PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
A COUNTRY STUDY
CH (CPT) JUSTIN DUBOSE
DL C4 (H-RC) FY16 CLASS 412
August 22, 2017
This paper is a country study of the People’s Republic of China. The purpose of this paper is to apply cultural variables and methodologies to the Military Operational Area of China. The following data has been collected from The CIA World Factbook on China. This information can be accessed on the world wide web at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html.
China is located in Eastern Asia and occupies an area slightly smaller than the United States. As the country is so geographically large, the climate is extremely diverse, ranging from tropical in the south to subarctic in the north. The terrain is also quite varied with mountains and hills in certain areas and deserts, plains, and deltas in other areas. The land is rich with natural resources and the majority of land is utilized for agriculture. China borders 14 other countries and shares regional borders with the nations of Hong Kong and Macau. In terms of geography, China is the fourth largest nation in the world behind Russia, Canada, and the United States. It is also noteworthy that Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world, lies on the border of China and Nepal.
Though China is the fourth largest nation geographically, its population of 1,373,541,278 is the largest of any nation in the world. Though the Chinese government officially recognizes 56 different ethnic groups within China, all are grouped under the ethnicity of Chinese. Though the country is officially Atheist as of 2010, 18% of the population identifies as Buddhist and another 5% identify as Christian. The median age is 37.1 years, and it is noteworthy that the population growth rate is only 0.43% as there are only 12.4 births/1,000 population. An overwhelming majority of the population is located in the eastern part of the country, and the average lifespan is 75.5 years. Additionally, the literacy rate across the country is 96.4% for those age 15 and over.
China, officially named the People’s Republic of China, is a communist state whose capital is Beijing. China is comprised of 23 administrative divisions known as provinces and 4 municipalities. The nation was officially established as the People’s Republic of China on 1 October 1949, though the country was unified under the Qin Dynasty as early as 221 B.C. The legal system is a combination of civil law influenced by Soviet and continental European law systems. All citizens must be at least 18 years old to vote. Since 14 March 2013, China’s President has been XI Jinping and the Vice President has been LI Yuanchao. The Premier, or the head of the Chinese government, is LI Keqiang. As a communist state, China has only one recognized political party: the Chinese Communist Party. While there exist 8 nominally independent smaller parties, they are each controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
China’s presence has increased economically since the 1970’s as they have shifted from a closed, centrally-planned system to a market-oriented system. Since 1978, China’s GDP has increased more than tenfold. Though China’s per capita income is below the world average, they boast the largest economy in the world since 2014, the world’s largest exporter since 2010, and the world’s largest trading nation since 2013. China’s GDP as of 2016 is a staggering $21.14 trillion while their per capita income is a dismal $14,000. China is the world’s largest exporter of agriculture and the world’s largest exporter of industrial output in terms of gross value. Their unemployment rate is 4% and they currently (as of 2016) operate on a budget deficit of -3%. China’s national currency is the Renminbi yuan (RMB) which, as of 2016, has an exchange rate of 6.626 RMB per US dollar.
China has a strong infrastructure. 99.9% of the population has access to electricity and both their electrical production and consumption are the highest in the world. Additionally, their communications infrastructure supports both the largest fixed line telephone subscriptions as well as mobile cellular telephone subscriptions in the world. There are also almost 688 million internet users in the country, which is also more than any other country in the world. China’s transportation infrastructure is equally extensive. The country boasts 2,890 registered aircraft which transport more than 436 million passengers annually. There are 507 airports in the country as well as 47 heliports. China also has 124,000 kilometers of railway in addition to 4,577,300 kilometers of roadways. Seven of the ten largest container ports in the world are located in China.
China’s military spending is less than 2% of their GDP, a figure that has been consistent for several years. China’s military forces comprise the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The PLA consists of Army, Navy, Air Force, airborne forces, strategic missile forces, as well as space and cyber forces. In addition to these Active Duty forces, the PLA also has a Reserve Force. China has a 2-year selective service obligation for all citizens ages 18-24. Recently, legislation was passed which allowed women in combat roles as well as serving as warship commanders. China has the largest military force in the world with 2.3 million active troops serving in the PLA in addition to the Reserve Force.
The largest and ongoing transnational issue in China is regarding the Kashmir lands that Pakistan ceded to China in 1964. India, a neighboring country, does not recognize this action by Pakistan and, consequently, tensions continue to persist. China has executed some confidence-building measures in conjunction with their continuing talks, but the issue continues presently. China also has land disputes with Taiwan over the Paracel Islands and the Senkaku Islands, each of which are claimed by both China and Taiwan. China also has presently state-sponsored forced labor and faces a wide-spread and ongoing trafficking problem. China’s government is making strides to combat this trafficking problem. China also has a huge problem with illegal and illicit drugs in the country. China serves as a major trans-shipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia. China is believed to have convicted and executed more people for drug offenses than any other country in the world.
NG, LR, NCU, USAR
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