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CHINA

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT
TOPOGRAPHY
CLIMATE
FLORA AND FAUNA
ENVIRONMENT
POPULATION
MIGRATION
ETHNIC GROUPS
LANGUAGES
RELIGIONS
TRANSPORTATION
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL PARTIES
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
JUDICIAL SYSTEM
ARMED FORCES
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
ECONOMY
INCOME
LABOR
AGRICULTURE
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
FISHING
FORESTRY
MINING
ENERGY AND POWER
INDUSTRY
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DOMESTIC TRADE
FOREIGN TRADE
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
BANKING AND SECURITIES
INSURANCE
PUBLIC FINANCE
TAXATION
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
FOREIGN INVESTMENT
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HEALTH
HOUSING
EDUCATION
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
MEDIA
ORGANIZATIONS
TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION
FAMOUS CHINESE
DEPENDENCIES
MACAU
BIBLIOGRAPHY

People's Republic of China

Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo

CAPITAL: Beijing (Peking)

FLAG: The flag is red with five gold stars in the upper left quadrant; one large star is near the hoist and four smaller ones are arranged in an arc to the right.

ANTHEM: March of the Volunteers.

MONETARY UNIT: The renminbi, or "people's money," denominated in yuan (y), is equivalent to 10 jiao or 100 fen. There are coins of 1, 2, and 5 fen, 1, 2, and 5 jiao, and 1 yuan, and notes of 1, 2, and 5 fen, 1, 2, and 5 jiao, and 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, and 100 yuan. y1 = $0.12210 (or $1 = y8.19) as of 2005.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is the legal standard, but some Chinese units remain in common use.

HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), from the 1st to the 3d day of the first moon of the lunar calendar, usually in February; International Women's Day, 8 March; May Day, 1 May; Army Day, 1 August; Teachers' Day, 9 September; and National Day, 12 October.

TIME: 8 pm = noon GMT.

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT

The People's Republic of China (PRC), the third-largest country in the world after the former USSR and Canada and the largest nation in Asia, claims an area of 9,596,960 sq km (3,705,406 sq mi), including Taiwan, which the PRC claims as a province; the major administrative divisions, excluding Taiwan and the offshore islands, cover 9,444,292 sq km (3,646,448 sq mi). Comparatively, the area occupied by China is slightly larger than the United States. If the area of Taiwan is excluded, China is the fourth-largest country in the world, after Russia, Canada, and the United States. The mainland has an extension of 4,845 km (3,011 mi) enewsw and 3,350 km (2,082 mi) ssennw. The mainland's 5,774 km (3,588 mi) coastline, extending from the mouth of the Yalu River in the northeast to the Gulf of Tonkin in the south, forms a great arc, with the Liaodong and Shandong peninsulas in the north protruding into the Yellow Sea and the Leizhou Peninsula in the south protruding into the South China Sea. China's territory includes several large islands, the most important of which is Hainan, off the south coast. Other islands include the reefs and islands of the South China Sea, extending as far as 4° n. These reefs and islands include Dongsha (Pratas), to which Taiwan has also laid claim. China's claims to the Xisha (Paracel) and Nansha (Spratly) archipelagoes are also in dispute. In 1986, the United Kingdom agreed to transfer Hong Kong to the PRC in 1997; in March 1987, the PRC and Portugal reached an agreement for the return of Macau to the PRC on 20 December 1999.

China is bordered on the n by Mongolia (Mongolian People's RepublicMPR) and Russia; on the ne by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK); on the e by the Yellow and the East China seas; along the southern border are Hong Kong, Macau, the South China Sea, the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam, and Laos; on the sw by Myanmar, India, Bhutan, and Nepal; on the w by India, Jammu and Kashmir (disputed areas), Pakistan (west of the Karakoram Pass), and Afghanistan; and on the nw by Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. China's total boundary length, including the coastline (14,500 km/9,010 mi) is 36,647 km (22,771 mi). China's capital city, Beijing, is located in the northeastern part of the country.

TOPOGRAPHY

China may be divided roughly into a lowland portion in the east, constituting about 20% of the total territory, and a larger section consisting of mountains and plateaus in the west. The principal lowlands are the Manchurian (Dongbei) Plain, drained by the Songhua (Sungari) River, a tributary of the Amur (Heilongjiang), and by the Liao River, which flows to the Yellow Sea; the North China Plain, traversed by the lower course of the Yellow (Huang He) River; the valley and delta of the Yangtze (Chang Jiang) River; and the delta of the Pearl (Zhu) River surrounding Guangzhou (Canton). West of these lowlands, the country's topography rises to plateaus of 1,2001,500 m (about 4,0005,000 ft): the Shanxi and Shaanxi loess plateaus, in central China, and the Mongolian Plateau, in the north.

Beyond lie the high plateaus of Tibet, with an average elevation of 4,600 m (15,000 ft), and the great mountain ranges. The highest mountains are the Kunluns and the Himalayas. North of Tibet are two plateau basins of Central Asia, the Tarim and the Junggar, which are separated from each other by the Tian Mountains. The Chinese portion of the Tian range, which also extends into the former USSR, rises above 7,000 m (23,000 ft).

The great rivers of China flow eastward toward the Pacific. In the northeast, the Amur drains a great part of the Manchurian Basin as it winds along its 4,350 km (2,719 mi) course. Other north-eastern rivers include the Liao, the Tumen, and the Yalu, the last two both rising in Mt. Paaktu, flowing respectively northeast and southwest, and forming the boundary between China and the DPRK. The main river of north China, and the second-largest in the country, is the Yellow River (Huang He). From Gansu it winds about 4,671 km (2,903 mi) eastward to Shandong Province, where it empties into Bo Hai (Gulf of Zhili, or Chihli). The valley of the Yellow River covers an area of 1,554,000 sq km (600,000 mi).

Central China is drained mainly by the Yangtze and its tributaries. The largest river in China, the Yangtze travels 5,525 km (3,434 mi) and drains 1,808,500 sq km (698,300 sq mi) of land. As China's only long river with no natural outlet, the Huai River, flowing between the Yangtze and the Yellow (Huang He) and roughly parallel to them, is subject to frequent flooding. To the southwest are the upper courses of the Mekong (Lancang) and Brahmaputra (Yarlung Zangbo) rivers.

Northern China is in a major earthquake zone with some of the most destructive earthquakes on record. On 28 July 1976, a tremor measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale struck the city of Tangshan (145 km/90 mi east of Beijing), causing widespread devastation and the deaths of over 650,000 people. On 3 February 1996, a 6.6 magnitude quake occurred at Yunnan causing death for 322 people and injury to over 16,000. About 358,000 homes were completely destroyed and over 654,000 others were damaged. On 24 February 2003, a 6.4 magnitude quake in Southern Xinjiang killed at least 260 people and injured 4,000. It was recorded as the deadliest earthquake of the year worldwide.

CLIMATE

Although most of China lies within the temperate zone, climate varies greatly with topography. Minimum winter temperatures range from -27°c (-17°f) in northern Manchuria to -1°c (30°f) in the North China Plain and southern Manchuria, 4°c (39°f) along the middle and lower valleys of the Yangtze, and 16°c (61°f) farther south. Although summer temperatures are more nearly uniform in southern and central China, with a July mean of about 27°c (81°f), northern China has a shorter hot period and the nights are much cooler.

Rain falls mostly in summer. Precipitation is heaviest in the south and southeast, with Guangzhou receiving more than 200 cm (80 in), and diminishes to about 60 cm (25 in) in north and northeast China, and to less than 10 cm (4 in) in the northwest. Approximately 31% of the total land area is classified as arid, 22% as semiarid, 15% as sub-humid, and 32% as humid.

FLORA AND FAUNA

Much of China's natural vegetation has been replaced or altered by thousands of years of human settlement, but isolated areas still support one of the world's richest and most varied collections of plants and animals. Nearly every major plant found in the tropical and temperate zones of the northern hemisphere can be found there. In all, more than 7,000 species of woody plants have been recorded, of which there are 2,800 timber trees and over 300 species of gymnosperms. The rare gingko tree, cathaya tree, and metasequoia, long extinct elsewhere, can still be found growing in China. Among flowering plants, 650 of the 800 known varieties of azalea occur in China, while 390 of the 450 known varieties of primrose and about 230 of the 400 known varieties of gentian are also found there. The tree peony, which originated in Shandong Province, appears in 400 varieties.

The richest and most extensive needle-leaf forests occur in the Greater Hinggan Ling (Khingan) Mountains of the northeast, where stands of larch, Asian white birch, and Scotch pine flourish, and in the Lesser Hinggan Ling (Khingan) Mountains, with stands of Korean pine and Dahurian larch. In the Sichuan (Szechuan) Basin, vegetation changes with altitude to embrace a variety of conifers at high levels, deciduous trees and cypresses at middle elevations, and bamboo in lower elevations. Farther south, in subtropical Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, broadleaf evergreen forests predominate. Forests give way to natural grasslands and scrub in drier western and northwestern areas, especially in the semiarid regions of Shanxi and Shaanxi, in the steppes of Inner Mongolia, and along the desert margins of the Tarim and Junggar basins.

China's most celebrated wild animal is the giant panda, a rare mammal now found in the wild only in remote areas of Sichuan, Gansu, and Shanxi provinces; as of 1994, just over 500 wild pandas were still in their natural state. Other fauna unique to China include the golden-haired monkey, found in remote parts of Shaanxi, Gansu, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan; the northeast China tiger, found in the Lesser Hinggan Ling and Changbai mountains along the Korean border; the Chinese river dolphin and Chinese alligator, both found along the middle and lower Yangtze River; the rare David's deer and the white-lipped deer, the latter found mainly in Qinghai Province and Tibet; a rare kind of white bear found in Hubei Province; and the lancelet, an ancient species of fish representing a transitional stage between invertebrate and vertebrate development, now found only in Fujian Province. In addition, more than 1,000 species of birds have been recorded. Among the rarer kinds are the mandarin duck, the white-crowned long-tailed pheasant, golden pheasant, Derby's parakeet, yellow-backed sun-bird, red-billed leiothrix, and red-crowned crane.

ENVIRONMENT

It is estimated that China has lost one-fifth of its agricultural land since 1957 due to economic development and soil erosion. Since 1973, China has taken significant steps to rectify some of the environmental damage caused by rampant use of wood for fuel, uncontrolled industrial pollution, and extensive conversion of forests, pastures, and grasslands to grain production during the Cultural Revolution. Reforestation, including construction of shelter belts, has emphasized restoration of the erosionprone loesslands in the middle reaches of the Yellow River. In 1979, the Standing Committee of the Fifth National People's Congress adopted an Environmental Protection Law and a Forestry Law. In 1989, China began a nationwide program called the Great Green Wall of China which began to accelerate the rate of reforestation. In 2000, about 17.5% of the total land area was forested.

Water supplies are limitedper capita consumption in China's cities is about 34 gallons a day, less than half that in many developing countriesand conservation, reclamation, and redistribution of water constitute major national priorities. Safe drinking water is unavailable to much of the population (as much as one-third, according to some estimates). By 1989, 436 of 532 rivers were polluted. In 1994, the World Health Organization reported that Chinese cities pollute water supplies more than those of any other country in the world. Legislation provides for the protection of aquatic resources, including water quality standards for farmland irrigation and fisheries.

To alleviate water shortages in the heavily populated Beijing-Tranjin region, a massive water transfer project began in 1994 by construction of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. The project aroused considerable controversy. Project managers faced technological problems and higher-than-expected costs. Completion of the project (scheduled for 2009) will create a reservoir that will flood prime farm land and leave the ecology of the river area damaged. By early 2005, one million people had already been displaced by construction. An additional 900,000 people were expected to be displaced by completion of the project.

The use of high-sulfur coal as a main energy source causes air pollution and contributes to acid rain. In the mid-1990s, China had the world's second-highest level of industrial carbon dioxide emissions, totaling 2.67 billion metric tons per year, a per capita level of 2.27 metric tons per year. In 2000, the total increased to 2.7 billion metric tons. Investment in pollution-reducing technology is required of all industrial enterprises. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance and incentives, in the form of tax reductions and higher allowable profits, are available for those enterprises that meet environmental standards. Beijing has implemented programs for controlling discharges of effluents, smoke and soot emissions, and noise pollution. Special success has been claimed for the recovery of oil from effluents of the Daqing oil field in Heilongjiang, refineries, and other oil-processing establishments; use of electrostatic precipitators and bag collectors by the cement and building industries; recovery of caustic soda and waste pulp from effl uents of the pulp and paper industries; introduction of nonpolluting processes into the tanning and depilating of hides; use of nonmercuric batteries; recovery of fine ash from coal-burning power plants for use in the manufacture of bricks, tiles, cement, and road-surfacing materials; and development of new methodologies for recycling coal wastes and marine oil discharges.

To protect the nation's botanical and zoological resources, a program was adopted in 1980 to establish 300 new reserves, with a total area of 9.6 million ha (23.7 million acres). That goal was achieved by the end of 1985, one year ahead of schedule. In 2003, about 7.8% of the total land area of China was protected. The largest reserve, covering 800,000 ha (1,980,000 acres), is the Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve, in the northeast. Others include the Wolong reserve in Sichuan Province, covering 200,000 ha (494,000 acres) and famous for its research on the giant panda; the Dinghu Mountain reserve in Guangdong Province, where a subtropical evergreen broadleaf monsoon forest that has remained virtually untouched for four centuries provides opportunities for ecological studies; and the Nangun River area in Yunnan Province, where the principal focus of protection is the tropical rain forest. There are 30 Ramsar wetland sites and eight natural and mixed properties designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), threatened species included 80 types of mammals, 82 species of birds, 31 types of reptiles, 86 species of amphibians, 47 species of fish, 1 type of mollusk, 3 other invertebrates, and 443 species of plants. Endangered species in China include Elliot's pheasant, Cabot's tragopan, yarkand deer, Shansi sika deer, South China sika, North China sika, the Chinese alligator, the Amur leopard, Javan rhinoceros, Thailand brow-antlered deer, the white-lipped deer, Bactrian camel, the giant panda, and the Siberian white crane. There are about nine extinct species, including the Yunnan box turtle and the wild horse.

POPULATION

The population of China in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 1,303,701,000, which ranked first in population among the 193 nations of the world. In 2005, approximately 8% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 22% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 106 males for every 100 females in the country. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for 200510 was expected to be 0.6%, a rate the government viewed as satisfactory. The government has emphasized family planning since the 1970s, and has accomplished a significant reduction in population growth. The projected population for the year 2025 was 1,476,000,000. The population density was 136 per sq km (353 per sq mi), but the distribution of the population throughout China is extremely uneven. The most densely populated areas near the coast have a population density of more than 154 people per sq km (400 per sq mi), while the western plateaus are sparsely populated.

China, as the most populous country in the world, accounts for 21% of the estimated world population. Until 2001, it was also the only country to have attained the status of demographic billionaire, but in March that year, India also reached a one billion population. The government policy, launched in the 1990s calling for an extensive family planning program to limit population growth, has been successful.

The UN estimated that 37% of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and that urban areas were growing at an annual rate of 2.79%. Government policy has sought to limit the growth of the large eastern cities, especially the capital city, Beijing (Peking), Shanghai, and Tianjin, and to promote the growth of smaller cities away from the coast. China has over 60 metropolitan areas with populations greater than 750,000. As of 2005, the largest urban centers were Shanghai, 12,665,000; Beijing, 10,849,000; and Tianjin, 9,346,000. Other large metropolitan areas included Wuhan, 6,003,000; Chongqing, 4,975,000; Shenyang, 4,916,000; Guangzhou, 3,881,000; Chengdu, 3,478,000; Xi'an, 3,256,000; Changchun, 3,092,000; Harbin, 2,898,000; Dalian, 2,709,000; Jinan, 2,654,000; Hangzhou, 1,955,000; and Qingdao, 1,452,000.

MIGRATION

The overseas migration of millions of Chinese reached its peak in the 1920s when thousands of farmers and fishermen from the southeastern coastal provinces settled in other countries of South-east Asia. Chinese constitute a majority in Singapore, are an important ethnic group in Malaysia, and make up a significant minority in the Americas. In 1949, after the Communist victory, some two million civilians and 700,000 military personnel were evacuated to Taiwan.

Since in many places abroad the Chinese population has been growing at a rate faster than that of the local non-Chinese population, most countries have been trying to curtail the entrance of new Chinese immigrants. Emigration from China under the PRC government was once limited to refugees who reached Hong Kong, but is now denied only to a few political dissidents, if the state is reimbursed for postsecondary education costs. Immigration is for the most part limited to the return of overseas Chinese. At the end of 1999, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported 285,000 Vietnamese refugees in China, 91% of whom are of Chinese ancestry.

During the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, more than 60 million students, officials, peasant migrants, and unemployed were sent "down to the countryside" in a gigantic rustication movement. The goals of this program were to relocate industries and population away from vulnerable coastal areas, to provide human resources for agricultural production, to reclaim land in remote areas, to settle borderlands for economic and defense reasons, and, as has been the policy since the 1940s, to increase the proportion of Han Chinese in ethnic minority areas. Another purpose of this migration policy was to relieve urban shortages of food, housing, and services, and to reduce future urban population growth by removing large numbers of those 1630 years of age. However, most relocated youths eventually returned to the cities.

Efforts to stimulate "decentralized urbanization" have characterized government policy since the late 1970s. Decentralized urbanization and the related relocation of industries away from established centers has also been promoted as a way for China to absorb the increasing surplus labor of rural areas, estimated at 100 million in 2000. However, China's economic boom of the 2000s led to rapid growth of coastal provinces attracting inland rural males for construction and females to work in factories. This contrast extends to how children are perceived. Urban parents call their only child "little sun" (as in "center of the universe"), compared with rural parents, who call their child or children "left behind," (with their grandparents, as parents travel distances for work). For rural areas another split has developed: migrant work for the young and farming for the old.

On 1 July 1997, the sovereignty of Hong Kong reverted back to China. As of 1999, some 1,562 refugees and screened-out nonrefugees still remained in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). In 2004, there were 299,305 refugees living in China, all but 135 in camps. In addition, 44 people sought asylum in China. The main countries to which Chinese emigrated in 2004 were the United States, Canada, South Africa, France, and the United Kingdom. Chinese sought asylum in India, the United States, Germany and Canada. In 2005, the net migration rate for China was estimated as -0.4 migrants per 1,000 population. The government views the migration levels as satisfactory.

ETHNIC GROUPS

According to the latest estimates, the largest ethnic group, accounting for 91.9% of the total population, is the Han. The Han form a majority in most of the settled east and south but remain a minority, despite continuing immigration, in the west.

The remaining 8.1% of the population is comprised of minority groups. Because of their predominance in strategically sensitive border areas, they hold a political and economic importance disproportionate to their numbers. The largest minority, at last estimate was the Zhuang, a Buddhist people, related to the Thai, who are primarily concentrated in Guangxi, Yunnan, and Guangdong. Other large minorities were the Manchu, concentrated in Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning; the Hui, a Chinese-speaking Muslim people concentrated in Ningxia, Gansu, Henan, and Hebei; the Uygur, a Muslim Turkic people of Xinjiang; the Yi, formerly called Lolo, a Buddhist people related to the Tibetans and concentrated in Yunnan, Sichuan, and Guizhou; the Miao, in Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, and Guangxi; and the Tibetans, concentrated in Xizang (Tibet), Qinghai, and Sichuan. Other minority nationalities, with estimated populations of more than one million, included the Mongolians; Tujia; Buyi; Koreans; Dong; Yao; Bai; Hani; Li; and the Kazaks, concentrated in Xinjiang, Gansu, and Qinghai.

LANGUAGES

Chinese, a branch of the Sino-Tibetan linguistic family, is a monosyllabic tone language written by means of characters representing complete words. The Chinese script is not phonetic and remains constant throughout China, but the spoken language has regional phonetic differences. Spoken Chinese falls into two major groups, separated roughly by a northeast-southwest line running from the mouth of the Yangtze River to the border of Vietnam. North and west of this line are the socalled Mandarin dialects, based on the Beijing dialect and known as putonghua ("common language"). The most important dialect south of the linguistic divide is that of Shanghai, the Wu dialect spoken in the Yangtze River Delta. Hakka and Hokkien are dialects of the southeastern coastal province. Cantonese, the Yue dialect spoken in southern China, is the language of the majority of Chinese emigrants. Others include the Minbei or Fuzhou dialect, the Xiang, and Gan dialects. Mandarin Chinese was adopted as the official language of China in 1955.

To communicate in written Chinese, thousands of Chinese characters must be memorized. Since the establishment of the PRC in 1949, reform of the written language has been a major priority. A simplified system of writing, reducing the number of strokes per character, has been adopted, and the language restructured so that anyone familiar with the basic 2,0003,000 characters is functionally literate (defined as being able to read a newspaper).

A number of systems have been developed to transcribe Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet. The principal romanization scheme was the Wade-Giles system until 1979, when the PRC government adopted Pinyin, a system under development in China since the mid-1950s. Inside China, Pinyin is used in the schools to facilitate the learning of Chinese characters, in minority areas where other languages are spoken, and on commercial and street signs. Pinyin has replaced the Wade-Giles system in all of China's English-language publications and for the spelling of place names. In general, pronunciation of Pinyin follows standard American English, except that among initial sounds, the sound of q is like the sound of ch as in chart, the sound of x like the sound of sh as in ship, and the sound of zh like the sound of j as in judge, and among final sounds, the sound of e is like the sound of oo as in look, the sound of eng like the sound of ung as in lung, the sound of ui like the sound of ay as in way, and the sound of uai like the sound of wi as in wide.

Of the 55 recognized minority peoples in China, only Hui and Manchus use Chinese as an everyday language. More then 20 minority nationalities have their own forms of writing for their own languages. Minority languages are used in all state institutions in minority areas and in all newspapers and books published there.

RELIGIONS

Three faithsConfucianism, Buddhism, and Taoismhave long been established in China and the religious practice of the average Chinese traditionally has been an eclectic mixture of all three. Confucianism has no religious organization but consists of a code of ethics and philosophy; filial piety, benevolence, fidelity, and justice are among its principal virtues. Taoism, a native Chinese religion that evolved from a philosophy probably founded in the 6th century bc by Laotzu (Laozi), and Buddhism, imported from India during the Han dynasty, both have elaborate rituals. Tradition-minded Chinese base their philosophy of life on Confucianism, but such old habits of thought came under strong attack during the Cultural Revolution.

Suppression of religion and the introduction of programs of antireligious indoctrination began in 1949 and intensified, with the closure of temples, shrines, mosques, and churches, from the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s. Overt antireligious activity eased in 1976, and the government reactivated its Bureau of Religious Affairs. The constitution of 1982 provides for freedom of belief and worship; however, the government restricts religious practices and maintains a great deal of control over the growth of various religious organizations. The State Administration for Religious Activities and the United Front Work Department monitor religious organizations and supervise the implementation of government regulations for religious groups and activities. All groups are required to register with the government in order to legally participate in worship. Many groups refuse to register, however, either out of protest for government policies and control over religion or from fear of providing the names of religious leaders to government authorities.

As of 2004, the country had five officially recognized religions, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism. About 8% of the population were Buddhists, 1.4% were Muslims, 1.2% were Protestants, and less than 1% were Catholics. Nearly all of the nation's Muslims are members of the ethnic minority nationalities; most belong to the Sunni branch, but the Tajiks are Shias. The tiny Jewish minority has virtually disappeared through emigration and assimilation. A majority of the population does not claim official religious affiliation.

"House churches," a term that typically applies to unregistered Christian groups that meet in homes or businesses for prayer meetings and Bible studies, are somewhat common. Small groups of a dozen or so members are usually allowed to gather without registration as long as the meetings are small, private, and unobtrusive. As membership grows however, these house churches face difficulties in finding ways to continue conducting religious activities without attracting the notice and control of the government. Tensions between the Vatican and the Chinese government have caused difficulties for the nation's Catholics. The state forbids the official Catholic church from recognizing the authority of the Papacy and in matters where government policy and traditional Catholic faith differ, such as abortion, the state takes precedence. This has had a major impact on recruiting, appointing, and retaining the Catholic clergy within the country.

Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) is a combination of Taoism, Buddhism, meditation techniques, and the physical exercises of quigong. Though spiritual in content, it is considered more of a general practice than a religion, since there are no clergy and no places of worship. The group has been considered a heretical cult by the Chinese government and reports indicate that thousands of adherents have been arrested and imprisoned since 1999. It is believed that several hundred have died while in detention.

TRANSPORTATION

Railways, roads, and inland waterways all play an important role in China's transportation system, which has undergone major growth since the 1940s. China's rail network forms the backbone of the transportation system. Chinese railways increased in length from 21,989 km (13,663 mi) in 1949, to 71,898 km (44,721 mi) in 2002, of which 18,115 km (11,267 mi) were electrified. In the rush to expand rail facilities during the "Great Leap Forward," the Chinese laid rails totaling 3,500 km (2,175 mi) in 1958, with some 4,600 km (2,900 mi) added in 1959. Many major projects had been completed by the 1970s, including double-tracking of major lines in the east; the electrification of lines in the west, including the 671 km (417 mi) Baoji-Chengdu link; and the addition of several new trunk lines and spurs, many providing service to the country's more remote areas. While the total rail network is more than twice what it was in 1949, the movement of freight is more than 25 times that of 1949. Increased freight volumes have been achieved by loading freight cars up to 20% over their rated capacity and by containerization. Shortages of freight and tank cars continue to delay deliveries of coal and other industrial raw materials to their destinations. In 1991, China invested $8 billion for infrastructure improvements, including the upgrade of 309 km (192 mi) of double-track railway and the electrification of 849 km (528 mi) of track.

Road transportation has become increasingly important. Motor roads grew from about 400,000 km (249,000 mi) in 1958 to 550,000 km (342,000 mi) in 1964 and to 1,809,829 km (1,125,714 mi) by 2003. About 1,447,682 km (900,458 mi) were paved, including at least 29,745 km (18,501 mi) of expressways. Major roads completed in the 1970s included the 2,413 km (1,499 mi) Sichuan-Tibet Highway, the 2,100 km (1,305 mi) Qinghai-Tibet Highway, and the 1,455 km (904 mi) Xinjiang-Tibet Highway. Between 1981 and 1985, 50,000 km (31,000 mi) of highways and more than 15,000 bridges were built. By 2003, an estimated 6,789,000 passenger automobiles used the highway system, up from 50,000 in 1949. In addition, there were some 17,222,000 commercial vehicles operating in the same year. Bicycles are the chief mode of transport in large cities. In Beijing, there are an estimated eight million bicycles, accounting for 83.5% of the city's road traffic.

As of 2002, China had 121,557 km (75,608 mi) of navigable inland waterways. About 25% of the waterways are navigable by modern vessels, while wooden junks are used on the remainder. The principal inland waterway is the Yangtze River. Much work was done in the early 1980s to dredge and deepen the river, to improve navigational markers and channels, and to eliminate the treacherous rapids of the Three Gorges section east of Yibin. Steamboats can now travel inland throughout the year from Shanghai, at the river's mouth, upstream as far as Yibin, and 10,000ton oceangoing vessels can travel inland as far as Wuhan in the high-water season and Nanjing in the low-water season. Major ports on the river include: Chongqing, the principal transportation hub for the southwest; Wuhan, its freight dominated by shipments of coal, iron, and steel; Wuhu, a rice-exporting center; Yuxikou, across the river from Wuhu and the chief outlet for the region's coal fields; Nanjing; and Shanghai. The Pearl River is navigable via a tributary as far as Nanning. The ancient Grand Canal, rendered impassable by deposits of silt for more than 100 years, has been dredged and rebuilt; it is navigable for about 1,100 km (680 mi) in season and 400 km (250 mi) year-round.

China's merchant fleet expanded from 402,000 gross registered tonnage (GRT) in 1960 to over 10,278,000 GRT in 1986, and to 18,724,653 GRT in 2005. China's 1,649 merchant ships of 1,000 GRT or over can accommodate most of the country's foreign trade. The balance is divided among ships leased from Hong Kong owners and from other foreign sources. The principal ports are Tianjin, the port for Beijing, which consists of the three harbors of Neigang, Tanggu, and Xingang; Shanghai, with docks along the Huangpu River channel; Lüda, the chief outlet for the northeast and the Daqing oil field; and Huangpu, the port for Guangzhou, on the right bank of the Pearl River. Other important ports include Qinhuangdao; Qingdao; Ningbo, the port for Hangzhou; Fuzhou; Xiamen; and Zhanjiang.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) operates all domestic and international air services. Operations have grown significantly with the purchase, since the 1970s, of jet aircraft from the United States, United Kingdom, and other Western sources. In 2004, there were an estimated 472 airports. As of 2005, a total of 389 had paved runways and there were also 30 heliports. Principal airports include Capital at Beijing, Shuangliu at Chengdu, Hongqiao at Shanghai, Baiyun at Guangzhou, Wujiaba at Kunming, and Gaoqi at Xiamen. From Beijing there are scheduled daily flights to Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu, Shenyang, Changchun, Changsha, Wuhan, Zengzhou, and Harbin. The total scheduled international and domestic service performed in 2003 included 5,651 million freight tonkm, as well as 86.041 million passengers carried.

HISTORY

Fossils attest to hominid habitation in China more than 500,000 years ago, and Paleolithic cultures appeared in the southwest by 30,000 bc. Neolithic peoples appeared before 7000 bc; by 3000 bc there were millet-growing settlements along the Yellow River (Huang He). The original home of the Chinese (Han) people is probably the area of the Wei, Luo (Lo), and middle Yellow rivers. According to tradition, the Xia (Hsia) dynasty (c.2200c.1766 bc) constituted the first Chinese state. Its successor, the Shang, or Yin, dynasty (c.1766c.1122 bc), which ruled over the valley of the Yellow River, left written records cast in bronze or inscribed on tortoiseshell and bone. The Shang was probably conquered by the Western Zhou (Chou) dynasty (c.1122771 bc), which ruled a prosperous feudal agricultural society. Fleeing foreign attack in 771 bc, the Western Zhou abandoned its capital near the site of Xi'an and established a new capital farther east at Luoyang (Loyang). The new state, known as the Eastern Zhou dynasty (771256 bc), produced the great Chinese philosophers including Confucius (K'ung Futzu or Kong Fuzi) and the semi-historical figure, Lao Tzu (Lao Zi). Between 475 and 221 bc, the Qin (Ch'in) dynasty (221207 bc) gradually emerged from among warring, regional states to unify China. Shi Huangdi (Shih Huang Ti, r.221210 bc), the first Qin emperor (the outer edges of whose tomb, opened in the 1970s, were discovered to contain stunningly lifelike terracotta armies), ended the feudal states and organized China into a system of prefectures and counties under central control. For defense against nomadic proto-Mongolian tribes, Shi Huangdi connected walls of the feudal states to form what was later to become known as the Great Wall. By this time, the Yellow River had an irrigation system, and cultivation had begun in the Yangtze Valley; at the end of Shi Huangdi's reign, China probably had close to 40 million people. During the period of the Han dynasties (206 bcad 8, ad 25220), China expanded westward, nomadic tribes from the Mongolian plateau were repelled, and contacts were made with Central Asia, the West, and even Rome. The Han saw the invention of paper. Under the later Han, Buddhism was introduced into China. After the Han period, the Three Kingdoms (Wei, Shu, and Wu) contended for power, and nomadic tribes from the north and west raided northern China. From the 4th century ad on, a series of northern dynasties was set up by the invaders, while several southern dynasties succeeded one another in the Yangtze Valley, with their capital at Nanjing (Nanking). Buddhism flourished during this period, and the arts and sciences were developed. The empire was reunited by the Sui (589618) dynasty, which built the Grand Canal, linking the militarily strategic north with the economic wealth of the south and laying the basis for the Tang (T'ang, 618907) dynasty.

Under the early Tang, especially under Emperor Taizong (T'aitsung, r.62749), China became powerful. The bureaucratic system, begun by the Han, was further developed, including the regular use of an examination system to recruit officials on the basis of merit. Handicrafts and commerce flourished, a system of roads radiated from the capital (at the site of Xi'an), successful wars were fought in Central Asia, and China became the cultural and economic center of Asia. Poetry and painting flourished, particularly under Emperor Xuan-Zong (Hsüantsung, r.71256). Civil wars and rebellion in the late Tang led to a period of partition under the Five Dynasties (r.90760) which was followed by the Northern and Southern Song (Sung) dynasties (9601127, 11271279), distinguished for literature, philosophy, the invention of movable type (using clay and wood), the use of gunpowder in weapons, and the improvement of the magnetic compass. However, Mongol and Tatar tribes in the north forced the Song to abandon its capital at Kaifeng in 1126 and move it to Hangzhou (Hangchow). In 1279, Kublai Khan (r.127994) led the Mongols to bring all of China under their control and became the first ruler of the Mongols' Yuan dynasty (12791368). The Mongols encouraged commerce and increased the use of paper money. The Grand Canal was reconstructed, and a system of relay stations ensured safe travel. Many European missionaries and merchants, notably Marco Polo, came to the Mongol court.

After a long period of peasant rebellion, Mongol rule was succeeded by the native Chinese Ming dynasty (13681644). The famous Ming admiral, Zheng He (Cheng Ho, 13711433) led seven naval expeditions into the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean between 1405 and 1433, reaching as far as the east coast of Africa. The Portuguese reached China in 1516, the Spanish in 1557, the Dutch in 1606, and the English in 1637. The Ming dynasty was overthrown by the Manchus, invaders from the northeast, who established the last imperial dynasty, the Qing (Ch'ing or Manchu, 16441911). The first century and a half of Manchu rule was a period of stability and expansion of power, with outstanding reigns by Kang xi (K'anghsi, 16621722) and Qian long (Ch'ienlung, 173696). Although the Manchus ruled as conquerors, they adopted indigenous Chinese culture, administrative machinery, and laws. Under Manchu rule, Chinese territories included Manchuria, Mongolia, Tibet, Taiwan, and the Central Asian regions of Turkestan. The population of over 300 million by 1750 grew to over 400 million a century later.

By the close of the 18th century, only one port, Guangzhou (Canton), was open to merchants from abroad, and trade was greatly restricted. Demands by the British for increased trade, coupled with Chinese prohibition of opium imports from British India, led to the Opium War (183942), which China lost. By the Treaty of Nanjing (1842), the ports of Guangzhou, Xiamen (Amoy), Fuzhou (Foochow), Ningbo, and Shanghai were opened, and Hong Kong Island was ceded to Britain. The T'aiping Rebellion (185064), nearly overthrew the Manchus and cost 30 million lives. A second war (185660) with Britain, joined by France, resulted in the opening of Tianjin (Tientsin) to foreign trade. The West's interest then turned from trade to territory. Russia acquired its Far Eastern territories from China in 1860. China's defeat in the Sino-French War (188485), in which it came to the defense of its tributary, Vietnam, resulted in the establishment of French Indo-China. In the First Sino-Japanese War (189495), Japan obtained Taiwan, the opening of additional ports, and the independence of Korea (which Japan subsequently annexed in 1910). This was a major turning point and led to the "scramble for concessions." In 1898, Britain leased Weihai in Shandong and the New Territories (for 99 years) of Hong Kong, Germany leased part of Shandong, Russia leased Port Arthur at the tip of Liaedong Peninsula, and France leased land around Guangzhou Bay in the south. The Boxer Rebellion, an uprising in 18991901 by a secret society seeking to expel all foreigners and supported by the Manchu court, was crushed by the intervention of British, French, German, American, Russian, and Japanese troops.

A revolution that finally overthrew Manchu rule began in 1911 in the context of a protest against a government scheme that would have handed Chinese-owned railways to foreign interests. City after city repudiated the Manchus, and in February 1912, the dowager empress, Ci Xi (Tz'u Hsi), signed an abdication document for the infant emperor, Puyi (P'uyi). The Chinese republic, ruled briefly by Sun Zhongshan (Sun Yatsen), followed by Yuan Shikai (Yuän Shihkai), entered upon a period of internal strife. Following Yuan's death in 1916, the Beijing regime passed into the hands of warlords. The Beijing regime joined World War I on the Allied side in 1917. In 1919, the Versailles Peace Conference gave Germany's possessions in Shandong to Japan, sparking the May Fourth Movement as student protests grew into nationwide demonstrations supported by merchants and workers. This marked a new politicization of many social groups, especially those intellectuals who had been emphasizing iconoclastic cultural change.

Meanwhile, civil war grew more intense. In the south, at Guangzhou, the Nationalists (Guomindang, Kuomintang) led by Sun Zhongshan in alliance with the Communists (whose party was founded in Shanghai in 1921) and supported by Russia, built a strong, disciplined party. After Sun Zhongshan's death in 1925, his successor, Chiang Kaishek (Jiang Jieshi), unified the country under Nationalist rule in 1928 with the capital in Nanjing. In 1927, the Nationalists began a bloody purge of the Communists, who sought refuge in southern Jiangxi Province. Their ranks severely depleted by Nationalist attacks, the Communists embarked on their arduous and now historic Long March during 193435. The Communists eventually reached Shaanxi Province in north-western China, where, under the leadership of Mao Zedong (Tsetung), they set up headquarters at Yan'an (Yenan). Japan, taking advantage of Chinese dissension, occupied Manchuria (Dongbei) in 1931.

Increasing Japanese pressure against northern China led, in July 1937, to the second Sino-Japanese war, which continued into World War II and saw Japanese forces occupy most of China's major economic areas. Nationalist China, established in the south-western hinterland with its capital at Chongqing, resisted with US and UK aid, while the Communists fought the Japanese in the northwest. Japan evacuated China in 1945 and both Communist and Nationalist forces moved into liberated areas. The rift between the two factions erupted into civil war. Although supported by the United States, whose mediation efforts had failed, the Nationalists steadily lost ground through 1948 and 1949, were expelled from the mainland by early 1950, and took refuge on Taiwan.

The People's Republic

The Communists, under the leadership of Mao, as chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), proclaimed the People's Republic of China (PRC) on 1 October 1949, with the capital at Beijing. A year later, China entered the Korean War (195053) on the side of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). In the fall of 1950, China entered Tibet, which had asserted its independence after the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty, despite formal claims to it by all subsequent Chinese governments. In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled to India during a Tibetan revolt against Chinese rule. Tibet became an autonomous region in 1965. The Nationalists held, in addition to Taiwan, islands in the Taiwan (Formosa) Strait: the Pescadores, Quemoy (near Xiamen), and the Matsu Islands (near Fuzhou).

In domestic affairs, a rapid program of industrialization and socialization up to 1957 was followed in 195859 by the Great Leap Forward, a crash program for drastic increases in output and the development of completely collectivized agricultural communes. The program ended in the "three bad years" of famine and economic crisis (195961), which produced 20 million deaths above the normal death rate, followed by a period of restoration and retrenchment in economics and politics. In the early 1960s, Chinese troops intermittently fought with Indian border patrols over conflicting territorial claims in Ladakh and the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Mediation attempts failed, but in 1963, the Chinese withdrew from the contested areas that they had occupied, and war prisoners were repatriated. Meanwhile, growing discord between China and the former Soviet Union had become more open, and in 1960, the USSR withdrew its scientific and technical advisers from China. Public polemics sharpened in intensity in the succeeding years, as the two powers competed for support in the world Communist movement.

After the Chinese economy recovered in 1965, Mao again steered the country onto the revolutionary path, and gradually built up momentum for the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, one of the most dramatic and convulsive periods in modern Chinese history. It continued until Mao's death in 1976, but the most tumultuous years were from 1966 to 1969, during which the cities witnessed a chaotic and violent pattern of factional fighting, accompanied by attacks on bureaucrats, intellectuals, scientists and technicians, and anyone known to have overseas connections.

Increasing confrontation between Mao and the party establishment, beginning in the fall of 1965, culminated in August 1966 with the CCP Central Committee's "16Point Decision" endorsing Mao's Cultural Revolution policy of criticizing revisionism. In response to Mao's initiative, high levels of urban protest demonstrated widespread dissatisfaction with bureaucracies and privilege. In the latter half of 1966, the Red Guard movement of radical students attacked educational and state authorities and split into competing factions. Amid the rising conflict, the party institution collapsed in major cities. Liu Shaoqi, second to Mao in the political hierarchy and Chairperson of the People's Republic, was ousted from power as the chief target of the Cultural Revolution. In 1968, Liu was formally dismissed from all positions and expelled from the party. He died at the end of 1969. From January 1967 through mid-1968, the discredited political establishment was replaced by Revolutionary Committees, comprised of the new radical organizations, the officials who remained in power, and representatives of the army. Finally, the army was told to restore order. In 1968 and 1969, students were sent out of the cities into the countryside. Colleges did not reopen until 1970. At the Ninth Party Congress in April 1969, the military's role was confirmed when Lin Biao, the Minister of Defense, was named Mao's successor.

Estimates place the number of dead as a direct result of the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1969 at 400,000. Much of the countryside, however, was unaffected and the economy, despite a setback in 1968, suffered little. The remaining years of the Cultural Revolution decade, up to 1976, were marked by a legacy of struggles over policies and over political succession to the aging Mao (83 at his death in 1976). In September 1971, Lin Biao died in a plane crash, allegedly while fleeing to the former USSR following an abortive coup. The decade from 1966 to 1976 left persistent factionalism in Chinese politics and a crisis of confidence, particularly among the young.

These years of domestic upheaval also brought profound changes in international alignments. In 1969, Chinese and Soviet forces clashed briefly along the Amur River frontier of eastern Heilongjiang Province. Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, China played a major role in supporting the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) in the Vietnamese conflict. In November 1971, the PRC government replaced Taiwan's Nationalist government as China's representative at the UN and on the Security Council, following a General Assembly vote of 7635, with 17 abstentions, on 25 October. Following two preliminary visits by US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, President Richard M. Nixon journeyed to China on 21 February 1972 for an unprecedented state visit, and the two countries took major steps toward normalization of relations as the two nations sought common ground in their mutual distrust of Soviet intentions. In the period following the Nixon visit, US-China trade accelerated and cultural exchanges were arranged. In May 1973, the two countries established liaison offices in each other's capital and full diplomatic relations were established by 1979.

In 1975 at the Fourth National People's Congress, Zhou Enlai (Chou Enlai) announced a reordering of economic and social priorities to achieve the Four Modernizations (of agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology). Factional strife reminiscent of the late 1960s emerged between radical party elements led by Mao's wife, Jiang Qing (Chiang Ch'ing), and three associates (later collectively dubbed the Gang of Four), who opposed the modernization plans, and veteran party officials, such as Deng Xiaoping (previously associated with Liu Shaoqi and restored to power in 1973), who favored them. When Zhou died on 8 January 1976, the radicals moved to block the appointment of Deng (Zhou's heir apparent) as premier, with Mao resolving the impasse by appointing Hua Guofeng, a veteran party official and government administrator, as acting premier. Attacks on Deng continued until he was blamed for spontaneous disorders at a Beijing demonstration honoring Zhou on the Festival of the Dead, 5 April 1976, and, for the second time in his career, Deng was removed from all official positions.

After Mao

When Mao Zedong died on 9 September 1976, Hua Guofeng was quickly confirmed as party chairman and premier. A month later, the Gang of Four was arrested, and in early 1977, the banished Deng Xiaoping was again "reinstated." By 1978, Deng Xiaoping had consolidated his political dominance, and a new era of economic reforms began. The Third Party Plenum and the Fifth National People's Congress in 1978 adopted a new constitution and confirmed the goals of the Four Modernizations. Another new constitution in 1982 again confirmed policies of economic reform and emphasized legal procedure. The Cultural Revolution was officially condemned and Mao's historical role reevaluated. After a show trial from November 1980 to January 1981, the Gang of Four, together with Mao's former secretary and five others associated with Lin Biao, were convicted of crimes of the Cultural Revolution. Jiang Qing, whose death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, committed suicide in 1991 after being diagnosed with cancer.

In 1980, Zhao Ziyang, a protégé of Deng Xiaoping, replaced Hua Guofeng as premier, and Hu Yaobang, another Deng protégé, became general secretary of the CCP while Hua resigned as party chairperson (a position which was abolished) in 1981. The 1980s saw a gradual process of economic reforms, beginning in the countryside with the introduction of the household responsibility system to replace collective farming. As the rural standard of living rose, reforms of the more complex urban economy began in the mid-1980s in an attempt to use the economic levers of the market instead of a command system of central planning to guide the economy. These included, with varying degrees of success, reforms of the rationing and price system, wage reforms, devolution of controls of state enterprises, legalization of private enterprises, creation of a labor market and stock markets, the writing of a code of civil law, and banking and tax reforms. At the same time, the Chinese pursued a policy of opening toward the outside world, establishing Special Economic Zones, and encouraging joint ventures and foreign investment.

In the 1980s and 1990s, China attempted to settle its relations with neighboring states. After a border clash with Vietnam in 1979, there were agreements with Great Britain in 1984 for the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997, and with Portugal in 1987, for the return of Macaua Portuguese colony since the 16th centuryin 1999. In May 1989, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev visited Beijing in the first Sino-Soviet summit since 1959. Top Vietnamese leaders came to China in 1991, normalizing relations between the two countries after a gap of 11 years. In the early 1990s, China and South Korea established regular relations, with China also maintaining a relationship with North Korea.

Until 1989, economic reforms were accompanied by relatively greater openness in intellectual spheres. A series of social and political movements spanning the decade from 1979 to 1989 were critical of the reforms and reacted to their effects. In the Democracy Wall movement in Beijing in the winter of 197879, figures like Wei Jingsheng (imprisoned from 1979 to 1994 and subsequently reimprisoned) called for democracy as a necessary "fifth modernization." A student demonstration in Beijing in the fall of 1985 was followed in the winter of 198687 with a larger student movement with demonstrations of up to 50,000 in Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing, in support of greater democracy and freedom. In June 1987, blamed for allowing the demonstrations, Hu Yaobang was dismissed as party General Secretary, and several important intellectuals, including the astrophysicist Fang Lizhi and the journalist Liu Binyan, were expelled from the party. At the 15th Party congress of November 1987, many hardline radicals failed to retain their positions, but Zhao Ziyang, who was confirmed as General Secretary to replace Hu, had to give up his position as Premier to Li Peng. By the end of 1988, economic problems, including inflation of up to 35% in major cities, led to major disagreements within the government, resulting in a slowdown of reforms. In December 1988, student disaffection and nationalism were expressed in a demonstration against African students in Nanjing.

On 15 April 1989, Hu Yaobang died of a heart attack. Students in Beijing, who had been planning to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement, responded with a demonstration, ostensibly in mourning for Hu, demanding a more democratic government and a freer press. Student marches continued and spread to other major cities. The urban population, unhappy with high inflation and the extent of corruption, largely supported the students and, by 17 May, Beijing demonstrations reached the size of one million people, including journalists, other salaried workers, private entrepreneurs and a tiny independent workers' organization, as well as students. On 19 May, martial law was imposed to no effect, and the government attempted to send troops to clear Beijing's Tiananmen Square, where demonstrators were camped, on 1920 May and 3 June. Finally, in the early hours of 4 June 1989, armed troops, armored personnel carriers, and tanks, firing on demonstrators and bystanders, managed to reach the Square. Firing continued in the city for several days and estimates of the total number killed range from 200 to 3,000. The events of 4 June sparked protests across the country, and thousands were arrested as the movement was suppressed. On 24 June, Zhao Ziyang was dismissed as General Secretary and Jiang Zemin, the mayor of Shanghai, was named in his place.

Following 4 June 1989, economic reforms were curtailed and some private enterprises closed down as the leadership launched an anticorruption drive. Ideological expression, higher education, and the news media were more tightly controlled in the ensuing years. The move toward a market oriented economy began again, with increased speed, after Deng Xiaoping made a publicized visit in the spring of 1992 to the most developed areas in southern China. China's economy became one of the most rapidly growing in the world but continued to be plagued by inflation, corruption, and a growing disparity among the provinces. With a high rate of tax evasion, state revenues were shrinking and one-third went to subsidize state enterprises. Having been at the forefront of change in the early 1980s, peasants in the early 1990s were being left behind. In 1993 and 1994, there were peasant protests and riots over receiving IOUs for their produce and over local corruption. There were workers' disputes and strikes (250,000 between 1988 and 1993) in response to low pay and poor working conditions.

Labor unrest continued into 1997 as thousands of workers in several impoverished inland provinces rioted when promises of back pay went unfulfilled. A March 1997 labor protest involving 20,000 workers in Nanchong was the largest since the Communist revolution. China's uneven economic development also led to the growth of a migrant worker class. By 2005, it was estimated that some 100150 million peasants left their homes in northern and western provinces in search of menial work along the coast. The unemployment in urban areas was 9.8% for 2004 with an overall unemployment rate of 20%; the unemployment rate does not include underemployment which also is a serious problem.

Parallel to but separate from the student and labor movements were ongoing demonstrations by ethnic minorities; there are 56 officially recognized minority groups in China. The most visible were those of the Tibetans (Buddhists), due to their international connections, but there have also been protests by other minorities, such as the Uyghurs (Muslims) in Xinjiang province. Violent Tibetan demonstrations in the fall of 1987 and spring of 1988 were forcibly suppressed, and from March 1989 to April 1990, martial law was imposed in Lhasa, Tibet. A Uyghur uprising in Xinjiang was met with force by the Chinese military in February 1997, leaving an estimated 100 ethnic Uyghur and 25 Chinese dead. But the situation in Tibet posed the most difficulty for Beijing. China's efforts to control Tibet and dilute its culture led in 1995 to the indefinite detention of the six-year-old boy chosen by the exiled Dalai Lama as his reincarnation, or Panchen Lama. Beijing selected another six-year-old and forced Tibetan leaders to accept him. According to the CCP the Panchen Lama and his family are living in 'protective custody,' however, no international organization has been able to visit the family to verify their whereabouts since he was taken in 1995.

In September 1997, the CCP's 15th National Congress elected a Central Committee, which selected the 22member Politburo. Jiang Zemin became the General Secretary of the party in addition to his title of president. Li Peng was appointed prime minister, and Zhu Rongji, deputy prime minister. During this Congress, political power was consolidated in the triumvirate, with Jiang Zemin officially taking the deceased Deng Xiaoping's position.

As the government prepared for the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the People's Republic of China, it witnessed the return of Hong Kong (1 July 1997) and Macau (20 December 1999). Both former colonies were designated Special Administrative Regions (SAR) and Jiang stated that each SAR would continue to operate with a considerable degree of economic autonomy.

Also in 1999, Chinese nationalism increased with the US bombings of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in May as an outpouring of government-sanctioned anti-American demonstrations took place in Beijing. Despite rising nationalism, the political leadership felt threatened by a small but rapidly growing religious sect, the Falun Gong. On 22 July 1999, Chinese authorities banned the sect and arrested its leaders despite international human rights watch groups' criticism. The country celebrated its 50th anniversary on 1 October 1999 with a 500,000person military parade showcasing its new technological achievements in armaments.

In February and March 1996, China testfired missiles near Taiwan's two main ports, which caused the United States to send two aircraft carrier groups to the Taiwan Strait. It was the largest US naval movement in the Asia-Pacific region since the Vietnam War. The missile firings and accompanying military exercises were considered to be responses to Taiwan's presidential elections of March 1996, which President Lee Tenghui, whom China accused of supporting Taiwanese independence, won.

In the runup to Taiwanese presidential elections in March 2000, Chen Shuibian of the Democratic Progressive Party, the eventual winner, issued proindependence campaign speeches advocating "one country on each side," contradicting China's "one-country, two systems" policy. In March 2000, Zhu Rongji, the deputy prime minister, warned Taiwan and the United States that Taiwanese independence could lead to armed conflict. A Chinese newspaper also quoted a government white paper stating that war with the United States is inevitable in the future and that if the United States intervened on behalf of Taiwan, the Chinese may use nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, China began construction of military bases on the mainland across the Taiwan Strait. In 1996, China had fewer than 50 shortrange missiles within striking distance of Taiwan. In April 2002, it was estimated that China's military forces had more than 350 missiles in the region and by 2005 the number had escalated to 700.

On 1 April 2001, a US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft survived a midair collision with a Chinese F-8 fighter jet over the South China Sea. The Chinese fighter pilot was lost. The EP-3 conducted an emergency landing on Hainan Island, and the 24-member crew was detained there for 11 days in a standoff between the two countries. The United States and China blamed each other's aircraft for the crash. The EP-3 was later disassembled for transport back to the United States.

China expressed deep sympathy toward the United States following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. It has backed the Americanled war on terrorism, and cited its own problems with what it considers to be terrorist activities led by ethnic Uyghurs fighting for an independent homeland in the northwest Xinjiang province. China has detained thousands of Uyghurs since 11 September 2001. China voted in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 1441 on 8 November 2002, which required Iraq to immediately disarm itself of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons), to allow UN and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arms inspectors into the country, and to comply with previous UN resolutions regarding Iraq.

On 11 December 2001, China formally became a member of the World Trade Organization, representing international recognition of China's growing economic power. Several nongovernmental organizations and individuals worldwide protested China's accession to the body, due to its record on human rights violations. Another formidable problem for China, in regards to acceptance of WTO regulations, is the lack of adherence to intellectual property rights which involves industries as different as films to computer software. Most concerning is the availability of counterfeit medicine; thousands of Chinese are reported to have died from the ill effects of fake medicine. WTO regulations forbid counterfeiting although this has not yet affected China's membership in the organization.

In November 2002, China and the ten members of ASEAN signed an accord to resolve any conflicts over the Spratly Islands without armed force. The Spratlys are claimed by China, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, and are home to some of the world's busiest shipping lanes; they are also believed to be rich in oil and natural gas. Signatories to the accord agreed to cease further occupation of the islands, to help anyone in distress in the area, to exchange views with one another on defense issues, and to give advance warning of military exercises.

At the 16th Communist Party Congress held 814 November 2002, what is considered to be a "fourth generation" of Chinese leaders emerged, led by Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin's replacement as Communist Party General Secretary. In addition to Hu, the other eight members of the 9-member Politburo Standing Committee were new appointees. In 2005 Hu advised the CCP not to focus solely on economic growth and instead integrate social and environmental factors into decision making. Hu also took a number of high profile trips to the poorer areas of China as well as made the minutes of the Politburo Standing Committee meetings public.

GOVERNMENT

On 4 December 1982, China adopted its fourth constitution since 1949, succeeding those of 1954, 1975, and 1978. In theory, the highest organ of state power is the National People's Congress (NPC), in which legislative power is vested. The constitution stipulates, however, that the congress is to function under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party, headed by the general secretary. The NPC meets annually for about two weeks to review major new policy directions, to adopt new laws, and to approve the national budget submitted to it by the state council. Each congress consists of more than 3,000 deputies elected indirectly for a term of five years. The NPC elects a standing committee as its permanent working organ between sessions. The state council, the executive organ of the NPC, consists of a premier (the head of government), five vicepremiers, ministers, and heads of other major government agencies. The state council issues administrative regulations and both formulates and executes economic policy and the state budget. The 1982 constitution restored the largely ceremonial post of state chairman, or president, a position abolished by Mao Zedong in 1968. The eighth National People's Congress in March 1993 elected Jiang Zemin as president and reelected Li Peng, first elected in 1988, to a second five-year term as premier. At the ninth National People's Congress in March 1998, Li Peng was elected chairman of the NPC standing committee, and Zhu Rongji became premier. Since the 1980s, the NPC has slowly increased its function as a locus for discussion of issues instead of merely being a rubber stamp. The 1992 debate on the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) dam project is an example of this.

The death of Communist Party patriarch Deng Xiaoping in February 1997 brought to a head the infighting between Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, and Zhu Rongji. At the 15th National People's Congress, Jiang was chosen to succeed Deng Xiaoping. The political leadership settled into one of shared leadership. At the 16th party congress held in November 2002, Jiang Zemin, Li Peng and Zhu Rongji resigned their posts in the Politburo standing committee, and the three gave up their positions as president and general secretary, chairman of the NPC standing committee, and premier, respectively, at the 10th NPC held in March 2003. Hu Jintao was named president (he had already been named general secretary of the Communist Party) and Wen Jiabao was named premier.

Democratic elections are held at the village level, but are forbidden above that level. The one lone opposition party, China Democratic Party, is acknowledged by the CCP, but it exists in theory only. Corruption, embezzlement, and bribery are all aspects of contemporary Chinese political life. The government owns all forms of media, including television, radio stations, and most newspapers. However, access to the Internet is widespread, especially in large cities and Western news outlets can be reached.

POLITICAL PARTIES

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been the ruling political organization in China since 1949. Eight other minor parties have existed since 1949 as members of a United Front, but their existence has been purely nominal. The party, with 55 million members (1999 estimate), plays a decisive role in formulating broad and detailed government policies and supervising their implementation at all levels of administration. Party supervision is maintained not only through placement of CCP members in key government posts, but also through specialized organs of the central committee of the CCP, which focus their attention on given subjects (e.g., propaganda or rural work). The CCP also forms branches within individual government units, as well as in factories, communes, schools, shops, neighborhoods, and military units.

Theoretically, the highest organ of party power is the National Party Congress, which usually meets once every five years. At each party congress a central committee is elected to oversee party affairs between sessions. The central committee (356 members198 full members and 158 alternate members) meets annually in a plenary session to elect a political bureau, or Politburo (with 24 members as of 2006), and its standing committee, the party's most powerful organ (9 members in 2006). Directing day-to-day party affairs at the highest level is the secretariat, headed by Hu Jintao as general secretary since November 2002. In 1982, the post of party chairman, formerly the most powerful in the nation, was abolished; the title had been held by Mao Zedong until his death in 1976, by Hua Guofeng from 1976 until his ouster in 1981, and by Hu Yaobang thereafter.

Deng Xiaoping, China's acknowledged political leader since 1977, retired from the central committee in 1987, retired as chairperson of the party's central military commission in 1989, and retired as chairperson of the state's central military commission, his last formal position, in 1990. A new CCP charter adopted at the 12th Communist Party congress in September 1982 forbids "all forms of personality cult" and, in an implicit criticism of Mao, decrees that "no leaders are allowed to practice arbitrary individual rule or place themselves above the party organization." A major purge of party members in the early 1980s sought to exclude elements opposed to Deng's modernization policies. The 13th party congress, convened in October 1987, affirmed Deng's reform policies and the drive for a younger leadership.

In the wake of the June Fourth massacre in 1989, Deng Xiaoping declared that Jiang Zemin, former mayor of Shanghai, should be the "core" of collective leadership after Deng's death. The Politburo announced prohibitions, largely ineffectual, against some forms of party privileges and nepotism, the corruption that had sparked the 1989 protests. The 14th party congress in October 1992 removed Yang Shangkun, state president (198893), from the Politburo, weakening the power of his clique in the military. In 1993, the National People's Congress reelected Jiang Zemin, already party general secretary, as chairperson of the central military commission and elected him as state president. This was the first time since the late 1970s that top, formal positions in the party, government, and military were concentrated in one leader's hands.

After the 15th Communist Party congress, a highly publicized anticorruption drive resulted in the execution of several prominent cases. In addition, Jiang began to remove the Communist Party from state-owned enterprises through an aggressive privatization strategy. In 2000, Jiang introduced a theory revamping the image of the Communist Party. Called the "three represents," it was written into the party constitution at the 16th party congress in November 2002. Seen as a reorientation of the party away from its sole mission to serve the proletariat, the theory of the "three represents" emphasizes the importance of the middle class, stating that the party will represent not only workers and peasants, but the "advanced productive forces, advanced culture, and the broad masses of the people." Jiang resigned as chairman of the Central Military Commission in September 2004, his last official post.

Hu, who became state president at the National People's Congress in March 2003, was a protégé of Deng Xiaoping, chosen as the "core" of the younger generation. Seen as moderate and cautious, he was expected to proceed with Jiang's slow but steady policy of economic liberalization, and perhaps to introduce some administrative and political reform. Soon into his tenure, the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) crisis broke out and Hu was criticized for not taking action quickly enough. Hu also chose to move China away from a policy of favoring rapid economic growth and toward a more balanced view of growth, most notably by establishing a "green" GDP, taking into consideration the degradation of both natural resources and the environment.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The People's Republic of China (PRC) consists of 22 provinces (sheng the PRC claims Taiwan as its 23rd province), five autonomous regions (zizhiqu ), and four centrally administered municipalities (zhixiashi ). Provinces and autonomous regions, in turn, are divided into "special districts," counties (xian ), and cities (shi ) under provincial jurisdiction, as well as into autonomous minor regions (zhou ) and autonomous counties (zizhixian ), where non-Han Chinese minority groups reside. Counties, autonomous counties, and autonomous zhou are divided into townships (xiang ), autonomous townships (for small minority groups), towns, and rural communes. Hong Kong and Macau are designated as Special Administrative Regions (SAR).

From 195882, local administrative authority formerly held by the xiang was transferred to the communes and their local people's councils. In 1988, Hainan Island, formerly part of Guangdong, was made China's newest province. The 1982 constitution returned local administrative control to the xiangs as the communes began to be disbanded. Local revolutionary committees, which replaced the local people's councils during the Cultural Revolution and under the 1975 constitution, were abolished in 1980. The restored local people's councils have the power to formulate local laws and regulations. The local people's governments are administrative organs of the state and report to the State Council.

In the 1980s an emphasis was placed on recruiting and promoting younger and better-educated officials in local party and government posts. Many provinces along the coastal regions have adopted more decentralized forms of administration while interior provinces remain highly beholden to the central party. Local elections involving multiple candidates have taken place, especially in the more urbanized coastal areas. Elections began on a trial basis in 1987, and in over 730,000 villages, peasants were scheduled to go to the polls every three years to elect local committees.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM

China's legal system, instituted after the establishment of the PRC in 1949, is largely based on that of the former USSR. However, after 1957, Mao Zedong's government consistently circumvented the system in its campaign to purge the country of rightist elements and "counter-revolutionaries." The Ministry of Justice was closed down in 1959, not to reopen until 1979, and the excesses of the Cultural Revolution wrought havoc on legal institutions and procedures. Efforts to reestablish a credible legal system resumed in 1977 (when there were no lawyers in China), as party moderates came to power. These efforts were accelerated in the early 1980s as China sought to provide the legal protection required by foreign investors.

The highest judicial organ is the Supreme People's Court, which, with the Supreme People's Procuratorates, supervises the administration of justice in the basic people's courts and people's tribunals (courts of first instance), intermediate people's courts, and higher people's courts. The judiciary is independent but subject to the Communist Party's policy guidance. The legal profession was still in an incipient stage of development in the mid-1980s. Over 25 law departments at universities and four special schools for training legal officials were in operation in 1987, when China had 26,000 lawyers. By 2000, there were 112,000 lawyers with plans to increase this number to 200,000 by 2010.

A major anticrime campaign during the autumn of 1983 resulted in public executions at the rate of at least 200 a month; capital punishment may be meted out for 65 offenses, including embezzlement and theft. Under the Chinese criminal codes, as revised in 1979, local committees may sentence "hoodlums" to terms in labor camps of up to four years, in proceedings that grant the suspect no apparent opportunity for defense or appeal. Government records for 1990 indicated that nearly 870,000 persons were assigned to such camps during the 1980s. In 2003, there were 250,000 people reported to be incarcerated in these camps. China does not permit international observation of prisons or labor camps. Since 1990, sentences to labor camps may be judicially challenged under the Administrative Procedures Law. In practice the review of such a sentence is rarely sought.

Due process rights are afforded in the 1982 constitution, but they have limited practical import. The Criminal Procedural Law requires public trials, with an exception for cases involving state secrets, juveniles, or personal privacy. Cases are rapidly processed and conviction rates are about 99%. The 1976 Criminal Code contained 26 crimes punishable by death. A 1995 law raised this number to 65, including financial crimes such as passing fake negotiable notes and letters of credit, and illegal "pooling" of funds. Appeal is possible but with little chance of success. However in 1996, the National Peoples' Congress passed new legislation to reform criminal procedure and the legal profession. The new legislation recognized for the first time that lawyers represent their clients, not the state. Under the new system lawyers may establish private law firms. Defendants may also ask near relatives or guardians to provide additional defense.

Amendments to the criminal procedure became effective in January 1997. The amendments state that suspects may retain a lawyer after being first interrogated by an investigative organ. Attorneys may conduct limited investigation, call defense witnesses, and argue their client's cases in open court. According to the amendments, defendants will enjoy a presumption of innocence.

Beginning in 1998, the government began a comprehensive "internal shakeup" of the judiciary, resulting in the punishment or dismissal of over 4,200 judicial branch employees. In January 1999, the former head of the Anticorruption Bureau of the Supreme People's Procuratorate was dismissed for corruption.

China is party to many international organizations such as the UN, the ICC, ASEAN, and most recently the World Trade Organization. China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001 has caused China to undertake a full-scale revision of its laws and regulations in order to adhere to WTO rules. In opening its market up to sectors involving finance, insurance, telecommunications, commerce, transportation, construction, tourism, and other services, China will require its judicial system to perform in accordance with international standards. As of 2003, China's lawyers were adhering to a new policy to wear black suits in court, in an attempt to promote professionalism and as a step toward integration with international practices.

Independent trade unions are illegal. Striking is also illegal although there have been increased use of strikes as a method of bargaining with mixed results. Sometimes leaders are arrested but other times not.

The oft misunderstood "one-child policy" has been clarified in recent years. The Population and Family Planning Law requires couples to employ birth control measures and technically limits the couple to only one child. This is well enforced in the cities, but less so in more rural areas. However, there are many avenues through which couples may have a second child. Two examples are as follows: ethnic minorities and farming families are able to have more than one child and couples in urban areas that are both the product of a one child family are entitled to produce a second child.

In March 2005, the State Council passed the Regulation on Religious Affairs which human rights groups believe sharply curtailed both freedom of religious belief and freedom to express one's belief. However, Chinese officials claimed that the regulation safeguards "normal" religious activities, places of religious worship, and religious believers. At the same time religious believers are expected to abide by the government's laws. Religious activities that are banned if deemed "nonnormal" include publishing and distributing texts, selecting leaders, raising funds and managing finances, organizing training, inviting guests, independently scheduling meetings and choosing venues, and communicating freely with other organizations.

ARMED FORCES

In 2005, China's active military forces totaled 2,255,000 personnel, with around 800,000 reservists. China has been modernizing its military at a rapid pace even as it reduces personnel. The Army had 1,600,000 personnel, whose major weaponry included more than 7,580 main battle tanks, 1,000 light tanks, 1,000 armored infantry fighting vehicles, over 3,500 armored personnel carriers, and over 17,700 artillery pieces (14,000 towed). The Army's air arm included 31 attack helicopters and eight assault helicopters. The Army is deployed over seven regions. The Chinese Navy in 2005 consisted of an estimated 255,000 personnel, including an estimated 10,000 Marines and a naval aviation arm of 26,000 personnel. Major naval units include 68 tactical submarines including 5 nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs), 21 destroyers, 42 frigates, 331 patrol/coastal craft, 130 mine warfare vessels, and various types of amphibious craft and logistics/support vesels. The Navy's aviation arm had 436 combat capable aircraft including 68 bombers, 74 fighters, and 274 fighter ground attack aircraft. Chinese naval forces are deployed into three fleets. The air-force had a total of 400,000 personnel including 210,000 assigned to air defense and 40,000 assigned to China's strategic forces. The Air Force's arsenal had 2,643 combat capable aircraft, including up to 222 bombers, 1,252 fighters, and 1,169 fighter ground attack aircraft.

Chinese military strength also includes a nuclear capability. It is suspected that China possesses 410 strategic and nonstrategic nuclear weapons. There are more than 100,000 personnel assigned to the nation's Strategic Missile Forces.

China's paramilitary forces in 2005 had about 1.5 million active personnel, which made up the People's Armed Police; these forces are under the Ministry of Public Security. In addition, there are over 100,000 border defense and 69,000 communications personnel. There are also an estimated 800,000 Internal Security personnel. The Chinese are involved in UN peacekeeping missions in 10 countries or regions around the world.

China's defense budget for 2005 was reported to be $29.5 billion. However, that figure may be misleading. In 2004, the defense budget totaled $25 billion, but actual defense spending was estimated at $62.5 billion.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

China has held a seat in the United Nations since 24 October 1945. After the Communist victory in 1949, UN representation was exercised by the Republic of China (ROC) government on Taiwan until November 1971, when the PRC replaced the ROC in the world organization and its member agencies. As of January 1988, the PRC belonged to ESCAP and several nonregional specialized agencies. The PRC displaced the ROC in the World Bank and IMF in 1980. China acceded to WTO membership on 11 December 2001. China also participates in APEC, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and G-77. The country is an observer in the OAS and the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA), a nonregional member of the Caribbean Development Bank, and a dialogue partner in ASEAN.

The United States extended recognition to China on 15 December 1978 and resumed full diplomatic relations as of 1 January 1979. Continued US links with Taiwan in the 1980s, however, remained an irritant in USPRC relations. The future of Hong Kong, for which part of the lease (the New Territories) expired in 1997, dominated UK-Chinese discussions, and in 1984, an agreement to give Hong Kong back to China in 1997 was formally signed. Relations with the USSR, severed during the Sino-Soviet split in the 1960s, improved somewhat in the 1980s but remained strained over China's support of anti-Soviet forces in Cambodia and Afghanistan. By the end of 1985, more than 130 nations had extended full diplomatic recognition to the PRC, with a parallel drop to about 10 in the number recognizing Taiwan's government. By the mid-1980s, the PRC had achieved normal relations with most of its Asian neighbors, including Japan, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore.

Relations with Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos (all allies of the former USSR) were tense after the late 1970s, but improved in the 1990s. At the Eighth Summit of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations held in November 2002, China forgave the debts of Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991, China established diplomatic relations with the republics of the former Soviet Union. China normalized relations with the Republic of Korea in 1992. At an "ASEAN+3" (China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea) summit meeting held in November 2000, the three countries agreed to promote human and cultural exchanges between them. As of January 2003, a proposed ASEAN-China Free Trade Area was being planned, to begin in 2010.

China is part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (London Group), the Zangger Committee, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and participates as an observer in the Nonaligned Movement. In 2001, China joined with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to establish the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a cooperative security partnership focused on combating terrorism, extremism, and separatism. China is also a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

In environmental cooperation, China is part of the Antarctic Treaty, the Basel Convention, Conventions on Biological Diversity and Whaling, Ramsar, CITES, the London Convention, International Tropical Timber Agreements, the Kyoto Protocol, the Montréal Protocol, MARPOL, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, Climate Change, and Desertification.

ECONOMY

Traditional China was predominantly agricultural. Adhering to farming patterns developed over a score of centuries, China could sustain a harsh level of self-sufficiency, given surcease from natural calamities. For almost three decades prior to 1949, the incessant ravages of civil disorder, foreign (principally Japanese) invasion, and gross economic neglect virtually decimated China's frail abilities to sustain itself. The first task of the new PRC government thus was to restore the flow of natural resources to prewar levels. By the early 1950s, the government had succeeded in halting massive starvation. Almost all means of production and distribution were brought under state control, and vast parcels of land were redistributed to the peasantry. During 195357, China's first five-year plan stressed heavy industry. Economic development was aided by imports of machinery and other industrial equipment from the former USSR and East European countries. In return, China exported agricultural produce to them. A major geological prospecting drive resulted in the discovery of mineral deposits that provided a major thrust toward industrialization.

The Great Leap Forward of 195859 initially produced sharp gains in industry and agriculture, but the zeal for increased quotas quickly resulted in undue strain on resources and quality. The Great Leap was followed by "three bitter years" of economic crisis brought on by bad harvests and the economic dislocation of the previous period. By 1961, the GNP had fallen to an estimated $81 billion, roughly the level reached in 1955. By 1965, however, a readjustment of expectations, coupled with a careful program of industrial investment, helped the economy to recover. China's trade patterns, meanwhile, had shifted radically away from the USSR and toward Japan and Western Europe.

During the late 1960s, in the Cultural Revolution period, long-range central economic planning was abandoned in favor of policies promoting local self-reliance. Self-sufficiency in grain production was particularly stressed. The negative impact of this emphasis on agricultural development, together with the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution, resulted in a drop in industrial production of 1020%, while agricultural output, aided by good weather, improved only marginally.

Centralized planning resumed in 1970 with Zhou Enlai's announcement of key goals for the fourth five-year plan (197175), including an increase in grain output. The fifth five-year plan (197680), disrupted during the political upheaval that followed the deaths of Mao and Zhou in 1976, was restructured in 1978 to embody the Four Modernizations, with the use of Western technology as necessary. At the same time, a 10-year plan (197585) calling for the traditional expansion of agriculture and heavy industry was revamped to emphasize the growth of light industries and the accelerated development of industrial raw materials. Trade with the United States expanded after full diplomatic relations were restored in 1979, and four special economic zones were established as centers for foreign investment. The sixth five-year plan (198185), adopted in 1982, reflected this new pragmatic approach to economic development by emphasizing agriculture, light industry, energy, and improved transportation facilities. During the 1980s, the Chinese economy underwent a major restructuring under the leadership of Zhao Ziyang. Rural reforms launched in 1979, which linked remuneration to output and centered on household responsibility, had a profound and beneficial impact on the rural economy, and output and income rose to record levels for rural residents. The commune system was disbanded in 198384 and replaced by a system of townships, and the household or family became the main unit of rural production. In the wake of the success of these rural reforms, the CCP Central Committee published "A Decision on the Reform of the Economic Structure" in October 1984, with the goal of totally overhauling the national economy and bringing urban industrial organization in line with rural practice. The main points of the decision were that all urban enterprises would be responsible for their own profits and losses, managers would have greater decisionmaking authority, and national and local governments would relinquish direct control over enterprises and assume a regulatory and supervisory position. Remuneration would be based on productivity, subsidies would be abolished, wages and prices would find their own level, and private and collective enterprises would be encouraged.

The seventh five-year plan (198690) made reform its paramount concern. The reforms put forth in 1984 and firmly anchored in the 1988 Enterprise Law proved remarkably successful, leading to much higher rates of industrial and general economic growth than previously expected. Real GNP grew by an average of 9.6% annually between 197988, reaching 11% in 1988. By this time, however, indicators of a seriously overheated economy were also clearly emerging; inflation accelerated to 20.7% and shortages in raw material and energy supply, as well as transportation capacity, rapidly worsened. Growth fell to only 4% in 1989 before austerity measures initiated by the government brought inflation to below 10% and eventually restored growth to double digit levels.

Infrastructure development was given special priority in the China's eighth plan covering 199195. During this period economic growth accelerated, averaging more than 10% annually, giving China one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With growth came rising inflation and infrastructural bottlenecks, which highlighted the need for further improvements in macroeconomic management. The 19962000 economic plan, which called for economic growth of 910% through 2000, reaffirmed the importance of the private sector and opening the economy to the outside world. To attract and maintain foreign investors China needed to reform its legal and financial institutions. Despite the government's endorsement of market reforms, the plan continued to affirm the role of state-owned enterprises, which still accounted for more than one-third of total industrial output. In 1996, China committed two-thirds of fixed-asset investment to state-owned enterprises even though most were heavily in debt. By propping up the state sector China risked continuing budget deficits and the higher debt service that came with the borrowing necessary to pay for those expenditures. Investment in the state sector accounted for nearly all of the new investment in 1998, in the form of a special infrastructure-spending package forwarded by the government, supporting a GDP growth rate of 7% in 1999. Economic growth, which slowed during the late 1990s, recovered after China gained entrance to the WTO in 2002.

International analysts warn that reports of the GDP issued by the government may be suspect, pointing to historical inconsistencies between government-reported GDP statistics and those reported by other economic analysts. Mid-way through 2005, the Economist Intelligence Unit's estimates of a GDP increase of 9.3% appeared to be accurate. Also in that year, draft proposals for the eleventh five-year plan specified several objectives, including the promotion of energy efficiency, doubling percapita GDP, and encouraging "harmonious development."

INCOME

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2002 China's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $6 trillion. The per capita GDP was estimated at $4,600. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 8%. The average inflation rate in 2005 was -0.8%. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 18% of GDP, industry 49%, and services 33%.

According to the United Nations, in 2000 remittances from citizens working abroad totaled $556 million, accounting for approximately 0.1% of GDP. Worker remittances in 2001 totaled $912 million. Foreign aid receipts amounted to about $1 per capita.

The World Bank reports that in 2001 per capita household consumption (in constant 1995 US dollars) was $399. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings. It was estimated that for the same period private consumption grew at an annual rate of 5%. The richest 10% of the population accounted for approximately 30.4% of household consumption and the poorest 10% approximately 2.4%. It was estimated that in 2001 about 10% of the population had incomes below the poverty line.

LABOR

In 2005, China's labor force was estimated at 791.4 million. As of 2003, an estimated 49% of civilian employment was in agriculture, 22% in industry, and 29% in services. Although unemployment in urban areas was officially put at 4.2% in 2004, there was substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas. In 2003, it was estimated by an official Chinese journal that unemployment overall, which included the country's rural areas, was 20%.

Although workers in China are legally allowed the freedom of association, as of 2005, in reality they cannot organize or join a union of their own choosing. Instead, workers are represented by the AllChina Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), which is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and is headed by a top party official. The ACFTU controls all union activities and organizations, including those at the enterprise level. Independent unions are illegal. As of the end of 2004, it was reported by the ACFTU that its membership totaled 136.9 million, or 53% of the country's 264 million workers in urban areas. A total of 38% of all corporate units and 25% of private firms in China are thought to be registered with the ACFTU. Union officials working outside the official confines of the ACFTU have reported being harassed and detained by authorities.

Unlike their urban counterparts, China's estimated 540 million rural labor force (including 300 million primary sector workers) were unorganized, with no similar organization to represent the nation's farmers. In addition, only a small number of the 130 million rural residents that work in village and township enterprises were unionized.

While collective bargaining for workers in all enterprise types is legal, in reality it falls way short of international standards.

Although forced and compulsory labor is prohibited by law, it was a serious problem in penal institutions. Those held in reeducation-through-labor facilities were frequently forced to work often with no or little remuneration. In some cases they were contracted to nonprison enterprises to the profit of the facilities and their respective managers.

There is a minimum working age of 16, but compliance with this is irregular, especially in the burgeoning and unregulated private economy. The huge surplus of adult labor reduces the incentive to employ children. Children are most often found working on farms in poorer, isolated areas. Those between the ages of 16 and 18 are considered "juvenile workers" and were prohibited from certain types of physical work, including laboring in mines. The minimum wage varies depending on the area of the country. There is no set national minimum wage rate. It generally provides a decent standard of living for a family. The Labor Law provides that the standard workweek is 40 hours, with a mandatory 24-hour rest period weekly.

AGRICULTURE

With some 50% of the economically active population engaged in farming, agriculture forms the foundation of China's economy. Limitations in topography, soil, and climate, however, have restricted cultivation to only about 15% of the total land area. Despite recent advancesgrain crops totaling an estimated 377 million tons were produced in 2003 (18.2% of the world's total)the enormous pressures of feeding and clothing China's vast and growing population remain among the country's most compelling concerns. From 1980 to 1990, agricultural output grew at an average annual rate of 5.9%, above the population growth rate and the first sustained expansion of agriculture since 1966; output increased at an average annual rate of 4.1% from 1990 to 2000. By 2003, agricultural production was up another 9% from 19992001.

The PRC government expropriated large landholdings in a land reform carried out in 195152, redistributing the land among poor peasants. By the end of 1954, 11.5% of all peasant households had been collectivized; by 1955, 65%; and by 1965, 99%. The Chinese collective farms had virtually no mechanical equipment, but the peasants pooled their labor in various projects, such as water management, which were beyond the capacity of individual peasants. In 1958, the collective farms were merged into larger units as people's communes. The communes were concerned not only with agricultural output but also with subsidiary farm activities, such as light industry and handicrafts, usually produced for local consumption.

Far-reaching changes in the organization of communes took place during 196162. Formerly, the production brigade (the major division of a commune), of which there were about 719,438 in 1982, was regarded as the commune's "basic accounting unit." In 1962, however, the production team (the subdivision of a commune) became the commune's basic organizational element. The average production team consisted of 33 households and cultivated about eight hectares (20 acres). Production teams functioned almost autonomously, making basic decisions on production and distribution of income, while the commune mainly exercised the functions of a township government. Households, the final link in the system, were permitted the use of private plots, which made up about 5% of the arable land assigned to a team. In the early 1980s, these private holdings accounted for 19% of total agricultural output and the bulk of the country's production of vegetables, fruits, hogs, and poultry. Under the "responsibility system," which was introduced in 1978 and by 1983 was operating in 90% of rural China, all production in excess of assigned levels could be sold on the open market to yield a profit for individual production teams. In 1982, in addition to the rural communes, which provided most of China's agricultural output, there were 2,078 state farms working approximately 4.5% of all farmland. These farms, under the Ministry of State Farms and Reclamation, generally served as commodity production centers and as research units for the improvement of crop and livestock yields.

In 198384, a major reform of the agricultural system was launched. The 50,000 communes were disbanded and replaced by 92,000 townships, and the six million production brigades were broken up. Production decisions were now made by the household, which sets production targets in contracts with the government; households could sell their surpluses in the open market for cash. Crop diversification was encouraged. By the late 1980s, 60% of agricultural output was free of state controls, and most of China's peasants practiced the household responsibility system.

Grains are the chief crop, accounting for 70% of the total value of crop output and occupying 80% of all land under cultivation. Shandong, Jiangsu, and Henan together account for about 25% of the total crop value.

The main food crops are rice, wheat, and corn, followed by kaoliang (a type of sorghum), millet, potatoes, and soybeans. China is the world's leading producer of rice, with production increasing from 106.6 million tons in 1970 to an estimated 177.4 million tons (29% of the world's total) in 2004. Over 90% of all rice is produced in southern China, with two (and in the far south, three) crops being grown each year where irrigation facilities permit. Early rice is planted in April and harvested in July; single-crop rice is planted in May and harvested in September; and late double-cropped rice is planted in June and harvested in October. The total wheat crop in 2004 amounted to 91.3 million tons, more than double the 1970 output. Wheat is cultivated throughout the country, often as a dry-season crop in the rice-growing south, with specialized production centered in the Yangtze Valley and North China Plain. Output of other coarse grains, including corn in the southwest and drought-tolerant millet and kaoliang in northern and north-eastern China, exceeded 140.6 million tons in 2004. Production of roots and tubers, including sweet potatoes grown as a second crop in areas south of the Yellow River (Huang He) and white potatoes in cooler areas north of the Great Wall, totaled 181.4 million tons in 2004. In 2004, China's agricultural exports (including fish and forestry products) were valued at $28 billion, with 24% shipped from the port of Qingdao, 13% from Dalian, and 13% from Shanghai.

Industrial crops occupy only 89% of the cultivated areas. Among the most important are cotton (the chief raw material for the important textile industry), various oil-bearing crops, sugar, tobacco, silk, tea, and rubber. Cotton output totaled 6.3 million tons in 2004, up from 5.6 million tons in 1991, with production concentrated along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and on the plains of the Yellow and Huai rivers. Oilseed output in 2004 was derived from a diverse assortment of widely grown industrial crops, including sunflower seeds (1,750,000 tons) and rapeseed (13,040,000 tons). Other oilseed products included 250,000 tons of castor beans, 650,000 tons of sesame seeds, and 460,000 tons of linseed in 2004. Sugar production reached 90.6 million tons in 2004; an estimated 84% of all sugar is derived from sugarcane grown in the south, and the remaining 16% from sugar beets grown in the north and northeast. Production of tea, also an important traditional export, increased from 120,000 tons in 1956 to 861,000 tons in 2004 (26% of world production), with most of the tea grown in hilly regions of the south and southeast. Most tobacco is produced as a sideline by commune householders working private plots; output was 2.4 million tons in 2004 (37% of world production). Most natural rubber is produced on specialized state farms; production totaled 600,000 tons in 2004.

The irrigated area is estimated to have increased from about 15.3 million hectares (37.8 million acres) in 1950 to 55 million hectares (137 million acres) in 1998, making China the world's leader in irrigated land. The expansion of fertilizer production is viewed as a key to major growth in the agricultural sector. Toward this end, China during 197274 contracted for the purchase of 13 large urea plants from Japan, the United States, and Western Europe. China's use of chemical fertilizers increased from 184 kg per hectares in 1984 to about 258 kg per hectares in 2002. Farm machinery in 2002 included 926,031 tractors and 197,000 combines.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

Except in outlying areas, nearly all of China's arable land is devoted to crops. Most agricultural units, however, also support the raising of large quantities of hogs and poultry. Natural grasslands for the grazing of sheep and cattle occupy 4 million sq km (1.5 million sq mi), or 43% of China's total area; the four major pasture areas are Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, and Inner Mongolia. In an effort to improve these pastures, 303 million hectares (749 million acres) were planted with improved forage seed strains from 1976 to 1980. Nonetheless, animal husbandry continues to be the weak link in the agricultural economy.

China leads the world in swine production, the total number of hogs reaching about 472.9 million as of 2004 (55% of the world's total), as compared with 89.8 million in 1952. The provinces with the largest hog populations are Sichuan, Hunan, Henan, and Shandong. Pig raising, often pursued as a private sideline by peasants, is the fastest-growing sector of the livestock industry, and hogs and pork products are becoming valuable export earners.

The number of sheep expanded from 36.9 million in 1952 to nearly 155.7 million in 2004. Most sheep are raised by pastoral herders, mostly the ethnic minorities, in the semiarid lands of Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, and Sichuan (Szechuan). Goats, also raised primarily in semiarid areas but increasingly promoted throughout China as a profitable household sideline for milk and dairy production, increased in number from 24.9 million in 1952 to 183.4 million in 2004. Provinces with the greatest numbers of sheep and goats include Shandong, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Itenan. In 2004 there were also 128 million head of cattle and buffalo, up from 66.6 million in 1965; 7.9 million horses (792,000 in 1965); and 265,000 camels (448,000). Chickens and ducks are raised throughout China on private plots and constitute, together with fish and pork, China's chief sources of dietary protein. The provinces with the largest cattle populations are Itenan, Shandong, Sichuan, and Guangxi. China produced 306,000 tons of honey in 2004, more than any other nation. China also led the world in silk production in 2004, at some 95,000 tons (75% of world production).

In 2004, China produced 74.4 million tons of meat, ranking first in the world with 27% of the total. Some 14.7 million tons consisted of poultry, second only to the United States and accounting for 18% of world production. Pork production in 2005 amounted to 50 million tons (first in the world), equivalent to 49% of global production.

FISHING

With a coastline of some 6,500 km (4,000 mi) adjoining a broad continental shelf, China has excellent coastal fisheries. A vast number of inland lakes and ponds, covering a total area of about 300,000 sq km (116,000 sq mi), are also used for fish culture, and a 30 km (19 mi) section of the Yangtze below Gezhouba Dam at Yichang is a designated sturgeon preserve. The principal marine fisheries are located on the coast of southern and southeastern China, in the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, and Zhejiang. The total catch in 2003 was 16,755,653 tons, the highest in the world and 18% of global production. China typically accounts for about 10% of the world's catch, but per capita Chinese consumption of fish amounts to only 9.3 kg (20.5 lb) per year (live weight equivalent), one of the lowest amounts in Asia. China's leading aquacultural products are carp, kelp, oysters, and scallops. Chinese aquaculture produced 28,892,005 tons of fish products in 2003, valued at $31.4 billion, 68% of world aquacultural production by weight and 52% by value.

Exports of fisheries products in 2003 accounted for 8.3% of the commodity's world exports, and were valued at over $5.2 billion (second after Thailand). Regulations for the protection of aquatic resources were enacted in 1979.

FORESTRY

Forest cover has grown from 8.6% of the land base in 1949 to over 18.2% in 2005. Mature stands are decreasing, however, while the share of plantation and commercial forests continues to rise in response to government policies. Coniferous forest accounts for 47%; deciduous, 50%; and mixed, 3%. Most of the forests are in remote regions, however, and lack of transportation limits exploitation. China has three major forest areas: the northeast (Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Inner Mongolia); the southwest (Sichuan and Yunnan); and the southeast (Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Hainan). Fujian, Zhejiang, Anhui, and Guangdong together account for about 30% of the total value of the forestry sector. Coniferous stands, which yield the most valuable commercial timber, are found mainly in the northeast and adjoining parts of Inner Mongolia. Deciduous trees are felled in Sichuan and Yunnan. Between 1990 and 1995, however, the northeast's share of production fell from 38% to 30%, as production shifted from state-owned forests in the north to plantation forests in the south. While China is a major producer of softwood logs and lumber, virtually all of its production is domestically consumed. Paper production, which has benefited from the substitution of rice-straw and other non-wood materials for wood pulp, nearly tripled during the 1980s. Special forestry products originating in southwestern China include tung oil, cassia oil, and aniseed oil. Wood imports can vary widely from year to year. China is the largest timber importer in the worldimports of timber and related products reached $17 billion in 2003. China's domestic industrial round-wood production is divided into two partsstate quota production accounting for about 50 million cu m, and production from illegal over-quota logging, which contributes an additional 40 million cu m. About 60% of state quota timber production comes from plantations. Private mills dominate China's wood processing sector. There are more than 200,000 mills in China (located mostly in Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, and Fujian), of which more than 90% are private.

Deforestation has been a persistent and serious problem in China, leading to massive erosion and desertification. The government has, from the start of its first five-year plan in 1953, given high priority to campaigns for afforestation. By 1980, 26 million hectares (64 million acres) of new forests had been planted, and during the 1980s, afforestation proceeded at the rate of 4.55 million hectares (11.24 million acres) per year. However, cutting of trees for fuel continued in rural areas, and many of the trees planted as part of afforestation efforts were lost because of neglect after planting. During 19902000, the forested area grew by an annual average of 1.2%. In its tenth five-year plan commencing in January 2001, the Ministry of Forestry set the annual allowable timber cut at 223.1 million cu m (7.88 billion cu ft), however illegal logging remains a considerable problem, with annual logging exceeding the quota by 75.54 million cu m (2.67 billion cu ft), or 34%.

MINING

China produced more than 70% of the world's tungsten, was the largest producer and exporter of rare earths, the largest producer of cement, tin, and steel, and a world leader in the production of antimony. Intensive geologic exploration has yielded greatly expanded mineral reserves. This increase in known subsurface resources was reflected in production rises for China's most important mineral productscoal, petroleum, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, tungsten, mercury, antimony, tin, molybdenum, barite, fluorspar, magnesite, and rare earths. In 2000, China produced a total of 7.51 million tons of 10 nonferrous metals, 14.6% more than in 1999; production in all 10 metals increased. The production of iron and steel was China's leading industry in 2002, coal production ranked second, and petroleum, cement, and chemical fertilizers were among the top eight. Mineral fuels ranked fifth among export commodities.

Iron ore production in 2004 (gross weight) was 310 million metric tons, up from 261 million metric tons in 2003. Virtually all iron mining was carried out north of the Yangtze River, and the country's total resources totaled 55,000 million tons, the largest reserves being in Liaoning, Hebei, and Sichuan. The largest producersAnshan Mining Co. (in Liaoning, Anshan) and Shoudu (Capital) Mining Co. (Beijing)had annual capacities of 30 million tons and 20 million tons, respectively. As domestic iron deposits were of a low ore grade (less than 35% on the average) and required concentration, China has imported more than 50 million tons of ore in the past several years, and steel enterprises continued to look for jointventure possibilities for iron mines in other countries.

Tungsten output in 2004, mainly from Jiangxi, was 67,000 metric tons (metal content), up from a revised figure of 55,500 metric tons in 2003.

Copper output (metal content) was 610,000 metric tons in 2004, unchanged from 2003, but up from 568,000 metric tons in 2002.

Other metallic ore outputs in 2004 were: tin (chiefly in Yunnan), 110,000 metric tons, up from 102,000 metric tons in 2003; antimony (from Guangxi, Guizhou, and Hunan), 110,000 metric tons; bauxite (gross weight), 15 million metric tons, 13 million metric tons in 2003; lead (metal content), 950,000 metric tons, down from 955,000 metric tons in 2003; molybdenum, 29,000 metric tons; mercury, 425 metric tons, down from 610 metric tons in 2003; and zinc, 2.1 million metric tons, up from 2.03 million metric tons in 2003. China also mined alumina, bismuth, cobalt, gallium, germanium, gold, indium, manganese, nickel, platinum-group metals, silver, uranium, and vanadium. Henan geologists discovered a bauxite deposit in western Hunan Province that could contain reserves of 50 million tons and a significant amount of gallium. Another bauxite discovery, in Jingxi County, Guangxi Province, could contain reserves of 82 million tons (37 million tons of which could be economically developed), 100,00 tons of gallium, and a significant amount of niobium, scandium, and titanium.

The government since 2002 has eased restrictions on its gold market, allowing gold producers to sell their gold through the Shanghai Gold exchange, instead of to the Central Bank at a fixed price. However, imports and exports of gold ingot were still controlled by the government. The establishment of gold mining companies that were wholly owned by foreign investors was not permitted. Shandong province was the leading gold-producing province in China, followed by Henan, Fujain, Shaanxi, Liaoning, and Hebei provinces.

The output of rare-earth oxide content60% from Nei Mongol, 18% from Sichuan, and 17% from Jiangxiwas 98,000 metric tons in 2004, up from 92,000 metric tons in 2003. Major portions were exported to France, Japan, and the United States. In Nei Mongol, rare-earth concentrate, known as Baotou rare-earth concentrate, was the by-product of producing iron concentrates, and contained oxides of the light rare-earth grouplanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, samarium, europium, and gadolinium. In Mianning and Dechang (Sichuan), rare earths were mainly bastnasite, and, in Ganzhou (Jiangxi), the rare earths were of the ionic absorption type. A joint venture in Jiangsu province was to produce vanillin. The largest producersGansu Rare Earths Co. (in Jiangxi, Nanchang) and Baotou Iron and Steel and Rare Earths Corp. (in Nei Mongol, Baotou)had capacities of 32,000 and 25,000 metric tons, respectively. China's rare-earth processing capacity expanded from 50,000 metric tons per year in 1995 to 130,000 metric tons per year in 2000. Rare earths remained a highly controlled sector, and a rare-earth quota was introduced in 1999 to control exports.

Hydraulic cement production in 2004 was 970 million metric tons, up from 862 million metric tons in 2003. Other industrial mineral production in 2004 included: fluorspar, 2.7 million metric tons; barite, 3.9 million metric tons (2.39 million metric tons of barium sulfate was exported, worth $77.8 million); magnesite, 4.65 million metric tons; gypsum, 7 million metric tons, up from 6.8 million metric tons in 2003; graphite, 700,000 metric tons, down from 710,000 in 2003 (451,735 metric tons exported, for $67,041,000); talc and related materials, 3 million metric tons, unchanged from 2003 (640,000 metric tons exported, for $65,954,000); mine boron (boron oxide equivalent), 135,000 metric tons, up from 130,000 metric tons in 2003; asbestos, 510,000 metric tons; and bromine, 4,300 metric tons, down from 42,000 metric tons in 2003. China also produced diamond, diatomite, dolomite, kyanite and related materials, lithium minerals, nitrogen, phosphate rock and apatite, potash, salt, sodium compounds, and sulfur.

The government in 2000 approved the opening of a diamond exchange market in Shanghai. China in 2000 became the world's eighth-largest consumer of precious stones (actual figures were difficult to ascertain because of smuggling and overseas purchases), and "Greater China," which included Hong Kong and Taiwan, was believed to be the world's third-largest diamond market, after the United States and Japan.

In 2000, the government issued several laws and regulations to improve the country's investment environment and foreign investors' confidence. The laws and regulations dealt with, among other things, mineral resource exploitation planning, land exploitation, mine ownership transfer, customs law, gold mining, Sinoforeign contractual joint ventures, foreign capital enterprises, and mineral-resource deposit size classification standards. The government continued its efforts to restructure the mining and metal sectors, abolishing nine bureaus, transferring responsibilities to industrial associations, dissolving three state-owned nonferrous enterprises, and, to help the industry become more efficient, ceding management to provincial and city governments. The government also offered incentives to companiesexemption from income tax, tariffs, and import value-added tax (VAT)to invest in the poorer western provinces. It also began to phase out the preferential taxes for foreign enterprises, prepared to draft a "zero tariff rate" policy for exports, issued guidelines to allow foreign enterprises to conduct mineral exploration in China, and agreed to eliminate import quotas and dismantle export subsidies. China planned to increase production of cement, copper, fertilizer, iron, lead, nickel, salt, soda ash, and zinc, and expected to retain its dominance in the world market for antimony, barite, fluorspar, magnesite, rare earths, and tungsten.

ENERGY AND POWER

China's petroleum resources are a key to its industrial development. In 2004, it became the world's second-largest consumer of petroleum products, surpassing Japan. Crude oil production increased from 102,000 barrels per day in 1960 to 3.3 million per day as of 2002, and to an estimated 3.62 million barrels per day in 2004. In 1998, China had proven reserves of 24 billion barrels. As of 1 January 2005, its proven reserves were estimated at 18.3 billion barrels. In 2004, consumption was estimated at 6.53 million barrels per day, with net oil imports estimated at 2.91 million barrels per day in 2004. The major producing centers are the Daqing field in Heilongjiang, which came into production in 1965 and the Liaohe field, located in northeastern China. Although nearly 85% of China's oil production capacity is onshore, and in addition to numerous other mainland finds, China has potential offshore reserves in the Bo Hai area (thought to have reserves of over 1.5 billion barrels) and the South China Sea, especially in the vicinity of Hainan Island.

By the mid-1970s, China no longer had to rely on oil imports; petroleum exports had, in fact, emerged as a major source of foreign exchange earnings. More than 9,740 km (6,050 mi) of long-distance pipelines transport the oil from fields to refineries and other points of consumption and export. China, however, became a net importer of oil in 1996, because rapid increases in oil demand from high economic growth rates outpaced the slower increases in oil production.

After rising dramatically in the early 1980s, owing largely to the discovery and exploitation of vast deposits in Sichuan Province during the late 1950s and early 1960s, natural gas output stagnated somewhat in the late 1980s. As of 2003, natural gas supplied only an estimated 2.6% of the country's energy. However, with proven reserves totaling an estimated 53.3 trillion cu ft, as of 1 January 2005, it was expected that consumption would double by 2010. In 2000, total national production reached 960 billion cu ft. By 2003, that figure had risen to an estimated 1.21 trillion cu ft. A pipeline to transport natural gas from the Xinjiang province in the west to Shanghai in the east was planned, with Shell chosen to lead a consortium of development companies.

Although China's rivers provide a vast hydroelectric potential (an estimated 378 million kW), only a small part has been developed. In the late 1990s, after economic growth slowed due to the Asian economic crisis, the government declared a two- to three-year moratorium on construction of new power plants due to an oversupply problem. The main hydroelectric projects include Ertan in Sichuan Province, Yantan in Guangsxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Manwan in Yunan Province, Geheyan in Hubei Province, Wuqiangxi in Hunan Province, Yamzho Yumco in Xizang Autonomous Region, and Lijia Xia in Qinghai Province. In April 1992, the government approved the construction of the largest hydropower project in Chinathe Three Gorges Project on the middle reaches of the Chang Jiang. Construction began in 1996, and as of August 2005, was still underway with completion in 2009. The Three Gorges Project will include 26 hydropower generating units, at 700 MW each, producing a total of 18.2 GW of power. The Three Gorges Project will require the relocation of millions of people just in Sichuan Province alone. A second major hydroelectric project, consisting of a series of dams on the upper portion of the Yellow River, was also underway as of August 2005. Plans for this project call for 25 generating stations to be built, having a combined 15.8 GW of installed capacity.

China's electrical generating capacity was estimated as of 1 January 2003 to stand at 338.3 GW, up from 115.5 million kW in 1988. Total output of electricity increased during the 198898 period from 545 billion to 1,098 billion kWh. Output in 2000 was 1,288 billion kWh, of which 81.8% was from fossil fuels, 16.8% from hydropower, and 1.2% from nuclear power. In 2003, electrical power output was estimated at 1,807 billion kWh, of which 1,484 billion kWh hours are from thermal sources, 279 billion kWh from hydroelectric sources, and 42 billion kWh from nuclear sources. Electricity consumption in 2000 was 1,206 trillion kWh. In 2002, consumption rose to 1,452.048 billion kWh. Electric power consumption is forecast to increase at an annual rate of 4.3% through 2025.

Traditionally, coal has been China's major energy source, with auxiliary biomass fuels provided by brushwood, rice husks, dung, and other noncommercial materials. The abundance of coal continues to provide cheap thermal power for electric plants. In 2000, China was both the world's largest coal producer, at 1.27 billion short tons, and the leading consumer of coal, at 1.31 billion short tons. In 2003, China produced an estimated 1.63 billion short tons of coal and consumed an estimated 1.53 billion short tons for the same year. Coal comes from over two dozen sites in the north, northeast, and southwest; Shanxi Province is the leading producer. Recoverable reserves as of 2003, were estimated at over 126.2 billion short tons. In 1996, China accounted for 11.1% of the world's proven reserves of coal. Large thermal power plants are situated in the northeast and along the east coast of China, where industry is concentrated, as well as in new inland industrial centers, such as Chongqing, Taiyuan, Xi'an, and Lanzhou. As of August 2005, it was reported that coal accounted for 65% of primary energy consumption.

The development of nuclear power has become a major factor within China's electricity sector. The 279 MW Qinshan nuclear power plant near Shanghai began commercial operation in 1994. That same year, two 944 MW reactors at the Guangdong facility at Daya Bay also started commercial service. In 1995, Chinese authorities approved the construction of four more reactors. In May 2002, the 1 GW first unit of the Lingao nuclear power plant came online while a second 1 GW unit began operating in January 2003. An additional 600 MW generating unit also came online at Qinshan in February 2002. Net capacity for China's three nuclear reactors was estimated at 2,167,000 kW in 1996. At the start of 2002, installed capacity for nuclear power was placed at 2 GW. By mid-2005, that capacity had risen to 15 GW and further construction is being planned. A 6 GW complex is being planned for Guangdong province at Yangjiang (slated to begin commercial operation in 2010), while a second facility is being planned for Daya Bay. By 2020, plans call for the completion of 27 GW of additional nuclear power generating capacity. Although China touts nuclear power as a way to cut its dependence upon fossil fuels and as a source of clean energy, by 2020 nuclear power will account for less than 5% of the nation's installed electric generating capacity.

INDUSTRY

China achieved a rapid increase in the gross value of industrial output (used before China switched to GNP accounting in 1986), which, according to official Chinese statistics, rose by 13.3% annually between 1950 and 1979. The greatest sustained surge in growth occurred during the first decade, with the rate averaging 22% annually during 194960. During 196174, the yearly growth rate fell to about 6%, partly as a result of the disruptions brought on by the collapse of the Great Leap Forward (which accompanied the withdrawal of Soviet technicians in mid-1960) and of work stoppages and transportation disruptions during the Cultural Revolution. Growth averaged 10% from 1970 to 1980 and 10.1% from 1979 to 1985. Major policy reforms of 1984 further accelerated the pace of industrial growth, which reached 20.8% by 1988. After a brief retrenchment period in 198990 as government policies prioritized inflation control over other concerns, expansion of the country's industrial sector resumed apace, exceeding 20% in 1992 and 18% in 1994. Industrial output was officially up 13.4% in 1995, with state enterprises contributing the majority.

While approximately 50% of total industrial output still derives from the state-owned factories, a notable feature of China's recent industrial history has been the dynamic growth of the collectively owned rural township and village enterprise as well as private and foreign jointventure sectors. Also apparent has been the spatial unevenness of recent industrial development, with growth concentrated mainly in Shanghai, the traditional hub of China's industrial activity, and, increasingly, a number of new economic centers along the southern coast. The coastal provinces of Jiangsu, Guangdong, Shandong, Shanghai, and Zhejiang together account for close to 33% of the country's total industrial output and most of its merchandise exports. One key factor in this industrial geography has been the government's establishment of several Special Economic Zones in Guangdong, Fujian, and Hainan provinces, and its designation of over 14 "open coastal cities" where foreign investment in export-oriented industries was actively encouraged during the 1980s.

Before the first five-year plan (195357), China had only one major steel centerAnshan, in the northeastand several minor ones. All these produced 1.93 million tons of pig iron and 1.35 million tons of steel in 1952. By 1995, China was producing 92,970 million tons of crude steel and 101,700 million tons of pig iron. Anshan continues to be the hub of the industry, but other huge steel complexes have been constructed at Baotou, Benxi (about 50 km/30 mi east of Anshan), Taiyuan, Wuhan, and Ma'anshan (near Nanjing).

China's cotton textile industry is the largest in the world, producing yarn, cloth, woolen piece goods, knitting wool, silk, jute bags, and synthetic fibers. Laborintensive light industries played a prominent role in the industrial boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s, accounting for 49% of total industrial output, but heavy industry and high technology took over in the late 1990s. In addition to garments and textiles, output from light industry includes footwear, toys, food processing, and consumer electronics. Heavy industries include iron and steel, coal, machine building, armaments, petroleum, cement, chemical fertilizers, and autos. High technology industries produce high-speed computers, 600 types of semiconductors, specialized electronic measuring instruments, and telecommunications equipment.

Since 1961, industry has been providing agriculture with farm machines, chemical fertilizers, insecticides, means of transportation, power, building materials, and other essential commodities. Handicraft cooperatives also have been busy making hand-operated or animal-drawn implements. Production of a variety of industrial goods has expanded, increasingly in order to supply the country's own expanding industrial base. In addition to fertilizers, the chemicals industry produces calcium carbide, ethylene, and plastics. Since 1963, great emphasis has been placed on the manufacture of transportation equipment, and China now produces varied lines of passenger cars, trucks, buses, and bicycles. In 1995, output included 1,452,697 motor vehicles (more than double the 1991 figure). Output for 1997 was over 1.6 million units. The industry underwent a major overhaul in the late 1990s in order to stimulate efficiency and production.

From 19932002, the growth in manufacturing was 11.4% each year. Contributing to this growth in the early 1990s was an increase in agriculture-related industry, as promoted by local governments in town and village enterprises (TVEs) in which agricultural surpluses were invested in low-tech and labor-intensive manufacturing processes. By the end of the 1990s, during an economic slowdown, TVEs began to employ fewer rural workers. Foreign and private enterprises (FIEsforeign-invested enterprises) became increasingly important to industry, while the state-controlled sector declined.

At the end of the 1970s, 80% of manufacturing output was attributed to state-owned enterprises (SOEs); by 2004, SOEs contributed only 35% of gross industrial output. Whereas there were 118,000 recorded SOEs in 1995, the number had decreased to 31,750 in 2004; those that exist are plagued by outdated equipment and a lack of skilled workers.

High-tech manufacturing gained ground, supplanting the low-technology, assembly-line production of the early 1990s. Though textiles still contribute largely to China's production output, industrial growth is increasingly in sectors producing advanced electronic goods such as cell phones, integrated circuits, and cars.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Modern China is the heir to a remarkably inventive civilization that pioneered in the development of the abacus (the first mechanical calculating device), paper (and paper money), printing by movable type, gunpowder, the magnetic compass, and the rocket. Contact with the West during the 19th century however, revealed how technologically backward China had become, and it is only in recent decades that the nation has begun to catch up.

China detonated its first fission device in 1964 and its first hydrogen bomb in 1967; the nation now possesses a variety of nuclear weapons mounted on missiles, bombers, submarines, and other delivery systems. Its first satellite was launched in 1970. By 1992, the PRC had launched an INTELSAT satellite on a Chinese launch vehicle. Other priorities have been the development of high-energy physics, laser research, powerful computer memory chips, color television broadcasting technology, and laser infrared devices, although the PRC still relies heavily on outside investment and technology transfer. Major advances have also been claimed in rice hybridization, insecticides, fertilizers, biogas digesters for rural electrification, and pollution control technology.

Two scientific exchange agreements between the United States and China were signed in January 1984 during Premier Zhao Ziyang's visit to Washington, D.C. China has proposed to several Western nations that it provide long-term storage facilities in remote provinces for radioactive wastea proposal that Western observers believed would provide China not only with hard currency but also with nuclear materials for possible reprocessing.

China's principal technological handicap is lack of skilled personnel. Only 1% of the PRC's 127 million 22-year-olds receive a university degree. However, 37% of all Chinese degrees are in engineering, the highest ratio in Asia. Part of China's response to this shortage has been to send tens of thousands of students overseas for advanced study, especially in the United States. In 198797, science and engineering students accounted for 43% of college and university enrollments. China had 454 scientists and engineers and 200 technicians per million people engaged in research and development (R&D) during the same period. By 2002, the number of scientists and engineers per million people had risen to 633 (excluding Hong Kong). Scientific research is coordinated by the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences, founded in 1949 and headquartered in Beijing. China in 1996 had 90 specialized learned societies in the fields of agriculture, medicine, science, and technology. Most are affiliated members of the China Association for Science and Technology, founded in 1958. International science and technology cooperation is also increasing. However, concerns over human rights issues have had the effect of cooling USPRC science and technology exchanges. In 1996, China had 105 universities and colleges offering courses in basic and applied science.

In 1998, high-technology exports were valued at $23.3 billion and accounted for 15% of manufactured exports. By 2002, high technology exports (excluding Hong Kong) had risen to $68.182 billion, accounting for 23% of manufactured exports. In 2002, R&D expenditures totaled $72.014 billion, or 1.23% of GDP. In 2000, the biggest spender on R&D was business at 57.6%, followed by government at 33.4%, and foreign sources at 2.7%. The remainder was undistributed.

DOMESTIC TRADE

Three types of retail trade outletsthe periodic market, the peddler, and the urban shopconstituted the basis of the traditional commercial structure. In the early 1950s, however, a number of state trading companies were established for dealing in commodities such as food grains, cotton, textiles, coal, building materials, metals, machinery, and medicines. These companies, under the control of the Ministry of Commerce, have established branch offices and retail stores throughout the country.

In the 1960s, the establishment of state-owned department stores and cooperative retail outlets virtually replaced private trade. There was a resurgence of periodic open markets and private traders when domestic trading regulations were relaxed in 1978. In addition, the government has progressively loosened or eliminated many of its former price controls; an estimated 90% of all retail sales are no longer controlled.

In 2003, about 50% of the work force was employed in agriculture, keeping the country basically self-sufficient in grain production, even though only about 15% of the land is arable. Farm-lands and the agricultural industry, however, remain under state control.

The China Export Commodities Fair, usually held each spring and fall in Guangzhou, was for more than 20 years an important point of contact for Westerners doing business with China. Though still important as an initial introduction to the full range of China's potential suppliers, the decentralization of trading activities in recent years has greatly reduced the fair's role in mediating sustained contact between producers and buyers.

Local foreign trade commissions in various industrial centers of the country have taken on a much more active role in organizing many of the services associated with the commodities fair, while any domestic enterprise with foreign trading rights may now participate directly in all events related to trade promotion. Guangzhou still hosts two annual trade fairs, though on a reduced scale. In the major cities, Friendship Stores and other restaurants, hotels, service bureaus, and taxis cater exclusively to foreign visitors; payment is made in foreign exchange certificates.

By the mid-1980s, international credit cards could be used to obtain cash advances in selected outlets and for direct purchases in Friendship Stores. Internet commerce was initiated in China in the late 1990s, and by 2005, there were more than 100 million computer Internet users.

FOREIGN TRADE

Though China has only recently become a major trading nation, its enormous trading potential is attracting great attention by both

Country Exports Imports Balance
World 438,227.8 412,759.8 25,468.0
United States 92,626.3 33,944.2 58,682.1
China, Hong Kong SAR 76,274.4 11,118.7 65,155.7
Japan 59,408.7 74,148.1 -14,739.4
Korea, Republic of 20,094.8 43,128.1 -23,033.3
Germany 17,442.1 24,291.9 -6,849.8
Netherlands 13,501.2 1,933.1 11,568.1
United Kingdom 10,823.7 3,570.3 7,253.4
Other Asia nes 9,004.5 49,360.6 -40,356.1
Singapore 8,863.8 10,484.9 -1,621.1
France-Monaco 7,329.7 6,102.6 1,227.1
() data not available or not significant.

advanced and newly industrializing nations, shown by the world's interest in China's membership in the WTO. Trade has performed important functions within the economy, providing needed capital goods and modern technology to abet development, as well as primary commodities (such as grains) to supplement local supply in slack years. Foreign trade is under the direction of a single Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, created in 1982 through the merger of the former ministries of Foreign Trade and Foreign Economic Relations with the Export-Import and Foreign Investment commissions. A major issue since the early 1980s, however, has been the decentralization of trade management and greater reliance on currency devaluation (major devaluations were implemented in 1989 and 1991) and market incentives rather than direct export and import controls to promote desired trade patterns. After the Asian financial crisis of 1997, officials were tempted to devalue the currency once more; instead the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economics (MOFTEC) spent massive sums of money on state industry, while dismantling trade barriers in anticipation of WTO membership.

Prior to 1949, some three-fourths of China's exports were agricultural products. This proportion ebbed to a low of 13% during the agricultural crisis of 1961. Foodstuffs and other primary products including crude nonfood raw materials, minerals and fuels averaged about 4350% of exports through 1985, after which the proportion declined steadily to reach only 6% in 1998, as manufactured exports expanded rapidly. Textiles (excluding garments) accounted for 10% of all exports in 1994 and clothing for about 19.7% (up from 7.5% in 1985). However, China's efforts to emulate the success of Japan, British Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the ROK in basing economic expansion on textile and clothing exports encountered protectionist resistance from major potential markets in the United States and European Union.

The textile and clothing industry created the large majority of China's commodity exports in 1998. China's special administrative region of Hong Kong also produces clothes, averaging 12.1% of the world's total clothes exports. Other exports include electrical parts (16%), watches and clocks (2.6%), telecommunications equipment (6.7%), and footwear (3.0%). Hong Kong produces 28% of the world's exports in watches and clocks.

Food imports, which made up only about 2% of the import volume in the 1950s, averaged 20% of the total in 1973 and 1974 but, as total imports rose, fell to less than 4% by 1985 and remained at 2.4% in 1994 and 5% in 1998.

The direction of China's trade has followed three major patterns since the 1930s. Prior to World War II, Japan, Hong Kong, the United States, and the United Kingdom together made up about three-fourths of the total trade volume. With the founding of the PRC in 1949, trade shifted in favor of the former USSR and Eastern Europe. During 195255, more than 50% of China's trade was with the former USSR; during 195660, the proportion averaged about 40%. As Sino-Soviet relations deteriorated during the 1960s, trade exchanges steadily declined, reaching a bare 1% of China's total volume in 1970 (3.6% in 1986). By the early 1980s, most of China's leading trade partners were industrialized non-Communist countries, and China's trade pattern overall reflected a high degree of multilateralism.

In recent years, as China has rapidly enlarged its role on the international market, the importance of Hong Kong as an entrepot and major source of revenue has increased. In 1992, Hong Kong accounted for close to 35% of China's total trade (up from about 21% in 1986). Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, but because of its enormous trade activity, Hong Kong's trade is often measured separate from China. During the 1990s, Japan ranked as the second-largest trading partner, importing oil and other raw material and claiming 15% of China's total trade. The most dramatic change in the mid-1980s was the emergence of the United States as China's third-largest trading partner; by 2000 the United States was China's second-largest trading partner, and the largest importer of Chinese goods.

As of 2005, China exported $752.2 billion in goods, 21.1% of which went to the United States, 17% to Hong Kong, 12.4% to Japan, 4.7% to South Korea, and 4% to Germany. That year, China imported an estimated $631.8 billion in goods, 16.8% from Japan, 11.4% from Taiwan, 11.1% from South Korea, 8% from the United States, and 5.4% from Germany.

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

Both foreign trade and international financing in China are state monopolies, with policies and transactions administered by the People's Bank of China (PBC). Among its various functions, the PBC sets exchange rates for foreign currencies. The PBC releases foreign exchange to the Bank of China, which plays a major payments role through its branches in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other overseas financial centers. The government has, overall, maintained a record of financial stability, linked to a policy of stringent controls over its international transactions. Adhering generally to a principle of self-reliance, it has resorted to the use of commercial credit at certain junctures but until the 1970s avoided falling into long-term indebtedness as a means of financing major development goals. In the period 195860, the Great Leap Forward and the succeeding years of economic crisis caused a sharp deterioration in China's international payments position. In 1960,

Current Account 17,401.0
     Balance on goods 34,017.0
         Imports -232,058.0
         Exports 266,075.0
     Balance on services -5,933.0
     Balance on income -19,175.0
     Current transfers 8,492.0
Capital Account -54.0
Financial Account 34,832.0
     Direct investment abroad -6,884.0
     Direct investment in China 44,241.0
     Portfolio investment assets -20,654.0
     Portfolio investment liabilities 1,249.0
     Financial derivatives
     Other investment assets 20,813.0
     Other investment liabilities -3,933.0
Net Errors and Omissions -4,732.0
Reserves and Related Items -47,447.0
() data not available or not significant.

large negative clearing account balances with Communist countries (-$625 million) were even more than the foreign exchange reserves of $415 million. By the end of 1964, however, the negative balance with Socialist nations had been reduced to $55 million, and China's net international financial resources stood at a surplus of $345 million, owing to monetary gold holdings of $215 million and foreign exchange balances from trade with non-Communist countries amounting to $185 million. By 1965, the Chinese had completely cleared their long-term debt to the former USSR, and by 1968, China had redeemed all national bonds and was free of all long-term external and internal debts. Publication of official balance-of-payments statistics was discontinued during the Cultural Revolution and not resumed until September 1985.

According to Western analyses, the period 197881 saw a continuing surplus in current accounts, as rising levels of imports were generally matched or exceeded by increases in exports over the same period. In addition, transfers of an estimated $1.1 billion in 1978 and $1 billion in 1980, derived from increased earnings in tourism, shipping, and remittances from Hong Kong and other sources, resulted in overall current accounts surpluses of $900 million and $1.2 billion in 1978 and 1980, respectively. China's drive to industrialize under the Four Modernizations policy resulted in an unprecedented deficit on capital accounts of $1.1 billion in 1978. The subsequent unilateral decisions to cancel $2.6 billion in contracts with Japan (1979) and $2 billion with Japan and Western nations (1981) were interpreted by some observers as an indication of acute cash-flow problems and a reordering of investment priorities at the highest levels. The trade account was helped by the slow but steady devaluation that occurred after China went to a managed float exchange rate system in January 1991. Tourism receipts and visitor figures also continued to grow, passing pre-Tiananmen levels.

Foreign investment boomed in the 1990s, with a total of nearly $45 billion committed in 1998 alone. Approximately half of China's loans came from the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and Japan; external debt reached $159 billion in 1998. A usually positive current account balance stockpiled China's reserves. In 1998, China had some $147 billion in official reserves, but state industries had accumulated a huge amount of what was called triangular debt with the state banks and other lending agencies. Government infrastructure and industrial projects received funding for goods that could not be sold domestically in 1999 due to lower demand, losing money for each party involved. In effect, external trade plays a secondary role in China's economy because of normally high, unsatisfied domestic demand. Agreements with the WTO threaten to increase China's dependence on foreign trade. China's external debt stood at $149.4 billion in 2002.

The Economist Intelligence Unit reported that China's total exports increased from $249 million in 2000 to $593 million in 2004, with an average annual increase of $86 million. Total imports increased from $214 million in 2000 to $534 million in 2004 with an average annual increase of $80 million.

BANKING AND SECURITIES

Economic reforms under the Four Modernizations program adopted in 1978 brought major changes in China's highly centralized and tightly controlled banking system. In 1982, the People's Bank of China (PBC) became the central bank and turned over its commercial operations to the new Industrial and Commercial Bank. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) helps set foreign exchange policy. Other specialized agencies include the People's Construction Bank, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of China, the Bank of Communications, the China Development Bank, and the Export-Import Bank of China. The China Construction Bank (CCB) makes payments for capital construction according to state plans and budgets. The Agricultural Bank of China finances agricultural expansion, grants rural loans, supervises agricultural credit cooperatives, and assists in the modernization of agriculture. The Bank of China (BOC) handles foreign exchange and international settlements for the PBC. It has branches throughout China as well as in Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris, London, Luxembourg, New York, and Tokyo. The BOC is charged with financing China's foreign trade and also acquiring and channeling into appropriate areas the foreign capital needed for imports of industrial equipment and other items for modernization.

The foreign-owned Standard Chartered Bank maintains long-established offices in China. Over 90 foreign banks, representing Japan, the United States, France, Italy, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom, received permission to establish offices in Beijing in the early 1980s. In 1985, for the first time, foreign banks were allowed to do business in the four special economic zones (established to attract foreign investment) in foreign currency. In mid-1997, 10 foreign banks were given permission to operate outside of the special zones; and in 1996, foreign banks were given limited authority to do business in rembi (the local currency at the time). The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand depositsan aggregate commonly known as M1were equal to $745.3 billion. In that same year, M2an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual fundswas $1,889.7 billion. The discount rate, the interest rate at which the central bank lends to financial institutions in the short term, was 3.24%.

In 1987, stock exchanges opened in Shanghai and several other cities, and several stock and bond issues were floated domestically. Securities exchanges are controlled by the PBC, and trading in securities is very limited. In 1997, China accelerated stock-market listings of about 50 large and medium-sized state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and considered raising the number of enterprises piloting group holding structures from 57 to 100. In November 1996, the Shanghai Stock Exchange President, Yang Xianghai, predicted that China's two exchanges (Shanghai and Shenzhen) would number in excess of 1,000 companies by 2000. At the time he was speaking, there were 472 companies listed on the stock exchanges. By 2003, there were 746 listed companies and 871 listed securities being traded on the exchange. In 2004, the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges listed a combined total of 1,384 companies. Market capitalization of all exchanges in 2004 amounted to $639.765 billion. In that same year, the Shanghai Stock Exchange stood at 1,266.5, down 15.4% from the previous year. China's stock market is split into two sections, the "A" share market and the "B" share market. Foreigners may only participate in the Bshare market, denominated in foreign currencies and consisting predominantly of foreign private companies. The Ashare market is reserved for domestic investors (who are not allowed to participate in the Bshare market) and dominated by state enterprises.

INSURANCE

The People's Insurance Co. of China (PICC), formed in 1949, is authorized to handle all kinds of insurance, including the insurance of China's foreign trade and foreign insurance operations in China. In 2001, the People's Insurance Co. of China controlled 78% of China's property/casualty insurance industry, with 4,200 branches and a workforce of 110,000. Two newer domestic Insurance Companies, China Pacific and Ping An, have 11% and 8%, respectively, of the market. Two additional state enterprises, the China Insurance Co. and the Tai Ping Insurance Co., are in operation, and several foreign insurance companies have established representative offices in Beijing. Demand for insurance projects is predicted to grow as economic reforms limit the social security benefits provided by state enterprises. By 2001, life insurance premiums were growing at an average rate of nearly 70% per year, with nonlife premiums growing at around 15% per year. As of 2003, the value of direct premiums written totaled $46.911 billion, of which life premiums accounted for the largest portion at $32.442 billion. PICC was China's top nonlife insurer, with $7,095.6 million in gross nonlife premiums written. China Life was the country's top life insurer, with $19,583.3 million of gross life premiums written in 2003.

Motor-vehicle third-party liability for foreigners and for citizens in certain provinces, workers' compensation (in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone), old age pension, unemployment insurance, and property (fire) in Shenzhen for commercial risks are compulsory.

PUBLIC FINANCE

The annual state budget is prepared by the Ministry of Finance and approved by the National People's Congress. A major reform in public finance, introduced in 1980, was a new system of allocating revenues and expenditures between local and national levels of government. Previous revenue-sharing procedures allowed the central government to fix maximum spending levels for each

Revenue and Grants 921.2 100.0%
     Tax revenue 811.7 88.1%
     Social contributions
     Grants 59.1 6.4%
     Other revenue 50.4 5.5%
Expenditures 1,381.6 100.0%
     General public services 945.4 68.4%
     Defense 143 10.4%
     Public order and safety 28.4 2.1%
     Economic affairs 189.6 13.7%
     Environmental protection 0.2 0.0%
     Housing and community amenities 6.1 0.4%
     Health 2.1 0.2%
     Recreational, culture, and religion 5 0.4%
     Education 20.9 1.5%
     Social protection 40.8 3.0%
() data not available or not significant.

province, autonomous region, and centrally administered municipality. The new system fixed for a five-year period the proportion of local income to be paid to the central government and (except for emergency appropriations for floods and other such disasters) the level of subsidies to be provided by the central government, as well as the proportion of local income to be retained by local governments. Autonomous regions receive proportionately greater state subsidies than the provinces and centrally administered municipalities, and they are entitled to keep all revenues from local industrial and commercial taxes. During the 1990s, the Chinese consolidated budget deficit grew at a rapidly increasing rate. According to the IMF, the 1998 budget deficit amounted to 4% of GDP, due to rising expenditures and tax evasion. Deficits are largely financed by domestic debt issuance rather than by money creation. In 1999, the central government performed an audit of embezzlement, finding that some $2.4 billion in state funds had been diverted into private bank accounts, and that a total equaling one-fifth of the central government's tax revenues were misused. In all, the government's liabilities were equal to 100% of GDP in 2000, according to some sources. Annual tax revenues equal 13% of GDP, one-fifth of which goes annually to paying interest on government debts.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated that in 2005 China's central government took in revenues of approximately $392.1 billion and had expenditures of $424.3 billion. Revenues minus expenditures totaled approximately -$32.2 billion. Public debt in 2005 amounted to 28.8% of GDP. Total external debt was $242 billion.

Government outlays by function in 2001 were as follows: general public services, 68.4%; defense, 10.4%; public order and safety, 2.1%; economic affairs, 13.7%; housing and community amenities, 0.4%; health, 0.2%; recreation, culture, and religion, 0.4%; education, 1.5%; and social protection, 3.0%.

TAXATION

China's standard corporate tax rate is 33%, and includes a 3% local corporate income tax. It is applicable to resident as well as those business operations that involve foreign investments, or socalled foreign investment enterprises (FIEs). In addition, local authorities are allowed to collect certain license and registration fees, as well as levy a surcharge. FIEs typically pay taxes at concessional rates, depending upon the type of business and location. Capital gains incurred by companies are generally considered income and are taxed as such.

On 1 January 1994, the PRC Individual Income Tax law came into effect in China. As of 2005, China's individual income tax was progressively rated up to 45% for residents and foreigners, although foreigners listed as nonresidents (those living in China for less than one year) are taxed only on income sourced from China. People resident in China for five or more years are considered residents and are taxed on worldwide income. Capital gains claimed by individuals are taxed at 20%. However, the sale of a private dwelling is exempt from the capital gains tax, if the seller lived in it for at least five years. Nonresidents are subject to a 10% withholding tax. The sale or importation of goods and services are subject to a valueadded tax (VAT) at a standard rate of 17% or at a lower rate of 13%. The lower rate applies to water, grain, edible oils, certain agricultural products such as fertilizers, and books. Small firms are subject to a 6% VAT. The VAT applies to a broad range of services including the sale of immovable property, construction, insurance and entertainment, the latter of which is subject to a 20% rate. Consumption/excise taxes also apply to goods, including cigarettes, motor vehicles, cosmetics, jewelry and alcoholic beverages.

CUSTOMS AND DUTIES

Although China is in the process of aligning its trade system with international standards, prohibitively high tariffs and quotas discourage many imports. It uses the Harmonized System for tariff classification. A minimum tariff rate is granted to countries that have special agreements with China, including the United States. Tariff rates range from 3100% with the highest rates reserved for goods such as automobiles. Raw materials are exempt. In 1996, as a step toward WTO compliance, China reduced tariffs on more than 4,000 products by an average of 30%, and then reduced tariffs even further in 2001 in preparation for WTO accession. In 2000, the USChina Trade Relations Working Group successfully opened trade relations with China, with such agreements as: reducing the automobile tariff from a maximum of 100% to a maximum of 25%; reducing auto parts tariffs from 23.4% to 10%; and eliminating quotas by 2005. In addition, China agreed to a reduction in chemical tariffs from about 15% to 7% and a reduction in textile tariffs from 25% to 12% by 2005 (but a quota safeguard would be available in the event that the industry failed). Steel tariffs were to be reduced from 10% to 6% by 2003. These reductions would be implemented on a sliding yearly basis. Most other tariffs have been scheduled for reduction by more than 50%, to an average of 9.4% on industrial tariffs and an average of 17% on agricultural tariffs. China acceded to the World Trade Organization on 11 December 2001.

Official PRC policy is that direct trade with Taiwan is interregional, rather than international, since Taiwan is considered a province of China and, therefore, no customs duties are levied. There are free trade zones in Shanghai, Tianjin, Dalian, Haikov, the Hainan Island Special Economic Zone, and within the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. Smuggling, reportedly well organized along the coasts of Guangdong, Fujian, and Zhejiang provinces and in the frontier regions of Tibet and Yunnan, is a major governmental concern.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

China strongly emphasizes attracting foreign investment in projects that will enhance the nation's economic development. Beginning in the early 1970s, China contracted for the construction of a substantial number of complete plants, notably for iron and steel, automobile, fertilizer manufacture, and power generation, including nuclear power. Such agreements, often made with private firms from Japan, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada, as well as with agencies of the Communist states, all called for direct purchase of materials and services. Residual ownership by foreigners and remittance of profits from production were expressly disallowed. In 1979, China established the Foreign Investment Control Commission to attract and coordinate foreign investment, and the first four Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in southern China at Shenzhen, Xiamen, Shantou, and Zhuhai to attract foreign investment (the fifth SEZ was established on Hainan Island in 1988).

In the 1980s, foreign investment was restricted to export-oriented businesses, and foreign investors were required to enter into joint ventures (JVs) with Chinese counterparts in order to enter the market. Under the Joint Ventures Law, enacted in 1979 and revised in 1982, the development of joint ventures for the production of exports has been particularly stressed as a means of securing for China the foreign exchange needed to pay for purchases of advanced technology. Foreign investment in products for the domestic market, other than those needed for modernization, was discouraged. In 1984, further foreign investment opportunities were created with the designation of 14 open coastal citiesShanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Fuzhou, Dailan, Qinhuangdao, Yantai, Qingdao, Lianyungan, Nantong, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Zhanjiang, and Beihaiwhere preferential incentives could also be offered. Since then, 52 state approved economic and technology zones have come into existence, and most provinces, regions, and major municipalities have their own international and trust investment corporations, of which the one in Shanghai is the largest. Special corporations for the attraction of investment by overseas Chinese have been established in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces.

In the early 1990s, the government began allowing foreign investors to manufacture and sell an increasingly wide variety of goods in the domestic market. From the mid-1990s, wholly foreign owned enterprises (WFOEs) have been allowed to operate. In 2000 and 2001, China revised its laws on JVs and WFOEs to eliminate requirements for foreign exchange balancing, to eliminate domestic sales ratio requirements, to eliminate or adjust advanced technology and export performance requirements, and to modify provisions on domestic procurement of raw materials. With China's accession to the WTO in December 2001, foreign investment opportunities were further expanded with the removal of financial and distribution services from the restricted list. Only the production of arms and the mining and processing of certain minerals are currently off limits to foreign investment.

China attracts capital in four ways: (1) by soliciting loans and credits from foreign governments and international financial institutions; (2) by floating bonds and debentures on international capital markets; (3) by promoting direct foreign investment through joint ventures and other cooperative enterprises; and (4) by accumulating trade surpluses from export sales.

From 1979 to 2000, according to Chinese government figures, FDI totaled $350 billion. This figure includes investment from the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macao as well as from Taiwan. On an annual basis, this not very-foreign proportion of FDI has dropped from over two-thirds to an average of 45.5% for 1999 and 2000. (Analysts have also estimated that 1030% of FDI from Hong Kong actually comes from Chinese mainland companies looking for a tax break.) From 1979 to 1990, double digit annual growth rates in the early years (55% in 1984 and 38% in 1985) declined to a low of 2.7% in 1990, the year after the Tiananmen Square violence. However, in 1991, FDI increased 25% and then soared by triple digits in 1992 (152%) and 1993 (150%). By the end of 1995, over 258,000 foreign invested enterprises had registered in China. In 1996 a World Bank study found that China attracted more than one-third of all investment in factories and other manufacturing plants in developing nations. Growth rates, of course, moderated after their early surge, but it was not until the Asian financial crisis of 199798, precipitated by China's reabsorption of Hong Kong in July 1997, that annual FDI levels stagnated, with a 0.45% growth rate in 1998, and then declined, with an 11.1% fall in 1999 from $45.46 billion to $40.4 billion annual FDI. In 1999 foreign invested firms numbered 300,000 and accounted for almost 50% of exports. In 2000, FDI only grew 0.9%, to $40.77 billion, but in 2001, a 14.6% increase sent annual FDI to a record $46.8 billion.

China continues to have no mergers and acquisitions law that would permit the involuntary takeover of a company. A company can be bought outright but the sale requires specific government approval, as do all investments in China. Indirect foreign (or portfolio) investment (FII) is limited to those willing to invest to the mainland companies listed on the Chinese stock exchange. Mainland companies raised about $22 billion in 2000. This fell to about $12 billion in 2001, reflecting the near 50% drop in foreign investment worldwide following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Until the early 1980s, the flow of Chinese funds abroad was confined to assistance to developing countries and to investment in Hong Kong real estate. In 1983, however, China began making direct investments overseas, in the United States, Canada, the Solomon Islands, and Sri Lanka. China has been a significant supplier of development aid to other countries. Recipients of Chinese military and economic assistance have included the DPRK, Vietnam, Egypt, Pakistan, and Tanzania.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

A profound restructuring of China's economy began in 1949 following the founding of the PRC. Adhering to orthodox models borrowed wholesale from the former USSR, the PRC brought all major industrial, infrastructure, and financial enterprises directly under state ownership. Agriculture was collectivized. Management of the economy was closely controlled by central authorities, whose powers extended to the allocation of basic commodities and the basic division of resources into investment, consumption, and defense channels. Centralized planning for economic development was introduced in the form of five-year economic plans.

The first five-year plan (195357), belatedly announced in 1957, pursued rapid industrialization along Soviet lines, with a special emphasis on increases in steel and other heavy industries. The plan reportedly achieved its goals of a 5% gain in gross value of agricultural output and a 4% gain in grain production, and exceeded the 19% growth target in gross value of industrial output.

The second five-year plan (195862) was voided at its start by the social and economic upheavals of the Great Leap Forward. At the heart of the Great Leap was the establishment of the self-sufficient rural commune; decentralization of industry was stressed, and the rural unemployed put to work in "backyard steel furnaces" and other industrial enterprises of dubious efficiency. Incomes were determined by need, and coercion and revolutionary enthusiasm replaced profit as the motivation for work. Publication of economic data ceased at this time, but Western observers estimated a 1% decline in agriculture for the 195860 period, an increase in GNP of only 1%, and no more than a 6% increase in industrial output. After the bad harvests of 1960 and 1961, an "agriculture first" policy was adopted under which large areas of semiarid steppe and other marginal lands in the north and west were converted to agricultural use.

A third five-year plan (196670), formulated by governmental pragmatists and calling for rapid growth of all sectors, was aborted by the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution. In 1969, the government published a report calling for a more open approach to foreign assistance and trade. Domestically, it confirmed the use of the "mass line"the system of calling upon workers and peasants to take responsibility and initiative, and to work without material incentives. It favored the simultaneous use of modern and traditional employment methods (the "walking on two legs" policy), and recommended expansion of industry through investment of profits derived from the sale of agricultural and light industrial products. At the heart of the 1969 policy was a reversion to the commune system of 1958a program to make the countryside self-sufficient, with every commune not only growing its own food but also producing its own fertilizer and tools, generating its own electricity, and managing its own small handicrafts factories, health schemes, and primary schools. In contrast to the hastily organized communes of 195860, however, the new units frequently adhered to the traditionaland more manageablestructure of Chinese rural life.

Long-range economic planning resumed in 1970 with the announcement of a fourth five-year plan, for 197175. In late 1975, Premier Zhou Enlai proclaimed the plan successful. Agricultural output was reported to have grown by 51% during the 196474 period, while gross industrial output was said to have increased by 190%. Specifically, the following growth rates (196474) for mining and industry were reported: petroleum, 660%; coal, 92%; steel, 120%; cotton yarn, 86%; tractors, 540%; chemical fertilizers, 350%; and electric power, 200%.

A fifth five-year plan (197680), announced in 1975, gave priority to modernization of the economy and, for the first time, emphasized the development of light rather than heavy industry. Implementation of this new departure was, however, delayed by the deaths of Mao and Zhou in 1976 and did not occur until 1978, by which time the economic pragmatists, led by Deng Xiaoping, had emerged victorious from the subsequent political and ideological struggles.

The sixth five-year plan (198185) reemphasized China's commitment to the pragmatic line and to the Four Modernizations. Approximately $115 billion was allocated for capital construction, and another $65 billion for renovation of existing infrastructure. GNP increased by an annual average of 10%, industrial output by 12%, and agricultural output by 8.1%.

The seventh five-year plan (198690), announced in March 1986 and called by Deng Xiaoping "The New Long March," featured the following major goals: increasing industrial output 7.5% annually (to $357 billion); increasing agricultural output 4% annually (to $95.4 billion); increasing national income 6.7% annually (to $252.7 billion); increasing foreign trade 40% (to $83 billion); spending $54 billion on 925 major development projects in energy, raw materials, transportation, and postal and telecommunications; and investing $74.6 billion in technological transformation of state enterprises. The goal for rural per capita income was $151 annually.

Concerns about the unevenness of China's economic development progress, both in geographic and sectoral terms, shaped the country's eighth five-year plan (199195). To ameliorate potentially crippling bottlenecks in the supply of raw materials, energy, transportation, and communications capacity, the government prioritized the financing of infrastructure investments. Streamlining of inefficient state industrial enterprises was targeted as well, with the setting up of an unemployment security fund planned in order to assist laid off workers make the transition to employment in nonstate industry and the services sector. Direct foreign investment in industry, services, and infrastructure (especially energy and communications development) were promoted. The plan also emphasized better distribution of the country's development momentum. Inland cities, especially along the Russian, Mongolian, and North Korean borders were targeted for development as export-oriented special economic zones in addition to coastal areas. Particular emphasis was given to developing major infrastructure projects to link Hong Kong, Macao, and the Pearl River delta area of Guangdong province into an integrated economic area and major export base for the 21st century.

The ninth five-year plan (19962000) called for a shift from a centrally planned economy to a "socialist market economy." It also stressed resource allocation to achieve higher efficiency. The goals included continuing progress toward quadrupling the 1980 GNP by the year 2000 (a goal that had already been met by 1996) and doubling the 2000 GNP by the year 2010, a goal carried over into tenth five-year plan (200105). By the end of 2002, the Chinese economy had come through two major external shocks (the Asian financial crisis of 199798 and the global economic slowdown of 200102) without seriously faltering, at least according to official government figures. Real GDP growth registered 8% in 2000 and dipped to 7.3% in 2001. Inflation has held near zero or below, with a slight deflation in consumer prices (-0.8% in 1998, -1.4% in 1999, and -0.4% in 2002). In 2000 and 2001 inflation was below 1%, at 0.4% and 0.7%, respectively.

The tenth five-year plan (200105) called for a continuance of these trends: average GDP growth rates of 7% with a goal of reaching a GDP of $1.5 trillion by 2005 in the context of stable prices. The government estimated that the labor force would increase 40 million by 2005, and that there would also be 40 million surplus rural laborers to be transferred, as the proportion of the labor force in agriculture dropped from an estimated 50% in 2001 to a planned 44% by 2005. Under the tenth five-year plan the government sought to improve its "socialist market economy." Priorities include establishing a "modern enterprise system" in the stateowned enterprises (SOEs), improving social security, and increasing the depth and breadth of participation in the international economy. Registered urban unemployment, at 3.6% in 2001 and below 4% in 2002, was to be controlled at about 5% under the tenth plan. The CIA estimated that total urban unemployment was about 10% in 2001, and that there was substantial underemployment in rural areas; Chinese sources put unemployment overall at 20% in 2003. The tenth five-year plan foresaw agriculture's share in the GDP decreasing to 13% by 2005 from 17.7% in 2001, while industry's share was expected to increase from 49.3% to 51%, and the share of services, from 33% to 36%, across the planning period. Educational goals include attaining gross enrollments of 90% at the junior high school level, 60% in high school, and 15% in higher education. Environmental targets included attaining 18.2% forest coverage, 35% urban green rate, and an overall 10% reduction over 2000 levels in pollutants discharged.

In 2005, China's history of incrementalist economic restructuring for increased efficiency gains led to a GDP ten times higher than that recorded in the late 1970s. Such advances helped make China the second-largest economy in the world (in terms of purchasing power parity) after the United States. However, despite the country's economic advances as a whole, the low per capita income and millions of citizens living below the poverty line still placed China in a lower middle-income range. Economic development continued to be disproportionate, with more advances occurring in the eastern coastal provinces than in the rest of the country. Also, as stateowned enterprises (SOEs) have decreased, the government has been challenged to find work for the millions of former SOE employees who were unemployed as a result. Also challenging the government are charges to reduce corruption and economic crimes and to reduce environmental damage (air pollution, soil erosion, and the fall of the water table in the north) and social strife in the face of economic transformation. In July 2005, China revalued the yuan (y) by 2.1%, and benefited from foreign investment and increased involvement in world trade and increasing employment in urban jobs, despite electricity shortages in the summer of 2005.

Also, in 2005, the draft of the eleventh five-year plan was approved. The plan included provisions to reduce energy consumption (per unit GDP) by 20% and increase GDP by 45% by 2010. It also included a resource conservation and environmental protection package supplementing the other policies and reforms.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

China does not yet have national social security legislation. Old age provisions in rural areas is tied to family support and community and state programs. According to the Labor Law, male workers and professional women are eligible to retire at age 60, female nonsalaried workers at 55, and other women at age 50. The amount of the pension is decided by the local or city government based on the standard of living in that area. The urban medical insurance program covers employees in urban enterprises. Local governments and employers adapt the guidelines and base rates according to local conditions. There are some local programs to provide for needy families.

Workers may receive six months' sick leave at 60100% of salary. For work-related total disability, workers are entitled to lifetime compensation of 7590% of the standard wage. Maternity leave at full pay is provided for up to 90 days. In addition, numerous health, daycare, and educational benefits are provided free of charge. In urban areas, housing rentals rarely exceed 5% of the monthly wage.

Despite constitutional provisions, women may face discrimination in the workplace. Women continue to report that unfair dismissal, sexual harassment, demotions, and wage disparity are significant problems. In addition, some enterprises are reluctant to hire women because of the additional costs of maternity leave. Sexual harassment was an ongoing problem and the first court cases were heard in 2003. Most women earn less than men, and are twice as likely to be illiterate. Violence against women remains a serious problem, and spousal abuse goes largely unreported. The suicide rate among women is three times the global average. Women are subject to pressure and sometimes physical coercion to submit to abortion or sterilization. The trafficking of women for the sex trade is a pervasive problem.

A serious human rights problem is female infanticide by families wishing for sons. The imbalance of sex ratios in the country has led to a shortage of women of marriageable age and a dramatic increase in the abduction of women for this purpose.

China's human rights record continued to draw international censure. Ongoing human rights abuses include arbitrary and lengthy detention, forced confessions, torture, and the mistreatment of prisoners. Repression of political dissent continues. Prison conditions are poor and China does not allow any independent monitoring of its prisons. Widespread human rights abuses have also been reported in Chinese occupied Tibet. The government does not tolerate any political dissent or proindependence movements in Tibet.

HEALTH

A revamping of China's health system was underway in the late 1990s to manage serious diseases. The Ministry of Public Heath's ninth five-year plan on the control of serious diseases outlined major reforms to be reached by the year 2000. These include strengthening epidemic prevention management systems and facilities. National health practices, including the provision of both Western and traditional Chinese health services are under the supervision of the Ministry of Health. The ministry has emphasized preventive medicine and general improvement of sanitary conditions.

Since the early 1950s, mass campaigns have been mounted to deal with major public health problems. These have included nationwide cleanup campaigns and mass educational programs in the sanitary preparation of food, the treatment of drinking water, personal hygiene, and waste disposal. The entire population was mobilized to eradicate the four pestsrats, sparrows, flies, and mosquitoeswith mixed results. Epidemic prevention centers were established to carry out massive immunizations, while parasitic diseases, affecting hundreds of millions in China, were also attacked. As a result, schistosomiasis, malaria, kalaazar, and hookworm are thought to have been largely brought under control.

Approximately 90% of inhabitants had access to health care services. In 2000, 75% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 38% had adequate sanitation.

There were 62,000 hospitals and total beds numbered 2.6 million, a rate of 2.33 per 1,000. As of 2004, there were an estimated 164 physicians, 104 nurses, 29 pharmacists, and 4 midwives per 100,000 people.

During the Cultural Revolution in an effort to even out the disparity between rural and urban health services, medical personnel from hospitals (as much as 3050% of a hospital's medical staff) were sent to the countryside and the number of locally trained paramedical personnel, called barefoot doctors, expanded. These paramedical personnelyoung peasants or middle school graduateswere trained on the job by township doctors or in two-month courses at township health clinics. "Barefoot doctors" and brigade health stations were still the major deliverers of health care in the countryside.

An estimated 83% of married women (ages 1549) used contraception. The infant mortality rate was reduced from as high as 200 per 1,000 live births before 1949 to an estimated 24.18 per 1,000 in 2005. The maternal mortality rate was estimated at 55 per 100,000 live births. In the mid-1990s, China vaccinated a high percentage of its children up to one year of age: tuberculosis, 94%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 93%; polio, 94%; and measles, 89%. Despite the high immunization rates, diseases still persist. China had the greatest number of tuberculosis cases of any UN member state. According to the World Health Organization, cholera was reported in 10,344 individuals in 1995. In China, which accounts for 20% of the world's tetanus cases, over 90,000 a year die from neonatal tetanus.

Average life expectancy in 2005 was 72.27 years, up from an average of 45 years in 1950. Major causes of death were recorded as: communicable diseases and maternal/perinatal causes, noncommunicable diseases, and injuries. The HIV/AIDS prevalence was 0.10 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 840,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 44,000 deaths from AIDS in 2003.

HOUSING

China has an acute shortage of housing, attributable not only to the large annual increases in population (over 10 million a year), but also to the longstanding policy of directing investment funds into heavy industry rather than into housing and other social amenities. In the mid-1990s, the total number of housing units in China stood at 276,502,000. Approximately 400,000 new dwellings were completed per year and 90.6% of all homes had piped water. By the end of 2002, an additional 19.25 million sq m (207.21 million sq ft) of commercial housing had been completed, representing a 10.5% increase from the previous year. The government expects to build 486 million sq m (5,231.26 million sq ft) to 549 million sq m (5,909.39 million sq ft) of floor space each year for the first 20 years of the 21st century. In 2002, the annual investment for housing was at about us$97 billion.

During the 1990s, the government began a program of transferring ownership of stateowned housing into private hands at fairly low costs and with subsidized mortgages. As a result, an estimated 73% of families own their own residence. In 2002, the average living space was at 23.5 sq m (252.95 sq ft). In rural areas, homes tend to be smaller. Some newer rural homes are at about 50 sq m (538.2 sq ft) in size with households of about three to six people. Though many rural homes are constructed with wood and earthen walls and tile or thatched roofs, some newer homes, such as those built by Habitat for Humanity, include red brick, stone, and compressed earth blocks.

EDUCATION

The Cultural Revolution affected education more than any other sector of society. Schools were shut down in mid-1966 to give the student Red Guards the opportunity to "make revolution" on and off campus. The Cultural Revolution touched off purges within the educational establishment. Upper- and middle level bureaucrats throughout the system were removed from office, and virtually entire university faculties and staffs dispersed. Although many lower schools had begun to reopen during 1969, several universities remained closed through the early 1970s, as an estimated 10 million urban students were removed to the countryside to take part in labor campaigns. During this period and its aftermath, revolutionary ideology, and local conditions became the principal determinants of curriculum. A nine-year program of compulsory education (compressed from 12 years) was established for youths 715 years of age.

Education was reoriented in 1978 under the Four Modernizations policy, which restored the pre-1966 emphasis on competitive examinations and the development of special schools for the most promising students. The most striking changes were effected at the junior and senior high school levels, in which students were again streamed, according to ability, into an estimated 5,000 high-quality, well-equipped schools, or into lower-quality high schools, or into the technical and vocational schools, which were perceived as the least prestigious. In addition, 96 universities, 200 technical schools, and 7,000 primary schools were designated as "key" institutions. Universities were reopened, with a renewed emphasis given to science and technology. By 1998, there were 628,840 primary schools with 5,794,000 teachers and 139,954,000 students. At the secondary level, there were 4,437,000 teachers and 718,883,000 students.

As of 2006, the nine years of compulsory education was still in effect. This consists of a six-year primary education and a three-year junior secondary program. A senior secondary program continues for another three years. The academic year runs from September to July. The primary language of instruction is Chinese.

In 2001, about 27% of children between the ages of three and six were enrolled in some type of preschool program. Primary school enrollment in 2001 was estimated at about 94.6% of age-eligible students. The same year, secondary school enrollment was about 67% of age-eligible students. It is estimated that about 98% of all students complete their primary education. The student-to-teacher ratio for primary school was at about 21:1 in 2003; the ratio for secondary school was about 19:1.

There are over 1,000 colleges and universities in China. Among the largest and most prestigious institutions were Beijing University and Qinghua University, both in Beijing; Zhongshan University, in Guangzhou; Nanjing University and Nanjing Institute of Technology; Nankai University and Tianjin University, in Tianjin; and Fudan University, in Shanghai. In 2003, about 16% of the tertiary age population were enrolled in some type of higher education program. The adult literacy rate for 2004 was estimated at about 90.9%, with 95.1% for men and 86.5% for women.

Tuition has traditionally been free in vocational secondary schools, and in training schools for elementary teachers, as well as in colleges and universities; students in need of food, clothing, and textbooks receive state grantsinaid. Primary and general secondary school students pay a nominal tuition fee. Parttime primary and secondary schools, evening universities, and correspondence schools exist for adult workers and peasants.

As of 2003, public expenditure on education was estimated at 2.1% of GDP, or 13% of total government expenditures.

LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

The National Library in Beijing (founded in 1909) is the largest in China, with over 22 million volumes, including more than 291,000 rare ancient Chinese books and manuscripts. The Chinese Academy of Sciences Central Library, in Beijing, has a collection of 6.2 million volumes, with branches in Shanghai, Lanzhou, Wuhan, and Chengdu. The Capital Library in Beijing (2.6 million volumes) is the city's public library and operates lending, reference, and children's services. The Shoudou Library, also in Beijing, has 2.35 million volumes. Shanghai Central Library System, established in 2001 with support from the municipal government, includes about 36 branch libraries.

Small lending libraries and reading rooms can be found in factories, offices, and rural townships. The library of Beijing University, with over four million volumes, is the largest university library. Other important university collections are at Nanjing University in Nanjing (3.2 million volumes), Fudan University in Shanghai (3.6 million volumes), and Qinghua University in Beijing (2.5 million volumes). The Central Institute of Nationalities in Beijingone of dozens of private institutions with librarieshas a collection of 800,000 volumes, including 160 foreign-language journals. The Library Association of China was founded in Peiping (modern-day Beijing), China, in 1925 and reorganized in T'aipei in 1953. The Hong Kong Library Association was founded in 1958.

China has a wealth of about 1,000 museums, most of them cultural in nature. The Imperial Palace Museum in Beijing houses collections of art, sculpture, silk fabric, and furniture. The Museum of the Chinese Revolution on Tiananmen Square has exhibits of the revolutionary movement in China from the Opium War to the founding of the PRC. In Shanghai is the Museum of Art and History, with some of the country's outstanding archaeological and art collections. Many museums are memorials to Chinese artists and writers, and house collections of their work. China also has 500 historical sites with exhibitions. With the return of Hong Kong to China, the country gained the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the University Museum and Art Gallery, the Hong Kong Museum of History, and the Hong Kong Space Museum.

MEDIA

Postal service and telecommunications facilities fall under the authority of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. In 2003, there were an estimated 209 mainline telephones for every 1,000 people.

The same year, there were approximately 215 mobile phones in use for every 1,000 people. Figures for Hong Kong alone were much higher, with 559 mainline telephones and 1,079 mobile phones for every 1,000 people.

Television broadcasting began in 1958, and color transmissions in 1973. As of 1998 China had 369 AM and 259 FM radio broadcasting stations. In 1997, China Central Television operated 209 government-owned television stations. There were also 31 provincial stations and almost 3,000 city stations. The most important station is Beijing's Central People's Broadcasting Station (CPBS); from there, programs are relayed by local stations. CPBS broadcasts daily on several channels using a variety of languages, including Mandarin (or standard Chinese), the Hokkien and Hakka dialects, Cantonese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uigur, Kazakhi, and Korean. In 2005, there were about 2,100 television channels available through staterun Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations. Approximately 75 of every 1,000 people were cable subscribers. In 2003, there were an estimated 339 radios and 350 television sets for every 1,000 people. Many of the TV sets are installed in public meeting places and in government and economic enterprises, although increasingly a television set has become a muchprized private acquisition. Since large segments of the rural population are as yet without radios and television sets, the government operates a massive wired broadcast network linked to over 100 million loudspeakers. Again, figures for Hong Kong alone were much higher, with 686 radios and 504 television sets for every 1,000 people.

Despite controls, a rapidly growing number of Chinese have access to satellite television and the Internet. The government regulates access of the Internet through the Ministry of Information Industry and the Ministries of Public and State Security. In 2003, there were 27.6 personal computers for every 1,000 people and 63 of every 1,000 people had access to the Internet. There were 293 secure Internet servers in the country in 2004.

The press is closely controlled by the government, the CCP, or the various political and mass organizations associated with the CCP. Minority newspapers are published in Mongolian, Uygur, Tibetan, Korean, and other languages. The main news agencies are the official New China (Xinhua) News Agency; the China News Service, which supplies information to overseas Chinese newspapers and journals; and China Feature, which supplies articles to magazines and newspapers worldwide.

The Cultural Revolution caused substantial upheaval in the Chinese press establishment. Many publications closed down, and others underwent purges of editorial staffs. Publication of Hongqi (Red Flag ), the most authoritative of the CCP publications, resumed in 1968.

The major newspapers, with their locations and circulations in 2002, are: Gongren Ribao (Worker's Daily ), Beijing, 2,500,000; Renmin Ribao (People's Daily ), Beijing, 2,150,000; Xin Min Wanbao (Xin Min Evening News ), Shanghai, 1,800,000; Wenhui Bao (Wenhui Daily ), Shanghai, 1,700,000; Yangcheng Wanbao (Yangcheng Evening News ), Guangzhou, 1,300,000; Jiefang Ribao (Liberation Daily ), Shanghai, 1,000,000; and Jiefangjun Bao (Liberation Army Daily ), Beijing, 800,000.

Jiefangjun Bao, the army news, played a leading role in the Cultural Revolution. China's first English-language newspaper, the China Daily, founded in 1981, is published in Beijing and had a circulation of 150,000 in 1999. The most authoritative publication for foreigners is the multilingual weekly Beijing Review, which distributed in China and abroad with a 1995 circulation of more than 100,000.

In 2002, Hong Kong had over 75 daily newspapers in circulation, some of which are Englishlanguage papers from other countries, such as the Toronto Star, the Boston Globe, and The Australian. Major Hong Kong dailies and their 2002 circulations were Tin Tin Yat Pao, 199,260; Sing Tao Wan Pao, 125,000; Wah Ku Yat Po, 125,000; Ching Pao, 120,000; Hong Kong Commercial Daily, 110,000; South China Morning Post, 104,000; and Hong Kong Daily News, 101,815.

The largest daily newspaper in Macau is Ou Mun Iat Pou (Macau Daily News, 2002 circulation 100,000).

Government-approved publishing houses are the only legal book publishers.

Though China's constitution states that freedom of speech and of the press are fundamental rights, in practice the Communist Party and the government control all print and electronic media, which are compelled to propagate the current ideological line. All media are under explicit, public orders to guide public opinion as directed by the authorities.

ORGANIZATIONS

Prior to 1966, the leading mass organizations, all closely tied to the regime, were the Communist Youth League, the Women's Federation, the Federation of Literary and Art Circles, the Federation of Scientific Societies, and the Federation of Industry and Commerce. These bodies were to some extent eclipsed by the Cultural Revolution, which spawned a host of new groups. After the Cultural Revolution passed its peak, many of the new organizations lost ground, while local Communist Youth League organizations, including the Young Pioneers, gained prestige. By the mid-1980s, the preCultural Revolution groups were once again ascendant.

There are professional and trade organizations representing a wide variety of professional fields. The All China Federation of Industry and Commerce promotes international trade. The All China Federation of Trade Unions serves as an advocate for worker's rights and benefits, particularly for women. The Asia Pacific Occupational Safety and Health Organization (APOSHO) is located in Hong Kong. Labor organizations in Hong Kong include the Employers' Federation of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, and the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions. The International Labour Organization has an office in Beijing.

Educational and cultural organizations include the China National Association of Literature and Fine Arts based in Taiwan. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences promotes research in philosophy and the social sciences. The Hong Kong Arts Festival Society sponsors an international arts festival. The Royal Asiatic Society, dedicated to the history and culture of China, Hong Kong, and Asia, has a branch in Hong Kong. There are also several organizations dedicated to research and education in various fields of medicine and science. There are also many associations for hobbyists.

National women's organizations include the Association for the Advancement of Feminism (AAF), based in Hong Kong and the All China Women's Federation, based in Beijing. The largest youth association is the umbrella organization the AllChina Youth Federation (ACYF), which is led by the Communist Party of China. Member organizations include the Rural Young Entrepreneurs Association, the Association for Young Journalists, the Communist Youth League (CYL) of China, the AllChina Students Federation (ACSF), the YMCA and YWCA, and the Chinese Young Entrepreneurs Association (CYEA). Scouting groups exist in Hong Kong and Macau. A wide variety of sports organizations are active throughout the country, including the Chinese Table Tennis Association, which has gained international recognition.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (Hong Kong) is a multinational organization for human rights. There are national chapters of the Red Cross, Greenpeace, Habitat for Humanity, and Amnesty International.

TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION

Chinese restrictions on tourism were eased to allow access by foreigners on group tours in 1976 and further relaxed in 1983, when the ban on individual travel was lifted. By 1985, there were 244 Chinese cities and scenic spots open to foreign tourists and a number of resorts specifically designed for foreigners were in operation. China was opened to tourists from Taiwan in 1987. All visitors to China must have a valid passport and visa; personal interviews may also be required upon entry.

The most famous tourist attraction in China is the Great Wall, the construction of which began in the 3rd century bc as a barrier against northern invaders. Other leading tourist attractions include the Forbidden City, or Imperial Palace, in Beijing; the nearby tombs of the Ming emperors; historic Hangzhou, with its famous West Lake and gardens; busy Shanghai, with its well-stocked stores and superb cuisine; Xi'an, the site of monumental Qin dynasty excavations; and Guangzhou, the center of Cantonese cooking, with an extensive Cultural Park.

Sports activities in China are coordinated by the State Physical Culture and Sports Commission and the AllChina Sports Federation. Active sports, represented by national associations, include gymnastics, diving, basketball, football (soccer), tennis, cycling, swimming, volleyball, weight lifting, and mountain climbing. The 2008 Summer Olympics were scheduled to be held in Beijing, the first Olympic Games to be held in China.

Distinctively Chinese pastimes include wushu, a set of ancient exercises known abroad as gonfu (kung fu) or the "martial arts"; taijiquan, or shadow boxing, developed in the 17th century; and liangong shibafa, modern therapeutic exercises for easing neck, shoulder, back, and leg ailments. Qigong (literally "breathing exercises") is also widely practiced both as a sport and as physical therapy. A popular traditional spectator sport is Chinese wrestling. Traditional pastimes for the national minorities are horse racing, show jumping, and archery among the Mongolians; the sheep chase (in which the winner successfully locates and defends possession of a slaughtered sheep) among Uigurs and Kazaks; and yak and horse racing among Tibetans.

In 2003, about 11,403,000 tourists arrived in China. Total receipts from tourism that year were estimated at $18.7 billion, a decrease of 15% from 2002. There were 992,804 hotel rooms with 1,887,740 beds and a 56% occupancy rate.

The costs of traveling in China vary from city to city. In 2005, the US Department of state estimated the daily cost of staying in Shanghai at $320 and in Beijing at $241.

FAMOUS CHINESE

Confucius (K'ung Futzu or Kong Fuzi, 551479 bc) is generally regarded as the most important historical figure, as well as the greatest scholar, of ancient China. His philosophy and social ideas include observance of filial piety, the sanctity of the family, and social responsibility. Other early philosophers were Laotzu (Laozi; Li Erh, 604?531 bc), the traditional founder of Taoism; Mencius (Mengtzu or Mengzi, 385289 bc), who stressed the essential goodness of human nature and the right of subjects to revolt against unjust rulers; and Mo Ti (Di, 465?390? bc), who stressed the theme of universal love. Among the principal early poets was Chu (Chü) Yuan, (340278 bc), whose Li Sao, a melancholy rhapsody, is among the world's great poems. Sima Qian (Ssuma Ch'ien, 14587 bc) produced the monumental Shiji (Shihchi; Historical Records), the first general history of China. Ban Gu (Pan Ku, ad 3292) wrote Qian Hanshu (Ch'ienHan shu; History of the Former Han Dynasty), a continuation of Sima Qian's work. Zhang (Chang) Heng (78139), an astronomer, is credited with having invented the first seismograph. Zhang Zhongjing (Chang Chungching, 152219) was a celebrated physician, and Zu Zhongzhi (Tsu Chungchih, 429500) calculated the figure 3.14159265 as the exact value for pi. Three brilliant poets of the Tang dynasty were Li Bo (Po, 70162), Du (Tu) Fu (71270), and Bo Juyi (Po Chüyi, 772846). Li Shizhen (Shichen, 151893), an outstanding pharmacologist, wrote a monumental Materia Medica. Great authors of the Qing dynasty were Wu Jingzi (Chingtzu, 170154), who wrote Rulin Waishi (Julin waishih; Unofficial History of the Scholars), a superb satire on the civil service system, and Cao Xuequin (Ts'ao Hsüehch'in, 1715?63), who produced a remarkable novel, Honglou meng (Hunglou meng; The Dream of the Red Chamber). Lu Xun or Lu Hsun (Zhou Shuren or Chou Shujen, 18811936) is generally regarded as China's greatest writer of the modern period. Mao Dun (Shen Yanbing, 18961981) and Ba Jin (Li Feigan, b.1904) are leading novelists. Lin Yutang (Yut'ang, 18951976) popularized Chinese culture in the West. Ha Jin (b.1956) is a contemporary Chinese American novelist born in Liaoning, China. His novel Waiting (1999) won the US National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award, and War Trash (2004) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Maxine Hong Kingston (b.1940), born in California, is a ChineseAmerican writer whose The Woman Warrior (1976) won the National Book Critics Award for Nonfiction.

Political Figures

Sun Yatsen (Zhongshan or Chungshan, 18661925) planned the revolution against the Manchus and became the first president (191112) of the republic. Mao Zedong (Tsetung, 18931976), the foremost figure of post-revolutionary China, served as chairman of the Central Committee of the CCP from 1956 to 1976. Other prominent Chinese Communist leaders include Zhu De (Chu Teh, 18861976), who became commander in chief of the Red Army in 1931 and chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC; Zhou Enlai (Chou Enlai, 18981976), first premier of China's State Council; Liu Shaoqi (Shaoch'i, 18981969), who became China's head of state in 1959 and was purged during the Cultural Revolution but posthumously rehabilitated in 1985; and Lin Biao (Piao, 190871), who became deputy premier and minister of defense in 1959 and who, prior to his death and subsequent political vilification, had been certified as Mao's successor in the constitution drawn up in 1969. Women in the political hierarchy have included Song Qingling (Soong Ch'ingling, 18921981), Sun Zhongshan's wife, and Jiang Qing (Chiang Ch'ing, 191391), Mao's fourth wife, who emerged as a radical leader during the Cultural Revolution. Jiang, with other prominent radicals, was purged in the wake of the ascension of Hua Guofeng (b.1920) as CCP chairman in 1976. Deng Xiaoping (190497), twice disgraced (196673 and 1976) by radical administrations, reemerged in 1977 to become China's most powerful political figure, albeit without major office, and a major figure in its modernization drive; he officially retired in 1987. A protégé, Hu Yaobang (191589), was party secretary until his ouster in 1987. Another protégé was Zhao Ziyang (19192005), who became general secretary of the CCP in 1987; he was purged in 1989 for his support of student demonstrators in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, and spent the last 15 years of his life under house arrest. Li Peng (b.1928) was chairman of the standing committee of the National People's Congress from 19982003. For his support of the violent suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, he remains unpopular with a large part of the Chinese population. Jiang Zemin (b.1926), is part of the "third generation" of Chinese leaders (after those surrounding Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping); he served as general secretary of the CCP from 19892002, as president from 19932003, and as chairman of the military from 19892004. Hu Jintao (b.1942) is the fourth president of the People's Republic of China, general secretary of the CCP, and chairman of the central military commission, succeeding Jiang Zemin in those posts. He ushers in a "fourth generation" of leaders.

DEPENDENCIES

Hong Kong

Hong Kong consists of 237 small islands off the southeast coast of the mainland of China and a small peninsula adjoining Guangdong Province on the mainland between 22°29 and 22°37 n and 113°52 and 114°30 e. With a total area, including reclamation, of 1,068 sq km (412 sq mi), it comprises the island of Hong Kong and adjacent islands, 79 sq km (30 sq mi); the Kowloon Peninsula, 11 sq km (4 sq mi); and the New Territories (a leased section of the Chinese mainland) and the remaining islands, 978 sq km (377 sq mi). Most of Hong Kong territory is rocky, hilly, and deeply eroded. The climate is subtropical, with hot and humid summers. Rainfall is heavy and there are occasional typhoons.

Total population, which was under 600,000 in 1945, was approximately 7.3 million in 2002. Some 60% of Hong Kong's residents in 1996 were born there. The phenomenal increase since World War II (193945) resulted primarily from a large influx of mainland Chinese. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, hundreds of thousands of "boat people" arrived from Vietnam. Most have been resettled in other countries, and by mid-1987 only 8,500 remained in camps. In summer 1987, however, Hong Kong faced another influx of Vietnamese, most of them ethnic Chinese. These peoplemore than 6,000 of themhad fled to China after the Vietnam War but found it difficult to assimilate there.

The overall population density in 2002 was 5,800 per sq km (14,500 per sq mi). About 95% of the inhabitants are Chinese and about 95% of the people live in metropolitan areas. Chinese (Cantonese dialect) is the principal spoken language; both Chinese and English are official languages. Taoists, Confucianists, and Buddhists constitute a majority of the population. The Christian population (10%) is split about evenly between Roman Catholics and Protestants. There are also Muslim and Hindu communities (1%). The capital is Victoria, commonly known as Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has regular shipping, air, cable, and wireless services to every part of the world. Government-maintained roads span more than 1,830 km (1,135 mi). The milelong Cross Harbour Road Tunnel connecting Hong Kong Island to Kowloon was opened in 1972, and the Lion Rock Tunnels link Kowloon with Sha Tin; the Aberdeen Tunnel beneath Hong Kong Island entered service in 1982. The governmentowned Mass Transit Railway, a 38.6-km (24-mi) subway system, was begun in November 1975 and started operations in October 1979. The government also owns and operates a 56-km (35-mi) rail line, known as the KowloonCanton Railway. The railroad links up with the rail system of Guangdong Province and constitutes a major land-entry route to China; passenger service, suspended in 1949, was resumed in 1979. The KowloonCanton Railway operates a 34-km (21-mi) light rail system for the New Territories; as of 2001, it connected to the China railway system.

Hong Kong has one of the finest natural harbors. There are deepwater berths in Kowloon Peninsula and in Hong Kong; a container terminal at Kwaichung in Kowloon handles some 60% of Hong Kong's exports. An extensive ferry service connects Hong Kong's islands; hydrofoils provide service to Macau. The Hong Kong airport, Kai Tak, is the world's fourth-largest in terms of passenger traffic; it can handle upwards of 27 million passengers a year. A new airport, Chep Lap Kok, a us$20 billion project that included bridges, highways, tunnels, and a highspeed railway, opened in 1998. The first phase of the airport project, the West Kowloon expressway connecting the airport to Hong Kong Island, opened in February 1997. In April that year, another linkthe Tsing Ma Bridge, the longest suspension bridge for road and rail travel in the worldopened with lavish ceremonies. Three days later, a tunnel with capacity for 180,000 cars a day opened to provide another link between Hong Kong Island and the West Kowloon expressway.

A bleak fisherman's island for most of its early history, Hong Kong was occupied in 1841 by the British. Formal cession by China was made in 1842 by the Treaty of Nanking. The Kowloon Peninsula and adjacent islands were added in 1860, and in 1898, the New Territories were leased from China for 99 years. Hong Kong fell under Japanese occupation from 25 December 1941 to 30 August 1945. Negotiations between the United Kingdom and China culminated in an agreement on 26 September 1984 under which sovereignty over the entire colony would be transferred to China as of 1 July 1997. For a 50-year period, Hong Kong would be a Special Administrative Region and would retain its capitalist economy, its political rights, and its general way of life. A Basic Law, forming a constitution for this period, took effect in 1990.

In the interim, the colony was ruled by a UKappointed governor, with an advisory Executive Council headed by the local commander of UK forces, and an appointed Legislative Council presided over by the governor. Chris Patten, appointed governor in 1992, held the post until the transfer of control to China 1 July 1997. The Urban Council of 30 members (15 elected and 15 appointed by the governor) dealt primarily with municipal affairs, and the government secretariat was responsible for the work of some 40 executive departments. The public sector's share of GDP decreased steadily after 1973. Under a 1981 defense agreement, about three-fourths of the cost of the maintenance of a garrison of 8,945 troops (including four Gurkha battalions) in Hong Kong was borne by the Hong Kong government. The currency unit is the Hong Kong dollar; exchange rates as of 2005 were hk$1 = us$7.7773; us$1 = hk$0.1286).

Located at a major crossroads of world trade, Hong Kong has become a center of commerce, shipping, industry, and banking. Rapid industrialization, accelerated by the influx of new labor, skills, and capital, changed the pattern of the economy after World War II. While heavy industries, such as shipbuilding and ship repairing, iron, and steel, remain important, light industriesespecially watches, clocks, toys, and electronicshave developed more rapidly in recent years. The service sector has also experienced growth; as of 2005, approximately 90% of Hong Kong's GDP derived from services. In 2005, the gross domestic product (GDP) stood at us$172.6 billion, with annual growth that year of 7.3%.

Less than 10% of the total land area is used for farming, most of which is intensive vegetable cultivation. Agriculture does not represent a significant portion of Hong Kong's GDP and most of Hong Kong's agricultural produce is imported. Hong Kong is among the top export markets for US produce.

Electricity is supplied by two franchise companies. Water resources, for long a serious deficiency, have been increased by converting Plover Cove into a lake. About one-quarter of the water supply is purchased annually from China.

Imports in 2005 were estimated at us$291.6 billion, and exports and reexports at us$286.3 billion. As one of the world's largest banking centers, Hong Kong receives a continuous flow of outside capital. The Hong Kong Association of Banks was created in January 1981 to regulate charges and deposit interest rates and oversee banking standards. There is no central bank; currency is issued by two commercial banks. In addition to the licensed banks, many Chinese firms handle Chinese remittances from overseas.

Hong Kong is self-supportive except for external defense. Revenues in 2005 were estimated at us$31.31 billion, derived mainly from internal taxation and import duties. Government expenditures, including us$5.9 billion in capital expenditure, amounted to us$32.3 billion in 2005.

Tourism was an important industry prior to 1997, and remained so after the transfer of Hong Kong to China. About one-fourth of the total number of tourists travel to Hong Kong from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, with another one-fourth from Japan. Travel restrictions for tourists from mainland China were eased, resulting in growth in tourism in 200305.

Main line telephones numbered about 3.8 million in 2004; mobile cellular telephones numbered about 8.2 million that year. Broadcasting services are provided by a government station, Radio Television Hong Kong, and by commercial operators. Broadcasting services are in both Chinese and English. More than 90% of all households have one or more television sets. The Hong Kong press included 734 newspapers and periodicals. Almost all the newspapers are in Chinese; five are Englishlanguage dailies.

The infant mortality rate was 2.95 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004, down from 5.73 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2002. The average life expectancy as of 2004 was 81.59 years (females, 84.5 years and males 78.9 years), up from 79.8 years in 2002. In 1995, there were 4.7 hospital beds per 1,000 population, and the daily cost of a hospital bed in a public hospital was $60.

The Hong Kong Housing Authority plans, builds, and manages public housing developments. About 40% of the population lived in public and aided housing as of the late 1990s.

In September 1980, education until the age of 15 was made compulsory; six years of primary and three years of secondary schooling are provided by the government free of charge. Schools are of three types: Chinese, English, and AngloChinese. Prevocational training was offered in more than a dozen government run institutions. Student enrollment in primary and secondary school is about a quarter of the population. Higher education is provided primarily by the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong Polytechnic and the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong also provides postsecondary education for the colony's residents. As of 2002, approximately 93.5% of the population was literate (96.9% for men and 89.6% for women).

MACAU

Macau (Macao) is situated on the south coast of China, at the mouth of the Pearl (Zhu) River, almost directly opposite Hong Kong, which is about 65 km (40 mi) away. Located at 22°6 to 22°13 n and 113°33 to 113°37 e, Macau consists of a peninsula, about 5 km (3 mi) long and 1.6 km (1 mi) wide, and two small islands, Taipa and Coloane. The total area is about 16 sq km (6 sq mi), and the total coastline is 41 km (25 mi). The climate is subtropical, with high humidity from April to October, when Macau receives most of its rainfall. Daily maximum temperatures average 29°c (84°f) during the summer; normal daily temperatures are less than 20°c (68°f) during the winter months.

Macau's population was estimated at 453,125 in mid-2006, down from 496,837 in mid-1996. The population density of over 29,000 per sq km (79,000 per sq mi) was among the highest in the world. Chinese, many of them refugees from the People's Republic of China (PRC) before Macau reverted to the PRC in 1999, constitute 95% of the total; the remaining 5% are Portuguese or of mixed Chinese Portuguese ancestry. Largescale movement of Chinese in and out of Macau has inevitably affected the economic and social life of the territory. The common language is Chinese, usually spoken in the Cantonese (87.9%), Hokkien (4.4%), or Mandarin (1.6%) dialect. As of 1997, Buddhism (50%) and Roman Catholicism (15%) were the dominant religions.

In 2003 there were about 345 km (215 mi) of highways. A causeway links Taipa and Coloane islands, and a 2.7-km (1.7-mi) bridge connects Macau and Taipa. Macau's main asset is its harbor; ferries, hydrofoils, and jetfoils offer shuttle service between Macau and Hong Kong. In 1994, a 240-km (149-mi) road connecting Macau and Hong Kong opened, running through Guangdong Province in the PRC.

Macau is the oldest European settlement in the Far East. The first Portuguese attempts to establish relations with China were made in the early 16th century. In 1557, the Chinese authorities agreed to Portuguese settlement of Macau, with leaseholder rights. The Portuguese, however, treated Macau as their possession and established a municipal government in the form of a senate of the local inhabitants. Disputes concerning jurisdiction and administration developed. In 1833, Macau, together with Timor, became an overseas province of Portugal under the control of the governor-general of Goa, and in 1849, Portugal succeeded in having Macau declared a free port. On 26 March 1887, China confirmed perpetual occupation and governance of Macau and its dependencies by Portugal, but the question of the delimitation of the boundaries was left unsettled.

As the only neutral port on the South China Sea during World War II (193945), Macau enjoyed a modicum of prosperity. In 1949, the government of the PRC renounced the "unequal treaty" granting Portuguese suzerainty over Macau. Civil disturbances in late 1966 between Macau police and Chinese leftist groups resulted in concessions to the territory's proChina elements. The 1974 military coup in Portugal led to a constitutional change in Macau's status from a Portuguese province to a "special territory." In January 1976, Portugal's remaining few hundred troops were withdrawn from Macau. China and Portugal established diplomatic ties in 1980. In March 1987, the PRC and Portugal reached an agreement for the return of Macau to the PRC on 20 December 1999. The PRC has guaranteed not to interfere in Macau's capitalist economy and way of life for a period of 50 years.

Until December 1999, Macau was ruled by a governor appointed by Portugal, although it was empowered to make its own laws, appoint and control its own civil service, and contract directly for foreign loans.

Prior to and immediately following Macau's transfer to PRC control, the unit of currency was the Macau pataca (p) of 100 avos; Hong Kong dollars also circulated freely. There are coins of 10, 20, and 50 avos and 1 and 5 patacas, and notes of 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 patacas. The pataca is linked to the Hong Kong dollar at the rate of hk$1= p1.03; as of 2005, the rate of exchange with US dollars was us$1= p8.011 or p1 = us$0.1248. Corporate taxes and import duties are important sources of revenue; major expenditures are for finance, security, education, and health and welfare.

Macau's economy is consumer-oriented. There is little agriculture and the territory is heavily dependent on imports from China for food, fresh water, and electricity. Important economic sectors are commerce, tourism, gambling, fishing, and light industry. There are small- and mediumscale enterprises concerned especially with the finishing of imported semi-manufactured goods, in particular the manufacture of clothing, ceramics, electronic equipment, toys, and fireworks, and the printing and dyeing of cloth and yarn.

Macau's historic role has been that of a gateway for southern China. It has close trade relations with neighboring Hong Kong, another free port. Gold trading, formerly a major facet in Macau's economy, virtually came to a halt in 197475 following Hong Kong's decision to lift its own restrictions on gold trading. The principal exports were clothing, textiles, footwear, toys, electronics, and machinery and parts. Principal export partners in 2004 were the United States, 48.7%; China, 13.9%; Germany, 8.3%, Hong Kong, 7.6%, and the United Kingdom, 4.4%. The principal imports were raw materials and semimanufactured goods, consumer goods (foodstuffs, beverages, and tobacco), capital goods, and mineral fuels and oil. Total imports in 2004 were valued at $3.478 billion, of which China provided 44.4%; Hong Kong, 10.6%; Japan, 9.6%; Taiwan, 4.9%; Singapore, 4.1%, and the United States, 4.1%.

Government schools are operated mainly for the children of civil servants and wealthier families, while poor Chinese students are educated in schools supported by China. Macau's University of East Asia opened in 1981. The Medical and Health Department, although critically understaffed, operates a 400-bed hospital. The 800-bed Kiang Vu Hospital has a largely Chinatrained staff.

There were 173,900 main telephone lines and 432,400 mobile cellular phone lines in use in 2004. Macau has two FM radio stations and has access to satellite communications. There are newspapers published in Chinese and Portuguese. Macau receives television broadcasts from Hong Kong.

With its varied gambling facilities, gambling provides about 70% of government revenue. Travelers must have a valid passport and a visa, which is generally purchased at the point of disembarkation. After the transfer of Macau to Chinese control in 1999, there was an increase in tourist arrivals from China.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Baranovitch, Nimrod. China's New Voices: Popular Music, Ethnicity, Gender, and Politics, 19781997. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2003.

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Evans, Richard. Deng Xiaoping and the Making of Modern China. New York: Viking, 1994.

Hamilton, Gary (ed.). Cosmopolitan Capitalists: Hong Kong and the Chinese Diaspora at the End of the 20th Century. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999.

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Mackerras, Colin. Dictionary of the Politics of the People's Republic of China. London: Routledge, 1998.

McElrath, Karen (ed.). HIV and AIDS: A Global View. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002.

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Ross, Robert S. Negotiating Cooperation: The United States and China, 19691989. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1995.

Sullivan, Lawrence R. and Nancy Hearst. Historical Dictionary of the People's Republic of China: 19491997. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow, 1997.

Thoumi, Francisco E. Illegal Drugs, Economy and Society in the Andes. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2003.

Zhang, Yongjin. China's Emerging Global Businesses: Political Economy and Institutional Investigations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Zurlo, Tony. China. San Diego, Calif.: Greenhaven Press, 2003.

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CHINA

People's Republic of China

Major Cities:
Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Chengdu, Nanjing, Chongqing, Harbin, Wuhan

Other Cities:
Anshan, Cheng-chou, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Hangzhou, Lüda, Suzhou, Tianjin, Xi'an, Yangshuo, Zibo

Regions:
Macau, Tibet

EDITOR'S NOTE

This chapter was adapted from the Department of State Post Reports dated December 1999 (Hong Kong) and December 1996. Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at http://travel.state.gov/ for the most recent information available on travel to this country.

INTRODUCTION

CHINA has the longest continuous historical and cultural tradition of any country on earth. The civilization which took shape in the Yellow River Valley of North China in the second millennium B.C. eventually came to dominate all of East Asia, including Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The products of that civilization bear the unmistakable stamp of the vast nation which today is the home of nearly one-fourth of the world's population.

The process of change in a society structured by more than 3,000 years of civilization has not been an easy one, and China in the 20th century has been exhausted by political, economic, and intellectual chaos. The Chinese Communist Party assumed control of the mainland in 1949, after almost a generation of war and social upheaval and, on October 1 of that year, formally proclaimed establishment of the People's Republic of China.

In the intervening years, and during the period of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, diplomatic relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) were interrupted. In the late 1960s, steps were taken toward relaxing tension between the two countries, and on March 1, 1979, the United States and the P.R.C. exchanged ambassadors and established embassies in Beijing and in Washington, DC.

MAJOR CITIES

Beijing

Beijing is on the northern edge of the North China Plain. To the west and north are hills, rising to 11,000 feet, 60 miles to the west, while flat, fertile farmlands stretch to the south and east. In 2000, Beijing's population was approximately 12,033,000.

Beijing's modern architecture is undistinguished, but pockets of splendid old buildingsnotably the Forbidden City of the Ming and Qing Dynastiesstill preserve the charm of premodern Beijing. In the past 25 years, many new multistory buildings have been built along the broad east-west access, which passes through Tiananmen Square. In all sections of Beijing, new high-rise office buildings, hotels, shopping complexes, and apartment houses are either under construction or recently completed. The city is constantly changing, although certain sections are still largely characterized by narrow streets fronted by gray walls, beyond which gray roofs with slightly upturned gables mark courtyards and residences, intersected with blocks of brick apartments for workers. The city has three ring roads (some sections are raised highways) that allow for easier access around the city and to the outskirts. The six-lane airport expressway has recently been completed. While a fourth ring road is under construction, it is not expected to alleviate worsening overall traffic congestion, caused by a proliferation of taxicabs and privately owned vehicles on city streets.

Food

With the increasing availability of Western products and their Chinese counterparts, it is now possible to find locally most of the components of a typical American diet. The drawbacks to the local scene are mainly price and lack of convenience: imported goods are still quite expensive, and food shopping outside the major hotel supermarkets is very time consuming. A summary of what is and isn't available is listed below.

All kinds of meat are available, both fresh and frozen, including beef, pork, and lamb. There are various delicatessens around town, as well as a German butcher who offers Western cuts. Frozen chickens (both whole and cutup), turkey, and duck are available at the Friendship stores and other outlets. Fresh and frozen seafood comes in many varieties, including such delicacies as scallops, squid, and some imported fish such as rainbow trout and salmon; prawns are available locally, but the quality varies. Also widely available are various cold cuts and sausages (some imported, some made locally) such as hot dogs, ham, and bacon as well as liver pate and caviar. Imported cheeses (at very high prices), deli meats, and fresh baked goods are also available widely at several hotel delicatessens and bakeries.

Dairy products are readily available. Fresh pasteurized, homogenized milk is sold almost everywhere for about 12 Yuan per liter. UHT (long-life) milk (low-fat and skim as well as full-fat) is widely available as well, imported mainly from Australia. A Swedish-Chinese joint venture company produces a heavy cream similar to creme fraiche, yogurt (plain and limited selections of flavors), cottage cheese, and sour cream. With the exception of yogurt, however, these items are expensive. Butter, margarine, and cheddar-style cheese are all available, in both locally made and imported varieties. An Italian cheese store that recently opened offers locally made fresh ricotta, mozzarella, and soft Italian cheeses, and lately, fresh pasta.

Fresh produce is abundant, and the availability of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables has increased dramatically over the past few years. Local produce markets dot the city, with some around the diplomatic compounds catering to Westerners and their tastes.

Produce available year-round includes cabbage, potatoes, onions, cucumbers, beets, carrots, garlic, bean sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, corn, eggplant, lettuce, green peppers, spinach, and string beans. The popularity of "hothouse farming" has made available such diverse items as fresh white and cremini mushrooms, Italian parsley, okra, zucchini, Japanese eggplant, and beautifully ripe tomatoes. Boutique fruit stands offer the likes of mangoes, lemons, imported apples, cherries, and Asian pears in addition to bananas, watermelon, peaches, lychees, strawberries, per-simmons, pineapples, plums, mandarin orangesall of which are available at different times of the year.

Frozen vegetables are available at several stores, although at considerably higher prices than in the U.S. Canned tomatoes, peas, asparagus, mushrooms, and carrots, as well as a variety of canned fruits are available; their quality may vary, but their prices are consistently high. If you cook a lot of Italian food, bring your own tomato paste as no acceptable substitute is available, and imported cans are expensive. A variety of juices are regularly available either fresh, canned, or in cartons: orange, grapefruit, pineapple, tomato juices, guava, grape, and various juice blends. All are expensive compared to prices in the U.S.

Some other items available in Beijing stores are grains (several varieties of rice, cornmeal, oatmeal, macaroni, spaghetti, millet), spices (bay leaves, cinnamon, coriander, noniodized salt, pepper, curry powder, chili powder, sesame seeds and paste, anise), chicken and duck eggs, nonegg noodles, sandwich bread, walnuts and pine nuts, granulated sugar, cooking oils, cookies, jams, honey, ice cream, rice vinegar, catsup, beer, wine (both imported and Chinese), soda water, mineral water, imported spirits, and many Western brands of candy and gum.

Clothing

In July and August, the weather turns hot and humid similar to that of Washington, D.C., and rain showers are frequent. Autumn is the best time of the year, with warm, pleasant clear days and little wind. December through March is cold, extremely dry and windy, with occasional snow. Beijing spring is mostly dry, with frequent strong winds that stir up heavy dust storms. Prepare your wardrobe with these extremes in mind. In winter most buildings are overheated, but restaurants frequently have little or no heat.

The Chinese, both men and women, wear long winter underwear and trousers with a padded tunic in winter. A light open-necked shirt is the usual dress in the summer. Foreigners' clothing is informal and reflects prevailing fashions in Europe or the U.S. Daytime requires sturdy, practical, and washable items. Bring your deck shoes, tennis shoes, or hiking boots for climbing the Great Wall (it's steep).

Warm clothing, including boots, is needed during winter. Synthetic fabrics are a problem because they collect excessive electricity in the dry winter months. Static spray is a great help in controlling static electricity in clothing, and some consider it essential. Local department stores carry limited selections of men's underwear, sports and dress shirts, polo shirts, socks, and sweaters and down jackets for men, women, and children. A number of Western designers contract with Chinese firms to produce high-style items. Some of the items, often seconds, appear in the free markets at prices that are bargains compared to their U.S. equivalents.

For older children, Chinese clothing is adequate but has a distinctly Chinese look. Clothing for school should include sweatsuits for physical education class and sneakers. Dresses and trousers are available locally, though the styling may not be Western. Shoes of cloth and rubber are inexpensive and come in all sizes, but quality is poor.

Supplies and Services

Local toiletries and cosmetics differ widely from what Americans are used to, and Western products, available at selected shops, are limited in selection and quantity and priced exorbitantly. Bath oils and lotions, moisturizers, and creams are popular because skin becomes exceedingly dry and itchy in the dry winter climate. Dandruff shampoos and hair conditioners are also useful.

There are a few hotel laundry and dry-cleaning facilities. Service time varies, and cleaning is marginally satisfactory. Shrinkage of woolen suits is not unknown, and clothing has been lost or damaged. Simple tailoring and dressmaking can be done locally. Tailors can copy clothes from pictures, and with a fitting session or two, they do adequate work. Good silk, wool, linen, blended suit fabric, and brocades (inexpensive by U.S. standards) are available, but cotton, men's shirt, and wash-and-wear fabrics can be hard to find. Many people have been pleased with the clothes they have had made here.

There are men's barbers and women's beauty/barber salons in the hotels and the International Club, and if you speak Chinese, you can go to the generally improving local salons. Prices range from inexpensive to expensive. The Chinese have their own supplies, but some women may prefer to use their own hair spray, conditioners, coloring, shampoo, and equipment such as rollers.

Religious Activities

Catholic Mass is offered in English every Saturday night at the Canadian Embassy and every Sunday at the Philippine Embassy. A Catholic Mass is also offered Sunday morning at two Chinese cathedrals in Beijing; the churches are independent of Rome, and the service is in Latin.

Nondenominational Protestant services in Chinese are held Sundays at two local Protestant churches and in English at the Sino-Japanese Center.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds meetings in the homes of members.

Informal Jewish services are held for the major holidays, as are Passover Seders. These services are coordinated by longtime residents of Beijing. Weekly services are not available.

Information on religious services is available from American Citizen Services, American Embassy.

Education

With the rapid growth of the foreign community, Beijing has experienced a deficit of educational opportunities for children.

Three new schools, all with programs limited so far to elementary and middle school grades, have also opened recently in Beijing: the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), the New School for Collaborative Learning (NSCL), and the Beijing Singapore International School (BISS). The WAB and BISS both attract mostly children whose native tongue is not English, with extensive English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. The WAB's curriculum, developed by the European Council of International Schools (ECIS), is more British in its orientation as well.

It must be stressed that none of the schools in Beijing are equipped to handle children with anything but mild learning disabilities. If your child has special educational needs, be sure to have these assessed before you make the decision to come to Beijing.

International School of Beijing: Jiang Tai Road, Dongzhimenwai, Beijing 100004, People's Republic of China Tel: 86-10-6437-7119 Fax: 86-10-437-6989

The International School of Beijing, jointly sponsored by the governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S., was established in 1980 as the successor to the American Educational Association and the former Australian, Canadian, and British schools. ISB is an independent, coeducational day school offering a program ranging from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 for government dependents and other citizens of the founding nations. As space is available, qualified children of citizens of other countries are also admitted. The school year extends from mid-August to mid-June.

Organization: The school is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors, 6 of whom are appointed by the sponsoring embassies, and 5 of whom are elected by the International School Association of Beijing. All parents of children who are registered for attendance in the school and members of the Board of Directors are automatically members of the Association.

Curriculum: The curriculum is based on, but not limited to, American models. Language arts and mathematics are emphasized. Social studies, science, computer studies, Chinese, French, art, music, drama, physical education, and health education are also taught. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is also offered to students in grades 11 and 12, along with several advanced placement courses. All grades meet in regular classes, from self-contained elementary (pre-kindergarten through grade 5) through middle school (grades 6 to 8) to high school (grades 9 to 12). All students study about China within the regular subjects and through special field experiences. There are limited programs for ESL, resource, and English enrichment.

Accreditation: The ISB is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Faculty: There are about 80 full-time and 16 part-time professional staff members, many of whom are American.

Enrollment: Enrollment is about 1,000 students (50% Pre-K through grade 5, 25% grades 6 to 8, 25% grades 9 to 12).

Facilities: The school operates in 2 modern and 10 new buildings with 48 classrooms, 4 science labs, 5 music rooms, 2.5 art rooms, 3 computer labs, a learning Media Center, and a multipurpose room with stage, 14 language rooms, 8 resource and ESL classrooms, 2 gymnasiums, shower rooms, and 2 food-serving kitchens. It is located partly on the compound of the Lido Hotel Company Ltd., and partly on land leased from the Chinese Government. With the addition of 10 new buildings to the campus during the summer of 1994 to add needed enrollment capacity, the outdoor/play/sports places were cut back somewhat.

A new school facility for 1,500 students on a new 40-acre site is in the construction stages. Until the site is complete, students in grades K through 2 will attend a new "satellite" campus a short distance away from the Lido campus, accommodate the growing student.

Finances: About 95 percent of the school's income is derived from regular day school tuition. Annual tuition rates for 1996-1997 were as follows: Pre-K: $7,500; K-grade 5: $11,870; grades 6 to 8: $12,710; grades 9 to 12: $14,030; capital fee: kindergarten$1,500, grades 1 to 12$3,000. A mandatory building fee of $15,000 per student (refundable under certain terms and conditions upon withdrawal) was introduced for the 1996-97 school year to raise funds for the new campus. (All fees are quoted in U.S. dollars.)

The New School of Collaborative Learning: Shangdi West Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100085 PRC

The New School of Collaborative Learning is a cross-cultural international school sponsored by the Alliance for International Collaboration and Development (AICD), an American nonprofit educational corporation. Established in 1994, it offers, in English and Chinese, a program ranging from preprimary through 9th grade. An alternative school in the heart of Beijing's intellectual district, NSCL emphasizes immersion in Chinese and American cultures and languages and self-motivated learning through individualized education. The school sees its location in China as a positive benefit and seeks to have its students take full advantage of the unique opportunities afforded by this location. Administrators are actively involved in Chinese educational reform, with NSCL serving as a model school for the Haidian Reform Initiative.

Organization: The school year extends from the beginning of September through mid-June. The school is governed by a Board of Trustees composed of both American and Chinese educators, private sponsors, and parents. The administration has a Head of School, a Director of Education, a Director of Administration, and a Director of Outreach Programs.

Curriculum: The curriculum has been designed with the ongoing assistance of educators from Sidwell Friends School of Washington, D.C., and the bilingual program follows that of the Chinese American School of San Francisco. The best of both American and Chinese teaching is brought to the instruction of mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts. Western and Asian art, music, physical education, computer training, and a program of community service complete the curriculum. Wherever possible and appropriate, an active learning/integrated learning approach is used.

Accreditation: The NCSL is applying for accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Faculty: There are team teachers at every level.

Enrollment: During its first year, the school enrolled 25 students on three levels: primary, elementary, and middle school. The school in its second year enrolled approximately 60 pupils.

Facilities: The school operates in a new educational facility on 30,000 square meters, which includes the site for a track and a Chinese garden. It will share facilities with a Chinese elementary school until enrollment expands to fill the entire building. The school's 12 classrooms include a library and an assembly room. The track is soon to be completed. A science and library building and gymnasium are to be built in the next 3 years.

Finance: In the 1994-95 school year, about 95 percent of the school's income came from regular day school tuition. Annual tuition rates for 1995-96 are Pre-K: $7,000; Primary I: $8,000; Primary II: grades 3 and 4: $10,000; grades 5 to 9: $11,000.

Preschool Options: There are a variety of preschool options in Beijing, with two Montessori schools, several private preschool programs, and the American Community Preschool (ACP).

Adult Educational Opportunities

A number of interested students in Beijing have arranged to study the Chinese language or Chinese traditional art and music at Chinese institutions and universities. Occasionally American universities offer U.S.-led extension courses in Beijing. These latter opportunities vary with the composition of the American community at post at a given moment.

Sports

China presents limited participant sports and recreational opportunities.

Cycling, hiking, tennis, golf, and ice skating are enjoyed by some. Several private tennis clubs, in addition to the various embassy courts, have both indoor and outdoor (lighted) tennis courts with varying hourly fees. The International Club holds tournaments each year for members of the foreign community. Though local tennis equipment is generally adequate, tennis enthusiasts should bring a supply of balls.

Biking is a very popular mode of transportation in Beijing. Individuals find cycling a convenient way to exercise and sight-see at the same time. Chinese bicycles are heavy and have no gears, but are sturdily made and comfortable, and some people use them to commute to work. Recent to the marketplace are an increasing variety of made-for-export mountain bicycles and accessories, available at about 50 percent of the cost in the U.S. Since Beijing is flat, gears are not really necessary, but bicycles with gears have their advantages, especially for bike trips outside the city or on windy days. Imported bikes are subject to theft, so a good locking system is recommended.

Sports facilities include several golf courses in Beijing, and the cost is relatively affordable. There are roughly 6 weeks of ice skating in Beijing every year, with outdoor, unimproved rinks at the Summer Palace and Beihai Park.

Spectator sports in Beijing include basketball, volleyball, ping-pong, badminton, soccer, gymnastics, and hockey, but tickets are very hard to get.

Health clubs are now available in many of the better hotels, including such facilities as indoor swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, a range of aerobics equipment and weight machines, and sauna, steambath, and locker facilities. Membership fees vary, as does the equipment or facilities in each club, but there is generally something for everyone, from the hardcore to the occasional club goer, in terms of facility and budget.

Touring and Outdoor Activities

Sight-seeing in and around Beijing and the rest of the PRC is a favorite activity.

Private groups also offer sight-seeing, but arrangements are often difficult. For a variety of reasonsthe language barrier, frequent delays, logistical difficultiestravel in China is a real adventure, more fun to accomplish in groups than on one's own. Fortunately, there are many fascinating sights in the PRC, which make the challenge of travel worth the effort, but travel is rarely relaxing or restful, and transportation and lodging costs are rising rapidly as well.

Entertainment

There are lots of interesting activities going on all over Beijingsymphonies, operas, acrobatics, theater groups, and sporting events. However, hearing about events in time to get tickets is often difficult. Events are often not publicized ahead of time, or ticket distribution is unknown.

There is a Chinese film series (with English subtitles) with weekly showings at a nearby hotel and a foreign film program at a downtown hotel, although the foreign films are not all that current.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is Cantonese for "fragrant harbor," a name inspired either by the incense factories that once dotted Hong Kong Island or by the profusion of scented pink Bauhinias, the national flower.

The island is a dazzling melee of human life and enterprise. Its animated nature seems all the more perplexing when you add in the mix of nationalities, languages, customs, and fashions. People came to this city for many reasons-to find a better life or to find freedom from restrictive governments-and enough have stayed to turn a once-quiet trading village into one of the world's busiest international business centers.

From the harbor the city's latest architectural wonders stand against a green-mountain backdrop, while on the other side of the island beaches and quieter villages slow the pace considerably. Hong Kong has the best shopping in the world. Although the thought of crowded streets and mind-boggling choices can be daunting, no place makes big spending easier than this center of international commerce.

It was in the late 1970s that Hong Kong began to focus on the issue of its future. The colony's officials and business people realized they could no longer put off the question of what would happen to the New Territories, which makes up more than 90 percent of Hong Kong's land area. The New Territories were leased to Britain by China in 1898, for 99 years. That lease was set to expire on July 1, 1997.

After months of negotiations, both sides agreed in 1984 to Beijing's proposal for a Joint Declaration-making Hong Kong a Special Administrative Region, with its own distinct laws, freedoms, and way of life. On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty amid intense interest from the international community.

So far, the transition has been smooth. Hong Kong has grown steadily more prosperous. While an estimated 387,000 citizens had emigrated over the past few years, many have been coming home as their confidence returns.

Landscape

The landscape is one of contrast, marked by a mix of old and new types of architectural design. It is quite apparent from the old churches and government buildings that are a few stories high to the high-rise skyscraper office and apartment buildings that cover the landscape from the harbor's edge and climb dramatically to the Peak.

The developed areas consist of high-density, high-rise office buildings and apartments. Hong Kong has experienced a very ambitious building program during the past decade, and more is planned for the future. Incorporated into this scheme are plans to ensure that park areas remain part of the landscape. This setting complements the steep green hills that surround the city and provide a pleasantly spectacular visual background.

Utilities

Electrical current is 220v, 50 cycle, AC. Power is dependable with little voltage fluctuation. Transformers are required for 110v appliances. Employees may purchase additional transformers locally. Synchronous 60-cycle appliances, such as electric clocks, record players, and tape recorders, will not function properly on 50 cycles without modification. American and Continental European plugs will not fit into the three-prong U.K. standard sockets used in Hong Kong,* but adapter plugs are available. Hong Kong has a wide variety of 220v appliances available at prices comparable to those in the U.S. Color TVs, video players, stereo components, and electric clocks with built-in converters for either 50 or 60 cycles and voltage adjusters from 120v to 220v are also readily available.

Food

Food markets and supermarkets in Hong Kong provide a wide variety of fresh, processed, canned, and frozen foods catering to both the Western and Asian diet. It is possible to find almost everything here that one buys in the U.S. However, certain items will carry a premium price tag, and what is on the shelf today may not be there tomorrow. Food shopping in Hong Kong is perhaps best and most economically accomplished in the European fashion rather than American, i.e. going to different shops and markets for different foods. However, the larger outlets of the two major supermarket chains (Wellcome and Park N' Shop) are stocked to European tastes and carry standard products. American products are beginning to be seen on the shelves with more regularity. Credit cards are accepted at Wellcome and Park N' Shop. Most meats in the supermarket are imported from the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. Phone/fax orders and delivery are available. Local markets sell fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, and seafood at prices somewhat less than in supermarkets. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are imported from both the northern and southern hemispheres and are available most of the year in Hong Kong. Specialty shops are popular in Hong Kong, providing an ever increasing selection of imported gourmet food and beverage items from around the world. Condiments and spices for Asian cooking are available in supermarkets and gourmet shops, as well as from vendors in the local markets. Coffees and teas from all over the world are sold here. Bakeries produce a variety of pastries, breads, and rolls. There are good quality butcher shops in addition to supermarket meat counters. Local dairies provide pasteurized milk and dairy products including yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese. Butter and cheeses are imported. Even health food stores have found a niche in this cosmopolitan city.

Clothing

General: With its increasing prosperity, Hong Kong has become very fashion conscious in recent years. In central Hong Kong and the shopping arcades of Kowloon, more and more fashion boutiques, including the finest of European import houses, cater to the affluent tastes of this economically flourishing territory. The sophistication of conservative big-city business attire predominates, and Hong Kong "dresses up" not only for the office but also for teas, lunches, and dinners. On the other hand, designer label "casual wear" is also very common all over Hong Kong; and jeans and sneakers identify the tourist and resident alike, whether sightseeing or bargain shopping.

A varied wardrobe, similar to what you would wear in Washington, is appropriate for Hong Kong. Definite seasons call for summer lightweight garments most of the year with mediumweight or lightweight wool for the Hong Kong winter. The winter although short, December through March, can be cold with temperatures averaging 15 °C (59°F).

Three other general comments: 1) during the humid months, cotton is highly preferable to synthetic fabric for clothing as well as undergarments; 2) getting around Hong Kong requires considerable walking, uphill as well as down, therefore special attention should be given to comfortable footwear for all activities; and 3) if you wear an unusual or especially large size, you may have difficulty with some items such as shoes or underwear.

Men: Men need lightweight suits from April through November and lightweight wool suits for the cooler months.

American and British summer and winter suit materials are stocked locally, and getting a suit made to order is still one of the best deals in Hong Kong. Prices will vary depending on your tailor and the quality of material being used. Custom-made shirts are also quite popular and also vary in price according to design and material. Shoes can also be custom made to suit your taste. Most of the popular brands of shoes used for leisure activities are available at reasonable prices. You can also find many outlets that stock popular sweaters and ties. Hats are seldom worn for formal occasions, but you will see all the familiar logo caps and styles as you walk around Kowloon and Hong Kong.

Women: Women should bring a supply of summer cottons and other lightweight dresses. Women who plan to work in Hong Kong should bring suits and other professionally appropriate outfits such as one would wear in Washington. Although dry cleaning services are readily available, the costs are similar to the U.S., so many prefer to use wash and wear apparel.

Materials such as cotton and varieties of silks and woolens are stocked for tailor-made dresses, suits, and coats. Some fabrics are inexpensive, but tailoring of women's clothing is not and the finished product often leaves much to be desired.

An increasing number of shops carry imported American and European ready-to-wear sweaters, dresses, suits and coats but prices are higher than in the U.S. unless found at bargain factory outlets or markets. Locally manufactured clothing is also available but is very limited in sizes above U.S. size 12. Evening wear, both informal and formal, is more difficult to find and is more expensive in Hong Kong than in the U.S.

Lingerie, including British and U.S. brands, is available; however, it is more expensive than in the U.S. Cotton undergarments, which are preferred due to heat and humidity, are not easily found. The supply of U.S. or British hosiery items is very limited and very expensive; tall or queen-sized hosiery is virtually unavailable.

Lightweight coats or lined raincoats are often worn during the cooler months; unlined raincoats are desirable for the warmer, rainy season. If you have a fur jacket or stole, you will probably have an opportunity to wear it in the winter.

Some ready-made American and European shoes are available but expensive and usually come in wider widths. Narrow shoes and sizes above 7-1/2 are difficult to find. Once here, you may enjoy having shoes made by Hong Kong shoemakers whom many consider to be good. Because of the need for comfortable walking shoes and the level of fashion seen in the main shopping/business district, "smart-casual" (a British term) shoes are recommended.

Sports clothes, including bathing suits, are sold here but generally in small sizes and with price tags higher than in the U.S. Locally made, inexpensive knits are also available in the street markets. Women do not generally wear shorts on the streets in Hong Kong, but slacks and pantsuits are often worn. White is still the only color acceptable on most tennis courts.

Children: Children dress just as in the U.S. Parents can enjoy the fact that heavy winter wear is not needed and blue jeans are standard streetwear. Hong Kong street markets are full of clothing for toddlers and young children. Many children's shops have attractive clothes but prices are high.

With the exception of sports shoes, children's shoes cost more than in the U.S. and the choice is limited. It is hard to find shoes of correct size, proper fit, and desired styles. Orthopedic shoes are not readily available.

Supplies and Services

As with food and clothing, almost anything you want is available in Hong Kong; however, unless it is made locally, it may be hard to find, and, it will most probably be more expensive than in the U.S. American, British, French, and German toiletries, cosmetics, and hygiene products are available in Hong Kong, but are expensive. You may wish to bring an ample supply of cosmetics. French perfumes, however, can be purchased at a reasonable price as compared to prices in the U.S. Pharmacies in Hong Kong are good; however, bring any needed prescriptions with you. Most household products are available in several brands.

Hong Kong is renowned for its toys, but you have to be careful that what you purchase complies with U.S. safety standards. Toys "R" Us has two outlets in Hong Kong and Kowloon and carries approved brands that comply with U.S. standards, although the prices are higher than you will find in the U.S. In shopping for toys locally, you must remember that there is a great difference in quality between export quality and local quality. Both kinds are available on the local market.

There are many excellent bookstores in Hong Kong but be prepared for prices considerably higher than in the U.S. Most people mail order their reading material. It should be noted, however, that paperback editions of best sellers are often out in Hong Kong long before paperback. International magazines and newspapers are readily available.

Men's and women's hairdressers are located throughout Hong Kong and have generally high standards at reasonable to expensive prices. Many use the facilities located in major hotels located near the at which appointments can be made. Hong Kong has reliable dry cleaners, many using American methods and materials. The price is similar to that charged in the U.S. and several pick up and deliver. Good laun-dries are also available. Shoe repair services operate on the street, in stairways, or in alleys. The service is fair and reasonably priced. Car maintenance and repairs are moderately priced for locally-sold models. Parts and service for American cars are more difficult to obtain.

Domestic Help

Domestic help is available in Hong Kong but has become quite costly. Full-time Chinese cooks are almost a thing of the past and very expensive. Any live-in Chinese help is a rarity and extremely costly. Although part-time help is available, it is also expensive and difficult to arrange. Most families looking for domestic help choose to hire Filipina domestics who live in and are reasonably priced. By law, minimum wage for overseas domestic helpers (Filipinas, Thais, etc.) for 1998 was set at HK $3,860 per month. Additionally, the employer is required to provide either all food or a food allowance (usually about HK $400/Mo.), housing, uniforms, medical insurance, and one round trip to the home country every 2 years for home leave. By law, these domestics have eleven local holidays, 1 week of annual leave after 1 full year of successful performance, and home leave (2 weeks) every 2 years. All domestic helpers should have a medical examination including chest x-ray, blood serological, and stool examination. All costs are borne by the employer.

Religious Activities

Religious services are held in English by the following denominations: Assemblies of God, Bahai Faith, Baptist, Christian Missionary Alliance, Christian Science, Church of Christ, Church of England (Episcopal-Anglican), Iglesia de Christo, Jewish (Orthodox and Reform congregations), Latter-day Saints, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian/Congregational, Quakers, Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, United Pentecostal, and others. Various Buddhist sects also have English speaking congregations in Hong Kong.

Education

Hong Kong International School. The vast majority of American school-age children attend the Hong Kong International School (HKIS). It is recognized as one of the leading international schools and provides a U.S.-style education and U.S. curriculum. HKIS is sponsored by and operated under the auspices of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (USA). It is registered with the Office of Education of the Hong Kong Government and is associated with other American overseas schools in the Far East. Its accredited status by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges of the U.S. reflects its conformity with American educational standards. Half the staff is composed of trained teachers recruited in the U.S. through the Lutheran school system and appointed for a minimum of 3 years. The remainder of the staff, also professionally trained and experienced, consists of members of the American and European community in Hong Kong plus a few Chinese instructors.

HKIS serves a religiously diverse community. Although religious instruction is mandatory, course offerings may be selected that encompass Christian or Bible subjects as well as a variety of non-Christian topics such as existentialism and oriental religions. Chapel is voluntary for students in grades 7-12. For kindergarten through grade 6 there are weekly chapel services and 20-minute religious instruction classes.

Of its approximately 2,000 students, slightly more than half are U.S. citizens, while fewer than 100 are dependents of U. S. Government employees. Instruction is in English with emphasis on academic or college preparatory courses. Some advanced placement courses are offered. More than 90% of graduates enroll in American colleges and universities. In the recent years, HKIS has made great strides to include programs for special needs children. However, there is currently no school in Hong Kong, including HKIS, which is staffed or equipped to handle students with severe learning, physical, or emotional disabilities. Parents with special educational needs for their children should consult directly with the school to see how those needs can best be met.

The elementary school (K-5) in Repulse Bay is an air-conditioned "open space" facility consisting of six clusters of over 4,000 sq.ft. each. There is also a gymnasium, library, and swimming pool. Educational approaches range from self-contained classrooms to independent learning and team-teaching situations. The middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12) are located together at Tai Tam, several miles from Repulse Bay. The multi-million dollar facility features an open air campus similar to schools found in many parts of the U.S. with classrooms, separate science laboratories, computer lab, music rooms, a cafeteria, gymnasium, swimming pool, audio visual center, bookstore, library, and guidance offices.

Sixth grade through High School students participate annually in an "Interim Program" which consists of a week of cultural explorations in Hong Kong or overseas. These programs are a prerequisite for graduation. The school offers approximately 37 interim trips each year with about 20 students enrolled in each. The cost of these trips must be borne by the parents. For example, the least expensive trip is US$350 (for 6th grade), and the most expensive is a High School trip for US$1,600. Parents/children are allowed to indicate their preferences but sometimes are not placed in their top choice.

A full program of American-type extracurricular activities is offered, including a broad selection of clubs, drama, choral and band groups, publications, scouts, and sports: badminton, baseball, basketball, bowling, cross-country, field hockey, gymnastics, rugby, soccer, squash, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo. Inter-scholastic competition includes meets with other schools in Hong Kong as well as the International School Bangkok (ISB) and the Taipei American School (TAS). HKIS also hosts an invitational basketball tournament each December that attracts schools from other Asian cities. Some emphasis is placed on inter-cultural programs. Mandarin is taught in elementary school and is offered as an elective in middle school and high school. French and Spanish are offered in grades 6-12.

The school year normally runs from the third or fourth week in August until mid-June.

Since the school is normally at capacity enrollment, it is vital that application forms be requested and forwarded well in advance. Application forms can be requested, in writing, from the Admissions Office, Hong Kong International School, 6 South Bay Close, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong. It is particularly important that parents discuss well in advance any instances in which a student has poor academic records or special needs.

English Schools Foundation (ESF) (British Curriculum). This is an alternative to HKIS. Before an application can be submitted, the student must be a resident of Hong Kong. Admittance and decision as to grade level placement are based on age, the results of an entrance examination in English and mathematics, an interview and availability of space. A medical examination is also required. The city is zoned and children attend the ESF schools according to where they live. ESF schools previously used by Consulate General families and located in Mid-Levels where many employees are housed include Glenealy Junior School and Kennedy Road Junior School for children 5-10 and Island School for children 11-17.

Other specialized school options include the Chinese International School and Singapore International School, both providing bicultural English-Mandarin programs; the French International School which has both French and English streams; the German-Swiss School which has both German and English streams; the International Christian School which is based on Taiwan's American-based Morrison Academy; and the American International School, a Catholic Church sponsored school in Kowloon. Kellett School, the only private British Primary school in Hong Kong, is another alternative considered by American families. Good preschools are available on Hong Kong Island but are quite costly.

School websites:

Hong Kong International School
http://www.hkis.edu.hk

English Schools Foundation
http://www.esf.edu.hk

German Swiss International School
http://home.netvigator.com/-gsis

Chinese International School
http://www.hk.super.net/-cis

Parkview International Pre-school
http://www.hk.super.net/^pips

Carmel School Hong Kong
http://www.carmel.edu.hk

Special Educational Opportunities

Adult education courses conducted in English are available at both Hong Kong University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The courses cover literature, history, journalism, philosophy, architecture, pottery making and many other subjects. Entrance as a full-time student either to the University of Hong Kong or to the Chinese University is very difficult. The entrance examinations are based on a British educational background, and the universities generally only admit students who are permanent residents of Hong Kong, except as non-credit auditors. Elsewhere, there are excellent opportunities to study many phases of Chinese culture, especially Cantonese. Instruction in modern dance, ballet, voice, instrumental music, Western and Asian painting, and sports are available. The YWCA English Speaking Members Department, Island School, Towngas, Electric Co., and the American Women's Association also offer a good variety of adult education courses. Language classes are taught at the Alliance Francaise, Goethe Institute, and the Italian Cultural Society. The YMCA and YWCA offer adult language courses in Cantonese and Mandarin.

Recreation and Social Life

Recreation and social activities are plentiful in Hong Kong but one needs to be willing to seek out opportunities, especially for sports, since public venues are extremely crowded and private facilities (clubs) are beyond the financial means of most Consulate General personnel. In addition, waiting lists for membership in most clubs exceed the average tour in Hong Kong. On the other hand, facilities for entertainment and cultural activities are quite extensive and affordable.

Sports

Most sports facilities such as golf, tennis, squash, riding and swimming pools are available through private clubs only. The Consulate General has a tennis court located on the grounds of the Consul General's compound on Barker Road and a swimming pool located at the Shouson Hill compound which are available to employees and families.

The recent opening of two public golf courses in Hong Kong has made it affordable for non-club members to hit the links. Also, the Macau Golf and Country Club (one hour away by hydrofoil) features a challenging and fun course; and within a two hour bus or boat ride from Hong Kong, there are six courses in China that offer affordable golfing packages.

Sailing and yachting are popular and possible year round. Joining a sailboarding, kayak or rowing club often provides the opportunity for sport without the expense of a recreational club. There are some very nice beaches in the territory. Beaches on Hong Kong Island, especially on the South Side of the island, tend to be quite crowded. There is also a concern about pollution, and beach-goers need to pay attention to environmental reports in the media on pollution ratings. The more remote beaches in the New Territories and on Outlying Islands are more appealing; these beaches are reached by ferries, private "junks," and/or on foot.

If you are a runner or tri-athlete, there are numerous associations to join as well as several Hash House Harriers groups that meet weekly. There are many events sponsored by such groups throughout the year for competitors. One of the more popular means of recreation and exercise for both Chinese and expatriates is walking and hiking. The opportunities are endless and the territory has a multitude of very well-marked and maintained paths and trails that meet the needs of the leisurely stroller, the family on an outing, the casual hiker, and the ardent mountain trekker.

Tenpin bowling has been popular among Consulate General personnel.

Some Americans participate in the activities of the Hong Kong Softball Association which includes men's and women's softball teams. Because of the summer heat the softball teams are active only from September through April, and games are played at night. Some Americans entered teams in the Dragon Boat Festival held annually in June and for the 100 km Trail-walker event held in November. Popular spectator sports include soccer, cricket, rugby, softball, tennis, basketball, and horse racing (October-May).

Touring and Outdoor Activities

The Outlying Islands of Cheung Chau, Ping Chau, Lamina, and Lantau, which are accessible by ferry, offer hiking and browsing opportunities for day trips. Overnight "vacation rentals" are also available at reasonable prices. Macau is an interesting place to spend a day or weekend. This 400-year-old Portuguese colony (until December 1999), 40 miles west of Hong Kong, is a place of old and gentle Mediterranean charm on the one hand, and a city on the move on the other; bright lights, large construction sites and new high rises are rapidly changing its skyline. It is the oldest European settlement in Asia. Travel by high-speed ferry takes just about an hour. Cuisine, a mixture of Portuguese, English, and Chinese styles, is tasty and interesting. Antique shopping is another good excuse to make the trip to Macau. Hong Kong is a crossroads to most destinations in Asia. Vacations in Southeast Asia, Japan, and the Philippines are popular. Many use Hong Kong as a door to tourist travel in China. Travel agents are plentiful and are eager to assist you with package deals and self-determined itineraries.

Hong Kong itself has many interesting sights for tourists and photographers. Tourist agencies offer excellent tours. Among the more interesting excursions are the water tours of the island, tours of Kowloon, the New Territories, Hong Kong Island, the fishing village of junks and sampans at Aberdeen, and the ride to the top of the Peak by funicular cable car (Peak Tram). There are also heritage tours and opportunities to visit local housing areas and schools. Ocean Park is one of Hong Kong's most popular recreational attractions. Facilities include the world's largest aquarium, an ocean theater, a zoo, flower and water gardens, and oriental and Western restaurants. Middle Kingdom, a cultural village, portrays customs, costumes, architecture and entertainment from 13 dynasties of China. A visit to Ocean Park makes a pleasurable and interesting outing for the entire family. Water World, which is located adjacent to Ocean Park, has water slides and pools galore. A visit to Water World is a great way to escape the heat of summer.

Entertainment

Eating is the most popular form of entertainment in Hong Kong. About 1.5 million people eat in restaurants daily, the highest per capita rate in the world. The range of restaurants runs from world class to street vendors. All types of Western restaurants are available, and the choice of Asian cuisines is practically endless.

A variety of performing arts programs are presented throughout the year, including symphony concerts, recitals, ballet and dance performances, drama, and Western opera. The Hong Kong Cultural Center, the Academy for the Performing Arts, the Hong Kong Arts Center and City Hall are the centers of Hong Kong's cultural life. The Hong Kong Cultural Center includes a 2,085-seat concert hall, a 1,724-seat grand theater, and a flexible 300-to 500-seat studio theater for experimental drama. It is the home of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. The Cultural Center complex also houses the Hong Kong Museum of Art, with its collections of Chinese arts and antiquities, ethno-graphic materials and archaeological finds, and the Hong Kong Space Museum. The Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts (APA) is a professional degree granting institution providing training, education, and research in the performing arts and related fields. Students from the APA Schools of Dance and Drama give public performances throughout the year in the APA's theater. The Hong Kong Arts Center features a multi-purpose theater, a recital hall for music performances and films, and art galleries. It is a multi-disciplinary center, featuring contemporary work in the performing, visual, and cinematic arts. The Center also offers classes in painting, ceramics, and other art forms for children and adults. The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is the nucleus of Hong Kong's musical life. It has an 11-month season from April through February and season subscriptions are available. Guest artists of world renown appear regularly with the orchestra.

Other performing arts groups that perform at Hong Kong's cultural venues include the Hong Kong Repertory Theater, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, the Hong Kong Dance Company, City Contemporary Dance Company, the Hong Kong Ballet, and the Chung Ying Theater Company. The American Community Theater (ACT) is Hong Kong's most active amateur theatrical group and produces several plays a year. It has an international membership and stages American theatrical productions, including musicals. The most active and best known choral groups are the Bach Choir, the Hong Kong Singers, and the St. Cecilia Singers. These non-professional groups present one or two cantatas, operettas, or musicals a year. Free lunch time concerts and recitals are held each Wednesday in St. John's Cathedral (Episcopal), which is located one-half block from the Consulate General. The program includes both sacred and secular music.

Social Activities

All travelers have the opportunity for a very active social life as they enjoy the wonderful restaurants of Hong Kong, theaters, school activities, wine tastings, food fairs, night spots.

The American Women's Association (AWA) has about 1,600 regular and associate members; by charter the membership is at least 51% American regular members with international members as associates. The Association has a number of popular monthly activities and several special membership luncheons/meetings/programs during the year. It supports many community projects and offers a wide variety of both social and charitable activities. Joining AWA is a good way to meet Americans outside the Consulate General and also to get to know women of other nationalities. The English Speaking Members' Department of the YWCA located near the Consulate General offers their members a vast number of day and evening activities including lectures on Asian Affairs, seminars on family issues, bridge, tennis, exercise, cooking and language classes, computer and other skill development sessions, and a variety of arts and crafts offerings. Their "At Home in Hong Kong" program is highly recommended for newcomers to the territory. The Rotary Clubs, American Chamber of Commerce, Lions Clubs, Toastmaster and Toast-mistress Clubs, the American University Club, League of Women Voters, Hong Kong, (an integral part of the League of Women Voters of the U.S.), and many other groups where individuals can meet local residents and expatriates are available. The Brownies, Cub Scouts, Girl Guides, and Little League baseball are active in Hong Kong. A public children's library is in City Hall. HKIS sponsors summer sports and skills programs. Various churches also have youth activities. The Welfare Handicrafts, Mother's Choice, the Red Cross, YMCA, and many other welfare agencies-some branches of U.S. organizations-offer a variety of opportunities for both men and women for volunteer service. Both civic and professional associations are numerous.

Geography and Climate

Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, covers an area of 404 square miles, about six times the size of Washington, DC. Hong Kong is a bustling, vibrant, very Chinese, and very international city. This colorful mix of East and West, old and new, is alive with an overwhelmingly entrepreneurial spirit. To the 6.8 million residents, the city represents the dream of prosperity and the opportunity for personal betterment. One has to admire the incomparable tenacity of the Hong Kong people-their strength of purpose and devotion to work and family are striking. The SAR consists of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories, and various surrounding islands.

Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841 until June 30, 1997. On that date, which coincided with the expiration of the 99-year British lease on the New Territories, it became a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Under a unique "one country, two systems" formula agreed to by Britain and China in the Joint Declaration of 1984, Beijing has granted Hong Kong people the right to govern Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy in all areas except defense and foreign affairs. In practice, this means that life in Hong Kong after the transition to Chinese sovereignty has changed very little.

From the small fishing villages of 150 years ago, Hong Kong has grown into one of the most important trading, industrial, and financial centers in Asia. Official representatives of most major countries reside in the territory, along with a host of international bankers, lawyers, and business people who participate in Hong Kong's booming trade and industry. Hong Kong Island, the site of most of the territory's governmental, commercial, and financial activities, is about 32 square miles in area. The island's population and business centers are located across the harbor from Kowloon and extend from Pok Fu Lam to North Point, encompassing the Central, Mid-Levels, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay areas of Hong Kong. The Consulate General office and official housing for American staff are located on the island. The seaward, or south side of Hong Kong Island, is made up of a rugged shoreline with high cliffs and sheltered bays. The interior is rough terrain with steep hills and small valleys. The highest area, known as the Peak, is 555 meters (1,830 ft.) above sea level and has a breathtaking view of the scenic harbor and Kowloon on one side and the offshore islands and South China Sea on the other. The Kowloon Peninsula is directly across the harbor from Hong Kong Island. It is separated from the New Territories by groups of hills, the highest of which rises to more than 3,000 feet. The Kowloon area, with its major subdivisions of Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui, is the leading industrial area of Hong Kong, as well as a major residential area and tourist center with many hotels and shops. The major railway station, Hunt Hom, serving Guangzhou, is also located in this densely populated area. The New Territories comprises an area of 355 square miles between Kowloon and the Chinese border and also includes some 235 small offshore islands. This area accounts for most of the territory's agricultural activity and a growing portion of its industrial and residential sectors. The topography is mostly steep hills and marshes, but many places are used for small farms. The only major agriculture on the offshore islands is on Lantau Island, the largest. The remaining islands are small, and, if inhabited, are primarily fishing bases. The rustic character of the New Territories has been transformed in recent years with the construction of major satellite towns such as Sha Tin and Tuen Mun, where large numbers of Hong Kong residents live.

Hong Kong's climate is governed by the monsoons. Although the territory lies within the Tropics, it enjoys a variety of weather because of these seasonal winds. The winter monsoon blows from the north or northeast from September to mid March, and the summer wind blows from the south or southwest from mid-March to September. During the summer monsoon, the weather is hot and humid; during the winter monsoon it is cool. Average temperatures range from 58°F in February (with lows in the 40s) to 82°F in July (with highs in the 90s). The mean relative humidity ranges from a low of 67% in November to 84% in May; many days the humidity approaches 100%, accompanied by heavy clouds. Late fall is the most pleasant time of year, generally with dry and sunny weather and high temperatures of 70° to 75°F. The average annual rainfall is 95 inches.

Population

Hong Kong's population at the end of 1998 was approximately 6.8 million, with the overwhelming majority being ethnic Chinese. Most were born in Hong Kong, with others coming from China or other countries in Asia. The rest of the expatriate community includes mainly government officials and business people representing many nationalities. About 50,000 U.S. citizens (including 11,500 dual nationals) are resident in Hong Kong, representing a major foreign presence in the territory. The other major expatriate groups are from Canada, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. The official languages of Hong Kong are Chinese and English. Cantonese is the most common Chinese dialect spoken, and English is widely used in government and business. Most people follow traditional Chinese beliefs. The two main religions are Buddhism and Taoism. About 600,000 or 10% of the population are Christian. Hong Kong has about 50,000 followers of Islam, most of whom are Hong Kong Chinese. The Hindu community, which has been part of the territory since its earliest days, has increased to 12,000. Hong Kong's Jewish community numbers about 1,000.

Public Institutions

Hong Kong has retained almost the entire administrative structure put in place by the British. The Hong Kong Government is staffed by an effective civil service numbering more than 184,000 people.

Some 30 executive bureaus organized along functional lines constitute this administrative framework. The executive-led government is headed by the Chief Executive (who replaced the British Governor); he was selected by the Hong Kong people in late 1996 and serves for a five-year term. He is advised by the Executive Council, prominent local residents whom he appoints. The 60-member Legislative Council, whose powers are limited, consists of a mixture of directly and indirectly elected members. Beneath these bodies, the Urban Council is responsible for various local matters like recreation and sanitation for Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, while the Regional Council performs the same function for the New Territories. At the lowest level, 19 District Boards cover the entire territory, serving as grassroots advisory bodies for monitoring public opinion regarding government policies.

Environment

Due to its small size and location in the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong's environment is strongly influenced by the rest of China. A closely-packed city, Hong Kong suffers from smog on a regular basis. Air quality is continuously monitored by the government, and a report on the air quality is announced daily. The range is usually 60 to 80 or "moderate" which means fair. An index of over 100 (which occurred in the summer of 1997) is unhealthy. Air pollution from diesel vehicle emissions remains a priority concern. In November 1997, the Hong Kong government launched a trial of liquefied petroleum gas vehicles to address this problem, but it is unlikely that there will be a major shift away from diesel vehicles in the next 3-5 years. Quality of inshore water, particularly around the beaches, is also deteriorating. This will not improve until the major government infrastructure program to treat all raw sewage and waste before discharge into the ocean is completed around 2004.

Fresh water, mostly piped from China, is treated at several water treatment plants located in Hong Kong before being used. The quality of water meets current World Health Organization requirements. However, some people choose to use distilled water or use filters to remove sediment from water sources at home.

Arts, Science, and Education

Hong Kong has a rich cultural life that embraces the arts and traditions of both East and West. A variety of performing arts is presented, including symphony concerts, recitals, ballet and dance performances, drama, Western opera, and Chinese traditional stage arts. There are two professional orchestras, three full-time dance companies, a handful of professional drama groups, and scores of amateur orchestras, choirs, dance groups and drama clubs, plus overseas artists and groups who visit the territory throughout the year. Long-established performing companies like the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, the Hong Kong Repertory Theater, and Hong Kong Ballet offer annual subscriptions for their performances. The primary venues for arts events are the Hong Kong Cultural Center, with a 2,085-seat concert hall and a 1,724-seat grand theater, the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, the Hong Kong Arts Center, City Hall, and the three major town halls in Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun.

The annual Hong Kong Arts Festival in February/March brings a wide array of well-known local and overseas groups and is the highlight of the cultural year. The Festival of Asian Arts is a biennial event featuring performing arts from Asian and Oceanic cultures. The International Arts Carnival in the summer aims to introduce children and young people to the performing arts. The annual Hong Kong International Film Festival is one of the world's major noncompetitive film festivals. The Fringe Festival in January/February is an open platform for the arts. Hong Kong has several museums and small galleries. The Hong Kong Museum of Art houses a collection of Chinese bronzes, ceramics, and paintings and stages major international loan exhibitions of Chinese and Western art. Its branch museum, the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, is devoted exclusively to Chinese tea ware. Both the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong have museums exhibiting Chinese art and cultural artifacts. The Tsui Museum of Art displays a privately-owned collection of Chinese fine art. Galleries at the Hong Kong Arts Center emphasize contemporary and Western arts. Small commercial galleries sell works by Chinese and overseas artists.

The Hong Kong Museum of History focuses on local and Chinese history. The Hong Kong Space Museum has visitor participatory exhibits and a planetarium to introduce visitors to astronomy and space science. Exhibits at the Hong Kong Science Museum cover basic science principles, mathematics, earth science, life science, the applications of technology, and high-tech areas such as computers and robotics.

Education is highly valued by the Government and people of Hong Kong; no other element takes a larger share of the government budget. Full-time education is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 15. Instruction is mainly in Chinese in primary school and in Chinese and English in secondary school.

Ten degree-granting institutions are supported by the Hong Kong government's University Grants Committee. They all follow the British three-year system. The University of Hong Kong, founded in 1911, uses English as the language of instruction. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, a federated university composed of four colleges, uses both English and Chinese in teaching. Both universities offer academic as well as professional courses and include graduate and extension programs. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, opened in 1991, offers first and advanced degrees primarily in science, engineering and business management. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the City University of Hong Kong offer degree and diploma courses combined with work and vocational training programs. The Hong Kong Baptist University and Lingnan College Hong Kong offer degree programs, primarily in social sciences, business, and liberal arts. The Hong Kong Institute of Education was formed in 1994 by merging four colleges of education. It provides pre-service teacher education for primary and secondary school teachers. It enrolled its first degree program students in 1998. The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts offers comprehensive multidisciplinary professional training for performing and related technical and media arts, leading to diploma and first degree. The Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong provides the adult population with opportunities for further education in non-degree and degree programs.

Commerce and Industry

Hong Kong is a leading international manufacturing, trading, and financial center, as well as a strategically located regional entrepôt, especially for products originating from or destined for the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong maintains a free and open trading regime, and the government pursues a policy of minimum interference in the economy. These factors, together with Hong Kong's skilled and industrious work force and a legal framework that encourages business initiative, have contributed to the territory's success and have helped transform it into the world's 8th largest trading economy. An important Asian financial center, Hong Kong plays a leading role in regional banking, shipping, and communications. The local currency, the Hong Kong dollar, is freely convertible and fluctuates in a narrow band around 7.8 to the U.S. dollar. There is complete freedom of capital movement. At the end of 1998, 172 fully licensed banks operated in the SAR (14 are subsidiaries of U.S. Banks). U.S. firms are the third most numerous in the insurance industry with 22 wholly owned. Taxes are low. The current salary and corporate tax rates are 15% and 16%, respectively. There are no taxes on royalties, interest, or capital gains. Hong Kong imposes no import tariffs. Excise taxes are levied for revenue purposes on tobacco, cosmetics, alcoholic beverages, ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, and some petroleum products. Reflecting the growing importance of services in the economy, Hong Kong's visible trade is increasingly in deficit ($17.7 billion in 1996 and $20.5 billion for 1997).

With few natural resources, the territory must depend on imports. Principal imports consist of food, textile yarn and fabrics, iron and steel, plastic molding materials, consumer products, paper, and machinery. Principal exports consist of textiles and apparel, watches and clocks, electronic components, and other light industrial products. The value of domestic exports alone was equal to 14.6% of Hong Kong's gross domestic product (GDP) in 1998 (a declining percentage as labor intensive production moves across the border into China). Tourism constitutes a major industry for the economy with 10.4 million visitors passing through the territory in 1997 and 9.6 million in 1998.

The U.S. is the territory's second largest trading partner (after the PRC), with 14.4% of total trade. In 1998, the U.S. was the second largest market for domestic exports with a 29.1% share. The U.S. supplied 7.5% of imports and was the number two destination for re-exports with 22.4%. Principal imports from the U.S. are electrical machinery; computer and office machines; telecommunications, sound recording and reproducing equipment; plastic, meat, vegetables, and fruit. Principal domestic exports to the U.S. are textiles, apparel, electrical machinery, photographic equipment, watches and clocks, computer and office machines, textiles, yarn and fabric. Currently, about 1,100 U.S. firms operate here and U.S. direct investment was estimated at $20 billion in 1998. The American business community is well represented by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

Transportation

Driving in Hong Kong is on the left (right-hand-drive). Automobile insurance is expensive; however, substantial discounts can be obtained based on the length of accident-free or "no-claim" driving documented by presenting a letter from your previous insurance companies).

Parking throughout the territory, especially in the downtown areas, is extremely limited and costly (approx. US$3/HR). Parking fees often exceed the cost of travel by taxi. The Consulate General will assist you in registering your car and in obtaining a valid Hong Kong driving license. Driving tests are not required for those presenting a valid license from the U.S. or from other countries whose licenses are recognized by the Hong Kong Government.

Public transport (buses, taxis, subways, ferries, and trams) is readily available and reasonably priced. Carpools, shared taxis, or public transport are the most commonly used modes of transport between home and work.

Local. The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) subway system connects Hong Kong Island with Kowloon and nearby portions of the New Territories. Since opening in February 1980, it has become a highly efficient, reasonably priced mode of transportation. The Island Line, which connects much of the harbor side of Hong Kong Island to the existing system, opened in 1985. Streetcars (trams) operate only in urban areas of Hong Kong Island. Bus service, including minibuses, covers almost the entire island, Kowloon, and the New Territories. Buses and streetcars are quite crowded during peak hours. Taxi service is relatively inexpensive and generally available at all hours. Radio-dispatched taxis are available.

The Peak Tram is a very popular tourist attraction, providing a breathtaking view of Hong Kong and Kowloon as you climb to its terminus on the Peak. At the Peak, the view is spectacular and there are many shops and restaurants. The Peak is also served by bus, mini bus and taxi for easy transport back to the City or other locations on Hong Kong Island.

An extensive network of roads exists throughout the territory; however, most are narrow and many are steep and winding because of the terrain. Traffic, which moves on the left, is heavy, but well regulated. There are three cross-harbor tunnels connecting Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. For those with a more romantic bent, the Star Ferry operates a very efficient and inexpensive passenger service between Central on the Hong Kong side and Ocean Terminal in Kowloon. Ferries also operate from numerous points on Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula to many of the outlying islands.

Regional. In July 1998 Hong Kong's venerable Kai Tak Airport was replaced by a new airport at of Chek Lap Kok just north of Lantau Island. An impressive road, bridge, and tunnel link connects the airport to Hong Kong Island. In addition, a high speed rail link speeds passengers to the Central business district in Hong Kong. Departing passengers can obtain boarding passes and check their baggage at the new terminus in Central. Air service in and out of Hong Kong is excellent. About 50 airlines operate over 700 scheduled flights per week to Hong Kong. The U.S. carriers currently offering non-stop flights to Hong Kong are United and Northwest.

Hong Kong Harbor, one of Asia's busiest, handles more than 8,000 incoming ships a year, principally cargo ships but also a large number of cruise ships as well as U.S. Navy ships on port call. Trains run between Kowloon and Guangzhou (Canton), China. Hydrofoil and air transportation between Hong Kong and Guangzhou are also available, with connections there to other cities in China. Helicopter, hydrofoil and ferry transport between Hong Kong and Macau operate frequently throughout the day and evening.

Communications

Telephone, Fax, and Internet. Excellent local and international telephone and computer services are available throughout Hong Kong. Hong Kong was one of the first Asian cities to install fiberoptics (replacing copper) throughout its telephone and communications infrastructure. Other services, such as Internet, mobile phones, call waiting, call forwarding, and pagers, are available from Hong Kong Telecom and other local vendors. Many employees have found it convenient to utilize a U.S. calling card. Internet service costs vary depending upon which of the over 100 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) available in Hong Kong an employee decides to use. Compuserve and America On Line are also available in Hong Kong.

Mail. International mail service is reliable, and transit time to the west coast is 3-5 days.

Radio and TV. Hong Kong has 13 radio channels: seven operated by government-affiliated Radio Television Hong Kong. Cantonese, English, and Mandarin programming includes classical and popular music, BBC World Service, local news, and public affairs. Transistor radios and short-wave receivers are available in abundance at reasonable prices in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong uses the PAL 625 system for television broadcasts; a multi-system television set, readily available in Hong Kong, is the most convenient option. American NTSC sets are not compatible. Two local television stations each provide one Cantonese and one English channel. Most English-language programs are U.S. or U.K.-produced and present a variety of entertainment, including various U.S. news programs tailored for the Far East. Satellite and cable TV are available in many areas with such offerings as CNN, BBC, and HBO. The Consulate General commissary has a tape (NTSC format) rental program, and there are numerous video rental stores throughout Hong Kong that rent both video cassettes and laser disks. The most popular local cassette format is VHS-PAL System.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals. Hong Kong has vibrant media. It has one of the highest newspaper readerships in Asia, and is the world's largest center for Chinese-language publications. American, British, and other European periodicals are readily available in Hong Kong. American magazines and technical journals are expensive but are available. Both Time and Newsweek have Far Eastern editions on the newsstands weekly. There are two local English-language morning dailies, the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong Standard. In addition, the Asian Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, and USA Today are available. There are numerous bookstores carrying a good selection of paperbacks and magazines, but prices are higher than in the United States.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities. The quality of medical care in Hong Kong is high. Hong Kong is the medical evacuation center for posts in China and Manila. Medications, from the UK and U.S., are readily available. The cost for medical (especially dental) care is high in comparison to U.S. prices. Dentists and physicians on the Consulate General's referral list speak English and are trained in the U.K., Australia, or the U.S. Nursing care is good. Although the majority of pregnant women elect to stay in Hong Kong for delivery, the Health Unit supports the M/MED world-wide policy which recommends that pregnant women return to the U.S. for delivery.

Community Health. Although the territory has more than doubled the reservoir capacity in the past few years, water shortages still occur when rainfall is below normal. Water sources are reported to be potable, adequately chlorinated and fluoridated. Water from taps can, at times, be discolored due to pipes in buildings. Filters can be purchased locally to improve the quality of the water. In September 1997, Hong Kong reported 290 patients with AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and 2000 HIV positive patients. The blood supply in Hong Kong is screened for the HIV virus and other communicable diseases by the Red Cross. Individuals requiring blood or blood products are advised to contact the Health Unit. Tuberculosis remains one of Hong Kong's major community health problems. However, an active anti-TB program has succeeded in reducing the morbidity and mortality rate.

Preventive Measures. Individuals are encouraged to have immunizations updated before traveling to Hong Kong. The yellow fever vaccine can be received (inconveniently) at a local clinic. Japanese B encephalitis vaccine is available only in Hong Kong. Children 6 years old and under are encouraged to have annual blood lead levels screenings for the prevention of lead poisoning. Do NOT put them in air freight. The following immunizations will be reviewed and updated as needed: typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, HIB, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

Keep your immunization records with your passport. Individuals requiring daily medications are encouraged to bring an adequate initial supply. Don't pack your medications in your sea freight or checked luggage.

Notes for Travelers

Passage, Customs & Duties. Hong Kong is served by many of the world's major airlines including leading U.S. carriers. United and Northwest offer several flights a day including nonstop service from the west coast of the U.S. and Minneapolis-St. Paul and, seasonally, to Chicago. Continental Airlines provides services via Guam. Traveling via the Pacific can take a rest stop en route in several cities in the continental U.S., as well as Honolulu, Tokyo, or Guam.

Passports and evidence of onward/return transportation by sea/air are required. A visa is not required for tourist visits by U.S. citizens of up to 90 days. An extension of stay may be granted upon application to the Hong Kong SAR Immigration Department. U.S. citizens must have passports with at least four months' validity for entry into Hong Kong. A departure tax of $80 HK (approximately $10.30 US), must be paid at the airport, unless this has been included in the traveler's airfare. Visas are required to work or study in Hong Kong. With approval from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, airlines began collecting an insurance surcharge from passengers in November 2001. The insurance surcharge ranges from $30 HK ($3.80 US) to $40 HK ($5.10 US) depending on the airlines. Effective November 5, 2001, travel agents in Hong Kong which are members of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC) are allowed to charge a service fee of $5.00 HK (approximately $0.64 US) per sector for each air ticket issued. Public transportation from Hong Kong's International Airport at Chek Lap Kok to Central Hong Kong (about 25 miles) is readily available, as are taxis. Travelers should exchange sufficient money for transportation at the airport exchange facility located immediately outside the baggage claim area. For the most current information concerning entry and exit requirements, travelers can consult the Hong Kong SAR Immigration Department, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong (tel. (852) 2829-3001, fax (852) 2824-1133, Internet Home Page: http://www.info.gov.hk/immd/), or the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, 2300 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 328-2500. Internet home page: http://www.chinaembassy.org, or the Chinese consulates general in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, or San Francisco. Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Chinese embassy or consulate.

A Hong Kong driver's license may be issued without a test to individuals who hold a valid U.S. driver's license, provided they have resided in the United States for not less than six months. American visitors who do not plan to stay in Hong Kong for more than twelve months can drive in Hong Kong on their valid U.S. driver's license.

Americans living in or visiting Hong Kong are encouraged to register at the U.S. Consulate General and to obtain updated information on travel and security conditions within the Hong Kong SAR. Americans can register on-line at http://www.usconsulate.org.hk, in person at the Consulate General or by fax or mail. The U.S. Consulate General is located at 26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong. The mailing address is PSC 461, Box 5, FPO AP 96521-0006, tel. (852) 2523-9011, fax (852) 2845-4845; Internet: http://www.usconsulate.org.hk.

Pets. Dogs and cats imported from any country other than the UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand must remain in quarantine for 1-4 months, depending on country of origin. One month is the standard quarantine period for pets imported from the U.S. if they are accompanied by appropriate certificates attesting that they come from rabies-free areas and that their inoculations are current. Pets that have been in the United State for 6 months or longer are sometimes granted immediate entry if certain, very specific veterinary and documentary requirements are met. Quarantine regulations are rigidly enforced. Boarding fees for animals for the quarantine period are expensive and are calculated according to the weight of the animal.

The Hong Kong Government requires that all animals arrive under an airway bill via air-freight, not as accompanied baggage. Airlines will require you to present a special import permit before accepting your pet as Hong Kong-bound cargo. You should apply for this special import permit in advance.

This application must include the appropriate fee in Hong Kong dollars by check or local bank draft to the Hong Kong Government and be sent to: Senior Veterinary Officer, Agriculture and Fisheries Department Room 819, 8/F 393 Canton Road Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel No.: (852) 2733-2142, Fax No.: (852) 2311-3731 24 Hour Interactive Inquiry: (852) 2733-2452.

The current fee schedule and an upto-date form can be found at the Hong Kong Government web site: http://www.info.gov.hk.

The Hong Kong Government requires that all dogs brought into the territory receive a microchip identification device immediately upon entry. A tiny, encapsulated microchip is injected under the skin between the neck and the shoulders using a single-use needle. This device, which can be read by a scanner held close to the dog, is linked to ownership and vaccination records stored in government computers.

Animals under quarantine can only be housed in government kennels or the private Pok Fu Lam Kennel. It is extremely difficult to secure space at the government kennels. Reservations for the private kennel should be made well in advance.

Pok Fu Lam Kennels 698 Victoria Road Hong Kong, Tel. No.: (852) 2551-6661.

Local veterinarians and international moving firms can also provide excellent airport-to-kennel service.

Firearms and Ammunition. Possession of personally owned weapons is prohibited under the laws of Hong Kong. This restriction applies to the possession or importation of any firearms, sporting weapons (including spear guns, harpoons, etc.) or ammunition.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures. The local currency is the Hong Kong dollar, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar and is freely convertible to other currencies. The value in relation to the U.S. dollar fluctuates slightly according to market conditions (usually around 7.8). Any currency may be brought into the territory.

For longer stays you may want to open a local checking account as most local shops and stores accept personal checks. A local account is also useful since many clubs, grocery stores, and service stations require payment by automatic monthly withdrawal from a local bank account. Automated teller machines on the Plus and Cirrus networks abound and accept most debit cards and credit cards. Major credit cards are accepted by most stores and restaurants.

Hong Kong is a major financial center and can provide most services that are typically found in the U.S. Checking accounts, savings accounts, travelers checks, and foreign exchange facilities are readily available. Minimum balances are common, and you should be aware of this before opening a new account. The time to clear checks drawn on banks in the U.S. is about four days.

Hong Kong has converted to the metric system, but pounds, inches and gallons still compete with grams, meters and liters. Local markets continue to use the catty, which is roughly 1-1/4 pounds. Temperature is recorded in Celsius.

Guangzhou

Guangzhou (formerly Canton), the capital of Guangdong Province, is the gateway to southern China. Over 2,000 years old, Guangzhou is now the center of one of the world's fastest growing economic regions: the booming Pearl River Delta.

Lying just south of the Tropic of Cancer, Guangzhou is 1,150 miles south of Beijing and 80 miles northwest of Hong Kong. With a subtropical monsoon climate, the long summers are hot and humid. August is the hottest month, with an average temperature of 82°F. January, with an average of 55°F, is the coolest. Average annual rainfall is 77 inches; April and May are the rainiest months.

Metropolitan Guangzhou encompasses an area of over 4,500 square miles, with a population of over 3 million plus at least 1 million migrant workers. The city proper has an area of 21 square miles and an official population estimated over 3.8 million. In recent years, Guangzhou's industrial, commercial, and residential areas have greatly expanded, particularly to the south and east of the old city core. The surrounding Pearl River Delta is a fertile agricultural region supporting two rice crops yearly. Other agricultural mainstays are jute, sugarcane, oil-producing plants, pigs, chickens, ducks, and fish.

Goods from Guangzhou are marketed in nearly all countries. Light industrial manufacturing, including textiles, shoes, toys, furniture, and exportable consumer products, accounts for most of these exports. Principal heavy industries include shipbuilding, sugar refining equipment, and tool and motorcycle manufacturing.

Bustling food markets and busy restaurants are a big part of the Guangzhou street scene. Cantonese cuisine is renowned and local restaurants are packed daily with patrons. Local markets thrive and stores are stocked with both Chinese and foreign products. Brightly decorated storefronts and brisk trading in noisy markets contribute to the lively atmosphere. Buildings trimmed in lights and neon signs and billboards illuminate the city at night.

Food

A fair range of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats is available most of the year, and these can usually be found at the famous Qing Ping market. There you can also stock up on Chinese herbal medicines, have a dog, cat, or some exotic animal slaughtered fresh for supper, and feast on a meal of snake, turtle, or scorpion.

Staple products and canned goods can be purchased from the duty-free Daily Living food store or at Park 'N Shop, a Hong Kong-based supermarket chain with several branches in Guangzhou, including one about a mile from Shamian Island. Some small shops near the Consulate are beginning to stock Western staples. Selection is often limited, and many employees make regular shopping trips to Hong Kong. Fresh milk (USDA standard), ice cream, breads, and a very limited selection of cheeses and cold cuts are available (at high prices) from the White Swan delicatessen next door to the Consulate.

Liquor and wine can be ordered from Hong Kong or purchased at Daily Living. China brews some good beers; those and some U.S. brands are readily available.

Environmental pollution and public sanitation are serious problems in Guangzhou. Fruits and vegetables must be thoroughly washed. All drinking water outside major hotels should be considered suspect. Unpeeled fruits and vegetables that are not to be cooked should be soaked in a bleach solution, then rinsed before eating. Although the variety of vegetables available is limited, the produce is organically grown without the use of night soil, so it does not have to be soaked in a sterilizing solution.

Clothing

Because the climate of Guangzhou is hot and humid most of the year, lighter weight natural fiber garments and shoes are needed. Cottons, silks, and lightweight suits are best. During the cooler, rainier months, a light topcoat, raincoat, or sweater is essential. However, for a few weeks of the year the weather turns quite cold, and heavier sweaters and a winter coat are necessary.

Buying shoes and clothing on the local market is possible if you are petite. Sizes are generally too small for larger-than-average foreigners. Fabric is available and some tailoring and dressmaking can be done locally. Some adequate children's clothes can be found on the local market.

Supplies and Services

Laundry and dry-cleaning facilities are available major hotels, as are barber and beauty shops. Service is good and prices are reasonable. Haircuts at local area barbershops are inexpensive, but the quality of service is not always up to Western standards. Hygiene is also a consideration. The White Swan's salon offers facials and other beauty treatments.

Simple shoe repair can be done locally; more difficult repairs are easily handled in Hong Kong.

Religious Activities

The Guangzhou International Christian Fellowship holds ecumenical religious service at the American School for the expatriate community. The Guangzhou Chinese Catholic Cathedral and the Shamian Island Catholic Church hold Masses in Latin, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Protestant services in Cantonese are held at Christ Church, across the street from the Consulate, and at Dongshan Church and Zion Church. Huaisheng Mosque holds services at noon on Fridays.

Education

The American School of Guangzhou (ASG) is located in the Tianhe district. ASG is fully accredited in grades K to 12. In 1995-96, the school had approximately 200 students from more than 20 countries. The teaching staff is recruited from the U.S., supplemented by several locally hired, accredited American teachers. The school offers an American curriculum, with classes in art, music, Chinese culture, and physical education. All instruction is in English, with an ESL program for nonnative English speakers. ASG's principal is Dr. Nancy Stephan.

ASG address:

American School of Guangzhou
PSC 461 Box 100
FPO AP 96521-0002
Tel: 86-20-758-0001
Fax: 86-20-758-0002
Two church-supported schools are operating in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou has several preschools accepting children from 2 to 5 years old. Half-day (morning) English-language preschools are located at the China Hotel, Garden Hotel, and Ramada Pearl Hotel. Fees of a few hundred dollars a month apply. Other international preschools plan to open in the future.

A Chinese-language, local government-sponsored preschool and kindergarten for children 3 to 5 years old operates half-day or full-day programs on Shamian Island. Care is very good. The school provides meals, or parents may provide their own. Most children without Chinese-language ability are able to adapt easily and interact with the Cantonese-speaking children. The language of instruction is Mandarin, though teachers often lapse into Cantonese. Full-day and half-day fees apply.

Sports and Outdoor Activities

Ping-pong, badminton, tennis, and tai chi are popular local sports. There are several health clubs near the Consulate and in the major hotels, some of which include swimming pools and squash and tennis courts. The city has several large, modern bowling facilities, as well as good quality indoor roller skating and ice skating rinks operating year round. Basketball and soccer games have been organized at local universities. Horseback riding is available.

Every other Saturday, joggers and walkers may join the local Hash House Harriers at various suburban locations. Guangzhou has several large parks, though they tend to be crowded on weekends. Nearby Baiyun Mountain Park has hiking trails. Guangzhou's sports complex, located near the American School, has hosted events for the Asian games, professional tennis matches, the 1995 world weightlifting championships, and the 1992 women's soccer World Cup. An 18-hole golf course is located in the northern part of the city. Shenzhen boasts a championship golf course; other golf clubs are planned.

Shamian Island is a reasonable location for jogging and is also home to an excellent tennis facility with nine indoor and outdoor lighted, hard-surface courts.

Touring

Traveling in China can be difficult (especially if you do not have some Chinese-language ability) but also rewarding. Popular trips from Guangzhou include Guilin, Macau, Hainan Island, and Kunming. A weekend of shopping and dining in Hong Kong can be expensive, but getting there is convenient via plane, overnight boat, high-speed catamaran, bus, or train. The train ride is about 2 hours one way; the bus takes about 3-1/2 hours. One can also drive as far as Shenzhen, leave the car in a parking lot, and use Hong Kong's public transportation the rest of the way. Bicycles can be rented for touring the city, and mountain bikes can be purchased at local factory outlets for outings to area villages and rice farms.

There are direct flights from Guangzhou to dozens of Chinese cities and many international destinations, including Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Entertainment

Theaters in Guangzhou occasionally show ballets, symphonies, and plays by touring musical or theatrical groups. Occasional concerts feature Chinese or foreign pop performers. Local movie theaters show dubbed films and some English-language. Private lessons in Cantonese and Mandarin language, music, traditional painting, and calligraphy for adults and children are easy to arrange.

Shopping and browsing are a favorite pastime in Guangzhou. The famous (some would say infamous) Qing Ping market, which sells many live and exotic animals for consumption, is just north of Shamian Island. The antique market, one of China's best, is also within walking distance of the Consulate. Beijing Road has dozens of upscale clothing and jewelry stores. The semiannual Canton Trade Fair provides an opportunity to examine and purchase products, including baskets and silk carpets, from all over China.

Social Activities

The growing international business community informally organizes fund-raisers and parties. The American School is a social gathering point, especially for those with children. The Guangzhou Women's International Club is one of the most active groups in the expatriate community, organizing a wide variety of events for its members and guests. The American Chamber of Commerce branch in Guangzhou holds monthly breakfast meetings, and occasional lunches and dinners, at the major hotels. Nightclubs and karaoke clubs have become popular night spots, creating new opportunities for Chinese and foreigners to socialize.

Eating Out

Guangzhou is famous for its cuisine, and eating out is a favorite pastime for local and foreign residents. Restaurants serving Cantonese cuisine abound, though many do not have menus in English. For those in search of a change, try one of the Sichuan or Beijing-style restaurants. There is a growing number of other Asian restaurants, including Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, and Thai. Western cuisine is unavailable except at the major hotels. Of course, Guangzhou has not been excluded from the invasion of Western fast-food establishments: Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Special Information

Before coming to Guangzhou, individuals should take care of all potential medical problems, including dental and eye care. Trips to Hong Kong for medical attention are costly.

In cases of accident or sudden illness, local medical facilities have been used, but they are not recommended for routine care and are considered to be a last resort option. Hospital outpatient clinics are busy and there are few private doctors. One local dental clinic comes close to meeting U.S. standards.

Shanghai

Although Shanghai is a young city by Chinese standards, with 13 million residents, it vies for the title of the most populous city in the world. The Shanghai metropolitan area (including the suburban counties) is China's most important industrial, commercial, and financial center, accounting for 5 percent of the Gross National Product. The Shanghainese, as the city's residents are known, speak their own distinctive dialect and are recognized as being among the country's most able businessmen. Today, Shanghai is a hub for several Chinese industries, including iron and steel, shipbuilding, textiles and garments, electronics, clocks, bicycles, automobiles, aircraft, pharmaceuticals, computers, publishing, and cinema. Shanghai is China's largest port and most important foreign trade center. Shanghai itself accounts for 8 percent of all Chinese exports but handles nearly two-thirds of China's total exports through its ports. Once the world's third-largest port, Shanghai remains China's principal shipping center. Shanghai is the most cosmopolitan of Chinese cities and its shops, restaurants, and night life reflect this. Shanghai-style food (seafood) is distinctive and elegantly presented. There are numerous night clubs, discos, and karaoke bars, but cultural entertainment for the expatriate family (movies, music, theater, etc.) is very limited.

Shanghai is acknowledged as the busiest and most exciting shopping center in China. From antiques to pottery, clothing to cotton goods, rugs, furniture, and jewelry, shoppers will find something for every taste in Shanghai's 24,000 stores, supplemented by shopping streets and free markets.

Food

Thanks to the construction of new joint-venture shopping complexes, shopping for food in Shanghai is now almost as convenient as shopping in a supermarket in the U.S., although the cost is considerably higher and the selection more limited. Shanghai has numerous open-air markets where fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, fowl, and fish and seafood are available. Most fresh produce is available year-round. The prices in these markets, where most Chinese shop, are much lower than in the upscale supermarkets. Locally produced and imported soft drinks (Coke, Sprite, Fanta), soda water, tonic water, and beer are available. In addition, a limited selection of local and imported liquor and wines is available at a duty-free shop at reasonable prices. However, at commercial outlets, whereas soft drink and beer prices are comparable or cheaper than those in the U.S., prices for liquor are somewhat higher.

Clothing

Shanghai has four seasons, with weather slightly warmer than that of Washington, D.C. Except for joint-venture enterprises and places frequented by tourists, few other buildings in Shanghai are heated or air-conditioned. China exports numerous items of clothing, including wool sweaters and down clothing, which are available locally at reasonable prices. Prices of cashmere sweaters have increased substantially in the past few years, but are still below those in the U.S. Children's clothing is plentiful and inexpensive. In planning your Shanghai wardrobe, remember that the summers are hot and humid, while the winters can be cold and damp, with temperatures sometimes dropping below freezing. Most items of clothing can be purchased locally, although not always in the larger sizes. This is especially true for shoes, so be sure to bring an adequate supply.

Supplies and Services

Personal care and household cleaning and paper supplies can be purchased locally. Local equivalents are available but inferior in quality, while imported ones are considerably higher in price. Locally produced American brands are midrange in price and quality.

Religious Activities

Shanghai has Catholic and Protestant churches, Buddhist/Daoist temples, and Islamic mosques. The Catholic Patriotic Church is independent of Rome. Catholic services are conducted in Chinese, except for a small Sunday morning service for expatriates that is conducted in English. Protestant services are conducted in Chinese, although simultaneous interpretation/ear-phones are provided at the Sunday service of the International Community Church. Judaism is not one of the five religions recognized by the Chinese Government and no synagogues exist.

Education

Utilizing a twin-campus design, the Shanghai American School offers a comprehensive educational program on both the east and west sides of Shanghai. Each campus includes pre-kindergarten through 12th grade on 25 to 30 acres, with approximately 30,000 square meters of building space. The west campus, completed the fall of 1996, is located in Zhu Di Township, about 3 km north and west of the Hong Qiao Airport. The east campus, completed the fall of 1997, is located in Pudong at the Shanghai Links residential community, approximately 18 km east of the Bund. The Shanghai American School can be reached at 86-21-6221-1445 (telephone) or 0-86-21-6221-1269 (fax).

Sports

Sports facilities are limited to a members-only golf club and several municipal tennis court complexes. Several hotels (as well as joint-venture housing complexes) offer health club memberships, most of which include indoor/outdoor pools, tennis/racquetball courts, weight/fitness rooms, and bowling alleys. There are occasional pickup softball, volleyball, and basketball games with members of the university and business communities.

Touring and Related Activities

Since Shanghai is an industrial and commercial center, sight-seeing in the city is relatively limited. The city has several picturesque temples and gardens, the oldest (Ming Dynasty) being in the recently renovated Old City Temple area, which has also been reconstructed in the Ming style. The countryside around Shanghai is flat and lends itself to hiking and long bicycle rides, although current traffic congestion and poor road conditions make this a bit of a trial. Short trips to the historic and scenic cities of Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Nanjing offer additional sight-seeing opportunities at relatively limited expense. Note, however, that travel outside of Shanghai is regulated. Travel by public transportation outside a 24-mile radius of Shanghai requires 48-hour notification to the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office.

Social Activities

An active Expatriate Association sponsors monthly luncheons, sightseeing, cultural activities, and social events such as the annual Christmas Ball. There is also a large and growing American Chamber of Commerce and a professional women's organization, both of which have monthly lectures and gettogethers centering on business-related activities. However, organized family-oriented social and recreational activities are very limited and most expatriates entertain at home.

Special Information

Like many large cities in developing countries, Shanghai has a problem with water and air pollution. The water has a high concentration of minerals and metals. Bottled distilled water is available for purchase locally. Those who suffer from hay fever and sinus-or bronchial-related allergies will find these conditions aggravated by the high level of suspended particulates (dust and coal dust) and carbon monoxide in the air.

Shenyang

Shenyang is the political, military, and economic capital of northeast China, the region once known as Manchuria. The northeast, composed of the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang, is home to over 100 million people.

A frontier land settled in the late 1800s, the northeast has for the past century been a strategic battleground and center of intrigue between Russia, Japan, Korea, and the forces of Chinese nationalism.

The two pillars of Manchuria's economy are heavy industry and agriculture. The region is home to some of China's largest state enterprises, including the massive Anshan Steel Works, the First Auto Works, and the Jilin Petrochemical Corporation. Efforts to reform ailing state enterprises remain a problematic but critical part of the nation's overall drive to achieve economic development with social stability. Jilin is China's largest exporter of corn and tobacco. Heilongjiang is known as "the king of soybeans," and Liaoning's apples, peaches, and pears are exported throughout Asia. In addition, ginseng from southern Jilin's Changbai mountain range has fortified Chinese traditional medicines for years.

The northeast is an extremely diverse part of China. Geographically, the region stretches from the magnificent natural harbor at Dalian, through the heavily populated Manchurian plain, east along the spectacularly rugged Sino-Korean border, and north to the wetlands and forests that characterize the Sino-Russian border.

The region is ethnically diverse as well, a unique blend of Han Chinese, Manchu, Mongolian, and Korean culture. In fact, the southern quarter of Jilin Province contains the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, known as "China's Korean Corner" and home to nearly 1 million ethnic Korean Chinese.

The city of Shenyang itself is a heavily polluted, industrial metropolis of about 5 million people in the midst of unprecedented economic growth. It is home to several of the region's largest state enterprises, but also contains several prominent universities and cultural attractions. For example, Shenyang is home to a smaller version of Beijing's Forbidden City, used by the Manchus before they captured the imperial capital in the 17th century and established their own dynastic rule. The founder of the Qing (as they called themselves) line is also buried in Shenyang.

The region's climate is mainly influenced by the continental landmass of central Asia. Shenyang's winter is a little longer than Beijing's and compares to that of Chicago without the Windy City's raw winter winds and is much drier. Traveling south to the ice-free port of Dalian on the southern tip of the Liaodong peninsula, the extremes of weather become less pronounced.

Food

Pork, chicken, duck, mutton, some seafood (frozen fish and shrimp), and beef are normally available, but quality varies and only chicken is available in American-style cuts.

A variety of vegetables and fresh fruits, including excellent strawberries and peaches, are available in the market in season. Recently, at least three to four fresh vegetables and two to three fresh fruits have been available throughout the year.

Some imported foodstuffs are available, but many locally available substitutes are acceptable. Some imported beers, wines, and liquors are available at prices comparable to those in the U.S. Local beer is available.

Clothing

Shenyang has a short, warm summer sandwiched between an extended spring and fall. The winter is long and cold, comparable to the northern Midwest in the U.S. Most buildings are heated but not to U.S. standard.

Supplies and Services

Toiletries, cosmetics, and household cleaning products are available locally but differ widely from similar American products. Shenyang's winters reduce the usual problems with cockroaches and insects found in developing countries, but moth infestation is a big problem.

Shenyang does not have the large international hotels found in China's major tourist centers. As a result, the usual services found in such establishments are generally unavailable. Barbers and beauticians at the few hotels provide a utilitarian if not high-fashion service. Local dry-cleaning services are of variable quality.

Winter outer garments and sweaters can sometimes be purchased locally. A wide range in size, style, and color of other garments is nonexistent.

Religious Activities

One nondenominational Protestant church in Shenyang conducts services in Chinese. Mass at the Chinese Catholic Church is in Latin. No synagogue exists, but Shenyang does have one mosque and several Buddhist and Daoist temples. Protestant services for foreigners are conducted at China Medical University and at Riverside Gardens.

Touring and Outdoor Activities

Shenyang has some interesting parks and monuments. Nanhu and Lu Xun Parks provide good jogging paths during the less crowded times of day. Consulate General families have enjoyed picnicking at Dongling, the imperial tomb of the first Qing emperor, during the warmer months.

Entertainment

Three local TV stations broadcast in Chinese every evening, in color. One English-speaking channel, Star Plus, offers a variety of old movies and TV series. There are also up-to-date sportscasts on Star Sports. Liaoning Radio has recently begun offering a nightly English news program, and VOA, BBC, Radio Australia, and others can be picked up by shortwave radio.

Special Information

The facilities at local clinics are modest by U.S. standards. Individuals with serious medical problems should be evacuated to Hong Kong.

Chengdu

Chengdu is the capital of China's most populous province, Sichuan, and the traditional center of government and transportation in southwest China. The Chengdu consular district is made up of the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou, as well as the Xizang Autonomous Region, more commonly known as Tibet.

As Chengdu serves as the air transport hub of southwest China, air service is provided to all major Chinese cities. Centrally located, Chengdu is between a 2-and 2 1/2-hour flight to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Lhasa. There is also a twice weekly flight to Hong Kong, which is Chengdu's sole international connection at this time. Chengdu also has rail service to all major destinations.

Chengdu has a moderate climate with fairly mild winters, early springs, rainy summers, and warm autumns. Though not uncomfortable in terms of temperature, there is a near-perpetual overcast. This condition is attributable to Chengdu's location in the Sichuan basin, one of the world's most productive agricultural plains. Pollution, caused primarily by the burning of coal in winter, is also an irritant.

Chengdu has been a governmental and cultural center since at least 400 B.C., undergoing numerous name changes over the years. During the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) it was known as the "City of Brocade," becoming so prosperous that it gained the nickname "Storehouse of Heaven." Under the Five Dynasties, the local warlord planted so much hibiscus on the city walls (since destroyed) that it was known as the "City of Hibiscus."

Present-day Chengdu has a population of 8.7 million, of whom about 3 million live in the city center. There has been a great deal of new and unimaginative high-rise construction over the past few years as is the case with most of China's major cities. Nonetheless, the city maintains a great deal of charm with several nice city parks and areas where old-style buildings have remained. These older smaller buildings have been central to the renaissance of small private businesses. In Chengdu's alleys, one can amble for hours, on foot or bicycle, going from small shop to small shop.

Chengdu's role as a regional center of government, transportation, and culture, as well as of electronic and other industries, has brought increasing numbers of foreigners. The tourist trade continues to increase, and one now frequently encounters American and other tourists, as well as expatriates employed as English teachers.

Food

Chengdu is acknowledged as the center of authentic Sichuan cuisine. Several good Sichuan restaurants and countless "xiaochi" or traditional snack restaurants exist. The major hotels have Western restaurants. Chengdu has two fast-food restaurants.

There are a number of Chinese-produced canned and dry goods on the market. Some Western products, such as instant coffee, artificial creamer, and powdered whole milk, are widely available, and one can usually find American peanut butter and Australian dried pastas. Other than yogurt, fresh dairy products are not found. UHT milk is available but expensive (15 to 20 yuan per liter). Pork, beef, shrimp, and chicken are available, but quality and presentation vary.

On the positive side, there is an impressive array of fruits and vegetables available year round. There is a proper joint-venture bakery that sells French bread, wheat bread, croissants, cakes, and pies. Some foreign liquors are available, but the wine selection is almost exclusively Chinese. Hotel shops and major department stores also stock a small variety of Western goods at higher than U.S. prices.

Clothing

Clothing and shoes of unreliable quality are available at both small stores and large department stores. Although winter temperatures are not extreme, it is nonetheless a damp and penetrating cold. Long underwear may be needed in the winter months.

Supplies and Services

Procter and Gamble hair care items and detergents are widely available, but not their toothpaste and other toiletries.

Barber and beauty facilities are available in hotels and elsewhere. These are adequate but not quite up to Western standards. Simple and inexpensive shoe repair is available. Personnel have used local tailors/dressmakers with varying results. The major hotels do dry-cleaning.

Religious Activities

Chengdu has two Protestant churches and one Chinese Catholic cathedral. All services are conducted in Chinese. Mass is said in Latin. There are two mosques. There is no synagogue nor are there any informal organized Jewish services.

Education

There are no Western schools in Chengdu.

Touring and Outdoor Activities

Most people ride bicycles both for practical and recreational purposes. Within Chengdu, a bicycle is actually more convenient than a car. Chinese-made bicycles can be purchased locally at reasonable prices. Basic one-speed bikes, tricycles, multispeed bikes, and export-standard mountain bikes are all available.

There are some close-by sights, such as the Du Fu Thatched Cottage, that make for a nice cycling outing. Sights of interest within a several hours' drive are Emei Shan, Le Shan, Dujiangyan Irrigation Works, and the Wolong Panda Reserve.

Entertainment

Occasionally there are visiting Western song or dance troupes brought in under the auspices of cultural exchange programs. There is almost no locally available English-language reading material.

Special Information

Calling cards with your name in English on one side and your Chinese name on the other are a must in both business and social circumstances. They can be obtained in Chengdu within a few days. The quality of those done in Beijing or Hong Kong is much better, but harder to arrange.

Nanjing

Nanjing (Nanking), the provincial capital of Jiangsu (Kiangsu) Province in eastern China, is a city of ancient culture that has several times, during 10 dynasties, been the capital of the country. Its history spans 2,400 years. The Treaty of Nanking, signed here in 1842, was the pact that opened China to foreign trade.

Industry has developed considerably since 1950, and Nanjing is now a production center for iron, steel, chemicals, machine building, optical instruments, textiles, and foodstuffs. The city is one of China's intellectual centers, having 18 universities and several other institutions of higher learning. Nanjing's population is over 2.4 million.

The Nanjing Bridge over the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) River is one of China's most spectacular spans. It is a double-deck bridge handling both rail and motor vehicles, making Nanjing a major transportation center for north-south traffic.

Scenic and historic spots abound throughout Nanjing. On the Purple Mountains east of the city is the Zijin Shab Observatory of the China Academy of Sciences, with its extensive collection of ancient astronomical instruments. Also here are the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and Ming Xaio Tombs, both national historical monuments, and the Linggu Si (Soul Valley Temple). The Lantern Festival in the central marketplace and the zoo near the city gates are popular attractions. Lovely lakes and luxuriant greenery add to the charm of this famous tourist city.

Chongqing

Chongqing (Chungking), built on a rock promontory at the confluence of the Yangtze and Chia-ling Rivers, was once the headquarters of the Chinese National Armies and the political capital of the nation. In 1937, shortly before the capture of Nanking in the Second Sino-Japanese War, national administrative offices were moved here, where they remained until 1945. The city was also an American air base during World War II (1944-1945).

Chongqing is a misty, mountain city, encircled by rivers on three sides. Natives call it "fog city" because there are about 200 foggy days a year. It was opened in 1890 as a treaty port, and is the trade center for much of western China. It has textile mills, chemical plants, steel and cement factories, and several other smaller industries. Chongqing's population is 2.83 million.

Two of the city's interesting natural features are its north and south hot springs parks, Beiwenquan and Nanwenquan. The zoo, with its exhibits of rare animals and birds, and the beautifully landscaped Goose Peak Park are popular tourist spots. The Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Painting, where the area's top artists work and reside, is also located here.

Harbin

Harbin (Ha-erh-pin) is one of the great trade marts and communication centers of the Far East. Located on the Sung-hua, or Sungari, River, almost at the exact midpoint of Manchuria, it is the capital of Heilungkiang (Black Dragon) Province, and has an estimated population of 2.9 million. Food processing, tractor and ball bearing manufacture, and wire and cable factories are its main industries.

Harbin was only a village until 1896, when the Russians contracted to build the Chinese Eastern Railway branch of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Wide avenues and European-style architecture are evidence of the strong Russian influence on the town in the years between the start of rail construction and the surrender of the Russian concession in 1924. A major influx of White Russian refugees after 1917 gave Harbin the largest European population in the Far East, but most of those who had fled the revolution left after the Chinese Communists rose to power.

The town was captured in 1932 by Japanese forces invading Manchuria, and fell again, in August 1945, to the Soviets. The Chinese Communists eventually took possession, and developed Harbin into a major industrial city.

Wuhan

Wuhan is a consolidation of three Han cities in Hubei (Hupei) Province of east central China. Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang came under one administration in 1950 and these cities, as a unit, now flourish as a commercial and industrial center and the transportation hub of central China. The city lies on the spot where the Han and Yangtze rivers meet, and is home to 5.2 million people.

It was in the place that is now Wuhan that the revolution against imperialist China took form in 1911.

Many industrial enterprises and commercial ventures have helped to build Wuhan into one of China's most important cities. Tea, silk, cotton, rice, oils, soap, timber, and steel are among the diverse products that are transferred through the bustling city port. Also, tourists are attracted to Wuhan to view the temples, the scenic landscape, and the ancient musical terrace called Guqintai.

OTHER CITIES

ANSHAN is an industrial center of about 1,450,000 residents, situated 350 miles northeast of Beijing. The site of some of China's main iron and steel facilities, the city also relies on cement and chemical production. Iron smelting here dates to 100 B.C. and progressed until Manchu emperors shut down the operations. The Japanese, who occupied the vicinity early in the 20th century, resumed production. The steel works were founded here in 1918. Anshan was the scene of intense fighting in the Chinese civil war (1946-1949), with both sides taking control of the district 11 times. The city was rebuilt following the war and is now twice as large in area as it was sixty years ago. Two parks are noteworthy in Anshan. Tang-gangzi Park, a few miles south of the city limits, has two historic homesone that belonged to a Manchu warlord, and another to the last Qing emperor. The park's hot springs and sanitarium attract visitors from many parts of the country. The other park, Eryijiu Park, boasts three huge lakes and several walk-ways.

CHENG-CHOU (formerly spelled Zhengzhou and Chengchow), located about 40 miles southwest of Beijing in the east-central region, is the capital of Honan Province. This is a crucial railroad junction for both north-south and east-west lines. Cheng-chou has been inhabited since about 1500 B.C., and flourished as the terminus of the New Pien Canal from the seventh through the 10th centuries. The railway has been important to the city from the arrival of the Peking-Han-k'ou line 80 years ago. A tower in the center of town commemorates a 1923 workers' strike that began in Cheng-chou and extended along the rail line. The Communists changed the area from a strictly commercial and administrative center to an industrial hub when they took over in 1949. Today there are textile and flour mills, tobacco factories, locomotive repair plants, and a thermal generating station. Nearby countryside is irrigated by a pumping station erected in 1972. A major improvement project saw the planting of thousands of trees to cut down on the sand that was blown through the city by strong gusts. Cheng-chou's population is an estimated 2.1 million.

CHENGDU (also spelled Ch'engtu) is one of China's ancient cities. It dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), and in early times was an imperial capital. Chengdu is the administrative seat of China's most populous province, Szechwan (Sichuan), where the beautiful Shu embroidery is produced. Noted for its famous cuisine, and for its annual flower fair, the city is also the transportation and cultural center of southwest China. Chengdu was the site of an American air base in 1944-1945, during the Second World War. The city is located on the irrigation system of the Min River and is the center of a fertile region. It is the site of a university and technical college, and has a population of approximately 5.3 million. No western schools exist in Chengdu; preschoolers attend local Chinese kindergartens. Older children use Calvert correspondence courses. Martial arts and painting classes are available for children.

FUZHOU (also spelled Foochow), the capital of Fujien Province in southeast China, is a seaport on the Minjiang River midway between Hong Kong and Shanghai. This city of 1.4 million residents is known for its handicraft industries which produce horn combs, umbrellas, and lacquers. It became famous also for the export of black (Bohea) tea, named for the Chinese hills where it is grown. Fuzhou dates back to 202 B.C., in the Han Dynasty. The early city walls remain, and in the adjacent hills are many beautiful examples of architecture, among them the spectacular White and Black Pagodas. Fuzhou was one of the first ports opened to trade in 1842 by the Treaty of Nanking.

GUILIN (also spelled Kweilin), a city of spectacular scenic beauty, lies on the Lijiang River in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous province. The Chinese call it a "city of culture" because of the great numbers of celebrated artists and intellectuals who congregated here during the Japanese aggression. It is an ancient community, founded during the Qin Dynasty of the third century B.C. Silk is a major export of Guilin. During World War II, an American air base was established here, first in 1944 and, after a devastating attack by the Japanese, again in 1945. Today, Guilin is a city of more than 400,000. It has light industry as well as all of the byproducts of urban lifedust, noise, and traffic congestion.

GUIYANG (formerly spelled Kueiyang) lies on the Nan-ming Ho River, 200 miles south of Chongqing. With a population nearing 2,500,000, it is a provincial capital and industrial center. Industries here include iron, coal, and bauxite production, as well as the manufacture of mining equipment and automobile tires. Guiyang experienced great economic progress during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), when highway, railroad, and communications construction began. The city has a teacher-training college, medical school, and university.

HANGZHOU (also spelled Hang-chou and Hangchow) is located on the north bank of the lower reaches of Qiantang River. One of China's scenic spots and a major tourist center, it is said to have been called "the world's most beautiful and splendid city" by Marco Polo. Hangzhou is particularly famous for Xi Hu (West Lake), a mirrorlike body of water encircled by hills, and surrounded by terraces with flowers, trees, and pavilions. In addition to being the capital of Zhejiang Province, it is one of China's major silk-producing centers. Hangzhou silk is internationally famous. Light industry has also developed considerably in recent years. The city has 1.78 million residents.

LÜDA (also spelled Lüta, formerly called Dalian) is a leading port in the northeast, located on the south coast of Liao-tung Peninsula, about 300 miles from Beijing. The Russians first developed the region in 1898, calling it Dalny, but lost the city to the Japanese after the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. Shipbuilding and other industries were introduced by the Japanese and have been growing since. The industrial base of Lüda is varied, including oil refining, paper and fertilizer production plants, and steel factories. Tourism here has a great economic impact. This is one of China's foremost summer resorts, known for its beaches and many hotels. The city has an engineering college. Lüda's population is an estimated 1,630,000.

SUZHOU (also spelled Soochow) is China's historic garden city and one of the oldest towns in the Chang Jiang River basin. It is a center for tourism, and many of its historic parks have been restored and reopened to the public. The Great Pagoda was built here in the year 1131. Suzhou is also famous for its silks and embroidery, a centuries-old tradition. Since 1950, the city has expanded its textiles and chemical industries, but its most famous products remain handicrafts. Sash has a current population of over 1.2 million.

TIANJIN (also spelled Tientsin) is a river port about 75 miles southeast of Beijing, and a major commercial and industrial city. It also is an educational center of long standing, and the site of the more recently inaugurated (1960) Hupei University. For centuries Tianjin was a military post, having become a garrison town in the second year of the Ming Dynasty. It was occupied for a few years by the British and French in the middle of the 19th century, and was seized during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. The city then came under direct control of the central government, and is one of only three Chinese cities which are thus administered. Tianjin has a metropolitan population of over 9 million.

XI'AN (also spelled Hsi'an and Sian), one of the most historically interesting of all of China's cities, is situated in the center of the Guanzhong Plain in east-central China. It is a significant origin of Chinese civilization and, as early as the third century B.C., was a focal point for international exchange between China and other countries. It was the starting point of the famous "Silk Road," the overland trade route to the West. Xi'an served as the capital of 10 dynasties over a period of 1,000 years. Many notable tombs and other ancient relics are preserved here and at Pei-lin, south of the city. In Xi'an's more recent history, it is also remembered as the scene of the communist kidnapping of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in 1936. The population of Xi'an is approximately 3.1 million.

YANGSHUO , a southern suburb of Guilin, is a market center and county seat on the Li River. It is known for its mountain scenery; tourists come to this small town regularly on the noted Li River boat tours. Four mountain peaks assure a dramatic setting for photographers: Dragon Head Hill, Crab Hill, House Hill, and Green Lotus Peak. Shopping and hotel accommodations are limited but the government tourist office here has been called the country's most helpful. There are boat and bus connections to Guilin; bicycles can be rented in Yangshuo.

The industrial city of ZIBO (also called Chang-tien) is located in a rich coal field, 175 miles south of Tianjin in the eastern region. As it is known today, Zibo was formed in 1949, when the counties of Tzuch'eng and Poshan merged. Historically, the city can be traced to the second century B.C.; the extensive mid-20th-century development started with completion of an important railway passing just north of town. Textile manufacturing and food processing are growing in significance. Zibo has an estimated population of 2,775,000.

REGIONS

Since 1999, MACAU has been officially designated as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, an agreement which allows the region a high degree of autonomy in just about every aspect of government except in foreign affairs and defense. The region is made up of two islands and a peninsula reaching off the Guangdong mainland into the South China Sea. The population is about 440,000 (2000 est.) Since it is a separate government entity, you will need a separate passport to enter and you should make certain that your China passport allows multiple entries for your return trip. The extra effort could be well worth it, since there is much to see and do in Macau.

One of the most famous historic sites is the Ruinas de São Paulo, the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral, originally built in 1602 and rebuilt after major destruction from an 1835 typhoon. A museum in the former nave of the cathedral reportedly holds the tomb of the Cathedral's builder, Jesuit Father Alessandro Valignano, and an arm bone of St. Francis Xavier. On the hill overlooking the cathedral there are ruins of the fort that once protected the settlement of the cathedral, as well as a second museum and a metrological observatory.

There are seven major temple complexes in Macau. The oldest, A-Ma, is dedicated to the seafarers' goddess and dates from the early 16th century. The Kun Iam Tong complex is dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy. It was founded in the 13th century, but some of the present structure was built around 1627. It is the largest and wealthiest of the temples and contains several special halls dedicated to the Three Precious Buddhas, the Buddha of Longevity and Kun Iam herself.

Macau has several modern attractions as well. One of newest is the Macau Tower, a 338m tower which houses an entertainment and convention center. Located on the coast of the Nam Van Lakes, the tower is the 10th largest in the world. There are a total of ten casinos in Macau, mostly located in the Lisboa tourist complex. The Macau Cultural Center, opened in 1999, consists of two auditoriums for seminars, lectures and other cultural events and a second building housing three museum areas with exhibits on Macau culture, history and arts. There are ten other museums throughout Macau.

For nature lovers, Macau offers a variety of hiking trails and walking tours throughout the area. There are also 15 showcase gardens, the oldest one being the St. Francisco Garde, which was started in 1580 by the Castilian friars of the Franciscan order which founded a convent at the area.

Getting around is fairly easy, since there are buses throughout the region as well as plenty of taxis. If you'd like, you can try one of the three wheeled pedicabs along the waterfront.

Known as the "rooftop of the world," TIBET has long been considered a place of great beauty and mystery. Some of the mystery developed as China periodically restricted or prohibited travel to the area. There are an estimated 2.6 million people in Tibet (2000 est.). Since 1965, Tibet has been designated as an Autonomous Region linked to China, and though travel is still somewhat complicated, the scenery and culture are worth the trouble.

Lhasa, the "city of the gods," is the capital of Tibet and sits at an altitude of about 12,000 ft. The Potala, home to several past Dalai Lamas, is a main attraction. Built in the 7th century, this UNESCO World Heritage site now houses a unique museum which includes underground labyrinths and dungeons, large decorative statues of Buddha, and chapels decorated with human skulls and thigh bones. The tombs of past Dalai Lamas are also located in Lhasa, as is the Jokhang Temple.

Tibetan monasteries are located in Gyantse and Sakya. The one in Sakya contains a collection of religious relics that may be viewed by visitors with some restrictions by the monks.

Naturally, one of the most popular sites in Tibet is Mt. Everest. At 29,035 ft, it is the world's highest peak. In Tibet, the name of the mountain is Qoomolangma, which means "mother goddess of the universe." Its European name was given to honor Sir George Everest, the British surveyor-general of India who first accurately recorded the height and location of the mountain in 1865. Before then, it was known to the Western world as Peak 15. The Qoomolangma Nature Preserve surrounds the Tibetan base of the mountain and offers a variety of programs to protect and preserve the local environment and culture. A hike to the Everest Base Camp, the most famous starting point for trekkers, will take more than a few days of strenuous climbing. Or, you can find a tour with a 4-wheel-drive vehicle that takes you there for a visit.

It is possible to make travel arrangements to Tibet from outside of China. Once in China, travelers wishing to visit Tibet must join a group, which can be arranged by almost any Chinese travel agency. The travel agency will arrange for the necessary permits and collect any fees. The Chinese government requires foreigners (including U.S. citizens) wishing to visit Tibet to apply in advance for approval from the tourist administration of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. More information is available from the Chinese Embassy or one of the Chinese consulates in the United States, or, while in China, from the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. consulate general. (Please see the above section on Entry Requirements.) Recently, some Americans with long-term Chinese visas have experienced difficulty obtaining permits to visit Tibet

COUNTRY PROFILE

Geography and Climate

Occupying an area of about 3.7 million square miles, the People's Republic of China (PRC) is the third-largest country in the world, after Canada and Russia. It shares borders with North Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Laos, and Vietnam. Hong Kong and Macau are situated on China's southern coast. Two-thirds of China's area is mountainous or semidesert; only about one-tenth is cultivated. Ninety percent of its people live on one-sixth of the land, primarily in the fertile plains and deltas of the east. The country lies almost entirely in the Temperate Zone. Only the southernmost portions of the Provinces of Yunnan and Guangdong, and the Shuang Autonomous Region of Guangxi, lie within the tropics. A monsoon climate is a major influence in the south, but the north and west have a typical continental climate, except that winters are extremely dry and summers quite rainy.

During summer, warm, moist, maritime airmasses bring heavy rains to eastern China, and hot, humid, summer weather is typical. Winter offers a sharp contrast when cold, dry Siberian air-masses dominate and often penetrate to the southern provinces. Little precipitation falls during the colder months; clear days with low humidity and low temperatures are the norm. During late winter and early spring, strong north winds sweep across northern China, and hazy days, caused by dust storms, are common.

Population

A little more than 21% of all the world's people live in China. The Chinese Government estimates that the Chinese population has reached 1.26 billion. Population density varies strikingly, the greatest contrast being between the country's eastern and western halves. The high mountains, plateaus, and arid basins of the Tibetan Highlands and the Xinjiang-Mongolia Region comprise slightly more than half of China's area but contain only about 5% of the total population. In the eastern half of China, population density generally ranges upward from 130 people per square mile. Major heavily populated areasthose in excess of 520 people per square milecoincide with level-to-rolling alluvial plains on which intensive agriculture is centered.

Most Chinese inhabitants are of Mongoloid descent, and ethnic distinctions are largely linguistic and religious rather than racial. The Han people comprise about 92% of the population; the remaining 8%about 50 groupsare termed "minority nationalities" by Beijing. Although non-Han peoples are relatively few in number, they are politically significant. Most inhabit strategic frontier territory, and some in the southwest, Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia have religious or ethnic ties with groups in adjoining nations. However, the preponderance of non-Han groups in many parts of western China is lessening, because Han Chinese have entered these regions in increasing numbers since 1950.

Although unified by tradition, written language, and many cultural traits, Han Chinese speak a score of mutually unintelligible tongues.

Most Han Chinese use the northern dialect, commonly called Mandarin, or one of its variants; a national vernacular based on the Beijing variant of this dialect ("putonghua") is in general use.

Religion plays a more significant role in daily life in southern China than it does in the north, but many mosques, temples, Daoist shrines, and churches have been reopened since the Cultural Revolution, and a great deal of restoration work is being done on ancient Buddhist temples. Ideology guides artistic expression and social behavior less than it used to, but despite artistic experiments with modern themes and techniques, China remains an austere and authoritarian state.

The dress of the average Chinese is increasingly colorful and stylish, particularly in urban areas. Chinese cuisine can be among the best and most varied in the world. The number of good restaurants is growing, and Western food is available in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, where private restaurants have sprung up to compete with those in the major hotels.

Public Institutions

The 48-million-member Communist Party of China (CCP) dominates or influences virtually all sectors of national society. Party policy guidance is implemented through utilizing the party structure present in all important government, economic, and cultural institutions. Nearly 70 percent of government employees are party members, and the percentage is even higher in the more senior ranks. Party control is the tightest in government offices and in urban settings; it is considerably looser in the rural and national minority areas where 80 percent of the Chinese people live and work.

The party is headed by a Politburo, which currently has 21 members. The Politburo itself is headed by a seven-member Standing Committee. The General Secretary, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, heads the Secretariat, which is responsible to the Politburo and helps handle the day-to-day work of the party center and its relations with regional and local party committees. The Politburo, aided by the Secretariat, also oversees the work of the Organization, International Liaison, Propaganda, and United Work Front Departments.

The Politburo is chosen by the Party Central Committee, which is elected every 5 years at a Party Congress. The Central Committee meets twice a year in formal plenary session and at other times holds informal work conferences on important topics. In addition to the Central Committee, the Party Congress also elects a Central Discipline Inspection Commission and a Central Advisory Commission. Provincial and local party groups are patterned on the central model.

A Party Central Military Commission, consisting of about a dozen top-level members, oversees the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The direct subordination of the PLA to the party underlines the special status and political importance of the PLA.

The party also uses such mass organizations as the Young Communist League, the Women's Federation, and the labor unions as conduits for policy directives. Disrupted by the Cultural Revolution, these organizations have been rebuilt and revitalized.

The National People's Congress (NPC) is formally the state's highest organ of power. A new NPC is elected every 5 years and meets in plenary session for about 2 weeks once a year to review and adopt major new policy directions, laws, the budget, and major personnel changes. The NPC Standing Committee and the deputies who participate in the NPC's specialized committees meet every 2 months for 10-day sessions to review and approve the lion's share (90%) of Chinese legislation. The State Council, an executive body corresponding to a cabinet, is nominally subordinate to the NPC, but in reality is the key player in the government structure and is charged with policy implementation. Members of the State Council include the premier, vice-premiers, state councilors, ministers, and heads of various commissions and special agencies. A court and a procuratorial system are also subordinate to the NPC.

The Chinese Constitution promulgated in 1982 guarantees freedom of speech, press, and assembly, but the government interprets the Communist Party's "leading role" as circumscribing those rights. Outright opposition to the government is not tolerated. Self-censorship is common. Nevertheless, criticism of official corruption and even ad hoc, small-scale protests against petty grievances have been allowed to take place. Foreign books and periodicalsand Chinese translations of those materialsare available in libraries and bookstores. Commercial Internet service has also been available since mid-1995, but the government has pledged to monitor and censor content.

Arts, Science, and Education

The Chinese Government's modernization-drive and its policy of "kaifang" (opening to the outside world) have combined to create a period of tremendous cultural ferment. Not since the early years of this century has China tried to assimilate such a rapid influx of foreign ideas. At the same time, conservative members of the old guard and bureaucratsthose wary of the onset of modernity, who cling to the paststill occupy key positions of power, thus creating a continuing tension between the new and the old, between the urge to rejoin the international community and the wish to protect China from its dangerous influences.

The impetus to modernize China culturally and economically stems, in part, from the desire to see China regain the position of influence it once held in Asia. The civilization and culture that developed in the Yellow River Valley of North China in the second millennium B.C. eventually came to dominate virtually all of East Asia, including Japan and Korea. Since 1949, however, many aspects of traditional Chinese culture have disappeared from the land of their origin or have been severely altered by the socialist transformation of China.

Prior to the violent suppression of the Democracy Movement in June 1989, China's international cultural exchanges had been flourishing. The PRC has signed formal cultural agreements with many nations, including the U.S. Private sector exchanges, such as those carried out by People to People, Sister City and Sister State programs, and U.S. universities, are too numerous to count. Hundreds of performing and visual artists; scholars of politics, economics, law, and literature; and interested citizens representing a full spectrum of professions came to China from the U.S. every month. Thousands of Chinese, too, traveled to the U.S. under government and private auspices to enhance their expertise and make contacts in the international cultural community. Since the Tiananmen incident Western cultural influence has been viewed skeptically by Chinese officials, and they have been very selective in their support for international exchange.

The cultural life of China takes place under the watchful eye of a variety of organizations, including the Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, the Ministry of Culture, the All-China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, and the local offices of these national organizations. During the past 10 years, China has restored many cultural institutions damaged by the Cultural Revolution and rehabilitated many artists and writers. However, the government's once-substantial support for the arts has been sharply reduced in the last few years because of budget constraints and a policy of decentralization. Many cultural organizations, art schools, and performing arts groups have been told to become self-supporting. The full effect of the new policies is not yet apparent as cultural institutions must now grapple with financial and artistic problems they have not faced since before 1949.

Under the policy of opening to the outside world, international cultural exchanges are flourishing. Many countries, including the U.S., have signed formal cultural agreements with China, but it is the private sector that has shown the most rapid growth. Privately arranged cultural exchange activities are now too numerous to count. Through them, numerous foreign performers and teachers of art, music, dance, and drama visit China; art exhibits are exchanged; and many Chinese artists go abroad. This has had a profound impact on Chinese arts, but this Western influence is not without controversy. The interest of Chinese artists in Western literature and art is upsetting to those with traditional ideas. Some avantgarde or politically sensitive works continue to be banned and their authors silenced.

The Chinese cultural scene also includes a large number of art and history museums throughout the country. The museums include many important and exceptionally beautiful pieces. Particularly noteworthy are the museums in Liaoning, Xian, and Shanghai, along with the Beijing Historical Museum and the Palace Museum, which houses art treasures of the Qing Dynasty.

The Chinese film industry is at the forefront of Chinese creative arts. Mawkish socialist dramas have given way to serious films examining and questioning the political and ideological basis of Chinese society. A prominent group of young directors, known as the "5th Generation," has won international awards for its work.

For those who like to purchase artwork and handicrafts, China offers a wide variety. Antique ceramics, scrolls, carvings and hardwood furniture are available, but prices are high, and objects predating the 19th century cannot be taken out of the country. Export of antiques is subject to close scrutiny by the Cultural Relics Department, which must approve any item before packers are permitted to pack it. Modern copies are widely sold, though the quality varies. Contemporary Chinese paintingboth traditional watercolors and oilsis receiving increasing international recognition. The handicraft industry has flourished under the economic reforms and offers many regional specialties: Guizhou batik, Suzhou embroidery, carved chops, paper cuts, porcelain figurines, cloisonné, cinnabar, carved lacquer, wicker work, basketware, and others.

In an effort to overcome the ravages of the Cultural Revolution, China has made a large and continuing investment in science. Most scientific efforts are devoted to immediate developmental needs: defense, industrial technology, agriculture, and public health, but important advances are being made in basic science research. From 1949 to 1960, PRC science was heavily dependent on support from the Soviet Union, where many Chinese scientists and technicians were trained. In 1978, China decided to adopt Western technology and expertise for its modernization effort and sent thousands of scientists and teachers to Japan and the West (to the U.S. in particular) for training in science and technology specialties. Despite the ideological break with the U.S.S.R., science in China continues to be organized largely along Soviet lines, with research concentrated at the various institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Chinese scientists now participate actively at international conferences, and thousands of Chinese scientific periodicals are published. The largest U.S. bilateral science and technology exchange program, by far, is with China, and the largest Chinese program is with the U.S.

Compulsory education is mandated in China for the first 10 years of schooling, although many students drop out of every grade, particularly in rural areas. The literacy in China is about 82%. The current emphasis in Chinese educational policy is on improving secondary, technical, and vocational education and on extending educational opportunities to remote areas and undereducated populations. China is investing in teacher training to address a shortage of qualified secondary school educators. An educational television network and a TV university are broadcast throughout the country.

To develop a highly educated elite with the technological and managerial skills necessary for modernization, China has sent thousands of students abroadtwo-thirds of them to the U.S. Chinese-Foreign/Foreign-Chinese publishers have embarked on a massive book translation program. The study of English is booming in China, and interest in the U.S. is intense. The Voice of America has 150 million listeners in China.

Commerce and Industry

China's economy has grown at an average annual rate of about 9 percent since 1978. In that year, about 270 million Chinese lived in conditions of absolute poverty, while official PRC figures stated that the number had dropped to 70 million people by the end of 1994. Although growth has accelerated into double digits in recent years, the Chinese economy is marked by significant regional disparities. Heavy state-owned industries are concentrated in the northeast and Shanghai. Once poor agricultural regions in southern China, particularly Guangdong and Fujian Provinces, have emerged as dynamic light industry and trade bases. While rural areas near the coast and urban centers have in many cases joined in the country's rapid industrial growth, interior and western provinces lack the infrastructure to support rapid growth. The low tax base of the central government has constrained needed investment in the interior for roads, railways, electric power, and other infrastructure.

Agriculture remains key to China's economy, with roughly 80% of the population living in rural areas. China is the world's leading producer of many food crops, including rice, wheat, and sweet potatoes, and is also a major producer of many other crops such as soybeans and peanuts. Major cash crops include cotton, tobacco, and oil seeds. Reform policies encouraging peasants to diversify into vegetable farming, poultry and fish breeding, and animal husbandry have boosted the variety and quality of the Chinese diet.

The need to provide food for over a billion people, as well as industrial crops like cotton for rapidly expanding industries, is an unrelenting challenge. China has already achieved relatively high per-acre yields, but only about 10 percent of China's land is arable and is frequently ravaged by droughts and floods. After a series of record harvests in the early 1980s briefly propelled China into the ranks of net food exporters, grain production dipped slightly. Rising domestic demand has forced China to again increase grain imports from the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Beijing hopes to boost grain production through increased investment, wider dissemination of scientific techniques, and some added incentives to peasants, but limited government financial resources will constrain these options.

China's modernization drive has benefited from a rich natural resource base. China's coal reserves are virtually inexhaustible, but transportation bottlenecks and air pollution are major drawbacks to China's dependency on this fuel. China is the world's sixth-largest oil producer, but production at some of the largest oil fields has peaked and is beginning to decline. Offshore drilling by Western oil companies has so far produced mixed results. China probably has large untapped oil reserves in the far west, but developing these fields and transporting the oil to markets will require large investments.

China's other mineral resources include iron, tin, tungsten, and many rare earths. China produces a full range of industrial products, from light industrial consumer goods to satellite launch systems. Chinese products lag behind Western standards in quality and design, however, and there is considerable demand for imported consumer durables as well as high-technology products. The policy of "reform and opening" has promoted the growth of joint ventures, which produce a variety of products for both the domestic market and export.

While growth has been both rapid and impressive, it has also outstripped supplies of energy and raw materials. Efficiency has suffered from bottlenecks in transportation and telecommunications. Energy and transport bottlenecks in particular will persist through the 1990s, with electricity supplies likely to be an important concern for many enterprises.

Foreign trade has grown rapidly since China opened to the outside world. At the end of the last decade, textiles overtook oil and coal as the main foreign exchange earner. In 1995, exports of mechanical and electrical products exceeded textile exports for the first time. Other leading exports include footwear, toys, travel goods, plastic articles, and steel products. China imports grain, timber, essential raw materials, high-technology goods, petroleum, aircraft, and machinery.

While reforms have brought about tremendous growth and societal changes, concerns about social stability have inhibited the implementation of potentially painful reforms needed to sustain China's rapid economic growth. China will face enormous social and economic challenges during the remaining years of this century.

Transportation

Local

A well-developed rail system exists in the densely populated eastern half of the country. Passenger service, including sleeping car accommodations, is available between all major cities. Domestic air service is extensive, and routes are now serviced almost entirely by jets, many of them American made. On less important routes, one finds a mixture of Russian-built turboprops and Chinese or Russian propeller planes. Transportation costs are high.

Taxi stands with English-speaking dispatchers are widely available in Beijing, and taxis of all shapes and sizes congregate in areas frequented by Westerners in the hopes of getting a fare or can be hailed on the street.

In Beijing, most taxis are metered and charge about $1.45 at flag-down and $0.36 per kilometer. The fares are set, and passengers need not worry about being overcharged unless they enter a taxi without a meter in it. Receipts may be requested for payment. Taxi drivers normally do not expect tips, since tipping technically is illegal in China.

Regional

China follows a right-hand drive pattern, but a number of unique practices can make driving confusing for foreigners. Main roads are wide and in good repair, but the numerous pedestrians and bicycles make driving hazardous and often stressful. It snows in Beijing and Shenyang, but the streets are quickly cleared.

Nonstop international air service links Beijing with Japan and many cities in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Northwest has recently begun nonstop service to Detroit.

Communications

Telephone and Telegraph

Many improvements in telephone service have been made in recent years. The Chinese telephone system is quickly becoming a system meeting U.S. standards. An example of this is the addition of IDD lines. However, the new arrival may experience some frustration when dealing with the Chinese system. The monthly rate for basic service is comparable to that in the U.S.

International calls may be made to most parts of the world and English-speaking operators are on duty 24 hours daily. Connections to the U.S. and other countries are good, and the cost is comparable to that in the U.S. Both AT&T and Sprint offer access to the U.S. telephone system via a direct-dial number that can be accessed from apartment telephones and many public telephones in Beijing.

Domestic and international telex and telegraphic service is quick and reliable but can be expensive.

Computer Telecommunications

Beijing is undergoing a telecommunications revolution. In June 1995, commercial vendors began offering full Internet access at 9,600 baud data rates. Service providers are user unfriendly, but with perseverance, it is possible to establish an electronic mail link through the Internet. Lines, however, are unreliable, and frequent interruptions are common. Despite these problems, given the current rate of development, it is likely that Internet connections from other parts of China will soon be available as well.

Radio and Television

In addition to Chinese-language programming, local AM and FM radio stations now have daily news and feature programs in English, and regularly broadcast Western classical and pop music. A short-wave radio will provide you with the opportunity to listen to VOA, BBC, Radio Australia, and other English-language broadcasts.

Two to five TV channels can be received in most cities, with virtually all programs in color. While most programs are in Chinese, the national network, CCTV, and municipal stations in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou broadcast English-language news programs six evenings a week. Popular American television programs are occasionally broadcast in Chinese.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals

Since 1981, the Chinese authorities have been publishing the English-language China Daily, which appears 6 days a week. This newspaper contains local and international news, business reports, a sports page with scores from around the world, and several local features.

The International Herald Tribune, the Asian Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, and some other American and European periodicals can be purchased in some hotels and bookstores in many major cities.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities

While there are no expatriate hospitals, there are two expatriate clinics. The International Medical Center is a joint venture with a tie to the International SOS Assistance. There are several expatriate physicians at this clinic, which is open 24 hours. The Asia Emergency Assistance evacuation company also has a clinic near the Ta Yuan diplomatic compound. Like everything imported into China, the care at these clinics is expensive. They have had problems importing vaccines and medicines, and only time will tell if these problems will be solved.

The dental facilities in Beijing are adequate for minor procedures such as routine fillings. There are two small expatriate dental clinics in Beijing, but their capabilities are limited. Individuals should have their routine dental work done before coming to Beijing. While there are several U.S.-trained orthodontists in Beijing, there are some concerns about infection control, and customer satisfaction has been mixed at best.

Most hospitals in China will not accept medical insurance from the United States. Travelers will be asked to post a deposit prior to admission to cover the expected cost of treatment. Many hospitals in major cities may accept credit cards for payment. Even in the VIP/Foreigner wards of major hospitals, however, American patients have frequently encountered difficulty due to cultural and regulatory differences. Physicians and hospitals have sometimes refused to supply American patients with complete copies of their Chinese hospital medical records, including laboratory test results, scans, and x-rays. All Americans traveling to China are strongly encouraged to buy foreign medical care and medical evacuation insurance prior to arrival. Travelers who want a list of modern medical facilities in China can e-mail the United States Embassy's American Citizen Services unit at [email protected] and request a list by return e-mail.

Ambulances do not carry sophisticated medical equipment, and ambulance personnel generally have little or no medical training. Therefore, injured or seriously ill Americans may be required to take taxis or other immediately available vehicles to the nearest major hospital rather than waiting for ambulances to arrive. In rural areas, only rudimentary medical facilities are generally available. Medical personnel in rural areas are often poorly trained, have little medical equipment or availability to medications. Rural clinics are often reluctant to accept responsibility for treating foreigners, even in emergency situations.

Preventive Measures

Everyone should be current in their basic immunizations. In addition, the following are recommended for China: hepatitis B, Japanese B encephalitis (if staying more than 30 days), hepatitis A or gamma globulin, rabies for posts other than Beijing, and typhoid vaccines.

Overall, China is a healthier place than most countries in South Asia or Africa. Cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery are not common, and most childhood diseases like measles and diphtheria are rare. Malaria prophylaxis is not needed except in Hainan Island and in areas near the Vietnam border.

Hepatitis is a major problem in China (types A, B, and E). Japanese encephalitis is still a threat during mosquito season. Since vaccines for these diseases require several series to provide full protection, please start them as soon as possible. Air pollution is bad in China and especially so in Beijing and Shenyang. Anyone with a chronic respiratory problem like asthma should not come to China. In the winter, severe dryness aggravates mucous membranes, and colds are common. Travelers should consult their doctor prior to travel and consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on them. Humidifiers are essential for winters in Beijing and Shenyang. Because of the high population density of people, pigs, and water-fowl, China is a breeding ground for influenza. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended, especially for those with chronic illnesses. Upper respiratory infection is the most common disease seen at the Medical Unit.

Most roads and towns in Tibet, Qinghai, parts of Xinjiang, and western Sichuan are situated at altitudes over 10,000 feet. Travelers should seek medical advice in advance of travel, allow time for acclimatization to the high altitude, and remain alert to signs of altitude sickness. HIV has become a significant concern in China. Travelers should always ask doctors and dentists to use sterilized equipment and be prepared to pay for new syringe needles in hospitals or clinics.

Water must be boiled for drinking, and it is full of sediments and minerals. A water distiller is highly recommended for Beijing and Chengdu. Night soil is still used for vegetables, and all vegetables should be soaked in a chlorine solution. The fluoride level in China is low, and a supplement is necessary for young children.

Please bring plenty of over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen (Tylenol), cold medicines, and skin lotions or creams. These items are available locally but are more expensive. An extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses is recommended. The dusty atmosphere is especially hard on contact lenses.

Families with small children are advised to bring a cold mist vaporizer, which is helpful in dealing with the winter respiratory illnesses of the young. A heating pad may also be useful.

NOTES FOR TRAVELERS

Passage, Customs & Duties

A valid passport and visa are required to enter China. Americans arriving without valid passports and the appropriate Chinese visa are not permitted to enter and will be subject to a fine and immediate deportation at the traveler's expense. Travelers should not rely on Chinese host organizations claiming to be able to arrange a visa upon arrival.

Visas are required to transit China. Persons transiting China on the way to and from Mongolia or North Korea or who plan to re-enter from the Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions should be sure to obtain visas allowing multiple entries. Permits are required to visit Tibet as well as many remote areas not normally open to foreigners.

For information about entry requirements and restricted areas, travelers may consult the Embassy of the People's Republic of China (PRC) at 2300 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Washington. D.C. 20008, or telephone (1-202) 328-2500, 2501 or 2502. For a list of services and frequently asked visa questions and answers, travelers can view the Chinese Embassy's web sites at http://www.china-embassy.org, or [email protected]. There are Chinese Consulates General in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Americans traveling in Asia have been able to obtain visas to enter China from the Chinese visa office in Hong Kong and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Seoul, South Korea.

Americans who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their Chinese visas will be subject to fines and departure delays and may be subject to detention. Travelers should note that international flights departing China are routinely overbooked, making reconfirmation of departure reservations and early airport check-in essential. Passengers must pay a RMB 100 airport user fee (approximately $12 US) when departing China on international flights and RMB 60 airport fee (approximately US $7.20) for all domestic flights.

Chinese customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from China of items such as antiquities, banned publications or vehicles not conforming to Chinese standards. Information concerning regulations and procedures governing items that may be brought into China is available through the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the United States. Students may bring into China only a limited number of items that are considered necessary for study and daily life. Some U.S. citizens residing in China have been required to pay customs duty on certain high-value items when departing China because procedures were not followed when the items were originally brought into China.

Americans in China who are not staying at hotels, including Americans who are staying with friends or relatives, must register with local police. Americans who are questioned by police should immediately notify the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate. Foreigners detained for questioning may not be allowed to contact their national authorities until the questioning is concluded. Foreigners detained pending trial have often waited over a year for their trial to begin. Americans are rarely granted bail. Criminal punishments, especially prison terms, are more severe than in the United States. Persons violating the law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Criminal penalties for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect severe jail sentences and fines. Non-American foreigners have been executed for drug offenses. Several Americans currently incarcerated in China have been implicated in financial fraud schemes involving falsified banking or business documents, tax evasion schemes and assisting alien smuggling, including selling passports.

In the past, protesters detained for engaging in pro-Falun Gong activities have been deported quickly from China. Several of these protesters alleged they were physically abused during their detention. In addition, they alleged that personal property including clothing, cameras and computers had not always been returned to them upon their deportation. Chinese authorities report while they have deported these foreigners quickly after public demonstrations in favor of the Falun Gong, future adherents who intentionally arrive in China to protest against Chinese policy may receive longer terms of detention and possibly face prison sentences.

Chinese authorities have seized documents, literature, and letters that they deem to be pornographic, political in nature, or intended for religious proselytism. Persons seeking to enter China with religious materials in a quantity deemed to be greater than that needed for personal use may be detained and fined. Chinese customs authorities may seize books, films, records, tapes, and compact disks to determine if they violate Chinese prohibitions. Individuals believed to be engaged in religious proselytism or in conduct Chinese officials consider immoral or inappropriate have been detained and expelled.

PRC authorities occasionally confiscate passports and levy exit bans against persons involved in commercial or other disputes. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate General will make inquiries with local authorities to ensure that the U.S. citizen's rights under the U.S.-China Bilateral Consular Convention are honored. The individual usually is not taken into custody, but is sometimes confined to a hotel or other facility until the dispute is resolved. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate General will issue another passport to any U.S. citizen who applies for one under these circumstances; however, even with a new U.S. passport, Chinese authorities will often block departure by refusing to provide a visa for exit purposes.

U.S. citizens other than tourists at major hotels are encouraged to register at the U.S. Embassy or at one of the U.S. Consulates General in China. They may also obtain updated information on travel and security within the country at the Embassy or Consulates General. It is possible to register from the United States via the Internet through the U.S. Embassy's home page at http://www.usembassychina.org.cn.

Beijing: The U.S. Embassy in China is located at 2 Xiu Shui Dong Jie, Beijing 100600, telephone: (86-10) 6532-3431, 6532-3831, and after-hours: (86-10) 6532-1910; fax (86-10) 6532-4153. The U.S. Embassy web site address is http://www.usembassy-china.org.cn and the e-mail address is [email protected]. The Embassy consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi.

Chengdu: The U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu is located at Number 4, Lingshiguan Road, Section 4, Renmin Nanlu, Chengdu 610041, telephone: (86-28) 558-3992, 555-3119; fax (86-28) 558-3520; after-hours (86-0) 1370016002102. This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Guizhou, Sichuan Xizang (Tibet), and Yunnan, as well as the municipality of Chongqing.

Guangzhou: The U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou is located at Number 1 South Shamian Street, Shamian Island 200S1, Guangzhou 510133; telephone: (86-20) 8121-8418; after-hours: (86-)139-0229-3169; fax: (86-20) 8121-8428. This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, and Fujian.

Shanghai: The U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai is located at 1469 Huaihai Zhonglu, Shanghai 200031 telephone: (86-21) 6433-6880, after-hours: (86-21) 6433-3936; fax: (86-21) 6433-4122, 6471-1148. This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang.

Shenyang: The U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang is located at No. 52, 14th Wei Road, Heping District, Shenyang 110003, telephone: (86-24) 2322-1198, 2322-0368; after-hours: (86-0) 1370016002110; fax (86-24) 2322-2374. This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Liaoning, Heilongjiang, and Jilin.

Currency, Banking and Weights and Measures

Chinese currency (yuan) may not be brought into or taken out of China. Travelers checks, Hong Kong dollars, and U.S. currency may be exchanged at international airports, hotels, and government shops operating exclusively for foreigners.

Most exchange points require an official exchange certificate to reconvert RMB to U.S. dollars. Be sure to save all receipts, therefore, when you change money upon arrival.

China's weights and measures are based on the metric system. However, a common unit of weight is the "jin," which is equivalent to one-half kilo.

Pets

Beijing: Starting May 1, 1995, the Beijing Municipal Government has implemented new regulations strictly controlling the registration of dogs in urban areas (limitations on size and breeds).

There are no similar restrictions against cats; however, there is a 1,000 RMB fee ($118) payable at customs, and a general rule holding that only one pet per employee may be imported. Cats also need proof of a rabies shot (within the last year) and a certificate of good health dated no more than 30 days before arrival. While Chinese regulations call for a 1-month quarantine for cats in Chinese-designated facilities, health officials at the airport so far are allowing owners to "quarantine" the cat at home, but admonish owners to keep the cat indoors at all times and inform owners that during the month health officials have the right to come to the apartment to "inspect" the cat. No cat owner so far has reported such inspection visits.

The China Travel Service will not send unaccompanied pets from Hong Kong. You must make arrangements to ship your pet on a direct air route to Beijing.

Guangzhou: Official Chinese policy varies by locality. Most hotels will not accept dogs or cats.

Shanghai: Dogs cannot be let out on the streets of Shanghai and are limited to the grounds of your house or apartment complex. Dogs and cats must have valid rabies and health certificates accompanying them and will be inspected on arrival by local health officials. Authorities currently do not impose a quarantine. After arrival, dogs must be registered with the Public Security Bureau, which will then issue individual identification cards. Cats are legal and do not have to be registered but are governed by the same regulations outlined for dogs. No facilities are available in Shanghai for boarding your pets. Pets should be shipped to Shanghai as check-in baggage.

Shenyang: Dogs and cats are available in the marketplace.

Chengdu: Pets are prohibited in Chengdu. There are no local kennels or veterinarians.

Disaster Preparedness

Some areas of China frequented by Americans, notably Yunnan Province, are prone to earthquakes. Coastal areas of Hainan, Guangdong, Fujian, and Zhejiang provinces are subject to typhoons during the summer rainy season. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov. Travelers should check weather conditions for cities and areas in China prior to departure. Winter weather and summer typhoons often cause the closure of airports in some parts of the country.

LOCAL HOLIDAYS

Jan.1 & 2 New Year's Day

Feb. Chinese New Year*

Feb. Spring Festival*

Apr. Qing Ming*

Mar. 8 Women's Day

May 1 Labor Day

May 4 Youth Day

May/June Dragon Boat Festival*

July 1 Communist Party Foundation

Aug. 1 People's Liberation Army Day

Aug. 25The Daughter's Festival (Chinese Valentines Day)

Sept/Oct. Mid-Autumn Festival

Oct. 1 P.R. China's Birthday

Oct. 2 National Day

*variable

RECOMMENDED READING

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

Bao, Betty. Spring Moon. New York:Avon Books, 1981.

Barme, Geremie and John Minford. Seeds of Fire: Chinese Voices of Conscience. New York: Hill and Wang, 1988.

Behr, Edward. The Last Emperor. Futura, 1987.

Bernstein, Richard. From the Center of the Earth: The Search for the Truth about China. Boston: Little, Brown, 1982.

Biennendijk, Hans, ed. National Negotiating Styles. Washington, D.C.: Department of State. 1987.

Butterfield, Fox. China: Alive in the Bitter Sea. New York: Times Books, 1982.

Cheng, Nien. Life and Death in Shanghai. New York: State Books, 1986.

Fairbank, John K. The Great Chinese Revolution, 1800-1985. New York: Harper and Row, 1987.

Fraser, John. The Chinese: Portrait of a People. New York: Summit Books, 1980.

Garside, Roger. Coming Alive: China After Mao. New York: McGraw Hill, 1981.

Harding, Harry. China's Foreign Relations in the 1980s. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984.

. China's Second RevolutionReform After Mao. Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1987.

Kane, Anthony J., ed. China Briefing, 1988. New York: The Asia Society, 1988.

Kao, Mayching, ed. 20th Century Chinese Painting. Hong Kong/New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Kaplan, Frederick M., et al. Encyclopedia of China Today. New York: Harper and Row, 1981.

MacFarquar, Roderick. The Origins of the Cultural RevolutionThe Great Leap Forward. Vols. 1 and 2. Columbia University Press, 1983.

Nagel's Encyclopedia Guide. China. Geneva: Nagel Publishers, 1987.

Orleans, Leo A. Chinese Students in America: Policies, Issues and Numbers. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1988.

Saltzman, Mark. Iron and Silk. New York: Random House, 1987.

Schell, Orville. Discos and Democracy: China in the Throes of Reform. New York: Pantheon Books, 1988.

Sivin, Nathan, ed. The Contemporary Atlas of China. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988.

Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. W.W. Norton & Co., 1990.

. To Change China: Western Advisors in China 1620-1960. New York: Penguin, 1980.

Theroux, Paul. Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China. New York: Putnam, 1988.

Thubron, Colin. Behind the Wall: A Journey Through China. Atlantic Monthly Press, 1988.

Tiziano, Terzani. Behind the Forbidden Door: Travels in Unknown China. New York: H. Holt & Co., 1988.

Tuchman, Barbara. Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1971.

U.S. Government (DA pamphlet: 550-60). China: A Country Study. Washington, D.C.: for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1981.

Recommended Reading for Hong Kong

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on Hong Kong.

Books

American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Living In Hong Kong. (9th edition).

American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and The Institute of International Education. Returning to Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Employment Guide for Graduates of Overseas Universities. (annual editions)

Baker, Hugh. Hong Kong Images: People & Animals. Hong Kong University Press, 1990.

Cameron, Nigel. An Illustrated History of Hong Kong. Oxford University Press, 1991.

Cresswell, Colin M. The Taipans: Hong Kong's Merchant Princes. Oxford University Press, 1991.

Coates, Austin. Myself a Mandarin: Memoirs of a Special Magistrate. Oxford University Press, 1991.

Endacott, G.B. A History of Hong Kong. Oxford University Press, 1987.

Enright, M., Scott, E. & Dodwell, D. The Hong Kong Advantage. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Gershman, Suzy. Born to Shop: Hong Kong. MacMillan, 1997.

Hoe, Susana. Private Life of Old Hong Kong. Oxford University Press, 1991.

Hong Kong Government Information Services. Hong Kong 1997. Hong Kong Government Printing Department, 1997 (last in annual series under British administration).

Insight Guide to Hong Kong. APAProductions, 1998.

Lau Siukai and Kuan Hsinchi. The Ethos of the Hong Kong Chinese. Coronet Books, 1989.

Mo, Timothy. An Insular Possession. Random House, 1987.

Mo, Timothy. Monkey King. William Morrow, 1987.

Miners, Norman. The Government and Politics of Hong Kong. (5th ed. revised) Oxford University Press, 1996.

Morris, Jan. Hong Kong: Epilogue to an Empire (Vintage Departures). Vintage Books, 1997.

O'Reilly & Habegger, Travelers'Tales of Hong Kong. O'Reilly & Assts, Inc., 1996.

Rodwell, Sally. Historic Hong Kong. The Guidebook Co., 1991.

Schepel, Kaarlo. Magic Walks (vols. 1,2, &3). The Alternate Press, 1992.

Storey, Robert. Lonely Planet Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou Travel Survival Kit. Lonely Planet Publishing, 1997.

Wei, Betty Peh-Ti & Li, Elizabeth. Culture Shock! Hong Kong. Graphic Arts Center Publishing Co., 1994.

Welsh, Frank. A Borrowed Place: The History of Hong Kong. Kodansha, 1993.

Recommended Web Sites

Department of State
http://www.state.gov

Consulate General Home Page
http://www.usia.gov/posts/hong_kong.html

Hong Kong Government Official Information Site
http://www.info.gov.hk

Hong Kong Tourism Association
http://www.hkta.org

American Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong
http://www.amcham.org.hk

Hong Kong Telecom
http://www.netvigator.com

Hong Kong International School
http://www.hkis.edu.hk

English Schools Foundation
http://www.esf.edu.hk

German Swiss International School
http://home.netvigator.com/-gsis

Chinese International School
http://www.hk.super.net/-cis

Parkview International Pre-school
http://www.hk.super.net/pips

Carmel School Hong Kong
http://www.carmel.edu.hk Canadian Academy
http://canada.canacad.acjp/canacad/welcome.html

Morrison Academy-Taichung
http://www.xc.org/mk/schools/morrison

Brent School
http://www.wco.com/brent

University of the Sacred Heart
http://www.u-sacred-heart.acjp

Chinese University of Hong Kong
http://www.cuhk.edu.hk

City University of Hong Kong
http://www.cityu.edu.hk

Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts
http://www.hkapa.edu.hk

Hong Kong Baptist University
http://www.hkbu.edu.hk Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
http://www.ust.hk

Lingnan College
http://www.1n.edu.hk

Open University of Hong Kong
http://www.ouhk.edu.hk

University of Hong Kong
http://www.hku.hk

South China Morning Post
http://www.scmp.com

Hong Kong Standard
http://www.hkstandard.com

Far East Economic Review
http://www.feer.com

Asia Television (ATV)
http://www.hkstar.com/atv/home.html

Television Video Broadcasting (TVB)
http://www.tvb.com.hk

views updated

China

PROFILE
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
DEFENSE
U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS
TRAVEL

Compiled from the October 2007 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:

People's Republic of China

PROFILE

Geography

Total area: 9,596,960 sq. km. (about 3.7 million sq. mi.).

Cities: Capital—Beijing. Other major cities—Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Harbin, Chengdu.

Terrain: Plains, deltas, and hills in east; mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west.

Climate: Tropical in south to subarctic in north.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Chinese (singular and plural).

Population: (July 2007 est.) 1,321,851,888.

Population growth rate: (2006 est.) 0.6%.

Health: (2007 est.) Infant mortality rate—22.12/1,000. Life expectancy—72.88 years (overall); 71.13 years for males, 74.82 years for females.

Ethnic groups: Han Chinese—91.9%; Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uygur, Yi, Mongolian, Tibetan, Buyi, Korean, and other—8.1%.

Religions: Officially atheist; Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity.

Languages: Mandarin (Putong-hua), plus many local dialects.

Education: Years compulsory—9. Literacy—90.9%.

Work force: (2006 est., 798 million) Agriculture and forestry—45%; industry—24%; services—31%.

Government

Type: Communist party-led state.

Constitution: December 4, 1982.

Independence: Unification under the Qin (Ch′in) Dynasty 221 BC; Qing (Ch’ing or Manchu) Dynasty replaced by a republic on February 12, 1912; People's Republic established October 1, 1949.

Government branches: Executive—president, vice president, State Council, premier. Legislative—unicameral National People's Congress. Judicial—Supreme People's Court.

Political subdivisions: 23 provinces (the P.R.C. considers Taiwan to be its 23rd province); 5 autonomous regions, including Tibet; 4 municipalities directly under the State Council.

Political parties: Chinese Communist Party, 70.8 million members; 8 minor parties under communist supervision.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: (2006) $2.68 trillion (exchange rate based).

Per capita GDP: (2006) $2,034 (exchange rate based).

GDP real growth rate: (2006) 10.7%.

Natural resources: Coal, iron ore, crude oil, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest).

Agriculture: Products—Among the world's largest producers of rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley; commercial crops include cotton, other fibers, apples, oilseeds, pork and fish; produces variety of livestock products.

Industry: Types—mining and ore processing; iron; steel; aluminum; coal, machinery; textiles and apparel; armaments; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products including footwear, toys, and electronics; automobiles and other transportation equipment including rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; and telecommunications.

Trade: (2006) Exports—$969.3 billion: electronics; machinery; apparel; optical, photographic, and medical equipment; and furniture. Main partners—United States, Hong Kong, Japan, EU, South Korea, Singapore. Imports—$791.8 billion: electronics, machinery, mineral fuel and oil, chemicals, plastic. Main partners—Japan, EU, Taiwan, South Korea, United States, Malaysia, Australia.

PEOPLE

Ethnic Groups

The largest ethnic group is the Han Chinese, who constitute about 91.9% of the total population. The remaining 8.1% are Zhuang (16 million), Manchu (10 million), Hui (9 million), Miao (8 million), Uygur (7 million), Yi (7 million), Mongolian (5 million), Tibetan (5 million), Buyi (3 million), Korean (2 million), and other ethnic minorities.

Language

There are seven major Chinese dialects and many subdialects. Mandarin (or Putonghua), the predominant dialect, is spoken by over 70% of the population. It is taught in all schools and is the medium of government. About two-thirds of the Han ethnic group are native speakers of Mandarin; the rest, concentrated in southwest and southeast China, speak one of the six other major Chinese dialects. Non-Chinese languages spoken widely by ethnic minorities include Mongolian, Tibetan, Uygur and other Turkic languages (in Xinjiang), and Korean (in the northeast).

The Pinyin System of Romanization

On January 1, 1979, the Chinese Government officially adopted the pinyin system for spelling Chinese names and places in Roman letters. A system of Romanization invented by the Chinese, pinyin has long been widely used in China on street and commercial signs as well as in elementary Chinese textbooks as an aid in learning Chinese characters. Variations of pinyin also are used as the written forms of several minority languages.

Pinyin has now replaced other conventional spellings in China's English-language publications. The U.S. Government also has adopted the pinyin system for all names and places in China. For example, the capital of China is now spelled “Beijing” rather than “Peking.”

Religion

Religion plays a significant part in the life of many Chinese. Buddhism is most widely practiced, with an estimated 100 million adherents. Traditional Taoism also is practiced. Official figures indicate there are 20 million Muslims, 5 million Catholics, and 15 million Protestants; unofficial estimates are much higher.

While the Chinese constitution affirms religious toleration, the Chinese Government places restrictions on religious practice outside officially recognized organizations. Only two Christian organizations—a Catholic church without official ties to Rome and the “Three-Self-Patriotic” Protestant church—are sanctioned by the Chinese Government. Unauthorized churches have sprung up in many parts of the country and unofficial religious practice is flourishing. In some regions authorities have tried to control activities of these unregistered churches. In other regions, registered and unregistered groups are treated similarly by authorities and congregations worship in both types of churches. Most Chinese Catholic bishops are recognized by the Pope, and official priests have Vatican approval to administer all the sacraments.

Population Policy

With a population officially just over 1.3 billion and an estimated growth rate of about 0.6%, China is very concerned about its population growth and has attempted with mixed results to implement a strict birth limitation policy. China's 2002 Population and Family Planning Law and policy permit one child per family, with allowance for a second child under certain circumstances, especially in rural areas, and with guidelines looser for ethnic minorities with small populations. Enforcement varies, and relies largely on “social compensation fees” to discourage extra births.

Official government policy opposes forced abortion or sterilization, but in some localities there are instances of forced abortion. The government's goal is to stabilize the population in the first half of the 21st century, and current projections are that the population will peak at around 1.6 billion by 2050.

HISTORY

Dynastic Period

China is the oldest continuous major world civilization, with records dating back about 3,500 years. Successive dynasties developed a system of bureaucratic control that gave the agrarian-based Chinese an advantage over neighboring nomadic and hill cultures. Chinese civilization was further strengthened by the development of a Confucian state ideology and a common written language that bridged the gaps among the country's many local languages and dialects. Whenever China was conquered by nomadic tribes, as it was by the Mongols in the 13th century, the conquerors sooner or later adopted the ways of the “higher” Chinese civilization and staffed the bureaucracy with Chinese.

The last dynasty was established in 1644, when the Manchus overthrew the native Ming dynasty and established the Qing (Ch’ing) dynasty with Beijing as its capital. At great expense in blood and treasure, the Manchus over the next half century gained control of many border areas, including Xinjiang, Yunnan, Tibet, Mongolia, and Taiwan. The success of the early Qing period was based on the combination of Manchu martial prowess and traditional Chinese bureaucratic skills.

During the 19th century, Qing control weakened, and prosperity diminished. China suffered massive social strife, economic stagnation, explosive population growth, and Western penetration and influence. The Taiping and Nian rebellions, along with a Russian-supported Muslim separatist movement in Xinjiang, drained Chinese resources and almost toppled the dynasty. Britain's desire to continue its illegal opium trade with China collided with imperial edicts

prohibiting the addictive drug, and the First Opium War erupted in 1840. China lost the war; subsequently, Britain and other Western powers, including the United States, forcibly occupied “concessions” and gained special commercial privileges. Hong Kong was ceded to Britain in 1842 under the Treaty of Nanking, and in 1898, when the Opium Wars finally ended, Britain executed a 99-year lease of the New Territories, significantly expanding the size of the Hong Kong colony.

As time went on, the Western powers, wielding superior military technology, gained more economic and political privileges. Reformist Chinese officials argued for the adoption of Western technology to strengthen the dynasty and counter Western advances, but the Qing court played down both the Western threat and the benefits of Western technology.

Early 20th Century China

Frustrated by the Qing court's resistance to reform, young officials, military officers, and students—inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Sun Yat-sen—began to advocate the over-throw of the Qing dynasty and creation of a republic. A revolutionary military uprising on October 10, 1911, led to the abdication of the last Qing monarch. As part of a compromise to overthrow the dynasty without a civil war, the revolutionaries and reformers allowed high Qing officials to retain prominent positions in the new republic. One of these figures, Gen. Yuan Shikai, was chosen as the republic's first president. Before his death in 1916, Yuan unsuccessfully attempted to name himself emperor. His death left the republican government all but shattered, ushering in the era of the “warlords” during which China was ruled and ravaged by shifting coalitions of competing provincial military leaders. In the 1920s, Sun Yat-sen established a revolutionary base in south China and set out to unite the fragmented nation. With Soviet assistance, he organized the Kuomintang (KMT or “Chinese Nationalist People's Party”), and entered into an alliance with the fledgling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). After Sun's death in 1925, one of his proteges, Chiang Kai-shek, seized control of the KMT and succeeded in bringing most of south and central China under its rule.

In 1927, Chiang turned on the CCP and executed many of its leaders. The remnants fled into the mountains of eastern China. In 1934, driven out of their mountain bases, the CCP's forces embarked on a “Long March” across some of China's most desolate terrain to the northwestern province of Shaanxi, where they established a guerrilla base at Yan’an.

During the “Long March,” the communists reorganized under a new leader, Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung). The bitter struggle between the KMT and the CCP continued openly or clandestinely through the 14-year long Japanese invasion (1931-45), even though the two parties nominally formed a united front to oppose the Japanese invaders in 1937. The war between the two parties resumed after the Japanese defeat in 1945. By 1949, the CCP occupied most of the country.

Chiang Kai-shek fled with the remnants of his KMT government and military forces to Taiwan, where he proclaimed Taipei to be China's “provisional capital” and vowed to re-conquer the Chinese mainland. Taiwan still calls itself the “Republic of China.”

The People's Republic of China

In Beijing, on October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.). The new government assumed control of a people exhausted by two generations of war and social conflict, and an economy ravaged by high inflation and disrupted transportation links. A new political and economic order modeled on the Soviet example was quickly installed.

In the early 1950s, China undertook a massive economic and social reconstruction program. The new leaders gained popular support by curbing inflation, restoring the economy, and rebuilding many war-damaged industrial plants. The CCP's authority reached into almost every aspect of Chinese life. Party control was assured by large, politically loyal security and military forces; a government apparatus responsive to party direction; and the placement of party members into leadership positions in labor, women's, and other mass organizations.

The “Great Leap Forward” and the Sino-Soviet Split

In 1958, Mao broke with the Soviet model and announced a new economic program, the “Great Leap Forward,” aimed at rapidly raising industrial and agricultural production. Giant cooperatives (communes) were formed, and “backyard factories” dotted the Chinese landscape. The results were disastrous. Normal market mechanisms were disrupted, agricultural production fell behind, and China's people exhausted themselves producing what turned out to be shoddy, un-salable goods. Within a year, starvation appeared even in fertile agricultural areas. From 1960 to 1961, the combination of poor planning during the Great Leap Forward and bad weather resulted in one of the deadliest famines in human history.

The already strained Sino-Soviet relationship deteriorated sharply in 1959, when the Soviets started to restrict the flow of scientific and technological information to China. The dispute escalated, and the Soviets withdrew all of their personnel from China in August 1960. In 1960, the Soviets and the Chinese began to have disputes openly in international forums.

The Cultural Revolution

In the early 1960s, State President Liu Shaoqi and his protege, Party General Secretary Deng Xiaoping, took over direction of the party and adopted pragmatic economic policies at odds with Mao's revolutionary vision. Dissatisfied with China's new direction and his own reduced authority, Party Chairman Mao launched a massive political attack on Liu, Deng, and other pragmatists in the spring of 1966. The new movement, the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution,” was unprecedented in communist history. For the first time, a section of the Chinese communist leadership sought to rally popular opposition against another leadership group. China was set on a course of political and social anarchy that lasted the better part of a decade.

In the early stages of the Cultural Revolution, Mao and his “closest comrade in arms,” National Defense Minister Lin Biao, charged Liu, Deng, and other top party leaders with dragging China back toward capitalism. Radical youth organizations, called Red Guards, attacked party and state organizations at all levels, seeking out leaders who would not bend to the radical wind. In reaction to this turmoil, some local People's Liberation Army (PLA) commanders and other officials maneuvered to outwardly back Mao and the radicals while actually taking steps to rein in local radical activity.

Gradually, Red Guard and other radical activity subsided, and the Chinese political situation stabilized along complex factional lines. The leadership conflict came to a head in September 1971, when Party Vice Chairman and Defense Minister Lin Biao reportedly tried to stage a coup against Mao; Lin Biao allegedly later died in a plane crash in Mongolia.

In the aftermath of the Lin Biao incident, many officials criticized and dismissed during 1966-69 were reinstated. Chief among these was Deng Xiaoping, who reemerged in 1973 and was confirmed in 1975 in the concurrent posts of Politburo Standing Committee member, PLA Chief of Staff, and Vice Premier. The ideological struggle between more pragmatic, veteran party officials and the radicals re-emerged with a vengeance in late 1975. Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, and three close Cultural Revolution associates (later dubbed the “Gang of Four”) launched a media campaign against Deng. In January 1976, Premier Zhou Enlai, a popular political figure, died of cancer. On April 5, Beijing citizens staged a spontaneous demonstration in Tiananmen Square in Zhou's memory, with strong political overtones of support for Deng. The authorities forcibly suppressed the demonstration. Deng was blamed for the disorder and stripped of all official positions, although he retained his party membership.

The Post-Mao Era

Mao's death in September 1976 removed a towering figure from Chinese politics and set off a scramble for succession. Former Minister of Public Security Hua Guofeng was quickly confirmed as Party Chairman and Premier. A month after Mao's death, Hua, backed by the PLA, arrested Jiang Qing and other members of the “Gang of Four.” After extensive deliberations, the Chinese Communist Party leadership reinstated Deng Xiaoping to all of his previous posts at the 11th Party Congress in August 1977. Deng then led the effort to place government control in the hands of veteran party officials opposed to the radical excesses of the previous two decades.

The new, pragmatic leadership emphasized economic development and renounced mass political movements. At the pivotal December 1978 Third Plenum (of the 11th Party Congress Central Committee), the leadership adopted economic reform policies aimed at expanding rural income and incentives, encouraging experiments in enterprise autonomy, reducing central planning, and attracting foreign direct investment into China. The plenum also decided to accelerate the pace of legal reform, culminating in the passage of several new legal codes by the National People's Congress in June 1979.

After 1979, the Chinese leadership moved toward more pragmatic positions in almost all fields. The party encouraged artists, writers, and journalists to adopt more critical approaches, although open attacks on party authority were not permitted. In late 1980, Mao's Cultural Revolution was officially proclaimed a catastrophe. Hua Guofeng, a protege of Mao, was replaced as premier in 1980 by reformist Sichuan party chief Zhao Ziyang and as party General Secretary in 1981 by the even more reformist Communist Youth League chairman Hu Yaobang.

Reform policies brought great improvements in the standard of living, especially for urban workers and for farmers who took advantage of opportunities to diversify crops and establish village industries. Literature and the arts blossomed, and Chinese intellectuals established extensive links with scholars in other countries.

At the same time, however, political dissent as well as social problems such as inflation, urban migration, and prostitution emerged. Although students and intellectuals urged greater reforms, some party elders increasingly questioned the pace and the ultimate goals of the reform program. In December 1986, student demonstrators, taking advantage of the loosening political atmosphere, staged protests against the slow pace of reform, confirming party elders’ fear that the current reform program was leading to social instability. Hu Yaobang, a protege of Deng and a leading advocate of reform, was blamed for the protests and forced to resign as CCP General Secretary in January 1987. Premier Zhao Ziyang was made General Secretary and Li Peng, former Vice Premier and Minister of Electric Power and Water Conservancy, was made Premier.

1989 Student Movement and Tiananmen Square

After Zhao became the party General Secretary, the economic and political reforms he had championed came under increasing attack. His proposal in May 1988 to accelerate price reform led to widespread popular complaints about rampant inflation and gave opponents of rapid reform the opening to call for greater centralization of economic controls and stricter prohibitions against Western influence. This precipitated a political debate, which grew more heated through the winter of 1988-89.

The death of Hu Yaobang on April 15, 1989, coupled with growing economic hardship caused by high inflation, provided the backdrop for a large-scale protest movement by students, intellectuals, and other parts of a disaffected urban population. University students and other citizens camped out in Beijing's Tiananmen Square to mourn Hu's death and to protest against those who would slow reform. Their protests, which grew despite government efforts to contain them, called for an end to official corruption and for defense of freedoms guaranteed by the Chinese constitution. Protests also spread to many other cities, including Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou.

Martial law was declared on May 20, 1989. Late on June 3 and early on the morning of June 4, military units were brought into Beijing. They used armed force to clear demonstrators from the streets. There are no official estimates of deaths in Beijing, but most observers believe that casualties numbered in the hundreds.

After June 4, while foreign governments expressed horror at the brutal suppression of the demonstrators, the central government eliminated remaining sources of organized opposition, detained large numbers of protesters, and required political reeducation not only for students but also for large numbers of party cadre and government officials.

Following the resurgence of conservatives in the aftermath of June 4, economic reform slowed until given new impetus by Deng Xiaoping's dramatic visit to southern China in early 1992. Deng's renewed push for a market-oriented economy received official sanction at the 14th Party Congress later in the year as a number of younger, reform-minded leaders began their rise to top positions. Deng and his supporters argued that managing the economy in a way that increased living standards should be China's primary policy objective, even if “capitalist” measures were adopted. Subsequent to the visit, the Communist Party Politburo publicly issued an endorsement of Deng's policies of economic openness. Though not completely eschewing political reform, China has consistently placed overwhelming priority on the opening of its economy.

Third Generation of Leaders

Deng's health deteriorated in the years prior to his death in 1997. During that time, President Jiang Zemin and other members of his generation gradually assumed control of the day-to-day functions of government. This “third generation” leadership governed collectively with President Jiang at the center. In March 1998, Jiang was re-elected President during the 9th National People's Congress. Premier Li Peng was constitutionally required to step down from that post. He was elected to the chairmanship of the National People's Congress. Zhu Rongji was selected to replace Li as Premier.

Fourth Generation of Leaders

In November 2002, the 16th Communist Party Congress elected Hu Jintao, who in 1992 was designated by Deng Xiaoping as the “core” of the fourth generation leaders, the new General Secretary. A new Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee was also elected in November. In March 2003, General Secretary Hu Jintao was elected President at the 10th National People's Congress. Jiang Zemin retained the chairmanship of the Central Military Commission. At the Fourth Party Plenum in September 2004, Jiang Zemin retired from the Central Military Commission, passing the Chairmanship and control of the People's Liberation Army to President Hu Jintao.

China is firmly committed to economic reform and opening to the outside world. The Chinese leadership has identified reform of state industries and the establishment of a social safety net as government priorities. Government strategies for achieving these goals include large-scale privatization of unprofitable state-owned enterprises and development of a pension system for workers. The leadership has also downsized the government bureaucracy.

The Next 5 Years

The next 5 years represent a critical period in China's development. To investors and firms, especially following China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, China represents a vast market that has yet to be fully tapped and a low-cost base for export-oriented production. Educationally, China is forging ahead as partnerships and exchanges with foreign universities have helped create new research opportunities for its students. China will host the Summer Olympics in 2008 and views this as an opportunity to showcase to the world China's development gains of the past two decades. The new leadership is committed to generating greater economic development in the interior and providing more services to those who do not live in China's coastal areas, goals that form the core of President Hu's concepts of a “harmonious society” and a “spiritual civilization.” However, there is still much that needs to change in China. Human rights issues remain a major concern, as does China's lack of effective controls to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related materials and technology. Abatement of pollution and improvements in systems to ensure food, drug, and product safety are issues on which the United States has begun work with China.

GOVERNMENT

Chinese Communist Party

The 70.8 million member CCP, authoritarian in structure and ideology, continues to dominate government. Nevertheless, China's population, geographical vastness, and social diversity frustrate attempts to rule by fiat from Beijing. Central leaders must increasingly build consensus for new policies among party members, local and regional leaders, influential non-party members, and the population at large. In periods of greater openness, the influence of people and organizations outside the formal party structure has tended to increase, particularly in the economic realm. This phenomenon is most apparent today in the rapidly developing coastal region. Nevertheless, in all important government, economic, and cultural institutions in China, party committees work to see that party and state policy guidance is followed and that non-party members do not create autonomous organizations that could challenge party rule. Party control is tightest in government offices and in urban economic, industrial, and cultural settings; it is considerably looser in the rural areas, where the majority of the people live.

Theoretically, the party's highest body is the Party Congress, which traditionally meets at least once every 5 years. The 17th Party Congress took place in fall 2007. The primary organs of power in the Communist Party include:

  • The Politburo Standing Committee, which currently consists of nine members;
  • The Politburo, consisting of 24 full members, including the members of the Politburo Standing Committee;
  • The Secretariat, the principal administrative mechanism of the CCP, headed by the General Secretary;
  • The Central Military Commission;
  • The Discipline Inspection Commission, which is charged with rooting out corruption and malfeasance among party cadres.

State Structure

The Chinese Government has always been subordinate to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP); its role is to implement party policies. The primary organs of state power are the National People's Congress (NPC), the President (the head of state), and the State Council. Members of the State Council include Premier Wen Jiabao (the head of government), a variable number of vice premiers (now four), five state councilors (protocol equivalents of vice premiers but with narrower portfolios), and 22 ministers and four State Council commission directors.

Under the Chinese constitution, the NPC is the highest organ of state power in China. It meets annually for about 2 weeks to review and approve major new policy directions, laws, the budget, and major personnel changes. These initiatives are presented to the NPC for consideration by the State Council after previous endorsement by the Communist Party's Central Committee. Although the NPC generally approves State Council policy and personnel recommendations, various NPC committees hold active debate in closed sessions, and changes may be made to accommodate alternate views.

When the NPC is not in session, its permanent organ, the Standing Committee, exercises state power.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 2/1/2008

Pres.: HU Jintao

Vice Pres.: ZENG Qinghong

Premier, State Council: WEN Jiabao

Executive Vice Premier, State Council:

Vice Premier, State Council: WU Yi

Vice Premier, State Council: ZENG Peiyan

Vice Premier, State Council: HUI Liangyu

State Councilor, State Council: ZHOU Yongkang

State Councilor, State Council: CAO Gangchuan

State Councilor, State Council: TANG Jiaxuan

State Councilor, State Council: HUA Jianmin

State Councilor, State Council: CHEN Zhili

Sec. Gen., State Council: HUA Jianmin

Chmn., Central Military Commission: HU Jintao

Min. in Charge of the National Defense Science, Technology, & Industry Commission: ZHANG Qingwei

Min. in Charge of the State Development Reform Commission: MA Kai

Min. in Charge of the State Population & Family Planning Commission: ZHANG Weiqing

Min. in Charge of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission: LI Dek Su (also known as LI Dezhu)

Min. of Agriculture: SUN Zhengcai

Min. of Civil Affairs: LI Xueju

Min. of Commerce: BO Xilai

Min. of Communications: LI Shenglin

Min. of Construction: WANG Guangtao

Min. of Culture: SUN Jiazheng

Min. of Education: ZHOU Ji

Min. of Finance: XIE Xuren

Min. of Foreign Affairs: YANG Jiechi

Min. of Health: CHEN Zhu

Min. of Information Industry: WANG Xudong

Min. of Justice: WU Aiying

Min. of Labor & Social Security: TIAN Chengping

Min. of Land & Natural Resources: XU Shaoshi

Min. of National Defense: CAO Gangchuan

Min. of Personnel: YIN Weimin

Min. of Public Security: MENG Jianzhu

Min. of Railways: LIU Zhijun

Min. of Science & Technology: WAN Gang

Min. of State Security: GENG Huichang

Min. of Supervision: MA Wen

Min. of Water Resources: CHEN Lei

Min., State Admin. of Work Safety: LI Yizhong

Governor, People's Bank of China: ZHOU Xiaochuan

Ambassador to the US: ZHOU Wenzhong

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: WANG Guangya

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Legal System

The government's efforts to promote rule of law are significant and ongoing. After the Cultural Revolution, China's leaders aimed to develop a legal system to restrain abuses of official authority and revolutionary excesses. In 1982, the National People's Congress adopted a new state constitution that emphasized the rule of law under which even party leaders are theoretically held accountable.

Since 1979, when the drive to establish a functioning legal system began, more than 300 laws and regulations, most of them in the economic area, have been promulgated. The use of mediation committees—informed groups of citizens who resolve about 90% of China's civil disputes and some minor criminal cases at no cost to the parties—is one innovative device. There are more than 800,000 such committees in both rural and urban areas.

Legal reform became a government priority in the 1990s. Legislation designed to modernize and professionalize the nation's lawyers, judges, and prisons was enacted. The 1994 Administrative Procedure Law allows citizens to sue officials for abuse of authority or malfeasance. In addition, the criminal law and the criminal procedures laws were amended to introduce significant reforms. The criminal law amendments abolished the crime of “counter-revolutionary” activity, although many persons are still incarcerated for that crime. Criminal procedures reforms also encouraged establishment of a more transparent, adversarial trial process. The Chinese constitution and laws provide for fundamental human rights, including due process, but these are often ignored in practice. In addition to other judicial reforms, the Constitution was amended in 2004 to include the protection of individual human rights and legally-obtained private property, but it is unclear how those provisions will be implemented. Although new criminal and civil laws have provided additional safeguards to citizens, previously debated political reforms, including expanding elections to the township level, and other legal reforms, including the reform of the reeducation through labor system, have been put on hold.

Human Rights

The State Department's 2006 China human rights and religious freedom reports noted China's well-documented and continuing abuses of human rights in violation of internationally recognized norms, stemming both from the authorities’ intolerance of dissent and the inadequacy of legal safeguards for basic freedoms. Reported abuses have included arbitrary and lengthy incommunicado detention, forced confessions, torture, and mistreatment of prisoners as well as severe restrictions on freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association, religion, privacy, worker rights, and coercive birth limitation.

In 2006, China continued the monitoring, harassment, intimidation, and arrest of journalists, Internet writers, defense lawyers, religious activists, and political dissidents. The activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), especially those relating to the rule of law and expansion of judicial review, continue to be restricted. The Chinese Government recognizes five official religions—Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Catholicism, and Protestantism—and seeks to regulate religious groups and worship.

Religious believers who seek to practice their faith outside of state-controlled religious venues and unregistered religious groups and spiritual movements are subject to intimidation, harassment, and detention. In 2006, the Secretary of State again designated China as a “Country of Particular Concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act for particularly severe violations of religious freedom.

At the same time, China's economic growth and reform since 1978 has improved dramatically the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese, increased social mobility, and expanded the scope of personal freedom. This has meant substantially greater freedom of travel, employment opportunity, educational and cultural pursuits, job and housing choices, and access to information. In recent years, China has also passed new criminal and civil laws that provide additional safeguards to citizens. Village elections have been carried out in over 90% of China's one million villages.

We have conducted 12 rounds of human rights dialogue with China since Tiananmen. During 2003 and 2004, no progress was made on the commitments China made at the 2002 dialogue, and we declined to schedule another round. The United States is prepared to resume our formal human rights dialogue with China, provided that the discussions are constructive. Although the formal human rights dialogue has not been resumed, the U.S. Government regularly raises human rights concerns with Chinese officials at all levels of government. In his April 2006 meeting with President Hu and in subsequent discussions, President Bush has emphasized U.S. interest in human rights and religious freedom in China.

ECONOMY

Economic Reforms

Since 1979, China has reformed and opened its economy. The Chinese leadership has adopted a more pragmatic perspective on many political and socioeconomic problems, and has reduced the role of ideology in economic policy. China's ongoing economic transformation has had a profound impact not only on China but on the world. The market-oriented reforms China has implemented over the past two decades have unleashed individual initiative and entrepreneurship. The result has been the largest reduction of poverty and one of the fastest increases in income levels ever seen. China today is the fourth-largest economy in the world. It has sustained average economic growth of over 9.5% for the past 26 years. In 2006 its $2.68 trillion economy was about one-fifth the size of the U.S. economy.

In the 1980s, China tried to combine central planning with market-oriented reforms to increase productivity, living standards, and technological quality without exacerbating inflation, unemployment, and budget deficits. China pursued agricultural reforms, dismantling the commune system and introducing a household-based system that provided peasants greater decision-making in agricultural activities. The government also encouraged nonagricultural activities such as village enterprises in rural areas, and promoted more self-management for state-owned enterprises, increased competition in the marketplace, and facilitated direct contact between Chinese and foreign trading enterprises. China also relied more upon foreign financing and imports.

During the 1980s, these reforms led to average annual rates of growth of 10% in agricultural and industrial output. Rural per capita real income doubled. China became self-sufficient in grain production; rural industries accounted for 23% of agricultural out-put, helping absorb surplus labor in the countryside. The variety of light industrial and consumer goods increased. Reforms began in the fiscal, financial, banking, price-setting, and labor systems.

By the late 1980s, however, the economy had become overheated with increasing rates of inflation. At the end of 1988, in reaction to a surge of inflation caused by accelerated price reforms, the leadership introduced an austerity program.

China's economy regained momentum in the early 1990s. During a visit to southern China in early 1992, China's paramount leader at the time, Deng Xiaoping, made a series of political pronouncements designed to reinvigorate the process of economic reform. The 14th Party Congress later in the year backed Deng's renewed push for market reforms, stating that China's key task in the 1990s was to create a “socialist market economy.” The 10-year development plan for the 1990s stressed continuity in the political system with bolder reform of the economic system.

Following the Chinese Communist Party's Third Plenum, held in October 2003, Chinese legislators unveiled several proposed amendments to the state constitution. One of the most significant was a proposal to provide protection for private property rights. Legislators also indicated there would be a new emphasis on certain aspects of overall government economic policy, including efforts to reduce unemployment (now in the 8-10% range in urban areas), to rebalance income distribution between urban and rural regions, and to maintain economic growth while protecting the environment and improving social equity. The National People's Congress approved the amendments when it met in March 2004. The Fifth Plenum in October 2005 approved the 11th Five-Year Economic Program aimed at building a “harmonious society” through more balanced wealth distribution and improved education, medical care, and social security.

Agriculture

China is the world's most populous country and one of the largest producers and consumers of agricultural products. Roughly half of China's labor force is engaged in agriculture, even though only 10% of the land is suitable for cultivation and agriculture contributes only 13% of China's GDP. China's cropland area is only 75% of the U.S. total, but China still produces about 30% more crops and livestock than the United States because of intensive cultivation, China is among the world's largest producers of rice, corn, wheat, soybeans, vegetables, tea, and pork. Major non-food crops include cotton, other fibers, and oilseeds. China hopes to further increase agricultural production through improved plant stocks, fertilizers, and technology. Incomes for Chinese farmers are stagnating, leading to an increasing wealth gap between the cities and countryside. Government policies that continue to emphasize grain self-sufficiency and the fact that farmers do not own—and cannot buy or sell—the land they work have contributed to this situation. In addition, inadequate port facilities and lack of warehousing and cold storage facilities impede both domestic and international agricultural trade.

Industry

Industry and construction account for about 46% of China's GDP. Major industries are mining and ore processing; iron; steel; aluminum; coal, machinery; textiles and apparel; armaments; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products including footwear, toys, and electronics; automobiles and other transportation equipment including rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; and telecommunications.

China has become a preferred destination for the relocation of global manufacturing facilities. Its strength as an export platform has contributed to incomes and employment in China. The state-owned sector still accounts for about 40% of GDP. In recent years, authorities have been giving greater attention to the management of state assets—both in the financial market as well as among state-owned-enterprises—and progress has been noteworthy.

Regulatory Environment

Though China's economy has expanded rapidly, its regulatory environment has not kept pace. Since Deng Xiaoping's open market reforms, the growth of new businesses has outpaced the government's ability to regulate them. This has created a situation where businesses, faced with mounting competition and poor oversight, will be willing to take drastic measures to increase profit margins, often at the expense of consumer safety. This issue acquired more prominence in 2007, with a number of restrictions being placed on problematic Chinese exports by the United States. The Chinese Government recognizes the severity of the problem, recently concluding that up to 20% of the country's products are substandard or tainted.

Energy

Together with strong economic growth, China's demand for energy is surging rapidly. In 2003, China surpassed Japan to become the second-largest consumer of primary energy, after the United States. China is the world's second-largest consumer of oil, after the United States, and for 2006, China's increase in oil demand represented 38% of the world total increase in oil demand. China is also the third-largest energy producer in the world, after the United States and Russia. China's electricity consumption is expected to grow by over 4% a year through 2030, which will require more than $2 trillion in electricity infrastructure investment to meet the demand. China expects to add approximately 15,000 megawatts of generating capacity a year, with 20% of that coming from foreign suppliers.

Coal makes up the bulk of China's energy consumption (70% in 2005), and China is the largest producer and consumer of coal in the world. As China's economy continues to grow, China's coal demand is projected to rise significantly. Although coal's share of China's overall energy consumption will decrease, coal consumption will continue to rise in absolute terms. China's continued and increasing reliance on coal as a power source has contributed significantly to putting China on the path to becoming the world's largest emitter of acid rain-causing sulfur dioxide and green house gases, including carbon dioxide.

The 11th Five-Year Program, announced in 2005, calls for greater energy conservation measures, including development of renewable energy sources and increased attention to environmental protection. Moving away from coal towards cleaner energy sources including oil, natural gas, renewable energy, and nuclear power is an important component of China's development program. China has abundant hydroelectric resources; the Three Gorges Dam, for example, will have a total capacity of 18 gigawatts when fully on-line (projected for 2009). In addition, the share of electricity generated by nuclear power is projected to grow from 1% in 2000 to 5% in 2030. China's renewable energy law, which went into effect in 2006, calls for 10% of its energy to come from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Since 1993, China has been a net importer of oil, a large portion of which comes from the Middle East. Net imports are expected to rise to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2010. China is interested in diversifying the sources of its oil imports and has invested in oil fields around the world. Beijing also plans to increase China's natural gas production, which currently accounts for only 3% of China's total energy consumption. Analysts expect China's consumption of natural gas to more than double by 2010.

In May 2004, then-Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) that launched the U.S.-China Energy Policy Dialogue. The Dialogue has strengthened energy-related interactions between China and the United States, the world's two largest energy consumers. The U.S.-China Energy Policy Dialogue builds upon the two countries’ existing cooperative ventures in high energy nuclear physics, fossil energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy and energy information exchanges. The NDRC and the Department of Energy also exchange views and expertise on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technologies, and we convene an annual Oil and Gas Industry Forum with China.

Environment

One of the serious negative consequences of China's rapid industrial development has been increased pollution and degradation of natural resources. China is widely expected to surpass the United States as the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases sometime in 2007 or 2008. A World Health Organization report on air quality in 272 cities worldwide concluded that seven of the world's 10 most polluted cities were in China. According to China's own evaluation, two-thirds of the 338 cities for which air-quality data are available are considered polluted—two-thirds of them moderately or severely so. Respiratory and heart diseases related to air pollution are the leading cause of death in China. Almost all of the nation's rivers are considered polluted to some degree, and half of the population lacks access to clean water. By some estimates, every day approximately 300 million residents drink contaminated water. Ninety percent of urban water bodies are severely polluted. Water scarcity also is an issue; for example, severe water scarcity in Northern China is a serious threat to sustained economic growth and the government has begun working on a project for a large-scale diversion of water from the Yangtze River to northern cities, including Beijing and Tianjin. Acid rain falls on 30% of the country. Various studies estimate pollution costs the Chinese economy 7%-10% of GDP each year.

China's leaders are increasingly paying attention to the country's severe environmental problems. In 1998, the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) was officially upgraded to a ministry-level agency, reflecting the growing importance the Chinese Government places on environmental protection. In recent years, China has strengthened its environmental legislation and made some progress in stemming environmental deterioration. In 2005, China joined the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development, which brings industries and governments together to implement strategies that reduce pollution and address climate change.

During the 10th Five-Year Plan, China plans to reduce total emissions by 10%. Beijing in particular is investing heavily in pollution control as part of its campaign to host a successful Olympiad in 2008. Some cities have seen improvement in air quality in recent years.

China is an active participant in climate change talks and other multilateral environmental negotiations, taking environmental challenges seriously but pushing for the developed world to help developing countries to a greater extent. It is a signatory to the Basel Convention governing the transport and disposal of hazardous waste and the Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and other major environmental agreements.

The question of environmental impacts associated with the Three Gorges Dam project has generated controversy among environmentalists inside and outside China. Critics claim that erosion and silting of the Yangtze River threaten several endangered species, while Chinese officials say the dam will help prevent devastating floods and generate clean hydroelectric power that will enable the region to lower its dependence on coal, thus lessening air pollution.

The United States and China are members of the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP). The APP is a public-private partnership of six nations—Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States—committed to explore new mechanisms to meet national pollution reduction, energy security and climate change goals in ways that reduce poverty and promote economic development. APP members have undertaken cooperative activities involving deployment of clean technology in partner countries in eight areas: cleaner fossil energy, renewable energy and distributed generation, power generation and transmission, steel, aluminum, cement, coal mining, and buildings and appliances.

The United States and China have been engaged in an active program of bilateral environmental cooperation since the mid-1990s, with an emphasis on clean energy technology and the design of effective environmental policy. While both governments view this cooperation positively, China has often compared the U.S. program, which lacks a foreign assistance component, with those of Japan and several European Union (EU) countries that include generous levels of aid.

Science and Technology

Science and technology have always preoccupied China's leaders; indeed, China's political leadership comes almost exclusively from technical backgrounds and has a high regard for science. Deng called it “the first productive force.” Distortions in the economy and society created by party rule have severely hurt Chinese science, according to some Chinese science policy experts. The Chinese Academy of Sciences, modeled on the Soviet system, puts much of China's greatest scientific talent in a large, under-funded apparatus that remains largely isolated from industry, although the reforms of the past decade have begun to address this problem.

Chinese science strategists see China's greatest opportunities in newly emerging fields such as biotechnology and computers, where there is still a chance for China to become a significant player. Most Chinese students who went abroad have not returned, but they have built a dense network of trans-Pacific contacts that will greatly facilitate U.S.-China scientific cooperation in coming years. The U.S. space program is often held up as the standard of scientific modernity in China. China's small but growing space program, which successfully completed their second manned orbit in October 2005, is a focus of national pride.

The U.S.-China Science and Technology Agreement remains the frame-work for bilateral cooperation in this field. A 5-year agreement to extend the Science and Technology Agreement was signed in April 2006. The Agreement is among the longest-standing U.S.-China accords, and includes over eleven U.S. Federal agencies and numerous branches that participate in cooperative exchanges under the S&T Agreement and its nearly 60 protocols, memoranda of understanding, agreements and annexes. The Agreement covers cooperation in areas such as marine conservation, renewable energy, and health. Biennial Joint Commission Meetings on Science and Technology bring together policymakers from both sides to coordinate joint science and technology cooperation. Executive Secretaries meetings are held biennially to implement specific cooperation programs. Japan and the European Union also have high profile science and technology cooperative relationships with China.

Trade

The U.S. trade deficit with China reached $232.5 billion in 2006, as imports grew 18%. China's share of total U.S. imports has grown from 7% to 15% since 1996. At the same time, the share of many other Asian countries’ imports to the United States fell, from 39% in 1996 to 21.1% in 2005. The share of overall Asian imports (including China) to the United States actually declined from 38.8% in 1996 to 35.7% in 2005. The U.S. global trade deficit with the Asia-Pacific region as a whole also has fallen from 75% in 1995 to 49% in 2005.

U.S. merchandise exports to China in 2006 accounted for 5.3% of total U.S. exports, up from 3.9% in 2003. The top five U.S. exports to China in 2006 (based on January-November data) were semiconductors and electronic components (up 79% over 2005 levels), aircraft and parts (up 40%), and waste and scrap (up 64%).

In May 2007, Treasury Secretary Paulson met with P.R.C. Vice Premier Wu Yi in Washington for the second round of the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), which addresses bilateral issues such as trade, currency, and foreign investment. In November 1991, China joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group, which promotes free trade and cooperation in the economic, trade, investment, and technology spheres. China served as APEC chair in 2001, and Shanghai hosted the annual APEC leaders meeting in October of that year.

China formally joined the WTO in December 2001. As part of this far-reaching trade liberalization agreement, China agreed to lower tariffs and abolish market impediments. Chinese and foreign businessmen, for example, gained the right to import and export on their own, and to sell their products without going through a government middleman. By 2005, average tariff rates on key U.S. agricultural exports dropped from 31% to 14% and on industrial products from 25% to 9%. The agreement also opens up new opportunities for U.S. providers of services like banking, insurance, and telecommunications. China has made significant progress implementing its WTO commitments, but serious concerns remain, particularly in the realm of intellectual property rights protection.

China is now one of the most important markets for U.S. exports: in 2006, U.S. exports to China totaled $55.2 billion, nearly triple the $19 billion when China joined the WTO in 2001. U.S. agricultural exports have increased dramatically, making China our fourth-largest agricultural export market (after Canada, Japan, and Mexico). Over the same period (2001-2006), U.S. imports from China rose from $102 billion to $287.8 billion.

Export growth continues to be a major driver of China's rapid economic growth. To increase exports, China has pursued policies such as fostering the rapid development of foreign-invested factories, which assemble imported components into consumer goods for export, and liberalizing trading rights. In its eleventh Five-Year Program, adopted in 2005, China placed greater emphasis on developing a consumer demand-driven economy to sustain economic growth and address global imbalances.

The United States is one of China's primary suppliers of power generating equipment, aircraft and parts, computers and industrial machinery, raw materials, and chemical and agricultural products. However, U.S. exporters continue to have concerns about fair market access due to strict testing and standards requirements for some imported products. In addition, a lack of transparency in the regulatory process makes it difficult for businesses to plan for changes in the domestic market structure. The April 11, 2006 U.S.China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) produced agreements on key U.S. trade concerns ranging from market access to U.S. beef, medical devices, and telecommunications; to the enforcement of intellectual property rights, including, significantly, software. The JCCT also produced an agreement to establish a U.S.-China High Technology and Strategic Trade Working Group to review export control cooperation and facilitate high technology trade.

Foreign Investment

China's investment climate has changed dramatically in 24 years of reform. In the early 1980s, China restricted foreign investments to export-oriented operations and required foreign investors to form joint-venture partnerships with Chinese firms. Foreign direct investment (FDI) grew quickly during the 1980s, but slowed in late 1989 in the after-math of Tiananmen. In response, the government introduced legislation and regulations designed to encourage foreigners to invest in high-priority sectors and regions. Since the early 1990s, China has allowed foreign investors to manufacture and sell a wide range of goods on the domestic market, and authorized the establishment of wholly foreign-owned enterprises, now the preferred form of FDI. However, the Chinese Government's emphasis on guiding FDI into manufacturing has led to market saturation in some industries, while leaving China's services sectors underdeveloped. China is now one of the leading FDI recipients in the world, receiving almost $80 billion in 2005 according to World Bank statistics. As part of its WTO accession, China undertook to eliminate certain trade-related investment measures and to open up specified sectors that had previously been closed to foreign investment. New laws, regulations, and administrative measures to implement these commitments are being issued. Major remaining barriers to foreign investment include opaque and inconsistently enforced laws and regulations and the lack of a rules-based legal infrastructure.

Opening to the outside remains central to China's development. Foreign-invested enterprises produce about half of China's exports, and China continues to attract large investment inflows. Foreign exchange reserves were $1.066 trillion at the end of 2006, and have now surpassed those of Japan, making China's foreign exchange reserves the largest in the world.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Since its establishment, the People's Republic has worked vigorously to win international support for its position that it is the sole legitimate government of all China, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. In the early 1970s, Beijing was recognized diplomatically by most world powers. Beijing assumed the China seat in the United Nations in 1971 and has since become increasingly active in multilateral organizations. Japan established diplomatic relations with China in 1972, and the United States did so in 1979. As of July 2007, the number of countries that had diplomatic relations with Beijing had risen to 167, while 24 maintained diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

After the founding of the P.R.C., China's foreign policy initially focused on solidarity with the Soviet Union and other communist countries. In 1950, China sent the People's Liberation Army into North Korea to help North Korea halt the UN offen-sive that was approaching the Yalu River. After the conclusion of the Korean conflict, China sought to balance its identification as a member of the Soviet bloc by establishing friendly relations with Pakistan and other Third World countries, particularly in Southeast Asia.

In the 1960s, Beijing competed with Moscow for political influence among communist parties and in the developing world generally. Following the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and clashes in 1969 on the Sino-Soviet border, Chinese competition with the Soviet Union increasingly reflected concern over China's own strategic position.

In late 1978, the Chinese also became concerned over Vietnam's efforts to establish open control over Laos and Cambodia. In response to the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, China fought a brief border war with Vietnam (February-March 1979) with the stated purpose of “teaching Vietnam a lesson.”

Chinese anxiety about Soviet strategic advances was heightened following the Soviet Union's December 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. Sharp differences between China and the Soviet Union persisted over Soviet support for Vietnam's continued occupation of Cambodia, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Soviet troops along the Sino-Soviet border and in Mongolia—the so-called “three obstacles” to improved Sino-Soviet relations.

In the 1970s and 1980s China sought to create a secure regional and global environment for itself and to foster good relations with countries that could aid its economic development. To this end, China looked to the West for assistance with its modernization drive and for help in countering Soviet expansionism, which it characterized as the greatest threat to its national security and to world peace.

China maintained its consistent opposition to “superpower hegemony,” focusing almost exclusively on the expansionist actions of the Soviet Union and Soviet proxies such as Vietnam and Cuba, but it also placed growing emphasis on a foreign policy independent of both the United States and the Soviet Union. While improving ties with the West, China continued to follow closely economic and other positions of the Third World nonaligned movement, although China was not a formal member.

In the immediate aftermath of Tiananmen crackdown in June 1989, many countries reduced their diplomatic contacts with China as well as their economic assistance programs. In response, China worked vigorously to expand its relations with foreign countries, and by late 1990, had reestablished normal relations with almost all nations. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991, China also opened diplomatic relations with the republics of the former Soviet Union.

In recent years, Chinese leaders have been regular travelers to all parts of the globe, and China has sought a higher profile in the UN through its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and other multilateral organizations. Closer to home, China has made efforts to reduce tensions in Asia, hosting the Six-Party Talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, cultivating a more cooperative relationship with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and participating in the ASEAN Regional Forum. China has also taken steps to improve relations with countries in South Asia, including India.

Following Premier Wen's 2005 visit to India, the two sides moved to increase commercial and cultural ties, as well as to resolve longstanding border disputes. The November 2006 visit of President Hu was the first state visit by a Chinese head of state to India in 10 years.

China has likewise improved ties with Russia, with Presidents Putin and Hu exchanging visits to Beijing and Moscow in April 2006 and March 2007. A second round of Russia-China joint military exercises is scheduled for fall 2007. China has played a prominent role in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional grouping that includes Russia and the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Beijing has resolved many of its border and maritime disputes, notably including a November 1997 agreement with Russia that resolved almost all outstanding border issues and a 2000 agreement with Vietnam to resolve differences over their maritime border, though disagreements remain over islands in the South China Sea. Relations with Japan improved following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's October 2006 visit to Beijing, although longstanding and emotionally charged disputes over history and competing claims to portions of the East China Sea remain sources of tension.

While in many ways Sudan's primary diplomatic patron, China has played a constructive role in support of peacekeeping operations in Southern Sudan and pledged to contribute an engineering unit in support of UN operations in Darfur. China has stated publicly that it shares the international community's concern over Iran's nuclear program and has voted in support of UN sanctions resolutions on Iran. Set against this has been an effort on the part of China to maintain close ties to countries such as Iran, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela, which are sources of oil and other resources and which welcome China's non-conditional assistance and investment.

DEFENSE

Establishment of a professional military force equipped with modern weapons and doctrine was the last of the “Four Modernizations” announced by Zhou Enlai and supported by Deng Xiaoping. In keeping with Deng's mandate to reform, the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which includes the strategic nuclear forces, army, navy, and air force, has demobilized millions of men and women since 1978 and introduced modern methods in such areas as recruitment and manpower, strategy, and education and training. Following the June 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, ideological correctness was temporarily revived as the dominant theme in Chinese military affairs. Reform and modernization appear to have since resumed their position as the PLA's priority objectives, although the armed forces’ political loyalty to the CCP remains a leading concern.

The Chinese military is in the process of transforming itself from a land-based power, centered on a vast ground force, to a smaller, mobile, high-tech military eventually capable of mounting limited operations beyond its coastal borders.

China's power-projection capability is limited but has grown over recent years. China has acquired some advanced weapons systems from abroad, including Sovremmeny destroyers, SU-27 and SU-30 aircraft, and Kilo-class diesel submarines from Russia, and continued to develop domestic production capabilities, such as for the domestically-developed J-10 fighter aircraft. However, much of its air and naval forces continues to be based on 1960s-era technology. As the Defense Department's Quadrennial Defense Review, released February 2006, noted, the United States shares with other countries a concern about the pace, scope, and direction of China's military modernization. We view military exchanges, visits, and other forms of engagement are useful tools in promoting transparency, provided they have substance and are fully reciprocal. Regularized exchanges and contact also have the significant benefit of building confidence, reducing the possibility of accidents, and providing the lines of communication that are essential in ensuring that episodes such as the April 2001 EP-3 aircraft incident do not escalate into major crises. During their April 2006 meeting, President Bush and President Hu agreed to increase officer exchanges and to begin a strategic nuclear dialogue between STRAT-COM and the Chinese military's strategic missile command. U.S. and Chinese militaries are also considering ways in which we might cooperate on disaster assistance relief.

Nuclear Weapons. In 1955, Mao Zedong's Chinese Communist Party decided to proceed with a nuclear weapons program; it was developed with Soviet assistance until 1960. After its first nuclear test in October 1964, Beijing deployed a modest but potent ballistic missile force, including land-and sea-based intermediate-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

China became a major international arms exporter during the 1980s. Beijing joined the Middle East arms control talks, which began in July 1991 to establish global guidelines for conventional arms transfers, but announced in September 1992 that it would no longer participate because of the U.S. decision to sell F-16A/B aircraft to Taiwan.

China was the first state to pledge “no first use” of nuclear weapons. It joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1984 and pledged to abstain from further atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in 1986. China acceded to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1992 and supported its indefinite and unconditional extension in 1995. In 1996, it signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and agreed to seek an international ban on the production of fissile nuclear weapons material. To date, China has not ratified the CTBT.

In 1996, China committed not to provide assistance to un-safeguarded nuclear facilities. China became a full member of the NPT Exporters (Zang-ger) Committee, a group that determines items subject to IAEA inspections if exported by NPT signatories.

In September 1997, China issued detailed nuclear export control regulations. China began implementing regulations establishing controls over nuclear-related dual-use items in 1998. China also has committed not to engage in new nuclear cooperation with Iran (even under safeguards), and will complete existing cooperation, which is not of proliferation concern, within a relatively short period. In May 2004, with the support of the United States, China became a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Based on significant, tangible progress with China on nuclear non-proliferation, President Clinton in 1998 took steps to bring into force the 1985 U.S.-China Agreement on Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation.

Chemical Weapons. China is not a member of the Australia Group, an informal and voluntary arrangement made in 1985 to monitor developments in the proliferation of dual-use chemicals and to coordinate export controls on key dual-use chemicals and equipment with weapons applications. In April 1997, however, China ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and, in September 1997, promulgated a new chemical weapons export control directive. In October 2002, China promulgated updated regulations on dual-use chemical agents, and now controls all the major items on the Australia Group control list.

Missiles. Although it is not a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the multinational effort to restrict the proliferation of missiles, in March 1992 China under-took to abide by MTCR guidelines and parameters. China reaffirmed this commitment in 1994, and pledged not to transfer MTCR-class ground-to-ground missiles. In November 2000, China committed not to assist in any way the development by other countries of MTCR-class missiles.

However, in August 29, 2003, the U.S. Government imposed missile proliferation sanctions lasting two years on the Chinese company China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) after determining that it was knowingly involved in the transfer of equipment and technology controlled under Category II of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Annex that contributed to MTCR-class missiles in a non-MTCR country. In December 2003, the P.R.C. promulgated comprehensive new export control regulations governing exports of all categories of sensitive technologies.

U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS

From Revolution to the Shanghai Communique

As the PLA armies moved south to complete the communist conquest of China in 1949, the American Embassy followed the Nationalist government headed by Chiang Kai-shek, finally moving to Taipei later that year. U.S. consular officials remained in mainland China. The new P.R.C. Government was hostile to this official American presence, and all U.S. personnel were with-drawn from the mainland in early 1950. Any remaining hope of normalizing relations ended when U.S. and Chinese communist forces fought on opposing sides in the Korean conflict.

Beginning in 1954 and continuing until 1970, the United States and China held 136 meetings at the ambassadorial level, first at Geneva and later at Warsaw. In the late 1960s, U.S. and Chinese political leaders decided that improved bilateral relations were in their common interest. In 1969, the United States initiated measures to relax trade restrictions and other impediments to bilateral contact. On July 15, 1971, President Nixon announced that his Assistant for National Security Affairs, Dr. Henry Kissinger, had made a secret trip to Beijing to initiate direct contact with the Chinese leadership and that he, the President, had been invited to visit China.

In February 1972, President Nixon traveled to Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. At the conclusion of his trip, the U.S. and Chinese Governments issued the “Shanghai Communique,” a statement of their foreign policy views. (For the complete text of the Shanghai Communique, see the Department of State Bulletin, March 20, 1972.)

In the Communique, both nations pledged to work toward the full normalization of diplomatic relations. The United States acknowledged the Chinese position that all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait maintain that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China. The statement enabled the United States and China to temporarily set aside the “crucial question obstructing the normalization of relations”—Taiwan—and to open trade and other contacts.

Liaison Office, 1973-78

In May 1973, in an effort to build toward the establishment of formal diplomatic relations, the United States and China established the United States Liaison Office (USLO) in Beijing and a counterpart Chinese office in Washington, DC. In the years between 1973 and 1978, such distinguished Americans as David Bruce, George H.W. Bush, Thomas Gates, and Leonard Woodcock served as chiefs of the USLO with the personal rank of Ambassador.

President Ford visited China in 1975 and reaffirmed the U.S. interest in normalizing relations with Beijing. Shortly after taking office in 1977, President Carter again reaffirmed the interest expressed in the Shanghai Communique. The United States and China announced on December 15, 1978, that the two governments would establish diplomatic relations on January 1, 1979.

Normalization

In the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations dated January 1, 1979, the United States transferred diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The United States reiterated the Shanghai Communique's acknowledgment of the Chinese position that there is only one China and that Taiwan is a part of China; Beijing acknowledged that the American people would continue to carry on commercial, cultural, and other unofficial contacts with the people of Taiwan. The Taiwan Relations Act made the necessary changes in U.S. domestic law to permit such unofficial relations with Taiwan to flourish.

U.S.-China Relations Since Normalization

Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping's January 1979 visit to Washington, DC, initiated a series of important, high-level exchanges, which continued until the spring of 1989. This resulted in many bilateral agreements—especially in the fields of scientific, technological, and cultural interchange and trade relations. Since early 1979, the United States and China have initiated hundreds of joint research projects and cooperative programs under the Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology, the largest bilateral program.

On March 1, 1979, the United States and China formally established embassies in Beijing and Washington, DC. During 1979, outstanding private claims were resolved, and a bilateral trade agreement was concluded. Vice President Walter Mon-dale reciprocated Vice Premier Deng's visit with an August 1979 trip to China. This visit led to agreements in September 1980 on maritime affairs, civil aviation links, and textile matters, as well as a bilateral consular convention.

As a consequence of high-level and working-level contacts initiated in 1980, U.S. dialogue with China broadened to cover a wide range of issues, including global and regional strategic problems, political-military questions, including arms control, UN and other multilateral organization affairs, and international narcotics matters.

The expanding relationship that followed normalization was threatened in 1981 by Chinese objections to the level of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Secretary of State Alexander Haig visited China in June 1981 in an effort to resolve Chinese questions about America's unofficial relations with Taiwan. Eight months of negotiations produced the U.S.-China joint communique of August 17, 1982. In this third communique, the United States stated its intention to reduce gradually the level of arms sales to Taiwan, and the Chinese described as a fundamental policy their effort to strive for a peaceful resolution to the Taiwan question. Meanwhile, Vice President Bush visited China in May 1982.

High-level exchanges continued to be a significant means for developing U.S.-China relations in the 1980s. President Reagan and Premier Zhao Ziyang made reciprocal visits in 1984. In July 1985, President Li Xiannian traveled to the United States, the first such visit by a Chinese head of state. Vice President Bush visited China in October 1985 and opened the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu, the fourth U.S. consular post in China. Further exchanges of cabinet-level officials occurred between 1985-89, capped by President Bush's visit to Beijing in February 1989.

In the period before the June 3-4, 1989 crackdown, a large and growing number of cultural exchange activities undertaken at all levels gave the American and Chinese peoples broad exposure to each other's cultural, artistic, and educational achievements. Numerous Chinese professional and official delegations visited the United States each month. Many of these exchanges continued after Tiananmen.

Bilateral Relations After Tiananmen

Following the Chinese authorities’ brutal suppression of demonstrators in June 1989, the United States and other governments enacted a number of measures to express their condemnation of China's blatant violation of the basic human rights of its citizens. The United States suspended high-level official exchanges with China and weapons exports from the United States to China. The United States also imposed a number of economic sanctions. In the summer of 1990, at the G-7 Houston summit, Western nations called for renewed political and economic reforms in China, particularly in the field of human rights.

Tiananmen disrupted the U.S.-China trade relationship, and U.S. investors’ interest in China dropped dramatically. The U.S. Government also responded to the political repression by suspending certain trade and investment programs on June 5 and 20, 1989. Some sanctions were legislated; others were executive actions. Examples include:

  • The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA)—new activities in China were suspended from June 1989 until January 2001, when then-President Clinton lifted this suspension.
  • Overseas Private Insurance Corporation (OPIC)—new activities suspended since June 1989.
  • Development Bank Lending/IMF Credits—the United States does not support development bank lending and will not support IMF credits to China except for projects that address basic human needs.
  • Munitions List Exports—subject to certain exceptions, no licenses may be issued for the export of any defense article on the U.S. Munitions List. This restriction may be waived upon a presidential national interest determination.
  • Arms Imports—import of defense articles from China was banned after the imposition of the ban on arms exports to China. The import ban was subsequently waived by the Administration and re-imposed on May 26, 1994. It covers all items on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ Munitions Import List.

In 1996, the P.R.C. conducted military exercises in waters close to Taiwan in an apparent effort at intimidation, after Taiwan's former President, Lee Teng-huei made a private visit to the United States. The United States dispatched two aircraft carrier battle groups to the region. Subsequently, tensions in the Taiwan Strait diminished, and relations between the United States and China have improved, with increased high-level exchanges and progress on numerous bilateral issues, including human rights, nonproliferation, and trade. Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin visited the United States in the fall of 1997, the first state visit to the United States by a Chinese president since 1985. In connection with that visit, the two sides reached agreement on implementation of their 1985 agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation, as well as a number of other issues. Former President Clinton visited China in June 1998. He traveled extensively in China, and direct interaction with the Chinese people included live speeches, press conference and a radio show, allowing the President to convey first-hand to the Chinese people a sense of American ideals and values.

Relations between the United States and China were severely strained by the tragic accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in May 1999. By the end of 1999, relations began to gradually improve. In October 1999, the two sides reached agreement on humanitarian payments for families of those who died and those who were injured as well as payments for damages to respective diplomatic properties in Belgrade and China. Relations further cooled when, in April 2001, a Chinese F-8 fighter collided with a U.S. EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft flying over international waters south of China. The EP-3 was able to make an emergency landing on China's Hainan Island despite extensive damage; the P.R.C. aircraft crashed with the loss of its pilot. Following extensive negotiations, the crew of the EP-3 was allowed to leave China 11 days later, but the U.S. aircraft was not permitted to depart for another 3 months.

Subsequently, the relationship gradually improved. President George W. Bush visited China in February 2002 and met with President Jiang Zemin in Crawford, Texas in October. President Bush hosted Premier Wen Jiabao in Washington in December 2003. President Bush first met Hu Jintao in his new capacity as P.R.C. President on the margins of the G-8 Summit in Evian in June 2003, and at subsequent international fora, such as the September 2004 APEC meeting in Chile, the July 2005 G-8 summit in Scotland, and the September 2005 UN General Assembly meetings in New York. President Bush traveled to China in November 2005, an official visit that was reciprocated in April 2006 when President Hu met with President Bush in Washington.

U.S. China policy has been consistent. For seven consecutive administrations, U.S. policy has been to encourage China's opening and integration into the global system. As a result, China has moved from being a relatively isolated and poor country to one that is a key participant in international institutions and a major trading nation. The United States encourages China to play an active role as a responsible stakeholder in the international community, working with the United States and other countries to support and strengthen the international system that has enabled China's success. As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has noted, “America has reason to welcome a confident, peaceful, and prosperous China. We want China as a global partner, able and willing to match its growing capabilities to its international responsibilities.” Deputy Secretary John D. Negroponte and other senior State Department officials engage in regular and intensive discussions with their P.R.C. counter-parts through the U.S.-China Senior Dialogue. The Senior Dialogue covers the entire range of issues in the bilateral relationship.

China has an important role to play in global, regional, and bilateral counterterrorism efforts, and has supported coalition efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (9-11) in New York City and Washington, DC, China offered strong public support for the war on terrorism and has been an important partner in U.S. counterterrorism efforts. Shortly after 9-11, the United States and China also commenced a counterterrorism dialogue, the most recent round of which was held in Washington in November 2005 and focused on the threat of WMD falling into the hands of terrorists. Inspections under the Container Security Initiative (CSI) are now underway at the major ports of Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. China has also agreed to participate in the Department of Energy's Megaports Initiative, a critical part of our efforts to detect the flow of nuclear materials. China voted in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 1373, publicly supported the coalition campaign in Afghanistan, and contributed $150 million of bilateral assistance to Afghan reconstruction following the defeat of the Taliban. China participated in both the Iraq Neighbors and International Compact with Iraq meetings in 2007 and has voiced strong support for the Government of Iraq following the country's December 2005 parliamentary elections. China has pledged $25 million to Iraqi reconstruction and taken measures to forgive Iraq's sovereign debt to China.

The United States and China have cooperated with growing effectiveness on various aspects of law enforcement, including computer crime, intellectual property rights enforcement, human smuggling, and corruption. The most recent meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Liaison Group on law enforcement cooperation took place in Washington in June 2007.

China and the United States have also been working closely with the international community to address threats to global security, such as those posed by North Korea and Iran's nuclear programs. China has played a constructive role in hosting the Six-Party Talks and in brokering the February 2007 agreement on Initial Actions. The United States looks to Beijing to use its unique influence with Pyongyang to ensure that North Korea implements fully its commitments under the September 2005 Statement of Principles. China has publicly stated that it does not want Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and has voted in support of sanctions resolutions on Iran at UN Security Council. On these and other important issues, such as the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, the United States expects China to join with the international community in finding solutions. China's participation is critical to efforts to combat transnational health threats such as avian influenza and HIV/AIDS, and both the United States and China play an important role in new multilateral energy initiatives, such as the Asia-Pacific Partnership.

While the United States looks forward to a constructive and broad-based relationship with China—a message reiterated by President Bush when he met with President Hu in April 2006 in Washington—there remain areas of potential disagreement. The United States does not support Taiwan independence and opposes unilateral steps, by either side, to change the status quo. At the same time, the United States has made it clear that cross-strait differences should be resolved peacefully and in a manner acceptable to people on both sides of the Strait.

At various points in the past several years, China's has expressed concern about the United States making statements on the political evolution of Hong Kong and has stressed that political stability there is paramount for economic growth. The NPC’ passage of an Anti-Secession law in March 2005 was viewed as unhelpful to the cause of promoting cross-Strait and regional stability by the United States and precipitated critical high-level statements by both sides.

U.S.-China Economic Relations

U.S. direct investment in China covers a wide range of manufacturing sectors, several large hotel projects, restaurant chains, and petrochemicals. U.S. companies have entered agreements establishing more than 20,000 equity joint ventures, contractual joint ventures, and wholly foreign-owned enterprises in China. More than 100 U.S.-based multinationals have projects in China, some with multiple investments. Cumulative U.S. investment in China is estimated at $54 billion, through the end of 2005, making the United States the second-largest foreign investor in China.

Total two-way trade between China and the United States grew from $33 billion in 1992 to over $347 billion in 2006. The United States is China's second-largest trading partner, and China is now the third-largest trading partner for the United States (after Canada and Mexico). U.S. exports to China have been growing more rapidly than to any other market (up 20% in 2004, 20% in 2005, and 32% in 2006). U.S. imports from China grew 18.5% in 2006, bringing the U.S. trade deficit with China to $233 billion. Some of the factors that influence the U.S. trade deficit with China include:

  • A shift of low-end assembly industries to China from the newly industrialized economies (NIEs) in Asia. China has increasingly become the last link in a long chain of value-added production. Because U.S. trade data attributes the full value of a product to the final assembler, Chinese value-added gets over-counted.
  • Strong U.S. demand for Chinese goods.
  • China's restrictive trade practices, which have included an array of barriers to foreign goods and services, often aimed at protecting state-owned enterprises. Under its WTO accession agreement, China is reducing tariffs and eliminating import licensing requirements, as well as addressing other trade barriers.

The U.S. approach to its economic relations with China has two main elements:

First, the United States seeks to fully integrate China into the global, rules-based economic and trading system. China's participation in the global economy will nurture the process of economic reform, encourage China to take on responsibilities commensurate with its growing influence, and increase China's stake in the stability and prosperity of East Asia.

Second, the United States seeks to expand U.S. exporters’ and investors’ access to the Chinese market. As China grows and develops, its needs for imported goods and services will grow even more rapidly. The U.S. Government will continue to work with China's leadership to ensure full and timely conformity with China's WTO commitments—including effective protection of intellectual property rights—and to encourage China to move to a flexible, market-based exchange rate in order to further increase U.S. exports of goods, agricultural products, and services to the P.R.C.

In order to achieve these objectives, the United States has engaged with China in the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED). The SED is a biannual event, focusing on three major themes:

  • Maintaining sustainable growth without large trade imbalances;
  • Continued opening of markets to trade, competition, and investment;
  • Cooperation on energy security, energy efficiency, and the environmental and health impacts.

The SED is based on recognition by both China and the United States of our mutual interest in strengthening the global economy, addressing global imbalances, and promoting energy security and environmentally sustainable growth. Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson led the U.S. delegation during both previous SEDs, while Vice Premier Wu Yi led the Chinese delegation. The third SED is expected to take place in Beijing in December 2007.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Last Updated: 2/19/2008

CHENGDU (CG) No. 4 Lingshiguan Lu, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, PRC, APO/FPO PSC 461 Box 85, FPO AP 96521, 86-28-8558-3992, Fax 86-28-8558-3520, Workweek: 8:30–5:30, Website: http://chengdu.usconsulate.gov.

GUANGZHOU (CG) #1 Shamian South St., Guangzhou CHINA 510133, APO/FPO PSC 461, Box 100. FPO AP 96521-0002, (86) (20) 8121-8000, Fax (86) (20) 8121-6296, Work-week: 8:30 AM-5:30 PM, Website: http://guangzhou.usconsulate.gov.

CG OMS:Stephanie Hutchins
FCS:Eric Wolff
FM:Walter R. Obanion
MGT:Jeannette Juricic
OMS:Carol Grisham
POL ECO:John Hill
CG:James A. Boughner
PO:James A. Boughner
CON:Tina Onufer
PAO:Nancy Corbett
GSO:Jennifer Crow
RSO:Monica Byler
ATO:Kevin Latner
CLO:Vacant
EEO:Tina Onufer
EST:Vacant
IPO:Wenyi Shu
POL:David Cowhig
State ICASS:Teannette Juricic
CG OMS:Shelby Martin
DHS/CIS:Jackie Wong
DHS/ICE:Michael Tsang
ECO:Stephan Lang
MGT:John Stremel
CG:Robert Goldberg
CON:Michael Jacobson
PAO:Darcy Zotter
COM:Ireas Cook
GSO:Vacant
RSO:Gary Watson
AGR:Joani Dong
CLO:Sarah Boyke
IPO:Thomas Martin

SHANGHAI (CG) 1469 Huai Hai Zhong Lu, Shanghai 200031 PRC, APO/FPO PSC 461, Box 200, FPO AP 96521-0200, 86-21-6433-3936, Fax 86-21-6433-4122, INMARSAT Tel 881676310550, Workweek: 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Website: http://shanghai.usconsulate.gov.

CG OMS:Josephine Schaefer
DPO:Simon Schuchat
ECO:Mary Tarnowka
FM:Paul Schaeffer
MGT:Julia Harlan
CG:Kenneth Jarrett
PO:Kenneth Jarrett, CG:
CON:Charles Jess
PAO:Jennifer Galt
COM:Ira Kasoff
GSO:ErnEST:o Escoto
RSO:Steven Chalupsky
ATO:Wayne Batwin
CLO:Liz Rawlings
EEO:Jessica Megill
FIN:Julia Harlan
ICASS:Chair Sub Group Only
IPO:William Iglhaut
ISO:Thomas Lacy
ISSO:Matthew McDowell
POL:Mary Tarnowka
State ICASS:Julia Harlan

SHENYANG (CG) US CONSULATE-SHENYANG, APO/FPO PSC 461, Box 45; FPO AP 96521-0002, 86-24-2322-1198, Fax 86-24-2322-1942, Workweek: 0830-1730, Website: http://shenyang.usconsulate.gov.

CG OMS:Kathy Kong
ECO:William B. Johnson
MGT:Jonathan B. Korach
POL ECO:Dana L. Candell
CG:COL Steve Wickman
CON:David N. Brizzee
PAO:Joseph P Kruzich
GSO:Seth L Patch
RSO:Julia Hawley
EEO:Seth Patch
IPO:John Meradith
ISO:Robert Weber
ISSO:John Meradith
POL:Adam J. Hantman

BEIJING (M) No. 3 Xiu Shui Bei Jie, APO/FPO PSC 461 Box 50 FPO AP 96521, 8610-6532-3831, Fax 8610-6532-6929, Workweek: 0800-1700, Website: http://beijing.usembassy.gov.

DCM OMS:Cecilia Wylie
AMB OMS:Grace McDermott
COM/ADB:Craig Allen
DHS/CIS:Joseph Martin
DHS/ICE:Steve Thomas
ECO:Robert Luke
FCS:Barry Friedman
FM:Gregory Larson
MGT:James B. Lane
AMB:Clark T. Randt, Jr..
CON:Michael Regan
DCM:Dan Piccuta
PAO:Don Q. Washingto
GSO:Downer, Dale
RSO:Barry Moore
AGR:Vacant
APHIS:Theresa Boyle
ATO:Laverne Brabant
CLO:Kristy Murphy
DAO:BG Charles Hooper
DEA:Mike McCormick
EEO:Katherine Lawson
EST:W. Brent Christensen
FAA:Chris Metts
FMO:Mazhar Ahson
ICASS:Chair Brad Fribley
IMO:Heywood Miller
ISO:Larry Roberts
ISSO:Larry Roberts

LAB:
Bruce Levine
LEGATT:William Liu
POL:Aubrey Carlson

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

December 10, 2007

Country Description: The People's Republic of China was established on October 1, 1949, with Beijing as its capital city. With well over 1.3 billion citizens, China is the world's most populous country and the third largest country in the world in terms of territory. China is undergoing rapid, profound economic and social change and development. Political power remains centralized in the Chinese Communist Party. Modern tourist facilities are available in major cities, but many facilities in smaller provincial cities and rural areas are frequently below international standards.

Entry Requirements : A valid passport and visa are required to enter China and must be obtained from Chinese Embassies and Consulates before traveling to China. Americans arriving without valid passports and the appropriate Chinese visa are not permitted to enter and will be subject to a fine and immediate deportation at the traveler's expense. Travelers should not rely on Chinese host organizations claiming to be able to arrange a visa upon arrival. Chinese authorities have recently tightened their visa issuance policy, in some cases requiring personal interviews of American citizens. Although a bilateral United States-China agreement provides for issuance of multiple entry visas with validity of up to one year for tourists and business visitors, Chinese consulates often limit visas to only one-entry. Visit the Embassy of China web site at http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/ for the most current visa information.

Visas are required to transit China. Persons transiting China on the way to and from Mongolia or North Korea or who plan to re-enter from the Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions should be sure to obtain visas allowing multiple entries. Permits are required to visit Tibet as well as many remote areas not normally open to foreigners. Every foreigner going to Tibet needs to get a travel permit which can be done through local travel agents. Permits cost approximately RMB 100, are single-entry and valid for at most three months. Most areas in Tibet are not open for foreigners except Lhasa City and part of Shan Nan. Foreigners can be fined up to RMB 500, taken into custody, and removed for visiting restricted areas. For information about entry requirements and restricted areas, travelers may consult the Visa Office of the Embassy of China (PRC) at Room 110, 2201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007, or telephone (202) 338-6688 and (202) 588-9760. For a list of services and frequently asked visa questions and answers, travelers can view the Chinese Embassy's web sites at: http://www.china-embassy.org/eng. There are Chinese consulates general in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Americans traveling in Asia have been able to obtain visas to enter China from the Chinese visa office in Hong Kong and the Embassy of China in Seoul, South Korea.

In July 2007, the Chinese government tightened its regulations for altering or renewing visas for foreigners already in China. Visitors can no longer change tourist (L) and exchange (F) -type visas to other types and many applications must now be completed in person. There have also been reports that entry and exit violations are being more strictly enforced, with recent reports of police, school administrators and hotel staff checking to ensure that foreigners have not overstayed their visas.

Americans who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their Chinese visas will be subject to a maximum fine of 5,000 RMB and departure delays and may be subject to detention. Travelers should note that international flights departing China are routinely overbooked, making reconfirmation of departure reservations and early airport check-in essential. An airport user fee for both international and domestic flights are now included in the cost of the ticket price.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated new procedures at entry / exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if they are not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

Dual national Americans, particularly those with dual Chinese and American nationality, should realize that entering China using their non-U.S. passport could mean that the Chinese Government may not afford them the consular protections to which they are entitled. While the U.S. Government will offer consular services to all U.S. citizens regardless of dual nationality, use of other than a U.S. passport to enter China can make it difficult for U.S. Consuls to assist dual national Americans who have been arrested or who have other concerns with the Chinese Government.

China does not recognize dual citizenship. U.S. Embassy and Consulate officials are often denied access to arrested or detained Americans who do not enter China using their U.S. passport. Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States who do not carry unexpired or otherwise clear evidence that they may re-enter the United States will encounter delays departing from China. Lawful Permanent Residents should renew and update U.S. residence documentation prior to their departure from the United States.

Safety and Security: Americans visiting or residing in China are advised to take routine safety precautions; that is, travelers should remain aware of their surroundings and of events happening around them. Travelers should respect local police requirements to avoid travel in some areas. In light of the greatly increased numbers of older Americans traveling to China, U.S. tour operators should check that local guides are familiar with medical facilities and emergency medical evacuation procedures.

American citizens who rent apartments with gas appliances should be aware that, in some areas, natural gas is not scented to warn occupants of gas leaks or concentrations. In addition, heaters may not always be well vented, thereby allowing excess carbon monoxide to build up in living spaces. Due to fatal accidents involving American citizens, travelers are advised to ensure all gas appliances are properly vented or to install gas and carbon monoxide detectors in their residences. These devices are not widely available in China and should be purchased prior to arrival.

Security personnel may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance. Hotel rooms, telephones, and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms, including computers, may be searched without the consent or knowledge of the traveler. Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in problems with authorities. Foreign government officials, journalists, and business people with access to advanced proprietary technology are particularly likely to be under surveillance.

Terrorism is rare in China, although a small number of bombings have occurred in areas throughout China. Recent bombings have largely been criminal activity, frequently the result of commercial disputes. The vast majority of these local incidents related to disputes over land seizures, social issues or environmental problems. While some incidents have grown to larger scales and involved some violence, these demonstrations have not been directed against foreigners.

Business disputes in China are not always handled through the courts. Sometimes the foreign partner has been held hostage, threatened with violence, or beaten up. Anyone entering into a contract in China should have it thoroughly examined, both in the United States and in China.

Contracts entered into in the United States are not enforced by Chinese courts. Care should also be taken when entering into a lease for an apartment or house. There have been instances of foreigners being ejected from their apartments because of lease disputes, and being prevented from re-entering, even to retrieve their belongings.

Americans doing business in China should be aware that if they become involved in a business and/or civil dispute, the Chinese government may prohibit them from leaving China until the matter is resolved. Civil cases may sometimes be regarded as criminal cases and the defendant may be placed in custody. Civil law disputes may take years to resolve. There are many cases of American citizens being prevented from leaving China for months and even years while their civil cases are resolved.

U.S. citizens and business owners should be aware that many intending migrants from China will try to enlist their assistance to secure a U.S. visa. In one common scheme, a PRC national will contact a U.S. business feigning interest in a particular product or service. The PRC national then asks for a formal letter from the U.S. company inviting him or her (alone or with colleagues) to come to the United States to discuss or finalize a purchase, or establish formal cooperation between the two companies. The PRC national(s) will then use these invitation letters when they apply for U.S. visas to show they have a legitimate purpose of travel. While many such requests may be legitimate, some are not. Oftentimes, the PRC national initiating the contact has no relationship to his/her claimed Chinese employer. In fact, it is not unusual for these individuals to be part of elaborate human smuggling syndicates. Visa Sections at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China are regularly contacted by U.S. businesses that unwittingly have been used to facilitate illicit migration schemes.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's web site, where the current World-wide Caution Travel Alert, Middle East and North Africa Travel Alert, Travel Warnings and other Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.

Crime: China has a low crime rate. Pickpockets target tourists at sight-seeing destinations, open-air markets, airports, and in stores, often with the complicity of low-paid security guards. Americans are perceived as wealthy and may be specifically targeted by petty criminals. Violence against foreigners, while rare, is on the increase. Over the past year, incidents of violence against foreigners, including sexual assaults, have taken place, usually in urban areas where bars and nightclubs are located. Robberies, sometimes at gunpoint, have occurred in western China and more recently in Beijing. There have been some reports of robberies and assaults along remote mountain highways near China's border with Nepal. Travelers are sometimes asked by locals to exchange money at a preferential rate. It is illegal to exchange dollars for RMB except at banks, hotels, and official exchange offices. Due to the large volume of counterfeit currency in China, unofficial exchanges usually result in travelers losing their money and possibly left to face charges of breaking foreign exchange laws. If detained by police under suspicion of committing an economic crime involving currency, travelers may be delayed for weeks or months while police investigate the allegations.

Recently, there have been instances in Beijing and elsewhere of mobs in bar districts attacking foreigners. Nationalism is on the rise and disputes among Chinese citizens or between Chinese and foreigners can quickly escalate. Caution should be exercised when visiting bar districts late at night, especially on weekends. There have been reports of bar fights in which Americans have been specifically targeted due their nationality. Simple arguments can turn into mob scenes and many times have resulted in the American being detained for hours for questioning with no right to an attorney or consular officer at that stage.

Travelers should have small bills (RMB 10, 20 and 50 notes) for travel by taxi. Reports of taxi drivers using counterfeit money to make change for large bills are increasingly common, especially in Guangzhou. Arguments with taxi drivers over fares or over choice of route usually are not easily resolved on the scene. In some cases, Americans who instigate such arguments have been detained for questioning and are not usually released until the fare is paid or a settlement is reached and the American offers an apology. There has been an increase in the number of Americans falling victim to scams involving the inflation of tea and drink prices. Normally, the scam involves young people who approach English speaking tourists and ask to have a cup of tea with them to practice their English. When the bill comes for the tea, the charge has been inflated to an exorbitant amount. When the tourist complains, enforcers arrive to collect the money. A similar scam involves buying drinks for young women at local bars.

Throughout China, women outside hotels in tourist districts frequently use the prospect of companionship or sex to lure foreign men to isolated locations where accomplices are waiting for the purpose of robbery. Travelers should not allow themselves to be driven to bars or an individual's home unless they know the person making the offer. Hotel guests should refuse to open their room doors to anyone they do not know personally.

Recently, American visitors have encountered scams at the international airports in China whereby individuals appearing to work for the airport offer to take American tourists’ bags to the departure area, but instead they carry the bags to another area and insist that the visitor pay an airport tax. Travelers should be advised that the airport tax is now included in the price of the airline ticket. The airport police or security officers should be contacted if this happens.

The U.S. Embassy is aware of reports that airport thefts and robberies of travelers in China are on the rise, specifically in the domestic airports of Beijing, Zhengzhou, Shenyang, Dalian, Qingdao and Taiyuan. Additionally, some Americans report that they have been the victims of robberies while in their hotel rooms in tourist areas and some have been assaulted during these robberies.

American visitors to China should carry their passports with them out of reach of pickpockets. Americans with Chinese residence permits (juliuzheng) should carry these documents, and leave their passports in a secure location except when traveling. All Americans are encouraged to make photocopies of their passport bio-data pages and Chinese visas and to keep these in a separate, secure location, and to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate General

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law. In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/ or fines. More information on this serious problem is available at http://www.cybercrime.gov/18usc2320.htm.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

English Teachers/Secondary School Teachers: Many Americans have enjoyed their teaching experience in China; others have encountered significant problems. Prospective teachers are encouraged to read the Teaching in China Guide on Embassy Beijing's American Citizen Services web site at http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/teach.html. To assist the embassy in providing up to date information to prospective teachers, Americans experiencing problems should inform the Embassy by contacting the American Citizens Services Unit at telephone (86) (10) 6532-3431 or via e-mail at [email protected]

Medical Facilities and Health Information: The standards of medical care in China are not equivalent to those in the United States. Medical facilities with international staffs are available in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and a few other large cities. Many other hospitals in major Chinese cities have so-called VIP wards (gaogan bingfang). These feature reasonably up-to-date laboratory and imaging facilities. The physicians in these centers are generally well-trained. Most VIP wards also provide medical services to foreigners and have English-speaking doctors and nurses. Most hospitals in China will not accept medical insurance from the United States, with the exception of the following hospitals, which are on the BlueCross BlueShield's worldwide network providers—overseas network hospitals’ list (http://www.bcbs.com/bluecard-worldwide/index.html): Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Beijing United Family Hospital, Beijing Friendship Hospital, International Medical Center in Beijing, and Peking Union Medical Center. Travelers will be asked to post a deposit prior to admission to cover the expected cost of treatment. Hospitals in major cities may accept credit cards for payment. Even in the VIP/foreigner wards of major hospitals, however, American patients have frequently encountered difficulty due to cultural, language, and regulatory differences. Physicians and hospitals have sometimes refused to supply American patients with complete copies of their Chinese hospital medical records, including laboratory test results, scans, and x-rays.

Note: Travelers should note that commonly used American medication is generally not available in China. Medications that bear the same or similar name to prescription medication from the United States are not always the same.

Ambulances do not carry sophisticated medical equipment. Injured or seriously ill Americans may be required to take taxis or other immediately available vehicles to the nearest major hospital rather than waiting for ambulances to arrive. Generally, in rural areas, only rudimentary medical facilities are available, often with poorly trained medical personnel who have little medical equipment and medications. Rural clinics are often reluctant to accept responsibility for treating foreigners, even in emergency situations.

SOS International, Ltd., operates modern medical and dental clinics and provides medical evacuation and medical escort services in Beijing, Nanjing, Tianjin and Shekou, as well as 24hr Alarm Centers in Beijing and Shanghai. Through clinics in Beijing (24 hours), Tianjin, Nanjing and Shekou, SOS offers international standard family practice services, emergency medical services and a range of clinical services.

For medical emergencies anywhere in mainland China, Americans can call the SOS International, Ltd., 24-hour “Alarm Center” in Beijing at telephone: (86)(10) 6462-9100 or in Shanghai at: (86)(21) 5298-9538 for advice and referrals to local facilities. SOS International “Alarm Centers” can also be contacted in Hong Kong at telephone: (852) 2428-9900 and in the United States at: (215) 245-4707. For a full list of SOS locations and phone numbers, consult the SOS web site at http://www.internationalsos.com.

Bayley & Jackson Beijing
Medical Center
#7 Ritan Dong Lu,
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020
(86) (10) 8562-9998
Fax: (86) (10) 8561-4866
email: [email protected]
Web site: www.bjhealthcare.com

Beijing United Family
Hospital and Clinics
#2 Jiang Tai Lu, Chaoyang District,
Beijing 100016
(86) (10) 6433-3960
Fax: (86) (10) 6433-3963
Emergency Hotline: (86) (10) 6433-2345
Web site: www.unitedfamilyhospitals.com

Beijing United Family Clinic-Shunyi Pinnacle Plaza, Unit # 818, Tian Zhu Real Estate Development Zone, Shunyi District, 101312 (86) (10) 8046-5432 Fax: (86) (10) 8046-4383

Peking Union Medical Hospital 1 Shuai Fu Yuan, Dong Cheng District, Beijing 100730 Tel: (86) (10) 6529-5269 (registration and information); (86) (10) 6529-5284 (24 hours); (86) (10) 6529 6114 (operator) Modern Facilities with English speaking staff. Separate ward for foreign patients.

World Link Shanghai Clinics: Expatriate doctors and imported vaccines. Hotline: (86) (21) 6385-9990 www.worldlink-shanghai.com. World Link Medical Centers located at:

Shanghai Center Medical Center
1376 Nanjing Xi Lu Suite 203
Telephone: (86) (21) 6279-7688

Hong Qiao Medical Center
2258 Hong Qiao Lu
Telephone: (86) (21) 6242-0909

Specialty Clinic
Lu Wan Hospital, 3rd Floor
170 Dan Shui Lu
Telephone: (86) (21) 6445-5999

Jin Qiao Medical & Dental Center
51 Hong Feng Lu
Pudong
Tel: (86) (21) 5032-8288

Shanghai Kerry Center
Room 301
1515 Nanjing West Rd
Tel: (86) (21) 5298-6339

Fudan Vision
Managed by VisionHealthOne a Singapore health care company and affiliated to Fudan Medical University. Fudan Vision is staffed by Singapore and western physicians.
Silver Tower 3 rd
Floor 228 South Xizang Rd
Tel: (86) (21) 6334-3668

Shanghai United Family Hospital
1139 Xianxia Lu
Tel: (86) (21) 5133-1900
Emergency hotline: (86) (21) 5133-1999
www.unitedfamilyhospitals.com

Shanghai East International Medical Center
551 South Pudong Rd
Telephone: (86) (21) 5879-999
Shanghai Mental Health Center
600 Wanping Nan Lu
Shanghai, China
Telephone (86) (21) 64387250

GlobalDoctor, Ltd., has opened clinics staffed by English-speaking doctors within the VIP wards of government-run hospitals in Chengdu, Nanjing, and Beijing. There is also a clinic in Shenyang with a 24- hour emergency assistance hotline at (86)(24) 2433-0678. GlobalDoctor can be reached by telephone from China at (86) (10) 8456-9191 or on the Internet at www.eglobaldoctor.com.

Clinics in Guangzhou with English-Speaking Staff:

Guangzhou Can Am
International Medical Center
5/F Garden Hotel 368 Huanshi Dong
Lu, Guangzhou
Tel: (020) 8386-6988 (24-hour)

Global Doctor Medical Center
C1 2nd Annex, Tianyu Garden
136 Lin He Zhong Lu
Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510180 Tel: (020) 3884-1452
Mobile: 13500014119
(emergency only)

Eur Am International
Medical Center
1/F North Tower,
Ocean Pearl Building,
19 Huali Lu, Zhu Jiang New City,
Guangzhou 510623
Tel: (020) 3759-1168;
3758-5328 (appointment)
Fax: (020) 3758-5531
Web site: www.kcimc.com
Email: [email protected]

Additional information on medical providers specializing in treating foreigners for general medical, dental and orthodontic problems are available at http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's website at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) web site at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith/en.

Alternative Medical Treatments: There have been increasing numbers of foreigners coming to China to receive alternative medical treatments or procedures prohibited in the United States relating specifically to stem-cell research. Any person contemplating these treatments should be fully aware of the risks of such procedures.

The treatments can be dangerous and untested. The results are not guaranteed. In many instances, patients going for treatment develop secondary infections that cannot be handled by these facilities.

They are transferred to hospitals for treatment and are responsible for all additional costs, including repatriation back to the United States. In some cases, these treatments have resulted in death.

Medical Insurance: China has no public healthcare system to provide for people without insurance or money. If you become sick or injured, you will be expected to pay for your bills, sometimes even before treatment is offered. The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

The rate of traffic accidents in China, including fatal accidents, is among the highest in the world. Driving etiquette in China is developing. As a result, traffic is often chaotic, and right-of-way and other courtesies are often ignored. Travelers should note that cars and buses in the wrong lanes frequently hit pedestrians and bicyclists. Pedestrians should always be careful while walking near traffic. Road/traffic conditions are generally safe if occupants of modern passenger vehicles wear seatbelts. Most traffic accident injuries involve pedestrians or cyclists who are involved in collisions or who encounter unexpected road hazards (e.g., unmarked open manholes). Foreigners with resident permits can apply for PRC driver licenses; however, liability issues often make it preferable to employ a local driver. Child safety seats are not widely available in China. Americans who wish to ride bicycles in China are urged to wear safety helmets meeting U.S. standards.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning China is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

The number of American citizens involved in serious and deadly traffic accidents in Beijing is increasing. The Embassy strongly encourages travelers to exercise special caution when crossing streets in China's cities as pedestrians do not have the right-of-way. Please note that many taxi cabs do not have functioning seatbelts for passengers.

All drivers should be aware of the Chinese regulations regarding traffic accidents. These include the requirement that drivers:

  • Not move their vehicles or disturb the scene of the accident unless and until ordered to by the traffic police (in Shanghai and Beijing, the police now prefer that if the parties can reach agreement as to who was at fault they move the vehicles out of the flow of traffic)
  • Summon the traffic police and wait at the scene until the police arrive and complete their investigation.

If called to an accident, the police may take 20 minutes or longer to arrive. Once the police arrive, they will complete a preliminary investigation and arrange a time for you to report to the police station responsible for the accident scene. The police will prepare a written report, in Chinese, describing the circumstances of the accident. They will present the report to you either at the scene, or more likely at the police station, and ask you to sign it verifying the details of the accident. Do not sign the report as is unless your Chinese is good enough to completely understand the report and you find it totally accurate. If you either do not understand it or believe it is partly or wholly inaccurate, you may either:

  • Write a disclaimer on the report to the effect that you cannot read and understand the report and cannot attest to the accuracy thereof, but are signing it because of the police requirement that you do so, and then sign, or
  • Write your own version of the accident, in English, on the police form and indicate that your signature only attests to the accuracy of the English version.

Most incidents (such as an accident) will draw a crowd. Drivers should remain calm. A crowd will usually move in very close to the accident and participants. In many cases the bystanders consider themselves to be an ad hoc jury. They may call for money, usually from RMB 100 to 1,000, to be paid by the party they consider at fault. The amount is not necessarily relevant to the amount of damage. A certain amount of bargaining is normal, even at accidents involving two Chinese parties.

Though a crowd may seem threatening, crowd assaults on foreigners at accidents have not been reported. If a traffic police booth is nearby, you may wish to leave the vehicle and walk there to await the arrival of the police accident team. Alternatively, you may walk to a shop, restaurant, or other location nearby in the immediate vicinity and wait for police.

Your vehicle should not leave the scene of an accident. Your actions may serve to further incite the crowd if they perceive that you are fleeing to evade responsibility for your share of blame or payment of damages. The crowd may attempt to keep your vehicle at the accident scene by standing in the way or blocking the roadway with vehicles, bicycles and other objects.

Visit the web site of the China National Tourist Bureau, the Chinese authority responsible for road safety, at http://www.cnta.com/index.asp.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government ofChina's Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of China's air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's web site at http://www.faa.gov.

Special Circumstances: Chinese customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from China of items such as antiquities, banned publications, some religious literature, or vehicles not conforming to Chinese standards. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of China in Washington or one of China's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Some Americans report that items purchased in China and believed to be antiques or genuine gems are often later determined to be reproductions. Some travelers report that this occurs even at state-owned stores and museum stores. Travel agencies and tour guides will often escort tour groups to particular shops at which the travel agency or tour guide will share in the profit, and may claim to guarantee the “authenticity” of items sold in those shops. Travelers are warned to be vigilant when purchasing items in China.

China's customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information call (212) 354-4480, send an e-mail to [email protected], or visit www.uscib.org for details.

Disaster Preparedness: The southeast coast of China is vulnerable to strong typhoons, usually from July to September. Travelers planning a trip to China can obtain general information about natural disaster preparedness on the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov. Additional information about currently active typhoons can be obtained on the University of Hawaii tropical storm page at http://www.solar.ifa.hawaii.edu/Tropical/tropical.html.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which, in China, differ significantly from those in the United States and do not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating China's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession of, use of, or trafficking in illegal drugs in China are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

On March 1, 2006, a new Public Security Law went into effect that gives police new powers relating to the commission of a wide range of offenses, including the authority to detain and deport foreigners. The list of offenses has been expanded to include certain religious activities and prostitution-related crimes.

Americans in China, who are not staying at hotels, including Americans who are staying with friends or relatives, must register with local police as soon as they arrive. Other-wise, they may be fined up to 500 RMB per day.

Americans who are questioned by police should immediately notify the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate. Foreigners detained for questioning may not be allowed to contact their national authorities until the questioning is concluded. Foreigners who are detained pending trial have often waited over a year for their trial to begin. Foreigners suspected of committing a crime are rarely granted bail. Criminal punishments, especially prison terms, are much more severe than in the United States. Persons violating the law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Criminal penalties for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect severe jail sentences and fines. Non-American foreigners have been executed for drug offenses. Several Americans currently incarcerated in China have been implicated in financial fraud schemes involving falsified bank or business documents, tax evasion schemes and assisting alien smuggling, including selling passports to provide aliens with travel documents.

In the past, protesters detained for engaging in pro-Falun Gong activities have been quickly deported from China after being questioned. Several of these protesters alleged they were physically abused during their detention. In addition, they allege that personal property, including clothing, cameras, and computers have not always been returned to them upon their deportation.

Chinese authorities report that while they have deported these foreigners quickly after public demonstrations in favor of the Falun Gong, future adherents who intentionally arrive in China to protest against Chinese policy may receive longer terms of detention and possibly face prison sentences. In one instance, an American Falun Gong practitioner who was traveling in China on personal business was detained and asked to provide information on other Falun Gong sympathizers in the United States.

Several Americans have been detained and expelled for passing out non-authorized Christian literature. Sentences for distributing this material may range from three to five years imprisonment, if convicted.

Children's Issues: Americans involved in child custody disputes with Chinese national spouses should be aware that Chinese courts may give preference to the Chinese citizen spouse and that Americans may encounter limited appeal opportunities under the current legal system. For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues web-site at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration and Embassy Locations: Americans living or traveling in China are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration web site so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within China. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

Beijing: The U.S. Embassy is located at No. 2 Xiu Shui Dong Jie, Chaoyang District, Beijing. The American Citizen Services section can be reached at (86)(10) 6532-3431 (8:30-12:00 a.m. and 2:00-4:00 p.m., Mon-Fri) or after hours at (86)(10) 6532-1910. For detailed information please visit the U.S. Embassy's web site at http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn. The Embassy consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi.

Chengdu: The U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu is located at Number 4, Lingshiguan Road, Section 4, Ren-min Nanlu, Chengdu 610041, tel. (86)(28) 8558-3992, 8555-3119, after hours (86)(28) 1370 8001 422, and email at [email protected] This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Guizhou, Sichuan Xizang (Tibet), and Yunnan, as well as the municipality of Chongqing.

Guangzhou: The main office of the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou is located at Number 1 South Shamian Street, Shamian Island 200S1, Guangzhou 510133The Consular Section, including the American Citizens Services Unit, is now located at 5th Floor, Tianyu Garden (II phase), 136-146 Lin He Zhong Lu, Tianhe District, tel. (86) (20) 8518-7605; after hours (86) (20) 8121-6077, and email [email protected] This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, and Fujian.

Shanghai: The Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai is located in the Westgate Mall, 8 th Floor, 1038 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai 200031; tel. (86)(21) 3217-4650, ext. 2102, 2013, or 2134, after hours (86)(21) 6433-3936; email [email protected] This consular district includes the following provinces/ regions of China: Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

Shenyang: The U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang is located at No. 52, 14 th Wei Road, Heping District, Shenyang 110003; tel. (86)(24) 2322-2374; email [email protected] This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Liaoning, Heilongjiang, and Jilin.

International Adoption

February 2006

The information in this section has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and current understanding. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel. Prospective adoptive parents are advised to fully research any adoption agency or facilitator they plan to use for adoption services.

Please Note: Chinese authorities are extremely sensitive about the operation of foreign entities in China. Moreover, adoption is also a sensitive subject in China.It is therefore advisable for any person interested in adopting a child from China to act with discretion and decorum. High-profile attention to adoption in China could curtail or eliminate altogether adoption of Chinese children by persons from countries, including the United States, that have caused adoption to become the subject of public attention.

General Overview: Chinese adoption law is very clear on which categories of children are eligible for adoption and what types of prospective adoptive parents China deems acceptable. These issues are discussed in further detail elsewhere in this flyer.

Only adoptions fully completed in China are permitted. It is not possible under Chinese law to obtain guardianship of a Chinese child for later adoption in the United States.

The Chinese and U.S. authorities involved in the adoption and immigration process review each case individually to ensure that the child and the prospective adoptive family have met all of both countries’ legal requirements. U.S. citizens considering adopting from China are strongly encouraged to contact U.S. consular officials in Guangzhou before formalizing an adoption agreement. This will help to ensure that appropriate procedures have been followed, thus increasing the likelihood that the child will be eligible for a U.S. immigrant visa.

In September 2005, China ratified the Hague Convention on intercountry adoption. The U.S. has signed the Convention and is working towards ratification and implementation. The Chinese government has assured the U.S. Government that adoptions between China and the United States will continue uninterrupted despite the fact that China has ratified and the U.S. has not.

Availability of Children for Adoption: To be eligible for adoption, Chinese children must first be identified and approved by the China Centre of Adoption Affairs (CCAA). The CCAA matches individual children with prospective adoptive parent(s) whose completed applications have been submitted to the CCAA by a CCAA-licensed U.S. adoption agency whose credentials are on file at the CCAA.

Adoption Authority: The government office with overall responsibility for adoptions in China is the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and specifically the China Centre of Adoption Affairs (CCAA). In addition, Child Welfare Institutes (roughly the equivalent of orphanages), the Civil Affairs Bureau, Chinese government notar-ial offices, and the Public Security Bureau are also involved.

The China Centre of Adoption Affairs (CCAA)
103 Beiheyan St.
Dongcheng District
Beijing 100006
Phone: 86-10-6522-3102
86-10-6513-0607
Website: www.china-ccaa.org
Email: [email protected]

Department of Civil Affairs
No. 147 Beiheyan St.
Beijing, 100032

Notarial Offices: The provincial Notarial Offices, which are administered by the Ministry of Justice, Department of Notarization Division (No. 10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Beijing 100020 China) issue the final adoption certificate.

Public Security Bureau: The Public Security Bureau in the locality where the adoption takes place is responsible for issuing Chinese passports and exit permits to children adopted by U.S. citizens and other foreigners.

Age of Children: Chinese law allows for the adoption of children up to and including age 13; children ages 14 and up may not be adopted.

Civil Status of Prospective Adoptive Parents: Chinese law permits adoption by married couples (one man, one woman) and single heterosexual persons. Chinese law prohibits homosexual individuals or couples from adopting Chinese children.

Residency: China does not require that prospective adoptive parents reside in China for a specified period prior to completing an adoption. However, in order to finalize the adoption, at least one adopting parent must travel to China to execute the required documents in person before the appropriate Chinese authorities. If the prospective adoptive parents are married, they must adopt the child jointly. If only one member of an adopting married couple travels to China, that person must have in his/her possession a power of attorney from the other spouse, notarized and authenticated by the Chinese Embassy in Washington or one of the Chinese Consulates General elsewhere in the United States.http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/t84229.htm.

Time Frame: It is hard to predict with certainty how much time is required to complete an adoption in China. The time frames provided in this flyer are intended as guidelines only, and the specific circumstances of each case could affect significantly how long it takes.

As of February 2006, adoptions were taking approximately ten to twelve months from the time the U.S. adoption agency submitted the paperwork of the prospective adopter to CCAA to the time the CCAA gave the prospective adoptive parent(s) their initial referral. Cases involving children with special needs may take longer.

After the referral is sent and the prospective parent(s) accept the child, four to eight more weeks are likely to elapse before the CCAA gives the prospective adoptive parents final approval to travel to China.

With regard to time required in China, the CCAA has advised local officials to try to complete the process within 15 days after the arrival of the prospective parent(s) in China. The Chinese passport, exit permits, and U.S. visa process can take another 7-10 days after the adoption is finalized. Some U.S. families have been able to complete the in-country process, including obtaining the U.S. immigrant visa for the adoptive child, in approximately two weeks.

Adoption Fees: Fees charged by Chinese authorities in connection with foreign adoptions may vary depending on the province where the child is adopted. However, for each adoption, there are standard fees that adoptive parents must pay.

The authentication/legalization of documents by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in the United States costs US$10 per document, whether the document is one or multiple pages. (The fee is for authentication of the seal.) The initial CCAA fee is US$365, plus US$200 for translation of the documents submitted in the dossier. (The translations can be done in the United States or China; however, the CCAA advises that the translations must be “correct” and that CCAA will “rectify,” and charge for the rectification of, any errors.) Fees for the issuance of the registration of the adoption by the Civil Affairs Bureau: US $30 (charge for expedited issuance differs in different provinces). Fees for issuance of the Chinese-notarized certificate approving the adoption, birth certificate and abandonment certificate may vary based on province. Additional documents such as death certificates (for the orphan's parents) or additional investigation is not included in this fee.

Chinese passports cost US$25 for normal 15-working-day issuance. Individual Children's Welfare Institutes (where the child has been living prior to being adopted) may charge from US$3000 to $5000 as a combined donation to the institution and a fee for having raised and cared for the child. It is the experience of the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou that the assessed fees are reasonable based on the local economy and the costs associated with raising a child in China. Some U.S. families who have adopted in China have reported being required to pay additional charges of up to US$500 for transportation (if the orphanage staff travels to the capital with the child) or expedited processing of documents.

U.S. adoptive parent(s) who believe that they were compelled at any point during the adoption process to pay exorbitant fees out of keeping with the general outline provided in this flyer should notify the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou.

Adoption Procedures: A CCAA-licensed agency may submit adoption applications directly to the CCAA for consideration. A listing of CCAA-licensed agencies can be found on http://www.china-ccaa.org. The CCAA reviews the documents and advises the prospective adoptive parent(s)—either directly or through their adoption agency—whether additional documents or authentications are required.

Once the CCAA approves the application, it matches the application with a specific child. The CCAA then sends the prospective adoptive parent(s) a letter of introduction about the child, including photographs and the child's health record. This document is commonly called a ‘referral.’ Prospective adoptive parents who still have questions about the child after reviewing this information may follow up with the CCAA either directly or via their adoption agency.

Prospective adoptive parent(s) then either accept or refuse the referral and send the document to their agency, which forwards it to CCAA. CCAA requires a response on a referral within 45 days of sending a referral to a family. If prospective adoptive parent(s) are considering refusing a referral they should discuss with their agency the possibility of getting a second referral. (Please note that all communications with CCAA must be done via the adoption agency.) CCAA will only accept referral rejections if there is a justified explanation provided. If the reason for the rejection is considered justifiable (such as a medical problem), then CCAA will refer the second child within a month's time. If CCAA regards the rejection as unreasonable, the prospective parents will have difficulty obtaining a second referral and CCAA is more likely to suggest that the parents withdraw their application for adoption in China.

Prospective adoptive parents who have accepted a specific referred child will receive an approval notice from the CCAA Prospective parents must have this approval notice in hand before departing for China to finalize the adoption.

Prior to traveling to China, prospective adoptive parents must also already have been in contact with the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and must have an approved I-600A form.

Americans adopting in China will usually meet with a notary in the provincial capital for an informal interview before they notarize documents such as birth certificates or abandonment certificates. Chinese Adoption law does not require notarization of the adoption documents (birth certificate, and abandonment), but the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou does.

In all cases an interview at a registry office is conducted. According to Chinese Adoption Law, adoptive parents must meet with the adoption registry office to finalize the adoption. Sometimes prospective adoptive parent(s) are asked to write a paragraph or a page on the reasons for the adoption and their plans for the child. Sometimes the local notary in the city where the Children's Welfare Institute is located meets with the parents and conducts a final interview in which questions similar to those posed at the provincial level are asked.

Prospective adoptive parents may request to see the child before completing the adoption. If such a visit with the child leads them to have additional questions about the child's health, background, etc., it is important to resolve these before finalizing the adoption.

The next step, after the prospective adoptive parents have completed their interviews with the various Chinese government offices, is to complete the adoption. At this point, the adopting parents will be required to make a fixed “donation” of US$3000 to $5000 to the Children's Welfare Institute where the child was being raised prior to the adoption. This is not a bribe, and U.S. prospective adoptive parents should not consider it such. It is the experience of the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou that the assessed fees are reasonable based on the local economy and the costs associated with raising a child in China. As part of finalizing the adoption, prospective adoptive parents will have to sign agreements with the Child Welfare Institute, register the adoption at the provincial Civil Affairs Bureau, and pay all of the remaining required fees. When the notarial office in the child's place of residence approves the adoption, that office issues a notarized certificate of adoption, a notarized birth certificate and either notarized death certificate(s) for the child's biological parent(s) or a statement of abandonment from the welfare institute. The adoptive relationship goes into effect on the day of the notarization. Once the adoption is final, the adoptive parents are fully and legally responsible for the child.

Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Documentary Requirements: Pre-adoption documents to be submitted in the initial CCAA dossier:

  • Adoption application letter.
  • Birth certificate(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s).
  • Marital status statement—Either a marriage certificate, divorce or death certificate (if applicable) or statement of single status is required.
  • Certificates of profession, income and property including; verification of employment and salary notarized and authenticated; a certified and authenticated copy of your property trust deeds, if applicable; bank statements notarized/certified and authenticated.
  • Health examination certificate(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s).
  • Certificate(s) of criminal or no-criminal record–A certificate of good conduct for the adoptive parent(s) from a local police department notarized or bearing the police department seal and authenticated. An FBI report is acceptable in lieu of a local police record.
  • Homestudy report.
  • Certificate of child adoption approval by the competent department of the adopter's country of residence, also known as the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services I-171H Notice of Approval of an I-600A petition) along with copies of the U.S. passport(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s).
  • Each applicant parent should also submit two front-view photos and several other photos reflecting the family's life in the United States.

Additional documents the prospective parents should bring to China:

  • Power of attorney notarized and authenticated (if only one spouse will travel to China). In case of married couples, if only one adopting parent comes to China, Chinese law requires that the spouse traveling bring a power of attorney from his/her spouse, notarized and properly authenticated by Chinese Embassy or one of the Chinese Consulates General in the United States.
  • A copy of the I-171H form (I-600A approval notice from USCIS).

Translation Requirements: All documents must be accompanied by a certified Mandarin Chinese translation. For a $200 fee, the CCAA will provide the translation service. If a translated copy is submitted with the application, the translator must execute a statement before a notary public as to the validity of the translation. The notary's seal must be authenticated.

U.S. Immigration Requirements: A Chinese child adopted by an American citizen must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the United States as a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Embassy of the People's Republic of China
Consular Section
2300 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: 202-328-2500

China also has Consulates in Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY, and Houston, TX.

What to Take with You for the Child: It is difficult to predict how long it may be necessary for you to remain in China with your adopted child. There are small grocery and sundry stores in major hotels in China. Nevertheless, not all western-style baby products are readily available in China. You may wish to consider bringing certain items with you. These might include:

  • Plastic or cloth baby carrier
  • Bottle nipples
  • Disposable paper diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby blankets
  • Infant wear
  • Thermos bottle, for hot water to prepare dry formula
  • Milk bottles (plastic, glass, and disposable)
  • Disposable plastic bags for milk bottles

Medical Needs: A list of available hospitals in the Guangzhou area and medical evacuation services can be found at www.usembassy-china.org.cn/guangzhou. Anyone who needs emergency medical service can call the city Emergency Center (in Guangzhou: 020-120), which will inform the hospital nearest the patient to arrange an ambulance and a medical team to the patient's location as soon as possible.

Other Assistance While in China: The mailing address and contact information for the Consulate General of the United States in Guangzhou is:

Adopted Children Immigrant Visa Unit
#1 Shamian South Street
Guangzhou, P. R. C. 51033
PHONE: 011-86-20-8121 8000
DIRECT LINE: 011-86-20-8518 7653
FAX: 011-86-20-3884 4420
EMAIL: [email protected]

The U.S. Embassy is located in Beijing. The U.S. also has Consulates General in Shanghai, Shenyang, and Chengdu.

Additional Information: Specific questions about adoption in China may be addressed to the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou at the address, phone and fax numbers provided earlier in this flyer. General questions regarding intercountry adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-407-4747.

International Parental Child Abduction

February 2008

The information in this section has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.

General Information: The Peoples Republic of China (PRC) is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, nor are there any international or bilateral treaties in force between China and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction. American citizens who travel to China place themselves under the jurisdiction of local courts. American citizens planning a trip to China with dual national children should bear this in mind.

Custody Disputes: In China, parents who are legally married share the custody of their children. If they are not married and the parents cannot reach an agreement, custody is granted by the courts in the best interests of the child.

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments: Custody orders and judgments of foreign courts are not enforceable in China. Such judgments must be presented to a Chinese court for that courts consideration and decision. In China, there is a limited process to appeal a lower court's decision.

Visitation Rights: In cases where legal custody has been granted and the judgment has been rendered, the non-custodial parent's visitation rights are normally incorporated within the court ordered decision.

Dual Nationality: Dual nationality is not recognized under Chinese law. Some U.S. citizens who are also Chinese nationals (mostly U.S. -born children of Chinese nationals or Legal permanent Permanent Residents) have experienced difficulty entering and departing China on U.S. passports. In some cases, such dual nationals are required to use Chinese travel documents to depart China. Normally this causes inconvenience but no significant problems for affected persons; however, in child custody disputes, the ability of dual national children to depart from China could be affected. Generally, children who are Chinese nationals according to Chinese law are not permitted to depart China if one parent refuses to allow the travel requested by one parent, even if that parent is considered an abducting parent by United States courts. In those cases, children abducted to China are only permitted to return to the United States if both parents agree to their return, or if a Chinese court upholds a United States Court's decision to allow the left-behind parent sole custody.

For more information, please read the International Parental Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Travel Restrictions: While no exit visas are required to leave China, persons who replace passports are required to get an exit permit from the entry and exit police. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates will assist a traveler with a new passport in obtaining this document.

Criminal Remedies: For information on possible criminal remedies, please contact your local law enforcement authorities or the nearest office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Information is also available on the Internet at the web site of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) at http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org.

For further information on international parental child abduction, contact the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 or visit its web site on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov/family. You may also direct inquiries to: Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-4811; Phone: (202) 736-9090; Fax: (202) 312-9743.

views updated

China

Compiled from the January 2007 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
People’s Republic of China

PROFILE

PEOPLE

HISTORY

GOVERNMENT

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

ECONOMY

FOREIGN RELATIONS

DEFENSE

U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS

TRAVEL

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 9,596,960 sq. km. (about 3.7 million sq. mi.).

Cities: Capital—Beijing. Other major cities—Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Harbin, Chengdu.

Terrain: Plains, deltas, and hills in east; mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west.

Climate: Tropical in south to subarctic in north.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Chinese (singular and plural).

Population: (2006 est.) 1.3 billion.

Population growth rate: (2006 est.) 0.6%.

Health: (2006 est.) Infant mortality rate—23.12/1,000. Life expectancy—72.58 years (overall); 70.89 years for males, 74.46 years for females.

Ethnic groups: Han Chinese—91.9%; Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uygur, Yi, Mongolian, Tibetan, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities—8.1%.

Religions: Officially atheist; Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity.

Language: Mandarin (Putonghua), plus many local dialects.

Education: Years compulsory—9. Literacy—89%.

Work force: (2001 est., 711 million) Agriculture and forestry—50%; industry and commerce—23%; other—27%.

Government

Type: Communist party-led state.

Constitution: December 4, 1982.

Independence: Unification under the Qin (Ch’in) Dynasty 221 BC; Qing (Ch’ing or Manchu) Dynasty replaced by a republic on February 12, 1912; People’s Republic established October 1, 1949.

Government branches: Executive—president, vice president, State Council, premier. Legislative—unicameral National People’s Congress. Judicial—Supreme People’s Court.

Political subdivisions: 23 provinces (the P.R.C. considers Taiwan to be its 23rd province); 5 autonomous regions, including Tibet; 4 municipalities directly under the State Council.

Political parties: Chinese Communist Party, 70.8 million members; 8 minor parties under communist supervision.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: (2005) $2.26 trillion (exchange rate based).

Per capita GDP: (2005) $1,700 (exchange rate based).

GDP real growth rate: (2005) 9.9%.

Natural resources: Coal, iron ore, crude oil, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world’s largest).

Agriculture: Products—Among the world’s largest producers of rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley; commercial crops include cotton, other fibers, apples, oilseeds, pork and fish; produces variety of livestock products.

Industry: Types—mining and ore processing; iron; steel; aluminum; coal, machinery; textiles and apparel; armaments; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products including footwear, toys, and electronics; automobiles and other transportation equipment including rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; and telecommunications.

Trade: (2005) Exports—$762.3 billion: electronics; machinery; apparel; optical, photographic, and medical equipment; and furniture. Main part-ners—U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, EU, South Korea, Singapore. Imports—$660.2 billion: electronics, machinery, petroleum products, chemicals, steel. Main partners—Japan, EU, Taiwan, South Korea, U.S., Hong Kong.

PEOPLE

Ethnic Groups

The largest ethnic group is the Han Chinese, who constitute about 91.9% of the total population. The remaining 8.1% are Zhuang (16 million), Manchu (10 million), Hui (9 million), Miao (8 million), Uygur (7 million), Yi (7 million), Mongolian (5 million), Tibetan (5 million), Buyi (3 million), Korean (2 million), and other ethnic minorities.

Language

There are seven major Chinese dialects and many subdialects. Mandarin (or Putonghua), the predominant dialect, is spoken by over 70% of the population. It is taught in all schools and is the medium of government. About two-thirds of the Han ethnic group are native speakers of Mandarin; the rest, concentrated in southwest and southeast China, speak one of the six other major Chinese dialects. Non-Chinese languages spoken widely by ethnic minorities include Mongolian, Tibetan, Uygur and other Turkic languages (in Xinjiang), and Korean (in the northeast).

The Pinyin System of Romanization

On January 1, 1979, the Chinese Government officially adopted the pinyin system for spelling Chinese names and places in Roman letters. A system of Romanization invented by the Chinese, pinyin has long been widely used in China on street and commercial signs as well as in elementary Chinese textbooks as an aid in learning Chinese characters. Variations of pinyin also are used as the written forms of several minority languages.

Pinyin has now replaced other conventional spellings in China’s English-language publications. The U.S. Government also has adopted the pinyin system for all names and places in China. For example, the capital of China is now spelled “Beijing” rather than “Peking.”

Religion

Religion plays a significant part in the life of many Chinese. Buddhism is most widely practiced, with an estimated 100 million adherents. Traditional Taoism also is practiced. Official figures indicate there are 20 million Muslims, 5 million Catholics, and 15 million Protestants; unofficial estimates are much higher.

While the Chinese constitution affirms religious toleration, the Chinese Government places restrictions on religious practice outside officially recognized organizations. Only two Christian organizations—a Catholic church without official ties to Rome and the “Three-Self-Patriotic” Protestant church—are sanctioned by the Chinese Government. Unauthorized churches have sprung up in many parts of the country and unofficial religious practice is flourishing. In some regions authorities have tried to control activities of these unregistered churches. In other regions, registered and unregistered groups are treated similarly by authorities and congregations worship in both types of churches. Most Chinese Catholic bishops are recognized by the Pope, and official priests have Vatican approval to administer all the sacraments.

Population Policy

With a population officially just over 1.3 billion and an estimated growth rate of about 0.6%, China is very concerned about its population growth and has attempted with mixed results to implement a strict birth limitation policy. China’s 2002 Population and Family Planning Law and policy permit one child per family, with allowance for a second child under certain circumstances, especially in rural areas, and with guidelines looser for ethnic minorities with small populations. Enforcement varies, and relies largely on “social compensation fees” to discourage extra births.

Official government policy opposes forced abortion or sterilization, but in some localities there are instances of forced abortion. The government’s goal is to stabilize the population in the first half of the 21st century, and current projections are that the population will peak at around 1.6 billion by 2050.

HISTORY

Dynastic Period

China is the oldest continuous major world civilization, with records dating back about 3,500 years. Successive dynasties developed a system of bureaucratic control that gave the agrarian-based Chinese an advantage over neighboring nomadic and hill cultures. Chinese civilization was further strengthened by the development of a Confucian state ideology and a common written language that bridged the gaps among the country’s many local languages and dialects. Whenever China was conquered by nomadic tribes, as it was by the Mongols in the 13th century, the conquerors sooner or later adopted the ways of the “higher” Chinese civilization and staffed the bureaucracy with Chinese.

The last dynasty was established in 1644, when the Manchus overthrew the native Ming dynasty and established the Qing (Ch’ing) dynasty with Beijing as its capital. At great expense in blood and treasure, the Manchus over the next half century gained control of many border areas, including Xinjiang, Yunnan, Tibet, Mongolia, and Taiwan. The success of the early Qing period was based on the combination of Manchu martial prowess and traditional Chinese bureaucratic skills.

During the 19th century, Qing control weakened, and prosperity diminished. China suffered massive social strife, economic stagnation, explosive population growth, and Western penetration and influence. The Taiping and Nian rebellions, along with a Russian-supported Muslim separatist movement in Xinjiang, drained Chinese resources and almost toppled the dynasty. Britain’s desire to continue its illegal opium trade with China collided with imperial edicts

prohibiting the addictive drug, and the First Opium War erupted in 1840. China lost the war; subsequently, Britain and other Western powers, including the United States, forcibly occupied “concessions” and gained special commercial privileges. Hong Kong was ceded to Britain in 1842 under the Treaty of Nanking, and in 1898, when the Opium Wars finally ended, Britain executed a 99-year lease of the New Territories, significantly expanding the size of the Hong Kong colony. As time went on, the Western powers, wielding superior military technology, gained more economic and political privileges. Reformist Chinese officials argued for the adoption of Western technology to strengthen the dynasty and counter Western advances, but the Qing court played down both the Western threat and the benefits of Western technology.

Early 20th Century China

Frustrated by the Qing court’s resistance to reform, young officials, military officers, and students—inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Sun Yatsen—began to advocate the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and creation of a republic. A revolutionary military uprising on October 10, 1911, led to the abdication of the last Qing monarch. As part of a compromise to overthrow the dynasty without a civil war, the revolutionaries and reformers allowed high Qing officials to retain prominent positions in the new republic. One of these figures, Gen. Yuan Shikai, was chosen as the republic’s first president. Before his death in 1916, Yuan unsuccessfully attempted to name himself emperor. His death left the republican government all but shattered, ushering in the era of the “warlords” during which China was ruled and ravaged by shifting coalitions of competing provincial military leaders.

In the 1920s, Sun Yat-sen established a revolutionary base in south China and set out to unite the fragmented nation. With Soviet assistance, he organized the Kuomintang (KMT or “Chinese Nationalist People’s Party”), and entered into an alliance with the fledgling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). After Sun’s death in 1925, one of his proteges, Chiang Kai-shek, seized control of the KMT and succeeded in bringing most of south and central China under its rule. In 1927, Chiang turned on the CCP and executed many of its leaders. The remnants fled into the mountains of eastern China. In 1934, driven out of their mountain bases, the CCP’s forces embarked on a “Long March” across some of China’s most desolate terrain to the northwestern province of Shaanxi, where they established a guerrilla base at Yan’an.

During the “Long March,” the communists reorganized under a new leader, Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung). The bitter struggle between the KMT and the CCP continued openly or clandestinely through the 14-year long Japanese invasion (1931-45), even though the two parties nominally formed a united front to oppose the Japanese invaders in 1937. The war between the two parties resumed after the Japanese defeat in 1945. By 1949, the CCP occupied most of the country. Chiang Kai-shek fled with the remnants of his KMT government and military forces to Taiwan, where he proclaimed Taipei to be China’s “provisional capital” and vowed to reconquer the Chinese mainland. Taiwan still calls itself the “Republic of China.”

The People’s Republic of China

In Beijing, on October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.). The new government assumed control of a people exhausted by two generations of war and social conflict, and an economy ravaged by high inflation and disrupted transportation links. A new political and economic order modeled on the Soviet example was quickly installed.

In the early 1950s, China undertook a massive economic and social reconstruction program. The new leaders gained popular support by curbing inflation, restoring the economy, and rebuilding many war-damaged industrial plants. The CCP’s authority reached into almost every aspect of Chinese life. Party control was assured by large, politically loyal security and military forces; a government apparatus responsive to party direction; and the placement of party members into leadership positions in labor, women’s, and other mass organizations.

The “Great Leap Forward” and the Sino-Soviet Split

In 1958, Mao broke with the Soviet model and announced a new economic program, the “Great Leap Forward,” aimed at rapidly raising industrial and agricultural production. Giant cooperatives (communes) were formed, and “backyard factories” dotted the Chinese landscape. The results were disastrous. Normal market mechanisms were disrupted, agricultural production fell behind, and China’s people exhausted themselves producing what turned out to be shoddy, un-salable goods. Within a year, starvation appeared even in fertile agricultural areas. From 1960 to 1961, the combination of poor planning during the Great Leap Forward and bad weather resulted in one of the deadliest famines in human history.

The already strained Sino-Soviet relationship deteriorated sharply in 1959, when the Soviets started to restrict the flow of scientific and technological information to China. The dispute escalated, and the Soviets withdrew all of their personnel from China in August 1960. In 1960, the Soviets and the Chinese began to have disputes openly in international forums.

The Cultural Revolution

In the early 1960s, State President Liu Shaoqi and his protege, Party General Secretary Deng Xiaoping, took over direction of the party and adopted pragmatic economic policies at odds with Mao’s revolutionary vision. Dissatisfied with China’s new direction and his own reduced authority, Party Chairman Mao launched a massive political attack on Liu, Deng, and other pragmatists in the spring of 1966. The new movement, the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution,” was unprecedented in communist history. For the first time, a section of the Chinese communist leadership sought to rally popular opposition against another leadership group. China was set on a course of political and social anarchy that lasted the better part of a decade.

In the early stages of the Cultural Revolution, Mao and his “closest comrade in arms,” National Defense Minister Lin Biao, charged Liu, Deng, and other top party leaders with dragging China back toward capitalism. Radical youth organizations, called Red Guards, attacked party and state organizations at all levels, seeking out leaders who would not bend to the radical wind. In reaction to this turmoil, some local People’s Liberation Army (PLA) commanders and other officials maneuvered to outwardly back Mao and the radicals while actually taking steps to rein in local radical activity.

Gradually, Red Guard and other radical activity subsided, and the Chinese political situation stabilized along complex factional lines. The leadership conflict came to a head in September 1971, when Party Vice Chairman and Defense Minister Lin Biao reportedly tried to stage a coup against Mao; Lin Biao allegedly later died in a plane crash in Mongolia.

In the aftermath of the Lin Biao incident, many officials criticized and dismissed during 1966-69 were reinstated. Chief among these was Deng Xiaoping, who reemerged in 1973 and was confirmed in 1975 in the concurrent posts of Politburo Standing Committee member, PLA Chief of Staff, and Vice Premier.

The ideological struggle between more pragmatic, veteran party officials and the radicals re-emerged with a vengeance in late 1975. Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, and three close Cultural Revolution associates (later dubbed the “Gang of Four”) launched a media campaign against Deng. In January 1976, Premier Zhou Enlai, a popular political figure, died of cancer. On April 5, Beijing citizens staged a spontaneous demonstration in Tiananmen Square in Zhou’s memory, with strong political overtones of support for Deng. The authorities forcibly suppressed the demonstration. Deng was blamed for the disorder and stripped of all official positions, although he retained his party membership.

The Post-Mao Era

Mao’s death in September 1976 removed a towering figure from Chinese politics and set off a scramble for succession. Former Minister of Public Security Hua Guofeng was quickly confirmed as Party Chairman and Premier. A month after Mao’s death, Hua, backed by the PLA, arrested Jiang Qing and other members of the “Gang of Four.” After extensive deliberations, the Chinese Communist Party leadership reinstated Deng Xiaoping to all of his previous posts at the 11th Party Congress in August 1977. Deng then led the effort to place government control in the hands of veteran party officials opposed to the radical excesses of the previous two decades.

The new, pragmatic leadership emphasized economic development and renounced mass political movements. At the pivotal December 1978 Third Plenum (of the 11th Party Congress Central Committee), the leadership adopted economic reform policies aimed at expanding rural income and incentives, encouraging experiments in enterprise autonomy, reducing central planning, and attracting foreign direct investment into China. The plenum also decided to accelerate the pace of legal reform, culminating in the passage of several new legal codes by the National People’s Congress in June 1979.

After 1979, the Chinese leadership moved toward more pragmatic positions in almost all fields. The party encouraged artists, writers, and journalists to adopt more critical approaches, although open attacks on party authority were not permitted. In late 1980, Mao’s Cultural Revolution was officially proclaimed a catastrophe. Hua Guofeng, a protege of Mao, was replaced as premier in 1980 by reformist Sichuan party chief Zhao Ziyang and as party General Secretary in 1981 by the even more reformist Communist Youth League chairman Hu Yaobang.

Reform policies brought great improvements in the standard of living, especially for urban workers and for farmers who took advantage of opportunities to diversify crops and establish village industries. Literature and the arts blossomed, and Chinese intellectuals established extensive links with scholars in other countries.

At the same time, however, political dissent as well as social problems such as inflation, urban migration, and prostitution emerged. Although students and intellectuals urged greater reforms, some party elders increasingly questioned the pace and the ultimate goals of the reform program. In December 1986, student demonstrators, taking advantage of the loosening political atmosphere, staged protests against the slow pace of reform, confirming party elders’ fear that the current reform program was leading to social instability. Hu Yaobang, a protege of Deng and a leading advocate of reform, was blamed for the protests and forced to resign as CCP General Secretary in January 1987. Premier Zhao Ziyang was made General Secretary and Li Peng, former Vice Premier and Minister of Electric Power and Water Conservancy, was made Premier.

1989 Student Movement and Tiananmen Square

After Zhao became the party General Secretary, the economic and political reforms he had championed came under increasing attack. His proposal in May 1988 to accelerate price reform led to widespread popular complaints about rampant inflation and gave opponents of rapid reform the opening to call for greater centralization of economic controls and stricter prohibitions against Western influence. This precipitated a political debate, which grew more heated through the winter of 1988-89.

The death of Hu Yaobang on April 15, 1989, coupled with growing economic hardship caused by high inflation, provided the backdrop for a large-scale protest movement by students, intellectuals, and other parts of a disaffected urban population. University students and other citizens camped out in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to mourn Hu’s death and to protest against those who would slow reform. Their protests, which grew despite government efforts to contain them, called for an end to official corruption and for defense of freedoms guaranteed by the Chinese constitution. Protests also spread to many other cities, including Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou.

Martial law was declared on May 20, 1989. Late on June 3 and early on the morning of June 4, military units were brought into Beijing. They used armed force to clear demonstrators from the streets. There are no official estimates of deaths in Beijing, but most observers believe that casualties numbered in the hundreds.

After June 4, while foreign governments expressed horror at the brutal suppression of the demonstrators, the central government eliminated remaining sources of organized opposition, detained large numbers of protesters, and required political reeducation not only for students but also for large numbers of party cadre and government officials.

Following the resurgence of conservatives in the aftermath of June 4, economic reform slowed until given new impetus by Deng Xiaoping’s dramatic visit to southern China in early 1992. Deng’s renewed push for a market-oriented economy received official sanction at the 14th Party Congress later in the year as a number of younger, reform-minded leaders began their rise to top positions. Deng and his supporters argued that managing the economy in a way that increased living standards should be China’s primary policy objective, even if “capitalist” measures were adopted. Subsequent to the visit, the Communist Party Politburo publicly issued an endorsement of Deng’s policies of economic openness. Though not completely eschewing political reform, China has consistently placed overwhelming priority on the opening of its economy.

Third Generation of Leaders

Deng’s health deteriorated in the years prior to his death in 1997. During that time, President Jiang Zemin and other members of his generation gradually assumed control of the day-to-day functions of government. This “third generation” leadership governed collectively with President Jiang at the center.

In March 1998, Jiang was re-elected President during the 9th National People’s Congress. Premier Li Peng was constitutionally required to step down from that post. He was elected to the chairmanship of the National People’s Congress. Zhu Rongji was selected to replace Li as Premier.

Fourth Generation of Leaders

In November 2002, the 16th Communist Party Congress elected Hu Jintao, who in 1992 was designated by Deng Xiaoping as the “core” of the fourth generation leaders, the new General Secretary. A new Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee was also elected in November.

In March 2003, General Secretary Hu Jintao was elected President at the 10th National People’s Congress. Jiang Zemin retained the chairmanship of the Central Military Commission. At the Fourth Party Plenum in September 2004, Jiang Zemin retired from the Central Military Commission, passing the Chairmanship and control of the People’s Liberation Army to President Hu Jintao.

China is firmly committed to economic reform and opening to the outside world. The Chinese leadership has identified reform of state industries and the establishment of a social safety network as government priorities. Government strategies for achieving these goals include large-scale privatization of unprofitable state-owned enterprises and development of a pension system for workers. The leadership has also downsized the government bureaucracy.

The Next 5 Years

The next 5 years represent a critical period in China’s development. To investors and firms, especially following China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, China represents a vast market that has yet to be fully tapped and a low-cost base for export-oriented production. Educationally, China is forging ahead as partnerships and exchanges with foreign universities have helped create new research opportunities for its students. China will host the Summer Olympics in 2008 and views this as an opportunity to showcase to the world China’s development gains of the past two decades. The new leadership is committed to generating greater economic development in the interior and providing more services to those who do not live in China’s coastal areas, goals that form the core of President Hu’s concepts of a “harmonious society” and a “spiritual civilization.” However, there is still much that needs to change in China. Human rights issues remain a major concern, as does China’s lack of effective controls to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related materials and technology.

GOVERNMENT

Chinese Communist Party

The 70.8 million member CCP, authoritarian in structure and ideology, continues to dominate government. Nevertheless, China’s population, geographical vastness, and social diversity frustrate attempts to rule by fiat from Beijing.

Central leaders must increasingly build consensus for new policies among party members, local and regional leaders, influential non-party members, and the population at large.

In periods of greater openness, the influence of people and organizations outside the formal party structure has tended to increase, particularly in the economic realm. This phenomenon is most apparent today in the rapidly developing coastal region. Nevertheless, in all important government, economic, and cultural institutions in China, party committees work to see that party and state policy guidance is followed and that non-party members do not create autonomous organizations that could challenge party rule. Party control is tightest in government offices and in urban economic, industrial, and cultural settings; it is considerably looser in the rural areas, where the majority of the people live.

Theoretically, the party’s highest body is the Party Congress, which is supposed to meet at least once every 5 years. The primary organs of power in the Communist Party include:

  • The Politburo Standing Committee, which currently consists of nine members;
  • The Politburo, consisting of 24 full members, including the members of the Politburo Standing Committee;
  • The Secretariat, the principal administrative mechanism of the CCP, headed by the General Secretary;
  • The Central Military Commission;
  • The Discipline Inspection Commission, which is charged with rooting out corruption and malfeasance among party cadres.

State Structure

The Chinese Government has always been subordinate to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP); its role is to implement party policies. The primary organs of state power are the National People’s Congress (NPC), the President (the head of state), and the State Council. Members of the State Council include Premier Wen Jiabao (the head of government), a variable number of vice premiers (now four), five state councilors (protocol equivalents of vice premiers but with narrower portfolios), and 22 ministers and four State Council commission directors.

Under the Chinese constitution, the NPC is the highest organ of state power in China. It meets annually for about 2 weeks to review and approve major new policy directions, laws, the budget, and major personnel changes. These initiatives are presented to the NPC for consideration by the State Council after previous endorsement by the Communist Party’s Central Committee. Although the NPC generally approves State Council policy and personnel recommendations, various NPC committees hold active debate in closed sessions, and changes may be made to accommodate alternate views.

When the NPC is not in session, its permanent organ, the Standing Committee, exercises state power.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 1/18/2007

President: HU Jintao

Vice President: ZENG Qinghong

Premier, State Council: WEN Jiabao

Executive Vice Premier, State Council: HUANG Ju

Vice Premier, State Council: WU Yi

Vice Premier, State Council: ZENG Peiyan

Vice Premier, State Council: HUI Liangyu

State Councilor, State Council: ZHOU Yongkang

State Councilor, State Council: CAO Gangchuan

State Councilor, State Council: TANG Jiaxuan

State Councilor, State Council: HUA Jianmin

State Councilor, State Council: CHEN Zhili

Sec. Gen., State Council: HUA Jianmin

Chmn., Central Military Commission: HU Jintao

Min. in Charge of National Defense Science, Technology, & Industry Commission: ZHANG Yunchuan

Min. in Charge of State Development Reform Commission: MA Kai

Min. in Charge of State Population & Family Planning Commission: ZHANG Weiqing

Min. in Charge of State Nationalities Affairs Commission: LI Dezhu (a.k.a. LI Dek Su)

Min. of Agriculture: SUN Zhengcai

Min. of Civil Affairs: LI Xueju

Min. of Commerce: BO Xilai

Min. of Communications: ZHANG Chunxian

Min. of Construction: WANG Guangtao

Min. of Culture: SUN Jiazheng

Min. of Education: ZHOU Ji

Min. of Finance: JIN Renqing

Min. of Foreign Affairs: LI Zhaoxing

Min. of Health: GAO Qiang

Min. of Information Industry: WANG Xudong

Min. of Justice: WU Aiying

Min. of Labor & Social Security: TIAN Chengping

Min. of Land & Natural Resources: SUN Wensheng

Min. of National Defense: CAO Gangchuan

Min. of Personnel: ZHANG Bolin

Min. of Public Security: ZHOU Yongkang

Min. of Railways: LIU Zhijun

Min. of Science & Technology: XU Guanhua

Min. of State Security: XU Yongyue

Min. of Supervision: LI Zhilun

Min. of Water Resources: WANG Shucheng

Min., State Admin. of Work Safety: LI Yizhong

Governor, People’s Bank of China: ZHOU Xiaochuan

Ambassador to the US: ZHOU Wenzhong

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: WANG Guangya

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Legal System

The government’s efforts to promote rule of law are significant and ongoing. After the Cultural Revolution, China’s leaders aimed to develop a legal system to restrain abuses of official authority and revolutionary excesses. In 1982, the National People’s Congress adopted a new state constitution that emphasized the rule of law under which even party leaders are theoretically held accountable.

Since 1979, when the drive to establish a functioning legal system began, more than 300 laws and regulations, most of them in the economic area, have been promulgated. The use of mediation committees—informed groups of citizens who resolve about 90% of China’s civil disputes and some minor criminal cases at no cost to the parties—is one innovative device. There are more than 800,000 such committees in both rural and urban areas.

Legal reform became a government priority in the 1990s. Legislation designed to modernize and professionalize the nation’s lawyers, judges, and prisons was enacted. The 1994 Administrative Procedure Law allows citizens to sue officials for abuse of authority or malfeasance. In addition, the criminal law and the criminal procedures laws were amended to introduce significant reforms. The criminal law amendments abolished the crime of “counter-revolutionary” activity, although many persons are still incarcerated for that crime. Criminal procedures reforms also encouraged establishment of a more transparent, adversarial trial process. The Chinese constitution and laws provide for fundamental human rights, including due process, but these are often ignored in practice. In addition to other judicial reforms, the Constitution was amended in 2004 to include the protection of individual human rights and legally-obtained private property, but it is unclear how those provisions will be implemented. Although new criminal and civil laws have provided additional safeguards to citizens, previously debated political reforms, including expanding elections to the township level, and other legal reforms, including the reform of the reeducation through labor system, have been put on hold.

Human Rights

The State Department’s annual China human rights and religious freedom reports have noted China’s well-documented abuses of human rights in violation of internationally recognized norms, stemming both from the authorities’ intolerance of dissent and the inadequacy of legal safeguards for basic freedoms. Reported abuses have included arbitrary and lengthy incommunicado detention, forced confessions, torture, and mistreatment of prisoners as well as severe restrictions on freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association, religion, privacy, worker rights, and coercive birth limitation. In 2005, China stepped up monitoring, harassment, intimidation, and arrest of journalists, Internet writers, defense lawyers, religious activists, and political dissidents. The activities of NGOs, especially those relating to the rule of law and expansion of judicial review, have been curtailed. The Chinese Government recognizes five official religions—Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Catholicism, and Protestantism—and seeks to regulate religious groups and worship. Religious believers who seek to practice their faith outside of state-controlled religious venues and unregistered religious groups and spiritual movements are subject to intimidation, harassment, and detention. In 2004, the Secretary of State again designated China as a “Country of Particular Concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act for particularly severe violations of religious freedom.

At the same time, China’s economic growth and reform since 1978 has improved dramatically the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese, increased social mobility, and expanded the scope of personal freedom. This has meant substantially greater freedom of travel, employment opportunity, educational and cultural pursuits, job and housing choices, and access to information. In recent years, China has also passed new criminal and civil laws that provide additional safeguards to citizens. Village elections have been carried out in over 90% of China’s one million villages.

We have conducted 12 rounds of human rights dialogue with China since Tiananmen. During 2003 and 2004, no progress was made on the commitments China made at the 2002 Dialogue and we declined to schedule another round. In November 2004 we initiated negotiations on outstanding commitments with China and these commitments have been met. We are now, in principle, prepared to resume our formal human rights dialogue with China. Although we have not yet engaged in discussions about a date for such a dialogue, during his February 2006 trip to Beijing, Assistant Secretary of State Barry Lowenkron urged progress on specific human rights concerns that President Bush raised with President Hu in September and November 2005, and outlined areas on which we would like to focus in future dialogue.

ECONOMY

Economic Reforms

Since 1979, China has reformed and opened its economy. The Chinese leadership has adopted a more pragmatic perspective on many political and socioeconomic problems, and has reduced the role of ideology in economic policy. China’s ongoing economic transformation has had a profound impact not only on China but on the world. The market-oriented reforms China has implemented over the past two decades have unleashed individual initiative and entrepreneurship. The result has been the largest reduction of poverty and one of the fastest increases in income levels ever seen. China today is the fourth-largest economy in the world. It has sustained average economic growth of over 9.5% for the past 26 years. In 2005 its $2.26 trillion economy was about 1/7 the size of the U.S. economy.

In the 1980s, China tried to combine central planning with market-oriented reforms to increase productivity, living standards, and technological quality without exacerbating inflation, unemployment, and budget deficits. China pursued agricultural reforms, dismantling the commune system and introducing a household-based system that provided peasants greater decision-making in agricultural activities. The government also encouraged nonagri-cultural activities such as village enterprises in rural areas, and promoted more self-management for state-owned enterprises, increased competition in the marketplace, and facilitated direct contact between Chinese and foreign trading enterprises. China also relied more upon foreign financing and imports.

During the 1980s, these reforms led to average annual rates of growth of 10% in agricultural and industrial output. Rural per capita real income doubled. China became self-sufficient in grain production; rural industries accounted for 23% of agricultural output, helping absorb surplus labor in the countryside. The variety of light industrial and consumer goods increased. Reforms began in the fiscal, financial, banking, price-setting, and labor systems.

By the late 1980s, however, the economy had become overheated with increasing rates of inflation. At the end of 1988, in reaction to a surge of inflation caused by accelerated price reforms, the leadership introduced an austerity program.

China’s economy regained momentum in the early 1990s. During a visit to southern China in early 1992, China’s paramount leader at the time, Deng Xiaoping, made a series of political pronouncements designed to reinvigorate the process of economic reform. The 14th Party Congress later in the year backed Deng’s renewed push for market reforms, stating that China’s key task in the 1990s was to create a “socialist market economy.” The 10-year development plan for the 1990s stressed continuity in the political system with bolder reform of the economic system.

China’s economy grew at an average rate of 10% per year during the period 1990–2004, the highest growth rate in the world. China’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 10.0% in 2003, and even faster, 10.1%, in 2004, and 9.9% in 2005 despite attempts by the government to cool the economy. China’s total trade in 2005 surpassed $1.4 trillion, making China the world’s third-largest trading nation after the U.S. and Germany. Such high growth is necessary if China is to generate the 15 million jobs needed annually—roughly the size of Ecuador or Cambodia—for new entrants into the job market.

Nevertheless, serious imbalances exist behind the spectacular trade performance, high investment flows, and high GDP growth. High numbers of non-performing loans weigh down the state-run banking system. Inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are still a drag on growth, despite announced efforts to sell, merge, or close the vast majority of SOEs.

Social and economic indicators have improved since reforms were launched, but rising inequality is evident between the more highly developed coastal provinces and the less developed, poorer inland regions. According to World Bank estimates, more than 152 million people in China in 2003—mostly in rural areas of the lagging inland provinces—still live in poverty, on consumption of less than U.S. $1 a day.

Following the Chinese Communist Party’s Third Plenum, held in October 2003, Chinese legislators unveiled several proposed amendments to the state constitution. One of the most significant was a proposal to provide protection for private property rights. Legislators also indicated there would be a new emphasis on certain aspects of overall government economic policy, including efforts to reduce unemployment (now in the 8-10% range in urban areas), to rebalance income distribution between urban and rural regions, and to maintain economic growth while protecting the environment and improving social equity. The National People’s Congress approved the amendments when it met in March 2004. The Fifth Plenum in October 2005 approved the 11th Five-Year Economic Program aimed at building a “harmonious society” through more balanced wealth distribution and improved education, medical care, and social security.

Agriculture

China is the world’s most populous country and one of the largest producers and consumers of agricultural products. Roughly half of China’s labor force is engaged in agriculture, even though only 10% of the land is suitable for cultivation and agriculture contributes only 13% of China’s GDP. China’s cropland area is only 75% of the U.S. total, but China still produces about 30% more crops and livestock than the U.S. because of intensive cultivation, China is among the world’s largest producers of rice, corn, wheat, soybeans, vegetables, tea, and pork. Major non-food crops include cotton, other fibers, and oilseeds. China hopes to further increase agricultural production through improved plant stocks, fertilizers, and technology. Incomes for Chinese farmers are stagnating, leading to an increasing wealth gap between the cities and countryside. Government policies that continue to emphasize grain self-sufficiency and the fact that farmers do not own—and cannot buy or sell—the land they work have contributed to this situation. In addition, inadequate port facilities and lack of warehousing and cold storage facilities impede both domestic and international agricultural trade.

Industry

Industry and construction account for about 46% of China’s GDP. Major industries are mining and ore processing; iron; steel; aluminum; coal, machinery; textiles and apparel; armaments; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products including footwear, toys, and electronics; automobiles and other transportation equipment including rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; and telecommunications.

China has become a preferred destination for the relocation of global manufacturing facilities. Its strength as an export platform has contributed to incomes and employment in China. The state-owned sector still accounts for about 40% of GDP. In recent years, authorities have been giving greater attention to the management of state assets—both in the financial market as well as among state-owned-enterprises—and progress has been noteworthy.

Energy

In 2003, China surpassed Japan to become the second-largest consumer of primary energy, after the United States. China is also the third-largest energy producer in the world, after the United States and Russia. China’s electricity consumption is expected to grow by over 4% a year through 2030, which will require more than $2 trillion in electricity infrastructure investment to meet the demand. China expects to add approximately 15,000 megawatts of generating capacity a year, with 20% of that coming from foreign suppliers.

Coal makes up the bulk of China’s energy consumption (64% in 2002), and China is the largest producer and consumer of coal in the world. As China’s economy continues to grow, China’s coal demand is projected to rise significantly. Although coal’s share of China’s overall energy consumption will decrease, coal consumption will continue to rise in absolute terms.

The 11th Five-Year Program, announced in 2005, calls for greater energy conservation measures, including development of renewable energy sources and increased attention to environmental protection. Moving away from coal towards cleaner energy sources including oil, natural gas, renewable energy, and nuclear power is an important component of China’s development program. China has abundant hydroelectric resources; the Three Gorges Dam, for example, will have a total capacity of 18 gigawatts when fully on-line (projected for 2009). In addition, the share of electricity generated by nuclear power is projected to grow from 1% in 2000 to 5% in 2030. China’s renewable energy law, which went into effect in 2006, calls for 10% of its energy to come from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Since 1993, China has been a net importer of oil, a large portion of which comes from the Middle East. Net imports are expected to rise to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2010. China is interested in diversifying the sources of its oil imports and has invested in oil fields around the world. Beijing also plans to increase China’s natural gas production, which currently accounts for only 3% of China’s total energy consumption. Analysts expect China’s consumption of natural gas to more than double by 2010.

In May 2004, then-Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) that launched the U.S.-China Energy Policy Dialogue. The Dialogue has strengthened energy-related interactions between China and the United States, the world’s two largest energy consumers. The U.S.-China Energy Policy Dialogue builds upon the two countries’ existing cooperative ventures in high energy nuclear physics, fossil energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy and energy information exchanges. The NDRC and the Department of Energy also exchange views and expertise on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technologies, and we convene an annual Oil and Gas Industry Forum with China.

Environment

One of the serious negative consequences of China’s rapid industrial development has been increased pollution and degradation of natural resources. A World Health Organization report on air quality in 272 cities worldwide concluded that seven of the world’s 10 most polluted cities were in China. According to China’s own evaluation, two-thirds of the 338 cities for which air-quality data are available are considered polluted—two-thirds of them moderately or severely so. Respiratory and heart diseases related to air pollution are the leading cause of death in China. Almost all of the nation’s rivers are considered polluted to some degree, and half of the population lacks access to clean water. By some estimates, every day approximately 300 million residents drink contaminated water. Ninety percent of urban water bodies are severely polluted. Water scarcity also is an issue; for example, severe water scarcity in Northern China is a serious threat to sustained economic growth and the government has begun working on a project for a large-scale diversion of water from the Yangtze River to northern cities, including Beijing and Tianjin. Acid rain falls on 30% of the country. Various studies estimate pollution costs the Chinese economy 7-10% of GDP each year.

China’s leaders are increasingly paying attention to the country’s severe environmental problems. In 1998, the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) was officially upgraded to a ministry-level agency, reflecting the growing importance the Chinese Government places on environmental protection. In recent years, China has strengthened its environmental legislation and made some progress in stemming environmental deterioration. In 2005, China joined the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development, which brings industries and governments together to implement strategies that reduce pollution and address climate change. During the 10th Five-Year Plan, China plans to reduce total emissions by 10%. Beijing in particular is investing heavily in pollution control as part of its campaign to host a successful Olympiad in 2008. Some cities have seen improvement in air quality in recent years.

China is an active participant in climate change talks and other multilateral environmental negotiations, taking environmental challenges seriously but pushing for the developed world to help developing countries to a greater extent. It is a signatory to the Basel Convention governing the transport and disposal of hazardous waste and the Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and other major environmental agreements.

The question of environmental impacts associated with the Three Gorges Dam project has generated controversy among environmentalists inside and outside China. Critics claim that erosion and silting of the Yangtze River threaten several endangered species, while Chinese officials say the dam will help prevent devastating floods and generate clean hydroelectric power that will enable the region to lower its dependence on coal, thus lessening air pollution.

The United States and China are members of the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP). The APP is a public-private partnership of six nations—Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States—committed to explore new mechanisms to meet national pollution reduction, energy security and climate change goals in ways that reduce poverty and promote economic development. APP members have undertaken cooperative activities involving deployment of clean technology in partner countries in eight areas: cleaner fossil energy, renewable energy and distributed generation, power generation and transmission, steel, aluminum, cement, coal mining, and buildings and appliances.

The United States and China have been engaged in an active program of bilateral environmental cooperation since the mid-1990s, with an emphasis on clean energy technology and the design of effective environmental policy. While both governments view this cooperation positively, China has often compared the U.S. program, which lacks a foreign assistance component, with those of Japan and several European Union (EU) countries that include generous levels of aid.

Science and Technology

Science and technology have always preoccupied China’s leaders; indeed, China’s political leadership comes almost exclusively from technical backgrounds and has a high regard for science. Deng called it “the first productive force.” Distortions in the economy and society created by party rule have severely hurt Chinese science, according to some Chinese science policy experts. The Chinese Academy of Sciences, modeled on the Soviet system, puts much of China’s greatest scientific talent in a large, under-funded apparatus that remains largely isolated from industry, although the reforms of the past decade have begun to address this problem.

Chinese science strategists see China’s greatest opportunities in newly emerging fields such as bio-technology and computers, where there is still a chance for China to become a significant player. Most Chinese students who went abroad have not returned, but they have built a dense network of trans-Pacific contacts that will greatly facilitate U.S.-China scientific cooperation in coming years. The U.S. space program is often held up as the standard of scientific modernity in China. China’s small but growing space program, which successfully completed their second manned orbit in October 2005, is a focus of national pride.

The U.S.-China Science and Technology Agreement remains the framework for bilateral cooperation in this field. A 5-year agreement to extend the Science and Technology Agreement was signed in April 2006. The Agreement is among the longest-standing U.S.-China accords, and includes over eleven U.S. Federal agencies and numerous branches that participate in cooperative exchanges under the S&T Agreement and its nearly 60 protocols, memoranda of understanding, agreements and annexes. The Agreement covers cooperation in areas such as marine conservation, renewable energy, and health. Biennial Joint Commission Meetings on Science and Technology bring together policymakers from both sides to coordinate joint science and technology cooperation. Executive Secretaries meetings are held biennially to implement specific cooperation programs. Japan and the European Union also have high profile science and technology cooperative relationships with China.

Trade

China’s merchandise exports totaled $762.3 billion and imports totaled $660.2 billion in 2004. Its global trade surplus surged from $32 billion in 2004 to $102 billion in 2005. China’s primary trading partners include Japan, the EU, the United States, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. According to U.S. statistics, China had a trade surplus with the U.S. of $201.6 billion in 2005.

China has taken important steps to open its foreign trading system and integrate itself into the world trading system. In November 1991, China joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group, which promotes free trade and cooperation in the economic, trade, investment, and technology spheres. China served as APEC chair in 2001, and Shanghai hosted the annual APEC leaders meeting in October of that year.

China formally joined the WTO in December 2001. As part of this far-reaching trade liberalization agreement, China agreed to lower tariffs and abolish market impediments. Chinese and foreign businessmen, for example, gained the right to import and export on their own, and to sell their products without going through a government middleman. By 2005, average tariff rates on key U.S. agricultural exports dropped from 31% to 14% and on industrial products from 25% to 9%. The agreement also opens up new opportunities for U.S. providers of services like banking, insurance, and telecommunications. China has made significant progress implementing its WTO commitments, but serious concerns remain, particularly in the realm of intellectual property rights protection.

While accession does not guarantee smaller trade deficits, full implementation of all WTO commitments would further open China’s markets to—and help level the playing field for—U.S. exports. China is now one of the most important markets for U.S. exports: in 2005, U.S. exports to China totaled $41.8 billion, more than double the $19 billion when China joined the WTO in 2001 and up 20% over 2004. U.S. agricultural exports have increased dramatically, making China our fourth-largest agricultural export market (after Canada, Japan, and Mexico). Over the same period (2001-1005), U.S. imports from China have risen from $102 billion to $243.5 billion.

Export growth continues to be a major driver of China’s rapid economic growth. To increase exports, China has pursued policies such as fostering the rapid development of foreign-invested factories, which assemble imported components into consumer goods for export, and liberalizing trading rights. In its eleventh Five-Year Program, adopted in 2005, China placed greater emphasis on developing a consumer demand-driven economy to sustain economic growth and address global imbalances.

The United States is one of China’s primary suppliers of power generating equipment, aircraft and parts, computers and industrial machinery, raw materials, and chemical and agricultural products. However, U.S. exporters continue to have concerns about fair market access due to strict testing and standards requirements for some imported products. In addition, a lack of transparency in the regulatory process makes it difficult for businesses to plan for changes in the domestic market structure. The April 11, 2006 U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) produced agreements on key U.S. trade concerns ranging from market access to U.S. beef, medical devices, and telecommunications; to the enforcement of intellectual property rights, including, significantly, software. The JCCT also produced an agreement to establish a U.S.-China High Technology and Strategic Trade Working Group to review export control cooperation and facilitate high technology trade.

Foreign Investment

China’s investment climate has changed dramatically in 24 years of reform. In the early 1980s, China restricted foreign investments to export-oriented operations and required foreign investors to form joint-venture partnerships with Chinese firms. Foreign direct investment (FDI) grew quickly during the 1980s, but stalled in late 1989 in the aftermath of Tiananmen. In response, the government introduced legislation and regulations designed to encourage foreigners to invest in high-priority sectors and regions. Since the early 1990s, China has allowed foreign investors to manufacture and sell a wide range of goods on the domestic market, and authorized the establishment of wholly foreign-owned enterprises, now the preferred form of FDI. However, the Chinese Government’s emphasis on guiding FDI into manufacturing has led to market saturation in some industries, while leaving China’s services sectors underdeveloped. China is now one of the leading recipients of FDI in the world, receiving $60 billion in 2005, for a cumulative total of $623.8 billion.

As part of its WTO accession, China undertook to eliminate certain trade-related investment measures and to open up specified sectors that had previously been closed to foreign investment. New laws, regulations, and administrative measures to implement these commitments are being issued. Major remaining barriers to foreign investment include opaque and inconsistently enforced laws and regulations and the lack of a rules-based legal infrastructure.

Opening to the outside remains central to China’s development. Foreign-invested enterprises produce about half of China’s exports, and China continues to attract large investment inflows. Foreign exchange reserves were $819 billion at the end of 2005, and have now surpassed those of Japan, making China’s foreign exchange reserves the largest in the world.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Since its establishment, the People’s Republic has worked vigorously to win international support for its position that it is the sole legitimate government of all China, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. In the early 1970s, Beijing was recognized diplomatically by most world powers. Beijing assumed the China seat in the United Nations in 1971 and became increasingly active in multilateral organizations. Japan established diplomatic relations with China in 1972, and the U.S. did so in 1979. The number of countries that have established diplomatic relations with Beijing has risen to 159, while 25 have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

After the founding of the P.R.C., China’s foreign policy initially focused on solidarity with the Soviet Union and other communist countries. In 1950, China sent the People’s Liberation Army into North Korea to help North Korea halt the UN offensive that was approaching the Yalu River. After the conclusion of the Korean conflict, China sought to balance its identification as a member of the Soviet bloc by establishing friendly relations with Pakistan and other Third World countries, particularly in Southeast Asia.

In the 1960s, Beijing competed with Moscow for political influence among communist parties and in the developing world generally. Following the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and clashes in 1969 on the Sino-Soviet border, Chinese competition with the Soviet Union increasingly reflected concern over China’s own strategic position.

In late 1978, the Chinese also became concerned over Vietnam’s efforts to establish open control over Laos and Cambodia. In response to the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, China fought a brief border war with Vietnam (February-March 1979) with the stated purpose of “teaching Vietnam a lesson.”

Chinese anxiety about Soviet strategic advances was heightened following the Soviet Union’s December 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. Sharp differences between China and the Soviet Union persisted over Soviet support for Vietnam’s continued occupation of Cambodia, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Soviet troops along the Sino-Soviet border and in Mongolia—the so-called “three obstacles” to improved Sino-Soviet relations.

In the 1970s and 1980s China sought to create a secure regional and global environment for itself and to foster good relations with countries that could aid its economic development. To this end, China looked to the West for assistance with its modernization drive and for help in countering Soviet expansionism, which it characterized as the greatest threat to its national security and to world peace.

China maintained its consistent opposition to “superpower hegemony,” focusing almost exclusively on the expansionist actions of the Soviet Union and Soviet proxies such as Vietnam and Cuba, but it also placed growing emphasis on a foreign policy independent of both the U.S. and the Soviet Union. While improving ties with the West, China continued to follow closely economic and other positions of the Third World nonaligned movement, although China was not a formal member.

In the immediate aftermath of Tiananmen crackdown in June 1989, many countries reduced their diplomatic contacts with China as well as their economic assistance programs. In response, China worked vigorously to expand its relations with foreign countries, and by late 1990, had reestablished normal relations with almost all nations. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991, China also opened diplomatic relations with the republics of the former Soviet Union.

In recent years, Chinese leaders have been regular travelers to all parts of the globe, and China has sought a higher profile in the UN through its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and other multilateral organizations. Closer to home, China has made efforts to reduce tensions in Asia, hosting the Six-Party Talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, cultivating a more cooperative relationship with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and participating in the ASEAN Regional Forum. Its moves to play a greater regional leadership role in Asia and, especially, the success of its “charm offensive” in Southeast Asia are examples of a new, more mature diplomacy. China is also working hard to strengthen ties with countries in South Asia, including India. Following Premier Wen’s 2005 visit to India, the two sides have moved to increase commercial and cultural ties, as well as to resolve longstanding border disputes. China has likewise improved ties with Russia, with President Putin visiting Beijing in April 2006. A second round of Russia-China joint military exercises is scheduled for 2007. China has played a prominent role in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional grouping that also includes Russia and the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Beijing has resolved many of its border and maritime disputes, notably including a November 1997 agreement with Russia that resolved almost all outstanding border issues and a 2000 agreement with Vietnam to resolve some differences over their maritime border, though disagreements remain over islands in the South China Sea. Tensions with Japan continue, fueled by longstanding and emotionally charged disputes over history and competing claims to portions of the East China Sea. China has played a constructive role in support of peace-keeping operations in Sudan and has stated publicly that it shares the international community’s concern over Iran’s nuclear program. Set against this has been an effort on the part of China to improve ties to countries such as Iran, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela, which are sources of oil and other resources and which welcome China’s non-conditional assistance and investment.

DEFENSE

Establishment of a professional military force equipped with modern weapons and doctrine was the last of the “Four Modernizations” announced by Zhou Enlai and supported by Deng Xiaoping. In keeping with Deng’s mandate to reform, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which includes the strategic nuclear forces, army, navy, and air force, has demobilized millions of men and women since 1978 and introduced modern methods in such areas as recruitment and manpower, strategy, and education and training.

Following the June 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, ideological correctness was temporarily revived as the dominant theme in Chinese military affairs. Reform and modernization appear to have since resumed their position as the PLA’s priority objectives, although the armed forces’ political loyalty to the CCP remains a leading concern.

The Chinese military is in the process of transforming itself from a land-based power, centered on a vast ground force, to a smaller, mobile, high-tech military eventually capable of mounting limited defensive operations beyond its coastal borders.

China’s power-projection capability is limited but has grown over recent years. China has acquired some advanced weapons systems, including Sovremmeny destroyers, SU-27 and SU-30 aircraft, and Kilo-class diesel submarines from Russia. However, much of its air and naval forces continues to be based on 1960s-era technology. As the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review, released February 2006, noted, the U.S. shares with other countries a concern about the pace, scope, and direction of China’s military modernization. We view military exchanges, visits, and other forms of engagement are useful tools in promoting transparency, provided they have substance and are fully reciprocal. Regularized exchanges and contact also have the significant benefit of building confidence, reducing the possibility of accidents, and providing the lines of communication that are essential in ensuring that episodes such as the April 2001 EP-3 aircraft incident do not escalate into major crises. During their April 2006 meeting, President Bush and President Hu agreed to increase officer exchanges and to begin a strategic nuclear dialogue between STRATCOM and the Chinese military’s strategic missile command. U.S. and Chinese militaries are also considering ways in which we might cooperate on disaster assistance relief.

Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Policy

Nuclear Weapons. In 1955, Mao Zedong’s Chinese Communist Party decided to proceed with a nuclear weapons program; it was developed with Soviet assistance until 1960. After its first nuclear test in October 1964, Beijing deployed a modest but potent ballistic missile force, including land- and sea-based intermediate-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

China became a major international arms exporter during the 1980s. Beijing joined the Middle East arms control talks, which began in July 1991 to establish global guidelines for conventional arms transfers, but announced in September 1992 that it would no longer participate because of the U.S. decision to sell F-16A/B aircraft to Taiwan.

China was the first state to pledge “no first use” of nuclear weapons. It joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1984 and pledged to abstain from further atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in 1986. China acceded to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1992 and supported its indefinite and unconditional extension in 1995. In 1996, it signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and agreed to seek an international ban on the production of fissile nuclear weapons material. To date, China has not ratified the CTBT.

In 1996, China committed not to provide assistance to un-safeguarded nuclear facilities. China became a full member of the NPT Exporters (Zangger) Committee, a group that determines items subject to IAEA inspections if exported by NPT signatories. In September 1997, China issued detailed nuclear export control regulations. China began implementing regulations establishing controls over nuclear-related dual-use items in 1998. China also has committed not to engage in new nuclear cooperation with Iran (even under safeguards), and will complete existing cooperation, which is not of proliferation concern, within a relatively short period. In May 2004, with the support of the United States, China became a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Based on significant, tangible progress with China on nuclear non-proliferation, President Clinton in 1998 took steps to bring into force the 1985 U.S.-China Agreement on Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation.

Chemical Weapons. China is not a member of the Australia Group, an informal and voluntary arrangement made in 1985 to monitor developments in the proliferation of dual-use chemicals and to coordinate export controls on key dual-use chemicals and equipment with weapons applications. In April 1997, however, China ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and, in September 1997, promulgated a new chemical weapons export control directive. In October 2002, China promulgated updated regulations on dual-use chemical agents, and now controls all the major items on the Australia Group control list.

Missiles. Although it is not a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the multinational effort to restrict the proliferation of missiles, in March 1992 China undertook to abide by MTCR guidelines and parameters. China reaffirmed this commitment in 1994, and pledged not to transfer MTCR-class ground-to-ground missiles. In November 2000, China committed not to assist in any way the development by other countries of MTCR-class missiles. However, in August 29, 2003, the U.S. Government imposed missile proliferation sanctions lasting two years on the Chinese company China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) after determining that it was knowingly involved in the transfer of equipment and technology controlled under Category II of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Annex that contributed to MTCR-class missiles in a non-MTCR country.

In December 2003, the P.R.C. promulgated comprehensive new export control regulations governing exports of all categories of sensitive technologies.

U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS

From Revolution to the Shanghai Communique

As the PLA armies moved south to complete the communist conquest of China in 1949, the American Embassy followed the Nationalist government headed by Chiang Kaishek, finally moving to Taipei later that year. U.S. consular officials remained in mainland China. The new P.R.C. Government was hostile to this official American presence, and all U.S. personnel were withdrawn from the mainland in early 1950. Any remaining hope of normalizing relations ended when U.S. and Chinese communist forces fought on opposing sides in the Korean conflict.

Beginning in 1954 and continuing until 1970, the United States and China held 136 meetings at the ambassadorial level, first at Geneva and later at Warsaw. In the late 1960s, U.S. and Chinese political leaders decided that improved bilateral relations were in their common interest. In 1969, the United States initiated measures to relax trade restrictions and other impediments to bilateral contact. On July 15, 1971, President Nixon announced that his Assistant for National Security Affairs, Dr. Henry Kissinger, had made a secret trip to Beijing to initiate direct contact with the Chinese leadership and that he, the President, had been invited to visit China.

In February 1972, President Nixon traveled to Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. At the conclusion of his trip, the U.S. and Chinese Governments issued the “Shanghai Communique,” a statement of their foreign policy views. (For the complete text of the Shanghai Communique, see the Department of State Bulletin, March 20, 1972).

In the Communique, both nations pledged to work toward the full normalization of diplomatic relations. The U.S. acknowledged the Chinese position that all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait maintain that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China. The statement enabled the U.S. and China to temporarily set aside the “crucial question obstructing the normalization of relations”—Taiwan—and to open trade and other contacts.

Liaison Office, 1973–78

In May 1973, in an effort to build toward the establishment of formal diplomatic relations, the U.S. and China established the United States Liaison Office (USLO) in Beijing and a counterpart Chinese office in Washington, DC. In the years between 1973 and 1978, such distinguished Americans as David Bruce, George H.W. Bush, Thomas Gates, and Leonard Woodcock served as chiefs of the USLO with the personal rank of Ambassador.

President Ford visited China in 1975 and reaffirmed the U.S. interest in normalizing relations with Beijing. Shortly after taking office in 1977, President Carter again reaffirmed the interest expressed in the Shanghai Communique. The United States and China announced on December 15, 1978, that the two governments would establish diplomatic relations on January 1, 1979.

Normalization

In the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations dated January 1, 1979, the United States transferred diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The U.S. reiterated the Shanghai Communique’s acknowledgment of the Chinese position that there is only one China and that Taiwan is a part of China; Beijing acknowledged that the American people would continue to carry on commercial, cultural, and other unofficial contacts with the people of Taiwan. The Taiwan Relations Act made the necessary changes in U.S. domestic law to permit such unofficial relations with Taiwan to flourish.

U.S.-China Relations Since Normalization

Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping’s January 1979 visit to Washington, DC, initiated a series of important, high-level exchanges, which continued until the spring of 1989. This resulted in many bilateral agreements—especially in the fields of scientific, technological, and cultural interchange and trade relations. Since early 1979, the United States and China have initiated hundreds of joint research projects and cooperative programs under the Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology, the largest bilateral program.

On March 1, 1979, the United States and China formally established embassies in Beijing and Washington, DC. During 1979, outstanding private claims were resolved, and a bilateral trade agreement was concluded. Vice President Walter Mondale reciprocated Vice Premier Deng’s visit with an August 1979 trip to China. This visit led to agreements in September 1980 on maritime affairs, civil aviation links, and textile matters, as well as a bilateral consular convention.

As a consequence of high-level and working-level contacts initiated in 1980, U.S. dialogue with China broadened to cover a wide range of issues, including global and regional strategic problems, political-military questions, including arms control, UN and other multilateral organization affairs, and international narcotics matters.

The expanding relationship that followed normalization was threatened in 1981 by Chinese objections to the level of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Secretary of State Alexander Haig visited China in June 1981 in an effort to resolve Chinese questions about America’s unofficial relations with Taiwan. Eight months of negotiations produced the U.S.-China joint communique of August 17, 1982. In this third communique, the U.S. stated its intention to reduce gradually the level of arms sales to Taiwan, and the Chinese described as a fundamental policy their effort to strive for a peaceful resolution to the Taiwan question. Meanwhile, Vice President Bush visited China in May 1982.

High-level exchanges continued to be a significant means for developing U.S.-China relations in the 1980s. President Reagan and Premier Zhao Ziyang made reciprocal visits in 1984. In July 1985, President Li Xiannian traveled to the United States, the first such visit by a Chinese head of state. Vice President Bush visited China in October 1985 and opened the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu, the U.S.’s fourth consular post in China. Further exchanges of cabinet-level officials occurred between 1985-89, capped by President Bush’s visit to Beijing in February 1989.

In the period before the June 3-4, 1989 crackdown, a large and growing number of cultural exchange activities undertaken at all levels gave the American and Chinese peoples broad exposure to each other’s cultural, artistic, and educational achievements. Numerous Chinese professional and official delegations visited the United States each month. Many of these exchanges continued after Tiananmen.

Bilateral Relations After Tiananmen

Following the Chinese authorities’ brutal suppression of demonstrators in June 1989, the U.S. and other governments enacted a number of measures to express their condemnation of China’s blatant violation of the basic human rights of its citizens. The U.S. suspended high-level official exchanges with China and weapons exports from the U.S. to China. The U.S. also imposed a number of economic sanctions. In the summer of 1990, at the G-7 Houston summit, Western nations called for renewed political and economic reforms in China, particularly in the field of human rights.

Tiananmen disrupted the U.S.-China trade relationship, and U.S. investors’ interest in China dropped dramatically. The U.S. Government also responded to the political repression by suspending certain trade and investment programs on June 5 and 20, 1989. Some sanctions were legislated; others were executive actions. Examples include:

  • The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA)—new activities in China were suspended from June 1989 until January 2001, when then-President Clinton lifted this suspension.
  • Overseas Private Insurance Corporation (OPIC)—new activities suspended since June 1989.
  • Development Bank Lending/IMF Credits—the United States does not support development bank lending and will not support IMF credits to China except for projects that address basic human needs.
  • Munitions List Exports—subject to certain exceptions, no licenses may be issued for the export of any defense article on the U.S. Munitions List. This restriction may be waived upon a presidential national interest determination.
  • Arms Imports—import of defense articles from China was banned after the imposition of the ban on arms exports to China. The import ban was subsequently waived by the Administration and re-imposed on May 26, 1994. It covers all items on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ Munitions Import List.

In 1996, the P.R.C. conducted military exercises in waters close to Taiwan in an apparent effort at intimidation, after Taiwan’s former President, Lee Teng-huei made a private visit to the U.S. The United States dispatched two aircraft carrier battle groups to the region. Subsequently, tensions in the Taiwan Strait diminished, and relations between the U.S. and China have improved, with increased high-level exchanges and progress on numerous bilateral issues, including human rights, non-proliferation, and trade. Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin visited the United States in the fall of 1997, the first state visit to the U.S. by a Chinese president since 1985. In connection with that visit, the two sides reached agreement on implementation of their 1985 agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation, as well as a number of other issues. Former President Clinton visited China in June 1998. He traveled extensively in China, and direct interaction with the Chinese people included live speeches, press conference and a radio show, allowing the President to convey first-hand to the Chinese people a sense of American ideals and values.

Relations between the U.S. and China were severely strained by the tragic accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in May 1999. By the end of 1999, relations began to gradually improve. In October 1999, the two sides reached agreement on humanitarian payments for families of those who died and those who were injured as well as payments for damages to respective diplomatic properties in Belgrade and China.

In April 2001, a Chinese F-8 fighter collided with a U.S. EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft flying over international waters south of China. The EP-3 was able to make an emergency landing on China’s Hainan Island despite extensive damage; the P.R.C. aircraft crashed with the loss of its pilot. Following extensive negotiations, the crew of the EP-3 was allowed to leave China 11 days later, but the U.S. aircraft was not permitted to depart for another 3 months. Subsequently, the relationship, which had cooled following the incident, gradually improved. President George W. Bush visited China in February 2002 and met with President Jiang Zemin in Crawford, Texas in October. President Bush hosted Premier Wen Jiabao in Washington in December 2003. President Bush first met Hu Jintao in his new capacity as P.R.C. President on the margins of the G-8 Summit in Evian in June 2003, and at subsequent international fora, such as the September 2004 APEC meeting in Chile, the July 2005 G-8 summit in Scotland, and the September 2005 UN General Assembly meetings in New York. President Bush traveled to China in November 2005, an official visit that was reciprocated in April 2006 when President Hu met with President Bush in Washington.

U.S. China policy has been remarkably consistent. For seven consecutive administrations, U.S. policy has been to encourage China’s opening and integration into the global system. As a result, China has moved from being a relatively isolated and poor country to one that is a key participant in international institutions and a major trading nation. The U.S. encourages China to play an active role as a responsible stakeholder in the international community, working with the U.S. and other countries to support and strengthen the international system that has enabled China’s success. As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has noted, “America has reason to welcome a confident, peaceful, and prosperous China. We want China as a global partner, able and willing to match its growing capabilities to its international responsibilities.” Beginning with former Deputy Secretary Robert Zoellick, senior State Department officials have engaged in regular and intensive discussions with their P.R.C. counterparts through the U.S.-China Senior Dialogue. The Senior Dialogue covers the entire range of issues in the bilateral relationship.

The goal of the Dialogue has been, as former Deputy Secretary Zoellick noted in a September 2005 speech, to encourage China to act as a “responsible stakeholder” in the international community, on issues ranging from UN action on Iran and the Sudan to joint efforts to promote energy security.

China has an important role to play in global, regional, and bilateral counterterrorism efforts, and the U.S. and China have cooperated with growing effectiveness on various aspects of law enforcement. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (9-11) in New York City and Washington, DC, China offered strong public support for the war on terrorism and has been an important partner in U.S. counterterrorism efforts. China voted in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 1373, publicly supported the coalition campaign in Afghanistan, and contributed $150 million of bilateral assistance to Afghan reconstruction following the defeat of the Taliban. China also pledged $25 million to the reconstruction of Iraq and has voiced strong support for the December 2005 Iraqi Parliamentary elections. Shortly after 9-11, the U.S. and China also commenced a counterterrorism dialogue, the most recent round of which was held in Washington in November 2005.

China and the U.S. have also been working closely with the international community to address threats to global security, such as those posed by North Korea and Iran’s nuclear programs. China has played a constructive role in hosting the Six-Party Talks, and the U.S. looks to Beijing to use its unique influence with Pyongyang to help bring North Korea back to the table and to implement fully its commitments under the September 2005 Statement of Principles. China has publicly stated that it does not want Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and supported the International Atomic Energy Agency’s decision to report Iran’s nuclear program to the UN Security Council. On these and other important issues, such as the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, the U.S. expects China to join with the international community in finding solutions. China’s participation is critical to efforts to combat transnational health threats such as avian influenza and HIV/AIDS, and both the U.S. and China play an important role in new multilateral energy initiatives, such as the Asia-Pacific Partnership.

While the United States looks forward to a constructive and broad-based relationship with China—a message reiterated by President Bush when he met with President Hu in April 2006 in Washington—there remain areas of potential disagreement. U.S.-China relations are sometimes complicated by events in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The United States does not support Taiwan independence and opposes unilateral steps, by either side, to change the status quo. At the same time, the U.S. has made it clear that cross-strait differences should be resolved peacefully and in a manner acceptable to people on both sides of the Strait. At various points in the past several years, China’s has expressed concern about the U.S. making statements on the political evolution of Hong Kong and has stressed that political stability there is paramount for economic growth. The NPC’s passage of an Anti-Secession law in March 2005 was viewed as unhelpful to the cause of promoting cross-Strait and regional stability by the U.S. and precipitated critical high-level statements by both sides.

U.S.-China Economic Relations

U.S. direct investment in China covers a wide range of manufacturing sectors, several large hotel projects, restaurant chains, and petrochemicals. U.S. companies have entered agreements establishing more than 20,000 equity joint ventures, contractual joint ventures, and wholly foreign-owned enterprises in China. More than 100 U.S.-based multinationals have projects in China, some with multiple investments. Cumulative U.S. investment in China is estimated at $54 billion, through the end of 2005, making the U.S. the second-largest foreign investor in China.

Total two-way trade between China and the U.S. grew from $33 billion in 1992 to over $285.3 billion in 2005. The United States is China’s second-largest trading partner, and China is now the third-largest trading partner for the United States (after Canada and Mexico). U.S. exports to China have been growing more rapidly than to any other market (up 28.4% in 2003, 20% in 2004, and 20% in 2005). U.S. imports from China grew 18% in 2005, bringing the U.S. trade deficit with China to more than $200 billion. Some of the factors that influence the U.S. trade deficit with China include:

A shift of low-end assembly industries to China from the newly industrialized economies (NIEs) in Asia. China has increasingly become the last link in a long chain of value-added production. Because U.S. trade data attributes the full value of a product to the final assembler, Chinese value-added gets over-counted.

Strong U.S. demand for Chinese goods. China’s restrictive trade practices, which have included an array of barriers to foreign goods and services, often aimed at protecting state-owned enterprises. Under its WTO accession agreement, China is reducing tariffs and eliminating import licensing requirements, as well as addressing other trade barriers.

The U.S. approach to its economic relations with China has two main elements:

First, the United States seeks to fully integrate China into the global, rules-based economic and trading system. China’s participation in the global economy will nurture the process of economic reform, encourage China to take on responsibilities commensurate with its growing influence, and increase China’s stake in the stability and prosperity of East Asia.

Second, the United States seeks to expand U.S. exporters’ and investors’ access to the Chinese market. As China grows and develops, its needs for imported goods and services will grow even more rapidly. The U.S. Government will continue to work with China’s leadership to ensure full and timely conformity with China’s WTO commitments—including effective protection of intellectual property rights—and to encourage China to move to a flexible, market-based exchange rate in order to further increase U.S. exports of goods, agricultural products, and services to the P.R.C.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

CHENGDU (CG) Address: No. 4 Lingshiguan Lu, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, PRC; APO/FPO: PSC 461 Box 85, FPO AP 96521; Phone: 86-28-8558-3992; Fax: 86-28-8558-3520; Work week: 8:30–5:30; Website: http://www.osis.gov/state/posts/chengdu/.

CG:James A. Boughner
CGOMS: Stephanie Hutchins
PO:James A. Boughner
POL:Kathryn Pongonis
POL/ECO:John Hill
CON:C. David Hillon
MGT:Jeannette Juricic
CLO:Gennie Waters
ECO:vacant
EEO:Kathryn Pongonis
EST:vacant
FCS:vacant
GSO:Edward Waters
IMO:David Foster
IPO:David Foster
ISO:vacant
ISSO:David Foster
OMS:Nomsa Gonzales
PAO:Nancy Corbett
RSO:Monica Byler
State ICASS:Jeannette Juricic

Last Updated: 8/18/2006

GUANGZHOU (CG) Address: #1 Shamian South Road, Guangzhou CHINA 510133; APO/FPO: PSC 461, Box 100. FPO AP 96521-0002; Phone: (86)(20) 8121-8000; Fax: (86) (20) 8184-6296; Workweek: 8:30 AM–5:30 PM.

CG:Robert Goldberg
COM:Robert Murphy
CON:William J. Martin
MGT:Jeffrey Rock
AGR:Joani Dong
CLO:Deborah Turner
ECO:James J. Turner
GSO:Hong-Geok Maerkle
INS:Jackie Wong
IPO:Thomas Martin
PAO:Darcy Zotter
RSO:Gary Watson

Last Updated: 8/4/2006

SHANGHAI (CG) Address: 1469 Huai Hai Zhong Lu, Shanghai 200031 PRC; APO/FPO: PSC 461, Box 200, FPO AP 96521-0200; Phone: 86-21-6433-3936; Fax: 86-21-6433-4122; INMARSAT Tel: 88-16-7631-0550; Work week: 8:00 am–5:00 pm; Website: http://shanghai.usembassychina.org.cn.

CG:Kenneth Jarrett
CG OMS:Josephine Schaefer
PO:Kenneth Jarrett, CG
POL:Mary Tarnowka
COM:Ira Kasoff
CON:Charles Jess
MGT:Julia Harlan
ATO:Wayne Batwin
CLO:Carolyn Norton
ECO:Mary Tarnowka
EEO:Jessica Megill
FIN:Julia Harlan
GSO:Ernesto Escoto
ICASS Chair:Sub Group Only
IPO:William Iglhaut
ISO:Thomas Lacy
ISSO:Matthew McDowell
PAO:Jennifer Galt
RSO:Steven Chalupsky
State ICASS:Julia Harlan

Last Updated: 1/8/2007

SHENYANG (CG) Address: U.S. CONSULATE-SHENYANG; APO/FPO: PSC 461, Box 45; FPO AP 96521-0002; Phone: 86-24-2322-1198; Fax: 86-24-2322-1942; Workweek: 0830-1730; Website: http://www.usembassy-china.org.cn/consulates/shenyang/.

CG:David A. Kornbluth
CG OMS:Kathy Kong
POL:Adam J. Hantman
POL/ECO:Dana L. Candell
COM:Soching Tsai
CON:David N. Brizzee
MGT:Jonathan B. Korach
EEO:Seth Patch
GSO:Seth L Patch
IPO:John Meradith
ISO:Robert Weber
ISSO:John Meradith
PAO:Joseph P Kruzich
RSO:Julia Hawley

Last Updated: 11/29/2006

BEIJING (M) Address: No. 3 Xiu Shui Bei Jie; APO/FPO: PSC 461 Box 50 FPO, AP 96521; Phone: 8610-6532-3831; Fax: 8610-6532-6929; Workweek: 0800-1700; Website: http://www.usembassy-china.org.cn/.

AMB:Clark T. Randt, Jr.
AMB OMS:Joan Bower
DCM:David S. Sedney
DCM OMS:Kim Tesone
CG:Michael Regan
CG OMS:Brian Woody
POL:Daniel L. Shields
MGT:James B. Lane
AGR:Maurice W. House
APHIS:Theresa Boyle
ATO:Laverne Brabant
CLO:Danielle Tymczyszyn
COM/ADB:Craig Allen
CUS:Steve Thomas
DAO:Ralph Jodice
DEA:Mike McCormick
ECO:Robert Luke
EEO:Katherine Lawson
EST:Deborah J. Seligsohn
FAA:Joseph P. Tymczyszyn
FCS:Barry Friedman
FMO:Mazhar Ahson
GSO:Dan Romano
ICASS Chair:Brad Fribley
IMO:Heywood Miller
INS:Joseph Martin
IPO:Jim Wojciechowski
ISO:Larry Roberts
ISSO:Larry Roberts
LAB:Bruce Levine
LEGATT:William Liu
PAO:Don Q. Washingotn
RSO:Bob Eckert

Last Updated: 11/2/2006

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet : September 22, 2006

Country Description: The People’s Republic of China was established on October 1, 1949, with Beijing as its capital city. With well over 1.3 billion citizens, China is the world’s most populous country and the third largest country in the world in terms of territory. China is undergoing rapid, profound economic and social change and development. Political power remains centralized in the Chinese Communist Party. Modern tourist facilities are available in major cities, but many facilities in smaller provincial cities and rural areas are frequently below international standards.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A valid passport and visa are required to enter China and must be obtained from Chinese Embassies and Consulates before traveling to China. Americans arriving without valid passports and the appropriate Chinese visa are not permitted to enter and will be subject to a fine and immediate deportation at the traveler’s expense. Travelers should not rely on Chinese host organizations claiming to be able to arrange a visa upon arrival. Chinese authorities have recently tightened their visa issuance policy, in some cases requiring personal interviews of American citizens. Although a bilateral United States-China agreement provides for issuance of multiple entry visas with validity of up to one year for tourists and business visitors, Chinese consulates often limit visas to only one-entry. Visit the Embassy of China web site at http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/ for the most current visa information.

Visas are required to transit China. Persons transiting China on the way to and from Mongolia or North Korea or who plan to re-enter from the Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions should be sure to obtain visas allowing multiple entries. Permits are required to visit Tibet as well as many remote areas not normally open to foreigners. Every foreigner going to Tibet needs to get a travel permit, which can be done through local travel agents. Permits cost RMB 100, are single-entry and valid for at most three months. Most areas in Tibet are not open for foreigners. Foreigners can be fined, taken into custody and removed for visiting restricted areas.

For information about entry requirements and restricted areas, travelers may consult the Visa Office of the Embassy of China (PRC) at Room 110, 2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20007, or telephone (202) 338-6688 and (202) 588-9760. For a list of services and frequently asked visa questions and answers, travelers can view the Chinese Embassy’s web sites at http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/. There are Chinese consulates general in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Americans traveling in Asia have been able to obtain visas to enter China from the Chinese visa office in Hong Kong and the Embassy of China in Seoul, South Korea.

Americans who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their Chinese visas will be subject to a maximum fine of 5,000 RMB and departure delays and may be subject to detention. Travelers should note that international flights departing China are routinely overbooked, making reconfirmation of departure reservations and early airport check-in essential. An airport user fee, for both international and domestic flights, is now included in the cost of the ticket price.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated new procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child’s travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if they are not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure

China does not recognize dual citizenship. U.S. Embassy and Consulate officials are often denied access to arrested or detained Americans who do not enter China using their U.S. passport. Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States who do not carry unexpired or otherwise clear evidence that they may re-enter the United States will encounter delays departing from China. Lawful Permanent Residents should renew and update U.S. residence documentation prior to their departure from the United States.

Safety and Security: Americans visiting or residing in China are advised to take the normal safety precautions travelers take when in any foreign country. Specifically, travelers should remain aware of their surroundings and of events that are happening around them. Travelers should respect local police requirements to avoid travel in some areas. In light of the greatly increased numbers of older Americans traveling to China, U.S. tour operators should check that local guides are familiar with medical facilities and emergency medical evacuation procedures.

American citizens who rent apartments with gas appliances should be aware that, in some areas, natural gas is not scented to warn occupants of gas leaks or concentrations. In addition, heaters may not always be well vented, thereby allowing excess carbon monoxide to build up in living spaces. Due to fatal accidents involving American citizens, travelers are advised to ensure all gas appliances are properly vented or to install gas and carbon monoxide detectors in their residences. These devices are not widely available in China and should be purchased prior to arrival.

Security personnel may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance. Hotel rooms, telephones, and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms, including computers, may be searched without the consent or knowledge of the traveler. Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in problems with authorities. Foreign government officials, journalists, and business people with access to advanced proprietary technology are particularly likely to be under surveillance.

Terrorism is rare in China, although a small number of bombings have occurred in areas throughout China. Recent bombings have largely been criminal activity, frequently the result of commercial disputes. Last year there were over 80, 000 incidents of social unrest according to the Chinese government. The vast majority of these local incidents related to disputes over land seizures, social issues or environmental problems. While some incidents have grown to larger scales and involved some violence, these demonstrations have not been directed against foreigners. In April 2005 anti-Japanese demonstrations resulted in property damage and some reports of violence being directed against foreigners of Asian appearance.

Business disputes in China are not always handled through the courts. Sometimes the foreign partner has been held hostage, threatened with violence, or beaten up. Anyone entering into a contract in China should have it thoroughly examined, both in the United States and in China. Contracts entered into in the United States are not enforced by Chinese courts.

U.S. citizens and business owners should be aware that many intending migrants from China will try to enlist their assistance to secure a U.S. visa. In one common scheme, a PRC national will contact a U.S. business feigning interest in a particular product or service. The PRC national then asks for a formal letter from the U.S. company inviting him or her (alone or with colleagues) to come to the United States to discuss or finalize a purchase, or establish formal cooperation between the two companies. The PRC national(s) will then use these invitation letters when they apply for U.S. visas to show they have a legitimate purpose of travel. While many such requests may be legitimate, some are not. Oftentimes, the PRC national initiating the contact has no relationship to his/her claimed Chinese employer. In fact, it is not unusual for these individuals to be part of elaborate human smuggling syndicates. Visa Sections at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China are regularly contacted by U.S. businesses that unwittingly have been used to facilitate illicit migration schemes.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling (888) 407-4747 toll free in the United States, or for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll-line at (202) 501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: China has a low crime rate. Pickpockets target tourists at sightseeing destinations, open-air markets, airports, and in stores, often with the complicity of low-paid security guards. Violence against foreigners, while rare, is on the increase. Over the past year, incidents of violence against foreigners, including sexual assaults, have taken place, usually in urban areas where bars and nightclubs are located. Robberies, sometimes at gunpoint, have occurred in western China and more recently in Beijing. There have been some reports of robberies and assaults along remote mountain highways near China’s border with Nepal. Travelers are sometimes asked by locals to exchange money at a preferential rate. It is illegal to exchange dollars for RMB except at banks, hotels and official exchange offices. Due to the large volume of counterfeit currency in China, unofficial exchanges usually result in travelers losing their money and possibly left to face charges of breaking foreign exchange laws. If detained by police under suspicion of committing an economic crime involving currency, travelers may be delayed for weeks or months while police investigate the allegations.

Recently, there have been instances in Beijing and elsewhere of mobs in bar districts attacking foreigners. Nationalism is on the rise. Disputes among Chinese citizens or between Chinese and foreigners can quickly turn against foreigners. Caution should be exercised when visiting bar districts late at night, especially on weekends. There have been reports of bar fights in which Americans have been specifically targeted due their nationality. Simple arguments can turn into mob scenes and many times have resulted in the American being detained for hours for questioning with no right to an attorney or consular officer at that stage.

Travelers should have small bills (RMB 10, 20 and 50 notes) for travel by taxi. Reports of taxi drivers using counterfeit money to make change for large bills are increasingly common, especially in Guangzhou. Arguments with taxi drivers over fares or over choice of route usually are not easily resolved on the scene. In some cases, Americans who instigate such arguments have been detained for questioning and are not usually released until the fare is paid or a settlement is reached and the American offers an apology. We have seen an increase in the number of Americans falling victim to scams involving the inflation of tea and drink prices. Normally, the scam involves young people who approach English-speaking tourists and ask to have a cup of tea with them to practice their English. When the bill comes for the tea, the charge has been inflated to an exorbitant amount. When the tourist complains, enforcers arrive to collect the money. A similar scam involves buying drinks for young women at local bars.

Throughout China, women outside hotels in tourist districts frequently use the prospect of companionship or sex to lure foreign men to isolated locations where accomplices are waiting for the purpose of robbery. Travelers should not allow themselves to be driven to bars or an individual’s home unless they know the person making the offer. Hotel guests should refuse to open their room doors to anyone they do not know personally.

Recently, Americans visitors have encountered scams at the international airports in China whereby individuals appearing to work for the airport offer to take American tourists’ bags to the departure area, but instead they carry the bags to another area and insist that the visitor pay an airport tax. Travelers should be advised that the airport tax is now included in the price of the airline ticket. The airport police or security officers should be contacted if this happens.

American visitors to China should carry their passports with them out of reach of pickpockets. Americans with Chinese residence permits (juliuzheng) should carry these documents, and leave their passports in a secure location except when traveling. All Americans are encouraged to make photocopies of their passport bio-data pages and Chinese visas and to keep these in a separate, secure location, and to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate General. Please note the contact information below for registration by e-mail addresses.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

English Teachers/Secondary School Teachers: Many Americans have enjoyed their teaching experience in China; others have encountered significant problems. We encourage prospective teachers to read the Teaching in China Guide on Embassy Beijing’s American Citizen Services website at http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn. In order for us to provide up to date information to prospective teachers, we request that Americans experiencing problems inform the Embassy by contacting the American Citizens Services Unit at telephone (86)(10) 6532-3431, or via email at [email protected]

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Western-style medical facilities with international staffs are available in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and a few other large cities. Many other hospitals in major Chinese cities have so-called VIP wards (gaogan bingfang). These feature reasonably up-to-date medical technology and physicians who are both knowledgeable and skilled. Most VIP wards also provide medical services to foreigners and have English-speaking doctors and nurses. Most hospitals in China will not accept medical insurance from the United States, with the exception of the following hospitals, which are on the Blue-Cross Blue-Shield’s worldwide network providers—overseas network hospitals’ list (http://www.bcbs.com/bluecardworldwide/index.html): Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Beijing United Family Hospital, Beijing Friendship Hospital, International Medical Center in Beijing, and Peking Union Medical Center. Travelers will be asked to post a deposit prior to admission to cover the expected cost of treatment. Hospitals in major cities may accept credit cards for payment. Even in the VIP/Foreigner wards of major hospitals, however, American patients have frequently encountered difficulty due to cultural and regulatory differences. Physicians and hospitals have sometimes refused to supply American patients with complete copies of their Chinese hospital medical records, including laboratory test results, scans, and x-rays.

Ambulances do not carry sophisticated medical equipment. Injured or seriously ill Americans may be required to take taxis or other immediately available vehicles to the nearest major hospital rather than waiting for ambulances to arrive. Generally, in rural areas, only rudimentary medical facilities are available, often with poorly trained medical personnel who have little medical equipment and medications. Rural clinics are often reluctant to accept responsibility for treating foreigners, even in emergency situations.

SOS International, Ltd., operates modern medical and dental clinics and provides medical evacuation and medical escort services in Beijing, Nanjing, Tianjin and Shekou, as well as 24hr Alarm Centers in Beijing and Shanghai. Through clinics in Beijing (24 hours), Tianjin, Nanjing and Shekou, SOS offers international standard family practice services, emergency medical services and a range of clinical services.

For medical emergencies anywhere in mainland China, Americans can call the SOS International, Ltd., 24-hour “Alarm Center” in Beijing at telephone (86)(10) 6462-9100 or in Shanghai at (86)(21) 5298-9538 for advice and referrals to local facilities. SOS International Alarm Centers can also be contacted in Hong Kong at telephone (852) 2428-9900 and in the United States at (215) 245-4707. For a full list of SOS locations and phone numbers, consult the SOS website at http://www.internationalsos.com.

BEIJING
Bayley & Jackson Beijing Medical
Center
#7 Ritan Dong Lu, Chaoyang District,
Beijing 100020
(86)(10) 8562-9998
Fax: (86)(10) 8561-4866
email: [email protected]
Website: www.bjhealthcare.com

Beijing United Family Hospital and
Clinics
#2 Jiang Tai Lu, Chaoyang District,
Beijing 100016
(86)(10) 6433-3960
Fax: (86)(10) 6433-3963
Emergency Hotline:
(86)(10) 6433-2345
Website: www.unitedfamilyhospitals.com

Beijing United Family Clinic- Shunyi
Pinnacle Plaza, Unit # 818, Tian Zhu
Real Estate Development Zone, Shunyi
District, 101312
(86)(10) 8046-5432 Fax: (86)(10)
8046-4383

Peking Union Medical Hospital
1 Shuai Fu Yuan, Dong Cheng
District, Beijing 100730
Tel: (86)(10) 6529-5269
(registration and information);
(86)(10) 6529-5284 (24 hours);
(86)(10) 6529 6114 (operator).
Modern Facilities with English
speaking staff. Separate ward for foreign patients.

SHANGHAI
World Link Shanghai Clinics: Expatriate doctors and imported vaccines. Hotline: (86)(21) 6385-9990 www.worldlink-shanghai.com. World Link Medical Centers located at:

Shanghai Center Medical Center
1376 Nanjing Xi Lu Suite 203
Telephone: (86)(21) 6279-7688

Hong Qiao Medical Center
2258 Hong Qiao Lu
Telephone: (86)(21) 6242-0909

Specialty Clinic
Lu Wan Hospital, 3rd Floor
170 Dan Shui Lu
Telephone: (86)(21) 6445-5999

Jin Qiao Medical & Dental Center
51 Hong Feng Lu
Pudong
Tel: (86)(21) 5032-8288

Shanghai Kerry Center
Room 301
1515 Nanjing West Rd
Tel: (86)(21) 5298-6339

Fudan Vision
Managed by Vision-Health-One a Singapore health care company and affiliated to Fudan Medical University.
Staffed by Singapore and western
physicians.
Silver Tower 3rd Floor
228 South Xizang Rd
Tel: (86)(21) 6334-3668

Shanghai United Family Hospital
1139 Xianxia Lu
Tel: (86)(21) 5133-1900
Emergency hotline:
(86)(21) 5133-1999
www.unitedfamilyhospitals.com

Shanghai East International
Medical Center
551 South Pudong Rd
Telephone: (86)(21) 5879-999

GlobalDoctor, Ltd., has opened clinics staffed by English-speaking doctors within the VIP wards of government-run hospitals in Chengdu, Nanjing, and Beijing. There is also a clinic in Shenyang with a 24- hour emergency assistance hotline at (86)(24) 2433-0678. GlobalDoctor can be reached by telephone from China at (86)(10) 8456-9191 or on the Internet at http://www.eglobaldoctor.com.

Additional information on medical providers specializing in treating foreigners for general medical, dental and orthodontic problems are available at http://beijing.usembassychina.org.cn.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at (877) FYI-TRIP (877-394-8747); fax (888) CDC-FAXX (888-232-3299), or via the CDC’s Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Alternative Medical Treatments: There have been increasing numbers of foreigners coming to China to receive alternative medical treatments or procedures prohibited in the United States relating specifically to stem-cell research. Any person contemplating these treatments should be fully aware of the risks of such procedures. The treatments can be dangerous and untested. The results are not guaranteed. In many instances, patients going for treatment develop secondary infections that cannot be handled by these facilities. They are transferred to hospitals for treatment and are responsible for all additional costs, including repatriation back to the United States. In some cases, these treatments have resulted in death.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. China has no public healthcare system to provide for people without insurance or money. If you become sick or injured, you will be expected to pay for your bills, sometimes even before treatment is offered.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning China is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

The rate of traffic accidents in China, including fatal accidents, is among the highest in the world. Driving etiquette in China is developing. As a result, traffic is often chaotic, and right-of-way and other courtesies are often ignored. Travelers should note that cars and buses in the wrong lanes frequently hit pedestrians and bicyclists. Pedestrians should always be careful while walking near traffic. Road/traffic conditions are generally safe if occupants of modern passenger vehicles wear seatbelts. Most traffic accident injuries involve pedestrians or cyclists who are involved in collisions or who encounter unexpected road hazards (e.g., unmarked open manholes). Foreigners with resident permits can apply for PRC driver licenses; however, liability issues often make it preferable to employ a local driver. Child safety seats are not widely available in China. Americans who wish to ride bicycles in China are urged to wear safety helmets meeting U.S. standards. All drivers should be aware of the Chinese regulations regarding traffic accidents. These include the requirement that drivers:

Not move their vehicles or disturb the scene of the accident unless and until ordered to by the traffic police (in Shanghai, the police now prefer that if the parties can reach agreement as to who was at fault they move the vehicles out of the flow of traffic.)

Summon the traffic police and wait at the scene until the police arrive and complete their investigation.

If called to an accident, the police may take 20 minutes or longer to arrive. Once the police arrive, they will complete a preliminary investigation and arrange a time for you to report to the police station responsible for the accident scene. The police will prepare a written report, in Chinese, describing the circumstances of the accident. They will present the report to you either at the scene, or more likely at the police station, and ask you to sign it verifying the details of the accident. Do not sign the report as is, unless your Chinese is good enough to completely understand the report and you find it totally accurate. If you either do not understand it or believe it is partly or wholly inaccurate, you may either:

  • Write a disclaimer on the report to the effect that you cannot read and understand the report and cannot attest to the accuracy thereof, but are signing it because of the police requirement that you do so, and then sign, or
  • Write your own version of the accident, in English, on the police form and indicate that your signature only attests to the accuracy of the English version.

Most incidents (such as an accident) will draw a crowd. Drivers should remain calm. A crowd will usually move in very close to the accident and participants. In many cases the bystanders consider themselves to be an ad hoc jury. They may call for money, usually from RMB 100 to 1,000, to be paid by the party they consider at fault. The amount is not necessarily relevant to the amount of damage. A certain amount of bargaining is normal, even at accidents involving two Chinese parties. Though a crowd may seem threatening, crowd assaults on foreigners at accidents have not been reported. If a traffic police booth is nearby, you may wish to leave the vehicle and walk there to await the arrival of the police accident team. Alternatively, you may walk to a shop, restaurant, or other location nearby in the immediate vicinity and wait for police. You should not leave the scene of an accident. Your actions may serve to further incite the crowd if they perceive that you are fleeing to evade responsibility for your share of blame or payment of damages. The crowd may attempt to keep your vehicle at the accident scene by standing in the way or blocking the roadway with vehicles, bicycles and other objects.

Visit the website of the country’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety at China National Tourist Bureau—http://www.cnta.com/index.asp.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of China’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of China’s air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s internet web site at http://www.faa.gov.

Special Circumstances: Chinese customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from China of items such as antiquities, banned publications, some religious literature, or vehicles not conforming to Chinese standards. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of China in Washington or one of China’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines. A current list of those countries with serious problems in this regard can be found on the website of the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

China’s customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information call (212) 354-4480, send an email to [email protected], or visit www.uscib.org for details.

Americans involved in child custody disputes with Chinese national spouses should be aware that Chinese courts may give preference to the Chinese citizen spouse and that Americans may encounter limited appeal opportunities under the current legal system.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which, in China, differ significantly from those in the United States and do not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating China’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession of, use of, or trafficking in illegal drugs in China are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

On March 1, 2006, a new Public Security Law went into effect that gives police new powers, including the authority to detain and deport foreigners, relating to the commission of a wide range of offenses. The list of offenses has been expanded to include certain religious activities and prostitution-related crimes.

Americans in China, who are not staying at hotels, including Americans who are staying with friends or relatives, must register with local police as soon as they arrive. Otherwise, they may be fined up to 500 RMB per day.

Americans who are questioned by police should immediately notify the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate. Foreigners detained for questioning may not be allowed to contact their national authorities until the questioning is concluded. Foreigners detained pending trial have often waited over a year for their trial to begin. Foreigners suspected of committing a crime are rarely granted bail. Criminal punishments, especially prison terms, are much more severe than in the United States. Persons violating the law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Criminal penalties for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect severe jail sentences and fines. Non-American foreigners have been executed for drug offenses. Several Americans currently incarcerated in China have been implicated in financial fraud schemes involving falsified bank or business documents, tax evasion schemes and assisting alien smuggling, including selling passports to provide aliens with travel documents.

In the past, protesters detained for engaging in pro-Falun Gong activities have been quickly deported from China after being questioned. Several of these protesters alleged they were physically abused during their detention. In addition, they allege that personal property, including clothing, cameras and computers, have not always been returned to them upon their deportation. Chinese authorities report while they have deported these foreigners quickly after public demonstrations in favor of the Falun Gong, future adherents who intentionally arrive in China to protest against Chinese policy may receive longer terms of detention and possibly face prison sentences. In one instance, an American Falun Gong practitioner who was traveling in China on personal business was detained and asked to provide information on other Falun Gong sympathizers in the United States.

Several Americans have been detained and expelled for passing out non-authorized Christian literature. Sentences for distributing this material may range from three to five years imprisonment, if convicted.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/familyfamily_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in China are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within China. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

BEIJING: The U.S. Embassy is located at No. 2 Xiu Shui Dong Jie, Chaoyang District, Beijing, the American Citizen Services section can be reached at (86)(10) 6532-3431 (8:30-12:00 a.m. and 2:00-4:00 p.m., Mon-Fri), after hours (86)(10) 6532-1910For detailed information please visit the Embassy’s website at http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn. The Embassy consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi.

CHENGDU: The U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu is located at Number 4, Lingshiguan Road, Section 4, Renmin Nanlu, Chengdu 610041, tel. (86)(28) 8558-3992, 8555-3119, after hours (86)(28) 1370 8001 422, and email address the [email protected] This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Guizhou, Sichuan Xizang (Tibet), and Yunnan, as well as the municipality of Chongqing.

GUANGZHOU: The main office of the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou is located at Number 1 South Shamian Street, Shamian Island 200S1, Guangzhou 510133The Consular Section, including the American Citizens Services Unit, is now located at 5th Floor, Tianyu Garden (II phase), 136-146 Lin He Zhong Lu, Tianhe District, tel. (86)(20) 8518-7605; after hours (86)(20) 8121-6077, and email [email protected] This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, and Fujian.

SHANGHAI: The Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai is located in the Westgate Mall, 8th Floor, 1038 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai 200031; tel. (86)(21) 3217-4650, ext. 2102, 2013, or 2134, after hours (86)(21) 6433-3936; email [email protected] consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

SHENYANG: The U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang is located at No. 52, 14th Wei Road, Heping District, Shenyang 110003; tel. (86)(24) 2322-2374; email [email protected] This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Liaoning, Heilongjiang, and Jilin.

International Adoption : February 2006

The information below has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/ family.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and current understanding. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

Patterns of Immigration: Please review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family.

Please Note: Chinese authorities are extremely sensitive about the operation of foreign entities in China. Moreover, adoption is also a sensitive subject in China. It is therefore advisable for any person interested in adopting a child from China to act with discretion and decorum. High-profile attention to adoption in China could curtail or eliminate altogether adoption of Chinese children by persons from countries, including the United States, that have caused adoption to become the subject of public attention.

Only adoptions fully completed in China are permitted. It is not possible under Chinese law to obtain guardianship of a Chinese child for later adoption in the United States.

Availablity of Children for Adoption: To be eligible for adoption, Chinese children must first be identified and approved by the China Centre of Adoption Affairs (CCAA). The CCAA matches individual children with prospective adoptive parent(s) whose completed applications have been submitted to the CCAA by a CCAA-licensed U.S. adoption agency whose credentials are on file at the CCAA.

Adoption Authority: The government office with overall responsibility for adoptions in China is the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and specifically the China Centre of Adoption Affairs (CCAA). In addition, Child Welfare Institutes (roughly the equivalent of orphanages), the Civil Affairs Bureau, Chinese government notarial offices, and the Public Security Bureau are also involved.

The China Centre of Adoption Affairs
(CCAA)
103 Beiheyan St.
Dongcheng District
Beijing 100006
Phone: 86-10-6522-3102
86-10-6513-0607
Website: www.china-ccaa.org
Email: [email protected]

Department of Civil Affairs
No. 147 Beiheyan St.
Beijing, 100032

Notarial Offices: The provincial Notarial Offices, which are administered by the Ministry of Justice, Department of Notarization Division (No. 10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Beijing 100020 China) issue the final adoption certificate.

Public Security Bureau: The Public Security Bureau in the locality where the adoption takes place is responsible for issuing Chinese passports and exit permits to children adopted by U.S. citizens and other foreigners. [Note: Detailed information about the role of the Notarial Offices may be found further down in this flyer, in the step-by-step analysis of the Chinese adoption process.]

Age of Children: Chinese law allows for the adoption of children up to and including age 13; children ages 14 and up may not be adopted.

Civil Status of Prospective Adoptive Parents: Chinese law permits adoption by married couples (one man, one woman) and single heterosexual persons. Chinese law prohibits homosexual individuals or couples from adopting Chinese children.

Residency: China does not require that prospective adoptive parents reside in China for a specified period prior to completing an adoption. However, in order to finalize the adoption, at least one adopting parent must travel to China to execute the required documents in person before the appropriate Chinese authorities. If the prospective adoptive parents are married, they must adopt the child jointly. If only one member of an adopting married couple travels to China, that person must have in his/her possession a power of attorney from the other spouse, notarized and authenticated by the Chinese Embassy in Washington or one of the Chinese Consulates General elsewhere in the United States. http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/t84229.htm.

Time Frame: It is hard to predict with certainty how much time is required to complete an adoption in China. The time frames provided in this flyer are intended as guidelines only, and the specific circumstances of each case could affect significantly how long it takes.

As of February 2006, adoptions were taking approximately ten to twelve months from the time the U.S. adoption agency submitted the paperwork of the prospective adopter to CCAA to the time the CCAA gave the prospective adoptive parent(s) their initial referral. Cases involving children with special needs may take longer.

After the referral is sent and the prospective parent(s) accept the child, four to eight more weeks are likely to elapse before the CCAA gives the prospective adoptive parents final approval to travel to China. With regard to time required in China, the CCAA has advised local officials to try to complete the process within 15 days after the arrival of the prospective parent(s) in China. The Chinese passport, exit permits, and U.S. visa process can take another 7-10 days after the adoption is finalized. Some U.S. families have been able to complete the in-country process, including obtaining the U.S. immigrant visa for the adoptive child, in approximately two weeks.

Adoption Fees: Fees charged by Chinese authorities in connection with foreign adoptions may vary depending on the province where the child is adopted. However, for each adoption, there are standard fees that adoptive parents must pay.

  • The authentication/legalization of documents by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in the United States costs U.S.$10 per document, whether the document is one or multiple pages.
  • The initial CCAA fee is U.S.$365, plus U.S.$200 for translation of the documents submitted in the dossier.
  • Fees for the issuance of the registration of the adoption by the Civil Affairs Bureau: U.S.$30.
  • Fees for issuance of the Chinese-notarized certificate approving the adoption, birth certificate and abandonment certificate may vary based on province.
  • Chinese passports cost U.S.$25 for normal 15-working-day issuance.
  • Individual Children’s Welfare Institutes may charge from U.S.$3000 to $5000 as a combined donation to the institution and a fee for having raised and cared for the child.
  • Some U.S. families who have adopted in China have reported being required to pay additional charges of up to U.S.$500 for transportation or expedited processing of documents.

U.S. adoptive parent(s) who believe that they were compelled at any point during the adoption process to pay exorbitant fees out of keeping with the general outline provided in this flyer should notify the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou.

Adoption Procedures: A CCAA-licensed agency may submit adoption applications directly to the CCAA for consideration. A listing of CCAA-licensed agencies can be found on http://www.china-ccaa.org/. Included with the application should be all the required documents along with authentications and translations.

Once the CCAA approves the application, it matches the application with a specific child. The CCAA then sends the prospective adoptive parent(s) a letter of introduction about the child, including photographs and the child’s health record. This document is commonly called a referral. Prospective adoptive parent(s) then either accept or refuse the referral and send the document to their agency, which forwards it to CCAA.

Prospective adoptive parents who have accepted a specific referred child will receive an approval notice from the CCAA This document will bear the “chops,” or red-inked seals of the CCAA. Prospective parents must have this approval notice in hand before departing for China to finalize the adoption.

Americans adopting in China will usually meet with a notary in the provincial capital for an informal interview before they notarize documents such as birth certificates or abandonment certificates. Chinese Adoption law does not require notarization of the adoption documents (birth certificate, and abandonment), but the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou does. The notary may conduct a brief interview with the prospective parents prior to notarizing the documents. In all cases an interview at a registry office is conducted. According to Chinese Adoption Law, adoptive parents must meet with the adoption registry office to finalize the adoption.

Prospective adoptive parents may request to see the child before completing the adoption. If such a visit with the child leads them to have additional questions about the child’s health, background, etc., it is important to resolve these before finalizing the adoption.

The next step, after the prospective adoptive parents have completed their interviews with the various Chinese government offices, is to complete the adoption. At this point, the adopting parents will be required to make a fixed “donation” of U.S.$3000 to $5000 to the Children’s Welfare Institute where the child was being raised prior to the adoption. [Note: This is not a bribe, and U.S. prospective adoptive parents should not consider it such. Children’s Welfare Institutes may charge this fee as a combined donation to the institution and as compensation for having raised and cared for the child up to the point of adoption. It is the experience of the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou that the assessed fees are reasonable based on the local economy and the costs associated with raising a child in China.]

As part of finalizing the adoption, prospective adoptive parents will have to sign agreements with the Child Welfare Institute, register the adoption at the provincial Civil Affairs Bureau, and pay all of the remaining required fees. When the notarial office in the child’s place of residence approves the adoption, that office issues a notarized certificate of adoption, a notarized birth certificate and either notarized death certificate(s) for the child’s biological parent(s) or a statement of abandonment from the welfare institute. The adoptive relationship goes into effect on the day of the notarization. Once the adoption is final, the adoptive parents are fully and legally responsible for the child.

Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family.

Documentary Requirements: Pre-adoption documents to be submitted in the initial CCAA dossier:

  • Adoption application letter
  • Birth certificate(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s)
  • Marital status statement—Either a marriage certificate, divorce or death certificate (if applicable) or statement of single status is required.
  • Certificates of profession, income and property including; verification of employment and salary notarized and authenticated; a certified and authenticated copy of your property trust deeds, if applicable(not notarized?); Bank statements notarized/certified and authenticated
  • Health examination certificate(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s)
  • Certificate(s) of criminal or no-criminal record—A certificate of good conduct for the adoptive parent(s) from a local police department notarized or bearing the police department seal and authenticated. An FBI report is acceptable in lieu of a local police record.
  • Homestudy report
  • Certificate of child adoption approval by the competent department of the adopter’s country of residence, along with copies of the U.S. passport(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s)
  • Each applicant parent should also submit two front-view photos and several other photos reflecting the family’s life in the United States.

Additional documents the prospective parents should bring to China include:

  • Power of attorney notarized and authenticated (if only one spouse will travel to China). In case of married couples, if only one adopting parent comes to China, Chinese law requires that the spouse traveling bring a power of attorney from his/her spouse, notarized and properly authenticated by Chinese Embassy or one of the Chinese Consulates General in the United States.
  • A copy of the I-171H form (I-600A approval notice from USCIS).

Translation Requirements: All documents must be accompanied by a certified Mandarin Chinese translation. For a $200 fee, the CCAA will provide the translation service. If a translated copy is submitted with the application, the translator must execute a statement before a notary public as to the validity of the translation. The notary’s seal must be authenticated.

U.S. Immigration Requirements: A Chinese child adopted by an American citizen must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the United States as a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China:
Consular Section
2300 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: 202-328-2500

China also has Consulates in Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY, and Houston, TX.

What to Take With You for the Child: It is difficult to predict how long it may be necessary for you to remain in China with your adopted child. There are small grocery and sundry stores in major hotels in China.

Nevertheless, not all western-style baby products are readily available in China. You may wish to consider bringing certain items with you. These might include:

  • Plastic or cloth baby carrier
  • Bottle nipples
  • Disposable paper diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby blankets
  • Infant wear
  • Thermos bottle, for hot water to prepare dry formula
  • Milk bottles (plastic, glass, and disposable)
  • Disposable plastic bags for milk bottles

Medical Needs: A list of available hospitals in the Guangzhou area and medical evacuation services can be found at http://www.usembassychina.org.cn/guangzhou/. Anyone who needs emergency medical service can call the city Emergency Center (in Guangzhou: 020-120), which will inform the hospital nearest the patient to arrange an ambulance and a medical team to the patient’s location as soon as possible.

Other Assistance While in China: The mailing address and contact information for the Consulate General of the United States in Guangzhou is:

Adopted Children Immigrant Visa
Unit
#1 Shamian South Street
Guangzhou, P. R. C. 51033
PHONE: 011-86-20-8121 8000
DIRECT LINE: 011-86-20-8518 7653
FAX: 011-86-20-3884 4420
EMAIL: [email protected]

The U.S. Embassy is located in Beijing. The U.S. also has Consulates General in Shanghai, Shenyang, and Chengdu.

Additional Information: Specific questions about adoption in China may be addressed to the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou at the address, phone and fax numbers provided earlier in this flyer. General questions regarding intercountry adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-407-4747.

International Parental Child Abduction : February 2007

The information below has been edited from the report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at travel.state.gov.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.

General Information: The Peoples Republic of China (PRC) is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, nor are there any international or bilateral treaties in force between China and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction. American citizens who travel to China place themselves under the jurisdiction of local courts. American citizens planning a trip to China with dual national children should bear this in mind.

Custody Disputes: In China, parents who are legally married share the custody of their children. If they are not married and the parents cannot reach an agreement, custody is granted by the courts in the best interests of the child.

Enforcement of Foreign Judgements: Custody orders and judgments of foreign courts are not enforceable in China. Such judgements must be presented to a Chinese court for that courts consideration and decision. In China, there is a limited process to appeal a lower court’s decision.

Visitation Rights: In cases where legal custody has been granted and the judgment has been rendered, the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights are normally incorporated within the court ordered decision.

Dual Nationality: Dual nationality is not recognized under Chinese law. Some U.S. citizens who are also Chinese nationals (mostly U.S.-born children of Chinese nationals or Legal permanent Permanent Residents) have experienced difficulty entering and departing China on U.S. passports. In some cases, such dual nationals are required to use Chinese travel documents to depart China. Normally this causes inconvenience but no significant problems for affected persons; however, in child custody disputes, the ability of dual national children to depart from China could be affected.

Generally, children who are Chinese nationals according to Chinese law are not permitted to depart China if one parent refuses to allow the travel requested by one parent, even if that parent is considered an abducting parent by United States courts. In those cases, children abducted to China are only permitted to return to the United States if both parents agree to their return, or if a Chinese court upholds a United States Court’s decision to allow the left-behind parent sole custody.

Specific questions on dual nationality may be directed to the Office of Overseas Citizens Services, Department of State, Room 4811A, Washington. D.C. 20520 or to the U.S. Embassy or one of the U.S. Consulates General in China. For additional information, please see the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov for the Dual Nationality flyer. For more information, please read the International Parental Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at travel.state.gov.

Travel Restrictions: While no exit visas are required to leave China, persons who replace passports are required to get an exit permit from the entry and exit police. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates will assist a traveler with a new passport in obtaining this document.

Criminal Remedies: For information on possible criminal remedies, please contact your local law enforcement authorities or the nearest office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Information is also available on the Internet at the web site of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) at http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org.

Persons who wish to pursue a child custody claim in a Chinese court should retain an attorney in China. The American Embassy and U.S. Consulates in China maintain lists of attorneys willing to represent American clients. Questions involving Chinese law should be addressed to a Chinese attorney or to the Embassy of China in the United States.

For further information on international parental child abduction, contact the Office of Children’s Issue s, U.S. Department of State at (202) 736-9090 or visit its web site on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov.

views updated

CHINA

Compiled from the October 2004 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
People's Republic of China


PROFILE

Geography

Total area: 9,596,960 sq. km. (about 3.7 million sq. mi.).

Cities: Capital—Beijing. Other major cities—Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Harbin, Chengdu.

Terrain: Plains, deltas, and hills in east; mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west.

Climate: Tropical in south to subarctic in north.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Chinese (singular and plural).

Population: (2003 est.) 1.3 billion.

Population growth rate: (2003 est.) 0.6%.

Health: (2003 est.) Infant mortality rate—25.26/1,000. Life expectancy—72.22 years (overall); 70.33 years for males, 74.28 years for females.

Ethnic groups: Han Chinese—91.9%; Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uygur, Yi, Mongolian, Tibetan, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities—8.1%.

Religions: Officially atheist; Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity.

Language: Mandarin (Putonghua), plus many local dialects.

Education: Years compulsory—9. Literacy—86%.

Work force: (2001 est., 711 million) Agriculture and forestry—50%; industry and commerce—23%; other—27%.

Government

Type: Communist party-led state.

Constitution: December 4, 1982.

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

Branches: Executive—president, vice president, State Council, premier. Legislative—unicameral National People's Congress. Judicial—Supreme People's Court.

Administrative subdivisions: 23 provinces (the P.R.C. considers Taiwan to be its 23rd province); 5 autonomous regions, including Tibet; 4 municipalities directly under the State Council.

Political parties: Chinese Communist Party, 66.35 million members; 8 minor parties under communist supervision.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: (2003 est.) $1.4 trillion (exchange rate based).

Per capita GDP: (2003 est.) $1,090 (exchange rate based).

GDP real growth rate: (2003) 9.1%.

Natural resources: Coal, iron ore, crude oil, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest).

Agriculture: Products—Among the world's largest producers of rice, potatoes, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley; commercial crops include cotton, other fibers, and oilseeds; produces variety of livestock products.

Industry: Types—iron, steel, coal, machinery, light industrial products, armaments, petroleum.

Trade: (2003) Exports—$438.4 billion: mainly electrical machinery and equipment, power generation equipment, apparel, toys, footwear. Main partners—U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, EU, South Korea, Singapore. Imports—$412.8 billion: mainly electrical equipment, power generation equipment, petroleum products, chemicals, steel. Main partners—Japan, EU, Taiwan, South Korea, U.S., Hong Kong.


PEOPLE

Ethnic Groups

The largest ethnic group is the Han Chinese, who constitute about 91.9% of the total population. The remaining 8.1% are Zhuang (16 million), Manchu (10 million), Hui (9 million), Miao (8 million), Uygur (7 million), Yi (7 million), Mongolian (5 million), Tibetan (5 million), Buyi (3 million), Korean (2 million), and other ethnic minorities.

Language

There are seven major Chinese dialects and many subdialects. Mandarin (or Putonghua), the predominant dialect, is spoken by over 70% of the population. It is taught in all schools and is the medium of government. About two-thirds of the Han ethnic group are native speakers of Mandarin; the rest, concentrated in southwest and southeast China, speak one of the six other major Chinese dialects. Non-Chinese languages spoken widely by ethnic minorities include Mongolian, Tibetan, Uygur and other Turkic languages (in Xinjiang), and Korean (in the northeast).

The Pinyin System of Romanization

On January 1, 1979, the Chinese Government officially adopted the pinyin system for spelling Chinese names and places in Roman letters. A system of Romanization invented by the Chinese, pinyin has long been widely used in China on street and commercial signs as well as in elementary Chinese textbooks as an aid in learning Chinese characters. Variations of pinyin also are used as the written forms of several minority languages.

Pinyin has now replaced other conventional spellings in China's English-language publications. The U.S. Government also has adopted the pinyin system for all names and places in China. For example, the capital of China is now spelled "Beijing" rather than "Peking."

Religion

Religion plays a significant part in the life of many Chinese. Buddhism is most widely practiced, with an estimated 100 million adherents. Traditional Taoism also is practiced. Official figures indicate there are 20 million Muslims, 5 million Catholics, and 15 million Protestants; unofficial estimates are much higher.

While the Chinese constitution affirms religious toleration, the Chinese Government places restrictions on religious practice outside officially recognized organizations. Only two Christian organizations—a Catholic church without official ties to Rome and the "Three-Self-Patriotic" Protestant church—are sanctioned by the Chinese Government. Unauthorized churches have sprung up in many parts of the country and unofficial religious practice is flourishing. In some regions authorities have tried to control activities of these unregistered churches. In other regions, registered and unregistered groups are treated similarly by authorities and congregations worship in both types of churches. Most Chinese Catholic bishops are recognized by the Pope, and official priests have Vatican approval to administer all the sacraments.

Population Policy

With a population officially just under 1.3 billion and an estimated growth rate of about 0.6%, China is very concerned about its population growth and has attempted with mixed results to implement a strict family planning policy. The government's goal is one child per urban family, and two children per rural family, with guidelines looser for ethnic minorities with small populations. Enforcement varies widely, and relies upon "social compensation fees" for extra children as a means of keeping families small. Official government policy opposes forced abortion or sterilization, but in some localities there are instances of forced abortion. The government's goal is to stabilize the population in the first half of the 21st century, and current projections are that the population will peak at around 1.6 billion by 2050.


HISTORY

Dynastic Period

China is the oldest continuous major world civilization, with records dating back about 3,500 years. Successive dynasties developed a system of bureaucratic control that gave the agrarian-based Chinese an advantage over neighboring nomadic and hill cultures. Chinese civilization was further strengthened by the development of a Confucian state ideology and a common written language that bridged the gaps among the country's many local languages and dialects. Whenever China was conquered by nomadic tribes, as it was by the Mongols in the 13th century, the conquerors sooner or later adopted the ways of the "higher" Chinese civilization and staffed the bureaucracy with Chinese.

The last dynasty was established in 1644, when the Manchus overthrew the native Ming dynasty and established the Qing (Ch'ing) dynasty with Beijing as its capital. At great expense in blood and treasure, the Manchus over the next half century gained control of many border areas, including Xinjiang, Yunnan, Tibet, Mongolia, and Taiwan. The success of the early Qing period was based on the combination of Manchu martial prowess and traditional Chinese bureaucratic skills.

During the 19th century, Qing control weakened, and prosperity diminished. China suffered massive social strife, economic stagnation, explosive population growth, and Western penetration and influence. The Taiping and Nian rebellions, along with a Russian-supported Muslim separatist movement in Xinjiang, drained Chinese resources and almost toppled the dynasty. Britain's desire to continue its illegal opium trade with China collided with imperial edicts prohibiting the addictive drug, and the First Opium War erupted in 1840. China lost the war; subsequently, Britain and other Western powers, including the United States, forcibly occupied "concessions" and gained special commercial privileges. Hong Kong was ceded to Britain in 1842 under the Treaty of Nanking, and in 1898, when the Opium Wars finally ended, Britain executed a 99-year lease of the New Territories, significantly expanding the size of the Hong Kong colony.

As time went on, the Western powers, wielding superior military technology, gained more economic and political privileges. Reformist Chinese officials argued for the adoption of Western technology to strengthen the dynasty and counter Western advances, but the Qing court played down both the Western threat and the benefits of Western technology.

Early 20th Century China

Frustrated by the Qing court's resistance to reform, young officials, military officers, and students—inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Sun Yatsen–began to advocate the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and creation of a republic. A revolutionary military uprising on October 10, 1911, led to the abdication of the last Qing monarch. As part of a compromise to overthrow the dynasty without a civil war, the revolutionaries and reformers allowed high Qing officials to retain prominent positions in the new republic. One of these figures, Gen. Yuan Shikai, was chosen as the republic's first president. Before his death in 1916, Yuan unsuccessfully attempted to name himself emperor. His death left the republican government all but shattered, ushering in the era of the "warlords" during which China was ruled and ravaged by shifting coalitions of competing provincial military leaders.

In the 1920s, Sun Yat-sen established a revolutionary base in south China and set out to unite the fragmented nation. With Soviet assistance, he organized the Kuomintang (KMT or "Chinese Nationalist People's Party"), and entered into an alliance with the fledgling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). After Sun's death in 1925, one of his protégés, Chiang Kai-shek, seized control of the KMT and succeeded in bringing most of south and central China under its rule. In 1927, Chiang turned on the CCP and executed many of its leaders. The remnants fled into the mountains of eastern China. In 1934, driven out of their mountain bases, the CCP's forces embarked on a "Long March" across some of China's most desolate terrain to the northwestern province of Shaanxi, where they established a guerrilla base at Yan'an.

During the "Long March," the communists reorganized under a new leader, Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung). The bitter struggle between the KMT and the CCP continued openly or clandestinely through the 14-year long Japanese invasion (1931-45), even though the two parties nominally formed a united front to oppose the Japanese invaders in 1937. The war between the two parties resumed after the Japanese defeat in 1945. By 1949, the CCP occupied most of the country.

Chiang Kai-shek fled with the remnants of his KMT government and military forces to Taiwan, where he proclaimed Taipei to be China's "provisional capital" and vowed to reconquer the Chinese mainland. The KMT authorities on Taiwan still call themselves the "Republic of China."

The People's Republic of China

In Beijing, on October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.). The new government assumed control of a people exhausted by two generations of war and social conflict, and an economy ravaged by high inflation and disrupted transportation links. A new political and economic order modeled on the Soviet example was quickly installed.

In the early 1950s, China undertook a massive economic and social reconstruction program. The new leaders gained popular support by curbing inflation, restoring the economy, and rebuilding many war-damaged industrial plants. The CCP's authority reached into almost every aspect of Chinese life. Party control was assured by large, politically loyal security and military forces; a government apparatus responsive to party direction; and the placement of party members into leadership positions in labor, women's, and other mass organizations.

The "Great Leap Forward" and the Sino-Soviet Split

In 1958, Mao broke with the Soviet model and announced a new economic program, the "Great Leap Forward," aimed at rapidly raising industrial and agricultural production. Giant cooperatives (communes) were formed, and "backyard factories" dotted the Chinese landscape. The results were disastrous. Normal market mechanisms were disrupted, agricultural production fell behind, and China's people exhausted themselves producing what turned out to be shoddy, unsalable goods. Within a year, starvation appeared even in fertile agricultural areas. From 1960 to 1961, the combination of poor planning during the Great Leap Forward and bad weather resulted in one of the deadliest famines in human history.

The already strained Sino-Soviet relationship deteriorated sharply in 1959, when the Soviets started to restrict the flow of scientific and technological information to China. The dispute escalated, and the Soviets withdrew all of their personnel from China in August 1960. In 1960, the Soviets and the Chinese began to have disputes openly in international forums.

The Cultural Revolution

In the early 1960s, State President Liu Shaoqi and his protégé, Party General Secretary Deng Xiaoping, took over direction of the party and adopted pragmatic economic policies at odds with Mao's revolutionary vision. Dissatisfied with China's new direction and his own reduced authority, Party Chairman Mao launched a massive political attack on Liu, Deng, and other pragmatists in the spring of 1966. The new movement, the "Great Proletarian

Cultural Revolution," was unprecedented in communist history. For the first time, a section of the Chinese communist leadership sought to rally popular opposition against another leadership group. China was set on a course of political and social anarchy that lasted the better part of a decade.

In the early stages of the Cultural Revolution, Mao and his "closest comrade in arms," National Defense Minister Lin Biao, charged Liu, Deng, and other top party leaders with dragging China back toward capitalism. Radical youth organizations, called Red Guards, attacked party and state organizations at all levels, seeking out leaders who would not bend to the radical wind. In reaction to this turmoil, some local People's Liberation Army (PLA) commanders and other officials maneuvered to outwardly back Mao and the radicals while actually taking steps to rein in local radical activity.

Gradually, Red Guard and other radical activity subsided, and the Chinese political situation stabilized along complex factional lines. The leadership conflict came to a head in September 1971, when Party Vice Chairman and Defense Minister Lin Biao reportedly tried to stage a coup against Mao; Lin Biao allegedly later died in a plane crash in Mongolia.

In the aftermath of the Lin Biao incident, many officials criticized and dismissed during 1966-69 were reinstated. Chief among these was Deng Xiaoping, who reemerged in 1973 and was confirmed in 1975 in the concurrent posts of Politburo Standing Committee member, PLA Chief of Staff, and Vice Premier.

The ideological struggle between more pragmatic, veteran party officials and the radicals re-emerged with a vengeance in late 1975. Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, and three close Cultural Revolution associates (later dubbed the "Gang of Four") launched a media campaign against Deng. In January 1976, Premier Zhou Enlai, a popular political figure, died of cancer. On April 5, Beijing citizens staged a spontaneous demonstration in Tiananmen Square in Zhou's memory, with strong political overtones of support for Deng. The authorities forcibly suppressed the demonstration. Deng was blamed for the disorder and stripped of all official positions, although he retained his party membership.

The Post-Mao Era

Mao's death in September 1976 removed a towering figure from Chinese politics and set off a scramble for succession. Former Minister of Public Security Hua Guofeng was quickly confirmed as Party Chairman and Premier. A month after Mao's death, Hua, backed by the PLA, arrested Jiang Qing and other members of the "Gang of Four." After extensive deliberations, the Chinese Communist Party leadership reinstated Deng Xiaoping to all of his previous posts at the 11th Party Congress in August 1977. Deng then led the effort to place government control in the hands of veteran party officials opposed to the radical excesses of the previous two decades.

The new, pragmatic leadership emphasized economic development and renounced mass political movements. At the pivotal December 1978 Third Plenum (of the 11th Party Congress Central Committee), the leadership adopted economic reform policies aimed at expanding rural income and incentives, encouraging experiments in enterprise autonomy, reducing central planning, and attracting foreign direct investment into China. The plenum also decided to accelerate the pace of legal reform, culminating in the passage of several new legal codes by the National People's Congress in June 1979.

After 1979, the Chinese leadership moved toward more pragmatic positions in almost all fields. The party encouraged artists, writers, and journalists to adopt more critical approaches, although open attacks on party authority were not permitted. In late 1980, Mao's Cultural Revolution was officially proclaimed a catastrophe. Hua Guofeng, a protégé of Mao, was replaced as premier in 1980 by reformist Sichuan party chief Zhao Ziyang and as party General Secretary in 1981 by the even more reformist Communist Youth League chairman Hu Yaobang.

Reform policies brought great improvements in the standard of living, especially for urban workers and for farmers who took advantage of opportunities to diversify crops and establish village industries. Literature and the arts blossomed, and Chinese intellectuals established extensive links with scholars in other countries.

At the same time, however, political dissent as well as social problems such as inflation, urban migration, and prostitution emerged. Although students and intellectuals urged greater reforms, some party elders increasingly questioned the pace and the ultimate goals of the reform program. In December 1986, student demonstrators, taking advantage of the loosening political atmosphere, staged protests against the slow pace of reform, confirming party elders' fear that the current reform program was leading to social instability. Hu Yaobang, a protégé of Deng and a leading advocate of reform, was blamed for the protests and forced to resign as CCP General Secretary in January 1987. Premier Zhao Ziyang was made General Secretary and Li Peng, former Vice Premier and Minister of Electric Power and Water Conservancy, was made Premier.

1989 Student Movement and Tiananmen Square

After Zhao became the party General Secretary, the economic and political reforms he had championed came under increasing attack. His proposal in May 1988 to accelerate price reform led to widespread popular complaints about rampant inflation and gave opponents of rapid reform the opening to call for greater centralization of economic controls and stricter prohibitions against Western influence. This precipitated a political debate, which grew more heated through the winter of 1988-89.

The death of Hu Yaobang on April 15, 1989, coupled with growing economic hardship caused by high inflation, provided the backdrop for a large-scale protest movement by students, intellectuals, and other parts of a disaffected urban population. University students and other citizens camped out in Beijing's Tiananmen Square to mourn Hu's death and to protest against those who would slow reform. Their protests, which grew despite government efforts to contain them, called for an end to official corruption and for defense of freedoms guaranteed by the Chinese constitution. Protests also spread to many other cities, including Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou.

Martial law was declared on May 20, 1989. Late on June 3 and early on the morning of June 4, military units were brought into Beijing. They used armed force to clear demonstrators from the streets. There are no official estimates of deaths in Beijing, but most observers believe that casualties numbered in the hundreds.

After June 4, while foreign governments expressed horror at the brutal suppression of the demonstrators, the central government eliminated remaining sources of organized opposition, detained large numbers of protesters, and required political reeducation not only for students but also for large numbers of party cadre and government officials.

Following the resurgence of conservatives in the aftermath of June 4, economic reform slowed until given new impetus by Deng Xiaoping's dramatic visit to southern China in early 1992. Deng's renewed push for a market-oriented economy received official sanction at the 14th Party Congress later in the year as a number of younger, reform-minded leaders began their rise to top positions. Deng and his supporters argued that managing the economy in a way that increased living standards should be China's primary policy objective, even if "capitalist" measures were adopted. Subsequent to the visit, the Communist Party Politburo publicly issued an endorsement of Deng's policies of economic openness. Though not completely eschewing political reform, China has consistently placed over-whelming priority on the opening of its economy.

Third Generation of Leaders

Deng's health deteriorated in the years prior to his death in 1997. During that time, President Jiang Zemin and other members of his generation gradually assumed control of the day-to-day functions of government. This "third generation" leadership governed collectively with President Jiang at the center.

In March 1998, Jiang was re-elected President during the 9th National People's Congress. Premier Li Peng was constitutionally required to step down from that post. He was elected to the chairmanship of the National People's Congress. Zhu Rongji was selected to replace Li as Premier.

Fourth Generation of Leaders

In November 2002, the 16th Communist Party Congress elected Hu Jintao, who in 1992 was designated by Deng Xiaoping as the "core" of the fourth generation leaders, the new General Secretary. A new Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee was also elected in November.

In March 2003, General Secretary Hu Jintao was elected President at the 10th National People's Congress. Jiang Zemin retained the chairmanship of the Central Military Commission. At the Fourth Party Plenum in September 2004, Jiang Zemin retired from the Central Military Commission, passing the Chairmanship and control of the People's Liberation Army to President Hu Jintao.

China is firmly committed to economic reform and opening to the outside world. The Chinese leadership has identified reform of state industries and the establishment of a social safety network as government priorities. Government strategies for achieving these goals include large-scale privatization of unprofitable state-owned enterprises and development of a pension system for workers. The leadership has also downsized the government bureaucracy.

The Next 5 Years

The next 5 years represent a critical period in China's existence. To investors and firms, especially following China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, China represents a vast market that has yet to be fully tapped and a low-cost base for export-oriented production. Educationally, China is forging ahead as partnerships and exchanges with foreign universities have helped create new research opportunities for its students. The new leadership is also committed to generating greater economic development in the interior and providing more services to those who do not live in China's coastal areas. However, there is still much that needs to change in China. Human rights issues remain a concern among members of the world community, as does continuing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related materials and technology.


GOVERNMENT

Chinese Communist Party

The 66.35 million member CCP, authoritarian in structure and ideology, continues to dominate government. Nevertheless, China's population, geographical vastness, and social diversity frustrate attempts to rule by fiat from Beijing. Central leaders must increasingly build consensus for new policies among party members, local and regional leaders, influential non-party members, and the population at large.

In periods of greater openness, the influence of people and organizations outside the formal party structure has tended to increase, particularly in the economic realm. This phenomenon is most apparent today in the rapidly developing coastal region. Nevertheless, in all important government, economic, and cultural institutions in China, party committees work to see that party and state policy guidance is followed and that non-party members do not create autonomous organizations that could challenge party rule. Party control is tightest in government offices and in urban economic, industrial, and cultural settings; it is considerably looser in the rural areas, where the majority of the people live.

Theoretically, the party's highest body is the Party Congress, which is supposed to meet at least once every 5 years. The primary organs of power in the Communist Party include:

  • The Politburo Standing Committee, which currently consists of nine members;
  • The Politburo, consisting of 24 full members, including the members of the Politburo Standing Committee;
  • The Secretariat, the principal administrative mechanism of the CCP, headed by the General Secretary;
  • The Central Military Commission;
  • The Discipline Inspection Commission, which is charged with rooting out corruption and malfeasance among party cadres.
  • State Structure
  • The Chinese Government has always been subordinate to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP); its role is to implement party policies. The primary organs of state power are the National People's Congress (NPC), the President (the head of state), and the State Council. Members of the State Council include Premier Wen Jiabao (the head of government), a variable number of vice premiers (now four), five state councilors (protocol equivalents of vice premiers but with narrower portfolios), and 22 ministers and four State Council commission directors.

Under the Chinese constitution, the NPC is the highest organ of state power in China. It meets annually for about 2 weeks to review and approve major new policy directions, laws, the budget, and major personnel changes. These initiatives are presented to the NPC for consideration by the State Council after previous endorsement by the Communist Party's Central Committee. Although the NPC generally approves State Council policy and personnel recommendations, various NPC committees hold active debate in closed sessions, and changes may be made to accommodate alternate views.

When the NPC is not in session, its permanent organ, the Standing Committee, exercises state power.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 12/10/04

President: HU Jintao
Vice President: ZENG Qinghong
Premier, State Council: WEN Jiabao
Vice Premier, State Council: HUANG Ju
Vice Premier, State Council: WU Yi
Vice Premier, State Council: ZENG Peiyan
Vice Premier, State Council: HUI Liangyu
State Councilor, State Council: ZHOU Yongkang
State Councilor, State Council: CAO Gangchuan
State Councilor, State Council: TANG Jiaxuan
State Councilor, State Council: HUA Jianmin
State Councilor, State Council: CHEN Zhili
Sec. Gen., State Council: HUA Jianmin
Chmn., Central Military Commission: HU Jintao
Min. in Charge of National Defense Science, Technology, & Industry Commission: ZHANG Yuchuan
Min. in Charge of State Development Reform Commission: MA Kai
Min. in Charge of State Population & Family Planning Commission: ZHANG Weiqing
Min. in Charge of State Nationalities Affairs Commission: LI Dezhu (a.k.a. LI Dek Su)
Min. of Agriculture: DU Qinglin
Min. of Civil Affairs: LI Xueju
Min. of Commerce: BO Xilai
Min. of Communications: ZHANG Chunxian
Min. of Construction: WANG Guangtao
Min. of Culture: SUN Jiazheng
Min. of Education: ZHOU Ji
Min. of Finance: JIN Renqing
Min. of Foreign Affairs: LI Zhaoxing
Min. of Information Industry: WANG Xudong
Min. of Justice: ZHANG Fusen
Min. of Labor & Social Security: ZHENG Silin
Min. of Land & Natural Resources: TIAN Fengshan
Min. of National Defense: CAO Gangchuan
Min. of Personnel: ZHANG Bolin
Min. of Public Health: WU Yi
Min. of Public Security: ZHOU Yongkang
Min. of Railways: LIU Zhijun
Min. of Science & Technology: XU Guanhua
Min. of State Security: XU Yongyue
Min. of Supervision: LI Zhilun
Min. of Water Resources: WANG Shucheng
Pres., People's Bank of China: ZHOU Xiaochuan
Ambassador to the US: YANG Jiechi
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: WANG Guangya


POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Legal System

The government's efforts to promote rule of law are significant and ongoing. After the Cultural Revolution, China's leaders aimed to develop a legal system to restrain abuses of official authority and revolutionary excesses. In 1982, the National People's Congress adopted a new state constitution that emphasized the rule of law under which even party leaders are theoretically held accountable.

Since 1979, when the drive to establish a functioning legal system began, more than 300 laws and regulations, most of them in the economic area, have been promulgated. The use of mediation committees—informed groups of citizens who resolve about 90% of China's civil disputes and some minor criminal cases at no cost to the parties—is one innovative device. There are more than 800,000 such committees in both rural and urban areas.

Legal reform became a government priority in the 1990s. Legislation designed to modernize and professionalize the nation's lawyers, judges, and prisons was enacted. The 1994 Administrative Procedure Law allows citizens to sue officials for abuse of authority or malfeasance. In addition, the criminal law and the criminal procedures laws were amended to introduce significant reforms. The criminal law amendments abolished the crime of "counter-revolutionary" activity, although many persons are still incarcerated for that crime. Criminal procedures reforms also encouraged establishment of a more transparent, adversarial trial process. The Chinese constitution and laws provide for fundamental human rights, including due process, but these are often ignored in practice.

Human Rights

The State Department's annual China human rights reports have noted China's well-documented abuses of human rights in violation of internationally recognized norms, stemming both from the authorities' intolerance of dissent and the inadequacy of legal safeguards for basic freedoms. Abuses reported have included arbitrary and lengthy incommunicado detention, forced confessions, torture, and mistreatment of prisoners as well as severe restrictions on freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association, religion, privacy, and worker rights.

At the same time, China's economic growth and reform since 1978 has improved dramatically the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese, increased social mobility, and expanded the scope of personal freedom. This has meant substantially greater freedom of travel, employment opportunity, educational and cultural pursuits, job and housing choices, and access to information. In recent years, China has also passed new criminal and civil laws that provide additional safeguards to citizens. Village elections have been carried out in over 90% of China's one million villages.


ECONOMY

Economic Reforms

Since 1979, China has reformed and opened its economy. The Chinese leadership has adopted a more pragmatic perspective on many political and socioeconomic problems, and has reduced the role of ideology in economic policy. China's ongoing economic transformation has had a profound impact not only on China but on the world. The market-oriented reforms China has implemented over the past two decades have unleashed individual initiative and entrepreneurship. The result has been the largest reduction of poverty and one of the fastest increases in income levels ever seen. China today is the sixth-largest economy in the world. It accounted for about 4% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2002.

In the 1980s, China tried to combine central planning with market-oriented reforms to increase productivity, living standards, and technological quality without exacerbating inflation, unemployment, and budget deficits. China pursued agricultural reforms, dismantling the commune system and introducing a household-based system that provided peasants greater decision-making in agricultural activities.

The government also encouraged nonagricultural activities such as village enterprises in rural areas, and promoted more self-management for state-owned enterprises, increased competition in the marketplace, and facilitated direct contact between Chinese and foreign trading enterprises. China also relied more upon foreign financing and imports.

During the 1980s, these reforms led to average annual rates of growth of 10% in agricultural and industrial output. Rural per capita real income doubled. China became self-sufficient in grain production; rural industries accounted for 23% of agricultural output, helping absorb surplus labor in the countryside. The variety of light industrial and consumer goods increased. Reforms began in the fiscal, financial, banking, price-setting, and labor systems.

By the late 1980s, however, the economy had become overheated with increasing rates of inflation. At the end of 1988, in reaction to a surge of inflation caused by accelerated price reforms, the leadership introduced an austerity program.

China's economy regained momentum in the early 1990s. During a visit to southern China in early 1992, China's paramount leader at the time, Deng Xiaoping, made a series of political pronouncements designed to reinvigorate the process of economic reform. The 14th Party Congress later in the year backed Deng's renewed push for market reforms, stating that China's key task in the 1990s was to create a "socialist market economy." The 10-year development plan for the 1990s stressed continuity in the political system with bolder reform of the economic system.

China's economy grew at an average rate of 10% per year during the period 1990-2001, the highest growth rate in the world. China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 8% in 2002, and even faster, 9.1%, in 2003, despite the setbacks of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak and a sluggish world economy. China's total trade in 2003 surpassed $852 billion, making China the world's fourth-largest trading nation.

Nevertheless, serious imbalances exist behind the spectacular trade performance, high investment flows, and high GDP growth. High numbers of non-performing loans weigh down the state-run banking system. Inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are still a drag on growth, despite announced plans to sell, merge, or close the vast majority of SOEs.

Social and economic indicators have improved since reforms were launched, but rising inequality is evident between the more highly developed coastal provinces and the less developed, poorer inland regions. According to the Asian Development Bank, about 10.5% of the urban population and 25.5% of the rural population would be classified as poor in 1999.

Following the Chinese Communist Party's Third Plenum, held in October 2003, Chinese legislators unveiled several proposed amendments to the state constitution. One of the most significant was a proposal to provide protection for private property rights. Legislators also indicated there would be a new emphasis on certain aspects of overall government economic policy, including efforts to reduce unemployment (now in the 8-10% range in urban areas), to rebalance income distribution between urban and rural regions, and to maintain economic growth while protecting the environment and improving social equity. The National People's Congress approved the amendments when it met in March 2004.

Agriculture

Roughly half of China's labor force is engaged in agriculture, even though only 10% of the land is suitable for cultivation. China is among the world's largest producers of rice, potatoes, sorghum, millet, barley, peanuts, tea, and pork. Major nonfood crops include cotton, other fibers, and oilseeds. Yields are high because of intensive cultivation, but China hopes to further increase agricultural production through improved plant stocks, fertilizers, and technology. Incomes for Chinese farmers are stagnating, leading to an increasing wealth gap between the cities and countryside. Government policies that continue to emphasize grain self-sufficiency and the fact that farmers do not own—and cannot buy or sell—the land they work have contributed to this situation. In addition, inadequate port facilities and lack of warehousing and cold storage facilities impede both domestic and international agricultural trade.

Industry

Major state industries are iron, steel, coal, machine building, light industrial products, armaments, and textiles. These industries have resisted significant management change. The 1999 industrial census revealed that there were 7,930,000 industrial enterprises at the end of 1999 (including small-scale town and village enterprises); total employment in state-owned industrial enterprises was approximately 24 million. Hightech industries are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities created by accession to the WTO. Machinery and consumer products have become China's main exports.

Energy

In 2003, China surpassed Japan to become the second-largest consumer of primary energy, after the United States. China is also the third-largest energy producer in the world, after the United States and Russia. China's electricity consumption is expected to grow by over 4% a year through 2030, which will require more than $2 trillion in electricity infrastructure investment to meet the demand. China expects to add approximately 15,000 megawatts of generating capacity a year, with 20% of that coming from foreign suppliers.

Coal makes up the bulk of China's energy consumption (64% in 2002), and China is the largest producer and consumer of coal in the world. As China's economy continues to grow, China's coal demand is projected to rise significantly. Although coal's share of China's overall energy consumption will fall, coal consumption will continue to rise in absolute terms.

Due in large part to environmental concerns, Beijing would like to shift China's current energy mix toward greater reliance on oil, natural gas, renewable energy, and nuclear power. China has abundant hydroelectric resources; the Three Gorges Dam, for example, will have a total capacity of 18 gigawatts when fully on-line (projected for 2009). In addition, the share of electricity generated by nuclear power is projected to grow from 1% in 2000 to 5% in 2030. But while interest in renewable sources of energy is growing, except for hydro-power, their contribution to the overall energy mix is unlikely to rise above 1%-2% in the near future.

Since 1993, China has been a net importer of oil. Net imports are expected to rise to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2010. China is interested in diversifying the sources of its oil imports and has invested in oil fields around the world, particularly in Central Asia. Beijing also plans to increase China's natural gas production, which currently accounts for only 3% of China's total energy consumption. Analysts expect China's consumption of natural gas to more than double by 2010.

Environment

One of the serious negative consequences of China's rapid industrial development has been increased pollution and degradation of natural resources. A 1998 World Health Organization report on air quality in 272 cities worldwide concluded that seven of the world's 10 most polluted cities were in China. According to China's own evaluation, two-thirds of the 338 cities for which air-quality data are available are considered polluted—two-thirds of them moderately or severely so. Respiratory and heart diseases related to air pollution are the leading cause of death in China. Almost all of the nation's rivers are considered polluted to some degree, and half of the population lacks access to clean water. Ninety percent of urban water bodies are severely polluted. Water scarcity also is an issue; for example, severe water scarcity in Northern China is a serious threat to sustained economic growth and has forced the government to begin implementing a large-scale diversion of water from the Yangtze River to northern cities, including Beijing and Tianjin. Acid rain falls on 30% of the country. Various studies estimate pollution costs the Chinese economy 7-10% of GDP each year.

China's leaders are increasingly paying attention to the country's severe environmental problems. In March 1998, the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) was officially upgraded to a ministry-level agency, reflecting the growing importance the Chinese Government places on environmental protection. In recent years, China has strengthened its environmental legislation and made some progress in stemming environmental deterioration.

In 1999, China invested more than 1% of GDP in environmental protection, a proportion that will likely increase in coming years. During the 10th Five-Year Plan, China plans to reduce total emissions by 10%. Beijing in particular is investing heavily in pollution control as part of its campaign to host a successful Olympiad in 2008. Some cities have seen improvement in air quality in recent years.

China is an active participant in the climate change talks and other multilateral environmental negotiations, taking environmental challenges seriously but pushing for the developed world to help developing countries to a greater extent. It is a signatory to the Basel Convention governing the transport and disposal of hazardous waste and the Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and other major environmental agreements.

The question of environmental impacts associated with the Three Gorges Dam project has generated controversy among environmentalists inside and outside China. Critics claim that erosion and silting of the Yangtze River threaten several endangered species, while Chinese officials say the dam will help prevent devastating floods and generate clean hydroelectric power that will enable the region to lower its dependence on coal, thus lessening air pollution.

The United States and China have been engaged in an active program of bilateral environmental cooperation since the mid-1990s, with an emphasis on clean energy technology and the design of effective environmental policy. While both governments view this cooperation positively, China has often compared the U.S. program, which lacks a foreign assistance component, with those of Japan and several European Union (EU) countries that include generous levels of aid.

Science and Technology

Science and technology have always preoccupied Chinas leaders; indeed, China's political leadership comes almost exclusively from technical backgrounds and has a high regard for science. Deng called it "the first productive force." Distortions in the economy and society created by party rule have severely hurt Chinese science, according to some Chinese science policy experts. The Chinese Academy of Sciences, modeled on the Soviet system, puts much of China's greatest scientific talent in a large, under-funded apparatus that remains largely isolated from industry, although the reforms of the past decade have begun to address this problem.

Chinese science strategists see China's greatest opportunities in newly emerging fields such as bio-technology and computers, where there is still a chance for China to become a significant player. Most Chinese students who went abroad have not returned, but they have built a dense network of trans-Pacific contacts that will greatly facilitate U.S.-China scientific cooperation in coming years. The United States is often held up as the standard of modernity in China. Indeed, photos of the Space Shuttle often appear in Chinese advertisements as a symbol of advanced technology. China's small but growing space program, which put an astronaut into orbit in October 2003, is a focus of national pride.

The U.S.-China Science and Technology Agreement remains the framework for bilateral cooperation in this field. A 5-year agreement to extend the Science and Technology Agreement was signed in April 2001. There are currently over 30 active protocols under the Agreement, covering cooperation in areas such as marine conservation, renewable energy, and health. Japan and the European Union also have high profile science and technology cooperative relationships with China. Biennial Joint Commission Meetings on Science and Technology bring together policymakers from both sides to coordinate joint science and technology cooperation. Executive Secretaries meetings are held each year to implement specific cooperation programs.

Trade

China's merchandise exports totaled $438.4 billion and imports totaled $412.8 billion in 2003. Its global trade surplus was down 16%, to $25.6 billion. China's primary trading partners include Japan, the EU, the United States, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. According to U.S. statistics, China had a trade surplus with the U.S. of $124 billion in 2003.

China has taken important steps to open its foreign trading system and integrate itself into the world trading system. In November 1991, China joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group, which promotes free trade and cooperation in the economic, trade, investment, and technology spheres. China served as APEC chair in 2001, and Shanghai hosted the annual APEC leaders meeting in October of that year.

China formally joined the WTO in December 2001. As part of this farreaching trade liberalization agreement, China agreed to lower tariffs and abolish market impediments. Chinese and foreign businessmen, for example, gained the right to import and export on their own, and to sell their products without going through a government middleman. By 2005, average tariff rates on key U.S. agricultural exports will drop from 31% to 14% and on industrial products from 25% to 9%. The agreement also opens up new opportunities for U.S. providers of services like banking, insurance, and telecommunications. China has made significant progress implementing its WTO commitments, but serious concerns remain, particularly in the realm of intellectual property rights protection.

Export growth continues to be a major component supporting China's rapid economic growth. To increase exports, China has pursued policies such as fostering the rapid development of foreign-invested factories, which assemble imported components into consumer goods for export, and liberalizing trading rights.

The United States is one of China's primary suppliers of power generating equipment, aircraft and parts, computers and industrial machinery, raw materials, and chemical and agricultural products. However, U.S. exporters continue to have concerns about fair market access due to strict testing and standards requirements for some imported products. In addition, a lack of transparency in the regulatory process makes it difficult for businesses to plan for changes in the domestic market structure.

Foreign Investment

China's investment climate has changed dramatically in 24 years of reform. In the early 1980s, China restricted foreign investments to export-oriented operations and required foreign investors to form joint-venture partnerships with Chinese firms. Foreign direct investment (FDI) grew quickly during the 1980s, but stalled in late 1989 in the aftermath of Tiananmen. In response, the government introduced legislation and regulations designed to encourage foreigners to invest in high-priority sectors and regions. Since the early 1990s, China has allowed foreign investors to manufacture and sell a wide range of goods on the domestic market, and authorized the establishment of wholly foreign-owned enterprises, now the preferred form of FDI. However, the Chinese government's emphasis on guiding FDI into manufacturing has led to market saturation in some industries, while leaving China's services sectors underdeveloped. China is now one of the leading recipients of FDI in the world, receiving over $53 billion in 2003, for a cumulative total of $501 billion.

As part of China's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, China undertook to eliminate certain trade-related investment measures and to open up specified sectors that had previously been closed to foreign investment. New laws, regulations, and administrative measures to implement these commitments are being issued. Major remaining barriers to foreign investment include opaque and inconsistently enforced laws and regulations and the lack of a rules-based legal infrastructure.

Opening to the outside remains central to China's development. Foreign-invested enterprises produce about half of China's exports, and China continues to attract large investment inflows. Foreign exchange reserves totaled over $403 billion in 2003.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Since its establishment, the People's Republic has worked vigorously to win international support for its position that it is the sole legitimate government of all China, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. In the early 1970s, Beijing was recognized diplomatically by most world powers. Beijing assumed the China seat in the United Nations in 1971 and became increasingly active in multi-lateral organizations. Japan established diplomatic relations with China in 1972, and the U.S. did so in 1979. The number of countries that have established diplomatic relations with Beijing has risen to 156, while 28 have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

After the founding of the P.R.C., China's foreign policy initially focused on solidarity with the Soviet Union and other communist countries. In 1950, China sent the People's Liberation Army into North Korea as "volunteers" to help North Korea halt the UN offensive that was approaching the Yalu River. After the conclusion of the Korean conflict, China sought to balance its identification as a member of the Soviet bloc by establishing friendly relations with Pakistan and other Third World countries, particularly in Southeast Asia.

In the 1960s, Beijing competed with Moscow for political influence among communist parties and in the developing world generally. Following the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and clashes in 1969 on the Sino-Soviet border, Chinese competition with the Soviet Union increasingly reflected concern over China's own strategic position.

In late 1978, the Chinese also became concerned over Vietnam's efforts to establish open control over Laos and Cambodia. In response to the Sovietbacked Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, China fought a brief border war with Vietnam (February-March 1979) with the stated purpose of "teaching Vietnam a lesson."

Chinese anxiety about Soviet strategic advances was heightened following the Soviet Union's December 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. Sharp differences between China and the Soviet Union persisted over Soviet support for Vietnam's continued occupation of Cambodia, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Soviet troops along the Sino-Soviet border and in Mongolia—the so-called "three obstacles" to improved Sino-Soviet relations.

In the 1970s and 1980s China sought to create a secure regional and global environment for itself and to foster good relations with countries that could aid its economic development. To this end, China looked to the West for assistance with its modernization drive and for help in countering Soviet expansionism, which it characterized as the greatest threat to its national security and to world peace.

China maintained its consistent opposition to "superpower hegemonism," focusing almost exclusively on the expansionist actions of the Soviet Union and Soviet proxies such as Vietnam and Cuba, but it also placed growing emphasis on a foreign policy independent of both the U.S. and the Soviet Union. While improving ties with the West, China continued to follow closely economic and other positions of the Third World nonaligned movement, although China was not a formal member.

In the immediate aftermath of Tiananmen crackdown in June 1989, many countries reduced their diplomatic contacts with China as well as their economic assistance programs. In response, China worked vigorously to expand its relations with foreign countries, and by late 1990, had reestablished normal relations with almost all nations. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991, China also opened diplomatic relations with the republics of the former Soviet Union.

In recent years, Chinese leaders have been regular travelers to all parts of the globe, and China has sought a higher profile in the UN through its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and other multilateral organizations. Closer to home, China has made efforts to reduce tensions in Asia; it has contributed to stability on the Korean Peninsula, cultivated a more cooperative relationship with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei, Burma, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), and participated in the ASEAN Regional Forum. China has improved ties with Russia. President Putin and President Jiang signed a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in July 2001. The two also joined with the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to establish the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in June 2001. The SCO is designed to promote regional stability and cooperate to combat terrorism in the region. China has a number of border and maritime disputes, including with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin, with a number of countries in the South China Sea, as well as with Japan and India. Beijing has resolved many of its border and maritime disputes, notably including a November 1997 agreement with Russia that resolved almost all outstanding border issues and a 2000 agreement with Vietnam to resolve some differences over their maritime border, though disagreements remain over islands in the South China Sea. Working with India, China has also stepped up efforts to define a line of control on the Sino-Indian border.


DEFENSE

Establishment of a professional military force equipped with modern weapons and doctrine was the last of the "Four Modernizations" announced by Zhou Enlai and supported by Deng Xiaoping. In keeping with Deng's mandate to reform, the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which includes the strategic nuclear forces, army, navy, and air force, has demobilized millions of men and women since 1978 and introduced modern methods in such areas as recruitment and manpower, strategy, and education and training.

Following the June 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, ideological correctness was temporarily revived as the dominant theme in Chinese military affairs. Reform and modernization appear to have since resumed their position as the PLA's priority objectives, although the armed forces' political loyalty to the CCP remains a leading concern.

The Chinese military is trying to transform itself from a land-based power, centered on a vast ground force, to a smaller, mobile, high-tech military capable of mounting defensive operations beyond its coastal borders.

China's power-projection capability is limited but has grown over recent years. China has acquired some advanced weapons systems, including Sovremmeny destroyers, SU-27 and SU-30 aircraft, and Kilo-class diesel submarines from Russia. However, the mainstay of the air force continues to be the 1960s-vintage F-7, and naval forces still consist primarily of 1960s-era technology.

Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Policy

Nuclear Weapons. In 1955, Mao Zedong's Chinese Communist Party decided to proceed with a nuclear weapons program; it was developed with Soviet assistance until 1960. After its first nuclear test in October 1964, Beijing deployed a modest but potent ballistic missile force, including land- and sea-based intermediate-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

China became a major international arms exporter during the 1980s. Beijing joined the Middle East arms control talks, which began in July 1991 to establish global guidelines for conventional arms transfers, but announced in September 1992 that it would no longer participate because of the U.S. decision to sell F-16A/B aircraft to Taiwan.

China was the first state to pledge "no first use" of nuclear weapons. It joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1984 and pledged to abstain from further atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in 1986. China acceded to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1992 and supported its indefinite and unconditional extension in 1995. In 1996, it signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and agreed to seek an international ban on the production of fissile nuclear weapons material. To date, China has not ratified the CTBT.

In 1996, China committed not to provide assistance to unsafeguarded nuclear facilities. China attended the May 1997 meeting of the NPT Exporters (Zangger) Committee as an observer and became a full member in October 1997. The Zangger Committee is a group that meets to list items that should be subject to IAEA inspections if exported by countries that have, as China has, signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In September 1997, China issued detailed nuclear export control regulations. China began implementing regulations establishing controls over nuclear-related dual-use items in 1998. China also has decided not to engage in new nuclear cooperation with Iran (even under safeguards), and will complete existing cooperation, which is not of proliferation concern, within a relatively short period. In May 2004, with the support of the United States, China became a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Based on significant, tangible progress with China on nuclear nonproliferation, President Clinton in 1998 took steps to bring into force the 1985 U.S.-China Agreement on Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation.

Chemical Weapons. China is not a member of the Australia Group, an informal and voluntary arrangement made in 1985 to monitor developments in the proliferation of dual-use chemicals and to coordinate export controls on key dual-use chemicals and equipment with weapons applications. In April 1997, however, China ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and, in September 1997, promulgated a new chemical weapons export control directive. In October 2002, China promulgated updated regulations on dual-use chemical agents, and now controls all the major items on the Australia Group control list.

Missiles. While not formally joining the regime, in March 1992 China undertook to abide by the guidelines and parameters of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the multinational effort to restrict the proliferation of missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. China reaffirmed this commitment in 1994, and pledged not to transfer MTCR-class ground-to-ground missiles. In November 2000, China committed not to assist in any way the development by other countries of MTCR-class missiles. The U.S. Government imposed trade sanctions on the China Metallurgical Equipment Corporation (CMEC) on September 1, 2001. The sanctions were imposed because CMEC transferred items controlled under Category II of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Annex to a Pakistani entity. This transfer contributed to Pakistan's MTCR Category I missile program. The penalties imposed are: A 2-year ban on all new individual export licenses for Commerce Department- or State Department-controlled MTCR Annex items, and on all new U.S. Government contracts related to MTCR Annex items.

In addition, because a Chinese entity engaged in sanctionable activity, U.S. law also requires a 2-year ban on new licenses for State Department-controlled MTCR exports and on new U.S. Government contracts for MTCR items associated with all activities of the Chinese Government involved in the development or production of MTCR Annex items, electronics, space systems or equipment, and military aircraft.

In August 2002, the P.R.C. promulgated export control regulations on missile equipment and technologies.


U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS

From Liberation to the Shanghai Communiqué

As the PLA armies moved south to complete the communist conquest of China in 1949, the American Embassy followed the Nationalist government headed by Chiang Kaishek, finally moving to Taipei later that year. U.S. consular officials remained in mainland China. The new P.R.C. Government was hostile to this official American presence, and all U.S. personnel were withdrawn from the mainland in early 1950. Any remaining hope of normalizing relations ended when U.S. and Chinese communist forces fought on opposing sides in the Korean conflict.

Beginning in 1954 and continuing until 1970, the United States and China held 136 meetings at the ambassadorial level, first at Geneva and later at Warsaw. In the late 1960s, U.S. and Chinese political leaders decided that improved bilateral relations were in their common interest. In 1969, the United States initiated measures to relax trade restrictions and other impediments to bilateral contact. On July 15, 1971, President Nixon announced that his Assistant for National Security Affairs, Dr. Henry Kissinger, had made a secret trip to Beijing to initiate direct contact with the Chinese leadership and that he, the President, had been invited to visit China.

In February 1972, President Nixon traveled to Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. At the conclusion of his trip, the U.S. and Chinese Governments issued the "Shanghai Communiqué," a statement of their foreign policy views.

In the Communiqué, both nations pledged to work toward the full normalization of diplomatic relations. The U.S. acknowledged the Chinese position that all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait maintain that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China. The statement enabled the U.S. and China to temporarily set aside the "crucial question obstructing the normalization of relations"—Taiwan—and to open trade and other contacts.

Liaison Office, 1973-78

In May 1973, in an effort to build toward the establishment of formal diplomatic relations, the U.S. and China established the United States Liaison Office (USLO) in Beijing and a counterpart Chinese office in Washington, DC. In the years between 1973 and 1978, such distinguished Americans as David Bruce, George H.W. Bush, Thomas Gates, and Leonard Woodcock served as chiefs of the USLO with the personal rank of Ambassador.

President Ford visited China in 1975 and reaffirmed the U.S. interest in normalizing relations with Beijing. Shortly after taking office in 1977, President Carter again reaffirmed the interest expressed in the Shanghai Communiqué. The United States and China announced on December 15, 1978, that the two governments would establish diplomatic relations on January 1, 1979.

Normalization

In the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations dated January 1, 1979, the United States transferred diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The U.S. reiterated the Shanghai Communiqué's acknowledgment of the Chinese position that there is only one China and that Taiwan is a part of China; Beijing acknowledged that the American people would continue to carry on commercial, cultural, and other unofficial contacts with the people of Taiwan. The Taiwan Relations Act made the necessary changes in U.S. domestic law to permit such unofficial relations with Taiwan to flourish.

U.S.-China Relations Since Normalization

Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping's January 1979 visit to Washington, DC, initiated a series of important, high-level exchanges, which continued until the spring of 1989. This resulted in many bilateral agreements—especially in the fields of scientific, technological, and cultural interchange and trade relations. Since early 1979, the United States and China have initiated hundreds of joint research projects and cooperative programs under the Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology, the largest bilateral program.

On March 1, 1979, the United States and China formally established embassies in Beijing and Washington, DC. During 1979, outstanding private claims were resolved, and a bilateral trade agreement was concluded. Vice President Walter Mondale reciprocated Vice Premier Deng's visit with an August 1979 trip to China. This visit led to agreements in September 1980 on maritime affairs, civil aviation links, and textile matters, as well as a bilateral consular convention.

As a consequence of high-level and working-level contacts initiated in 1980, U.S. dialogue with China broadened to cover a wide range of issues, including global and regional strategic problems, political-military questions, including arms control, UN and other multilateral organization affairs, and international narcotics matters.

The expanding relationship that followed normalization was threatened in 1981 by Chinese objections to the level of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Secretary of State Alexander Haig visited China in June 1981 in an effort to resolve Chinese questions about America's unofficial relations with Taiwan. Eight months of negotiations produced the U.S.-China joint communiqué of August 17, 1982. In this third communiqué, the U.S. stated its intention to reduce gradually the level of arms sales to Taiwan, and the Chinese described as a fundamental policy their effort to strive for a peaceful resolution to the Taiwan question. Meanwhile, Vice President Bush visited China in May 1982.

High-level exchanges continued to be a significant means for developing U.S.-China relations in the 1980s. President Reagan and Premier Zhao Ziyang made reciprocal visits in 1984. In July 1985, President Li Xiannian traveled to the United States, the first such visit by a Chinese head of state. Vice President Bush visited China in October 1985 and opened the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu, the U.S.'s fourth consular post in China. Further exchanges of cabinet-level officials occurred between 1985-89, capped by President Bush's visit to Beijing in February 1989.

In the period before the June 3-4, 1989 crackdown, a large and growing number of cultural exchange activities undertaken at all levels gave the American and Chinese peoples broad exposure to each other's cultural, artistic, and educational achievements. Numerous Chinese professional and official delegations visited the United States each month. Many of these exchanges continued after Tiananmen.

Bilateral Relations After Tiananmen

Following the Chinese authorities' brutal suppression of demonstrators in June 1989, the U.S. and other governments enacted a number of measures to express their condemnation of China's blatant violation of the basic human rights of its citizens. The U.S. suspended high-level official exchanges with China and weapons exports from the U.S. to China. The U.S. also imposed a number of economic sanctions. In the summer of 1990, at the G-7 Houston summit, Western nations called for renewed political and economic reforms in China, particularly in the field of human rights.

Tiananmen disrupted the U.S.-China trade relationship, and U.S. investors' interest in China dropped dramatically. The U.S. Government also responded to the political repression by suspending certain trade and investment programs on June 5 and 20, 1989. Some sanctions were legislated; others were executive actions. Examples include:

  • The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA)—new activities in China were suspended from June 1989 until January 2001, when then-President Clinton lifted this suspension.
  • Overseas Private Insurance Corporation (OPIC)—new activities suspended since June 1989.
  • Development Bank Lending/IMF Credits—the United States does not support development bank lending and will not support IMF credits to China except for projects that address basic human needs.
  • Munitions List Exports—subject to certain exceptions, no licenses may be issued for the export of any defense article on the U.S. Munitions List. This restriction may be waived upon a presidential national interest determination.
  • Arms Imports—import of defense articles from China was banned after the imposition of the ban on arms exports to China. The import ban was subsequently waived by the Administration and reimposed on May 26, 1994. It covers all items on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives' Munitions Import List.

In 1996, the P.R.C. conducted military exercises in waters close to Taiwan in an apparent effort at intimidation. The United States dispatched two aircraft carrier battle groups to the region. Subsequently, tensions in the Taiwan Strait diminished, and relations between the U.S. and China have improved, with increased high-level exchanges and progress on numerous bilateral issues, including human rights, nonproliferation, and trade. Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin visited the United States in the fall of 1997, the first state visit to the U.S. by a Chinese president since 1985. In connection with that visit, the two sides reached agreement on implementation of their 1985 agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation, as well as a number of other issues. Former President Clinton visited China in June 1998. He traveled extensively in China, and direct interaction with the Chinese people included live speeches and a radio show, allowing the President to convey first-hand to the Chinese people a sense of American ideals and values.

Relations between the U.S. and China were severely strained by the tragic accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in May 1999. By the end of 1999, relations began to gradually improve. In October 1999, the two sides reached agreement on humanitarian payments for families of those who died and those who were injured as well as payments for damages to respective diplomatic properties in Belgrade and China.

In April 2001, a Chinese F-8 fighter collided with a U.S. EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft flying over international waters south of China. The EP-3 was able to make an emergency landing on China's Hainan Island despite extensive damage; the P.R.C. aircraft crashed with the loss of its pilot. Following extensive negotiations, the crew of the EP-3 was allowed to leave China 11 days later, but the U.S. aircraft was not permitted to depart for another 3 months. Subsequently, the relationship, which had cooled following the incident, gradually improved.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (9-11) in New York City and Washington, DC, China offered strong public support for the war on terrorism and has been an important partner in U.S. counterterrorism efforts. China voted in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 1373, publicly supported the coalition campaign in Afghanistan, and contributed $150 million of bilateral assistance to Afghan reconstruction following the defeat of the Taliban. Shortly after 9-11, the U.S. and China also commenced a counterterrorism dialogue. The third round of that dialogue was held in Beijing in February 2003.

China and the U.S. have also been working closely on regional issues like North Korea. China has stressed its opposition to the D.P.R.K.'s decision to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, its concerns over North Korea's nuclear capabilities, and its desire for a non-nuclear Korean peninsula. It also voted to refer the D.P.R.K.'s noncompliance with its IAEA obligations to the UN Security Council in New York.

U.S.-China Economic Relations

U.S. direct investment in China covers a wide range of manufacturing sectors, several large hotel projects, restaurant chains, and petrochemicals. U.S. companies have entered agreements establishing more than 20,000 equity joint ventures, contractual joint ventures, and wholly foreign-owned enterprises in China. More than 100 U.S.-based multinationals have projects in China, some with multiple investments. Cumulative U.S. investment in China is valued at $35 billion.

Total two-way trade between China and the U.S. grew from $33 billion in 1992 to over $180 billion in 2003. The United States is China's second-largest trading partner, and China is now the third-largest trading partner for the United States (after Canada and Mexico). U.S. exports to China have been growing more rapidly than to any other market (up 15.3% in 2002 and 28.4% in 2003). U.S. imports from China grew somewhat slower, at 21.7%, but the U.S. trade deficit with China exceeded $124 billion in 2003. Some of the factors that influence the U.S. trade deficit with China include:

  • A shift of low-end assembly industries to China from the newly industrialized economies (NIEs) in Asia. China has increasingly become the last link in a long chain of value-added production. Because U.S. trade data attributes the full value of a product to the final assembler, Chinese value-added gets overcounted.
  • U.S. demand for labor-intensive goods exceeds domestic output.
  • China's restrictive trade practices, which have included an array of barriers to foreign goods and services, often aimed at protecting state-owned enterprises. Under its WTO accession agreement, China is reducing tariffs and eliminating import licensing requirements, as well as addressing other trade barriers.

The U.S. approach to its economic relations with China has two main elements:

First, the United States seeks to fully integrate China into the global, rules-based economic and trading system. China's participation in the global economy will nurture the process of economic reform and increase China's stake in the stability and prosperity of East Asia.

Second, the United States seeks to expand U.S. exporters' and investors' access to the Chinese market. As China grows and develops, its needs for imported goods and services will grow even more rapidly.

At the September 2002 Joint Economic Committee meeting in Washington, the United States and China discussed strengthening cooperation in fighting terrorist finance and money laundering, prospects for foreign direct investment in China's financial services, and the regional reliance on U.S. macroeconomic developments. China's continued strong growth has made it an important regional engine of growth, and China reiterated its commitment to a strategy of market reforms and global economic openness.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

BEIJING (E) Address: No. 3 Xiu Shui Bei Jie; APO/FPO: PSC 461 Box 50 FPO, AP 96521; Phone: 8610-6532-3831; Fax: 8610-6532-6929; Work-week: 0800-1700; Website: http://www.usembassy-china.org.cn/

AMB:Clark T. Randt, Jr.
AMB OMS:Patricia Rhodes
DCM:David S. Sedney
DCM OMS:Joan Bower
CG:John Daniel Morris
CG OMS:Bernardo Navarrro
POL:Daniel L. Shields
MGT:James R. VanLaningham
AGR:Maurice W. House
APHIS:Eloisa Jones
ATO:Laverne Brabant
CLO:Pamela T. Ayoung
COM/ADB:Craig Allen
CUS:Andy Yu
DAO:Richard J. Mauldin
DEA:James Tse
ECO:Robert S. Wang
EEO:William S. Laidlaw
EST:Deborah J. Seligsohn
FAA:Joseph P. Tymczyszyn
FMO:Mazhar Ahson
GSO:Charles G. Krips
ICASS Chair:Brad Fribley
IMO:Heywood Miller
INS:Jeanette Chu
IPO:Jim Wojciechowski
ISO:Thomas Martin
ISSO:David Foster
LAB:Helen C. Hudson
LEGATT:William Liu
PAO:Donald M. Bishop
RSO:Bob Eckert
Last Updated: 9/21/2004

CHENGDU (CG) Address: No. 4 Lingshiguan Lu, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, PRC; APO/FPO: PSC 461 Box 85, FPO AP 96521; Phone: 86-28-8558-3992; Fax: 86-28-8558-3520; Workweek: 8:30-5:30

CG:Jeffrey A. Moon
CG OMS:Deborah Vaughn
PO:Jeffrey A. Moon
POL:Brook Hefright
CON:Benjamin Chiang
MGT:Maureen L. Gabbard
AFSA:Maureen L. Gabbard
CLO:vacant
ECO:G.A. Donovan
EEO:Brook Hefright
GSO:William Coleman
IMO:David W. Gabbard
IPO:David Gabbard
ISO:CJ Baltz
ISSO:David Gabbard
PAO:John Louton
RSO:Anne Brunn
State ICASS:Maureen Gabbard
Last Updated: 8/24/2004

GUANGZHOU (CG) Address: #1 Shamian South Road, Guangzhou CHINA 510133; APO/FPO: PSC 461, Box 100. FPO AP 96521-0002; Phone: (86)(20) 8121-8000; Fax: (86) (20) 8184-6296; Workweek: 8:30 AM-5:30 PM

CG:Edward K.H. Dong
COM:Robert Murphy
CON:William J. Martin
MGT:Jeffrey Rock
AGR:Keith Schneller
CLO:Janya Somers
ECO:Harvey A. Somers
GSO:Kenneth L. Meyer
INS:Thomas Wong
IPO:Frank Landymore
PAO:Wendy Lyle
RSO:Michael Brenn
Last Updated: 10/12/2004

SHANGHAI (CG) Address: 1469 Huai Hai Zhong Lu, Shanghai 200031 PRC; APO/FPO: PSC 461, Box 200, FPO AP 96521-0200; Phone: 86-21-6433-3936; Fax: 86-21-6433-4122; Workweek: 8:00 am-5:00 pm; Website: www.usembassychina.org.cn/shanghai/

CG:Douglas Spelman
PO:Douglas Spelman, CG
POL:Mary Tarnowka
COM:Catherine Houghton
CON:George Hogeman
MGT:Andrea Baker
AFSA:Paul Thomas
ATO:Ross Kreamer
CLO:Richard Romero
ECO:Mary Tarnowka
EEO:Jean-Pierre Louis
EST:Richard Lilly
FIN:Andrea Baker
GSO:Jean Pierre-Louis
ICASS Chair:Sub Group Only
IPO:John Janssen
ISO:Thomas Lacy
ISSO:Troy Jackson
PAO:Jenifer Galt
RSO:Brendan Murray
State ICASS:Andrea Baker
Last Updated: 6/27/2004

SHENYANG (CG) Address: US CONSULATE-SHENYANG; APO/FPO: PSC 461, Box 45; FPO AP 96521-0002; Phone: 86-24-2322-0848; Fax: 86-24-2322-1733; Workweek: 0830-1730; Website: http://www.usembassy-china.org.cn/consulates/shenyang/

CG:David A. Kornbluth
CG OMS:Kathryn L. Ramsay
COM:Soching Tsai
CON:Douglas Kelly
MGT:Joseph E. Zadrozny
CLO:CLO
ECO:Bruce Hudspeth
EEO:Kathryn Ramsay
GSO:Colleen E. Altstock
IPO:Jerry Shepard
ISO:Ronnie Duggers
ISSO:Jerry Shepard
PAO:Cynthia Caples
Last Updated: 10/1/2004

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

January 15, 2005

Country Description: The People's Republic of China was established on October 1, 1949, with Beijing as its capital city. With well over 1.3 billion citizens, China is the world's most populous country and the third largest country in the world in terms of territory. China is undergoing rapid, profound economic and social change and development. Political power remains centralized in the Chinese Communist Party. Modern tourist facilities are available in major cities, but many facilities in smaller provincial cities and rural areas are frequently below international standards.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A valid passport and visa are required to enter China and must be obtained from Chinese Embassies and Consulates before traveling to China. Americans arriving without valid passports and the appropriate Chinese visa are not permitted to enter and will be subject to a fine and immediate deportation at the traveler's expense. Travelers should not rely on Chinese host organizations claiming to be able to arrange a visa upon arrival the Chinese government does not issue visas at ports of entry. Chinese Authorities have recently tightened their visa issuance policy, in some cases requiring personal interviews of American citizens and regularly issuing one or two entry visas valid for short periods only.

Visas are required to transit China. Persons transiting China on the way to and from Mongolia or North Korea or who plan to re-enter from the Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions should be sure to obtain visas allowing multiple entries. Permits are required to visit Tibet as well as many remote areas not normally open to foreigners.

For information about visa requirements and other entry requirements and restricted areas, travelers may consult the Embassy of the People's Republic of China (PRC) at 2300 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, or telephone (1-202) 328-2500, 2501 or 2502. For a list of services and frequently asked visa questions and answers, travelers can view the Chinese Embassy's web sites at http://www.china-embassy.org/. The Chinese Embassy's visa section may be reached by e-mail at [email protected] There are Chinese Consulates General in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Americans traveling in Asia have been able to obtain visas to enter China from the Chinese visa office in Hong Kong and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Seoul, South Korea.

Americans who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their Chinese visas will be subject to a maximum fine of 5,000 RMB (approximately $600) and departure delays and may be subject to detention. Travelers should note that international flights departing China are routinely over-booked, making reconfirmation of departure reservations and early airport check-in essential. In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated new procedures at entry / exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if they are not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

For additional information, please see the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov/ for the Dual Nationality flyer.

Customs Regulations: Chinese customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from China of items such as antiquities, banned publications, some religious literature, or vehicles not conforming to Chinese standards. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Washington or one of China's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines. A current list of those countries with serious problems in this regard can be found at http://www.ustr.gov/Document_Library/Reports_Publications/2004/2004_Special_301/Section_Index.html. Other information on customs regulations can be found at http://www.ustr.gov.

China's customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information call (212) 354-4480, send an e-mail to [email protected], or visit www.uscib.org for details.

Safety and Security: Americans visiting or residing in China are advised to take the normal safety precautions travelers take when in any foreign country. Specifically, travelers should remain aware of their surroundings and of events that are happening around them. Travelers should respect local police requirements to temporarily avoid travel in some areas. In light of the greatly increased numbers of older Americans traveling to China, U.S. tour operators should check that local guides are familiar with medical facilities and emergency medical evacuation procedures.

American citizens who rent apartments with gas appliances should be aware that in some areas, natural gas is not scented to warn occupants of gas leaks or concentrations. In addition, heaters may not always be well vented, thereby allowing excess carbon monoxide to build up in living spaces. Due to fatal accidents involving American citizens, travelers are advised to ensure all gas appliances are properly vented or install gas and carbon monoxide detectors in their residences. These devices are not widely available in China, and they should be purchased prior to arrival.

Chinese security personnel may place foreign government officials, journalists, and business people with access to advanced proprietary technology under surveillance. Hotel rooms and personal computing devices for these categories of visitors may be subject to search without the consent or knowledge of the traveler.

Terrorism is rare in China, although a small number of bombings and incidents of unrest have occurred in areas throughout China. Recent bombings have largely been criminal activity, frequently the result of commercial disputes between Chinese. There is no indication that acts of public violence have been directed against foreigners or that foreign elements in China have carried out terrorist attacks.

Security personnel may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance. Hotel rooms, telephones and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched. Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in problems with authorities.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad.

Crime: Overall, China is a safe country, with a low but increasing crime rate. Pickpockets target tourists at sightseeing destinations, open-air markets and in stores, often with the complicity of low-paid security guards. Violence against foreigners is rare, but the rate of criminal activities against foreigners is growing, especially in the larger cities. Over the past year incidents of violence against foreigners have usually taken place in these urban areas, in bars and nightclubs. Although it has a crime rate comparable to other cities in China, Shenzhen, because of the large flow of land arrival visitors every day, has reportedly been the scene of criminal acts, mostly petty but occasionally serious, directed at visitors and residents. The border crossings specifically tend to attract pickpockets and other criminals. There have been reported cases of daytime muggings and persons being abducted and forced to withdraw cash from ATM's. Visitors are reminded to use only licensed taxis, avoid carrying large amounts of cash or walking alone and to exercise due caution in public areas.

Robberies, sometimes at gunpoint, have occurred in western China, and there have been reports of robberies and assaults along mountain highways in Yunnan Province and near China's border with Nepal.

Reports of threats of violence against foreigners, including Americans, working privately or with non-governmental organizations attempting to assist North Koreans transiting China for permanent resettlement have been received by the Embassy. While we have not seen any such incidents, we are cautioning Americans who feel they may be threatened to immediately contact the Embassy of nearest consulate for help.

Travelers are sometimes asked by locals to exchange money at a preferential rate. It is illegal to exchange dollars for RMB except at banks, hotels and official exchange offices. Due to the large volume of counterfeit currency in China, unofficial exchanges usually result in travelers losing their money and possibly left to face charges of breaking foreign exchange laws. If detained by police under suspicion of committing an economic crime involving currency, travelers may be delayed for weeks or months while police investigate the allegations.

Travelers should have small bills (RMB 10, 20 and 50 notes) for travel by taxi. Reports of taxi drivers using counterfeit RMB 50 and 100 notes to make change for large bills are increasingly common. Be sure to get a receipt from the taxi driver.

Throughout China, women outside hotels in tourist districts frequently use the prospect of companionship or sex to lure foreign men to isolated locations where accomplices are waiting for the purpose of robbery. Travelers should not allow themselves to be driven to bars or an individual's home unless they know the person making the offer. Hotel guests should refuse to open their room doors to anyone they do not know personally.

American visitors to China should carry their passports with them and out of reach of pickpockets. Americans should not travel in China without their identity documents and residents must have their Chinese residence permits (juliu zheng) with them at all times. All Americans are encouraged to make photocopies of their passport bio-data pages and Chinese visas and to keep these in a separate, secure location, and to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate General. Please note the contact information below for registration by e-mail addresses.

U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. See our information on Victims of Crime at http://travel.state.gov/travel/brochure_victim_assistance.html.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Americans planning to travel to China should read the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Fact Sheet.

Experimental Medical Procedures: Some hospitals and private practitioners in China are advertising internationally to promote experimental medical procedures to treat diseases' such as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, AIDs and others. Other practitioners advertise that "new procedures" are available to extend bone structures to make people taller, and to provide other cosmetic procedures. These advertisements state that these procedures are safe, cheap and effective. The Embassy has received numerous complaints from Americans regarding many of these experimental practices, and is aware of fatalities and permanent disfigurements that have followed these treatments. Americans are advised not to enter China for treatment of advanced diseases without first consulting their physician in the United States.

Medical Facilities in China: Western-style medical facilities with international staffs are available in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and a few other large cities. Many other hospitals in major Chinese cities have so-called VIP wards (gaogan bingfang). These feature reasonably up-to-date medical technology and physicians who are both knowledgeable and skilled. Most VIP wards also provide medical services to foreigners and have English-speaking doctors and nurses. Most hospitals in China will not accept medical insurance from the United States, with the exception of the following hospitals, which are on the BlueCross BlueShield's worldwide network providers—overseas network hospitals' list (http://www.fepblue.org/wasite/wabenefits/wabenefitsoverseas04.html) Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Beijing United Family Hospital, Beijing Friendship Hospital, International Medical Center in Beijing, and Peking Union Medical Center. Travelers will be asked to post a deposit prior to admission to cover the expected cost of treatment. Hospitals in major cities may accept credit cards for payment. Even in the VIP/Foreigner wards of major hospitals, however, American patients have frequently encountered difficulty due to cultural and regulatory differences. Physicians and hospitals have sometimes refused to supply American patients with complete copies of their Chinese hospital medical records, including laboratory test results, scans, and x-rays. All Americans traveling to China are strongly encouraged to buy foreign medical care and medical evacuation insurance prior to arrival. Travelers who want a list of modern medical facilities in China can access that information at the Embassy's website.

Ambulances do not carry sophisticated medical equipment, and ambulance personnel generally have little or no medical training. Therefore, injured or seriously ill Americans may be required to take taxis or other immediately available vehicles to the nearest major hospital rather than waiting for ambulances to arrive. In rural areas, only rudimentary medical facilities are generally available. Medical personnel in rural areas are often poorly trained, have little medical equipment or availability to medications.

Rural clinics are often reluctant to accept responsibility for treating foreigners, even in emergency situations.

Foreign-operated medical providers catering to expatriates and visitors are available in China.

SOS International, Ltd., operates modern medical and dental clinics and provides medical evacuation and medical escort services in Beijing, Nanjing, Tianjin and Shekou, as well as 24hr Alarm Centers in Beijing and Shanghai. Through clinics in Beijing (24 hours), Tianjin, Nanjing and Shekou, SOS offers international standard family practice services, emergency medical services and a range of clinical services.

The emergency assistance services SOS offers through alarm centers in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing compliment their clinics. Each Alarm Center provides 24-hour hotline services to all our global members when they are in China. Any problem from lost luggage to a serious medical condition can be reported to the alarm center, where multilingual coordinators and doctors are on duty to respond to all manners of emergencies.

To provide these services, SOS has developed an external network of hospitals, airlines and local authorities with whom they work to deliver a fast and efficient response. These services also support the many remote site medical staff, equipment and facilities that SOS provides to clients.

For medical emergencies anywhere in mainland China, Americans can call the SOS International, Ltd., 24-hour Alarm Center in Beijing at telephone (86-10) 6462-9100 or in Shanghai at (86-21) 6295-0099 for advice and referrals to local facilities. SOS International Alarm Centers can also be contacted in Hong Kong at telephone (852) 2428-9900 and in the United States at (215) 245-4707.

For a full list of SOS locations and phone numbers, consult the SOS website at http://www.internationalsos.com.

Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics ("BJU") is the first and remains the only foreign-invested full service international standard 50 bed hospital operating in Beijing, China. BJU was opened in 1997 by Chindex International, an American company, which in 2002 was awarded the US Secretary of State's Award for Corporate Excellence. BJU offers the full range of specialties including Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, Dentistry, Psychiatry and Physiotherapy, in addition to a 24 hour Emergency Room staffed solely by Expatriate Staff Specialists. These Physicians are all board qualified (or equivalent) in their respective fields and include specialties such as Anesthesiology, and Intensive Care Medicine. Additionally, staff are fluent in not only English, but also a wide range of languages including French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Swedish, and Finnish to name a few.

Facilities include 2 Operating Theatres, international standard 5 star LDRP birthing suites, Neonatal ICU, a 4-bed Adult ICU, General Inpatient facilities, and standard support services such as Digital Radiology, Ambulance services, Pharmacy, Laboratory and a 24 hour on-site Blood Bank with emergency blood prescreened to the American Blood Bank standard.

Bayley & Jackson Beijing Medical Center
#7 Ritan Dong Lu, Chaoyang District,
Beijing 100020
(8610) 8562-9998
Fax: (8610) 8562-3497
email: [email protected]
Website: www.bjhealthcare.com

Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics
#2 Jiang Tai Lu, Chaoyang District,
Beijing 100016
(8610) 6433-3960
Fax: (8610) 6433-3963
Emergency Hotline: (8610) 6433-2345
Website: www.bjunited.com.cn

Peking Union Medical Hospital
1 Shui Fu Yuan, Dong Cheng Distict,
Beijing 100730
Tel: 010-6529-6114 (registration);
010-6529-7292 (information);
010-6529-5284 (24 hours)
Modern Facilities with English speaking staff. Separate ward for foreign patients.

Portman Clinic:
Shanghai Center #203 W,
1376 Nanjing Xi Lu, 200040
Tel: 6279-7688.
For appointments: 6279-8678;
Fax: 6279-7698

Hong Qiao Clinic:
Mandarin City Unit 30,
788 Hong Xu Lu, 201103
Tel: 6405-5788; Fax: 6405-3587

Shanghai United Family Hospital and Clinics – To open in 2004
1111 Xian Xia Xi Lu,
Chang Ning District, Shanghai 200336 PRC
Website: http://www.shanghaiunited.com/

GlobalDoctor, Ltd., has opened clinics staffed by English-speaking doctors within the VIP wards of governmentrun hospitals in Chengdu, Nanjing, and Beijing. GlobalDoctor can be reached by telephone from China at 86-10-8456-9191 or on the Internet at http://www.eglobaldoctor.com/.

Additional information on medical providers specializing in treating foreigners for general medical, dental and orthodontic problems are available at http://www.usembassychina.org.cn/.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en.

Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Two private emergency medical assistance firms, SOS International, Ltd., and Medex Assistance Corporation, offer medical insurance policies designed for travelers. Both of these companies have staff in China who can assist in the event of a medical emergency.

SOS International, Ltd.
Beijing Clinic address: Building C,
BITIC Leasing Center
No. 1 North Road, Xingfu Sancun,
Sanlitun, Chaoyang District
Beijing 100027
Beijing SOS International Clinic,
telephone: (86-10) 6462-9112,
Fax (86-10) 6462-9111.

For medical emergencies, please telephone the SOS International Alarm Center at (86-10) 6462-9100 from anywhere in Mainland China. From Hong Kong: (852) 2528-9900. From the U.S.: 1-215-245-4707. These phone lines are answered 24 hours by SOS International Alarm Center personnel. For information on purchasing health or travel insurance from SOS International, please telephone (1-800) 523-8930 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday) in the U.S. or visit http://www.intsos.com/ on the Internet or e-mail: [email protected]

SOS members calling with a medical emergency should first telephone the Alarm Center in Beijing at (86-10)6462-9100.

MEDEX Assistance Corporation
871 Poly Plaza
Beijing 100027
Toll Free Number from China to U.S.: 10811-800-527-0218
Email: [email protected] (Baltimore, Maryland)
U.S. telephone: (1-800) 537-2029 or (1-410) 453-6300 (24 hours)
Emergencies (members only) (1-800) 527-0218 or (1-410) 453-6330
Web site: http://www.medexassist.com/

Medex members calling with a medical emergency should call Medex-Emergency in China at telephone (86-10) 6595-8510.

Other Evacuation Insurance Options: Heathrow is an air evacuation service with offices in the United States and England. Travelers can pre-arrange air evacuation insurance and other emergency travel assistance. This service also has a business plan to assist foreigners who lack travel insurance. Heathrow Air Ambulance Service, 15554 FM, Suite 195 Houston, TX. 77095-2704. Office telephone 1-800-513-5192. Office fax 1-832-934-2395. E-mail: [email protected]

Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.

Other Health Information: Most roads and towns in Tibet, Qinghai, parts of Xinjiang, and western Sichuan are situated at altitudes over 10,000 feet. Travelers in these areas should seek medical advice in advance of travel, allow time for acclimatization to the high altitude, and remain alert to signs of altitude sickness. Reuse or poor sterilization practices are problems in China, contributing to transmission of diseases such as Hepatitis, which is endemic in China. In order to protect themselves from blood and other tissue borne disease such as Hepatitis and HIV, travelers should always ask doctors and dentists to use sterilized equipment and be prepared to pay for new syringe needles in hospitals or clinics. Tuberculosis is endemic in China. Air pollution is also a significant problem throughout China. Travelers should consult their doctor prior to travel and consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on them. Travelers are advised to consult the CDC's traveler's health website at: http://www.cdc.gov/travel/eastasia.htm prior to departing for China.

Alcoholics Anonymous can be reached in Beijing at telephone (86-10) 139-1138-9075, e-mail: [email protected] On the Internet, http://members.cox.net/mppowers1/aa-china3.html lists AA meeting locations and contact information for other cities in China. Visit the U.S. Embassy web page in advance of travel to China for additional contact numbers. There is an Al-Anon chapter in Beijing that can be reached at (86-10) 6940-3935. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-394-8747; fax-888-232-3299, or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

LifeLine Shanghai is a community-based, confidential hotline providing emotional support and information to Shanghai's expatriate community. HOTLINE: (86 21) 6279-8990

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of China as being in compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards for oversight of China's air carrier operations. For more information, travel