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China is one of the world's most ancient civilizations with a recorded history of 5,000 years. Its landscape is vast and diverse with abundant natural resources. Its long history, brilliant culture, and magnificent natural beauties make the country an ideal destination for world tourists and a perfect place for international conferences.

 

Chinese ancestors made significant innovations, scientific discoveries and technological advances. They began to make pottery as early as 10,000 years ago. The culture of silkworms began in China. It is the first nation in the world to make silk. The Great Wall is one of the world's greatest man-made wonders. China's Four Great Inventions, i.e. paper-making, gunpowder, printing and compass, contributed significantly to advancing world civilizations.

 

The poetry of China's Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD) and Song Dynasty (960 - 1279 AD), which represents one of China's greatest literary achievements, enjoys great prestige in the world and has an ongoing influence on Chinese and world literature, and modern poetry.

 

Chinese tea, cuisine, opera, ethnic minority cultures as well as folk arts like paper-cutting, kite-making, embroidery and shadow play (also known as shadow puppetry) are treasures and pride of the Chinese nation.

 

China, officially the People's Republic of China, is located in eastern Asia, along the western coast of the Pacific Ocean. It is the world's third largest country, trailing only Russia and Canada. Due to the vast land area and highly diverse topography, the climate in China is highly varied. China has great physical diversity. In terms of elevation, the east and south of the country, which consist of fertile lowlands and foothills, are lower than the west and north of the country, which are dominated by basins, rolling plateaus, and towering massifs. China has numerous lakes and rivers, some of which are world renowned, such as the Yangtze River and the Yellow River. The complex and varied climate, terrains and landforms create a natural paradise for biodiversity.

 

China is divided administratively into 23 provinces (Hebei, Shanxi, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai and Taiwan), four municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing), five autonomous regions (Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Tibet, Ningxia and Xinjiang) and two special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau).

 

China is the world's most populous country with a population of over 1.3 billion. It is a united multi-ethnic state of 56 distinct ethnic groups. The largest ethnic group is the Han. Other ethnic groups include, among others, Mongolian, Zhuang, Manchu, Uyghur, Miao, Bai, Tujia, Dai, Li, Bulang, Gaoshan, Korean, Kazak, Kirgiz and Tajik. Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese) is China's official language while local dialects are also widely spoken and the 55 ethnic minorities also have their own languages.

 

Being a multi-ethnic country, each ethnic group in China celebrates their own traditional holidays and festivals, such as the Dai Water-Sprinkling Festival, the Yi Torch Festival, the Bai March Fair Festival, the Zhuang Singing Festival and the Mongolian Nadam Fair.

 

The Chinese people of all ethnic groups also share and celebrate many nationwide traditional holidays across the country, such as the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Day, the Chongyang Festival (the Double Ninth Festival observed on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar), the Laba Festival (a traditional holiday celebrated on the eighth day of the twelfth month of the Chinese calendar), to name just a few.

 

China is a country with a great diversity of religious beliefs. The main religions are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. People of different religious beliefs live in harmony with each other.

 

For further information, please visit http://english.gov.cn/archive/chinaabc/