With a recorded history of more than 5000 years, China is one of the world’s earliest civilizations which flourished in the fertile basin of the Yellow River. After centuries and centuries of monarchic feudalism, the Bourgeois Democratic Revolution in 1911 led to the fall of the Qing Dynasty and in 1949 the People’s Republic of China was founded by the Communist Party.
Today the country is striving to establish a socialist market economy.
Being the third most visited country in the world, the long and plural Chinese history has left countless sites of historic significance with 48 UNESCO World Heritage classifications.
The country has recently became the second largest economy in the world and is increasingly playing an important and influential role in the global trade.
Yet China remaining a developing country (its per capita income is still a fraction of that in advanced countries), China is attracting record amounts of foreign investment and, in return, investing billions abroad.
The 56 ethnic groups make the country’s folk customs very colorful and diversified just as it’s landscapes. In China, you’re able to see gorgeous canyons, steep mountains, tropical rain forests, desolate deserts and crystal lakes scattered across 9 600 000 km2. Ethic minorities constitute 8.49% or 113.8 million of China’s population in 2010 although they have experienced higher growth rates than the majority of the Han population, because they are not under the one-child policy.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no single unified Han Chinese culture, and while they share certain common elements such as Confucian and Taoist beliefs, the regional variations in culture among the Han ethnic group are actually very diverse. Many customs and deities are specific to individual regions and even villages. Find out more about China and its regions on the left.