People Republic of China


People's Republic of China
The People's Republic of China (PRC) (Chinese language: Simplified Chinese: 中华人'共'国, Traditional Chinese:中華人'共'國) is a communist country in eastern Asia. It was founded by the Communist Party of China on 1 October, 1949. It has the most people of any country in the world (over 1.3 billion people).
The capital city is Beijing, and Shanghai is the biggest city. United Kingdom and Portugal returned Hong Kong and Macao back to China in 1997 and 1999 respectively. These two cities remain highly autonomy. The central government is responsible for defense and foreign affairs but not the daily operations for 50 years. PRC claims Taiwan as one of the many provinces. However, PRC does not have control of Taiwan which has a democratic political system and officially known as the Republic of China (Taiwan).
History.
Chinese civilization has been around since the second millennium B.C.E. as a feudal society. Its land area has mostly looked like that of modern China, except with northern and western edges that varied often. It has been commonly attacked by the northern people, such as Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan. While China achieved many things in the first millennium C.E. and early second millennium C.E., it became an isolationist country in the 15th century C.E.
By the Renaissance, European powers started to take over other countries in Asia. While China was never actually taken over, many European countries, such as Britain & French built spheres of influence in China. Since China had cut itself off from the world over the previous few centuries, it had fallen behind other countries in technology, and was helpless to stop this from happening. This had become clear when it lost the Opium Wars to Britain in the 19th century.
In 1911, the monarchy was overthrown by Sun Yat-sen, who started a Nationalist government. Over time, Marxist philosophies grew under the Nationalist rule. In 1927, the Chinese Civil War started, which was fought by the Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek and the Communist leaders. Mao Zedong gradually took over the power within the Communist Party whose army was called the "Red Army." At the background, Japan continued to expand their influence and control of north and northeast provinces of China. The Nationalists and Communists joined to fight Japan. The conflict became part of, and led to, World War II. After the war against Japanese, civil war started again.
By 1949, the Red Army won. Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists fled to Taiwan. Mao Zedong has been in power, although for a long period of time he did not have official position in the government, as the leader of China until he died in 1976. During that time, China had bad relations with the Western World. In the late '60s and early '70s, PRC is even more isolated after the Sino-Soviet split. Before Mao died, initial contact with US took place in order to counter the threat from USSR.
All though the initial 30 years of governing, the Communist Party, led by Mao Zedong, has eliminated free-thinking in politics, economics and academic aspects. The "peak" of all these is known as the Cultural Revolution which is a disaster in human history, not only because millions of people were killed, but also because the traditional value system was destroyed as a result. The Communist Party is still not willing to admit the fault and a lot of criminal actions associated with the Cultural Revolution.
After Mao, Deng Xiaoping, as one of the 1st generation Communist Party leaders, took power and launched the "Change and Open" Policy.
In 1979, because of the overpopulation problem in China, he made the one-child policy, which put a limit on how many children couples can have.
In August 2008, China hosted the Summer Olympics for the first time.
People and Culture.
There are 56 different ethnic groups in China, with Han the majority (92%). The Communist Party of China controls the government. Mandarin Chinese is the main spoken language.


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