a strong spurt in production, particularly in agriculture in the early 1980s. Otherwise, the leadership has often experienced in its hybrid system the worst results of socialism (bureaucracy, lassitude, corruption) and of capitalism (windfall gains and stepped-up inflation). Beijing thus has periodically backtracked, retightening central controls at intervals and thereby undermining the credibility of the reform process. Open inflation and excess demand continue to plague the economy, and political repression, following the crackdown at Tiananmen in mid-1989, has curtailed tourism, foreign aid, and new investment by foreign firms. Popular resistance and changes in central policy have weakened China's population control program, which is essential to the nation's long-term economic viability.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 26% of GNP; among the world's largest producers of rice, potatoes, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, and pork; commercial crops include cotton, other fibers, and oilseeds; produces variety of livestock products; basically self-sufficient in food; fish catch of 8 million metric tons in 1986

Industries: iron, steel, coal, machine building, armaments, textiles, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate: 8.0% (1989)

Labor force:
513,000,000; 61.1% agriculture and forestry, 25.2%
industry and commerce, 4.6% construction and mining, 4.5% social services, 4.6% other (1986 est.)

Labor force

Unemployment rate: 3.0% in urban areas (1989)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $NA; expenditures $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $52.5 billion (f.o.b., 1989)
Commodities: manufactured goods, agricultural products, oilseeds, grain (rice and corn), oil, minerals
Partners: Hong Kong, US, Japan, USSR, Singapore, FRG (1989)

Imports: $59.1 billion (c.i.f., 1989)
Commodities: grain (mostly wheat), chemical fertilizer, steel, industrial raw materials, machinery, equipment
Partners: Hong Kong, Japan, US, FRG, USSR (1989)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $51 billion (1989 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: yuan (Y) per US$1--4.7221 (January 1990), 3.7651 (1989), 3.7221 (1988), 3.7221 (1987), 3.4528 (1986), 2.9367 (1985)

China - Energy 1990
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

China - Communication 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

China - Military 1990
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: $5.28 billion (1988)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

China - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 330 total, 330 usable; 260 with permanent-surface runways; fewer than 10 with runways over 3,500 m; 90 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 200 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: crude, 6,500 km; refined products, 1,100 km; natural gas, 6,200 km



Waterways: 138,600 km; about 109,800 km navigable

Merchant marine: 1,373 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 13,303,685 GRT/ 20,092,833 DWT; includes 25 passenger, 41 short-sea passenger, 17 passenger-cargo, 7 cargo/training, 766 cargo, 10 refrigerated cargo, 65 container, 17 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 3 multifunction barge carriers, 173 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 9 chemical tanker, 237 bulk, 2 vehicle carrier, 1 liquefied gas; note--China beneficially owns an additional 175 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling approximately 5,380,415 DWT that operate under the registry of Panama, UK, Hong Kong, Liberia, and Malta

Ports and terminals

China - Transnational issues 1990
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Disputes international: boundary with India; bilateral negotiations are under way to resolve four disputed sections of the boundary with the USSR (Pamir, Argun, Amur, and Khabarovsk areas; a short section of the boundary with North Korea is indefinite; Hong Kong is scheduled to become a Special Administrative Region in 1997; Portuguese territory of Macau is scheduled to become a Special Administrative Region in 1999; sporadic border clashes with Vietnam; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam; maritime boundary dispute with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin; Paracel Islands occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; claims Japanese-administered Senkaku-shoto (Senkaku Islands)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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